MAO ZEDONG or MAO TSE-TUNG (/ˈmaʊ dzəˈdʊŋ, zə-, -dɒŋ/ (
listen ); December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as
CHAIRMAN MAO, was a Chinese communist revolutionary, poet, political
theorist and founding father of the People\'s Republic of
which he governed as the
Chairman of the Communist Party of China from
its establishment in 1949, until his death in 1976. His
Marxist–Leninist theories, military strategies, and political
policies are collectively known as
Maoism or Marxism-Leninism-
Born the son of a wealthy farmer in
Mao adopted a
Chinese nationalist and anti-imperialist outlook in early life,
particularly influenced by the events of the
Xinhai Revolution of 1911
May Fourth Movement of 1919.
Peking University and became a founding member of the
Communist Party of China (CPC), leading the
Autumn Harvest Uprising
Autumn Harvest Uprising in
1927. During the
Chinese Civil War between the
Kuomintang (KMT) and
Mao helped to found the Chinese Workers\' and Peasants\' Red
Army , led the
Jiangxi Soviet 's radical land policies and ultimately
became head of the CPC during the
Long March . Although the CPC
temporarily allied with the KMT under the United Front during the
Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–45), after Japan\'s defeat , China's
civil war resumed and in 1949 Mao's forces defeated the Nationalists
who withdrew to
On October 1, 1949,
Mao proclaimed the foundation of the People\'s
China (PRC), a one-party state controlled by the CPC. In
the following years
Mao solidified his control through a campaign of
classicide against landlords, and a mass purge of perceived enemies
of the state he termed "counterrevolutionaries" alleged to have caused
between 2,000,000 to 6,000,000 deaths. (
Mao himself admitting
800,000 deaths in the classicide and 712,000 in the suppression of
counterrevolutionaries). In 1957, he launched the Great Leap Forward
campaign that aimed to rapidly transform China's economy from an
agrarian economy to an industrial one. The campaign contributed to a
widespread famine , whose death toll is estimated at between
15,000,000 and 55,000,000. In 1966, he initiated the Great
Cultural Revolution , a program to remove
"counterrevolutionary" elements of Chinese society that lasted 10
years and which was marked by violent class struggle that killed
400,000 to 10,000,000 people and caused widespread destruction of
cultural artifacts and unprecedented elevation of Mao's personality
cult . In 1972,
Mao welcomed American President
Richard Nixon in
Beijing, signalling a policy of opening
China , which was furthered
under the rule of
Deng Xiaoping (1978–1992).
Mao suffered a series
of heart attacks in 1976, and died at the age of 82 on September 9. He
was succeeded as
Paramount leader by
Hua Guofeng (1976–1978), who
was quickly sidelined and replaced by Deng.
A controversial figure,
Mao is regarded as one of the most important
individuals in modern world history, and is also known as a theorist,
military strategist, poet and visionary. Supporters credit him with
driving imperialism out of China, modernising
China and building it
into a world power , promoting the status of women, improving
education and health care, and increasing life expectancy as China's
population grew from around 550 million to over 900 million under his
leadership. In contrast, critics consider him a dictator comparable
Adolf Hitler and
Joseph Stalin , who damaged traditional Chinese
culture, as well as a perpetrator of human rights abuses , and they
Mao was responsible for 40 to 70 million deaths through
starvation, prison labour and executions, which would rank his tenure
as the top incidence of excess mortality in human history.
* 1 Early life
* 1.1 Youth and the Xinhai Revolution: 1893–1911
* 1.2 Fourth Normal School of Changsha: 1912–19
* 2 Early revolutionary activity
* 2.1 Beijing, Anarchism, and Marxism: 1917–19
* 2.2 New Culture and political protests, 1919–20
* 2.3 Founding the Communist Party of China: 1921–22
* 2.4 Collaboration with the Kuomintang: 1922–27
* 3 Civil
* 3.1 The
Nanchang and Autumn Harvest Uprisings: 1927
* 3.2 Base in Jinggangshan: 1927–1928
Jiangxi Soviet Republic of China: 1929–1934
* 3.4 The Long March: 1934–1935
* 3.5 Alliance with the Kuomintang: 1935–1940
* 3.6 Resuming civil war: 1940–1949
* 4 Leadership of
Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward
* 4.2 Consequences
* 4.3 Split from
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
* 4.4.1 "Mango fever"
* 4.4.2 End of the
* 5 State visits
* 6 Death and aftermath
* 7 Legacy
* 7.1 Public image
* 8 Genealogy
* 8.1 Ancestors
* 8.2 Wives
* 8.3 Siblings
* 8.4 Children
* 9 Personal life
* 10 Writings and calligraphy
* 10.1 Literary works
* 11 Portrayal in film and television
* 13 See also
* 14 References
* 14.1 Citations
* 15 Further reading
* 16 External links
* 16.1 General
* 16.2 Commentary
Early life of Mao Zedong
YOUTH AND THE XINHAI REVOLUTION: 1893–1911
Mao Zedong was born on December 26, 1893 in
Shaoshan village, Hunan
Province , China. His father,
Mao Yichang , was a formerly
impoverished peasant who had become one of the wealthiest farmers in
Shaoshan. Growing up in rural Hunan,
Mao Zedong described his father
as a stern disciplinarian, who would beat him and his three siblings,
the boys Zemin and Zetan , and an adopted girl, Zejian . Mao's
Wen Qimei , was a devout Buddhist who tried to temper her
husband's strict attitude. Zedong too became a Buddhist, but
abandoned this faith in his mid-teenage years. At age 8,
Mao was sent
Shaoshan Primary School. Learning the value systems of Confucianism
, he later admitted that he didn't enjoy the classical Chinese texts
preaching Confucian morals, instead favouring popular novels like
Romance of the Three Kingdoms _ and _
Water Margin _. At age 13, Mao
finished primary education, and his father united him in an arranged
marriage to the 17-year-old
Luo Yigu , thereby uniting their
Mao refused to recognise her as his wife,
becoming a fierce critic of arranged marriage and temporarily moving
away. Luo was locally disgraced and died in 1910. Mao\'s
childhood home in Shaoshan, in 2010, by which time it had become a
While working on his father's farm,
Mao read voraciously, and
developed a "political consciousness" from Zheng Guanying 's booklet
which lamented the deterioration of Chinese power and argued for the
adoption of representative democracy . Interested in history,
inspired by the military prowess and nationalistic fervour of George
Napoleon Bonaparte . His political views were shaped
Gelaohui -led protests which erupted following a famine in Hunanese
Mao supported the protesters' demands, but the
armed forces suppressed the dissenters and executed their leaders.
The famine spread to Shaoshan, where starving peasants seized his
father's grain. He disapproved of their actions as morally wrong, but
claimed sympathy for their situation. At age 16,
Mao moved to a
higher primary school in nearby Dongshan, where he was bullied for
his peasant background.
Mao began middle school in Changsha. Revolutionary
sentiment was strong in the city, where there was widespread animosity
Puyi 's absolute monarchy and many were advocating
republicanism . The republicans' figurehead was
Sun Yat-sen , an
American-educated Christian who led the
Tongmenghui society. In
Mao was influenced by Sun's newspaper, _The People's
Independence_ (_Minli bao_), and called for Sun to become president
in a school essay. As a symbol of rebellion against the Manchu
Mao and a friend cut off their queue pigtails, a sign of
subservience to the emperor.
Inspired by Sun's republicanism, the army rose up across southern
China, sparking the
Xinhai Revolution . Changsha's governor fled,
leaving the city in republican control. Supporting the revolution,
Mao joined the rebel army as a private soldier , but was not involved
in fighting. The northern provinces remained loyal to the emperor, and
hoping to avoid a civil war, Sun—proclaimed "provisional president"
by his supporters—compromised with the monarchist general Yuan
Shikai . The monarchy would be abolished, creating the Republic of
China , but the monarchist Yuan would become president. The revolution
Mao resigned from the army in 1912, after six months as a
soldier. Around this time,
Mao discovered socialism from a newspaper
article; proceeding to read pamphlets by
Jiang Kanghu , the student
founder of the Chinese Socialist Party,
Mao remained interested yet
unconvinced by the idea.
FOURTH NORMAL SCHOOL OF CHANGSHA: 1912–19
Over the next few years,
Mao enrolled and dropped out of a police
academy, a soap-production school, a law school, an economics school,
and the government-run
Changsha Middle School. Studying
independently, he spent much time in Changsha's library, reading core
works of classical liberalism such as
Adam Smith 's _The Wealth of
Nations _ and
Montesquieu 's _
The Spirit of the Laws _, as well as the
works of western scientists and philosophers such as Darwin , Mill ,
Rousseau , and Spencer . Viewing himself as an intellectual, years
later he admitted that at this time he thought himself better than
working people. He was inspired by
Friedrich Paulsen , whose liberal
emphasis on individualism led
Mao to believe that strong individuals
were not bound by moral codes but should strive for the greater good,
and that the "end justifies the means" conclusion of Consequentialism
. His father saw no use in his son's intellectual pursuits, cut off
his allowance, and forced him to move into a hostel for the destitute.
Mao in 1913
Mao desired to become a teacher and enrolled at the Fourth Normal
School of Changsha, which soon merged with the First Normal School of
Changsha, widely seen as the best in Hunan. Befriending Mao,
Yang Changji urged him to read a radical newspaper, _New
Youth _ (_Xin qingnian_), the creation of his friend
Chen Duxiu , a
Peking University . Although a Chinese nationalist , Chen
China must look to the west to cleanse itself of
superstition and autocracy.
Mao published his first article in _New
Youth_ in April 1917, instructing readers to increase their physical
strength to serve the revolution. He joined the
Society for the Study
Wang Fuzhi (_Chuan-shan Hsüeh-she_), a revolutionary group founded
Changsha literati who wished to emulate the philosopher Wang Fuzhi
In his first school year,
Mao befriended an older student, Xiao
Zisheng ; together they went on a walking tour of Hunan, begging and
writing literary couplets to obtain food. A popular student, in 1915
Mao was elected secretary of the Students Society. He organized the
Association for Student Self-Government and led protests against
school rules. In spring 1917, he was elected to command the students'
volunteer army, set up to defend the school from marauding soldiers.
Increasingly interested in the techniques of war, he took a keen
World War I
World War I , and also began to develop a sense of
solidarity with workers.
Mao undertook feats of physical endurance
Xiao Zisheng and
Cai Hesen , and with other young revolutionaries
they formed the Renovation of the People Study
Society in April 1918
to debate Chen Duxiu's ideas. Desiring personal and societal
Society gained 70–80 members, many of whom would
later join the Communist Party.
Mao graduated in June 1919, ranked
third in the year.
EARLY REVOLUTIONARY ACTIVITY
Early revolutionary activity of Mao Zedong
BEIJING, ANARCHISM, AND MARXISM: 1917–19
Following the success of the
October Revolution in the former
Russian Empire, in which Marxists took power,
Mao came under the
theoretical influence of
Karl Marx .
Mao moved to
Beijing , where his mentor
Yang Changji had taken a job
at Peking University. Yang thought
Mao exceptionally "intelligent and
handsome", securing him a job as assistant to the university
Li Dazhao , an early Chinese Communist. Li authored a
series of _New Youth_ articles on the
October Revolution in Russia,
during which the Communist
Bolshevik Party under the leadership of
Vladimir Lenin had seized power. Lenin was an advocate of the
socio-political theory of
Marxism , first developed by the German
Karl Marx and
Friedrich Engels , and Li's articles
brought an understanding of
Marxism to the Chinese revolutionary
movement. Becoming "more and more radical",
Mao was influenced by
Peter Kropotkin 's anarchism but joined Li's Study Group and
"developed rapidly toward Marxism" during the winter of 1919.
Paid a low wage,
Mao lived in a cramped room with seven other
Hunanese students, but believed that Beijing's beauty offered "vivid
and living compensation". At the university,
Mao was widely snubbed
by other students due to his rural Hunanese accent and lowly position.
He joined the university's Philosophy and Journalism Societies and
attended lectures and seminars by the likes of
Chen Duxiu ,
Hu Shi ,
Qian Xuantong . Mao's time in
Beijing ended in the spring of
1919, when he travelled to
Shanghai with friends who were preparing to
leave for France. He did not return to Shaoshan, where his mother was
terminally ill. She died in October 1919, with her husband dying in
NEW CULTURE AND POLITICAL PROTESTS, 1919–20
On May 4, 1919, students in
Beijing gathered at the Gate of Heavenly
Peace to protest the Chinese government's weak resistance to Japanese
expansion in China. Patriots were outraged at the influence given to
Japan in the
Twenty-One Demands in 1915, the complicity of Duan Qirui
Beiyang Government , and the betrayal of
China in the Treaty of
Versailles , wherein Japan was allowed to receive territories in
Shandong which had been surrendered by Germany . These demonstrations
ignited the nation-wide
May Fourth Movement and fueled the New Culture
Movement which blamed China’s diplomatic defeats on social and
Mao had begun teaching history at the Xiuye Primary
School and organizing protests against the pro-Duan Governor of Hunan
Zhang Jingyao , popularly known as "Zhang the Venomous" due
to his corrupt and violent rule. In late May,
Mao co-founded the
Hunanese Student Association with
He Shuheng and
Deng Zhongxia ,
organizing a student strike for June and in July 1919 began production
of a weekly radical magazine, _
Xiang River Review_ (_Xiangjiang
pinglun_). Using vernacular language that would be understandable to
the majority of China's populace, he advocated the need for a "Great
Union of the Popular Masses", strengthened trade unions able to wage
non-violent revolution. His ideas were not Marxist, but heavily
influenced by Kropotkin's concept of mutual aid . Students in
Beijing rallied during the May Fourth Movement.
