Deng tries on a cowboy hat in Texas, 1979. Photo: AP
Richard McGregor
Opinion

Opinion

Richard McGregor

Forget Texas, China came out when Deng tipped his hat to Japan

  • The West remembers Deng Xiaoping’s trip to the US in 1979, but it was his historic visit to Japan months earlier that really opened China’s eyes to modernisation

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Deng tries on a cowboy hat in Texas, 1979. Photo: AP
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Richard McGregor

Richard McGregor

Richard McGregor is a senior fellow for east Asia at the Lowy Institute in Sydney. Mr McGregor was bureau chief for the Financial Times in Shanghai, Beijing and Washington and has also reported from Hong Kong, Tokyo and Taipei. His book, The Party, on the inner-workings of the Chinese Communist Party, published in 2010, was called a “masterpiece” by The Economist and was chosen by the Asia Society and Mainichi Shimbun in Japan as their book of the year in 2011. His last book on Sino-Japanese relations, Asia’s Reckoning: China, Japan and the Fate of US in the Pacific Century, published in 2017, was called “shrewd and knowing” by the Wall Street Journal and the “best book of the year” by the Literary Review in the UK.