Nuclear Soldier: Stories and Poems About Chinese Life

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His training suggested he shut the reactor down, ending the important test before it had even begun. The resulting power surge inside the core led to a pair of explosions that blew the massive concrete lid off the reactor and destroyed the roof and upper reaches of the building around it. A happily married father of two grown children, Valery Legasov was 49 years old at the time of the accident and approaching the pinnacle of his career at the top of the Soviet scientific establishment.

The son of a leading Party ideologue, Legasov was a true believer in communism and politically beyond reproach. Living in a grand villa a short walk from his office at the Institute, he was also a keen athlete who skied, played tennis and wrote poetry in his spare time. He learned that an accident had occurred at the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine during a regular Party meeting on the morning of Saturday April A radiochemistry specialist, he knew little about nuclear reactors, but was ordered to join a government commission, flown to the scene to take control of the emergency and immediately put in charge of containing the consequences of the explosion.

What Legasov witnessed in Chernobyl would change the course of his life: The chaos and incompetence he saw shook his confidence in socialism. The radiation dose he received shattered his health. And his subsequent attempts to reform the Soviet scientific system destroyed his career.

Deputy chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers; chairman of the government commission in Chernobyl. A memorial plaque for Boris Scherbina on a house in Tyumen where he lived. At 66—balding, bulldog-faced and sure of himself—the minister was an old hand in the ways of the system, its patterns of absurd quotas and preposterous deadlines. Without his approval, nothing could happen inside the Exclusion Zone that soon surrounded the remains of Reactor Number Four.

Arriving on the scene on the evening following the explosion, he projected the brash confidence expected of senior Soviet managers.

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Not only did he disregard the need for personal radiation protection, but he dismissed calls for immediate evacuation of the city of Pripyat as the wayward opinions of panic-mongering weaklings. Ludmila Ignatenko mourns the death of her husband as she attends t he first commemorative ceremony in homage to liquidators who died from exposure to radiation in the first few weeks after the catastrophe. Arriving in Pripyat in , fresh from school at the age of 16, Ludmilla took a bed in a student dormitory and a job as a pastry chef in the canteen of the Chernobyl nuclear plant.

Stocky and thick-set, Ignatenko was charming and talkative—and the champion athlete of the brigade, a regular in the competitive firefighting championships held throughout the USSR. The couple married in and moved into a small one-bedroom flat in the annex above the fire station reserved for members of the brigade and their families. They gathered blueberries and wild mushrooms in the countryside around the city and barbecued in the garden with their friends from the station.

Ludmilla became pregnant with twins, but miscarried; by the spring of , she was expecting once again. He had already received a signed permission slip granting him leave beginning at four in the morning of the 26—in time for the first train out of town. But at around a. Working with scant supplies of precious materials, she imparted beauty and individuality to the standardized buildings of the city.

Short but formidable, she patrolled the streets with a ruler, berating construction teams for shoddy workmanship and lashing them with invective as she oversaw plans to expand Pripyat from a town of 50, to one of , As radiation from the explosion of Reactor No. She planned the escape of every family from each apartment block in Pripyat; and, as more than a thousand buses arrived to take them to safety, she stood at the entrance to the city with a map and gave the drivers instructions on where to go.

As the last one departed, Protsenko remained behind, convinced by Party assurances that the citizens would soon return to the homes she had helped build. Months later, she would still be at her desk in the heart of the newly-created kilometer Exclusion Zone when a KGB officer arrived.

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 Great Chinese Famine. China's population suffered from the Great Famine during the late 20th century. This came as a result of the lack of food production and distribution to the population of China. The people of urban areas in China were given food stamps each month, but the people of rural areas were expected to grow their own crops and give some of the crops back to the government. The deaths in the rural parts of China out ranked the ones in the Urban cities.

Also, the government of China continued to export food to other countries during the Great Famine; this food could have been used to feed the starving citizens. These factors lead to the catastrophic death of about 52 million citizens. 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.

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 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, , 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, , meeting:. 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 other contexts, Mao did not in fact accept mass death.