Zhang banned the Student Association, but
Mao continued publishing
after assuming editorship of the liberal magazine _New Hunan_ (_Xin
Hunan_) and offered articles in popular local newspaper _Justice_ (_Ta
Kung Po_). Several of these advocated feminist views, calling for the
liberation of women in Chinese society;
Mao was influenced by his
forced arranged-marriage. In December 1919,
Mao helped organise a
general strike in Hunan, securing some concessions, but
Mao and other
student leaders felt threatened by Zhang, and
Mao returned to Beijing,
visiting the terminally ill Yang Changji.
Mao found that his articles
had achieved a level of fame among the revolutionary movement, and set
about soliciting support in overthrowing Zhang. Coming across newly
translated Marxist literature by Thomas Kirkup,
Karl Kautsky , and
Marx and Engels—notably _
The Communist Manifesto _—he came under
their increasing influence, but was still eclectic in his views.
Mao visited Tianjin,
Jinan , and
Qufu , before moving to Shanghai,
where he worked as a laundryman and met
Chen Duxiu , noting that
Chen's adoption of
Marxism "deeply impressed me at what was probably a
critical period in my life". In Shanghai,
Mao met an old teacher of
Yi Peiji , a revolutionary and member of the
Kuomintang (KMT), or
Chinese Nationalist Party, which was gaining increasing support and
influence. Yi introduced
Mao to General
Tan Yankai , a senior KMT
member who held the loyalty of troops stationed along the Hunanese
border with Guangdong. Tan was plotting to overthrow Zhang, and Mao
aided him by organizing the
Changsha students. In June 1920, Tan led
his troops into Changsha, and Zhang fled. In the subsequent
reorganization of the provincial administration,
Mao was appointed
headmaster of the junior section of the First Normal School. Now
receiving a large income, he married
Yang Kaihui in the winter of
FOUNDING THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA: 1921–22
Location of the first Congress of the
Chinese Communist Party
Chinese Communist Party in
July 1921, in
Xintiandi , former
French Concession , Shanghai.
Communist Party of China was founded by
Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao
French concession of
Shanghai in 1921 as a study society and
Mao set up a
Changsha branch, also establishing a
branch of the Socialist Youth Corps. Opening a bookstore under the
control of his new Cultural Book Society, its purpose was to propagate
revolutionary literature throughout Hunan. He was involved in the
Hunan autonomy, in the hope that a Hunanese constitution
would increase civil liberties and make his revolutionary activity
easier. When the movement was successful in establishing provincial
autonomy under a new warlord,
Mao forgot his involvement. By 1921,
small Marxist groups existed in Shanghai, Beijing, Changsha, Wuhan,
Guangzhou, and Jinan; it was decided to hold a central meeting, which
Shanghai on July 23, 1921. The first session of the National
Congress of the
Communist Party of China was attended by 13 delegates,
Mao included. After the authorities sent a police spy to the congress,
the delegates moved to a boat on South Lake near
Jiaxing , in
Zhejiang, to escape detection. Although Soviet and
attended, the first congress ignored Lenin's advice to accept a
temporary alliance between the Communists and the "bourgeois
democrats" who also advocated national revolution; instead they stuck
to the orthodox Marxist belief that only the urban proletariat could
lead a socialist revolution.
Mao was now party secretary for
Hunan stationed in Changsha, and to
build the party there he followed a variety of tactics. In August
1921, he founded the Self-Study University, through which readers
could gain access to revolutionary literature, housed in the premises
Society for the Study of
Wang Fuzhi , a
Qing dynasty Hunanese
philosopher who had resisted the Manchus. He joined the YMCA Mass
Education Movement to fight illiteracy, though he edited the textbooks
to included radical sentiments. He continued organizing workers to
strike against the administration of
Zhao Hengti . Yet
labor issues remained central. The successful and famous Anyuan coal
mines strikes (contrary to later Party historians) depended on both
"proletarian" and "bourgeois" strategies.
Liu Shaoqi and
Li Lisan and
Mao not only mobilised the miners, but formed schools and cooperatives
and engaged local intellectuals, gentry, military officers, merchants,
Red Gang dragon heads and even church clergy.
Mao claimed that he missed the July 1922 Second Congress of the
Communist Party in
Shanghai because he lost the address. Adopting
Lenin's advice, the delegates agreed to an alliance with the
"bourgeois democrats" of the KMT for the good of the "national
revolution". Communist Party members joined the KMT, hoping to push
its politics leftward.
Mao enthusiastically agreed with this
decision, arguing for an alliance across China's socio-economic
Mao was a vocal anti-imperialist and in his writings he
lambasted the governments of Japan, UK and US, describing the latter
as "the most murderous of hangmen".
COLLABORATION WITH THE KUOMINTANG: 1922–27
Mao the revolutionary in 1927 Play media
speeches to the masses
At the Third Congress of the Communist Party in
Shanghai in June
1923, the delegates reaffirmed their commitment to working with the
KMT. Supporting this position,
Mao was elected to the Party Committee,
taking up residence in Shanghai. At the First KMT Congress, held in
Guangzhou in early 1924,
Mao was elected an alternate member of the
KMT Central Executive Committee, and put forward four resolutions to
decentralise power to urban and rural bureaus. His enthusiastic
support for the KMT earned him the suspicion of Li Li-san, his Hunan
In late 1924,
Mao returned to Shaoshan, perhaps to recuperate from an
illness. He found that the peasantry were increasingly restless and
some had seized land from wealthy landowners to found communes. This
convinced him of the revolutionary potential of the peasantry, an idea
advocated by the KMT leftists but not the Communists. He returned to
Guangzhou to run the 6th term of the KMT's Peasant Movement Training
Institute from May to September 1926. The Peasant Movement Training
Mao trained cadre and prepared them for militant
activity, taking them through military training exercises and getting
them to study basic left-wing texts. In the winter of 1925,
Guangzhou after his revolutionary activities attracted the
attention of Zhao's regional authorities.
When party leader
Sun Yat-sen died in May 1925, he was succeeded by
Chiang Kai-shek , who moved to marginalise the left-KMT and the
Mao nevertheless supported Chiang's National
Revolutionary Army , who embarked on the
Northern Expedition attack in
1926 on warlords. In the wake of this expedition, peasants rose up,
appropriating the land of the wealthy landowners, who were in many
cases killed. Such uprisings angered senior KMT figures, who were
themselves landowners, emphasizing the growing class and ideological
divide within the revolutionary movement. "
Revolution is not a
dinner party, nor an essay, nor a painting, nor a piece of embroidery;
it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind,
courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an
insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows
another." — Mao, February 1927.
In March 1927,
Mao appeared at the Third Plenum of the KMT Central
Executive Committee in Wuhan, which sought to strip General Chiang of
his power by appointing
Wang Jingwei leader. There,
Mao played an
active role in the discussions regarding the peasant issue, defending
a set of "Regulations for the Repression of Local Bullies and Bad
Gentry", which advocated the death penalty or life imprisonment for
anyone found guilty of counter-revolutionary activity, arguing that in
a revolutionary situation, "peaceful methods cannot suffice". In
Mao was appointed to the KMT's five-member Central Land
Committee, urging peasants to refuse to pay rent.
Mao led another
group to put together a "Draft Resolution on the Land Question", which
called for the confiscation of land belonging to "local bullies and
bad gentry, corrupt officials, militarists and all
counter-revolutionary elements in the villages". Proceeding to carry
out a "Land Survey", he stated that anyone owning over 30 _mou_ (four
and a half acres), constituting 13% of the population, were uniformly
counter-revolutionary. He accepted that there was great variation in
revolutionary enthusiasm across the country, and that a flexible
policy of land redistribution was necessary. Presenting his
conclusions at the Enlarged Land Committee meeting, many expressed
reservations, some believing that it went too far, and others not far
enough. Ultimately, his suggestions were only partially implemented.
Chinese Civil War and
Chinese Communist Revolution
THE NANCHANG AND AUTUMN HARVEST UPRISINGS: 1927
Flag of the Chinese Workers\' and Peasants\' Red Army
Fresh from the success of the
Northern Expedition against the
warlords, Chiang turned on the Communists, who by now numbered in the
tens of thousands across China. Chiang ignored the orders of the
Wuhan-based left KMT government and marched on Shanghai, a city
controlled by Communist militias. As the Communists awaited Chiang's
arrival, he loosed the White Terror , massacring 5000 with the aid of
Green Gang . In Beijing, 19 leading Communists were killed by
Zhang Zuolin . That May, tens of thousands of Communists and those
suspected of being communists were killed, and the CPC lost
approximately 15,000 of its 25,000 members. "'Eagles cleave the
Fish glide in the limpid deep;
Under freezing skies a million
creatures contend in freedom.
Brooding over this immensity,
I ask, on this boundless land
Who rules over man's destiny?" — Excerpt from Mao's
poem "Changsha", September 1927.
The CPC continued supporting the Wuhan KMT government, a position Mao
initially supported, but by the time of the CPC's Fifth Congress he
had changed his mind, deciding to stake all hope on the peasant
militia. The question was rendered moot when the Wuhan government
expelled all Communists from the KMT on July 15. The CPC founded the
Workers' and Peasants' Red Army of China, better known as the "Red
Army ", to battle Chiang. A battalion led by General
Zhu De was
ordered to take the city of
Nanchang on August 1, 1927 in what became
known as the
Nanchang Uprising . They were initially successful, but
were forced into retreat after five days, marching south to
and from there they were driven into the wilderness of
Fujian . Mao
was appointed commander-in-chief of the Red Army and led four
Changsha in the
Autumn Harvest Uprising
Autumn Harvest Uprising , in the
hope of sparking peasant uprisings across Hunan. On the eve of the
Mao composed a poem—the earliest of his to survive—titled
"Changsha". His plan was to attack the KMT-held city from three
directions on September 9, but the Fourth Regiment deserted to the KMT
cause, attacking the Third Regiment. Mao's army made it to Changsha,
but could not take it; by September 15, he accepted defeat and with
1000 survivors marched east to the
Jinggang Mountains of
Jung Chang and
Jon Halliday claim that the uprising was in fact
Mao to allow him to prevent a group of KMT soldiers from
defecting to any other CPC leader. Chang and Halliday also claim that
Mao talked the other leaders (including Russian diplomats at the
Soviet consulate in
Changsha who, Chang and Halliday claim, had been
controlling much of the CPC activity) into striking only at Changsha,
then abandoning it. Chang and Halliday report a view sent to Moscow by
the secretary of the Soviet Consulate in
Changsha that the retreat was
"the most despicable treachery and cowardice."
BASE IN JINGGANGSHAN: 1927–1928
The CPC Central Committee, hiding in Shanghai, expelled
their ranks and from the
Hunan Provincial Committee, as punishment for
his "military opportunism", for his focus on rural activity, and for
being too lenient with "bad gentry". They nevertheless adopted three
policies he had long championed: the immediate formation of Workers\'
councils , the confiscation of all land without exemption, and the
rejection of the KMT. Mao's response was to ignore them. He
established a base in
Jinggangshan City , an area of the Jinggang
Mountains, where he united five villages as a self-governing state,
and supported the confiscation of land from rich landlords, who were
"re-educated" and sometimes executed. He ensured that no massacres
took place in the region, and pursued a more lenient approach than
that advocated by the Central Committee. He proclaimed that "Even the
lame, the deaf and the blind could all come in useful for the
revolutionary struggle", he boosted the army's numbers, incorporating
two groups of bandits into his army, building a force of around 1,800
troops. He laid down rules for his soldiers: prompt obedience to
orders, all confiscations were to be turned over to the government,
and nothing was to be confiscated from poorer peasants. In doing so,
he molded his men into a disciplined, efficient fighting force.
"When the enemy advances, we retreat.
When the enemy rests, we harass him.
When the enemy avoids a battle, we attack.
When the enemy retreats, we advance." Mao's advice in combating the
In spring 1928, the Central Committee ordered Mao's troops to
southern Hunan, hoping to spark peasant uprisings.
