In the latest edition of the 2021 Brief History of the Communist Party of China, the period between the founding of the CCP in October 1949 and the end of the Cultural Revolution in October 1976 is described as “the historical period when the Party led the people in the arduous exploration of the path of socialist revolution and construction. ” The Brief History also acknowledges that China experienced “serious setbacks” during this period, but what the Party’s history does not tell the Chinese people is that countless Chinese families were destroyed and tens of millions of Chinese people lost their lives during this “exploration” process. In the past 27 years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has launched a series of campaigns to promote the development of China.
During these 27 years, the CCP launched one political, economic and cultural campaign after another – “land reform,” “suppression of counter-revolution,” “three anti-revolutionary campaigns,” “five anti-revolutionary campaigns,” “five anti-revolutionary campaigns” and “five anti-revolutionary campaigns. The “Five Anti-Revolutionary Movements”, “Anti-Rightist Movements”, “Cultural Revolution” and so on, to name a few. In every bloody storm, there was always a class of people who became the new “class enemy” and were persecuted and killed and completely overthrown. First the Chinese landowners, then the bourgeoisie, then the intellectuals, then the peasants, and finally the whole Chinese nation suffered.
The “land reform” and “suppression of rebellion” and the demise of the landowning class
Soon after the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the “land reform movement” (agrarian reform), which had been carried out in the so-called “old liberated areas” (Northeast and North China) under the CCP’s rule, was extended to other parts of China. From the winter of 1950 to the end of 1952, large-scale “land reform” campaigns were widely carried out in the so-called “newly liberated areas” of eastern, central and southern China, southwest and northwest China.
The new edition of “A Brief History of the Communist Party of China” presents the “land reform” in a completely positive and affirmative manner. “It was a great historical victory,” says the Brief History. “Some 300 million landless and landless peasants throughout the country received some 700 million mu of land without compensation.” “It marked the complete disappearance of the land ownership system of the landlord class, the basis of the feudal system that had lasted for thousands of years in China, and the peasants truly became the masters of the land.”
What the Brief History fails to mention is that not only did the “landownership of the landlord class” disappear completely, but the flesh of millions of “landlords” also disappeared in the bloody tyranny of the land reform.
The Chinese democrat Zhang Naiqi was the head of a southwestern land reform delegation organized by the Chinese National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference between May and August 1950, and went to the eastern part of Sichuan to witness the land reform activities there. His son, historian Zhang Lifan, spoke on Voice of America about his father’s diary entries on the agrarian reform in eastern Sichuan.
He said, “(Father’s) diary of August 10 says that so-and-so village hanged and killed female landowner He Jingxiu; in village four, landowner Zeng Rui was killed; in village six, He Yunqiao and his son and daughter-in-law were both hanged, one was tied (tied), and his eldest daughter-in-law hanged herself the next day; another landowner, He Iuwen, was hanged for 20 to 30 minutes and died; in village three, eight people were hanged, two quintals of grain were obtained, and two people died ……”
How many landlords were killed in the land reform? Some people conservatively estimate that there were about two million. Some believe the number of landowners killed ranged from 1 million to 4 million. According to a projection made by Song Yongyi, a retired professor of history at California State University, Los Angeles, based on information released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the number of unnatural deaths of landlords in China was 4.7 million in the four-year period from 1950 to 1954. Song Yongyi has edited the Database of Contemporary Chinese Political History, which contains information on all the movements since the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, including the Cultural Revolution, the Anti-Rightist Movement, the Great Famine, and the Agrarian Reform. The database contains archival documents from the “Cultural Revolution,” “Anti-Rightist,” “Great Famine,” and “Agrarian Reform” periods.
What the Communist Party history does not tell the people is that land reform can be carried out peacefully. Peaceful land reforms were carried out in Japan, Korea and Taiwan in East Asia. After the Republic of China government retreated to Taiwan, the government purchased land from landlords and sold the land to poor farmers at extremely low prices, eventually achieving the goal of “land for the cultivator.
The Communist Party’s bloody and violent “land reform” can be traced back to the 1930s when the Communist Party created the rural revolutionary base areas. However, it was called the “land revolution” at that time. According to historian Zhang Lifan, the CCP’s violent agrarian reform was aimed at tying the peasants to the fate of the Communist Party.
In an interview with the Voice of America, he said, “In fact, the purpose of the land reform was to get blood on everyone’s hands, not only all the peasants through violence, but also these intellectuals in this violent revolution, in order to kidnap them and make them have to follow the Communist Party.”
Liu Shaoqi, vice chairman of the CCP, also explained the purpose of this in his political report in September 1956. “By using the method of a mass line that thoroughly mobilizes the peasant masses and fully enlightens the class consciousness of the peasants, especially the poor peasants, and after the peasants’ own struggle, …… The vast number of peasants stood up, organized themselves, followed the Communist Party and the people’s government closely, and took firm control of the power and arms of the villages. Thus, the land reform not only economically wiped out the landlord class and greatly weakened the rich peasants, it also thoroughly defeated the landlord class and isolated the rich peasants politically.”
Analysts point out that the greatest impact of the land reform on Chinese society was not the right to own land, but the class composition of the rural population. “After the land reform, the rural population was divided into hired peasants, poor peasants, middle peasants, rich peasants and landlords. The poor peasants were the target of the Communist Party’s reliance, the middle peasants were the target of solidarity, and the landlords and rich peasants were designated as the exploiting class and the target of combat. From then on, the landlords and rich peasants became China’s permanent inferior class. Such a class composition theory affected the fate and even the lives of several generations of landlords and rich peasants. Some of the so-called “landed, rich, anti, bad and right-wing” elements and their children were killed during the Cultural Revolution.
History scholar Song Yongyi told the Voice of America that the attempt to divide class components in the land reform became the theoretical basis for the Communist Party’s subsequent political campaigns to rule the country.
He said, “The theoretical basis of the land reform, which was designed to incite hatred, create enemies and provoke one part of the population to persecute and kill another part of the population, became the theoretical basis for the CCP’s subsequent rule by endless political campaigns.” He said that the CCP’s subsequent series of campaigns always created a new “class component” and new “class enemies,” such as the “rightists” and “rightists” in the “anti-rightist” movement. For example, the “rightists” in the “anti-rightist” movement and the “capitalists” in the “Cultural Revolution”.
Along with the land reform, the CCP also conducted a nationwide political campaign to investigate and suppress counter-revolutionaries from October 1950 to October 1951.
A Brief History of the CCP also describes the necessity and justice of the “suppression of counterrevolution” campaign in a positive tone. “The campaign to suppress counterrevolutionaries swept away the remnants of counterrevolutionary forces left behind by the Kuomintang on the mainland, and basically purged the reactionary organizations such as secret agents, the underground army and the Huidao Sect, resulting in an unprecedented stabilization of social order and a strong support for the land reform and the war against the United States and Korea.”
Historian Song Yongyi said that in some areas, the “anti-rebellion” served the “land reform”. “Whenever the peasants refused to fight the landlords, or when the task force could not break the ice, they first killed to create red terror to mobilize the masses. Such tactics were extremely common. In his book 70 Years of the Chinese Communist Revolution, Taiwanese historian Chen Yongfa points out that the “crackdown” on the rural “Huidao Sects” actually cracked down on the power structure of the landlords and rich peasants and facilitated the implementation of the “land reform. This facilitated the implementation of “land reform” in the countryside.
The number of deaths caused by the “anti-revolutionary” campaign is less clear, but according to a report by the Party Committee of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in September 1958, “Since the founding of the country until May 1958, a total of 6,118,246 counter-revolutionaries and other criminals were arrested throughout the country, of whom 668,246 were killed. 862,236 of the most criminal ones, and controlled 1,942,125, basically completing the historical task of purging the remnants of counterrevolutionary forces.”
The History of the Chinese Communist Party (Volume II), published in 2011, indirectly admits that there were indiscriminate killings in this campaign. The book says: “Because the judicial system and trial procedures were not sound enough at that time, deviations such as wrongful arrests and wrongful killings occurred in the work of some places, which the central government promptly discovered and made corrections.”
What the Party history does not explain is that the top echelon of the Communist Party and Mao Zedong himself set the targets for killings during the “anti-rebellion” campaign. It is alleged that Mao Zedong explicitly instructed those in charge of the “anti-rebellion” campaign in Shanghai and Nanjing to say, “Shanghai is a large city of 6 million people, and based on the fact that more than 20,000 people have been arrested in Shanghai and only 200 killed, I believe that at least 3,000 of the most criminal bandit leaders, recidivists, bullies, and secret agents should be killed in 1951. I believe that at least 3,000 people should be killed in 1951. In the first half of the year, at least 1,500 people should be killed. …… Nanking is a big city of 500,000 people, the capital of the Kuomintang, it seems that more than 200 reactionaries should be killed. Nanking kills too little, should kill more in Nanking.”
At the suggestion of Mao Zedong, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China met to discuss the issue of the proportion of killings and “decided to go by the proportion of one thousandth of the population, first half of this number, and then make a decision depending on the situation.” It was Mao’s consistent practice to set the number and kill people according to the proportion, and this practice was repeated in the subsequent “Three Anti’s and Five Anti’s”, “Purge” and “Anti-Rightist” campaigns.
The “Three Anti’s” and “Five Anti’s”, the bourgeoisie came into history
If the land reform eliminated the landlords and the gentry, the next target of the CCP’s campaign was the national bourgeoisie in urban and rural China.
For the “Three Anti” and “Five Anti” campaigns, according to the CCP’s official explanation, from late 1951 to October 1952, the “anti-corruption, anti-waste, and anti-bureaucracy” campaigns were carried out among the staff of party and government organs According to the official explanation of the Communist Party, from the end of 1951 to October 1952, the “anti-corruption, anti-waste, and anti-bureaucracy” campaign was carried out among the staff of the Party and government organs and the “anti-bribery, anti-tax evasion, anti-stealing of state property, anti-jerry-building, and anti-theft of state economic information” campaign was carried out among private industrialists and businessmen.
The “Three Anti’s” and “Five Anti’s” seem to be two different campaigns targeting different groups of people, but they are interrelated. According to a brief history of the CCP, the Five Anti-Corruption Campaigns were a direct result of the Three Anti-Corruption Campaigns, because “corruption within the Party and government organs often came about in collusion with unscrupulous businessmen.”
Within a month of the start of the “Three Anti-Corruptions” campaign, the “Five Anti-Corruptions” campaign against capitalists and private industrialists and businessmen began rapidly throughout the country, mainly in the major cities. Shanghai, being the commercial center of China, became the first target of the “Five Anti-Competition” campaign.
During the campaign, the Chinese Communist Party encouraged the masses to expose and capitalists to report each other “back to back”. Capitalists, owners and traders who were considered problematic were paraded through the streets in high hats and subjected to physical and mental humiliation. Some were forced to hand over their assets, while others sought death. Among them were Sin Kuan-sheng, the owner of Shanghai’s famous Kuan-sheng Garden, and Lu Zuofu, the king of Chinese shipping.
Tony Saich, director of the Asia Center at Harvard University, in his new book From Rebel to Ruler: A Century of Chinese Communism, provides a set of figures showing that in the two months following the “Five Rebellions” campaign, the number of suicides in Shanghai alone was 644.
By the end of the “Five Anti-Counter Movement” in October 1952, the “Five Poisons Account” amounted to US$2 billion, which was used for the ongoing Korean War, or what China called the “Anti-US Aid to Korea “The money was used for the ongoing Korean War, also known in China as the war against the U.S. and North Korea.
According to Taiwanese historian Chen Yongfa’s “70 Years of the Chinese Communist Revolution,” a total of 467,776 industrial and commercial households were hit during the “Five Anti-Drug” campaign in eight major cities, including Shanghai, Tianjin and Beijing alone. Due to the heavy fines, many businesses had to declare bankruptcy. Many private industrial and commercial owners simply asked the government to confiscate their properties, preferring to become shareholders under joint venture control in order to maintain the livelihood of their families.
This explains the statement in the history of the Chinese Communist Party that the “Five Rebellions” campaign “paved the way for the peaceful transformation of capitalist industry and commerce”. Within a few years, the CCP abolished the bourgeoisie and private ownership in the whole country and brought commerce under the ownership of the CCP. After the “Five Rebellions” campaign, the Chinese bourgeoisie also entered history.
The “Rectification” and “Anti-Rightist” Movements Led to the Spiritual Extinction of Intellectuals
The “Rectification” and “Anti-Rightist” campaigns, which began in 1957, were two linked campaigns. The “Rectification” was a “rectification” within the Communist Party, and the “Anti-Rightist” was to identify people within the Party and outside the Party as “rightists” and to crack down on them. The “anti-rightist” movement was to define the status of “rightists” and crack down on them.
Fearing that the “complicated new situation” that emerged in the process of socialist transformation would lead to a crisis similar to the “Hungarian Incident” in 1956, on April 27, 1957, the CPC Central Committee issued the “Instruction on Rectification Campaign”, deciding to launch a party-wide campaign to It called on people outside the Party to “sound off” and encourage the masses to put forward their ideas and opinions, and to give advice to the Communist Party and the government to help the Communist Party rectify the wind.
According to Taiwanese historian Chen Yongfa, Chinese intellectuals who were given the opportunity to speak freely in 1957 were “overwhelmed by emotions” and expressed their dissatisfaction with the Communist Party and the government and their views on improvement without thinking that the Communist Party could encourage “loud and loud release” and also “stop the wind”. However, it did not occur to them that since the Communist Party could encourage “loud and loud”, it could also “stop loud and loud”.
Some people criticized the Communist Party for having a “party world” mentality, some suggested that “the Communist Party and the democratic parties should take turns to sit on the throne”, some thought that “one party ruling is harmful”, and so on. However, Mao Zedong and the CCP could not stand such opinions and decided to fight back against the intellectuals.
The history of the CCP explains the beginning of the “Anti-Rightist” movement in this way. “In addition to criticism of the Party’s working style, a very small number of bourgeois rightists took the opportunity to launch an attack on the Party and the nascent socialist system. In ……6, the Central Committee called for the organization of forces to counter the attacks of the rightists.”
During the “Anti-Rightist” campaign, a group of intellectuals in Chinese politics, literature and education, press and publishing, state government agencies, science and technology, and industry and commerce were branded as rightists and reduced to “political pariahs”. Depending on their attitude of confession, these rightists were dealt with in a graded manner, and the most serious ones were sent to prison and even sentenced to death. Some were sent to “Beidahuang” and “Jibiangou” rightist reform bases, and many were later starved to death during the “Great Famine” that swept the country from 1959 to 1961. Others chose to commit suicide.
The “anti-rightist” movement was considered “necessary” and “correct” by the CCP history, but it was “expanded The Party history says, “As a result of the “anti-Rightist” movement, the Communist Party of China (CPC) was able to “expand” the movement. The Party history says, “Because of an overly serious estimation of the situation of the class struggle, a large number of internal contradictions among the people were treated as contradictions between us and the enemy, and a large number of ideological and cognitive problems were treated as political problems, the anti-rightist struggle was seriously expanded.”
What the CCP Party history fails to mention is that this movement was expanded 99 times. According to statistics from the review after the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the CPC, during the “Anti-Rightist Campaign” in 1957 and the “Anti-Rightist Mending” in 1958, a total of 550,000 rightists were “corrected” throughout the country. The misclassification rate was 99.998%, with 96 people not being “corrected”. Some data show that only about 100,000 people lived to be “corrected.
Taiwanese historian Chen Yongfa said, “Intellectuals outside the party-state system were silenced by this serious lesson and no longer played any significant role in the Mao-era Chinese political arena. The only intellectuals who might have played some counterbalancing role were suppressed, and the Communist Party-state system became more and more like a giant monster that operated according to its own logic of development. Mao Zedong relied on this behemoth to launch the Great Leap Forward.”
History scholar Song Yongyi of the University of California says that the number of intellectuals who died in the Anti-Rightist Movement was not large compared to successive Communist movements. However, the Anti-Rightist Movement killed Chinese intellectuals, both inside and outside the Party, in terms of their spiritual and social status.
