Chinese Were Enthusiastic About The New Beginning

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From Mao to Deng
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The National People's Congress had more than 3000 proposals from the Representatives...

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<p>I remember the summer and fall, in 1980. That was really blue sky, the Chinese people were so enthusiastic with that new beginning, Reform and Open Door. Particularly the younger ones. They invited me to their home at night and we'd play mah-jong together until 3 o'clock in the morning, and we talked a lot about the future, of China, of the future Japanese-Chinese relationship, perhaps naively, in such optimistic terms. And I remember, the National People's Congress had more than 3000 proposals from the Representatives and many of them were published in the People's Daily. Some of them really raised serious critical questions to the Party leadership, to the State leadership in a very honest way. Of course, they did not reveal everything, they did not report everything, but that was the day, it really captures that zeitgeist in those days. The Chinese really, genuinely wanted to change, and for the good. For the Japanese, that was really one of the most rewarding, inspirational days, because they really, genuinely seemed to be interested in things Japanese. How Japan developed after the devastation of World War II, and in what way Japan really developed its economy. How did Japan maintain its culture and tradition on the one hand while adjusting to the international economy and international society? Intellectually and psychologically, they really were trying to grope for something and it was a really refreshing and rewarding experience for me.</p>
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Yoichi Funabashi talks about the heady times following the Reform and Opening. He discusses how the Chinese genuinely wanted to change and how they looked towards Japan as a model for rebuilding a broken nation.