Mao was skeptical,
but complied. They reached Hunan, where they were attacked by the KMT
and fled after heavy losses. Meanwhile, KMT troops had invaded
Jinggangshan, leaving them without a base. Wandering the countryside,
Mao's forces came across a CPC regiment led by General
Zhu De and Lin
Biao ; they united, and attempted to retake Jinggangshan. They were
initially successful, but the KMT counter-attacked, and pushed the CPC
back; over the next few weeks, they fought an entrenched guerrilla war
in the mountains. The Central Committee again ordered
Mao to march
to south Hunan, but he refused, and remained at his base.
Contrastingly, Zhu complied, and led his armies away. Mao's troops
fended the KMT off for 25 days while he left the camp at night to find
reinforcements. He reunited with the decimated Zhu's army, and
together they returned to Jinggangshan and retook the base. There they
were joined by a defecting KMT regiment and
Peng Dehuai 's Fifth Red
Army. In the mountainous area they were unable to grow enough crops to
feed everyone, leading to food shortages throughout the winter.
JIANGXI SOVIET REPUBLIC OF CHINA: 1929–1934
Mao with his third wife,
He Zizhen , 1928
In January 1929,
Mao and Zhu evacuated the base with 2,000 men and a
further 800 provided by Peng, and took their armies south, to the area
around Tonggu and Xinfeng in
Jiangxi . The evacuation led to a drop
in morale, and many troops became disobedient and began thieving; this
Li Lisan and the Central Committee, who saw Mao's army as
_lumpenproletariat _, that were unable to share in proletariat class
consciousness . In keeping with orthodox Marxist thought, Li
believed that only the urban proletariat could lead a successful
revolution, and saw little need for Mao's peasant guerrillas; he
Mao to disband his army into units to be sent out to spread
the revolutionary message.
Mao replied that while he concurred with
Li's theoretical position, he would not disband his army nor abandon
his base. Both Li and
Mao saw the Chinese revolution as the key to
world revolution , believing that a CPC victory would spark the
overthrow of global imperialism and capitalism. In this, they
disagreed with the official line of the Soviet government and
Comintern. Officials in Moscow desired greater control over the CPC
and removed Li from power by calling him to Russia for an inquest into
his errors. They replaced him with Soviet-educated Chinese
Communists, known as the "
28 Bolsheviks ", two of whom,
Bo Gu and
Zhang Wentian , took control of the Central Committee.
with the new leadership, believing they grasped little of the Chinese
situation, and he soon emerged as their key rival.
In February 1930,
Mao created the Southwest
Jiangxi Provincial Soviet
Government in the region under his control. In November, he suffered
emotional trauma after his wife and sister were captured and beheaded
by KMT general He Jian.
Mao then married
He Zizhen , an 18-year-old
revolutionary who bore him five children over the following nine
years. Facing internal problems, members of the
accused him of being too moderate, and hence anti-revolutionary. In
December, they tried to overthrow Mao, resulting in the Futian
incident , during which Mao's loyalists tortured many and executed
between 2000 and 3000 dissenters. The CPC Central Committee moved
Jiangxi which it saw as a secure area. In November it proclaimed
Jiangxi to be the Soviet Republic of
China , an independent
Communist-governed state. Although he was proclaimed Chairman of the
Council of People's Commissars, Mao's power was diminished, as his
control of the Red Army was allocated to
Zhou Enlai . Meanwhile, Mao
recovered from tuberculosis .
Mao in 1931
The KMT armies adopted a policy of encirclement and annihilation of
the Red armies. Outnumbered,
Mao responded with guerrilla tactics
influenced by the works of ancient military strategists like
Sun Tzu ,
but Zhou and the new leadership followed a policy of open
confrontation and conventional warfare. In doing so, the Red Army
successfully defeated the first and second encirclements . Angered
at his armies' failure,
Chiang Kai-shek personally arrived to lead the
operation. He too faced setbacks and retreated to deal with the
further Japanese incursions into
China . As a result of the KMT's
change of focus to the defence of
China against Japanese expansionism,
the Red Army was able to expand its area of control, eventually
encompassing a population of 3 million.
Mao proceeded with his land
reform program. In November 1931 he announced the start of a "land
verification project" which was expanded in June 1933. He also
orchestrated education programs and implemented measures to increase
female political participation. Chiang viewed the Communists as a
greater threat than the Japanese and returned to Jiangxi, where he
initiated the fifth encirclement campaign , which involved the
construction of a concrete and barbed wire "wall of fire" around the
state, which was accompanied by aerial bombardment, to which Zhou's
tactics proved ineffective. Trapped inside, morale among the Red Army
dropped as food and medicine became scarce. The leadership decided to
THE LONG MARCH: 1934–1935
On October 14, 1934, the Red Army broke through the KMT line on the
Jiangxi Soviet's south-west corner at Xinfeng with 85,000 soldiers and
15,000 party cadres and embarked on the "
Long March ". In order to
make the escape, many of the wounded and the ill, as well as women and
children, were left behind, defended by a group of guerrilla fighters
whom the KMT massacred. The 100,000 who escaped headed to southern
Hunan, first crossing the
Xiang River after heavy fighting, and then
the Wu River , in
Guizhou where they took
Zunyi in January 1935.
Temporarily resting in the city, they held a conference ; here, Mao
was elected to a position of leadership, becoming Chairman of the
Politburo , and _de facto_ leader of both Party and Red Army, in part
because his candidacy was supported by Soviet Premier
Joseph Stalin .
Insisting that they operate as a guerrilla force, he laid out a
destination: the Shenshi Soviet in
Shaanxi , Northern China, from
where the Communists could focus on fighting the Japanese. Mao
believed that in focusing on the anti-imperialist struggle, the
Communists would earn the trust of the Chinese people, who in turn
would renounce the KMT.
Mao led his troops to
Loushan Pass , where they faced
armed opposition but successfully crossed the river. Chiang flew into
the area to lead his armies against Mao, but the Communists
outmanoeuvred him and crossed the
Jinsha River . Faced with the more
difficult task of crossing the
Tatu River , they managed it by
fighting a battle over the
Luding Bridge in May, taking Luding .
Marching through the mountain ranges around Ma\'anshan , in Moukung,
Western Szechuan, they encountered the 50,000-strong CPC Fourth Front
Zhang Guotao , and together proceeded to Maoerhkai and then
Gansu . Zhang and
Mao disagreed over what to do; the latter wished to
proceed to Shaanxi, while Zhang wanted to retreat east to
Sikkim , far from the KMT threat. It was agreed that they would go
their separate ways, with
Zhu De joining Zhang. Mao's forces
proceeded north, through hundreds of kilometres of Grasslands , an
area of quagmire where they were attacked by
Manchu tribesman and
where many soldiers succumbed to famine and disease. Finally
Shaanxi , they fought off both the KMT and an Islamic cavalry
militia before crossing the
Min Mountains and Mount Liupan and
reaching the Shenshi Soviet; only 7-8000 had survived. The Long
March cemented Mao's status as the dominant figure in the party. In
November 1935, he was named chairman of the Military Commission. From
this point onward,
Mao was the Communist Party's undisputed leader,
even though he would not become party chairman until 1943.
Many if not most of the events as later described by
Mao and which
the CPC claims are true are seen as false by Jung Chang. During the
decade spent researching the book, _Mao: The Unknown Story_, for
instance, Chang found evidence that there was no battle at Luding and
that the CPC crossed the bridge unopposed. Chang interviewed an eye
witness to the crossing of the Dadu (Tatu) River at Luding, Mrs Zhu
De, then 93 years old, who recalled no deaths, except for two people
who fell from the bridge at Luding while repairing it. Chang also
points out the contradictions in the version of events as told by the
CPC, which said the bridge was taken by a suicide attack by 22 men,
but that these men were also present at a ceremony following the
crossing of the bridge.
Chang and Halliday also dispute the Communist Party of China's
official version by claiming that far from the
Long March being a
masterful piece of strategy by the CPC, it was in fact devised by
Chiang Kai-shek, leader of the KMT. Chiang's aim was to give the CPC
an easy route to follow through warlord controlled areas. Hemmed in by
Nationalist troops on three sides, the CPC was forced to follow the
route dictated by the KMT. The aim of this was to allow KMT forces to
follow the reds into warlord controlled areas such as Sichuan and win
over warlords scared of the sudden arrival of the Communist force. The
only glitch in this plan came when
Mao refused to follow the easy
route into Sichuan where he was to meet up with a red army much larger
than his own and led by a more senior CPC member, Chang Kuo Tao. Mao
recognised the threat Chang posed to his rising position in the CPC
and doubled back to give himself time to further cement his political
power, causing the needless deaths of thousands of his own troops.
Chang and Halliday also claim that
Mao and other top CPC leaders did
not walk the Long March, but were carried on litters –
told his staff that being carried on the
Long March gave him much time
to read – with the litter bearers' knees being worn to the bone when
forced to carry
Mao up mountains.
ALLIANCE WITH THE KUOMINTANG: 1935–1940
Second Sino-Japanese War In an effort to defeat
Mao (left) agreed to collaborate with Chiang (right).
Mao's troops arrived at the Yan\'an Soviet during October 1935 and
settled in Pao An, until spring 1936. While there, they developed
links with local communities, redistributed and farmed the land,
offered medical treatment, and began literacy programs.
commanded 15,000 soldiers, boosted by the arrival of
He Long 's men
Hunan and the armies of
Zhu De and
Zhang Guotao returned from
Tibet. In February 1936 they established the North West Anti-Japanese
Red Army University in Yan'an, through which they trained increasing
numbers of new recruits. In January 1937 they began the
"anti-Japanese expedition", that sent groups of guerrilla fighters
into Japanese-controlled territory to undertake sporadic attacks. In
May 1937, a Communist Conference was held in
Yan'an to discuss the
situation. Western reporters also arrived in the "Border Region" (as
the Soviet had been renamed); most notable were
Edgar Snow , who used
his experiences as a basis for _Red Star Over
China _, and Agnes
Smedley , whose accounts brought international attention to Mao's
On the Long March, Mao's wife He Zizen had been injured by a shrapnel
wound to the head. She traveled to Moscow for medical treatment; Mao
proceeded to divorce her and marry an actress,
Jiang Qing . Mao
moved into a cave-house and spent much of his time reading, tending
his garden and theorizing. He came to believe that the Red Army alone
was unable to defeat the Japanese, and that a Communist-led
"government of national defence" should be formed with the KMT and
other "bourgeois nationalist" elements to achieve this goal. Although
Chiang Kai-shek as a "traitor to the nation", on May 5 he
telegrammed the Military Council of the Nanking National Government
proposing a military alliance, a course of action advocated by Stalin.
Although Chiang intended to ignore Mao's message and continue the
civil war, he was arrested by one of his own generals, Zhang Xueliang
, in Xi\'an , leading to the Xi\'an Incident ; Zhang forced Chiang to
discuss the issue with the Communists, resulting in the formation of a
United Front with concessions on both sides on December 25, 1937. _
Mao in 1938, writing On Protracted War_
The Japanese had taken both
Shanghai and Nanking (Nanjing)
—resulting in the
Nanking Massacre , an atrocity
Mao never spoke of
all his life—and was pushing the
Kuomintang government inland to
Chungking . The Japanese's brutality led to increasing numbers of
Chinese joining the fight, and the Red Army grew from 50,000 to
500,000. In August 1938, the Red Army formed the
New Fourth Army and
Eighth Route Army , which were nominally under the command of
National Revolutionary Army . In August 1940, the Red Army
Hundred Regiments Campaign , in which 400,000 troops
attacked the Japanese simultaneously in five provinces. It was a
military success, that resulted in the death of 20,000 Japanese, the
disruption of railways and the loss of a coal mine. From his base in
Mao authored several texts for his troops, including
_Philosophy of Revolution_, which offered an introduction to the
Marxist theory of knowledge, _Protracted Warfare_, which dealt with
guerilla and mobile military tactics, and _New Democracy_, which laid
forward ideas for China's future.
RESUMING CIVIL WAR: 1940–1949
In 1944, the Americans sent a special diplomatic envoy, called the
Dixie Mission , to the Communist Party of China. According to Edwin
Moise, in _Modern China: A History 2nd Edition_:
Most of the Americans were favourably impressed. The CPC seemed less
corrupt, more unified, and more vigorous in its resistance to Japan
than the KMT.
United States fliers shot down over North
confirmed to their superiors that the CPC was both strong and popular
over a broad area. In the end, the contacts with the USA developed
with the CPC led to very little.
After the end of World
War II, the U.S. continued their military
Chiang Kai-shek and his KMT government forces against
the People\'s Liberation Army (PLA) led by
Mao Zedong during the civil
war . Likewise, the
Soviet Union gave quasi-covert support to
their occupation of north east China, which allowed the PLA to move in
en masse and take large supplies of arms left by the Japanese's
Kwantung Army .
To enhance the Red Army's military operations,
Mao as the Chairman of
the Communist Party of China, named his close associate General Zhu De
to be its Commander-in-Chief.
In 1948, under direct orders from Mao, the People's Liberation Army
starved out the
Kuomintang forces occupying the city of
Changchun . At
least 160,000 civilians are believed to have perished during the siege
, which lasted from June until October. PLA lieutenant colonel Zhang
Zhenglu, who documented the siege in his book _White Snow, Red Blood
_, compared it to
Hiroshima : "The casualties were about the same.
