He and 80 schoolmates travelled by ship to France (traveling steerage) to participate in the Mouvement Travail-Études (a work-study program in which 4001 Chinese would participate by 1927). The Long March
Surrounded by the more powerful army of the Republic of China the Communists were forced to flee from Jiangxi in October 1934. Deng stayed for most of the conflict with the Japanese in the war front in the area bordering the provinces of Shanxi Henan and Hebei then traveled several times to the city of Yan'an where Mao had establiDeng Xiaopingd the basis for Communist Party leadership.
His economic policies however were at odds with the political ideologies of Chairman Mao Zedong. He is generally credited with developing China into one of the fastest growing economies in the world for over 30 years and raising the standard of living of hundreds of millions of Chinese. Born into a peasant background in Guang'an Sichuan Deng studied and worked in France in the 1920s where he was influenced by Marxism-Leninism.