Introduction: Into the Background
Sometimes the ways of history can surprise even the most sophisticated connoisseurs. At the first glance, there can be little to no similarities between Ho Chi Minh, an early XX century political leader of Vietnam, and Deng Xiaoping, the General Secretary of China (Goodman, 1995).
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However, despite the gap in time and space, the two share certain similar features in their political approaches and leadership portraits.
Comparing and Contrasting the Leadership Style
Like most leaders, Ho Chi Minh and Deng Xiaoping share certain features of their leadership style. However, there are certain differences between the strategies which they chose, as well. Analyzing their key assets, one can possibly see the specifics of both leaders.
Hence, it is clear that, unlike Ho Chi Minh, Deng Xiaoping tried to revolutionize the country and the traditional political approach, while the former put an emphasis on the traditional values.
Comparing and Contrasting the Negotiation Style
Analyzing the peculiarities of the negotiation style which Ho Chi Minh and Deng Xiaoping chose to rule their country, one can possibly draw certain parallels and see the similarities between the two leaders.
Therefore, it can be concluded that there are little to no similarities between the ways in which Ho Chi Minh and Deng Xiaoping ruled their countries. Therefore, it is worth noting that Deng Xiaoping can be considered a milder political leader and a considerably less devoted Communist.
In Search from the Machiavellian Traits: The Portrait of a Leader
Despite the fact that the principles established by Machiavelli in his Prince even nowadays are considered the foundation stone of a good leader who is bound to bring the country to an ultimate success, the two Asian leaders seem to have succeeded without them.
Ho Chi Minh, for instance, relied not on his iron grip, but on the patriotism cherished in the population of Vietnam, thus, relying rather on the power of patriotism than on his iron grip to keep the nation attached to the country and its interests.
Therefore, it can be hardly considered that Machiavellian features were evident in this leader’s portrait. As Quinn-Judge (2003) emphasized, “Both stereotypes of Ho Chi Minh – Machiavellian apparatchik or national saint – have in my view become deadweights impending the search for the historical figure” (2).
As for Deng Xiaoping, the latter, in contrast to Hop Chi Minh, had very distinct Machiavellian features, following in the footsteps of the famous political scientist.
It is quite peculiar that Xiaoping managed to comprise the subtle manner or ruling the state and pulling the social, economical and political strings, with the ability to possess powerful influence over the country. According to Wo-Lap Lam (2006), Deng Xiaoping “[…] has a Machiavellian, go-for-the-jugular streak” (27).
Conclusion: The People Who Changed the History
Therefore, there can be no possible doubt that both Ho Chi Minh and Deng Xiaoping played extremely important role in the development of the country. Each of them choosing their own political strategies and developing their own specific leadership styles, the two men managed to change the history considerably.
Even though their impact on the country is undeniable, there is a huge gap between the means which they chose to rule the country and to establish the relationships with the rest of the world.
With Ho Chi Minh’s harsher ways to handle the international affairs and with Deng Xiaoping more subtle yet at the same time more revolutionizing manner of ruling the state, the world has seen how even a single person can bridge several cultures and help the country establish trustworthy links with other states.
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DeCaro, P. A. (2003). Rhetoric of revolt: Ho Chi Minh’s discourse for revolution. Westport, CN: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Goodman, D. (1995). Deng Xiaoping and the Chinese Revolution: A political biography. New York, NY: Routledge.
Quinn-Judge, S. (2003). Ho Chi Minh: The missing years, 1919-1941. London, UK: C. Hurst & Co. Publishers.
Solomon, R. H. (1999). Chinese negotiating behavior: Pursuing interests through “old friends.” Washington, DC: US Institute of Peace Press.
Stewart, W. (2001). Deng Xiaoping: Leader in a changing China. Minneapolis, MN: Twenty-First Century Books.
Wo-Lap Lam, W. (2006). Chinese politics in the Hu Jintao era: New leaders, new challenges. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe.