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Ezra Vogel on Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China

Ezra Vogel discusses and assesses Deng Xiaoping’s crucial leadership.
11-21-2011
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Ezra Vogel has published hugely influential books on both China and Japan. In his latest, he examines the key role played by Deng Xiaoping in moving China away from a thoroughly planned economy, a transition that required becoming much more open and engaged with the rest of the world. In his Nov. 9, 2011 presentation at the USC U.S.-China Institute, Vogel focused on how Deng's foreign policies were very much driven by his assessment of the desperate need China had for better trained personnel, foreign capital, and foreign technology. Click on the play button below to watch his talk. It is also available in high definition from our YouTube channel.

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Distinguished Harvard sociologist Ezra Vogel offers his assessment of Deng’s leadership. J. Stapleton Roy, former ambassador to China, wrote of Vogel’s book,

“Deng Xiaoping's skill, vision, and courage in overcoming seemingly insuperable obstacles and guiding China onto the path of sustained economic development rank him with the great leaders of history. And yet, too little is known about the life and career of this extraordinary man. In this superbly researched and highly readable biography, Vogel has definitively filled this void. This fascinating book provides a host of insights into the factors that enabled Deng to triumph over repeated setbacks and lay the basis for China to regain the wealth and power that has eluded it for two centuries.”

Ezra Vogel is professor emeritus of sociology at Harvard University where he taught 1964-2000. He is one of the most influential scholars of East Asia, contributing vital books on China and Japan. His China-focused titles include Canton Under Communism (1969) and One Step Ahead in China: Guangdong Under Reform (1989). His books on Japan include Japan's New Middle Class (1963), Japan as Number One: Lessons for America (1979), and Is Japan Still Number One? (2000). In addition to these seminal works, Vogel has edited a number of others, including Living with China : U.S./China Relations in the Twenty-First Century (1997). Professor Vogel is a member of the USC US-China Institute Board of Scholars.

The event was co-sponsored by The Pacific Council on International Policy.

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