Hiroshima took nine seconds;
Changchun took five months." On January
Kuomintang forces suffered great losses in decisive battles
against Mao's forces. In the early morning of December 10, 1949, PLA
troops laid siege to
Chengdu on mainland
China , and
Chiang Kai-shek fled from the mainland to
LEADERSHIP OF CHINA
Mao Zedong declares the founding of the modern People's Republic
of China, October 1, 1949.
The People's Republic of
China was established on October 1, 1949. It
was the culmination of over two decades of civil and international
wars. Mao's famous phrase "The Chinese people have stood up" (Chinese
: 中國人民從此站起來了) associated with the establishment of
the People's Republic of
China was not used in the speech he delivered
from the Gate of Heavenly
Peace on October 1.
Mao took up residence in
Zhongnanhai , a compound next to the
Forbidden City in Beijing, and there he ordered the construction of an
indoor swimming pool and other buildings. Mao's physician Li Zhisui
described him as conducting business either in bed or by the side of
the pool, preferring not to wear formal clothes unless absolutely
necessary. Li's book, _
The Private Life of Chairman Mao _, is
regarded as controversial, especially by those sympathetic to Mao.
In October 1950,
Mao made the decision to send the People\'s
Volunteer Army (PVA), a special unit of the People\'s Liberation Army
, into the war in Korea and fight as well as to reinforce the armed
forces of North Korea, the Korean People\'s Army , which had been in
full retreat. Historical records showed that
Mao directed the PVA
campaigns to the minutest details. As the Chairman of the CPC's
Central Military Commission (CMC), he was also the Supreme Commander
in Chief of the PLA and the People's Republic and Chairman of the
ruling CPC. The PVA was under the overall command of then newly
Zhou Enlai , with General
Peng Dehuai as field
commander and political commissar.
Mao with his fourth wife,
Jiang Qing , called "Madame Mao", 1946
During the land reform, a significant numbers of landlords and
well-to-do peasants were beaten to death at mass meetings organised by
the Communist Party as land was taken from them and given to poorer
peasants. The Campaign to Suppress Counter-revolutionaries ,
involved public executions that targeted mainly former Kuomintang
officials, businessmen accused of "disturbing" the market, former
employees of Western companies and intellectuals whose loyalty was
suspect. In 1976, the U.S. State department estimated as many as a
million were killed in the land reform, and 800,000 killed in the
Mao himself claimed that a total of 700,000 people were killed in
attacks on "counter-revolutionaries" during the years 1950–52.
However, because there was a policy to select "at least one landlord,
and usually several, in virtually every village for public execution",
the number of deaths range between 2 million and 5 million. In
addition, at least 1.5 million people, perhaps as many as 4 to 6
million, were sent to "reform through labour" camps where many
Mao played a personal role in organizing the mass
repressions and established a system of execution quotas, which were
often exceeded. He defended these killings as necessary for the
securing of power.
Starting in 1951,
Mao initiated two successive movements in an effort
to rid urban areas of corruption by targeting wealthy capitalists and
political opponents, known as the three-anti/five-anti campaigns .
Whereas the three-anti campaign was a focused purge of government,
industrial and party officials, the five-anti campaign set its sights
slightly broader, targeting capitalist elements in general. Workers
denounced their bosses, spouses turned on their spouses, and children
informed on their parents; the victims were often humiliated at
struggle sessions , a method designed to intimidate and terrify people
to the maximum.
Mao insisted that minor offenders be criticised and
reformed or sent to labour camps, "while the worst among them should
be shot". These campaigns took several hundred thousand additional
lives, the vast majority via suicide.
Joseph Stalin 's
70th birthday celebration in Moscow, December 1949
In Shanghai, suicide by jumping from tall buildings became so
commonplace that residents avoided walking on the pavement near
skyscrapers for fear that suicides might land on them. Some
biographers have pointed out that driving those perceived as enemies
to suicide was a common tactic during the Mao-era. For example, in his
biography of Mao,
Philip Short notes that in the Yan\'an Rectification
Mao gave explicit instructions that "no cadre is to be
killed", but in practice allowed security chief
Kang Sheng to drive
opponents to suicide and that "this pattern was repeated throughout
his leadership of the People's Republic."
Following the consolidation of power,
Mao launched the First
Five-Year Plan (1953–58). The plan aimed to end Chinese dependence
upon agriculture in order to become a world power. With the Soviet
Union 's assistance, new industrial plants were built and agricultural
production eventually fell to a point where industry was beginning to
produce enough capital that
China no longer needed the USSR's support.
The success of the First-Five Year Plan was to encourage
instigate the Second Five-Year Plan in 1958.
Mao also launched a phase
of rapid collectivization . The CPC introduced price controls as well
as a Chinese character simplification aimed at increasing literacy.
Large-scale industrialization projects were also undertaken. Mao
Zhou Enlai meeting with Dalai Lama (right) and Panchen Lama (left)
to celebrate Tibetan New Year, Beijing, 1955
Programs pursued during this time include the Hundred Flowers
Campaign , in which
Mao indicated his supposed willingness to consider
different opinions about how
China should be governed. Given the
freedom to express themselves, liberal and intellectual Chinese began
opposing the Communist Party and questioning its leadership. This was
initially tolerated and encouraged. After a few months, Mao's
government reversed its policy and persecuted those, totaling perhaps
500,000, who criticised, as well as those who were merely alleged to
have criticised, the party in what is called the Anti-Rightist
Movement . Authors such as
Jung Chang have alleged that the Hundred
Flowers Campaign was merely a ruse to root out "dangerous" thinking.
Li Zhisui, Mao's physician, suggested that
Mao had initially seen the
policy as a way of weakening opposition to him within the party and
that he was surprised by the extent of criticism and the fact that it
came to be directed at his own leadership. It was only then that he
used it as a method of identifying and subsequently persecuting those
critical of his government. The Hundred Flowers movement led to the
condemnation, silencing, and death of many citizens, also linked to
Mao's Anti-Rightist Movement, resulting in deaths possibly in the
GREAT LEAP FORWARD
Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward
Nikita Khrushchev ,
Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh and
Soong Ching-ling during a state dinner in Beijing,
In January 1958,
Mao launched the second Five-Year Plan , known as
Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward , a plan intended as an alternative model for
economic growth to the Soviet model focusing on heavy industry that
was advocated by others in the party. Under this economic program, the
relatively small agricultural collectives which had been formed to
date were rapidly merged into far larger people\'s communes , and many
of the peasants were ordered to work on massive infrastructure
projects and on the production of iron and steel. Some private food
production was banned; livestock and farm implements were brought
under collective ownership.
Under the Great Leap Forward,
Mao and other party leaders ordered the
implementation of a variety of unproven and unscientific new
agricultural techniques by the new communes. The combined effect of
the diversion of labour to steel production and infrastructure
projects, and cyclical natural disasters led to an approximately 15%
drop in grain production in 1959 followed by a further 10% decline in
1960 and no recovery in 1961.
In an effort to win favour with their superiors and avoid being
purged, each layer in the party hierarchy exaggerated the amount of
grain produced under them. Based upon the fabricated success, party
cadres were ordered to requisition a disproportionately high amount of
that fictitious harvest for state use, primarily for use in the cities
and urban areas but also for export. The result, compounded in some
areas by drought and in others by floods, was that rural peasants were
left with little food for themselves and many millions starved to
death in the largest famine known as the
Great Chinese Famine . This
famine was a direct cause of the death of some 30 million Chinese
peasants between 1959 and 1962. Further, many children who became
emaciated and malnourished during years of hardship and struggle for
survival died shortly after the
Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward came to an end in
The extent of Mao's knowledge of the severity of the situation has
been disputed. Mao's physician believed that he may have been unaware
of the extent of the famine, partly due to a reluctance to criticise
his policies, and the willingness of his staff to exaggerate or
outright fake reports regarding food production. Upon learning of the
extent of the starvation,
Mao vowed to stop eating meat, an action
followed by his staff. Early in the Great Leap, commune members
were encouraged to eat their fill in communal canteens. Later, many
canteens shut down as they ran out of food and fuel.
Hong Kong-based historian
Frank Dikötter , challenged the notion
Mao did not know about the famine throughout the country until it
was too late:
The idea that the state mistakenly took too much grain from the
countryside because it assumed that the harvest was much larger than
it was is largely a myth—at most partially true for the autumn of
1958 only. In most cases the party knew very well that it was starving
its own people to death. At a secret meeting in the Jinjiang Hotel in
Shanghai dated March 25, 1959,
Mao specifically ordered the party to
procure up to one third of all the grain, much more than had ever been
the case. At the meeting he announced that "To distribute resources
evenly will only ruin the Great Leap Forward. When there is not enough
to eat, people starve to death. It is better to let half of the people
die so that the other half can eat their fill."
Professor Emeritus Thomas P. Bernstein of
Columbia University offered
his view on Mao's statement on starvation in the March 25, 1959
Some scholars believe that this shows Mao’s readiness to accept
mass death on an immense scale. My own view is that this is an
instance of Mao’s use of hyperbole, another being his casual
acceptance of death of half the population during a nuclear war. In
Mao did not in fact accept mass death. Zhou’s
Chronology shows that in October 1958,
Mao expressed real concern that
40,000 people in Yunnan had starved to death (p. 173). Shortly after
the March 25 meeting, he worried about 25.2 million people who were at
risk of starvation. But from late summer on,
Mao essentially forgot
about this issue, until, as noted, the "Xinyang Incident" came to
light in October 1960.
In the article "
Mao Zedong and the
Famine of 1959–1960: A Study in
Wilfulness", published in 2006 in _The
China Quarterly _, Professor
Thomas P. Bernstein also discussed Mao's change of attitudes during
different phases of the Great Leap Forward:
In late autumn 1958,
Mao Zedong strongly condemned widespread
practices of the
Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward (GLF) such as subjecting peasants
to exhausting labour without adequate food and rest, which had
resulted in epidemics, starvation and deaths. At that time Mao
explicitly recognized that anti-rightist pressures on officialdom were
a major cause of "production at the expense of livelihood." While he
was not willing to acknowledge that only abandonment of the GLF could
solve these problems, he did strongly demand that they be addressed.
After the July 1959 clash at Lushan with
Peng Dehuai ,
Mao revived the
GLF in the context of a new, extremely harsh anti-rightist campaign,
which he relentlessly promoted into the spring of 1960 together with
the radical policies that he previously condemned. Not until spring
Mao again express concern about abnormal deaths and other
abuses, but he failed to apply the pressure needed to stop them. Given
what he had already learned about the costs to the peasants of GLF
extremism, the Chairman should have known that the revival of GLF
radicalism would exact a similar or even bigger price. Instead, he
wilfully ignored the lessons of the first radical phase for the sake
of achieving extreme ideological and developmental goals.
In _Hungry Ghosts: Mao\'s Secret
Jasper Becker notes that
Mao was dismissive of reports he received of food shortages in the
countryside and refused to change course, believing that peasants were
lying and that rightists and kulaks were hoarding grain. He refused to
open state granaries, and instead launched a series of "anti-grain
concealment" drives that resulted in numerous purges and suicides.
Other violent campaigns followed in which party leaders went from
village to village in search of hidden food reserves, and not only
Mao issued quotas for pigs, chickens, ducks and eggs. Many
peasants accused of hiding food were tortured and beaten to death.
Whatever the cause of the disaster,
Mao lost esteem among many of the
top party cadres, was eventually forced to abandon the policy in 1962,
and lost political power to moderate leaders such as
Liu Shaoqi and
Deng Xiaoping . Mao, however, supported by national propaganda,
claimed that he was only partly to blame for the famine. As a result,
he was able to remain Chairman of the Communist Party, with the
Presidency transferred to Liu Shaoqi.
Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward was a tragedy for the vast majority of the
Chinese. Although the steel quotas were officially reached, almost all
of the supposed steel made in the countryside was iron, as it had been
made from assorted scrap metal in home-made furnaces with no reliable
source of fuel such as coal. This meant that proper smelting
conditions could not be achieved. According to Zhang Rongmei, a
geometry teacher in rural
Shanghai during the Great Leap Forward:
"We took all the furniture, pots, and pans we had in our house, and
all our neighbours did likewise. We put everything in a big fire and
melted down all the metal."
The worst of the famine was steered towards enemies of the state. As
Jasper Becker explains:
"The most vulnerable section of China's population, around five per
cent, were those whom
Mao called 'enemies of the people '. Anyone who
had in previous campaigns of repression been labeled a 'black element'
was given the lowest priority in the allocation of food. Landlords,
rich peasants, former members of the nationalist regime, religious
leaders, rightists, counter-revolutionaries and the families of such
individuals died in the greatest numbers."_ _
At a large Communist Party conference in
Beijing in January 1962,
called the "Conference of the Seven Thousand", State Chairman Liu
Shaoqi denounced the
Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward as responsible for widespread
famine. The overwhelming majority of delegates expressed agreement,
but Defense Minister
Lin Biao staunchly defended Mao. A brief period
of liberalization followed while
Mao and Lin plotted a comeback. Liu
Deng Xiaoping rescued the economy by disbanding the
people's communes, introducing elements of private control of peasant
smallholdings and importing grain from Canada and Australia to
mitigate the worst effects of famine.
