Cultural Revolution

For Iran's Islamic Cultural Revolution, see Iran's Cultural Revolution of 1980-1987.

History of the
People's Republic of China

    1949–1976, The Mao Era
        Korean War
        Hundred Flowers Campaign
        Anti-Rightist Movement
        Great Leap Forward
            Three Years of Natural Disasters
        Cultural Revolution
            Lin Biao
            Gang of Four
            Tiananmen Incident
    1976–1989, Era of Reconstruction
        Economic reform
        Tiananmen protests
    1989–2002, A Rising Power
        One Country, Two Systems
            Hong Kong
        Chinese reunification
    2002–present, China Today
   See also:
'''        History of China
'''        History of Beijing
'''        History of Shanghai
Prominent leaders
Mao - Deng - Jiang - Hu
Other China topics
Culture - Economy
Geography - Politics - Education
This box:     [ edit]
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution [1] in the People's Republic of China was a struggle for power within the Communist Party of China that manifested into wide-scale social, political, and economic chaos, which grew to include large sections of Chinese society and eventually brought the entire country to the brink of civil war.

It was launched by the Communist Party of China's Chairman, Mao Zedong on May 16, 1966, officially as a campaign to rid China of its "liberal bourgeoisie" elements and to continue revolutionary class struggle. It is widely recognized, however, as a method to regain control of the party after the disastrous Great Leap Forward led to a significant loss of Mao's power to rivals Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping, and would eventually manifest into waves of power struggles between rival factions both nationally and locally.

Although Mao himself officially declared the Cultural Revolution to have ended in 1969, the term is today widely used to also include the period between 1969 and the arrest of the Gang of Four in 1976.


Between 1966 and 1968, Mao's principal lieutenants youth militia called the Red Guards to overthrow Mao's perceived enemies and seize control of the state and party apparatus, replacing the Central Committee with the Cultural Revolution Committee, and local governments with revolutionary committees. In the chaos and violence that ensued, many revolutionary elders, authors, artists, and religious figures were purged and killed, millions of people were persecuted, and as many as half a million people died.[2]

The official historical view of the Communist Party of China on the Cultural Revolution and Mao's role within it is incorporated in the 'Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party Since the Founding of the People's Republic of China' adopted on June 27, 1981. In this document, it is stated that the "Chief responsibility for the grave 'Left' error of the 'Cultural Revolution,' an error comprehensive in magnitude and protracted in duration, does indeed lie with Comrade Mao Zedong" and that the Cultural Revolution was carried out "under the mistaken leadership of Mao Zedong, which was manipulated by the counterrevolutionary group of Lin Biao and Jiang Qing and brought serious disaster and turmoil to the Party and the Chinese people." This official view, which has since become the dominant framework for the Chinese historiography of the Cultural Revolution, separates the personal actions of Mao during the Cultural Revolution from his earlier heroism and it also separates Mao's personal mistakes from the correctness of the theory that he created.

The Cultural Revolution remains a sensitive issue within the People's Republic of China. While there is little censorship of descriptions of events of the Cultural Revolution, historical views which run counter to the version outlined in the 1981 Resolution are routinely censored (including suggestions that the Cultural Revolution was a good thing or that Mao was more or less culpable than the official history indicates).


Social background

Prior to the Cultural Revolution, most of the intimidation tactics were already established from the earlier Yan'an Rectification Movement. The political changes after the 1949 Communist takeover also resulted in sweeping social changes, particularly the labeling of much of the former ruling class and intelligentsia as rightists and "revisionists," "black elements" or "black gang elements". Their houses were confiscated, and any items that did not conform to Mao's values were smashed. Hardly any family with a problematic record against the system could escape the turmoil.[3]

In the initial preparation, the "Central Press and Broadcasting Bureau" was the driver in pushing all schools, army units, and public organizations at all levels to install public loudspeakers and radio receivers. The Central People's Broadcasting Station was the main instrument established as part of the "Politics on Demand" concept. By the 1960s, 70 million speakers would reach the rural population of 400 million.[4].

Great Leap Forward

In 1957, after China's first Five-Year Plan, Mao Zedong called for an increase in the speed of the growth of "actual socialism" in China (as opposed to "dictatorial socialism"). To accomplish this goal, Mao began the Great Leap Forward, establishing special communes (Cultural nexus of power) in the countryside through the usage of collective labor and mass mobilization. The Great Leap Forward was intended to increase the production of steel and to raise agricultural production to twice 1957 levels.<ref name="Tang" />

However, industries went into turmoil because peasants were producing too much low quality steel while other areas were neglected. Furthermore, the peasantry, as agriculturalists, were poorly equipped and ill-trained to produce steel, partially relying on such mechanisms as backyard furnaces to achieve production goals, which had been mandated by the local cadres. Meanwhile, farming implements like rakes were melted down for steel, impeding agricultural production. This led to a decline in the production of most goods other than steel. To make matters worse, in order to avoid punishment, local authorities frequently reported grossly unrealistic production numbers, which hid the problem for years, intensifying it. Having barely recovered from decades of war, the Chinese economy was again in a shambles. Steel production did show significant growth, to over 14 million tons of steel a year, from the previous 5.2 million. The original goal was to produce an overly optimistic and, in hindsight, unrealistic 30 million tons of steel, though that was later revised down to twenty million. However, much of the steel produced was impure and useless. In the meantime, chaos in the collectives and unfortunate climatic conditions resulted in widespread famine, while Mao continued to export grain to "save face" with the outside world. According to various sources,[5] the death toll due to famine may have been as high as 20 to 30 million.

In the 1959 Lushan meeting of the Central Committee, Military General Peng Dehuai criticized Mao's policies on the Great Leap in a private letter. Peng wrote that the Great Leap was plagued by mismanagement and "petty-bourgeois fanaticism". Although Mao made repeated self-criticisms in speeches for the Great Leap Forward and called for the dismantling of the communes in 1959, he insisted that the Great Leap was 70% correct overall. Also in 1959, Mao resigned as chairman of the PRC, and the government was then run by other leaders such as the new chairman Liu Shaoqi, Premier Zhou Enlai and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) general secretary Deng Xiaoping. Mao still remained chairman of the CCP. Politically, Mao formed an alliance with Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping, in which he granted them day-to-day control over the country, in return for framing Peng and accusing him of being a "right opportunist".

Among Liu's and Deng's reforms were a partial retreat from collectivism, seen as more pragmatic and more effective. Liu Shaoqi declared famously, "buying is better than manufacturing, and renting is better than buying", opening a new economic frontier in China that contradicted Mao's self-sufficiency ideals.[6]

Increasing conflict between Mao Zedong and Liu Shaoqi

In China, the three years beginning with 1959 were known as the Three Years of Natural Disasters. Food was in desperate shortage, and production fell dramatically. By the end of the Three Years of Natural Disasters, which was the direct result of the failed Great Leap Forward campaign, an estimated 38 million people had died from widespread famine.

Liu Shaoqi decided to end many Leap policies, such as rural communes, and to restore the economic policies used before the Great Leap Forward.

