British journalist Michael Rank, who served in China in the 1980s, wrote in the Guardian:

Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci’s interview with Deng Xiaoping was one of the revealing ever of any Chinese leader by any western journalist (apart from Mao Zedong and Edgar Snow in the 1930s.)

Deng told Fallaci how Mao “did not readily listen to differing opinions,” “increasingly lost touch with reality” in his later years, that the cultural revolution was a mistake, that “any [form of] capitalism is superior to feudalism,” that Mao’s mausoleum in Tiananmen square should never have been built (though it should not now be demolished,) etc.

These were amazing admissions: practically all western interviews with Chinese leaders before and since have been bland and dull, but Fallaci got Deng to speak extraordinarily frankly by Chinese standards. She deserves to be remembered for that.

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