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Deng Xiaoping

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Excerpts from his talks in Shenzhen during the 19th – 23rd January 1992 visit

  •  “Eight years have passed, this time I come to see that Shenzhen, Zhuhai and some other localities have undergone rapid development, it is really out of my expectations. After seeing all this, I've got enhanced confidence."  
  • "From the very outset there were different opinions concerning the establishment of special economic zones, fearing whether this meant practicing capitalism. Shenzhen's construction achievements have answered those having worries of one kind or another, the special zone is "socialist", not "capitalist" in nature.”  
  • "Don't be afraid the establishment of more Sino-foreign cooperative enterprises, Sino-foreign joint ventures and solely foreign-owned businesses. We need not be afraid so long as we are clear-headed. We have advantages, large and medium-sized State-owned enterprises and township enterprises, more importantly, we have the political power in our own hands.” 
  • Guangdong should strive to catch up with the said "four small dragons" [Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea] in Asia in a 20-years' time." 
  • "Not only should we push up the economy, we should also create a good social order and a good social mood.” 
  • “Singaporean social order is good, because the country put it under strict control, we should learn from its experiences and should exercise better management of society."  
  • "Failing to adhere to socialism, to carry out reform and opening up, to develop economy and to improve people's livelihood can only lead up to a blind alley. The basic line governs one hundred years and must not be shaken.”  
  • "We should persist in taking on two tasks: one is to carry out reform and opening up, the other is to clamp down on various criminal activities. And we must attach equal importance to both.” 
  • “Leading cadres and Party members should tackle the construction of a clean and honest government as a major task; pay attention to the training of a young generation of successors, and other important issues.”
  • “It won't do to hold too many meetings and write lengthy articles… Shenzhen's rapid development was the result of doing solid work, not the outcome of delivering speeches or writing articles.”  
  • “You [the Shenzhen local government] should be bolder in carrying out reform and opening up, dare to make experiments and should not act as women with bound feet."  
  • "It is a matter of impossibility for one to consider oneself being always in the right from the very outset, thinking he is one hundred percent correct. I've never thought that way." 
  • “[to Shenzhen local government official] Work has been done mainly through your own efforts. I just gave you help and support and contributed my bit in charting the orientation." 
  • "Socialism essentially aims to release and develop productive forces, wipe out exploitation and eliminate polarization between poor and rich and finally achieve common prosperity."
  •  “Are such things as securities and stocks good, do they cause danger, are they things unique to capitalism, can socialism make use of them? It is permissible to judge, but we must be resolute in having a try. If it proves right, then we put it into practice for one or two years, if again it proves right, then we should open it; if it proves wrong, we will correct it and close it.”  
  • “In rural and urban reforms, we don't hold debate, instead we make bold experiments and breakthrough"
  • "If we are to seize opportunities to promote China's all-round development, it is crucial to expand the economy. The economies of some of our neighbouring countries and regions are growing faster than ours. If our economy stagnates or develops only slowly, the people will make comparisons and ask why."  
  • It [the production of video laser discs] should be one so and related international rules on intellectual property rights should be abided by."
  • “Slow growth equals stagnation and even retrogression. We must grasp opportunities; the present offers an excellent one. The only thing I worry about is that we may lose opportunities. If we don't seize them, they will slip through our fingers as time speeds by.”  

Source: Quotes taken from “Records of Comrade Deng Xiaoping's Shenzhen Tour”, published by the People’s Daily.

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Deng Xiaoping in Shenzhen on 20th January 1992