Publish Date: Feb. 5, 1979
Cover Story: Deng’s Great Leap Outward
How TIME Covered the News: As soon as he could, Mao Zedong’s successor made it his mission to lift China out of a disastrous era of Communist collectivism. Deng Xiaoping is now considered the architect of modern China’s current system—the co-mingling of a one-party authoritarian state with a business-friendly economic environment. It’s known in shorthand as “capitalism with Chinese characteristics”; in this cover story, a younger Deng visits President Jimmy Carter’s America for some inspiration.
“Deng’s determination to modernize China’s backward industry by the year 2000 led him to request tours of the advanced technology production lines for which U.S. industry is celebrated. During a 24-hr, swing through Georgia, he will visit the Ford Motor Co.’s assembly plant near Atlanta. His tour guide: Henry Ford II. Dinner that night at the mansion of Georgia Governor George Busbee will feature spinach soufflé, thinly sliced veal and vanilla mousse—all foods especially selected for eaters unskilled in the use of a knife and fork. “
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