Zhou's Chronology shows that in October , Mao expressed real concern that 40, people in Yunnan had starved to death p. Shortly after the March 25 meeting, he worried about Bernstein also discussed Mao's change of attitudes during different phases of the Great Leap Forward:. In late autumn , Mao Zedong strongly condemned widespread practices of the 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. After the July 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 together with the radical policies that he previously condemned.

Not until spring did 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 Famine , 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.

Many peasants accused of hiding food were tortured and beaten to death.

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Whatever the cause of the disaster, Mao lost esteem among many of the top party cadres. He was eventually forced to abandon the policy in , and he 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. The 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. 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. 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.

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 Mao were branded as "right opportunists. Years later the CPC would conclude that as many as six million people were wrongly punished in the campaign. The number of deaths by starvation during the Great Leap Forward is deeply controversial. Until the mids, 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 had been a great success.

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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 China was 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. Censuses were carried out in China in , and 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 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 —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 Yaobang. 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 communism. The USSR had a network of Communist parties it supported; China now created its own rival network to battle it out for local control of the left in numerous countries. The split helped to determine the framework of the Second Cold War in general, and influenced the course of the Second Vietnam War in particular.

The split resulted from Nikita Khrushchev 's more moderate Soviet leadership after the death of Stalin in March Only Albania openly sided with China, thereby forming an alliance between the two countries which would last until after Mao's death in 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 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 therefore 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 government , and 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. Partly surrounded by hostile American military bases in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan , China was now confronted with a new Soviet threat from the north and west.

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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. During the early s, Mao became concerned with the nature of post China. He saw that the revolution and Great Leap Forward had replaced the old ruling 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. They attempted to marginalise Mao by taking control of economic policy and asserting themselves politically as well. Some scholars, such as Mobo Gao , claim the case for this is overstated.

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.

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. The 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.

It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps millions, perished in the violence of the Cultural Revolution. When 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! China is such a populous nation, it is not as if we cannot do without a few people. 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. It was during this period that Mao chose 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 , however, a divide between the two men had become apparent. Official history in China states that Lin was planning a military coup or an assassination attempt on Mao. Lin Biao died in a plane crash over the air space of Mongolia, presumably as he fled China, probably anticipating his arrest. At this time, Mao lost trust in many of the top CPC figures.

The highest-ranking Soviet Bloc intelligence defector, Lt. Despite being considered a feminist figure by some and a supporter of women's rights, documents released by the US Department of State in show that Mao declared women to be a "nonsense" in , 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 first tasted mangoes in he was enthused, describing them as a "spiritual time bomb". 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 [the national leadership compound] Zhongnanhai despite the rain to report the good news, and to express their loyalty to the Great Leader Chairman Mao.

One of the mangoes was sent to the Beijing Textile Factory, [] whose revolutionary committee organised a rally in the mangoes' honour. 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 mangoes in Beijing from outlying provinces; approximately half a million people greeted the replicas when they arrived in Chengdu. Badges and wall posters featuring the mangoes and Mao were produced in the millions.

Han, saw the mango and said it was nothing special and looked just like a sweet potato; he was put on trial for malicious slander, found guilty, paraded publicly throughout the town, and then executed with one shot to the head. 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".

In , 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 , following Mao's death and the arrest of the Gang of Four. Mao remained passive as various factions within the Communist Party mobilised for the power struggle anticipated after his death. The 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 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.

During the Cultural Revolution, China detonated its first H-Bomb , launched the Dong Fang Hong satellite January 30, , 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. Estimates of the death toll during the Cultural Revolution, including civilians and Red Guards, vary greatly. An estimate of around , deaths is a widely accepted minimum figure, according to Maurice Meisner. During his leadership, Mao traveled outside China on only two occasions, both state visits to the Soviet Union.

When Mao stepped down as head of state on April 27, , further diplomatic state visits and travels abroad were undertaken by president Liu Shaoqi rather than Mao personally. Smoking may have played an important role in his declining health, for Mao was a heavy chain-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. Mao's last public appearance—and the last known photograph of him alive—was on May 27, , when he met the visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto during the latter's one-day visit to Beijing.

