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Cultural Revolution

This article is about the Chinese Cultural Revolution. the heaviest losses suered by the Party, the country, and
For Iran, see Iranian Cultural Revolution. For Libya, the people since the founding of the People's Republic
see Cultural Revolution (Libya). For Romania, see July .* [1]

The Cultural Revolution, formally the Great Proletar- 1 Background

ian Cultural Revolution, was a sociopolitical movement
that took place in the People's Republic of China from
1966 until 1976. Set into motion by Mao Zedong, then
1.1 Great Leap Forward
Chairman of the Communist Party of China, its stated
Main article: Great Leap Forward
goal was to preserve 'true' Communist ideology in the
In 1958, after China's rst Five-Year Plan, Mao called
country by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional
elements from Chinese society, and to re-impose Maoist
thought as the dominant ideology within the Party. The
Revolution marked the return of Mao Zedong to a posi-
tion of power after the Great Leap Forward. The move-
ment paralyzed China politically and negatively aected
the country's economy and society to a signicant degree.
The Revolution was launched in May 1966, after Mao al-
leged that bourgeois elements had inltrated the govern-
ment and society at large, aiming to restore capitalism.
He insisted that these "revisionists" be removed through
violent class struggle. China's youth responded to Mao's
appeal by forming Red Guard groups around the country.
The movement spread into the military, urban workers,
and the Communist Party leadership itself. It resulted in
widespread factional struggles in all walks of life. In the
top leadership, it led to a mass purge of senior ocials, People in the countryside working at night to produce steel during
most notably Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping. During the the Great Leap Forward.
same period Mao's personality cult grew to immense pro-
portions. forgrassroots socialismin order to accelerate his plans
Millions of people were persecuted in the violent strug- for turning China into a modern industrialized state. In
gles that ensued across the country, and suered a wide this spirit, Mao launched the Great Leap Forward, estab-
range of abuses including public humiliation, arbitrary lished People's Communes in the countryside, and be-
imprisonment, torture, sustained harassment, and seizure gan the mass mobilization of the people into collectives.
of property. A large segment of the population was Many communities were assigned production of a single
forcibly displaced, most notably the transfer of urban commoditysteel. Mao vowed to increase agricultural
youth to rural regions during the Down to the Countryside production to twice 1957 levels. [2]
Movement. Historical relics and artifacts were destroyed. The Great Leap was an economic failure. Uneducated
Cultural and religious sites were ransacked. farmers attempted to produce steel on a massive scale,
Mao ocially declared the Cultural Revolution to have partially relying on backyard furnaces to achieve the pro-
ended in 1969, but its active phase lasted until the death duction targets set by local cadres. The steel produced
of the military leader Lin Biao in 1971. After Mao's was low quality and largely useless. The Great Leap re-
death and the arrest of the Gang of Four in 1976, reform- duced harvest sizes and led to a decline in the production
ers led by Deng Xiaoping gradually began to dismantle of most goods except substandard pig iron and steel. Fur-
the Maoist policies associated with the Cultural Revolu- thermore, local authorities frequently exaggerated pro-
tion. In 1981, the Party declared that the Cultural Revo- duction numbers, hiding and intensifying the problem for
lution was responsible for the most severe setback and several years.* [3]* [4] In the meantime, chaos in the col-
lectives, bad weather, and exports of food necessary to se-


cure hard currency resulted in the Great Chinese Famine. Mao believed that Khrushchev was not adhering to
Food was in desperate shortage, and production fell dra- MarxismLeninism, but was instead a revisionist, altering
matically. The famine caused the deaths of millions of his policies from basic MarxistLeninist concepts, some-
people, particularly in poorer inland regions.* [5] thing Mao feared would allow capitalists to eventually re-
The Great Leap's failure reduced Mao's prestige within gain control of the country. Relations between the two
the Party. Forced to take major responsibility, in 1959, governments subsequently soured, with the Soviets refus-
Mao resigned as the President of the People's Republic of ing to support China's case for joining the United Nations
China, China's de jure head of state, and was succeeded and going back on their pledge to supply China with a
nuclear weapon.* [9]
by Liu Shaoqi. In July, senior Party leaders convened at
the scenic Mount Lu to discuss policy. At the conference, Mao went on to publicly denounce revisionism in April
Marshal Peng Dehuai, the Minister of Defence, criticized 1960. Without pointing ngers at the Soviet Union, Mao
Great-Leap policies in a private letter to Mao, writing that criticized their ideological ally, the League of Commu-
it was plagued by mismanagement and cautioning against nists of Yugoslavia, while the Soviets returned the favour
elevating political dogma over the laws of economics.* [3] by proxy via criticizing the Party of Labour of Albania,
Despite the moderate tone of Peng's letter, Mao took it as a Chinese ally.* [10] In 1963, the Chinese Communist
a personal attack against his leadership.* [6] Following the Party began to openly denounce the Soviet Union, pub-
Conference, Mao had Peng removed from his posts, and lishing a series of nine polemics against its perceived re-
accused him of being aright-opportunist. Peng was re- visionism, with one of them being titled On Khrushchev's
placed by Lin Biao, another revolutionary army general Phoney Communism and Historical Lessons for the World,
who became a more staunch Mao supporter later in his in which Mao charged that Khrushchev was not only
career. While the Lushan Conference served as a death a revisionist but also increased the danger of capitalist
knell for Peng, Mao's most vocal critic, it led to a shift of restoration.* [10] Khrushchev's downfall from an internal
power to moderates led by Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaop- coup d'tat in 1964 also contributed to Mao's fears of
ing, who took eective control of the economy following his own political vulnerability, particularly because of his
1959.* [3] declining prestige amongst his colleagues following the
Great Leap Forward.* [10]
By the early 1960s, many of the Great Leap's economic
policies were reversed by initiatives spearheaded by Liu,
Deng, and Zhou Enlai. This moderate group of prag- 1.3 Precursor
matists were unenthusiastic about Mao's utopian visions.
Owing to his loss of esteem within the party, Mao de-
veloped a decadent and eccentric lifestyle. * [7] By 1962,
while Zhou, Liu and Deng managed aairs of state and
the economy, Mao had eectively withdrawn from eco-
nomic decision-making, and focused much of his time
on further contemplating his contributions to Marxist
Leninist social theory, including the idea ofcontinuous
revolution.* [8] This theory's ultimate aim was to set the
stage for Mao to restore his brand of Communism and his
personal prestige within the Party.

1.2 Sino-Soviet Split and anti-revisionism

Main article: Sino-Soviet Split

In the early 1950s, the People's Republic of China and the

Soviet Union were the two largest Communist states in the
world. While they had initially been mutually supportive,
disagreements arose following the ascendancy of Nikita
Khrushchev to power in the Soviet Union after the death
of Joseph Stalin. In 1956, Khrushchev denounced Stalin
and his policies and subsequently set about implementing
post-Stalinist economic reforms. Mao and many mem- The purge of General Luo Ruiqing solidied the Army's loyalty
bers of the Chinese Communist Party were opposed to to Mao
these changes, believing that it would have negative reper-
cussions for the worldwide Marxist movement, among Mao set the scene for the Cultural Revolution bycleans-
whom Stalin was still viewed as a hero.* [9] ingpowerful ocials of questionable loyalty who were

based in Beijing. His approach was less than transparent, Lu's removal gave Maoists unrestricted access to the
achieving this purge through newspaper articles, internal press. Mao would deliver his nal blow to Peng Zhen at
meetings, and skillfully employing his network of politi- a high-prole Politburo meeting through loyalists Kang
cal allies. Sheng and Chen Boda. They accused Peng Zhen of op-
In late 1959, historian and Beijing Deputy Mayor Wu posing Mao, labeled the February Outline evidence of
Han published a historical drama entitled Hai Rui Dis- Peng Zhen's revisionism, and grouped him with three
missed from Oce. In the play, an honest civil servant, other disgraced ocials as part of the Peng-Luo-Lu-
Hai Rui, is dismissed by a corrupt emperor. While Mao Yang Anti-Party Clique.* [18] On May 16, the Polit-
buro formalized the decisions by releasing an ocial doc-
initially praised the play, in February 1965 he secretly
commissioned his wife Jiang Qing and Shanghai pro- ument condemning Peng Zhen and his anti-party al-
liesin the strongest terms, disbanding his Five Man
pagandist Yao Wenyuan to publish an article criticizing
it.* [11] Yao boldly alleged that Hai Rui was really an alle- Group, and replacing it with the Maoist Cultural Rev-
olution Group (CRG).* [19]
gory attacking Mao; that is, Mao was the corrupt emperor
and Peng Dehuai was the honest civil servant.* [12]
Yao's article put Beijing Mayor Peng Zhen* [13] on the
defensive. Peng, a powerful ocial and Wu Han's di-
2 Early Stage: Mass Movement
rect superior, was the head of the "Five Man Group", a
committee commissioned by Mao to study the potential 2.1 May 16 Notication
for a cultural revolution. Peng Zhen, aware that he would
be implicated if Wu indeed wrote an anti-Maoplay, In May 1966, an expanded sessionof the Politburo
wished to contain Yao's inuence. Yao's article was ini- was called in Beijing. The conference, rather than be-
tially only published in select local newspapers. Peng for- ing a joint discussion on policy (as per the usual norms
bade its publication in the nationally-distributed People's of party operations), was essentially a campaign to mobi-
Daily and other major newspapers under his control, in- lize the Politburo into endorsing Mao's political agenda.
structing them to write exclusively aboutacademic dis- The conference was heavily laden with Maoist political
cussion, and not pay heed to Yao's petty politics.* [14] rhetoric on class struggle, and lled with meticulously-
While theliterary battleagainst Peng raged, Mao red prepared 'indictments' on the recently ousted leaders such
Yang Shangkun director of the Party's General Oce, as Peng Zhen and Luo Ruiqing. One of these documents,
an organ that controlled internal communications on a released on May 16, was prepared with Mao's personal
series of unsubstantiated charges, installing in his stead supervision, and was particularly damning:* [20]
staunch loyalist Wang Dongxing, head of Mao's security
detail.* [15] Yang's dismissal likely emboldened Mao's al- Those representatives of the bourgeoisie
lies to move against their factional rivals.* [15] In Decem- who have sneaked into the Party, the govern-
ber, Defence Minister and Mao loyalist Lin Biao accused ment, the army, and various spheres of culture
General Luo Ruiqing, the chief of sta of the People's are a bunch of counter-revolutionary revision-
Liberation Army (PLA), of being anti-Mao, alleging that ists. Once conditions are ripe, they will seize
Luo put too much emphasis on military training rather political power and turn the dictatorship of
than Maoistpolitical discussion. Despite initial skep- the proletariat into a dictatorship of the bour-
ticism in the Politburo of Luo's guilt, Mao pushed for geoisie. Some of them we have already seen
an 'investigation', after which Luo was denounced, dis- through; others we have not. Some are still
missed, and forced to deliver a self-criticism. Stress from trusted by us and are being trained as our suc-
the events led Luo to attempt suicide.* [16] Luo's removal cessors, persons like Khruschev for example,
secured the military command's loyalty to Mao.* [17] who are still nestling beside us.* [21]

This text, which became known as theMay 16 Notica-

1.3.1 February Outline tion(Chinese: ; pinyin: Wyli Tngzh ),
summarized Mao's ideological justication for the Cul-
Having ousted Luo and Yang, Mao returned his atten- tural Revolution.* [22] Eectively it implied that there
tion to Peng Zhen. On February 12, 1966, the "Five Man are enemies of the Communist cause within the Party it-
Group" issued a report known as the February Outline self: class enemies who wave the red ag to oppose
(). The Outline, sanctioned by the Party cen- the red ag.* [23] The only way to identify these people
tre, dened Hai Rui as constructive academic discussion, was through the telescope and microscope of Mao Ze-
and aimed to formally distance Peng Zhen from any politi- dong Thought.* [23] While the party leadership was rel-
cal implications. However, Jiang Qing and Yao Wenyuan atively united in approving the general direction of Mao's
continued their denunciation of Wu Han and Peng Zhen. agenda, many Politburo members were not especially
Meanwhile, Mao also sacked Propaganda Department di- enthusiastic, or simply confused about the direction of
rector Lu Dingyi, a Peng Zhen ally.* [18] the movement.* [24] The charges against esteemed party

leaders like Peng Zhen rang alarm bells in China's intel- guidance' squads of cadres to the city's schools and Peo-
lectual community and among the eight non-Communist ple's Daily to restore some semblance of order and re-
parties.* [25] establish party control.* [28]
The work teams were hastily dispatched and had a poor
2.2 Early mass rallies understanding of student sentiment. Unlike the political
movement of the 1950s that squarely targeted intellectu-
als, the new movement was focused on established party
cadres, many of whom were part of the work teams. As
a result, the work teams came under increasing suspicion
for being yet another group aimed at thwarting revolu-
tionary fervour.* [29] The party leadership subsequently
became divided over whether or not work teams should
remain in place. Liu Shaoqi insisted on continuing work-
team involvement and suppressing the movement's most
radical elements, fearing that the movement would spin
out of control.* [30]

2.3 Bombard the Headquarters

Mao-Liu conict

Red Guards on the cover of an elementary school textbook.

After the purge of Peng Zhen, the Beijing Party Commit-

tee had eectively ceased to function, paving the way for
disorder in the capital. On May 25, under the guidance
of Cao Yi'ou wife of Maoist henchman Kang Sheng
Nie Yuanzi, a philosophy lecturer at Peking Univer-
sity, authored a big-character poster (dazibao) along with
other leftists and posted it to a public bulletin. Nie at- Party
tacked the university's party administration and its leader Chairman Mao Zedong (left) and State President Liu
Lu Ping.* [26] Nie insinuated that the university leader- Shaoqi (right)
ship, much like Peng Zhen, were trying to contain revo-
lutionary fervour in a sinisterattempt to oppose the On July 16, the 72-year-old Chairman Mao took to the
party and advance revisionism.* [26] Yangtze River in Wuhan, with the press in tow, in what
Mao promptly endorsed Nie's dazibao asthe rst Marx- became an iconicswim across the Yangtzeto demon-
ist big-character poster in China.Nie's call-to-arms, now strate his battle-readiness. He subsequently returned to
sealed with Mao's personal stamp of approval, had a Beijing on a mission to criticize the party leadership for
lasting ripple eect across all educational institutions in its handling of the work-teams issue. Mao accused the
China. Students everywhere began to revolt against their work teams of undermining the student movement, call-
respective schools' party establishment. Classes were ing for their full withdrawal on July 24. Several days later
promptly cancelled in Beijing primary and secondary a rally was held at the Great Hall of the People to an-
schools, followed by a decision on June 13 to expand the nounce the decision and set the new tone of the move-
class suspension nationwide.* [27] By early June, throngs ment to university and high school teachers and students.
of young demonstrators lined the capital's major thor- At the rally, Party leaders told the masses assembled to
oughfares holding giant portraits of Mao, beating drums, 'not be afraid' and bravely take charge of the movement
and shouting slogans against his perceived enemies.* [27] themselves, free of Party interference.* [31]
When the dismissal of Peng Zhen and the municipal party The work-teams issue marked a decisive defeat for Presi-
leadership became public in early June, widespread con- dent Liu Shaoqi politically; it also signaled that disagree-
fusion ensued. The public and foreign missions were kept ment over how to handle the unfolding events of the Cul-
in the dark on the reason for Peng Zhen's ousting.* [28] tural Revolution would break Mao from the established
Even the top Party leadership was caught o guard by the party leadership irreversibly. On August 1, the Eleventh
sudden anti-establishment wave of protest, and struggled Plenum of the Eighth Central Committee was hastily con-
with what to do next.* [28] After seeking Mao's guidance vened to advance Mao's now decidedly radical agenda.
in Hangzhou, Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping decided to At the plenum, Mao showed outright disdain for Liu, re-
send inwork teams() eectively 'ideological- peatedly interrupting Liu as he delivered his opening day
2.4 Red Guards and the Destruction of the Four Olds 5

speech.* [32] For several days, Mao repeatedly insinuated

that the Party's leadership had contravened his revolution-
ary vision. Mao's line of thinking received a lukewarm
reception from the conference attendees. Sensing that
the largely obstructive party elite was unwilling to fully
embrace his revolutionary ideology, Mao went on the of-
On July 28, Red Guard representatives wrote to Mao,
calling for rebellion and upheaval to safeguard the rev-
olution. Mao then responded to the letters by writing
his own big-character poster entitled Bombard the Head-
quarters, rallying people to target the command centre
(i.e., Headquarters) of counterrevolution. Mao wrote
that despite having undergone a Communist revolution,
a bourgeoiselite was still thriving in positions of
authorityin the government and Communist Party.* [2]
Although no names were mentioned, this provocative
statement by Mao has been interpreted as a direct indict-
ment of the party establishment under Liu Shaoqi and
Deng Xiaoping the purported bourgeois headquar-
tersof China. The personnel changes at the Plenum
reected a radical re-design of the party's hierarchy to
suit this new ideological landscape. Liu and Deng kept
their seats on the Politburo Standing Committee but were
in fact sidelined from day-to-day party aairs. Lin Biao
was elevated to become the Party's number-two gure;
Liu Shaoqi's rank went from second to eighth, and was
no longer Mao's heir apparent.* [2]
Coinciding with the top leadership being thrown out of
positions of power was the thorough undoing of the entire
national bureaucracy of the Communist Party. The exten-
sive Organization Department, in charge of party person- The remains of Ming Dynasty Wanli Emperor at the Ming tombs.
Red Guards dragged the remains of the Wanli Emperor and Em-
nel, essentially ceased to exist. The Cultural Revolution
presses to the front of the tomb, where they were posthumously
Group (CRG), Mao's ideological 'Praetorian Guard', was denouncedand burned.* [34]
catapulted to prominence to propagate his ideology and
rally popular support. The top ocials in the Propaganda
Department were sacked, with many of its functions fold- minds, and stage a comeback. The proletariat
ing into the CRG.* [33] must do just the opposite: It must meet head-
on every challenge of the bourgeoisie [...] to
change the outlook of society. Currently, our
2.4 Red Guards and the Destruction of the objective is to struggle against and crush those
Four Olds people in authority who are taking the capitalist
road, to criticize and repudiate the reactionary
Main article: Four Olds bourgeois academicauthoritiesand the ide-
On August 8, 1966, the party's Central Committee ology of the bourgeoisie and all other exploit-
passed its Decision Concerning the Great Proletarian ing classes and to transform education, litera-
Cultural Revolution, later to be known as theSixteen ture and art, and all other parts of the super-
Points.* [35] This decision dened the Cultural Revo- structure that do not correspond to the socialist
lution as a great revolution that touches people to their economic base, so as to facilitate the consoli-
very souls and constitutes a deeper and more extensive dation and development of the socialist system.
stage in the development of the socialist revolution in our
country.": The implications of the Sixteen Points were far-reaching.
It elevated what was previously a student movement to
Although the bourgeoisie has been over- a nationwide mass campaign that would galvanize work-
thrown, it is still trying to use the old ideas, ers, farmers, soldiers and lower-level party functionaries
culture, customs, and habits of the exploit- to rise up, challenge authority, and re-shape the super-
ing classes to corrupt the masses, capture their structureof society. On August 18, 1966, over a mil-

lion Red Guards from all over the country gathered in ous other historically signicant tombs and artifacts.* [40]
and around Tiananmen Square in Beijing for a personal The corpse of the 76th-generation Duke Yansheng was
audience with the Chairman.* [36] Lin Biao took centre removed from its grave and hung naked from a tree in
stage at the August 18 rally, vociferously denouncing all front of the palace during the desecration of the ceme-
manner of perceived enemies in Chinese society that was tery in the Cultural Revolution.* [41]
impeding the progress of the revolution.* [37] Libraries full of historical and foreign texts were de-
Mao personally mingled with Red Guards and threw stroyed; books were burned. Temples, churches,
his weight behind their cause, donning a Red Guard mosques, monasteries, and cemeteries were closed down
armband himself.* [37] Between August and November and sometimes converted to other uses, looted, and de-
1966, eight mass rallies were held in which over 12 mil- stroyed.* [42] Marxist propaganda depicted Buddhism as
lion people from all over the country, most of whom were superstition, and religion was looked upon as a means
Red Guards, participated.* [36] The government bore the of hostile foreign inltration, as well as an instrument
expenses of Red Guards travelling around the country ex- of the 'ruling class'.* [43] Clergy were arrested and sent
changing revolutionary experiences.* [38] to camps; many Tibetan Buddhists were forced to par-
At the Red Guard rallies, Lin Biao also called for the ticipate *
in the destruction of their monasteries at gun-
destruction of the Four Olds; namely, old customs, point. [43]
culture, habits, and ideas.* [37] Lin's speeches, heavy on For two years, until July 1968 and in some places for
rhetoric but light on details, did not specify what needed much longer the Red Guards expanded their areas of
to bedestroyedas part of this campaign. Mao believed authority, and accelerated their eorts at socialist 'recon-
that in creating great disorder, the masses should or- struction'. They began by passing out leaets explain-
ganically steer the direction of the movement rather than ing their actions to develop and strengthen socialism, and
rely on the authorities to tell them what to do. As a result, posting the names of suspectedcounter-revolutionaries
the movement quickly spun out of control. on bulletin boards. They assembled in large groups,
heldgreat debates,and wrote educational plays. They
Some changes associated with the Four Oldscam-
paign were largely benign, such as assigning new names held public meetings to criticize and solicit self-criticisms
from suspected counter-revolutionaries.
to city streets, places, and even people; millions of babies
were born with revolutionary"-sounding names during One of many quotations in the Little Red Book (Mao's
this period. Others aspects of the Red Guard onslaught Quotations) that the Red Guards would later follow as a
were far more destructive, particularly in the realms of guide, provided by Mao, wasThe world is yours, as well
culture and religion. Historical sites in every part of the as ours, but in the last analysis, it is yours. You young
country were ransacked and destroyed. The damage was people, full of vigor and vitality, are in the bloom of life,
particularly pronounced in the capital, Beijing, a city rich like the sun at eight or nine in the morning. Our hope is
in history and full of cultural relics, where thousands of placed on you ... The world belongs to you. China's future
designated sites of historical interest were destroyed. Red belongs to you.350 million copies of the book had been
Guards also laid siege to the Temple of Confucius in printed by December 1967.* [44] It was the mechanism
Qufu, Shandong province.* [39] that led the Red Guards to commit to their objective as
the future for China. These quotes directly from Mao led
to other actions by the Red Guards in the views of other
Maoist leaders.* [45]
Although the 16 Points and other pronouncements of the
central Maoist leaders forbade armed struggle (,
wudou)" in favor of verbal struggle(, wendou),
these struggle sessions often led to physical violence. Ini-
tially 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 PLA began to in-
tervene in 1969 did authorities begin to suppress the mass
The Cemetery of Confucius was attacked by Red Guards in
November 1966.* [40]* [41] On August 22, 1966, a central directive was issued to stop
police intervention in Red Guard activities.* [46] Those
in the police force who deed this notice were labeled
During these months of iconoclasm, Red Guards from
counter-revolutionaries.Mao's praise for rebellion was
Beijing Normal University desecrated and badly dam-
eectively an endorsement for the actions of the Red
aged the burial place of Confucius himself and numer-
2.5 1967 7

Guards, which grew increasingly violent.* [47] Public se- In February, Jiang Qing and Lin Biao, with support from
curity in China deteriorated rapidly as a result of central Mao, insisted that class struggle be extended to the mili-
ocials lifting restraints on violent behavior.* [48] Xie tary. Many prominent generals of the People's Liberation
Fuzhi, the national police chief, said it wasno big deal Army who were instrumental in the Communist victory
if Red Guards were beatingbad peopleto death.* [49] in the Chinese civil war voiced their concern and oppo-
The police relayed Xie's remarks to the Red Guards sition to the Cultural Revolution. Foreign Minister Chen
and they acted accordingly.* [49] In the course of about Yi and Vice-Premier Tan Zhenlin vocally denounced the
two weeks, the violence left some one hundred teachers, turn of events in Shanghai, stating that the movement was
going to destroy the party. This group of party leaders
school ocials, and educated cadres dead in Beijing's
western district alone. The number injured was too were subsequently denounced as the "February Counter-
current". Many of these critics were accused of trying
large to be calculated.* [48]
to sabotage the revolution, and fell into political disgrace
The most gruesome aspects of the campaign included nu- thereafter.
merous incidents of torture, murder, and public humilia-
tion. Many people who were targets of 'struggle' could no At the same time, some Red Guard organizations rose in
longer bear the stress and committed suicide. In August protest against other Red Guard organizations who ran
and September 1966, there were 1,772 people murdered dissimilar revolutionary messages, further complicating
in Beijing alone. In Shanghai there were 704 suicides and the situation and exacerbating the chaos. In April, at
534 deaths related to the Cultural Revolution in Septem- Mao's behest, Jiang Qing attempted to rein in Red Guard
ber. In Wuhan there were 62 suicides and 32 murders groups by issuing an order to stop all unhealthy activ-
during the same period.* [50] Peng Dehuai was brought ity.On April 6, 1967, Liu Shaoqi was openly and widely
to Beijing to be publicly ridiculed. denounced by a Zhongnanhai faction whose members in-
cluded Jiang Qing and Kang Sheng, and ultimately, Mao
In October, Mao convened a Central Work Confer- himself.
ence, essentially to convince those in the party lead-
The situation was quickly spinning out of control; there
ership who still have not fallen in line the correctness
of the Cultural Revolution. Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaop- existed no checks and balances on local revolutionary ac-
tivities. As the government and party organizations fell
ing were branded as part of a bourgeois reactionary
line(zichanjieji fandong luxian) and begrudgingly gave apart all over the country, it was no longer clear who was
truly loyal to Mao's revolutionary vision and who was op-
self-criticisms.* [51] After the conference, Liu, once the
most powerful man in China after Mao, was placed un- portunistically riding the waves of chaos for their own
der house arrest in Beijing, then sent to a detention camp, gain. By July, factional violence had become common-
where he rotted away, was denied medicine, and died in place across the country. On July 22, Jiang Qing directed
1969. Deng Xiaoping was sent away for a period of 're- the Red Guards to replace the People's Liberation Army
education' three times, and was eventually sent to work in if necessary, as the loyalty of local Army units to therev-
a Jiangxi engine factory. olutionary causewas no longer assured. After the ini-
tial 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,
2.5 1967 continued through to the autumn of 1968.
In the central city of Wuhan, like in many other cities, two
On January 3, 1967, Lin Biao and Jiang Qing employed major revolutionary organizations emerged, one support-
local media and grassroots organizations to generate the ing the establishment and the other opposed to it. The
so-called "January Storm", during which the Shanghai groups violently fought over the control of the city. Chen
municipal government was essentially overthrown.* [52] Zaidao, the army general in charge of the area, helped
This paved the way for Wang Hongwen to take charge of suppress the anti-establishment demonstrators. However,
the city as leader of the so-called Shanghai People's Com- in the midst of the commotion, Mao himself ew to
mune, later renamed the Municipal Revolutionary Com- Wuhan with a large entourage of central ocials in an
mittee. In Beijing, Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping were attempt to secure military loyalty in the area. In re-
once again the targets of criticism; others attacked Vice sponse, local agitators kidnapped Mao's emissary Wang
Premier Tao Zhu, signalling that even central government Li in what became known as the Wuhan Incident. Sub-
ocials were now 'fair game' for attacks. sequently, Gen. Chen Zaidao was dragged to Beijing and
On January 8, Mao praised these actions through the denounced by Jiang Qing and the rest of the Cultural Rev-
party-run People's Daily, urging all local government olution Group.
leaders to rise in self-criticism, or the criticism of others In this same year, Chinese New Year celebrations
suspected ofcounterrevolutionary activity. Many lo- were banned in China, it was only reinstated 13 years
cal governments followed Shanghai's example, with red later.* [53]
guards or other revolutionary groups seizing power
from the established party and government organs.

2.6 1968 our great leader the greatest Marxist-Leninist of our era,
Chairman Mao, but also great joy because we have Vice
In the spring of 1968, a massive campaign began, aimed Chairman Lin as Chairman Mao's universally recognized
at promoting the already-adored Mao to god-like sta- successor.
tus. On July 27, 1968, the Red Guards' power over the Premier Zhou Enlai at the Ninth Party Congress* [59]
army was ocially ended and the central government sent
in units to protect many areas that remained targets for Lin Biao was ocially elevated to become the Party's
the Red Guards. A year later, the Red Guard factions number-two gure, with his name written into the
were dismantled entirely; Mao feared that the chaos they Communist Party's Constitution as Mao's closest
causedand could still causemight begin running its comrade-in-armsand universally recognized succes-
own agenda and be turned against what was left of the sor. [60] Lin delivered the keynote address at the
party organization. Their purpose had been largely ful- Congress: a document drafted by hardliner leftists
lled; Mao and his radical colleagues had largely consol- Yao Wenyuan and Zhang Chunqiao under Mao's guid-
idated their political power. ance.* [61] The report was heavily critical of Liu Shaoqi
and other counter-revolutionaries, and drew exten-
In early October, Mao began a campaign to purge disloyal sively from quotations in the Little Red Book. The
ocials. Many were sent to the countryside to work in Congress solidied the central role of Maoism within the
labor camps. Liu wasforever expelledfrom the Com- party psyche, re-introducing Mao Zedong Thought as an
munist Party at the 12th Plenum of the Eighth Central ocial guiding ideology of the party in the party con-
Committee in September 1968, and labelled the head- stitution. Lastly, the Congress elected a new Politburo
quarters of the bourgeoisie, seemingly alluding to Mao's with Mao Zedong, Lin Biao, Chen Boda, Zhou Enlai,
Bombard the Headquarters dazibao written two years ear- and Kang Sheng as the members of the new Politburo
lier. Standing Committee. Lin, Chen, and Kang were all ben-
In December 1968, Mao began the "Down to the Coun- eciaries of the Cultural Revolution. Zhou, who was de-
tryside Movement". During this movement, which lasted moted in rank, voiced his unequivocal support for Lin
for the next decade, young intellectuals living in cities at the Congress.* [62] Mao also restored the function of
were ordered to go to the countryside. The term in- some formal party institutions, such as the operations of
tellectualswas actually used in the broadest sense to re- the party's Politburo, which ceased functioning between
fer to recently graduated middle school students. In the 19668 because the Central Cultural Revolution Group
late 1970s, these young intellectualswere nally al- held de facto control of the country.* [63]
lowed 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 dis- 3.2 PLA gains pre-eminent role
ruption.* [54]
Mao's eorts at re-organizing party and state institutions
generated mixed results. Many far-ung provinces re-
3 Lin Biao phase mained volatile as the political situation in Beijing sta-
bilized. Factional struggles, many of which were vio-
lent, continued at the local level despite the declaration
3.1 Transition of power that the Ninth Congress marked a temporary victory
for the Cultural Revolution.* [64] Furthermore, despite
The Ninth Party Congress was held in April 1969, and Mao's eorts to put on a show of unity at the Congress,
served as a means to 'revitalize' the party with fresh think- the factional divide between Lin Biao's PLA camp and
ing and new cadres after much of the old guard had the Jiang Qing-led radical camp was intensifying. Indeed,
been destroyed in the struggles of preceding years.* [55] a personal dislike of Jiang Qing drew many civilian lead-
The institutional framework of the Party established two ers, including prominent theoretician Chen Boda, closer
decades earlier had broken down almost entirely: dele- to Lin Biao.* [65]
gates for this Congress were eectively selected by Rev- Between 1966 and 1968, China was isolated internation-
olutionary Committees rather than through election by ally, having declared its enmity towards both the Soviet
party members.* [56] Representation of the military in- Union and the United States. The friction with the Soviet
creased by a large margin from the previous Congress Union intensied after border clashes on the Ussuri River
(28% of the delegates were PLA members), and the elec- in March 1969 as the Chinese leadership prepared for all-
tion of more PLA members to the new Central Commit- out war.* [66] In October, senior leaders were evacuated
tee reected this increase.* [57] Many military ocers el- from Beijing.* [66] Amidst the tension, Lin Biao issued
evated to senior positions were loyal to PLA Marshal Lin what appeared to be an executive order to prepare for
Biao, opening a new factional divide between the military war to the PLA's eleven Military Regions on October 18
and civilian leadership.* [58] without passing through Mao. This drew the ire of the
We do not only feel boundless joy because we have as Chairman, who saw it as evidence that his authority was
3.3 Flight of Lin Biao 9

The attacks on Zhang found favour with many attendees

at the Plenum, and may have been construed by Mao as
an indirect attack on the Cultural Revolution itself. Mao
confronted Chen openly, denouncing him as a false
Marxist,* [73] and removed him from the Politburo
Standing Committee. In addition to the purge of Chen,
Mao asked Lin's principal generals to write self-criticisms
on their political positions as a warning to Lin. Mao also
inducted several of his supporters to the Central Military
Commission, and placed his loyalists in leadership roles
of the Beijing Military Region.* [73]

3.3 Flight of Lin Biao

Main article: Lin Biao incident
By 1971, diverging interests between the civilian and

Marshal Lin Biao was constitutionally conrmed as Mao's suc-

cessor in 1969.

prematurely usurped by his declared successor.* [66]

The prospect of war elevated the PLA to greater promi-
nence in domestic politics, increasing the stature of Lin
Grati with Lin Biao's foreword to Mao's Little Red Book, Lin's
Biao at the expense of Mao.* [67] There is some evidence name (lower right) was later scratched out, presumably after his
to suggest that Mao was pushed to seek closer relations death.
with the United States as a means to avoid PLA domi-
nance in domestic aairs that would result from a mili- military wings of the leadership were apparent. Mao was
tary confrontation with the Soviet Union.* [67] During his troubled by the PLA's newfound prominence, and the
meeting with U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1972, Mao purge of Chen Boda marked the beginning of a gradual
hinted that Lin had opposed seeking better relations with scaling-down of the PLA's political involvement.* [74]
the U.S.* [68] According to ocial sources, sensing the reduction of
Lin's power base and his declining health, Lin's support-
After Lin was conrmed as Mao's successor, his support-
ers focused on the restoration of the position of State ers plotted to use the military power still at their disposal
* to oust Mao in a coup.* [75]
Chairman (President), [69] which had been abolished by
Mao after the purge of Liu Shaoqi. They hoped that Lin's son, Lin Liguo, and other high-ranking military
by allowing Lin to ease into a constitutionally sanctioned conspirators formed a coup apparatus in Shanghai, and
role, whether Chairman or Vice-Chairman, Lin's succes- dubbed the plan to oust Mao by force Outline for Project
sion would be institutionalized. The consensus within the 571, which sounds similar toMilitary Uprisingin Man-
Politburo was that Mao should assume the oce with darin. It is disputed whether Lin Biao was involved in this
Lin becoming Vice-Chairman; but for unknown reasons, process. While ocial sources maintain that Lin planned
Mao had voiced his explicit opposition to the recreation and executed the alleged coup attempt, scholars such as
of the position and his assuming it.* [70] Jin Qiu portray Lin as a passive character manipulated
Factional rivalries intensied at the Second Plenum of the by members of his family and his supporters. [75] Qiu
Ninth Congress in Lushan held in late August 1970. Chen contests that Lin Biao was never personally involved in
Boda, now aligned with the PLA faction loyal to Lin, gal- drafting the Outline
and evidence suggests that Lin Liguo
vanized support for the restoration of the oce of Presi- drafted the coup. [75]
dent of China, despite Mao's wishes to the contrary.* [71] The Outline allegedly consisted mainly of plans for aerial
Moreover, Chen launched an assault on Zhang Chunqiao, bombardments through use of the Air Force. It initially
a staunch Maoist who embodied the chaos of the Cultural targeted Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan, but would
Revolution, over the evaluation of Mao's legacy.* [72] later involve Mao himself. Were the plan to succeed, Lin