Because of the success of his economic reforms, Liu had won prestige in the eyes of many party members both in the central government and among the masses. Together with Deng Xiaoping, Liu began planning to gradually retire Mao from any real power, and to turn him into a figurehead. To restore his political base, and to eliminate his opposition, Mao initiated the Socialist Education Movement, in 1963.

Mao later admitted to some general mistakes, while strongly defending the Great Leap Forward in concept. One great irony of the Socialist Education Movement is that it called for grassroots action, yet was directed by Mao himself. This movement, aimed primarily at schoolchildren, did not have any immediate effect on Chinese politics, but it did influence a generation of youths, upon whom Mao could draw for support in the future.

In 1963, Mao began attacking Liu Shaoqi openly, stating that the idealism of "the struggle of the classes" must always be fully understood and applied; yearly, monthly, and daily. By 1964, the Socialist Education Movement had become the new "Four Cleanups Movement", with the stated goal of the cleansing of politics, economics, ideas, and organization. The Movement was directed politically against Liu.

Immediate influences

Enlarge picture
Chinese poster saying: "Smash the old world / Establish a new world." Classical example of the Red art from the early Cultural Revolution. A worker (or possibly Red Guard) crushes the crucifix, Buddha and classical Chinese texts with his hammer; 1967

In late 1959, historian and Beijing Deputy Mayor Wu Han published the first version of a historical drama entitled "Hai Rui Dismissed from Office" (pinyin: Hai Rui Ba Guan, Chinese: 海瑞罢官). In the play, a virtuous official (Hai Rui) was dismissed by a corrupt emperor.

The play initially received praise from Mao. In 1965, Mao Zedong's wife Jiang Qing and her protégé Yao Wenyuan—who at the time was a little-known editor of a prominent newspaper in Shanghai—published an article criticising the play. They labeled it a "poisonous weed" and an attack on Mao, using the allegory of Mao Zedong as the corrupt emperor and Peng Dehuai as the virtuous official.

The Shanghai newspaper article received much publicity nationwide, with many other prominent newspapers asking for publication rights. Beijing Mayor Peng Zhen, a supporter of Wu Han, established a committee studying the recent publication and emphasizing that the criticism had gone too far. On February 12, 1966, this committee, called the "Group of Five in Charge of the Cultural Revolution," issued an "Outline Report on the Current Academic Discussion", which later became known as the "February Outline". In this document the group emphasized that the dispute over Hai Rui Dismissed From Office was academic rather than political.

In May, 1966, Jiang Qing and Yao Wenyuan once again published various articles with content denouncing both Wu Han and Peng Zhen. On May 16, following Mao's lead, the Politburo issued a formal notice representing figuratively the beginning of the Cultural Revolution. In this document, titled "Notification from the Central Committee of Communist Party of China," Peng Zhen was sharply criticized, and the "Group of Five" was disbanded. "Completely penetrated with double-dealing, the theses furiously attacked the Great cultural revolution, personally developed and managed by comrade Mao Zedong, the instructions of comrade Mao Zedong concerning criticism of Wu Han," stated the "Notification." One year later, on May 18, 1967 this "Notification" was called "a great historical document developed under the direct management of our great leader comrade Mao Zedong" in the editorial section of People's Daily.

Enlarge picture
Chinese poster showing Jiang Qing, saying: "Let the new socialistic performing arts occupy every stage.", 1967
In a later meeting of the Politburo in 1966, the new Cultural Revolution Group (CRG) was formed. On May 18, Lin Biao said in a speech that "Chairman Mao is a genius, everything the Chairman says is truly great; one of the Chairman's words will override the meaning of tens of thousands of ours." Thus started the first phase of Mao's cult of personality led by Jiang Qing, Lin Biao, and others. At this time, Jiang and Lin had already seized some actual power. On May 25, a young teacher of philosophy at Peking University, Nie Yuanzi, wrote a dazibao ("big-character poster") where the rector of the university and other professors were labeled "black anti-Party gangsters". Some days later, Mao Zedong ordered the text of this big-character poster to be broadcast nationwide and called it "the first Marxist dazibao in China." On May 29, 1966, at the Middle School attached to Tsinghua University, the first organization of Red Guards was formed. It was aimed at punishing and neutralizing both intellectuals and Mao's political enemies.

On June 1, 1966, the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the CCP, stated that all "imperialists", "people with affiliations with imperialists", "imperialistic intellectuals", et al., must be purged. Soon a movement began, that was aimed at purging university presidents and other prominent intellectuals. On July 28, 1966, representatives of the Red Guards wrote a formal letter to Mao, stating that mass purges, and all such-related social and political phenomena were justified and right. Mao responded with his full support in an article entitled "Bombard the Headquarters", thus began the Cultural Revolution.[7]


1966: The 16 Points and the Red Guards

On August 8, 1966, the Central Committee of the CCP passed its "Decision Concerning the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution" (also known as "the 16 Points").[8] This decision defined the GPCR as "a great revolution that touches people to their very souls and constitutes a new stage in the development of the socialist revolution in our country, a deeper and more extensive stage":

Although the bourgeoisie has been overthrown, it is still trying to use the old ideas, culture, customs, and habits of the exploiting classes to corrupt the masses, capture their minds, and endeavor to stage a comeback. The proletariat must do just the opposite: It must meet head-on every challenge of the bourgeoisie in the ideological field and use the new ideas, culture, customs, and habits of the proletariat to change the mental outlook of the whole of society. At present, our objective is to struggle against and crush those persons in authority who are taking the capitalist road, to criticize and repudiate the reactionary bourgeois academic "authorities" and the ideology of the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes and to transform education, literature and art, and all other parts of the superstructure that do not correspond to the socialist economic base, so as to facilitate the consolidation and development of the socialist system.

The decision thus took the already existing student movement and elevated it to the level of a nationwide mass campaign, calling on not only students but also "the masses of the workers, peasants, soldiers, revolutionary intellectuals, and revolutionary cadres" to carry out the task of "transforming the superstructure" by writing big-character posters and holding "great debates." One of the main focuses of the Cultural Revolution was the abolishment of the Four Olds: Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas. The decision granted people the most extensive freedom of speech the People's Republic has ever seen, but this was a freedom severely determined by the Maoist ideological climate and, ultimately, by the People's Liberation Army and Mao's authority over the Army, as points 15 and 16 already made clear. The freedoms granted in the 16 Points were later written into the PRC constitution as "the four great rights (四大自由)" of "great democracy (大民主)": the right to speak out freely, to air one's views fully, to write big-character posters, and to hold great debates (大鸣、大放、大字报、大辩论 - the first two are basically synonyms). (In other contexts the second was sometimes replaced by 大串联 - the right to "link up," meaning for students to cut class and travel across the country to meet other young activists and propagate Mao Zedong Thought.) These freedoms were supplemented by the right to strike, although this right was severely attenuated by the Army's entrance onto the stage of civilian mass politics in February 1967. All of these rights were deleted from the constitution after Deng's government suppressed the Democracy Wall movement in 1979.

On August 16, 1966, millions of Red Guards from all over the country gathered in Beijing for a peek at the Chairman. On top of the Tiananmen Square gate, Mao and Lin Biao made frequent appearances to approximately 11 million Red Guards, receiving cheers each time. Mao praised their actions in the recent campaigns to develop socialism and democracy.

During the Destruction of Four Olds campaign, religious affairs of all types were persecuted and discouraged by the Red Guards. Many religious buildings such as churches and temples were looted and destroyed.[9] The most gruesome aspects of the campaign were the torture and killing of innocent people and the suicides that were the final options of many who suffered beatings and humiliation. In August and September, there were 1,772 people murdered in Beijing alone. In Shanghai in September there were 704 suicides and 534 deaths related to the Cultural Revolution. In Wuhan during this time there were 62 suicides and 32 murders.[10] The authorities were discouraged from stopping the violence of the Red Guards. Said Xie Fu-zhi, national police chief: "If people are beaten to death . . . its none of our business. If you detain those who beat people to death . . . you will be making a big mistake."[11]

For two years, until July 1968 (and in some places for much longer), student activists such as the Red Guards expanded their areas of authority, and accelerated their efforts at socialist reconstruction. They began by passing out leaflets explaining their actions to develop and strengthen socialism, and posting the names of suspected "counter-revolutionaries" on bulletin boards. They assembled in large groups, held "great debates," and wrote educational plays. They held public meetings to criticize and solicit self-criticisms from suspected "counter-revolutionaries." Although the 16 Points and other pronouncements of the central Maoist leaders forbade "physical struggle (武斗)" in favor of "verbal struggle" (文斗), these "struggle sessions" often led to physical violence. Initially verbal struggles among activist groups became even more violent, especially when activists began to seize weapons from the Army in 1967. The central Maoist leaders limited their intervention in activist violence to verbal criticism, sometimes even appearing to encourage "physical struggle," and only after the weapons seizures did they begin to suppress the mass movement.

Liu Shaoqi was sent to a detention camp, where he later died in 1969. Deng Xiaoping, who was himself sent away for a period of re-education three times, was eventually sent to work in an engine factory, until he was brought back years later by Zhou Enlai. But most of those accused were not so lucky, and many of them never returned.

The work of the Red Guards was praised by Mao Zedong. On August 22, 1966, Mao issued a public notice, which stopped "all police intervention in Red Guard tactics and actions." Those in the police force who dared to defy this notice, were labeled "counter-revolutionaries."

On September 5, 1966, yet another notice was issued, encouraging all Red Guards to come to Beijing over a stretch of time. All fees, including accommodation and transportation, were to be paid by the government. On October 10, 1966, Mao's ally, General Lin Biao, publicly criticized Liu and Deng as "capitalist roaders" and "threats". Later, Peng Dehuai was brought to Beijing to be publicly displayed and ridiculed; he was then purged.

1967: Political power struggles

On January 3, 1967, Lin Biao and Jiang Qing manipulated the media and local cadres to create the so-called "January Storm", in which many prominent Shanghai municipal government leaders were heavily criticized and purged.[12] This paved the way for Wang Hongwen to hold real power in the city and in the city's CCP power apparatus as the leader of the Municipal Revolutionary Committee. The Municipal government was defunct. In Beijing, Liu and Deng were once again the targets of criticism, but others, who were not as engaged in the CCP criticism sessions, like Chen Boda and Kang Sheng, pointed at the wrong-doings of the Vice Premier, Tao Zhu. Thus started a political struggle among central government officials and local party cadres, who seized the Cultural Revolution as an opportunity to accuse rivals of "counter-revolutionary activity" as the paranoia spread.

On January 8, Mao praised these actions through the People's Daily, urging all local governmental leaders to rise in self-criticism, or the criticism and purging of others. This started the massive power struggles which took the form of purge after purge among local governments, some of which stopped functioning altogether. Involvement in some sort of "revolutionary" activity was the only way to avoid being purged, but it was no guarantee.

In February, Jiang Qing and Lin Biao, with permission from Mao, insisted that the "class struggles" be extended to the military. Many prominent generals of the People's Liberation Army who were instrumental in the founding of the PRC voiced their great concern and opposition to the "mistake of the Cultural Revolution". Former Foreign Minister Chen Yi, angered at a Politburo meeting, said that the new factions were going to completely destroy the military, and in turn the party. Other generals, including Nie Rongzhen, He Long, and Xu Xiangqian expressed their extreme discontent. They were subsequently denounced on national media, controlled by Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan, as the "February Counter-current forces". They were all eventually purged by Red Guards. At the same time, many large and prominent Red Guard organizations rose in protest against other Red Guard organizations who ran dissimilar revolutionary messages, further complicating the situation and exacerbating the chaos. This led to a notice to stop all unhealthy activity within the Red Guards from Jiang Qing. On April 6, Liu Shaoqi was openly and widely denounced by a Zhongnanhai faction whose members included Jiang Qing and Kang Sheng, and ultimately, Mao himself. This was followed by a protest and mass demonstrations, most notably in Wuhan on July 20, where Jiang openly denounced any "counter-revolutionary activity"; she later personally flew to Wuhan to criticize Chen Zaidao, the general in charge of the Wuhan area.

On July 22, Jiang Qing directed the Red Guards to replace the People's Liberation Army if necessary, and thereby to render the existing forces powerless. After the initial praise by Jiang Qing, the Red Guards began to steal and loot from barracks and other army buildings. This activity, which could not be stopped by army generals, continued until the autumn of 1968.

1968: the Cult of personality

In the spring of 1968, a massive campaign began aimed at promoting the already-adored Mao Zedong to god-like status. On July 27, 1968, the Red Guards' power over the army was officially ended and the central government sent in units to protect many areas that remained targets for the Red Guards. Mao had supported and promoted the idea by allowing one of his "Highest Directions" to be heard by the masses. A year later, the Red Guard factions were dismantled entirely; Mao feared that the chaos they caused—and could still cause—might harm the very foundation of the Communist Party of China. In any case, their purpose had been largely fulfilled, and Mao had largely consolidated his political power. In early October, Mao began a campaign to purge officials disloyal to him. They were sent to the countryside to work in labor camps. In the same month, at the 12th Plenum of the 8th Party Congress, Liu Shaoqi was "forever expelled from the party", and Lin Biao was made the Party's Vice-Chairman, Mao's "comrade-in-arms" and "designated successor", his status and fame in the country was second only to Mao.[13]

In December 1968, Mao began the "Down to the Countryside Movement". During this movement, which lasted for the next decade, young intellectuals living in cities were ordered to go to the countryside. The term "intellectuals" was actually used in the broadest sense to refer to recently graduated middle school students. In the late 1970s, these "young intellectuals" were finally allowed to return to their home cities. This movement was in part a means of moving Red Guards from the cities to the countryside, where they would cause less social disruption.