Mao Zedong died nearly four days later just after midnight, at , on September 9, , at age The Communist Party of China delayed the announcement of his death until later that day, when a radio message broadcast across the nation announced the news of Mao's passing while appealing for party unity. 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 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.

The final service on that day was concluded by Hua Guofeng's minute-long eulogy atop Tiananmen Gate. 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 year reign, more than any other 20th-century leader; the number of people who died under his regime range from 40 million to as many as 70 million. 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.

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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 a great number of the general population as the " Founding Father of modern China", credited for giving "the Chinese people dignity and self-respect.

However, Mao also has many Chinese critics. Opposition to him can lead to censorship or professional repercussions in mainland China [] , and is often done in private settings such as the Internet. Even in China, key pillars of his economic theory have been publicly dismantled for the most part by market reformers like Deng Xiaoping and Zhao Ziyang , who succeeded him as leaders of the Communist Party. Though the 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 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, , China opened the Mao Zedong Square to visitors in his home town of central Hunan Province to mark the th 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.

He only buried alive scholars, while we buried 46, 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 times. The People's Republic of China under Mao exhibited the oppressive tendencies that were discernible in all the major absolutist regimes of the twentieth century.

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 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. He put no value on human life. The deaths of others meant nothing to him.

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 steel, Mao said to his inner circle in November "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 speech, 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. Anhui wants to do so much, which is quite all right, but make it a principle to have no deaths.

And he exposes the extent of the violence used against the peasants": []. Mass killings are not usually associated with Mao and the Great Leap Forward, and China continues to benefit from a more favourable comparison with 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 and , 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 million victims.

And all of them shared an ideology in which the end justified the means. In , having lost millions of people in his province, Li Jingquan compared the 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. He also notes that "In a chilling precursor of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, villagers in Qingshui and Gansu called these projects the 'killing fields'.

The 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: "[Mao] 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.

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.

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 roughly similar.

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. 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 firepower. Let us imagine how many people would die if war breaks out.

There are 2. 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. But historians dispute the sincerity of Mao's words. 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. The ideology of Maoism has influenced many Communists, mainly in the Third World , including revolutionary movements such as Cambodia 's Khmer Rouge , [] Peru 's 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 Genocide. China itself has moved sharply away from Maoism since Mao's death, and most people outside of China who 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 s 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 th birthday. Nevertheless, the Chinese government has never officially repudiated the tactics of Mao. In the mids, Mao Zedong's picture began to appear on all new renminbi 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, , a story in the People's Daily reported that a proposal had been made to print the portraits of Sun Yat-sen and Deng Xiaoping.

Mao gave contradicting statements on the subject of personality cults. In , 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. In , 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.

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. 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. This is a common Chinese naming convention. He became Mao Zedong's liaison with the Politburo in Mao Zedong had a total of ten children, [] including:. Mao's first and second daughters were left to local villagers because it was too dangerous to raise them while fighting the Kuomintang and later the Japanese. Their youngest daughter born in early in Moscow after Mao separated and one other child born died in infancy.

Two English researchers who retraced the entire Long March route in — [] located a woman whom they believe might well be one of the missing children abandoned by Mao to peasants in 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 China. Mao's private life was kept very secret at the time of his rule. However, after Mao's death, Li Zhisui , his personal physician, published The Private Life of Chairman Mao , a memoir which mentions some aspects of Mao's private life, such as chain-smoking cigarettes, addiction to powerful sleeping pills and large number of sexual partners. Having grown up in Hunan , Mao spoke Mandarin with a marked Hunanese accent. Sinologist 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.

Levine wrote 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. Mao had learned some English language, particularly through Zhang Hanzhi , who was his English teacher, interpreter and diplomat who later married Qiao Guanhua , Foreign Minister of China and the head of China's UN delegation. He first chose to systematically learn English in the s, which was very unusual as the main foreign language first taught in Chinese schools at that time was Russian.