would arrest his political rivals and assume power. Assas- cadre from Shanghai, Wang Hongwen, to Beijing and
sination attempts were alleged to have been made against made him Vice-Chairman of the Party.* [77] Wang, a
Mao in Shanghai, from September 8 to September 10, former factory worker from a peasant background,* [77]
1971. Perceived risks to Mao's safety were allegedly re- was seemingly being groomed for succession.* [78] Jiang
layed to the Chairman. One internal report alleged that Qing's position also strengthened after Lin's ight. She
Lin had planned to bomb a bridge that Mao was to cross held tremendous inuence with the radical camp. With
to reach Beijing; Mao reportedly avoided this bridge after Mao's health on the decline, it was clear that Jiang Qing
receiving intelligence reports. had political ambitions of her own. She allied herself with
Wang Hongwen and propaganda specialists Zhang Chun-
In the ocial narrative, on September 13, 1971, Lin
Biao, his wife Ye Qun, Lin Liguo, and members of his qiao and Yao Wenyuan, forming a political clique later
pejoratively dubbed as the "Gang of Four".
sta attempted to ee to the Soviet Union ostensibly to
seek asylum. En route, Lin's plane crashed in Mongolia, By 1973, round after round of political struggles had
killing all on board. The plane apparently ran out of fuel left many lower-level institutions, including local govern-
en route to the Soviet Union. A Soviet team investigat- ment, factories, and railways, short of competent sta
ing the incident was not able to determine the cause of needed to carry out basic functions.* [79] The country's
the crash, but hypothesized that the pilot was ying low economy had fallen into disarray, which necessitated the
to evade radar and misjudged the plane's altitude. rehabilitation of purged lower level ocials. However,
The ocial account has been put to question by foreign the party's core became heavily dominated by Cultural
scholars, who have raised doubts over Lin's choice of the Revolution beneciaries and leftist radicals, whose fo-
Soviet Union as a destination, the plane's route, the iden- cus remained upholding ideological purity over economic
tity of the passengers, and whether or not a coup was ac- productivity. The economy remained largely the domain
tually taking place.* [75]* [76] of Zhou Enlai, one of the few moderates 'left standing'.
Zhou attempted to restore a viable economy, but was re-
On September 13, the Politburo met in an emergency ses- sented by the Gang of Four, who identied him as their
sion to discuss Lin Biao. Only on September 30 was Lin's main political threat in post-Mao era succession.
death conrmed in Beijing, which led to the cancellation
In late 1973, to weaken Zhou's political position and
of the National Day celebration events the following day.
The Central Committee kept information under wraps, to distance themselves from Lin's apparent betrayal, the
"Criticize Lin, Criticize Confucius" campaign began un-
and news of Lin's death was not released to the public *
until two months following the incident.* [75] Many of der Jiang Qing's leadership. [80] Its stated goals were to
Lin's supporters sought refuge in Hong Kong; those who purge China of new Confucianist thinking and* denounce
remained on the mainland were purged. The event caught Lin Biao's actions as traitorous and regressive. [81] Rem-
the party leadership o guard: the concept that Lin could iniscent of the rst years of the Cultural Revolution, the
betray Mao de-legitimized a vast body of Cultural Rev- battle was carried out through historical allegory, and
olution political rhetoric, as Lin was already enshrined although Zhou Enlai's name was never mentioned dur-
into the Party Constitution as Mao's closest comrade- ing this campaign, the Premier's historical namesake, the
in-armsandsuccessor. For several months following Duke of Zhou, was a frequent target.
the incident, the party information apparatus struggled to With a fragile economy and Zhou falling ill to cancer,
nd a correct wayto frame the incident for public Deng Xiaoping returned to the political scene, taking up
consumption.* [75] the post of Vice-Premier in March 1973, in the rst of a
series of promotions approved by Mao. After Zhou with-
drew from active politics in January 1975, Deng was ef-
4 Gang of Fourand their down- fectively put in charge of the government, party, and mil-
itary, earning the additional titles of PLA General Chief
fall of Sta, Vice-Chairman of the Communist Party, and
Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission in
Main article: Gang of Four a short time span.* [82]
The speed of Deng's rehabilitation took the radical camp,
who saw themselves as Mao's 'rightful' political and ide-
ological heirs, by surprise. Mao wanted to use Deng as
4.1 Antagonism towards Zhou and Deng a counterweight to the military faction in government to
suppress any remaining inuence of those formerly loyal
Mao became depressed and reclusive after the Lin Biao to Lin Biao. In addition, Mao had also lost condence in
incident. With Lin gone, Mao had no ready answers the ability of the Gang of Four to manage the economy
for who would succeed him. Sensing a sudden loss of and saw Deng as a competent and eective leader. Leav-
direction, Mao attempted reaching out to old comrades ing the country in grinding poverty would do no favours to
whom he had denounced in the past. Meanwhile, in the positive legacy of the Cultural Revolution, which Mao
September 1972, Mao transferred a thirty-eight-year-old
4.3 Tiananmen Incident 11

worked hard to protect. Deng's return set the scene for a 4.3 Tiananmen Incident
protracted factional struggle between the radical Gang of
Four and moderates led by Zhou and Deng. Main article: Tiananmen Incident
At the time, Jiang Qing and associates held eective con-
trol of mass media and the party's propaganda network, On April 4, 1976, on the eve of China's annual Qingming
while Zhou and Deng held control of most government Festival, a traditional day of mourning, thousands of peo-
organs. On some decisions, Mao sought to mitigate the ple gathered around the Monument to the People's Heroes
Gang's inuence, but on others, he acquiesced to their in Tiananmen Square to commemorate Zhou Enlai. The
demands. The Gang of Four's heavy hand in political people of Beijing honored Zhou by laying wreaths, ban-
and media control did not prevent Deng from reinstating ners, poems, placards, and owers at the foot of the Mon-
his economic policies. Deng emphatically opposed Party ument.* [88] The most obvious purpose of this memorial
factionalism, and his policies aimed to promote unity as was to eulogize Zhou, but the Gang of Four were also
the rst step to restoring economic productivity.* [83] attacked for their actions against the Premier. A small
number of slogans left at Tiananmen even attacked Mao
Much like the post-Great Leap restructuring led by Liu
himself, and his Cultural Revolution.* [89]
Shaoqi, Deng streamlined the railway system, steel pro-
duction, and other key areas of the economy. By late Up to two million people may have visited Tiananmen
1975 however, Mao saw that Deng's economic restruc- Square on April 4.* [89] All levels of society, from the
turing might negate the legacy of the Cultural Revolution, poorest peasants to high-ranking PLA ocers and the
and launched a campaign to oppose rehabilitating the children of high-ranking cadres, were represented in the
case for the rightists, alluding to Deng as the country's activities. Those who participated were motivated by
foremost rightist. Mao directed Deng to write self- a mixture of anger over the treatment of Zhou, revolt
criticisms in November 1975, a move lauded by the Gang against the Cultural Revolution and apprehension for
of Four.* [83] China's future. The event did not appear to have coor-
dinated leadership but rather seemed to be a reection of
public sentiment.* [90]
The Central Committee, under the leadership of Jiang
Qing, labelled the event 'counter-revolutionary', and
cleared the square of memorial items shortly after mid-
4.2 Death of Zhou Enlai night on April 6. Attempts to suppress the mourners led
to a violent riot. Police cars were set on re and a crowd
of over 100,000 people forced its way into several gov-
On January 8, 1976, Zhou Enlai died of bladder cancer.
ernment buildings surrounding the square.* [88] Many of
On January 15 Deng Xiaoping delivered Zhou's ocial
those arrested were later sentenced to prison work camps.
eulogy in a funeral attended by all of China's most senior
Similar incidents occurred in other major cities. Jiang
leaders with the notable absence of Mao himself, who had
Qing and her allies pinned Deng Xiaoping as the inci-
grown increasingly critical of Zhou.* [84]* [85] Curiously,
dent's 'mastermind', and issued reports on ocial media
after Zhou's death, Mao selected neither a member of the
to that eect. Deng was formally stripped of all positions
Gang of Four nor Deng Xiaoping to become Premier, in-
inside and outside the Partyon April 7. This marked
stead choosing the relatively unknown Hua Guofeng.
Deng's second purge in ten years.* [88]
The Gang of Four grew apprehensive that spontaneous,
large-scale popular support for Zhou could turn the po-
litical tide against them. They acted through the media 4.4 Death of Mao and Arrest of the Gang
to impose a set of restrictions on overt public displays of of Four
mourning for Zhou. Years of resentment over the Cul-
tural Revolution, the public persecution of Deng Xiaop- On September 9, 1976, Mao Zedong died. To Mao's sup-
ing (seen as Zhou's ally), and the prohibition against pub- porters, his death symbolized the loss of the revolutionary
lic mourning led to a rise in popular discontent against foundation of Communist China. When his death was an-
Mao and the Gang of Four.* [86] nounced on the afternoon of September 9, in a press re-
Ocial attempts to enforce the mourning restrictions lease entitledA Notice from the Central Committee, the
included removing public memorials and tearing down NPC, State Council, and the CMC to the whole Party, the
posters commemorating Zhou's achievements. On March whole Army and to the people of all nationalities through-
25, 1976, Shanghai's Wen Hui Bao published an article out the country,* [91] the nation descended into grief
calling Zhouthe capitalist roader inside the Party [who] and mourning, with people weeping in the streets and
wanted to help the unrepentant capitalist roader [Deng] public institutions closing for over a week. Hua Guofeng
regain his power. These propaganda eorts at smearing chaired the Funeral Committee.
Zhou's image, however, only strengthened public attach- Shortly before dying, Mao had allegedly written the mes-
ment to Zhou's memory.* [87] sage With you in charge, I'm at ease, to Hua. Hua