Time dominated by Lin Biao

Main article: Lin Biao

Lin Biao, Mao's chosen successor, became the most prominent figure during the Cultural Revolution following 1968. In September 1971 Lin shocked China, and in turn the world when a plane in which he was believed to be on board crashed in Mongolia, following what seemed to be a series of assassination attempts on Mao's life. It is impossible to examine the events related to Lin Biao from 1968-1971 with cogency and accuracy because many events remain unknown. Lin's years in power, and his disputed death have been of interest to historians worldwide, who have never been able to attach an appropriate conclusion on the issue.

Transition of power in the party

On April 1, 1969, at the CCP's Ninth Congress, Lin was the big winner, officially becoming China's second-in-charge, and also significant military influence that was second to none. Lin's biggest political rival, Liu Shaoqi, had been purged and Zhou Enlai's power was gradually fading.

The Ninth Congress began with Lin Biao delivering a Political Report, which was critical of Liu and other "counter-revolutionaries" while constantly quoting Mao's Little Red Book. The second thing on the agenda was the new party constitution, which was modified to officially designate Lin as Mao's successor. Henceforth, at all occasions, Mao's name was to be linked with Lin's, to be referred to as "Chairman Mao and Vice-Chairman Lin". Thirdly, a new Politburo was elected with Mao Zedong, Lin Biao, Chen Boda, Zhou Enlai, and Kang Sheng being the five new members of the Politburo Standing Committee. This new Politburo consisted mostly of those whom had arisen as a result of the Cultural Revolution, with Zhou barely keeping his status, having dropped in rank to fourth among the five.

Lin's attempts at expanding his power base

After being confirmed as Mao's successor, Lin Biao focused on the restoration of the position of State President, which had been abolished by Mao due to Liu Shaoqi's dismissal from power. Lin's aim was to become Vice-President, with Mao holding the position of State President.

On August 23, 1970, the 2nd Plenum of the CCP's Ninth Congress was once again held in Lushan. Chen Boda was the first to speak, widely praising Mao and boasting of Mao's status, with the unstated intention of raising his own. At the same time, Chen requested the restoration of the position of State President. Mao was deeply critical of Chen's speech and removed him from the Politburo Standing Committee. This was the beginning of a series of criticism sessions across the nation for people who used "deceit" for gains, who were called "Liu Shaoqi's representatives for Marxism and political liars".

Chen's removal from the Standing Committee was also seen as a warning to Lin Biao. After the Ninth Congress, Lin had continuously requested promotions within the party and the Central Government, leading Mao to suspect him of wanting supreme power and even of intending to oust Mao himself. Chen's speech added to Mao's apprehensions. If Lin were to become Vice-President, he would legally have supreme power after the President's death — be a clear danger to Mao's safety.

Lin's attempted military coup

Mao's refusal to let Lin gain more prominence within the party and the government deeply angered Lin. Moreover, his power base was shrinking day by day within the Party apparatus; Lin decided to use the military power still at his disposal to oust Mao Zedong in a military coup. Soon afterwards, Lin and his son Lin Liguo and other conspirators created a coup apparatus in Shanghai aimed solely at ousting Mao from power by the use of force. In one known document, Lin stated in Shanghai that "A new power struggle has surged upon us, if indeed we could not take control of revolutionary activity, then these control powers will fall upon someone else."

Lin's plan consisted mainly of aerial bombardments and the widespread use of the Air Force. Were the plan to succeed, Lin could successfully arrest all of his political rivals and gain the supreme power that he wanted. But if it were to fail, there would be great and dire consequences awaiting him.

Assassination attempts were made against Mao in Shanghai, from September 8 to September 10, 1971. It was learned that before these attacks upon Mao there was initial knowledge of Lin's activities on the part of local police, who stated that Lin Biao had been coordinating a huge political plot, and Lin's loyal backers were receiving special training in the military.

From these events onward came continuous allegations and reports of Mao being attacked. One of these reports suggested that en route to Beijing in his private train, Mao was physically attacked; another alleged that Lin had bombed a bridge that Mao was to cross to reach Beijing, which Mao avoided because of intelligence reports causing him to change routes. In those nervous days, guards were placed every 10–20 meters on the railway tracks of Mao's route to avoid attempts at assassination.

Although some reports conflicted, it is known that after September 11 of the same year Lin never appeared in public again, nor did his backers, most of whom attempted to escape to Hong Kong. Most failed to do so and around twenty army generals were arrested.

It was also learned that on September 13, 1971, Lin Biao and his family tried to fly to the Soviet Union. En route, Lin's plane crashed in Mongolia, killing all on board. On the same day, the Politburo met in an emergency session to discuss matters pertaining to Lin Biao. Only on September 30, was Lin's death confirmed in Beijing, which led to the cancellation of the National Day celebration events the following day.

The exact cause of the plane crash remains a mystery. It is widely believed that Lin's plane ran out of fuel or that there was a sudden engine failure. There was also speculation that the plane was shot down by the Chinese. It could also have been Soviet forces, who later took possession of the bodies of those on board. Nonetheless, Lin's attempted coup had failed, leading to the complete destruction of his image in the CCP and China.

Years dominated by the "Gang of Four"

Main article: Gang of Four

"Criticize Lin Biao, Criticize Confucius" Campaign

Mao Zedong was busy trying to find a new successor. In September 1972, Shanghainese Wang Hongwen was transferred to work in Beijing for the Central Government, becoming the Party Vice-Chairman in the following year. At the same time, under the influence of Premier Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping was transferred back to Beijing. Mao had been severely shaken by the Lin Biao plot and had to turn to Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping again.

In late 1973, a campaign was begun by Jiang Qing and several backers, including Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan, and Wang Hongwen (later dubbed as the Gang of Four): the Pi-Lin Pi-Kong ("Criticize Lin (Biao), Criticize Confucius)" campaign. This widely publicised campaign was mainly aimed at Premier Zhou Enlai, whose position the Gang of Four were seeking to weaken. Jiang Qing and her supporters identified Zhou as the main political threat to their position in the post-Mao succession. Just as during the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, the political battle was acted out through historical allegory, and although Zhou Enlai's name was never mentioned during this campaign, the Premier's historical namesake, the Duke of Zhou, was a frequent target. But the public was generally weary of useless or devastating campaigns and movements and lent little support for this one. The campaign failed to achieve its goals.

1976: End

On January 8, Zhou Enlai died of bladder cancer. The next day, Beijing's Monument to the People's Heroes began filling up with wreaths expressing the people's mourning for the Premier. The event was unprecedented. On January 15, Zhou's funeral was held, and because of his popularity nationally, events commemorating Zhou across the country took place. The Gang of Four, which had a heavy hand in media control, became alarmed at the spontaneous mourning, and imposed restrictions, forbidding the "wearing of black sashes and white flowers" along with other mourning activities. Deng Xiaoping delivered Zhou's official eulogy.

In February, the Gang of Four began to criticize its final serious political opponent, Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping. Deng was once again stripped of all positions "inside and outside of the party". But after Zhou's death, Mao did not select a member of the Gang of Four to become premier, instead choosing the relatively unknown Hua Guofeng.

