Saturday, April 16, 2016

China Wants To Forget About The Cultural Revolution

Kerry Brown: The Cultural Revolution: An Anniversary Steeped in Embarrassment

The 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution will pass in silence if China’s leaders have their way.

The People’s Republic of China is run by people who like to celebrate anniversaries. The marking of the centenary of the foundation of the Communist Party in 2021–despite not happening for another five years–in some senses has already started, enshrined in the centennial goals that Xi Jinping and his colleagues have been heralding for the last year or so. Anniversaries for the start of reform (40 years in 2018), the 40th anniversary of the death of Mao Zedong (September this year), and a dozen other large and small things litter the calendar of leaders, taking up a surprising amount of their time through attendance at commemorative events.

This proclivity to hold a large event to mark important occasions means the likely universal silence in China around the moment in mid-May when most agree the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was formally launched half a century ago is all the more striking. The largest of all the mass campaigns inspired by Mao Zedong, it was, in his own words, his greatest achievement after leading the Communists to victory against the Japanese and the KMT. Mao even suggested close to his death that Cultural Revolutions needed to occur continuously, and be repeated every few decades or so. How can China’s leaders say, as they often do, that they regard Mao as a great leader, and yet not acknowledge an event he himself saw as a core part of his historic legacy?

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WNU Editor: The funny thing about this Chinese government desire to "bury the memory of the Cultural revolution" is that it is a subject that they themselves are always talking about .... at least with me for as long as I can remember. Among all of my senior Chinese contacts .... they have all shared with me their experiences during the Cultural revolution .... and (to put it bluntly) none of it was good. In a certain way the Chinese leadership .... like the Russian leadership .... have made a policy decision to bury this part of the past .... at least unofficially. But it is not buried .... nor will it ever be buried. Every Chinese and Russian citizen has a family history that is tied directly during these periods of time, and family history being what it is .... no future generations will ever be positioned to forget what happened in the 20th century .... I know mine will never forget.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Mao started the Cultural Revolution to get back into power after the Party retired him.

All the deaths from that Revolution are on him.

All the fellow travelers in the West that admire Mao should be made to lay in the bed they help create.