used this message to substantiate his position as succes- criticized. At the Plenum, the Party reversed its verdict
sor. Hua had been widely considered to be lacking in on the Tiananmen Incident. Disgraced former leader Liu
political skill and ambitions, and seemingly posed no se- Shaoqi was allowed a belated state funeral.* [94]
rious threat to the Gang of Four in the race for succession. At the Fifth Plenum held in 1980, Peng Zhen, He
However, the Gang's radical ideas also clashed with inu- Long and other leaders who had been purged during
ential elders and a large segment of party reformers. With the Cultural Revolution were politically rehabilitated.
army backing and the support of Marshal Ye Jianying, on Hu Yaobang became head of the party as its General-
October 10, the Special Unit 8341 had all members of Secretary. In September, Hua Guofeng resigned, and
the Gang of Four arrested in a bloodless coup.
Zhao Ziyang, another Deng ally, was named Premier.
Deng remained the Chairman of the Central Military
Commission, but formal power was transferred to a new
generation of pragmatic reformers, who reversed Cul-
5 Aftermath tural Revolution policies almost in their entirety.

Although Hua Guofeng publicly denounced the Gang of

Four in 1976, he continued to invoke Mao's name to jus- 6 Policy and eect
tify Mao-era policies. Hua spearheaded what became
known as the Two Whatevers,* [92] namely, 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 follow.Like
Deng, Hua wanted to reverse the damage of the Cultural
Revolution; but unlike Deng, who wanted to propose new
economic models for China, Hua intended to move the
Chinese economic and political system towards Soviet-
style planning of the early 1950s.
It became increasingly clear to Hua that, without Deng
Xiaoping, it was dicult to continue daily aairs of state.
On October 10, Deng Xiaoping personally wrote a let- A 1968 map of Beijing showing streets and landmarks renamed
ter to Hua asking to be transferred back to state and during the Cultural Revolution. Andingmen Inner Street became
party aairs; party elders also called for Deng's return. Great Leap Forward Road, Taijichang Street became the
With increasing pressure from all sides, Hua named Deng Road for Eternal Revolution, Dongjiaominxiang was renamed
Vice-Premier in July 1977, and later promoted him to Anti-Imperialist Road, Beihai Park was renamed Worker-
various other positions, eectively catapulting Deng to Peasant-Soldier Parkand Jingshan Park becameRed Guard
China's second-most powerful gure. In August, the Park.Most of the Cultural Revolution-era name changes were
Party's Eleventh Congress was held in Beijing, ocially later reversed.
naming (in ranking order) Hua Guofeng, Ye Jianying,
The eects of the Cultural Revolution directly or indi-
Deng Xiaoping, Li Xiannian, and Wang Dongxing as new rectly touched essentially all of China's population. Dur-
members of the Politburo Standing Committee.* [93]
ing the Cultural Revolution, much economic activity was
In May 1978, Deng seized the opportunity to elevate his halted, with revolution, regardless of interpretation,
protg Hu Yaobang to power. Hu published an article in being the primary objective of the country. Mao Ze-
the Guangming Daily, making clever use of Mao's quota- dong Thought became the central operative guide to all
tions while lauding Deng's ideas. Following this article, things in China. The authority of the Red Guards sur-
Hua began to shift his tone in support of Deng. On July passed that of the army, local police authorities, and the
1, Deng publicized Mao's self-criticism report of 1962 law in general. Chinese traditional arts and ideas were
regarding the failure of the Great Leap Forward. With ignored and publicly attacked, with praise for Mao being
an expanding power base, in September 1978, Deng be- practiced in their place. People were encouraged to criti-
gan openly attacking Hua Guofeng's Two Whatevers cize cultural institutions and to question their parents and
.* [92] teachers, which had been strictly forbidden in traditional
On December 18, 1978, the pivotal Third Plenum of Chinese culture.
the 11th Central Committee was held. At the congress The start of the Cultural Revolution brought huge num-
Deng called for a liberation of thoughtsand urged bers of Red Guards to Beijing, with all expenses paid
the party to "seek truth from facts" and abandon ideolog- by the government, and the railway system was in tur-
ical dogma. The Plenum ocially marked the beginning moil. The revolution aimed to destroy the "Four Olds"
of the economic reform era. Hua Guofeng engaged in (old customs, old culture, old habits, and old ideas) and
self-criticism and called his Two Whateversa mis- establish the corresponding Four News, and this can
take. Wang Dongxing, a trusted ally of Mao, was also ranged from changing of names and cutting of hair, to the
6.1 Education 13

ransacking of homes, vandalizing cultural treasures, and factions, and took part in open warfare against other fac-
desecrating temples.* [95] In a few years, countless an- tions. The ideology that drove these factions was vague
cient buildings, artifacts, antiques, books, and paintings and sometimes non-existent, with the struggle for local
were destroyed by Red Guards. The status of traditional authority being the only motivation for mass involvement.
Chinese culture and institutions within China was also
severely damaged as a result of the Cultural Revolution,
and the practice of many traditional customs weakened. 6.1 Education
The revolution also aimed to sweep away all the mon-
The Cultural Revolution brought China's education sys-
sters and demons( , literally cow ghosts
tem to a virtual halt for some time. In the early months
snake spirits), that is, all the class enemy who pro-
of the Cultural Revolution, schools and universities were
moted bourgeois idea within the party, the government,
closed. Primary and middle schools later gradually re-
the army, among the intellectuals, as well as those from
opened, but all colleges and universities were closed
an exploitative family background or belonged to one of
until 1970, and most universities did not reopen until
the Five Black Categories. Large number of people per-
1972.* [100] The university entrance exams were can-
ceived to be monsters and demonsregardless of guilt
celled after 1966, to be replaced later by a system
or innocence were publicly denounced, humiliated, and
whereby students were recommended by factories, vil-
beaten. In their revolutionary fervor, students denounced
lages and military units, and entrance exams were not re-
their teachers, and children denounced their parents.* [96]
stored until 1977 under Deng Xiaoping. According to
Many died through their ill-treatment or committed sui-
the documents for the prosecution of the Gang of Four,
cide. In 1968, youths were mobilized to go to the coun-
142,000 cadres and teachers in the education circles were
tryside in the Down to the Countryside Movement so they
persecuted, and noted academics, scientists, and educa-
may learn from the peasantry, and the departure of mil-
tors who died included Xiong Qinglai, Jian Bozan, Rao
lions from the cities helped end the most violent phase of
Yutai, Wu Dingliang and Zhao Jiuzhang.* [101]
the Cultural Revolution.* [97]
Many intellectuals were sent to rural labor camps, and
Though the eect of the Cultural Revolution was disas-
many of those who survived left China shortly after the
trous for millions of people in China, there were posi-
revolution ended. Many survivors and observers sug-
tive outcomes for some sections of the population, such
gest that almost anyone with skills over that of the av-
as those in the rural areas. For example, the upheavals of
erage person was made the target of political strug-
the Cultural Revolution and the hostility to the intellec-
glein some way. The entire generation of tormented
tual elite is widely accepted to have damaged the quality
and inadequately educated individuals is often referred
of education in China, especially at the upper end of ed-
to in the West as well as in China as the 'lost genera-
ucation system. However, the radical policies also pro-
tion'.* [102]* [103]* [104]
vided many in the rural communities with middle school
education for the rst time, which is thought to have fa- During the Cultural Revolution, basic education was em-
cilitated the rural economic development in the 70s and phasized and rapidly expanded. While the years of
80s.* [98] Similarly, a large number of health personnel schooling were reduced and education standard fell, the
were deployed to the countryside as barefoot doctors dur- proportion of Chinese children who had completed pri-
ing the Cultural Revolution. Some farmers were given mary education increased from less than half before the
informal medical training, and health-care centers were Cultural Revolution to almost all after the Cultural Rev-
established in rural communities. This process led to a olution, and those who completed junior middle school
marked improvement in the health and the life expectancy rose from 15% to over two-third. The educational oppor-
of the general population.* [99] tunities for rural children expanded considerably, while
those of the children of the urban elite became restricted
After the most violent phase of the 1960s ended, the at-
by the anti-elitist policies.* [105]
tack on traditional culture continued in 1973 with the
Anti-Lin Biao, Anti-Confucius Campaign as part of the The impact of the Cultural Revolution on popular edu-
struggle against the moderate elements in the party. The cation varied among regions, and formal measurements
Cultural Revolution brought to the forefront numerous in- of literacy did not resume until the 1980s. [106] Some
ternal power struggles within the Communist party, many counties in Zhanjiang had illiteracy rates as high as 41%
of which had little to do with the larger battles between some 20 years after the revolution. The leaders of China
Party leaders, but resulted instead from local factionalism at the time denied that there were any illiteracy problems
and petty rivalries that were usually unrelated to therev- from the start. This eect was amplied by the elimi-
olutionitself. Because of the chaotic political environ- nation of qualied teachersmany districts were forced
ment, local governments lacked organization and stabil- to rely on selected students to educate the next genera-
ity, if they existed at all. Members of dierent factions tion. [106]
often fought on the streets, and political assassinations, In 1968, the Communist Party instituted the Down to the
particularly in predominantly rural provinces, were com- Countryside Movement, in which Educated Youths
mon. The masses spontaneously involved themselves in (zhishi qingnian or simply zhiqing) in urban areas were