April 5 was China's Qingming Festival, a traditional day of mourning for those who have died. People had gathered since late March in Tiananmen Square, mourning the death of Zhou Enlai. At the same time, people were also signaling their anger towards the Gang of Four. Gradually, more and more people began writing and posting messages of hatred against the Gang of Four. On April 5, around 2 million people were gathered in and around Tiananmen Square, turning the assembly into a form of protest against the Gang of Four. The Gang of Four ordered police to enter the area, clear the wreaths and messages of hate, and disperse the crowds. They pointed to Deng Xiaoping as the planner of this expression of public dissatisfaction. This incident was later "politically rehabilitated" in the winter of 1978, and became known as the Qingming Tiananmen Square incident.

On September 9, 1976, Mao Zedong died. Mao's image from the Cultural Revolution portrayed him as an ideal person who mingled among the general public. To the common people, Mao's death symbolized the loss of the socialist foundation of China, and when his death was announced on the afternoon of September 9, 1976, in a press release entitled A Notice from the Central Committee, the NPC, State Council, and the CMC to all those in the military and party, as well as all Chinese people[14], the entire nation descended into a massive state of spontaneous grief and mourning, with people weeping in the streets and public institutions closing for over a week. Before dying, Mao had written a message on a piece of paper stating "With you in charge, I'm at ease", to Hua Guofeng. Hence, Hua became the Party's Chairman. Before this event, Hua had been widely considered to be lacking in political skill and ambitions, and as posing no threat to the Gang of Four in the power succession. But under the influence of prominent generals like Ye Jianying, and partly under influence of Deng Xiaoping, and with the support of the Army, Hua ordered the arrest of the Gang of Four following Mao's death. By October 10, the 8341 Special Regiment had all members of the Gang of Four arrested. Thus ended the Cultural Revolution.


Even though Hua Guofeng publicly denounced and arrested the Gang of Four in 1976, he continued to invoke Mao's name to justify his policies. Hua opened what was known as the Two Whatevers,[15] saying "Whatever policy originated from Chairman Mao, we must continue to support," and "Whatever directions were given to us from Chairman Mao, we must continue to work on their basis." Like Deng, Hua's goal was to reverse the damage of the Cultural Revolution; but unlike Deng, who was not against new economic models for China, Hua intended to move the Chinese economic and political system towards Soviet-style planning of the early 1950s.

Soon afterwards, Hua found that without Deng Xiaoping it was hard for him to continue daily affairs of the state. On October 10, Deng Xiaoping personally wrote a letter to Hua asking to be transferred back to state and party affairs. Unconfirmed information allegedly stated that Politburo Standing Committee member Ye Jianying would resign if Deng was not allowed back into the Central Government. With increasing pressure from all sides, Hua decided to bring Deng back into regular state affairs, first naming him Vice-Premier of the State Council in July 1977, and to various other positions. In actuality, Deng had already become China's number two figure. In August, the Party's Eleventh Congress was held in Beijing, officially naming (in ranking order) Hua Guofeng, Ye Jianying, Deng Xiaoping, Li Xiannian, and Wang Dongxing as the latest members of the Politburo Standing Committee.[16]

In May, 1978, Deng seized the opportunity for his protégé, Hu Yaobang, to be further elevated to power. Hu published an article in the Bright Daily Newspaper making clever use of Mao's quotations while expanding Deng's power base. After reading this widely publicized article, almost everyone supported Hu and thus Deng. On July 1, Deng publicized Mao's self-criticism report of 1962 regarding the Great Leap Forward. With an expanding power base, in September 1978, Deng had already started to openly attack Hua Guofeng's "Two Whatevers".[15]

On December 18, 1978, the Third Plenum of the Eleventh CCP Congress was held. Deng stated that "a liberation of thoughts" and "an accurate view leading to accurate results" was needed within the party. Hua Guofeng engaged in self-criticisms, stating that his own "Two Whatevers" was wrong. Wang Dongxing, formerly Mao's trusted supporter, was also criticized. At the Plenum, the Qingming Tiananmen Square incident was also politically rehabilitated. Liu Shaoqi was allowed a belated state funeral.[18]

In the Fifth Plenum of the Eleventh CCP Congress, held in 1980, Peng Zhen and many others who had been purged during the Cultural Revolution were politically rehabilitated. Hu Yaobang was named General-Secretary and Zhao Ziyang, another of Deng's protégés, was named into the Central governing apparatus. In September, Hua Guofeng resigned, with Zhao Ziyang being named the new Premier. Deng was the Chairman of the Central Military Commission.


Enlarge picture
The central section of this wall shows the faint remnant marks of a propaganda slogan that was added during the Cultural Revolution, but has since been removed. The slogan reads "Boundless faith in Chairman Mao."
The effects of the Cultural Revolution directly or indirectly touched essentially all of China's populace. During the Cultural Revolution, much economic activity was halted, with "revolution", regardless of interpretation, being the primary objective of the country. The start of the Cultural Revolution brought huge numbers of Red Guards to Beijing, with all expenses paid by the government, and the railway system was in turmoil. Countless ancient buildings, artifacts, antiques, books, and paintings were destroyed by Red Guards. By December 1967, 350 million copies of Mao's Quotations had been printed.[19]

Elsewhere, the 10 years of the Cultural Revolution also brought the education system to a virtual halt. The university entrance exams were cancelled during this period, only to be restored by Deng Xiaoping in 1977. Many intellectuals were sent to rural labor camps. Many survivors and observers suggest that almost anyone with skills over that of the average person was made the target of political "struggle" in some way. According to most Western observers as well as followers of Deng Xiaoping, this led to almost an entire generation of inadequately educated individuals. However, this varies depending on the region, and the measurement of literacy did not resurface until the 1980s.[20] Some counties in the Zhanjiang district for example had illiteracy rates as high as 41% some 20 years after the revolution. The leaders denied any illiteracy problems from the start. This effect was amplified by the elimination of qualified teachers--many of the districts were forced to rely upon chosen students to re-educate the next generation.<ref name="Peterson" />

Mao Zedong Thought had become the central operative guide to all things in China. The authority of the Red Guards surpassed that of the army, local police authorities, and the law in general. China's traditional arts and ideas were ignored, with praise for Mao being practiced in their place. People were encouraged to criticize cultural institutions and to question their parents and teachers, which had been strictly forbidden in Confucian culture. This was emphasized even more during the Anti-Lin Biao; Anti-Confucius Campaign. Slogans such as "Parents may love me, but not as much as Chairman Mao" were common.

The Cultural Revolution also brought to the forefront numerous internal power struggles within the Communist party, many of which had little to do with the larger battles between Party leaders, but resulted instead from local factionalism and petty rivalries that were usually unrelated to the "revolution" itself. Because of the chaotic political environment, local governments lacked organization and stability, if they existed at all. Members of different factions often fought on the streets, and political assassination, particularly in rural-oriented provinces, was common. The masses spontaneously involved themselves in factions, and took part in open warfare against other factions. The ideology that drove these factions was vague and sometimes non-existent, with the struggle for local authority being the only motivation for mass involvement.

