Deng Xiaoping: Emerging as Paramount Leader. Deng was in conflict with Mao, of whom the latter stressed egalitarian policies and revolutionary enthusiasm as the key to economic growth, whereas the former emphasized on individual self-interest. Hence, Deng was attacked during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) by radical supporters of Mao, and he was stripped of his high party and government posts sometime in the years 1967-69, after which he disappeared from public view. In 1973, however, Deng was reinstated under the sponsorship of Premier Zhou Enlai and made deputy premier. However, upon Zhou's death in January 1976, the (Maoist) Gang of Four (notably Wang Hongwen, Zhang Chunqiao, and Yao Wenyuan and Jiang Qing) managed to purge Deng from the leadership once again. It was not until Mao's death in September 1976 and the consequent fall from power of the Gang of Four that Deng was rehabilitated and became the official leader of China in 1978. Deng restored China to domestic stability and economic growth after the disastrous excesses of the Cultural Revolution. Under his leadership, China acquired a rapidly growing economy, rising standards of living, considerably expanded personal and cultural freedoms, and growing ties to the world economy. Deng also left in place a mildly authoritarian government that remained committed to the Chinese Communist Party's one-party rule even while it relied on free-market mechanisms to transform China into a developed nation.