Communism in crisis 1976-89 (China): Russia and China before the twentieth century were ruled by emperors who were undemocratic. Most of the people and were peasants. They were not looked after well and they were very poor. There was no progress at all in these two countries and they were at the mercy of more powerful countries like Britain, Japan and US. There were frequent famines by which many lost their lives. This resulted in groups of would-be political reformers emerging in both countries. These reformers found there in Communism which was a social and economic system in which nearly all resources and property was collectively owned by the society and not by individuals. The society was a classless society. The theory of communism formulated by the political philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles of Germany was taken up completely by Russia and China. Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin of Russia and Mao Tse-Tung of China were the most popular communist leaders.
Between 1976 and 1989 China faced many upheaval s especially after the death of the leader Mao Tse-Tung in September 1976. China did not have a strong second leader in line. Hua Guofeng was nominated by Mao as his successor. The Gang of Four, Jian Qing, Zhang Chungiao, Yao Wenyuan and Wang Hongwen controlled the organs of the Communist party of China. They were charged with treason and they were dismantled and imprisoned after the death of Mao Tse-Tung. Hua Guofeng was the undisputed leader but could not hold for long as he could was completely following “whatever” Mao Ts-Tung said and did. In 1978 he was forced out of politics by Deng Xiaoping.
Deng and Hua co-ruled for sometime but the progressive policies of Deng soon made him the strong favourite. Four Modernizations were the first goal set by Deng Xiaoping in the fields of science and technology, national defence, agriculture and industry. This was done to rejuvenate China’s economy. Relationship with the West improved under Deng’s leadership. Between November 1978 and December 1979 there were protests against the political and social scenario. The protests were mostly posters on brick walls and so it was popularly known as Democracy Wall and because it did not last long it was also known as Beijing Spring. Though it was short-lived it never died and it gathered momentum as the years went on. However it was always suppressed with a heavy hand by the government. The worst and maybe the last suppression seen was in the Tiananmen Square in 1989. It was a student-led protest in Beijing that was forcibly suppressed. In what known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre the protestors were killed with tanks and automatic rifles. Several hundreds of students were killed in that massacre. Since then there has not been very wide spread threat to communism in China.