Destruction of the antiques, historical sites and cultures

China's historical reserves, artifacts and sites of interest suffered devastating damage as they were thought to be at the root of "old ways of thinking". Many artifacts were seized from private homes and often destroyed on the spot. There are no records of exactly how much was destroyed. Western observers suggest that much of China's thousands of years of history was in effect destroyed during the short ten years of the Cultural Revolution, and that such destruction of historical artifacts is unmatched at any time or place in human history. Chinese historians compare the cultural suppression during the Cultural Revolution to Qin Shihuang's great Confucian purge. The most prominent symbol of academic research in archeology, the journal Kaogu, did not publish during the Cultural Revolution. Religious persecution, in particular, intensified during this period, because religion was seen as being opposed to Marxist-Leninist and Maoist thinking.

Enlarge picture
Remnants of a banner from the Cultural Revolution in Anhui.

The status of traditional Chinese culture within China is also severely weakened as a result of the Cultural Revolution. Many traditional customs, such as fortune telling [1], paper art, feng shui consultations [2], wearing traditional Chinese dresses for weddings, use of traditional Chinese calendar, scholarships in classical literary Chinese literatures, referring to the Chinese New Year as "New Year" rather than "Spring Festival", had been virtually wiped out in China and yet to recover fully, but still surviving in some forms in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other overseas Chinese communities notwithstanding the impacts of Western culture on the respective communities. The traditional Confucian concepts of harmonious social interactions has been displaced by the early 20th century Western modernist social Darwinist belief of "survival of the fittest" in mainland China today. Scientism as the default worldview for mainland Chinese today could have its popularization traced back to the Cultural Revolution. A number of Chinese cultural scholars and commentators, such as the late Chien Mu, To Kit, and Martin Oei consider China ceased to be culturally Chinese during the Cultural Revolution [3], that today's China is a place "Chinese by geography and race, but foreign by culture", leaving the Chinese diasporas upholding the more traditional expressions of Chinese culture.

The Cultural Revolution was particularly devastating for minority cultures in China. This supposedly stemmed from Jiang Qing's personal animosity towards, and contempt for ethnic minorities. "The centrality of the Han ethnic group" was a major theme throughout this period. In Tibet, over 6,000 monasteries were destroyed, often with the complicity of local ethnic Tibetan Red Guards. In Inner Mongolia, many were executed during a ruthless witchhunt to find members of the allegedly "separatist" Inner Mongolian People's Party, which had actually been disbanded decades before. In Xinjiang, copies of the Quran and other books of the Uyghur people were burned and Muslim imams were reportedly paraded around with paint splashed on their parsons. In the ethnic Korean areas of northeast China, language schools were destroyed. In Yunnan Province, the palace of the Dai people's king was torched, and an infamous massacre of Hui Muslim people at the hands of the People's Liberation Army, called the "Shadian Incident", claimed over 1,600 lives in 1975.

The development of Maoist ideology was based on the foreign philosophical doctrines of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. Mao, however, distorted Marxism in an attempt to ensure unrealistic future growth.[21]

Human Rights violations

Millions of people in China reportedly had their human rights annulled during the Cultural Revolution. Millions more were also forcibly displaced. During the Cultural Revolution, young people from the cities were forcibly moved to the countryside, where they were forced to abandon all forms of standard education in place of the propaganda teachings of the Communist Party of China.<ref name="Harding" />

Some commentators argue that the Cultural Revolution years saw the Chinese people leave behind many uncritical habits of conformist and authoritarian thinking. This can be seen in the words of some of the student leaders of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. According to student leader Shen Tong in his book, Almost a Revolution, the trigger for the famous hunger-strikes of 1989 was a "dazibao" (big-character poster), a form of public political discussion that gained prominence in the Cultural Revolution and was subsequently outlawed. When students organized demonstrations in their millions, something not seen since the Cultural Revolution, youths from outside Beijing rode the trains into Beijing and relied on the hospitality of train workers and Beijing residents, just as their counterparts had ridden the trains freely during the Cultural Revolution. Also, as in the Cultural Revolution, students formed factions, with names similar to those of Red Guard factions, using the term "Headquarters" for instance, and according to Shen Tong, these factions even went to the extent of kidnapping members of other factions, just as they had done in the Cultural Revolution. Finally, in a small minority of cases, some of the student leaders of 1989 had been youth activists in high school during the Cultural Revolution. It was as a result of the Cultural Revolution that criticism of high-level authority in public became more thinkable in the PRC, although criticism of Mao Zedong still remained entirely off-limits during the Cultural Revolution and criticism of his ideology also remained off-limits afterwards.<ref name="Tang" />

Estimates of the death toll, civilians and Red Guards, from various Western and Eastern sources[5] are about 500,000 in the true years of chaos of 1966—1969. Some people were not able to stand the cruel tortures, they lost hope for the future, and simply committed suicide. One of the most famous cases was communist leader Deng Xiaoping's son Deng Pufang who jumped from a four-story building during that time. Instead of dying, he became a paraplegic. In the trial of the so-called Gang of Four, a Chinese court stated that 729,511 people had been persecuted of which 34,800 were said to have died.[22] However, the true figure may never be known since many deaths went unreported or were actively covered up by the police or local authorities. Other reasons are the state of Chinese demographics at the time, as well as the reluctance of the PRC to allow serious research into the period.[23] One recent scholarly account asserts that in rural China alone some 36 million people were persecuted, of whom between 750,000 and 1.5 million were killed, with roughly the same number permanently injured.[24] In , Jung Chang and Jon Halliday claim that as many as 3 million people died in the violence of the Cultural Revolution.[25]

World reaction

The reaction abroad was mixed, and inevitably, tied to political movements of the time. Opposition to the Vietnam War fostered sympathy for communist revolutions and some Western observers, predominantly on the Left of the political spectrum, sympathized with the Cultural Revolution. Reports of violence and excess were often excused or dismissed as 'rightwing propaganda'. A significant re-evaluation of the events of the Cultural Revolution occurred amongst the Left, particularly in the West, once the full extent of the destruction became known, thus tarnishing China's image in the West.[26] Hong Kong also launched a strike such as the Hong Kong 1967 riots and its eventual excessiveness damaged the credibility of pro-Communist activists in the eyes of Hong Kong residents for more than a generation.[27] In the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek initiated the Chinese Culture Renaissance Movement to counter what he regarded as destruction of traditional Chinese values by the Communists on the mainland.

Whatever the case, several self-described "Maoist" political parties survive today, throughout the globe, such as those found within the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement.

Historical views

Today, the Cultural Revolution is seen by most people inside and outside of China, including the Communist Party of China and Chinese democracy movement supporters, as an unmitigated disaster, and as an event to be avoided in the future. There are no politically significant groups within China that defend the Cultural Revolution. However, there are many workers and peasants in China who, left behind by economic liberalization and the widening rich-poor gap, feel nostalgia for the Cultural Revolution (as well as the Maoist Era in general), during which the proletariat was glorified. Gao Village, an anthropological history written by peasant born author Mobo Gao, discusses the positive influence the Cultural Revolution had on rural development. [4] Some memoirists, such as Ma Bo, also hold aspects of the Cultural Revolution to be worthy of fond remembrance.[28]

Among those who condemn it, the causes and meaning of the Cultural Revolution remain highly controversial. Supporters of the Chinese democracy movement see the Cultural Revolution as an example of what happens when democracy is lacking and place responsibility for the Cultural Revolution on the Communist Party of China. Similarly, human rights activists and civil libertarians also see the Cultural Revolution as an example of the dangers of statism. Briefly put, these views of the Cultural Revolution attribute its cause to "too much government and too little popular participation".