He told Voice of America; “The most important thing about the role of intellectuals in a society is that it has independence and a supervisory role over the regime. The way things were done in ’57 and ’58, all the intellectuals were made to lose their independence completely. There is a saying in academic circles that the ’57 anti-right succeeded in wiping out intellectuals as a modern social group ideologically and status-wise.”
Many analysts later argued that the subsequent “Great Leap Forward” and “Cultural Revolution” were closely related to the collective silencing of China’s intellectuals. The power of the Communist Party and Mao Zedong was lost after the “anti-rightist” movement.
The “Great Leap Forward” led to the “Great Famine” and the death of tens of millions of peasants
“The Great Leap Forward is probably one of the few campaigns in the history of the CCP that did not specifically create “class enemies”. However, due to the CCP’s wrong policies, this movement eventually led to the largest number of deaths. As many as 35 to 40 million people (some believe 45 million) died in the “Great Famine” caused by the “Great Leap Forward,” almost all of them peasants.
From 1959 to 1961, China experienced a rare “Great Famine”. In the cities, people bought food with tickets and could not get enough to eat every day; in the countryside, peasants ate not only roots and bark, but also people.
However, in the history of the Communist Party, “famine” is still a taboo word, replaced by “three years of natural disasters” or “three years of hardship”. The new version of the Brief History does not even mention the specific term “three-year natural disaster”, but only the “leftist process” in the “anti-rightist” struggle, the “natural disaster” and the “three-year difficult period. “Natural disasters” and “the Soviet government’s treachery and breaking of contracts” left New China facing “unprecedented economic difficulties.
Yang Jijian, a former senior journalist for Xinhua News Agency, visited a dozen of the worst-hit provinces, interviewed the people involved, and reviewed numerous archival documents to write his book “Tombstone: A Chronicle of the Great Famine of the 1960s in China,” which describes the “Great Famine.
In a 2012 interview with the Voice of America, he also said that the tragedy was not a natural disaster, but a man-made one, directly caused by the “Great Leap Forward” policy promoted by the Chinese Communist Party. According to Yang, 36 million people died in China between 1958 and 1962 as a result of unnatural deaths.
He said, “The Great Famine should be said to be linked to the ‘Three Red Flags’. The so-called ‘three red flags’ are the Great Leap Forward, the General Line and the People’s Commune. …… So precisely because the ‘three red flags’ created national chaos and caused the Great Famine, the ‘three red flags’ were the direct cause of the Great Famine.”
In May 1958, the Second Session of the Eighth Congress of the Communist Party of China formally adopted the general line of “exerting full efforts, striving for upstream, and building socialism with much speed and good economy”, and the “Great Leap Forward” movement was developed nationwide from then on.
On the industrial front, in order to implement Mao Zedong’s goal of doubling steel production compared with 1957 and achieving the goal of catching up with Britain in steel production in 15 years ahead of schedule, the CPC launched a mass movement of steel production. In order to provide the raw materials and fuel needed for the great steelmaking, trees were cut down in large numbers in various places, iron farming tools and other means of production were destroyed as raw materials for steelmaking, and a large number of rural laborers left agricultural production for the great steelmaking, resulting in many crops rotting in the ground unharvested. In agriculture, people claimed that grain production increased dramatically, and news of tens of thousands of pounds of grain per mu was frequently reported.
In addition to the tremendous impact of the steel-making on China’s agriculture, the “pompous wind” in agriculture pushed farmers further into desperation. Scientists, including missile expert Qian Xuesen, also endorsed the “pompous wind”, saying that the annual yield of rice and wheat can reach “40,000 jins”.
Yang Jijian said: “Anyway, the satellite was released high, the grain yield was reported high, and the requisition of grain was high. You originally produced 10,000 pounds of grain, I requisitioned two thousand pounds; if you are 100,000 pounds of grain, I will requisition 20,000 pounds. The so-called levy purchase is two words, levy is the levy, is the public grain, which is mandatory; purchase is the acquisition of surplus grain, surplus grain are to be sold to the state. Farmers which have what surplus food, rations. Feed are when the surplus grain acquisition went.
According to Yang Jijian, the public canteens established during the “Great Leap Forward” were also one of the reasons why the peasants were starved to death. “The canteens became a means for the cadres to control the peasants, withholding food at every turn. If you didn’t do as you were told today, you were not allowed to eat. Withholding food is a relatively common phenomenon, everywhere. Withholding for one day, two days, withholding for three days is starvation, and many people died of hunger at the door of the canteen.”