sent to live and work in agrarian areas to be re-educated casual remark by Mao, Sweet potato tastes good; I like
by the peasantry and to better understand the role of man- itbecame a slogan everywhere in the countryside.* [108]
ual agrarian labor in Chinese society. In the initial stages, Political slogans of the time had three sources: Mao, of-
most of the youth who took part volunteered, although cial Party media such as People's Daily, and the Red
later on the government resorted to forcing many of them Guards.* [108] Mao often oered vague, yet powerful
to move. Between 1968 and 1979, 17 millions of China's directives that led to the factionalization of the Red
urban youths left for the countryside, and being in the Guards.* [110] These directives could be interpreted to
rural areas also deprived them the opportunity of higher suit personal interests, in turn aiding factions' goals in be-
education.* [97] In the post-Mao period, many of those
ing most loyal to Mao Zedong. Red Guard slogans were
forcibly moved attacked the policy as a violation of their of the most violent nature, such as Strike the enemy
human rights.* [107]
down on the oor and step on him with a foot, Long
live the red terror!" and Those who are against Chair-
man Mao will have their dog skulls smashed into pieces
6.2 Slogans and rhetoric .* [108]
Sinologists Lowell Dittmer and Chen Ruoxi point out that
the Chinese language had historically been dened by
subtlety, delicacy, moderation, and honesty, as well as
the cultivation of a rened and elegant literary style
.* [111] This changed during the Cultural Revolution.
Since Mao wanted an army of bellicose people in his cru-
sade, rhetoric at the time was reduced to militant and vio-
lent vocabulary.* [108] These slogans were a powerful and
eective method of thought reform, mobilizing mil-
lions of people in a concerted attack upon the subjective
world,while at the same time reforming their objective
world.* [108]* [112]
Dittmer and Chen argue that the emphasis on politics
made language a very eective form of propaganda,
but also transformed it into a jargon of stereotypes
pompous, repetitive, and boring.* [112] To distance it-
self from the era, Deng Xiaoping's government cut back
heavily on the use of political slogans. The practice of
sloganeering saw a mild resurgence in the late 1990s un-
der Jiang Zemin.

6.3 Arts and literature

Remnants of a banner containing slogans from the Cultural Rev-

olution in Anhui.

According to Shaorong Huang, the fact that the Cultural

Revolution had such massive eects on Chinese society
is the result of extensive use of political slogans.* [108]
In Huang's view, rhetoric played a central role in rallying
both the Party leadership and people at large during the
Cultural Revolution. For example, the slogan to rebel
is justied(, zofn yul) became a unitary
theme.* [108]
Huang asserts that political slogans were ubiquitous in ev-
ery aspect of people's lives, being printed onto ordinary The ballet The Red Detachment of Women, one of the Model
items such as bus tickets, cigarette packets, and mirror Dramas promoted during the Cultural Revolution.
tables.* [109] Workers were supposed to grasp revolu-
tion and promote productions, while peasants were sup- Before the Cultural Revolution, in the years 19581966,
posed to raise more pigs becausemore pigs means more theatre became part of the struggles in the political arena
manure, and more manure means more grain. Even a as plays were used as to criticize or support particular
6.3 Arts and literature 15

members of the party leadership. An opera by Wu Han, ers were allowed to write and many provincial literary pe-
Hai Rui Dismissed from Oce, was interpreted as a veiled riodicals resumed publication, but the majority of writers
criticism of Mao. It produced an attack by Yao Wenyuan still could not work.* [121]* [122]
on the opera, an attack often considered the opening shot The eect is similar in the lm industry. A booklet ti-
of Cultural Revolution,* [113] and led to the persecution tled Four Hundred Films to be Criticizedwas dis-
and death of its writer Wu Han, as well as others involved tributed, and lm directors and actors/actresses were crit-
in theatre, such as Tian Han, Sun Weishi, and Zhou Xin- icized with some tortured and imprisoned.* [118] These
fang.* [114]* [115] included many of Jiang Qing's rivals and former friends
During the Cultural Revolution, Jiang Qing took control in the lm industry, and those who died in the period in-
of the stage and introduced the revolutionary model op- cluded Cai Chusheng, Zheng Junli, Shangguan Yunzhu,
eras under her direct supervision. Traditional operas were Wang Ying, and Xu Lai.* [123] No feature lms were
banned as they were considered feudalistic and bour- produced in mainland China for seven years apart from
geois, but revolutionary opera, which is based on Peking the few approved "Model dramas" and highly ideologi-
opera but modied in both content and form, was pro- cal lms,* [124] a notable example of the handful of lms
moted.* [116] Starting in 1967, eight Model Dramas (6 made and permitted to be shown in this period is Taking
operas and 2 ballets) were produced in the rst three Tiger Mountain by Strategy.* [125]* [126]
years, and the most notable of the operas was The Leg- After the communist takeover in China, much of the
end of the Red Lantern. These operas were the only ap- popular music from Shanghai was condemned as Yellow
proved opera form and other opera troupes were required Music and banned, and during the Cultural Revolution,
to adopt or change their repertoire.* [117] The model op- composers of such popular music such as Li Jinhui were
eras were also broadcast on the radio, made into lms, persecuted.* [127] Revolution-themed songs instead were
blared from public loudspeakers, taught to students in promoted, and songs such as "Ode to the Motherland",
schools and workers in factories, and became ubiquitous "Sailing the Seas Depends on the Helmsman", "The
as a form of popular entertainment and the only theatrical East Is Red" and "Without the Communist Party, There
entertainment for millions in China.* [118]* [119] Would Be No New China" were either written or be-
In 1966, Jiang Qing put forward the Theory of the Dicta- came extremely popular during this period.The East Is
torship of the Black Line in Literature and Arts where Red, especially, became popular; it de facto supplanted
those perceived to be bourgeois, anti-socialist or anti- "The March of the Volunteers" as the national anthem of
Mao black lineshould be cast aside, and called for China, though the latter was restored to its previous place
the creation of a new literature and arts.* [120] Writers, after the Cultural Revolution ended.
artists and intellectuals who were the recipients and dis- Propaganda art
seminators of theold culturewould be comprehensively
eradicated. The majority of writers and artists were seen Some of the most enduring images of Cultural Revolu-
as black line guresand reactionary literati, and tion come from the poster art. Propaganda art in posters
therefore persecuted, many were subjected to criticism was used as a campaigning tool and mass communication
and denunciationwhere they may be publicly humiliated device, and often served as the main source of informa-
and ravaged, and they may also be imprisoned or sent to tion for the people. They were produced in large num-
be reformed through hard labour.* [121] ber and widely disseminated, and were used by the gov-
ernment and Red Guards to educate the public the ide-
In the documents for the prosecution of the Gang of Four ological value as dened by the party state.* [128] There
released in 1980, more than 2,600 people in the eld of were many types of posters, the two main genres being
arts and literature were revealed to have been persecuted the dazibao (, big character poster) andcommer-
by the Ministry of Culture and units under it alone.* [101] cialpropapanda poster (, xuanchuanhua).* [129]
Many died as a result of their ordeal and humiliation the
names of 200 well-known writers and artists who were The dazibao may be slogans, poems, commentary and
persecuted to death during the Cultural Revolution were graphics often freely created and posted on walls in pub-
commemorated in 1979, writers such as Lao She, Fu Lei, lic spaces, factories and communes. They were vital to
Deng Tuo, Baren, Li Guangtian, Yang Shuo, and Zhao Mao's struggle in the Cultural Revolution, and Mao him-
Shuli.* [121] self wrote his own dazibao at Beijing University on Au-
gust 5, 1966, calling on the people to "Bombard the Head-
During the Cultural Revolution, only a few writers who quarters".* [130] Thecommercialpropaganda posters
gained permission or requalication under the new sys- were artworks produced by the government and sold
tem, such as Hao Ran and some writers of worker or cheaply in store to be displayed in homes. The artists
farmer background, could have had their work published for these posters may be amateurs or uncredited profes-
or reprinted. The permissible subject matter of proletar- sionals, and the posters were largely in a Socialist Realist
ian and socialist literature would be strictly dened, and visual style with certain conventions for example, im-
all the literary periodicals in the country ceased publica- ages of Mao should be depicted as red, smooth, and
tion by 1968. The situation eased after 1972, more writ- luminescent.* [129]* [131]