Mao with Henry Kissinger
Zhou Enlai , Beijing, 1972
Lushan Conference in July/August 1959, several ministers
expressed concern that the
Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward had not proved as
successful as planned. The most direct of these was Minister of
Korean War veteran General
Peng Dehuai . Following Peng's
criticism of the Great Leap Forward,
Mao orchestrated a purge of Peng
and his supporters, stifling criticism of the Great Leap policies.
Senior officials who reported the truth of the famine to
branded as "right opportunists." A campaign against right-wing
opportunism was launched and resulted in party members and ordinary
peasants being sent to prison labor camps where many would
subsequently die in the famine. Years later the CPC would conclude
that as many as six million people were wrongly punished in the
The number of deaths by starvation during the
Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward is
deeply controversial. Until the mid-1980s, when official census
figures were finally published by the Chinese Government, little was
known about the scale of the disaster in the Chinese countryside, as
the handful of Western observers allowed access during this time had
been restricted to model villages where they were deceived into
believing that the
Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward had been a great success. There
was also an assumption that the flow of individual reports of
starvation that had been reaching the West, primarily through Hong
Kong and Taiwan, must have been localised or exaggerated as
continuing to claim record harvests and was a net exporter of grain
through the period. Because
Mao wanted to pay back early to the
Soviets debts totalling 1.973 billion yuan from 1960 to 1962, exports
increased by 50%, and fellow Communist regimes in
North Korea , North
Vietnam and Albania were provided grain free of charge.
Censuses were carried out in
China in 1953, 1964 and 1982. The first
attempt to analyse this data to estimate the number of famine deaths
was carried out by American demographer Dr. Judith Banister and
published in 1984. Given the lengthy gaps between the censuses and
doubts over the reliability of the data, an accurate figure is
difficult to ascertain. Nevertheless, Banister concluded that the
official data implied that around 15 million excess deaths incurred in
China during 1958–61, and that based on her modelling of Chinese
demographics during the period and taking account of assumed
under-reporting during the famine years, the figure was around 30
million. The official statistic is 20 million deaths, as given by Hu
Yang Jisheng , a former
Xinhua News Agency reporter who had
privileged access and connections available to no other scholars,
estimates a death toll of 36 million.
Frank Dikötter estimates that
there were at least 45 million premature deaths attributable to the
Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward from 1958 to 1962. Various other sources have put
the figure at between 20 and 46 million.
SPLIT FROM SOVIET UNION
Gerald Ford watches as
Henry Kissinger shakes hands
Mao Zedong during their visit to China, December 2, 1975 Main
On the international front, the period was dominated by the further
isolation of China. The
Sino-Soviet split resulted in Nikita
Khrushchev 's withdrawal of all Soviet technical experts and aid from
the country. The split concerned the leadership of world
The USSR had a network of Communist parties it supported;
created its own rival network to battle it out for local control of
the left in numerous countries. Lorenz M. Lüthi argues: The
Sino-Soviet split was one of the key events of the Cold War, equal in
importance to the construction of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile
Crisis, the Second Vietnam War, and Sino-American rapprochement. The
split helped to determine the framework of the Second
Cold War in
general, and influenced the course of the Second Vietnam
The split resulted from
Nikita Khrushchev 's more moderate Soviet
leadership after the death of Stalin in March 1953. Only Albania
openly sided with China, thereby forming an alliance between the two
countries which would last until after Mao's death in 1976. Warned
that the Soviets had nuclear weapons,
Mao minimized the threat. Becker
says that, "
Mao believed that the bomb was a 'paper tiger', declaring
to Khrushchev that it would not matter if
China lost 300 million
people in a nuclear war: the other half of the population would
survive to ensure victory."
Stalin had established himself as the successor of "correct" Marxist
thought well before
Mao controlled the
Communist Party of China , and
Mao never challenged the suitability of any Stalinist
doctrine (at least while Stalin was alive). Upon the death of Stalin,
Mao believed (perhaps because of seniority) that the leadership of
Marxist doctrine would fall to him. The resulting tension between
Khrushchev (at the head of a politically and militarily superior
Mao (believing he had a superior understanding of
Marxist ideology) eroded the previous patron-client relationship
between the Communist Party of the
Soviet Union and the CPC. In China,
the formerly favoured Soviets were now denounced as "revisionists" and
listed alongside "American imperialism" as movements to oppose.
Partly surrounded by hostile American military bases (in South Korea,
China was now confronted with a new Soviet threat
from the north and west. Both the internal crisis and the external
threat called for extraordinary statesmanship from Mao, but as China
entered the new decade the statesmen of the People's Republic were in
hostile confrontation with each other.
GREAT PROLETARIAN CULTURAL REVOLUTION
During the early 1960s,
Mao became concerned with the nature of
post-1959 China. He saw that the revolution and
Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward had
replaced the old elite with a new one. He was concerned that those in
power were becoming estranged from the people they were to serve. Mao
believed that a revolution of culture would unseat and unsettle the
"ruling class" and keep
China in a state of "perpetual revolution"
that, theoretically, would serve the interests of the majority, rather
than a tiny and privileged elite . State Chairman
Liu Shaoqi and
Deng Xiaoping favoured the idea that
Mao be removed
from actual power but maintain his ceremonial and symbolic role, with
the party upholding all of his positive contributions to the
revolution. They attempted to marginalise
Mao by taking control of
economic policy and asserting themselves politically as well. Many
Mao responded to Liu and Deng's movements by launching the
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in 1966. Some scholars, such as
Mobo Gao, claim the case for this is overstated. Others, such as
Frank Dikötter , hold that
Mao launched the
Cultural Revolution to
wreak revenge on those who had dared to challenge him over the Great
Believing that certain liberal bourgeois elements of society
continued to threaten the socialist framework, groups of young people
known as the Red Guards struggled against authorities at all levels of
society and even set up their own tribunals. Chaos reigned in much of
the nation, and millions were persecuted, including a famous
philosopher, Chen Yuen. During the Cultural Revolution, nearly all of
the schools and universities in
China were closed and the young
intellectuals living in cities were ordered to the countryside to be
"re-educated" by the peasants, where they performed hard manual labour
and other work.
Cultural Revolution led to the destruction of much of China's
traditional cultural heritage and the imprisonment of a huge number of
Chinese citizens, as well as the creation of general economic and
social chaos in the country. Millions of lives were ruined during this
period, as the
Cultural Revolution pierced into every part of Chinese
life, depicted by such Chinese films as _To Live _, _
The Blue Kite _
and _Farewell My Concubine _. It is estimated that hundreds of
thousands, perhaps millions, perished in the violence of the Cultural
Mao was informed of such losses, particularly that people had
been driven to suicide, he is alleged to have commented: "People who
try to commit suicide — don't attempt to save them! . . .
such a populous nation, it is not as if we cannot do without a few
people." The authorities allowed the Red Guards to abuse and kill
opponents of the regime. Said
Xie Fuzhi , national police chief:
"Don't say it is wrong of them to beat up bad persons: if in anger
they beat someone to death, then so be it." As a result, in August
and September 1966, there were a reported 1,772 people murdered by the
Red Guards in
It was during this period that
Lin Biao , who seemed to
echo all of Mao's ideas, to become his successor. Lin was later
officially named as Mao's successor. By 1971, however, a divide
between the two men became apparent. Official history in
that Lin was planning a military coup or an assassination attempt on
Lin Biao died in a plane crash over the air space of Mongolia,
presumably as he fled China, probably anticipating his arrest. The CPC
declared that Lin was planning to depose Mao, and posthumously
expelled Lin from the party. At this time,
Mao lost trust in many of
the top CPC figures. The highest-ranking Soviet Bloc intelligence
defector, Lt. Gen.
Ion Mihai Pacepa described his conversation with
Nicolae Ceaușescu who told him about a plot to kill
Mao Zedong with
the help of
Lin Biao organised by the
Despite being considered a feminist figure by some and a supporter of
women's rights, documents released by the
US Department of State in
2008 show that
Mao declared women to be a "nonsense" in 1973, in
conversation with Kissinger, joking that "
China is a very poor
country. We don't have much. What we have in excess is women... Let
them go to your place. They will create disasters. That way you can
lessen our burdens." When
Mao offered 10 million women, Kissinger
replied by saying that
Mao was "improving his offer".
Kissinger then agreed that their comments on women be removed from
public records, prompted by a Chinese official who feared that Mao's
comments might incur public anger if released.
On August 4, 1968,
Mao was presented with some mangoes by the
Pakistani foreign minister ,
Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada , in an apparent
Mao called the mangoes a "spiritual time bomb"
and shortly afterwards,
Mao had his aide divide them up and send them
Mao Zedong Propaganda Teams across
Beijing , starting with one
Tsinghua University on August 5. On August 7, an article
was published in the _People\'s Daily _ saying:
In the afternoon of the fifth, when the great happy news of Chairman
Mao giving mangoes to the Capital Worker and Peasant
Thought Propaganda Team reached the
Tsinghua University campus, people
immediately gathered around the gift given by the Great Leader
Chairman Mao. They cried out enthusiastically and sang with wild
abandonment. Tears swelled up in their eyes, and they again and again
sincerely wished that our most beloved Great Leader lived then
thousand years without bounds ... They all made phone calls to their
own work units to spread this happy news; and they also organised all
kinds of celebratory activities all night long, and arrived at
Zhongnanhai despite the rain to report the good news, and to express
their loyalty to the Great Leader Chairman Mao.
Subsequent articles were also written by government officials
propagandizing the reception of the mangoes, and another poem in the
_People's Daily_ said: "Seeing that golden mango/Was as if seeing the
great leader Chairman
Mao ... Again and again touching that golden
mango/the golden mango was so warm". Few people at this time in China
had ever seen a mango before, and a mango was seen as "a fruit of
extreme rarity, like Mushrooms of Immortality".
One of the mangoes was sent to the
Beijing Textile Factory, whose
revolutionary committee organised a rally in the mangoes' honour.
Workers read out quotations from
Mao and celebrated the gift. Altars
were erected to prominently display the fruit; when the mango peel
began to rot after a few days, the fruit was peeled and boiled in a
pot of water. Workers then filed by and each was given a spoonful of
mango water. The revolutionary committee also made a wax replica of
the mango, and displayed this as a centrepiece in the factory. There
followed several months of "mango fever", as the fruit became a focus
of a "boundless loyalty" campaign for Chairman Mao. More replica
mangoes were created and the replicas were sent on tour around Beijing
and elsewhere in China. Many revolutionary committees visited the
Beijing from outlying provinces; approximately half a
million people greeted the replicas when they arrived in
Badges and wall posters featuring the mangoes and
Mao were produced in
the millions. The fruit was shared among all institutions that had
been a part of the propaganda team, and large processions were
organised in support of the _zhengui lipin_ ("precious gift"), as the
mangoes were known as. One dentist in a small village compared a
mango to a sweet potato; he was put on trial for malicious slander and
It has been claimed that
Mao used the mangoes to express support for
the workers who would go to whatever lengths necessary to end the
factional fighting among students, and a "prime example of Mao's
strategy of symbolic support". Even up until early 1969, participants
Mao Zedong Thought study classes in
Beijing would return with
mass-produced mango facsimiles and still gain media attention in the
End Of The Cultural Revolution
Mao declared the
Cultural Revolution to be over, although
various historians in and outside of
China mark the end of the
Cultural Revolution – as a whole or in part – in 1976, following
Mao's death and the arrest of the
Gang of Four . In the last years of
Mao was faced with declining health due to either
Parkinson\'s disease or, according to his physician, amyotrophic
lateral sclerosis , as well as lung ailments due to smoking and heart
trouble. Some also attributed Mao's decline in health to the betrayal
of Lin Biao.
Mao remained passive as various factions within the
Communist Party mobilised for the power struggle anticipated after his
Cultural Revolution is often looked at in all scholarly circles
as a greatly disruptive period for China. While one-tenth of Chinese
people—an estimated 100 million—did suffer during the period,
some scholars, such as
Lee Feigon and Mobo Gao, claim there were many
great advances, and in some sectors the Chinese economy continued to
outperform the West. They hold that the
Cultural Revolution period
laid the foundation for the spectacular growth that continues in
China. During the Cultural Revolution,
China detonated its first
H-Bomb (1967), launched the
Dong Fang Hong satellite (January 30,
1970), commissioned its first nuclear submarines and made various
advances in science and technology. Healthcare was free, and living
standards in the countryside continued to improve. In comparison, the
Great Leap probably did cause a much larger loss of life with its
flawed economic policies which encompassed even the peasants.