By contrast, the official view of the Communist Party of China is that the Cultural Revolution is what can happen when one person establishes a cult of personality and manipulates the public in such a way as to destroy the party and state institutions. In this view, the Cultural Revolution is an example of too much popular participation in government, rather than too little; and is an example of the dangers of anarchy rather than statism. The consequence of this view is the consensus among the Chinese leadership that China must be governed by a strong party institution, in which decisions are made collectively and according to the rule of law, and in which the public has only limited input. After Mao's death, the Communist Party blamed the Gang of Four for the negative results of the Cultural Revolution.[29] Liu Xiaobo argued that this is still the case, with the Gang of Four being used as convenient scapegoats, rather than focusing upon Mao Zedong's responsibility.[30]

These contradictory views of the Cultural Revolution were put into sharp relief during the Tiananmen Protests of 1989, when both the demonstrators and the government justified their actions as being necessary to avoid another Cultural Revolution.

The relationship between Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution is also controversial. Although there is general agreement that Mao was responsible for the Cultural Revolution, there is considerable dispute concerning the effect of the Cultural Revolution on Mao's legacy. The PRC's official version of history regards the Cultural Revolution as a serious error by Mao Zedong, whose contribution to history was 70% good and 30% bad. Using this formulation, the Party has argued that the Cultural Revolution should not denigrate Mao's earlier role as a heroic leader in fighting the Japanese, founding the People's Republic of China and developing the ideology which underlies the Communist Party of China. This allows the Party to condemn both the Cultural Revolution and Mao's role within it, without calling into question the ideology of the Party.

By contrast, writers such as Jung Chang argue that the Cultural Revolution was merely one of a series of events which illustrate Mao's low moral character. This interpretation of history has the effect of calling into question all of Mao's early accomplishments and indirectly the legitimacy of the Communist Party and the People's Republic of China.

The first museum specifically dedicated to the Cultural Revolution opened in mid-2005 as a privately-funded museum in Guangdong province, created by Peng Qi'an, 74, a former deputy mayor of Shantou. Peng himself was almost executed during the Cultural Revolution, and survived only due to a last-minute reprieve. He stated that he wanted future generations of Chinese to realise how large an impact the period had on China, and how much ordinary Chinese suffered. Although the museum continues to operate, publicity about the museum was suppressed by provincial authorities shortly after its opening.


1. ^ Simplified Chinese: 无产阶级文化大革命; Traditional Chinese: 無產階級文化大革命; Pinyin: Wúchǎn Jiējí Wénhuà Dà Gémìng; literally "Proletarian Cultural Great Revolution"; often abbreviated to 文化大革命 wénhuà dà gémìng, literally "Great Cultural Revolution", or even simpler, to 文革 wéngé, "Cultural Revolution"
2. ^ Harry Harding, "The Chinese State in Crisis, 1966-9," in The Politics of China: The Eras of Mao and Deng, edited by Roderick MacFarquhar (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 242-4.
3. ^ Law, Kam-yee. Brooker, Peter. [2003] (2003}. The Chinese Cultural Revolution Reconsidered: Beyond Purge and Holocaust. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0333738357.
4. ^ Miller, Toby. [2003] (2003). Television: Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies. Routledge Publishing. ISBN 0415255023
5. ^ [5]Historical Atlas of the 20th century
6. ^ NetEase: Who made Liu Shaoqi into what he was?
7. ^ Tang Tsou. [1986] (1986). The Cultural Revolution and Post-Mao Reforms: A Historical Perspective. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226815145
8. ^ Decision Concerning the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, adopted on 8 August 1966, by the CC of the CCP (official English version)
9. ^ murdoch edu
10. ^ MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao's Last Revolution. Harvard University Press, 2006. p. 124
11. ^ Chang, Jung and Halliday, Jon. . Jonathan Cape, London, 2005. pp. 539-540
12. ^ Yan, Jiaqi. Gao, Gao. [1996] (1996). Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution. ISBN 0824816951.
13. ^ Wang Dongxing's Memoirs
14. ^ People's Daily: September 10, 1976 1976.9.10 毛主席逝世--中共中央等告全国人民书 retrieved from
15. ^ Harding, Harry. [1987] (1987). China's Second Revolution: Reform after Mao. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 081573462X
16. ^ Basic Knowledge about the Communist Party of China: The Eleventh Congress
17. ^ Harding, Harry. [1987] (1987). China's Second Revolution: Reform after Mao. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 081573462X
18. ^ Andrew, Christopher. Mitrokhin, Vasili. [2005] (2005). The World was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World. Basic Books Publishing. ISBN 0465003117
19. ^ Lu, Xing. [2004] (2004). Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolution: The Impact on Chinese Thought, Culture, and Communication. UNC Press. ISBN 1570035431
20. ^ Peterson, Glen. [1997] (1997). The Power of Words: literacy and revolution in South China, 1949-95. UBC Press. ISBN 0774806125
21. ^ Cheek, Timothy. [2002] (2002). Mao Zedong and China's Revolutions: A Brief History with Documents. Palgrave Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 0312294298
22. ^ James P. Sterba, New York Times, January 25, 1981
23. ^ The Chinese Cultural Revolution: Remembering Mao's Victims by Andreas Lorenz in Beijing, Der Spiegel Online. May 15, 2007
24. ^ MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao's Last Revolution. Harvard University Press, 2006. p. 262
25. ^ Chang, Jung and Halliday, Jon. . Jonathan Cape, London, 2005. p.569
26. ^ Tucker, Nançy Bernkopf. [2001] (2001). China Confidential: American Diplomats and Sino-American Relations, 1945-1996. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231106300
27. ^ Wiltshire, Trea. [First published 1987] (republished & reduced 2003). Old Hong Kong - Volume Three. Central, Hong Kong: Text Form Asia books Ltd. ISBN Volume Three 962-7283-61-4
28. ^ Ma, Bo. Blood Red Sunset. New York: Viking, 1995
29. ^ [6] Yinghong Cheng & Patrick Manning, Revolution in Education: China and Cuba in Global Context, 1957–76, paragraph 32.
30. ^ [7][8]Liu Xiaobo, Banning Discussion On The Cultural Revolution Catastrophe Is Another Catastrophe