Mao was a prolific writer of political and philosophical literature. Mao wrote several other philosophical treatises, both before and after he assumed power. These include:. Mao was also a skilled Chinese calligrapher with a highly personal style. In China, Mao was considered a master calligrapher during his lifetime.

There currently exist various competitions specialising in Mao-style calligraphy. As did most Chinese intellectuals of his generation, Mao's education began with Chinese classical literature. Mao told Edgar Snow in 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.

Some of his most well-known poems are Changsha , The Double Ninth 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 drama Dielianhua and later again in a film Cross the Dadu River ; [] Gu Yue , who had portrayed Mao 84 times on screen throughout his year career and had won the Best Actor title at the Hundred Flowers Awards in and ; [] [] Liu Ye , who played a young Mao in The Founding of a Party ; [] Tang Guoqiang , who has frequently portrayed Mao in more recent times, in the films The Long March and The Founding of a Republic , and the television series Huang Yanpei , among others.

The Beatles ' song " Revolution " refers to Mao: " From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Mao disambiguation. This is a Chinese name ; the family name is Mao. Mao Yichang father Wen Qimei mother. Central institution membership. Other offices held. Main article: Early life of Mao Zedong.

Main article: Early revolutionary activity of Mao Zedong. Play media.

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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. Main article: Second Sino-Japanese War. Main article: Great Leap Forward. Main article: Sino-Soviet split. Main article: Cultural Revolution. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

August Learn how and when to remove this template message. Further information: Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. This section's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. See Wikipedia's guide to writing better articles for suggestions. October Learn how and when to remove this template message. Had Mao died in , his achievements would have been immortal.

Had he died in , he would still have been a great man but flawed. But he died in Alas, what can one say? Main article: Poetry of Mao Zedong. Biography portal China portal Communism portal. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. The China Quarterly. The China Journal. Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century. Retrieved August 23, Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World. Archived from the original on March 21, Retrieved April 2, The Cambridge Illustrated History of China.


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Cambridge University Press. Ecco Press. Syracuse, N. Anyuan: Mining China's Revolutionary Tradition. Berkeley: University of California Press, II, M. Sharpe, p. Quotations from Mao Zedong on War and Revolution. Columbia University. Retrieved November 12, Zhou Enlai: A Political Life. Retrieved March 12, Was Mao Really a Monster? The New York Times. Retrieved October 2, Encyclopedia of China: History and Culture.

New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Dong, eds. New York: China Study Group. Eastday in Chinese. Retrieved March 4, Eyewitness Travel Guides China. London: Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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Fodor's China. Random House. July Strategic Studies Institute. Princeton University Press. In Zhangzhuangcun, in the more thoroughly reformed north of the country, most "landlords" and "rich peasants" had lost all their land and often their lives or had fled. All formerly landless workers had received land, which eliminated this category altogether.

As a result, "middling peasants," who now accounted for 90 percent of the village population, owned Basic Books , Deaths in China Due to Communism. Mao got this number from a report submitted by Xu Zirong, Deputy Public Security Minister, which stated , counter-revolutionaries were executed, 1,, were imprisoned, and another 1,, were "subjected to control. Fairbank ; Roderick MacFarquhar The Cambridge history of China. Free Press, Archived from the original PDF on July 29, Retrieved June 21, Archived from the original on June 27, Archived from the original on April 4, Retrieved May 4, March 5, Retrieved May 11, CATO Journal.

International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on August 9, Retrieved July 28, The Spectator. Retrieved January 15, June China Perspectives. The Independent. Retrieved September 20, Princeton UP. The Chinese. Oxford UP. Livelihood Issues. National Review. Archived from the original on August 8, The Australian.

February 13, BBC News. The Mongo Mango Cookbook. Pineapple Press Inc. Mao's Golden Mangoes and the Cultural Revolution.

University of Chicago Press. Walder China Under Mao. Harvard University Press. University of Chicago Press, Books. Retrieved August 17, The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved January 28, Collectors Weekly.

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