Historian Daniel Leese notes that in the 1950s Mao's personality was
hardening: The impression of Mao's personality that emerges from the
literature is disturbing. It reveals a certain temporal development
from a down-to-earth leader, who was amicable when uncontested and
occasionally reflected on the limits of his power, to an increasingly
ruthless and self-indulgent dictator. Mao's preparedness to accept
criticism decreased continuously.
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During his leadership,
Mao traveled outside
China on only two
occasions, both state visits to the Soviet Union. When
down as head of state in April 1959, further state visits and travels
abroad were undertaken by president
Liu Shaoqi rather than Mao
DEATH AND AFTERMATH
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Mausoleum of Mao Zedong
Smoking may have played an important role in his declining health,
Mao was a heavy smoker during most of his adult life. It became a
state secret that he suffered from multiple lung and heart ailments
during his later years. There are unconfirmed reports that he
possibly had Parkinson\'s disease in addition to amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis , also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Mao's last public appearance—and the last known photograph of him
alive—was on May 27, 1976, when he met the visiting Pakistani Prime
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto during the latter's one-day visit to
Mao suffered two major heart attacks in 1976, one in March
and another in July, before a third struck on September 5, rendering
him an invalid.
Mao Zedong died nearly four days later just after
midnight, at 00:10, on September 9, 1976, at age 82. The Communist
China delayed the announcement of his death until 16:00 later
that day, when a radio message broadcast across the nation announced
the news of Mao's passing while appealing for party unity.
Mao's embalmed, CPC-flag-draped body lay in state at the Great Hall
of the People for one week. During this period, one million people
(none of them foreign diplomats, and the majority crying openly or
otherwise displaying some kind of sadness) filed past
Mao to pay
their final respects. Chairman Mao's official portrait was hung on the
wall, with a banner reading: "Carry on the cause left by Chairman Mao
and carry on the cause of proletarian revolution to the end", until
September 17. On September 17, Chairman Mao's body was taken in a
minibus from the Great Hall of the people to Maojiawan to the 305
Hospital that Liu Zhisui directed, and Mao's internal organs were
preserved in formaldehyde .
On September 18, a somber cacophony of guns, sirens, whistles and
horns all across
China was spontaneously blown in observance of a
three-minute silence, which everybody except those performing
essential tasks was ordered to observe. After that, a band in
Tiananmen Square , packed with and surrounded by millions of people,
The Internationale ". The final service on that day was
concluded by Hua Guofeng's 20-minute-long eulogy atop
Mao's body was later permanently interred in a mausoleum in Beijing.
A large portrait of
Zhang Zhenshi at
Mao died in 1956, his achievements would have been immortal. Had he
died in 1966, he would still have been a great man but flawed. But he
died in 1976. Alas, what can one say?" —
Chen Yun , a leading
Communist Party official under
Deng Xiaoping .
Mao remains a controversial figure and there is little agreement over
his legacy both in
China and abroad. Supporters generally credit and
praise him for having unified
China and for ending the previous
decades of civil war. He is also credited for having improved the
status of women in
China and for improving literacy and education. His
policies caused the deaths of tens of millions of people in China
during his 27-year reign, more than any other Twentieth Century
leader; the number of people who died under his regime range from 40
million to as many as 70 million. However, supporters point out that
in spite of this, life expectancy improved during his reign. His
supporters claim that he rapidly industrialised China; however, others
have claimed that his policies such as the "Great Leap Forward" and
the "Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution", were impediments to
industrialisation and modernisation. His supporters claim that his
policies laid the groundwork for China's later rise to become an
economic superpower, while others claim that his policies delayed
economic development and that China's economy underwent its rapid
growth only after Mao's policies had been widely abandoned. Mao's
revolutionary tactics continue to be used by insurgents, and his
political ideology continues to be embraced by many Communist
organizations around the world.
In mainland China,
Mao is still revered by many members and
supporters of the Communist Party and respected by the majority of the
general population as the "Founding Father of modern China", credited
for giving "the Chinese people dignity and self-respect." Mobo Gao in
his 2008 book _The Battle for China's Past:
Mao and the Cultural
Mao for raising the average life expectancy from
35 in 1949 to 63 by 1975, bringing "unity and stability to a country
that had been plagued by civil wars and foreign invasions", and laying
the foundation for
China to "become the equal of the great global
powers". Gao also lauds
Mao for carrying out massive land reform ,
promoting the status of women, improving popular literacy, and
positively "transform(ing) Chinese society beyond recognition."
Mao has many Chinese critics, both those who live inside and
outside China. Opposition to
Mao is subject to restriction and
censorship in mainland China, but is especially strong elsewhere,
where he is often reviled as a brutish ideologue. In the West, his
name is generally associated with tyranny and his economic theories
are widely discredited—though to some political activists he remains
a symbol against capitalism , imperialism and western influence. Even
in China, key pillars of his economic theory have been largely
dismantled by market reformers like
Deng Xiaoping and
Zhao Ziyang ,
who succeeded him as leaders of the Communist Party. Statue of
Changsha , the capital of
Chinese Communist Party
Chinese Communist Party , which
Mao led to power, has
rejected in practice the economic fundamentals of much of Mao's
ideology, it retains for itself many of the powers established under
Mao's reign: it controls the Chinese army, police, courts and media
and does not permit multi-party elections at the national or local
level, except in Hong Kong. Thus it is difficult to gauge the true
extent of support for the
Chinese Communist Party
Chinese Communist Party and Mao's legacy
within mainland China. For its part, the Chinese government continues
to officially regard
Mao as a national hero. On December 25, 2008,
China opened the
Mao Zedong Square to visitors in his home town of
Hunan Province to mark the 115th anniversary of his birth.
There continue to be disagreements on Mao's legacy. Former Party
official Su Shachi, has opined that "he was a great historical
criminal, but he was also a great force for good." In a similar vein,
Liu Binyan has described
Mao as "both monster and a
genius." Some historians argue that
Mao Zedong was "one of the great
tyrants of the twentieth century", and a dictator comparable to Adolf
Joseph Stalin , with a death toll surpassing both. In
_The Black Book of
Communism _, Jean Louis Margolin writes that "Mao
Zedong was so powerful that he was often known as the Red Emperor ...
the violence he erected into a whole system far exceeds any national
tradition of violence that we might find in China."
frequently likened to China's First Emperor
Qin Shi Huang , notorious
for burying alive hundreds of scholars , and personally enjoyed the
comparison. During a speech to party cadre in 1958,
Mao said he had
Qin Shi Huang in his policy against intellectuals: "What
did he amount to? He only buried alive 460 scholars, while we buried
46,000. In our suppression of the counter-revolutionaries, did we not
kill some counter-revolutionary intellectuals? I once debated with the
democratic people: You accuse us of acting like Ch’in-shih-huang,
but you are wrong; we surpass him 100 times." As a result of such
tactics, critics have pointed out that:
The People's Republic of
Mao exhibited the oppressive
tendencies that were discernible in all the major absolutist regimes
of the twentieth century. There are obvious parallels between Mao's
Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia . Each of these regimes
witnessed deliberately ordered mass 'cleansing' and extermination.
Others, such as
Philip Short , reject such comparisons in _Mao: A
Life_, arguing that whereas the deaths caused by
Nazi Germany and
Soviet Russia were largely systematic and deliberate, the overwhelming
majority of the deaths under
Mao were unintended consequences of
famine. Short noted that landlord class were not exterminated as a
people due to Mao's belief in redemption through thought reform. He
Mao with 19th-century Chinese reformers who
challenged China's traditional beliefs in the era of China's clashes
with Western colonial powers. Short argues, "Mao's tragedy and his
grandeur were that he remained to the end in thrall to his own
revolutionary dreams ... He freed
China from the straitjacket of its
Confucian past, but the bright Red future he promised turned out to be
a sterile purgatory.
Mao's English interpreter
Sidney Rittenberg wrote in his memoir _The
Man Who Stayed Behind_ that whilst
Mao "was a great leader in
history", he was also "a great criminal because, not that he wanted
to, not that he intended to, but in fact, his wild fantasies led to
the deaths of tens of millions of people." Li Rui , Mao's personal
secretary, goes further and claims he was dismissive of the suffering
and death caused by his policies: "Mao's way of thinking and governing
was terrifying. He put no value on human life. The deaths of others
meant nothing to him." Sculptures in front of the Mausoleum of
In their 832-page biography, _Mao: The Unknown Story _, Jung Chang
Jon Halliday take a very critical view of Mao's life and
influence. For example, they note that
Mao was well aware that his
policies would be responsible for the deaths of millions; While
discussing labour-intensive projects such as waterworks and making
Mao said to his inner circle in November 1958: "Working like
this, with all these projects, half of
China may well have to die. If
not half, one-third, or one-tenth—50 million—die."
Thomas Bernstein of
Columbia University argues that this quotation is
taken out of context, claiming:
The Chinese original, however, is not quite as shocking. In the
Mao talks about massive earthmoving irrigation projects and
numerous big industrial ones, all requiring huge numbers of people. If
the projects, he said, are all undertaken simultaneously "half of
China's population unquestionably will die; and if it's not half,
it'll be a third or ten percent, a death toll of 50 million people."
Mao then pointed to the example of Guangxi provincial Party secretary,
Chén Mànyuǎn (陳漫遠) who had been dismissed in 1957 for failing
to prevent famine in the previous year, adding: "If with a death toll
of 50 million you didn't lose your jobs, I at least should lose mine;
whether I should lose my head would also be in question. Anhui wants
to do so much, which is quite all right, but make it a principle to
have no deaths."
Jasper Becker notes, "archive material gathered by Dikötter ...
confirms that far from being ignorant or misled about the famine, the
Chinese leadership were kept informed about it all the time. And he
exposes the extent of the violence used against the peasants":
Mass killings are not usually associated with
Mao and the Great Leap
China continues to benefit from a more favourable
Cambodia or the Soviet Union. But as fresh and
abundant archival evidence shows, coercion, terror and systematic
violence were the foundation of the Great Leap, and between 1958 to
1962, by a rough approximation, some 6 to 8 per cent of those who died
were tortured to death or summarily killed—amounting to at least 3
Countless others were deliberately deprived of food and consequently
starved to death. Many more vanished because they were too old, weak
or sick to work—and hence unable to earn their keep. People were
killed selectively because they had the wrong class background,
because they dragged their feet, because they spoke out or simply
because they were not liked, for whatever reason, by the man who
wielded the ladle in the canteen.
Dikötter argues that CPC leaders "glorified violence and were inured
to massive loss of life. And all of them shared an ideology in which
the end justified the means. In 1962, having lost millions of people
in his province,
Li Jingquan compared the
Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward to the
Long March in which only one in ten had made it to the end: 'We are
not weak, we are stronger, we have kept the backbone.'"
Regarding the large-scale irrigation projects, Dikötter stresses
that, in spite of
Mao being in a good position to see the human cost,
they continued unabated for several years, and ultimately claimed the
lives of hundreds of thousands of exhausted villagers. He also notes
that "In a chilling precursor of
Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge,
villagers in Qingshui and
Gansu called these projects the 'killing
United States President Richard Nixon
during his visit to
China in 1972
United States placed a trade embargo on the People's Republic as
a result of its involvement in the
Korean War , lasting until Richard
Nixon decided that developing relations with the PRC would be useful
in dealing with the Soviet Union.
The television series Biography stated: " turned
China from a feudal
backwater into one of the most powerful countries in the World ... The
Chinese system he overthrew was backward and corrupt; few would argue
the fact that he dragged
China into the 20th century. But at a cost in
human lives that is staggering."
In the book _
China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know_
published in 2010, Professor Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom of the University
of California, Irvine compares China’s relationship to
Mao Zedong to
Americans' remembrance of
Andrew Jackson : both countries regard the
leaders in a positive light, despite their respective roles in
devastating policies. Jackson forcibly moved Native Americans ,
resulting in thousands of deaths, while
Mao was at the helm during the
violent years of the
Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward:
Though admittedly far from perfect, the comparison is based on the
fact that Jackson is remembered both as someone who played a
significant role in the development of a political organization (the
Democratic Party) that still has many partisans, and as someone
responsible for brutal policies toward Native Americans that are now
referred to as genocidal.
Both men are thought of as having done terrible things yet this does
not necessarily prevent them from being used as positive symbols. And
Jackson still appears on $20 bills, even though Americans tend to view
as heinous the institution of slavery (of which he was a passionate
defender) and the early 19th-century military campaigns against Native
Americans (in which he took part).
At times Jackson, for all his flaws, is invoked as representing an
egalitarian strain within the American democratic tradition, a
self-made man of the people who rose to power via straight talk and
was not allied with moneyed interests.
Mao stands for something
Mao's military writings continue to have a large amount of influence
both among those who seek to create an insurgency and those who seek
to crush one, especially in manners of guerrilla warfare, at which Mao
is popularly regarded as a genius. As an example, the Communist Party
of Nepal (Maoist) followed Mao's examples of guerrilla warfare to
considerable political and military success even in the 21st century.