Further reading

  • Simon Leys (penname of Pierre Ryckmans) Broken Images: Essays on Chinese Culture and Politics (1979). ISBN 0-8052-8069-3
  • - The Burning Forest: Essays on Chinese Culture and Politics (1986). ISBN 0-03-005063-4; ISBN 0-586-08630-7; ISBN 0-8050-0350-9; ISBN 0-8050-0242-1.
  • - The Chairman's New Clothes: Mao and the Cultural Revolution (1977; revised 1981). ISBN 0-85031-208-6; ISBN 0-8052-8080-4; ISBN 0-312-12791-X; ISBN 0-85031-209-4; ISBN 0-85031-435-6 (revised ed.).
  • - Chinese Shadows (1978). ISBN 0-670-21918-5; ISBN 0-14-004787-5.
  • Chan, Anita. 1985. Children of Mao: Personality Development and Political Activism in the Red Guard Generation. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  • Chan, Che Po. 1991. From Idealism to Pragmatism: The Change of Political Thinking among the Red Guard Generation in China. Ph.D. diss., University of California, Santa Barbara.
  • Liu, Guokai. 1987. A Brief Analysis of the Cultural Revolution. edited by Anita Chan. Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe.
  • Yang, Guobin. 2000. China's Red Guard Generation: The Ritual Process of Identity Transformation, 1966-1999. Ph.D. diss., New York University.
  • Fox Butterfield, China: Alive in the Bitter Sea, (1982, revised 2000), ISBN 0-553-34219-3, an oral history of some Chinese people's experience during the Cultural Revolution.
  • MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao's Last Revolution. Harvard University Press, 2006 ISBN 0674023323
  • Zheng Yi Scarlet Memorial: Tales of Cannibalism in Modern China
  • Chang, Jung and Halliday, Jon. . Jonathan Cape, London, 2005.
  • Novel: Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang. A story about the life of a young girl during the cultural revolution.
  • Emily Wu and Larry Engelmann "Feather in the Storm" a childhood lost in chaos (2006) ISBN 0-375-42428-8

See also

External links

The history of the People's Republic of China details the history of mainland China since October 1, 1949, when, after a near complete victory by the Communist Party of China (CPC) in the Chinese Civil War, Mao Zedong proclaimed the People's Republic of China (PRC) from
..... Click the link for more information.
The history of the People's Republic of China details the history of mainland China since October 1, 1949, when, after a near complete victory by the Communist Party of China (CPC) in the Chinese Civil War, Mao Zedong proclaimed the People's Republic of China (PRC) from
..... Click the link for more information.
Chinese Civil War (Traditional Chinese: 國共内戰; Simplified Chinese: 国共内战; Pinyin:
..... Click the link for more information.
 United Nations:
 United Nations
 New Zealand
South Africa
..... Click the link for more information.
The Hundred Flowers Campaign, also termed the Hundred Flowers Movement, (Simplified Chinese: 百花运动; Pinyin: bǎihuā yùndòng
..... Click the link for more information.
The Anti-Rightist Movement (反右派运动) of the People's Republic of China in the 1950s and early 1960s consisted of a series of campaigns to purge alleged "rightists" within the Communist Party of China and abroad.
..... Click the link for more information.
Great Leap Forward (Simplified Chinese: 大跃进; Traditional Chinese: 大躍進; Pinyin: Dàyuèjìn
..... Click the link for more information.
The Great Chinese Famine (Chinese: 三年大饑荒), officially referred to as the Three Years of Natural Disasters (Simplified Chinese:
..... Click the link for more information.
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Lin.

Lin Biao (Chinese: 林彪; Pinyin: Lín Biāo; Wade-Giles: Lin Piao), born as Lin Yurong
..... Click the link for more information.
The Gang of Four (Simplified Chinese: 四人帮; Traditional Chinese: 四人幫; Pinyin: Sì rén bāng
..... Click the link for more information.
Tiananmen Incident (Simplified Chinese: 四五天安门事件) took place on April 5, 1976 in Tiananmen Square, Beijing.
..... Click the link for more information.
Chinese Economic Reform (Simplified Chinese: 改革开放; Pinyin: Găigé kāifàng
..... Click the link for more information.
The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, commonly referred to as the Tiananmen Square Massacre,[1] were a series of demonstrations led by students, intellectuals, and labor activists in the People's Republic of China (PRC) between April 15 and June 4, 1989.
..... Click the link for more information.
"One country, two systems" is an idea originally proposed by Deng Xiaoping during the early 1980s, then Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China (PRC), for the reunification of China.
..... Click the link for more information.
Chinese reunification (Traditional Chinese: 中國統一; Simplified Chinese: 中国统一; Pinyin:
..... Click the link for more information.
The history of China is told in traditional historical records that refer as far back as the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors about 5,000 years ago, supplemented by archaeological records dating to the 16th century BC. China is one of the world's oldest continuous civilizations.
..... Click the link for more information.
history of Beijing can date back to 3000 years ago, as the capital of the State of Yan. Since Liao Dynasty, Beijing became the capital of major dynasties of China.

Before the 10th century

..... Click the link for more information.
The history of Shanghai plays an important role in understanding the development of modern China. The city has been a major crossroad for all political and cultural events, since the post dynastic periods.
..... Click the link for more information.
Mao Zedong pronunciation   (Simplified Chinese: 毛泽东; Traditional Chinese: 毛澤東; Pinyin: Máo Zédōng; Wade-giles:
..... Click the link for more information.
Deng Xiaoping listen   (Simplified Chinese: 邓小平; Traditional Chinese:
..... Click the link for more information.
Jiang Zemin (Simplified Chinese: 江泽民; Traditional Chinese: 江澤民; Pinyin: Jiāng Zémín
..... Click the link for more information.
Hu Jintao (Simplified Chinese: 胡锦涛; Traditional Chinese: 胡錦濤; Pinyin: Hú Jǐntāo
..... Click the link for more information.
culture of the People's Republic of China is a blend of traditional Chinese culture with communist influences, and recently, Western consumer culture.

Early years

For some years after the establishment of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, traditional Chinese
..... Click the link for more information.
economy of the People's Republic of China is the fourth largest in the world when measured by nominal GDP. Its economic output for 2006 was $2.68 trillion USD.[1]
..... Click the link for more information.
geography of China stretches some 5,026 kilometers across the East Asian landmass bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam in a changing configuration of broad plains, expansive deserts, and lofty mountain ranges,
..... Click the link for more information.
People's Republic of China

This article is part of the series:
Politics of the People's Republic of China

Past constitutions: 1954 1975 1978

Guiding Political Ideologies
Mao Zedong: Mao Zedong Thought
..... Click the link for more information.
People's Republic of China Compulsory Education Law (中华人民共和国义务教育法), which took effect July 1, 1986, established requirements and deadlines for attaining universal education tailored to local
..... Click the link for more information.
March of the Volunteers (义勇军进行曲)
..... Click the link for more information.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) (Simplified Chinese: 中国共产党; Traditional Chinese: 中國共產黨
..... Click the link for more information.
civil war is a war in which parties within the same culture, society or nationality fight against each other for the control of political power.

Some civil wars are categorized as revolutions when major societal restructuring is a possible outcome of the conflict.
..... Click the link for more information.

This article is copied from an article on - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. The text was not checked or edited by anyone on our staff. Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.