In January 1960, when the famine was severe and a large number of peasants were starving to death, the rulers deliberately increased grain stocks.
According to the information, April 1959 to April 1960 was the year when the most people died of starvation in the country. During this period, the country’s grain stock reached a high of 88.703 billion jin and a low of 40.35 billion jin, enough to feed more than 100 million people for a year. Yang Jijian believes that such a stockpile, take out half of it will not let anyone starve to death.
In January 1962, at the “Seven Thousand People’s Conference” to sum up the failure of the Great Leap Forward and the People’s Commune Movement in 1958, then President Liu Shaoqi said that the “Great Famine” was caused by “seven parts man-made disaster and three parts natural disaster. Three parts were natural disasters”.
The Cultural Revolution, a national catastrophe
The new edition of “A Brief History of the Chinese Communist Party” uses the statement made in the 1981 resolution of the CPC Central Committee on the “Cultural Revolution” and other historical issues to comment on the “Cultural Revolution” from May 1966 to October 1976. It (the Cultural Revolution) was a civil strife that was wrongly started by the leaders and exploited by counter-revolutionary groups, bringing serious disasters to the Party, the country and the people of all ethnic groups, and leaving behind extremely painful lessons,” the Brief History says.
According to Song Yongyi, a history scholar at California State University and an expert on the history of the Cultural Revolution, even with this characterization, the rejection of the Cultural Revolution is not complete.
In a recent article titled “Dangerous Signs: Xi’s Brief History of the Chinese Communist Party” either explicitly or implicitly reverses the blame for the Cultural Revolution, he writes: “The blame for the Cultural Revolution is shifted from Mao Zedong, the initiator, to the so-called ‘counter-revolutionary group. It is unconvincing and smacks of excusing Mao and whitewashing him. What is known is that the so-called ‘Gang of Four’ counter-revolutionary group’ was not headed by Mao’s wife Jiang Qing, but in fact by Mao: not the ‘Gang of Four’ but the ‘Gang of Five ‘”
He argued that it was equally unconvincing to shift the blame to the “Lin Biao counter-revolutionary group. After all, Mao had considered the launching of the Cultural Revolution and the establishment of New China as the two major events in his life.
Unlike previous Party histories, the new version of the Brief History of the CPC also includes the Cultural Revolution in the process of “arduous exploration. According to Song Yongyi, the new version of the Party history is an attempt to rehabilitate the Cultural Revolution. In his view, the new version of the Brief History tries to “gloss over” the mistakes of Mao and the ruling party by using the frivolous word “exploration”.
The Brief History justifies Mao’s initiation of the civil unrest. The Brief History says that the Cultural Revolution was one of Mao’s ongoing explorations to find China’s own way to build socialism. It was only the “unclear understanding of the laws of the construction and development of socialist society” that “eventually led to civil unrest.” In addition, the Brief History devotes nearly half of its pages to “major achievements” in economics, foreign affairs, and defense science and technology during the Cultural Revolution, in an attempt to dilute and conceal the political disaster.
A growing number of experts believe that the cause of the Cultural Revolution was a power struggle at the top of China’s hierarchy. This was not only the trigger for the Cultural Revolution, but also a running theme throughout the Cultural Revolution. Chinese scholar Zhang Xian Yang once concluded that Mao Zedong’s motivation for launching the Cultural Revolution was “fear of usurping power during his life and fear of being whipped after his death.
Speaking to Voice of America on the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution, Gao Wenqian, a scholar of Chinese Communist Party history and author of the book Zhou Enlai in Later Years, said that Mao launched the Cultural Revolution in order to “seize power.
Gao Wenqian said, “The reason why Mao started the Cultural Revolution, in his own words, as he told Snow, was because ‘power was slipping away,’ so to speak, and the Cultural Revolution was a movement to seize power that Mao himself started and led. The ‘Cultural Revolution’ was a campaign led by Mao himself to seize power.