Mao's major contribution to the military science is his theory of
War , with not only guerrilla warfare but more importantly,
Mobile Warfare methodologies.
Mao had successfully applied Mobile
Warfare in the Korean War, and was able to encircle, push back and
then halt the UN forces in Korea, despite the clear superiority of UN
Mao also gave the impression that he might even welcome a
nuclear war . Statue of
Mao in Lijiang
"Let us imagine how many people would die if war breaks out. There
are 2.7 billion people in the world, and a third could be lost. If it
is a little higher, it could be half ... I say that if the worst came
to the worst and one-half dies, there will still be one-half left, but
imperialism would be razed to the ground and the whole world would
become socialist. After a few years there would be 2.7 billion people
But historians dispute the sincerity of Mao's words. Robert Service
Mao "was deadly serious," while
Frank Dikötter claims that
"He was bluffing ... the sabre-rattling was to show that he, not
Khrushchev, was the more determined revolutionary."
Mao's poems and writings are frequently cited by both Chinese and
non-Chinese. The official Chinese translation of President Barack
Obama 's inauguration speech used a famous line from one of Mao's
poems. Republican senator
John McCain misattributed a campaign quote
Mao several times during his 2008 presidential election bid, saying
"Remember the words of Chairman Mao: 'It's always darkest before it's
The ideology of
Maoism has influenced many Communists, mainly in the
Third World , including revolutionary movements such as
Khmer Rouge ,
Shining Path , and the Nepalese revolutionary
movement . Under the influence of Mao's agrarian socialism and
Cultural Revolution , Cambodia's
Pol Pot conceived of his disastrous
Year Zero policies which purged the nation of its teachers, artists
and intellectuals and emptied its cities, resulting in the Cambodian
Revolutionary Communist Party, USA also claims
Maoism as its ideology, as do other Communist
Parties around the world which are part of the Revolutionary
Internationalist Movement .
China itself has moved sharply away from
Maoism since Mao's death, and most people outside of
describe themselves as Maoist regard the
Deng Xiaoping reforms to be a
betrayal of Maoism, in line with Mao's view of "Capitalist roaders "
within the Communist Party.
As the Chinese government instituted free market economic reforms
starting in the late 1970s and as later Chinese leaders took power,
less recognition was given to the status of Mao. This accompanied a
decline in state recognition of
Mao in later years in contrast to
previous years when the state organised numerous events and seminars
commemorating Mao's 100th birthday. Nevertheless, the Chinese
government has never officially repudiated the tactics of Mao. Deng
Xiaoping, who was opposed to the
Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward and the Cultural
Revolution, has to a certain extent rejected Mao's legacy, famously
Mao was "70% right and 30% wrong".
In the mid-1990s,
Mao Zedong's picture began to appear on all new
renminbi (人民幣) currency from the People's Republic of China.
This was officially instituted as an anti-counterfeiting measure as
Mao's face is widely recognised in contrast to the generic figures
that appear in older currency. On March 13, 2006, a story in the
_People\'s Daily _ reported that a proposal had been made to print the
Sun Yat-sen and Deng Xiaoping.
In 2006, the government in
Shanghai issued a new set of high school
history textbooks which omit Mao, with the exception of a single
mention in a section on etiquette. Students in
Shanghai now only learn
Mao in junior high school.
Mao gave contradicting statements on the subject of personality cults
. In 1955, as a response to the
Khrushchev Report that criticised
Joseph Stalin ,
Mao stated that personality cults are "poisonous
ideological survivals of the old society", and reaffirmed China's
commitment to collective leadership . But at the 1958 Party congress
Mao expressed support for the personality cults of people
whom he labelled as genuinely worthy figures; not those that expressed
Mao proposed the
Socialist Education Movement (SEM) in an
attempt to educate the peasants to resist the "temptations" of
feudalism and the sprouts of capitalism that he saw re-emerging in the
countryside from Liu's economic reforms. Large quantities of
politicised art were produced and circulated — with
Mao at the
centre. Numerous posters, badges and musical compositions referenced
Mao in the phrase "Chairman
Mao is the red sun in our hearts"
(毛主席是我們心中的紅太陽, _Máo Zhǔxí Shì Wǒmen
Xīnzhōng De Hóng Tàiyáng_) and a "Savior of the people"
(人民的大救星, _Rénmín De Dà Jiùxīng_).
In October 1966, Mao's _Quotations from Chairman
Mao Tse-tung _,
which was known as the _Little Red Book_ was published. Party members
were encouraged to carry a copy with them and possession was almost
mandatory as a criterion for membership. Over the years, Mao's image
became displayed almost everywhere, present in homes, offices and
shops. His quotations were typographically emphasised by putting them
in boldface or red type in even the most obscure writings. Music from
the period emphasised Mao's stature, as did children's rhymes. The
phrase "Long Live Chairman
Mao for ten thousand years " was commonly
heard during the era. Visitors wait in line to enter the Mao
Mao also has a presence in
China and around the world in popular
culture, where his face adorns everything from T-shirts to coffee
cups. Mao's granddaughter, Kong Dongmei, defended the phenomenon,
stating that "it shows his influence, that he exists in people's
consciousness and has influenced several generations of Chinese
people's way of life. Just like Che Guevara\'s image , his has become
a symbol of revolutionary culture." Since 1950, over 40 million
people have visited Mao's birthplace in
Shaoshan , Hunan.
His ancestors were:
* Máo Yíchāng (毛貽昌, born
Xiangtan October 15, 1870, died
Shaoshan January 23, 1920), father, courtesy name Máo Shùnshēng
(毛順生) or also known as
* Wén Qīmèi (文七妹, born Xiangxiang 1867, died October 5,
1919), mother. She was illiterate and a devout Buddhist. She was a
Wen Tianxiang .
* Máo Ēnpǔ (毛恩普, born May 22, 1846, died November 23,
1904), paternal grandfather
* née Luó (羅氏), paternal grandmother (given name not recorded)
* Máo Zǔrén (毛祖人), paternal great-grandfather
Jiang Qing and daughter Li Na , 1940s
Mao Zedong had four wives who gave birth to a total of 10 children.
Luo Yixiu (羅一秀, October 20, 1889 – 1910) of
married 1907 to 1910
Yang Kaihui (楊開慧, 1901–1930) of
Changsha : married 1921 to
1927, executed by the KMT in 1930; mother to
Mao Anying ,
He Zizhen (賀子珍, 1910–1984) of Jiangxi: married May 1928 to
1939; mother to
Mao Anhong, Li Min , and four other children
Jiang Qing (江青, 1914–1991), married 1939 to Mao's death;
mother to Li Na
He had several siblings:
Mao Zemin (毛澤民, 1895–1943), younger brother, executed by a
Mao Zetan (毛澤覃, 1905–1935), younger brother, executed by
Mao Zejian (毛澤建, 1905–1929), adopted sister, executed by
Mao Zedong's parents altogether had five sons and two daughters. Two
of the sons and both daughters died young, leaving the three brothers
Mao Zemin, and
Mao Zetan. Like all three of
Mao Zemin and
Mao Zetan were communists. Like Yang Kaihui, both
Zemin and Zetan were killed in warfare during
Mao Zedong's lifetime.
Note that the character _zé_ (澤) appears in all of the siblings'
given names. This is a common Chinese naming convention.
From the next generation, Zemin's son,
Mao Yuanxin , was raised by
Mao Zedong's family. He became
Mao Zedong's liaison with the Politburo
in 1975. In Li Zhisui's _
The Private Life of Chairman Mao _, Mao
Yuanxin played a role in the final power-struggles.
Mao Zedong had a total of ten children, including:
Mao Anying (毛岸英, 1922–1950): son to Yang, married to Liú
Sīqí (劉思齊), who was born Liú Sōnglín (劉松林), killed in
action during the
Mao Anqing (毛岸青, 1923–2007): son to Yang, married to Shao
Hua (邵華), grandson
Mao Xinyu (毛新宇), great-grandson Mao
Mao Anlong (1927–1931): son to Yang, died during the Chinese
Mao Anhong (1932–1935?): son to He, left to Mao's younger
brother Zetan and then to one of Zetan's guards when he went off to
war, was never heard of again
* Li Min (李敏, b. 1936): daughter to He, married to Kǒng
Lìnghuá (孔令華), son Kǒng Jìníng (孔繼寧), daughter Kǒng
* Li Na (李訥, Pinyin: Lĭ Nà, b. 1940): daughter to Jiang (whose
birth surname was Lǐ, a name also used by
Mao while evading the KMT),
married to Wáng Jǐngqīng (王景清), son Wáng Xiàozhī
Mao's first and second daughters were left to local villagers because
it was too dangerous to raise them while fighting the
later the Japanese. Their youngest daughter (born in early 1938 in
Mao separated) and one other child (born 1933) died in
infancy. Two English researchers who retraced the entire Long March
route in 2002–2003 located a woman whom they believe might well be
one of the missing children abandoned by
Mao to peasants in 1935. Ed
Jocelyn and Andrew McEwen hope a member of the
Mao family will respond
to requests for a DNA test.
Through his ten children,
Mao became grandfather to twelve
grandchildren, many of whom he never knew. He has many
great-grandchildren alive today. One of his granddaughters is
businesswoman Kong Dongmei, one of the richest people in
mother to three of Mao's great-grandchildren. His grandson
(Kong's half-brother), father of two, is a general in the Chinese
army, and is often ridiculed for his weight within China.
Mao Zedong and Zhang Yufeng in 1964
Mao's private life was very secretive at the time of his rule.
However, after Mao's death,
Li Zhisui , his personal physician,
The Private Life of Chairman Mao _, a memoir which mentions
some aspects of Mao's private life, such as chain-smoking cigarettes,
rare bathing or dental habits, laziness, addiction to sleeping pills
and large number of sexual partners. Some scholars and some other
people who also personally knew and worked with Mao, however, have
disputed the accuracy of these characterisations.
Having grown up in
Mao spoke Mandarin with a marked Hunanese
Ross Terrill noted
Mao was a "son of the soil ... rural and
unsophisticated" in origins, while
Clare Hollingworth asserted he was
proud of his "peasant ways and manners", having a strong Hunanese
accent and providing "earthy" comments on sexual matters. Lee Feigon
noted that Mao's "earthiness" meant that he remained connected to
"everyday Chinese life."
Stuart Schram emphasised Mao's ruthlessness, but also
noted that he showed no sign of taking pleasure in torture or killing
in the revolutionary cause.
Lee Feigon considered
Mao "draconian and
authoritarian" when threatened, but opined that he was not the "kind
of villain that his mentor Stalin was". Alexander Pantsov and Steven
I. Levine claimed that
Mao was a "man of complex moods", who "tried
his best to bring about prosperity and gain international respect" for
China, being "neither a saint nor a demon." They noted that in early
life, he strived to be "a strong, wilful, and purposeful hero, not
bound by any moral chains", and that he "passionately desired fame and
WRITINGS AND CALLIGRAPHY
Mao's calligraphy : a bronze plaque of a poem by
Li Bai .
(Chinese : 白帝城毛澤東手書李白詩銅匾
Mao was a prolific writer of political and philosophical literature.
He is the attributed author of _Quotations from Chairman
_, known in the West as the "Little Red Book" and in Cultural
China as the "Red Treasure Book" (紅寶書): first
published in January 1964, this is a collection of short extracts from
his many speeches and articles, edited by
Lin Biao and ordered
Mao wrote several other philosophical treatises, both
before and after he assumed power. These include:
On Guerrilla Warfare _ (《游擊戰》); 1937
On Practice _ (《實踐論》); 1937
On Contradiction _ (《矛盾論》); 1937
On Protracted War _ (《論持久戰》); 1938
* _In Memory of Norman Bethune _ (《紀念白求恩》); 1939
New Democracy _ (《新民主主義論》); 1940
* _Talks at the Yan\'an Forum on Literature and Art _
Serve the People _ (《為人民服務》); 1944
* _The Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains_
* _On the Correct Handling of the Contradictions Among the People_
Mao was also a skilled
Chinese calligrapher with a highly personal
style. In China,
Mao was considered a master calligrapher during his
lifetime. His calligraphy can be seen today throughout mainland
China. His work gave rise to a new form of Chinese calligraphy called
"Mao-style" or _Maoti_, which has gained increasing popularity since
his death. There currently exist various competitions specialising in
Main article: Poetry of
Mao Zedong Mao's calligraphy of his
poem "Qingyuanchun Changsha"
As did most Chinese intellectuals of his generation, Mao's education
began with Chinese classical literature .
Edgar Snow in 1936
that he had started the study of the Confucian
Analects and the Four
Books at a village school when he was eight, but that the books he
most enjoyed reading were _
Water Margin _, _
Journey to the West _, the
Romance of the Three Kingdoms _ and _
Dream of the Red Chamber _. Mao
published poems in classical forms starting in his youth and his
abilities as a poet contributed to his image in
China after he came to
power in 1949. His style was influenced by the great Tang dynasty
Li Bai and
Li He .
