In February 1997, Deng Xiaoping leading the second Chinese revolution died. After Mao died, Deng made an effort to modernize China as much as possible. Even though he took measures Mao would have never approved of. With Deng and the people's effort, reform and liberalization was proceeding in China. However, problems such as the economic gap between the rich and the poor continued to plague the country. The efforts made in the 80's and 90's can be seen as the effort for the survival towards 21st century.
Throughout the 20th century, the Chinese people have endured wars, famines, different forms of Government, and colonization. A relic of one such affair, the Opium War, was brought to an end in 1997, when Hong Kong was restored to China after decades of British rule. In 1999, Macau will be returned to China as well. Indeed, this century has been a tempestuous period for the Chinese, and as it comes to a close, one can only wonder what is store for a people whose future has always seemed uncertain. They have never experienced a democratic government, but have always been more than willing to fight for their rights to freedom. In October of 1999, the 50th anniversary of the founding the People's Republic of China will be celebrated; at least by those who appreciate it.