Because of the failure of the Great Leap Forward and the People’s Commune Movement in 1958, Mao’s position in the Party was shaken. After the “Seven Thousand People’s Congress” in 1962, Mao retired to the second line, and Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping presided over the daily affairs of the Central Committee.
On August 5, 1966, Mao Zedong wrote “Cannonballing the Commanding General – A Large Character Poster of Mine”, directly targeting Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping. In October of the same year, Liu Shaoqi was expelled from the Party and secretly imprisoned, and died in custody in 1969. Deng Xiaoping was also brought down.
A Brief History of the Communist Party of China (CPC) acknowledges that the Cultural Revolution led to “a great weakening of the Party’s organization and state power, the brutal persecution of a large number of cadres and the masses, and the wanton trampling of democracy and the rule of law. The country was plunged into a serious political and social crisis. The Brief History makes no specific mention of the devastating political, social, economic and cultural impact of the Cultural Revolution, let alone the unnatural deaths of tens of millions of people as a result of the Cultural Revolution.
“At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, Mao Zedong encouraged the entire population to “rebel”. The so-called “Red Guards”, composed of high school and university students, kicked off the rebellion. Under the slogan of “Revolution is not a crime, rebellion is justified”, the “Red Guards” all over the country broke the “Four Olds” and beat up the “cow devils and snake gods”. The “Four Olds” were broken, and “cow devils and snake gods” were beaten. Countless precious cultural relics and monuments were damaged and destroyed all over the country.
“Soon after the start of the Cultural Revolution, the “rebel faction” seized power on a large scale and established revolutionary committees to replace party and government organs. Far more than half of the party and government officials, including senior Communist Party officials, were overthrown by the rebels, and governments at all levels were paralyzed. Many people were persecuted to death during the Cultural Revolution, including senior CCP officials. In addition to Liu Shaoqi, the military’s Peng Dehuai and He Long, as well as Vice Premier Tao Zhuo, were all persecuted to death during the Cultural Revolution. By the CCP’s own count, more than 60,000 cadres were persecuted to death.
Intellectuals also became one of the primary targets of the beatings, and were regarded as bourgeois reactionary academic authorities, the “stinking old niners”, and were widely criticized and persecuted. Famous intellectuals, such as Lao She and Fu Lei, were persecuted and died by suicide.
“During the Cultural Revolution, school work was completely paralyzed. In 1968, Mao Zedong called out, “It is necessary for intellectual youth to go to the countryside and receive re-education from the poor peasants.” Some 16 million middle and high school graduates then entered China’s rural areas.
Armed conflicts, commonly known as “martial fighting,” were common throughout the country. China’s military has also been partially involved in such “martial fighting,” even using modern weapons including tanks and anti-aircraft guns. In Guangxi province alone, according to a Communist Party document, “A Chronology of the Cultural Revolution in Guangxi,” 200,000 people were killed over a period of six months to a year in 1968 when the army rounded up a faction of rebels.
Some people were brutally slaughtered during the Cultural Revolution. There were mass killings in Beijing, Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Guangdong and Yunnan. According to official Chinese sources, 325 landowners and rich peasants and their families were killed in thirteen communes in Daxing County, Beijing, between August 27 and September 1, 1966. Among the victims, the oldest was 80 years old and the youngest was 38 days old, and 22 families were killed.
The number of people affected by the “Cultural Revolution” was countless. Hu Yaobang, the former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, also said that the Cultural Revolution had persecuted more than 100 million Chinese people. Xi Jinping’s father, Xi Zhongxun, was also persecuted and censored during the Cultural Revolution, and Xi Jinping himself was also implicated.
Xi’s own difficult experiences during the Cultural Revolution and his family’s misfortunes during the Cultural Revolution had led some people to have illusions about him when he first took office, hoping that he would use his power to completely repudiate the Cultural Revolution and abandon Mao’s teachings. “The government’s policy has not been well received.
Since taking office, however, Xi has increasingly resembled Mao, chasing personal power and promoting the cult of the individual. He has also proposed “two non-repudiation”: the first 30 years of reform and opening up should not be used to negate the second 30 years of reform and opening up, and the second 30 years should not be used to negate the first 30 years. This is considered to be a defense of the Mao era and the spirit of the Cultural Revolution.