40

Yes we have at least one account of cannibalism. First source: A teenage orphan kills and eats her four-year-old brother. Guardian Second source: I didn't know that there were thousands of cases of cannibalism. . . . People ate corpses and fought for the bodies. In Gansu they killed outsiders; people told me strangers passed through and they killed ...


34

Jung Chang -author of bestseller Wild Swans (Harper Collins, London 1992) together with her husband, British sinologist, Jon Halliday, in their biography, Mao,The Unknown Story (Cape, London 2005) assert that it happened. During the famine, some resorted to cannibalism. One post-Mao study (promptly suppressed), of Fengyang county in Anhui province, ...


26

The critical issue was that, for the Chinese Communist Party, the priority was the development of a Common Spoken Language nationwide, which turned out to be Mandarin based on the Peking/Beijing dialect. This then needed to be taught to those who used other dialects or other mutually unintelligible Chinese spoken languages. Classical written Chinese was ...


20

Incompetency and deliberate malice First of all, we should note that in years immediately after the end of civil war in 1949, China was still largely backward agricultural society. Apparently, only 3% of the population lived in urban settlements . Agriculture was based on small households with relatively primitive and obsolete farming techniques. Couple ...


13

Knowing why a dead person believes something or not is hard; but what we can tell is that Mao believed that the Great Leap Forward would work, either out of incompetence or arrogance, and he had managed to silence his critics and those that would have forseen the disaster. In this sense he is far from alone in history; a most similar example would be Stalin ...


12

The evidence is very strong that cases of cannibalism happened, especially during the Great Leap Famine (1958-1961), but also during the Cultural Revolution. The other answers offer some good references from journalistic sources and general survey histories. This has also received more detailed attention in the historical scholarship and from Chinese ...


7

The Chinese Communist party has, from its earliest establishment, made it a practice to carefully control weapons in its areas of control. In this respect it is not much different than most political and military movements that are attempting to gain control of a territory or overthrow a state. The degree of strictness the party authorities took with view ...


6

False god of communism When we look at communism, we must first notice that this is a revolutionary movement that wants complete change of society. Or in other words, not just change people in power (Peter instead of Paul), not just change form of government (president instead of monarch), but also do away with existing production, social and religious norms....


6

Let's be more specific about what we mean by "de-Stalinization", "de-Maoization" and what they actually entail. Just because we don't call it de-Maoization doesn't mean there weren't drastic political changes after Mao's death, analogous to Stalin's death. True, Mao's images weren't taken down nearly to the same extent as Stalin's were. I assert that this ...


6

To quote Felix Wemheuer - Famine Politics in Maoist China nad the Soviet Union: One question that remains unanswered is why the Chinese Communists learned so little from the Soviet experience of famine. The three famines after the October Revolution ought to have given rise to a clear awareness that a radical transformation of society could lead to famine. ...


5

I have a book in my library a book on this subject: Becoming Evil, How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing, by James Waller. Its the hardest read I own, but I understand it has become one of the (if not the) standard texts on the subject. It starts by establishing a couple of things that I think would be useful to you. First off, one person didn'...


5

Deng was paraphrasing a well-known Chinese proverb. Context change in the Chinese foreign policy, and avoidance of conflict with the great powers (mostly the US, USSR collapsed soon after) . Before Deng Xiaoping , Chinese policy was to criticize the USA and the USSR on ideological grounds, and sometimes confront them directly (Korea, Vietnam, Sino-Soviet ...


4

Yes. 20th of December, 1977 edition of People's Daily, on the nation-wide announcement of the Second Round of Simplified Chinese Characters. The prominent quotation on the top right is as follows: 毛主席語錄 文字必須改革,要走世界文字共同的拼音方向。 Quotations from Chairman Mao The writing system must be reformed; we must move in the direction of a ...


4

One of my great grandfathers was sent to a concentration camp and died there during the Cultural revolution only because he was a successful businessman, which was one of Mao's 'black categories' and my grandma was forced to drop out from medical school. She was then transported from Shanghai to a small town near the border with Russia; she worked there as a ...


4

Any time anyone makes a "top N" list, there are endless complaints about why X was left out or why Y is in the list (but not X). It's very hard to address these complaints. In this case, you could level the same complaint about why cockroaches weren't in the list, or bed bugs, lice, ticks, and so on. Here's why sparrows were included: they were a common ...


3

This question includes a classic stereo type about Chinese people - that they are subservient and obedient to the whim and whimsy of government rule. People loved Mao - and they still revere him today. A simple diktat from the government would not cause everyone to instantaneous change their minds. In the early 1980's, historian and scholars - with Deng's ...


2

There was nothing strange about either the Soviet or the Chinese leadership pushing through collectivization of agriculture though it was obvious that this would cause output decline, food availability deficit, and high mortality among large sections of the peasantry as well as some shortages in the Cities. Nevertheless, if the proletarian revolution was to ...


1

Mao's attacks on Confucianism started with a "Criticize Lin, criticize Confucius campaign. It started with an attack on the "hegemons," or what we westerners would call the "patriarchy," of which Confucius was the prime (Chinese) example. It continued with attacks on Communist leaders, Lin Biao, and later Zhou En Lai, who were rivals ...


1

I learned from China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed that there are three solutions to the drawbacks of a socialist economy: rely on the experts and scientific management; import market as a supplement to the planned economy; use political mobilization and promote party leadership and hard work Mao chose the third one because he had tried that in ...


1

This falls under the heading of "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics." The first issue was "statistics." In 1957, there was a genuine but short-lived uptick in the amount of grain produced in China, 193 million tons. (Source: Time Magazine, Country volumes, China.) This was due to unusually good weather, but it led Mao to believe that he could "spare" some farm ...


1

It appears that was killed in a napalm strike by U.S. forces, although there is at least a slight possibility that the responsible aircrafts was South African. By then four US bombers had flown past the village where the headquaters was located. People thought the bombers went to bomb the Yalu River bridge. Mao Anying and the soldier went into the ...


1

You can read about self-criticism during the Cultural Revolution in "Fanshen" by William Howard Hinton. - 1966, Fanshen: A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village


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