Deng Xiaoping was born Deng Xiansheng (邓先圣) on August 22, 1904 in Guang’an, Sichuan (四川广安). To commemorate his birthday, below I have translated his calligraphic inscriptions, which suggest the contours of reform and its social terrain.
October 1, 1983 for the Beijing Jingshan School: “Education must be oriented to modernization, the world, and the future (教育要面向现代化、面向世界、面向未来)”.
January 1, 1984 for the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone: “Shenzhen’s development and experience proves that the policy decision to establish Special Economic Zones was correct (深圳的发展和经历证明我们建立经济特区的政策是正确的)”.
February 16, 1984 for the then under construction Shanghai Baoshan Steel Factory: “To grasp new technology, one must not only be able to study, but also more able to innovate (掌握新技术，要善于学习，更要善于创新)”.
October 15, 1984 for the first Chinese exhibition to the South Pole: “Use the South Pole to contribute to humanity and world peace (为人类和平利用南极做贡献)”.
February 1986 for the Tianjin Development Zone: “The Development Zone has great hope (开发区大有希望)”.
May 30, 1987 a general inscription: “Unite Marxist truth with the actual situation of the country, so that China will walk its path (把马克思主义的普通真理和本国的实际情况结合起来，走自己的路)”.
May 11, 1988 for an anthology of essays on true standards that was published by Guangming Daily: “Praxis is the only standard for investigating truth (实践是检验真理的唯一标准)”.
October 10, 1989 a general inscription：”Nurture successors to the proletariate revolution who have ideals, morals, culture, and self-restraint (培养有理想、有道德、有文化、有纪律的无产阶级革命事业接班人)”.
September 5, 1990 a general inscription: “Project Hope (希望工程)”.
March 1991 for the 10th Anniversary of Arbor Day: “Green the Motherland, Create Riches for 10,000 Generations (绿化祖国，造福万代)”.
April 23, 1991 for a national meeting: “Develop high technology, realize industrialization (发展高科技，实现产业化)”.