Some of his most well-known poems are _
Changsha _ (1925), _The Double
Ninth _ (1929.10), _Loushan Pass_ (1935), _The Long March_ (1935),
_Snow _ (1936), _The PLA Captures
Nanjing _ (1949), _Reply to Li
Shuyi_ (1957.05.11) and _Ode to the Plum Blossom_ (1961.12).
PORTRAYAL IN FILM AND TELEVISION
Mao has been portrayed in film and television numerous times. Some
notable actors include: Han Shi, the first actor ever to have
portrayed Mao, in a 1978 drama _Dielianhua_ and later again in a 1980
film _Cross the Dadu River_;
Gu Yue , who had portrayed
Mao 84 times
on screen throughout his 27-year career and had won the Best Actor
title at the
Hundred Flowers Awards in 1990 and 1993; Liu Ye , who
played a young
Mao in _
The Founding of a Party _ (2011); Tang
Guoqiang , who has frequently portrayed
Mao in more recent times, in
the films _The Long March_ (1996) and _
The Founding of a Republic _
(2009), and the television series _Huang Yanpei _ (2010), among
Mao is a principal character in American composer John Adams
' opera _Nixon in
China _ (1987).
The Beatles ' song "Revolution"
refers to Mao: "...but if you go carrying pictures of Chairman
ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow...";
John Lennon expressed
regret over including these lines in the song in 1972.
MAO AND TIBET
See also: Sinicization of
Mao Zedong won the Chinese civil war in 1949, his goal became
the unification of the "five nationalities" under the big family, the
People's Republic of China, and under a single political system, the
Communist Party of China. Aware of Mao's vision, the Tibetan
government in Lhasa sent a representative, Ngabo , to
a strategically high valued town near the border. Ngabo had orders to
hold the position while reinforcements were coming from the Lhasa and
fight off the Chinese. On October 16, 1950, news came that the
People's Liberation Army was advancing towards
Chamdo and had also
taken another strategic town named, Riwoche, which could block the
route to Lhasa. With new orders, Ngabo and his men retreated to a
monastery where the
People's Liberation Army finally surrounded and
captured them, though they were treated with respect. Ngabo wrote to
Lhasa suggesting a peaceful surrender instead of war. During the
negotiation, the Chinese negotiator laid the cards straight on the
table, "It is up to you to choose whether
Tibet would be liberated
peacefully or by force. It is only a matter of sending a telegram to
the PLA group to recommence their march to Lhasa." Ngabo accepted
Mao's "Seventeen-Point Agreement ", which constituted
Tibet as part of
the People's Republic China, in return for which
Tibet would be
granted autonomy . In the face of discouraging lack of support from
the rest of the world, the Dalai Lama on August 1951, sent a telegram
Mao accepting the Seventeen-Point Agreement. However the delegates
signing the agreement were forced to do so and the Tibetan's
Government's seal used was forged.
* _Biography portal
Chinese tunic suit
* Mao\'s Great
Mao Tse-tung: Ruler of Red
* Women in Communist
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* ^ "
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* ^ Short 2001 , p. 630 "_
Mao had an extraordinary mix of talents:
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cunning intellect, a philosopher and poet._"
* ^ "Chinese Leader
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* ^ _The Cambridge Illustrated History of China_, by Patricia
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* ^ _Atlas of World History_, by Patrick Karl O'Brien, Oxford
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* ^ _A_ _B_ Fenby, J (2008). _Modern China: The Fall and Rise of a
Great Power, 1850 to the Present_.
Ecco Press . p. 351. ISBN
0-06-166116-3 . Mao's responsibility for the extinction of anywhere
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* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 19; Hollingworth 1985 , p. 15; Pantsov Terrill
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, p. 11; Pantsov Terrill 1980 , p. 8; Pantsov Feigon 2002 , p. 23,
Pantsov Terrill 1980 , pp. 12–13; Pantsov Terrill 1980 , pp.
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p. 15; Terrill 1980 , p. 18; Pantsov Terrill 1980 , p. 19; Pantsov
Terrill 1980 , pp. 22–23; Pantsov & Levine 2012 , p. 30
* ^ Pantsov Terrill 1980 , p. 22; Pantsov Terrill 1980 , pp.
22–24; Pantsov Terrill 1980 , p. 23; Pantsov Pantsov Pantsov Terrill
1980 , pp. 23–24
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 35–36; Terrill 1980 , pp. 22, 25; Pantsov
Terrill 1980 , p. 26; Pantsov & Levine 2012 , pp. 35–36.
* ^ Pantsov & Levine 2012 , pp. 36–37.
* ^ Pantsov & Levine 2012 , pp. 40–41.
* ^ Pantsov Terrill 1980 , p. 27; Pantsov Terrill 1980 , p. 32;
Pantsov Terrill 1980 , pp. 30–31.
* ^ Pantsov see also Hsiao Yu (Xiao Yu, alias of Xiao Zisheng).
Mao Tse-Tung and I Were Beggars._ (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse
University Press, 1959).
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 42–43; Terrill 1980 , p. 32; Pantsov
Terrill 1980 , p. 32; Pantsov & Levine 2012 , pp. 49–50.
* ^ Pantsov Terrill 1980 , p. 33; Pantsov Terrill 1980 , p. 34;
Pantsov Pantsov Pantsov Pantsov Pantsov Pantsov Pantsov Pantsov
Pantsov & Levine 2012 , p. 66.
* ^ Pantsov & Levine 2012 , pp. 66–67.
* ^ Pantsov & Levine 2012 , pp. 68–70.
* ^ Pantsov & Levine 2012 , p. 68.
* ^ Pantsov Pantsov Pantsov Pantsov & Levine 2012 , p. 79.
* ^ Pantsov & Levine 2012 , p. 80.
* ^ Pantsov & Levine 2012 , pp. 81–83.
* ^ Pantsov Feigon 2002 , pp. 23, 28
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 63–64; Feigon 2002 , pp. 23–24, 28, 30
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 64–66.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Schram 1966 , p. 68
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 68–69
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 69.
* ^ Elizabeth J. Perry,"Anyuan: Mining China\'s Revolutionary
Tradition," _The Asia-Pacific Journal_ 11.1 (January 14, 2013),
reprinting Ch 2 of Elizabeth J. Perry. _Anyuan: Mining China's
Revolutionary Tradition._ (Berkeley: University of California Press,
2012. ISBN 978-0-520-27189-0 .
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 69–70
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 73–74; Feigon 2002 , p. 33
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 74–76
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 76–82
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 78.
Mao Zedong (1992), Schram, Stuart Reynolds; et al., eds.,
Revolution and Social Revolution, December 1920–June
1927_, _Mao's Road to Power_, Vol. II, M.E. Sharpe, p. 465 .
* ^ Liu Xiaoyuan (2004), _Frontier Passages: Ethnopolitics and the
Rise of Chinese Communism, 1921–1945_, Stanford: Stanford University
Press, p. 66 .
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 82, 90–91
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 83
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 84,89.
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 87, 92–93; Feigon 2002 , p. 39
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 95
* ^ "
Mao Zedong on
War and Revolution". _Quotations from
War and Revolution_. Columbia University. Retrieved November 12,
2011. ; Feigon 2002 , p. 41
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 98
* ^ _A_ _B_ Feigon 2002 , p. 42
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 99–100
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 100
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 106; Carter 1976 , pp. 61–62
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 106–109, 112–113
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Carter 1976 , p. 62
* ^ _A_ _B_ Carter 1976 , p. 64
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Carter 1976 , p. 63
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 122–125; Feigon 2002 , pp. 46–47
* ^ _A_ _B_ Chang, Halliday; Mao, Chapt.5
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 125; Carter 1976 , p. 68
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 130; Carter 1976 , pp. 67–68; Feigon 2002 ,
* ^ _A_ _B_ Carter 1976 , p. 69
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 126–127; Carter 1976 , pp. 66–67
* ^ _A_ _B_ Carter 1976 , p. 70
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 159; Feigon 2002 , p. 47
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 131; Carter 1976 , pp. 68–69
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 128, 132
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 133–137; Carter 1976 , pp. 70–71
* ^ _A_ _B_ Feigon 2002 , p. 50.
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 138; Carter 1976 , pp. 71–72
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 138, 141
* ^ _A_ _B_ Carter 1976 , p. 72
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 139
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 146–149
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Carter 1976 , p. 75
* ^ _A_ _B_ Feigon 2002 , p. 51
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 149–151
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 149
* ^ _A_ _B_ Schram 1966 , p. 153
* ^ _A_ _B_ Schram 1966 , p. 208
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 152
* ^ Carter 1976 , p. 76
* ^ Feigon 2002 , pp. 51–53
* ^ _A_ _B_ Carter 1976 , p. 77
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 154–155; Feigon 2002 , pp. 54–55
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 155–161
* ^ _A_ _B_ Carter 1976 , p. 78
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 161–165; Feigon 2002 , pp. 53–54
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 166–168; Feigon 2002 , p. 55
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 175–177; Carter 1976 , pp. 80–81; Feigon
2002 , pp. 56–57
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 180; Carter 1976 , pp. 81–82
* ^ _A_ _B_ Feigon 2002 , p. 57
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 180–181; Carter 1976 , p. 83
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 181; Carter 1976 , pp. 84–86; Feigon 2002 ,
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 183; Carter 1976 , pp. 86–87
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 184–186; Carter 1976 , pp. 88–90; Feigon
2002 , pp. 59–60
* ^ Carter 1976 , pp. 90–91
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 186; Carter 1976 , pp. 91–92; Feigon 2002 ,
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 187–188; Carter 1976 , pp. 92–93
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Feigon 2002 , p. 61
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 188; Carter 1976 , p. 93
* ^ Barnouin, Barbara and Yu Changgen. _Zhou Enlai: A Political
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962-996-280-2 . Retrieved March 12, 2011. p.62
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* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Chang, Halliday; Mao, Ch. 13
* ^ _A_ _B_ Schram 1966 , p. 193
* ^ Carter 1976 , pp. 94–96
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 206–207
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 20
* ^ Carter 1976 , p. 101
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 202
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 209–210
* ^ Carter 1976 , p. 95
* ^ Carter 1976 , pp. 95–96
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 194
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 196
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 197
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 198–200; Carter 1976 , pp. 98–99; Feigon
2002 , pp. 64–65
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 211; Carter 1976 , pp. 100–101
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 205
* ^ _A_ _B_ Carter 1976 , p. 105
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 204; Feigon 2002 , p. 66
* ^ Schram 1966 , p. 217
* ^ Schram 1966 , pp. 211–216; Carter 1976 , pp. 101–10
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* ^ Cheek T, ed. (2002). _
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Palgrave Macmillan . p. 125.
ISBN 0-312-25626-4 . The phrase is often mistakenly said to have been
delivered during the speech from the Gate of Heavenly Peace, but was
first used on September 21, at the First Plenary Session of the
Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, then repeated on
* ^ Li 1994 , p. xi
* ^ See for example, DeBorja, Q.M. and Xu L. Dong, eds. (1996).
_Manufacturing History: Sex, Lies and Random House's Memoirs of Mao's
Physician_. New York:
China Study Group. p. 48. CS1 maint: Uses
editors parameter (link )
* ^ Burkitt, Laurie; Scobell, Andrew; Wortzel, Larry M. (July
2003). _The lessons of history: The Chinese people\'s Liberation Army
at 75_ (PDF).
Strategic Studies Institute . pp. 340–341. ISBN
* ^ Short 2001 , pp. 436–437
* ^ Steven W. Mosher. _
China Misperceived: American Illusions and
Basic Books , 1992. ISBN 0-465-09813-4 pp 72, 73
* ^ Stephen Rosskamm Shalom. _Deaths in
China Due to Communism._
Center for Asian Studies Arizona State University, 1984. ISBN
0-939252-11-2 pg 24
* ^ Spence 1999 .
Mao got this number from a report submitted by Xu
Zirong, Deputy Public Security Minister, which stated 712,000
counter-revolutionaries were executed, 1,290,000 were imprisoned, and
another 1,200,000 were "subjected to control.": see Kuisong 2008 .
* ^ _A_ _B_ Twitchett, Denis;
John K. Fairbank ; Roderick
MacFarquhar (June 26, 1987). _The Cambridge history of China_.
Cambridge University Press . ISBN 0-521-24336-X . Retrieved August 23,
Maurice Meisner . _Mao's
China and After: A History of the
People's Republic, Third Edition._ Free, Press, 1999. ISBN
0-684-85635-2 p. 72: "... the estimate of many relatively impartial
observers that there were 2,000,000 people executed during the first
three years of the People's Republic is probably as accurate a guess
as one can make on the basis of scanty information."
* ^ Steven W. Mosher. _
China Misperceived: American Illusions and
Basic Books , 1992. ISBN 0-465-09813-4 pg 74: "... a
figure that Fairbank has cited as the upper range of "sober"
* ^ Feigon 2002 , p. 96: "By 1952 they had extended land reform
throughout the countryside, but in the process somewhere between two
and five million landlords had been killed."
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