Traditional themes in art were sidelined the Cultural Rev- On May 14, 1967, the CCP central committee issued a
olution, and artists such as Feng Zikai, Shi Lu, and Pan document entitled Several suggestions for the protection
Tianshou were persecuted.* [132] Many of the artists have of cultural relics and books during the Cultural Revolu-
been assigned to manual labour, and artists were expected tion.* [136] Nevertheless, enormous damage was inicted
to depict subjects that gloried the Cultural Revolution on China's cultural heritage. For example, a survey in
related to their labour.* [133] In 1971, in part to alleviate 1972 in Beijing of 18 key spots of cultural heritage, in-
their suering, a number of leading artists were recalled cluding the Temple of Heaven and Ming Tombs, showed
from manual labour or free from captivity under the ini- extensive damage. Of the 80 cultural heritage sites in
tiative of Zhou Enlai to decorate hotels and railway sta- Beijing under municipal protection, 30 were destroyed,
tions defaced by Red Guards slogans. Zhou said that the and of the 6,843 cultural sites under protection by Bei-
artworks were for meant for foreigners, therefore were jing government decision in 1958, 4,922 were damaged
outerart not be under the obligations and restrictions or destroyed.* [137]* [138] Numerous valuable old books,
placed on innerart meant for Chinese citizens. To paintings, and other cultural relics were also burnt to
him, landscape paintings should also not be considered ashes.* [138]
one of the Four Olds. However, Zhou was weak-
Later archaeological excavation and preservation after
ened by cancer and in 1974, the Jiang Qing faction seized the destructive period in the 1960s, however, were pro-
these and other paintings and mounted exhibitions in Bei- tected, and several major discoveries, such as that of the
jing, Shanghai and other cities denouncing the artworks Terracotta Army and the Mawangdui tombs, occurred af-
as Black Paintings.* [134] ter the peak of the Revolution.* [136] Nevertheless, the
most prominent symbol of academic research in archae-
6.4 Historical relics ology, the journal Kaogu, did not publish during the Cul-
tural Revolution.* [139]

6.5 Struggle sessions, purges, and deaths

Main article: Struggle session

Millions of people in China were violently persecuted

during the Cultural Revolution. Those identied as spies,
running dogs,revisionists, or coming from a suspect
class (including those related to former landlords or rich
peasants) were subject to beating, imprisonment, rape,
torture, sustained and systematic harassment and abuse,
seizure of property, denial of medical attention, and era-
sure of social identity. At least hundreds of thousands of
Faces of Buddhas were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.
people were murdered, starved, or worked to death. Mil-
lions more were forcibly displaced. Young people from
the cities were forcibly moved to the countryside, where
China's historical sites, artifacts and archives suered
devastating damage, as they were thought to be at the they were forced to abandon all forms of standard educa-
tion in place of the propaganda teachings of the Commu-
root of old ways of thinking.Artifacts were seized,
museums and private homes ransacked, and any item nist Party of China.* [92]
found that was thought to represent bourgeois or feudal Some people were not able to stand the torture and, los-
ideas was destroyed. There are no records of exactly ing hope for the future, committed suicide. One of the
how much was destroyed Western observers suggest most famous cases of attempted suicide due to political
that much of China's thousands of years of history was in persecution involved Deng Xiaoping's son, Deng Pufang,
eect destroyed, or, later, smuggled abroad for sale, dur- who jumped (or was thrown) from a four-story building
ing the short ten years of the Cultural Revolution. Chi- after being interrogatedby Red Guards. Instead of
nese historians compare the cultural suppression during dying, he became paraplegic. In the trial of the so-called
the Cultural Revolution to Qin Shihuang's great Confu- Gang of Four, a Chinese court stated that 729,511 people
cian purge. Religious persecution intensied during this had been persecuted, of which 34,800 were said to have
period, as a result of religion being viewed in opposition died.* [140]
to MarxistLeninist and Maoist thinking.* [135] According to Mao: The Unknown Story, an estimated
Although being undertaken by some of the Revolution's 100,000 people died in one of the worst factional strug-
enthusiastic followers, the destruction of historical relics gles in Guangxi in JanuaryApril 1968, before Premier
was never formally sanctioned by the Communist Party, Zhou sent the PLA to intervene.* [141] Zheng Yi's Scarlet
whose ocial policy was instead to protect such items. Memorial: Tales Of Cannibalism In Modern China al-

legedsystematic killing and cannibalization of individu- copies of the Qur'an and other books of the Uyghur peo-
als in the name of political revolution and 'class struggle'" ple were apparently burned. Muslim imams were report-
among the Zhuang people in Wuxuan County, Guangxi, edly paraded around with paint splashed on their bodies.
during that period.* [142] Zheng was criticized in China In the ethnic Korean areas of northeast China, language
for reliance on unpublished interviews and for negative schools were destroyed. In Yunnan Province, the palace
portrayal of a Chinese ethnic minority,* [143] although of the Dai people's king was torched, and a massacre of
senior party historians corroborated allegations of canni- Muslim Hui people at the hands of the People's Liber-
balism.* [144] Sinologist Gang Yue questioned howsys- ation Army in Yunnan, known as the Shadian incident,
tematicthe cannibalism could have been, given the in- reportedly claimed over 1,600 lives in 1975.* [152] After
herent factionalism of the Cultural Revolution.* [145] In the Cultural Revolution was over, the government gave
Mao's Last Revolution (2006), MacFarquhar and Schoen- reparations for the Shadian Incident, including the erec-
hals also dispute that it was communism that compelled tion of a Martyr's Memorial in Shadian.* [153]
the Zhuang in this area towards cannibalism, noting
Concessions given to minorities were abolished during
that similar incidents occurred under pressure from the the Cultural Revolution as part of the Red Guards' attack
Kuomintang secret police in the republican period.* [144]
on the "Four Olds". People's communes, previously only
Estimates of the death toll, including civilians and Red established in parts of Tibet, were established throughout
Guards, vary greatly.* [146] They range upwards to sev- Tibetan Autonomous Region in 1966,* [154] removing
eral millions, but an estimate of around 400,000 deaths is Tibet's exemption from China's period of land reform,
a widely accepted minimum gure.* [147] MacFarquhar and reimposed in other minority areas. The eect on Ti-
and Schoenhals assert that in rural China alone so me bet had been particularly severe as it came following the
36 million people were persecuted, of whom between repression after the 1959 Tibetan uprising.* [155]* [156]
750,000 and 1.5 million were killed, with roughly the The destruction of nearly all of its over 6,000 monaster-
same number permanently injured.* [148] In Mao: The ies, which began before the Cultural Revolution, were of-
Unknown Story, Jung Chang and Jon Halliday claim that ten conducted with the complicity of local ethnic Tibetan
as many as 3 million people died in the violence of the Red Guards.* [157] Only eight were left intact by the end
Cultural Revolution.* [149] The true gure of those who of 1970s.* [158]
were persecuted or died during the Cultural Revolution Many monks and nuns were killed, and the general
however may never be known, since many deaths went population were subjected to physical and psycholog-
unreported or were actively covered up by the police ical torture.* [157] There were an estimated 600,000
or local authorities. The state of Chinese demograph-
monks and nuns in Tibet in 1950, and by 1979, most of
ics record at the time was also very poor, and the PRC them were dead, imprisoned or had disappeared.* [159]
has been hesitant to allow formal research into the pe-
The Tibetan government in exile claimed that a large
riod.* [150] number of Tibetans also died from famines in 1961
1964 and 19681973 as a result of forced collectiviza-
tion,* [156]* [160]* [161] however the number of Tibetan
6.6 Ethnic minorities
deaths or whether famines in fact took place in these peri-
ods is disputed.* [162]* [163]* [164] Despite ocial per-
secution, some local leaders and minority ethnic practices
survived in remote regions.
The overall failure of the Red Guards' and radical assim-
ilationists' goals was largely due to two factors. It was felt
that pushing minority groups too hard would compromise
China's border defences. This was especially important
as minorities make up a large percentage of the popu-
lation that live along China's borders. In the late 1960s
China experienced a period of strained relations with a
number of its neighbours, notably with the Soviet Union
and India.* [165] Many of the Cultural Revolution's goals
in minority areas were simply too unreasonable to be im-
The Tibetan Panchen Lama during a struggle session. plemented. The return to pluralism, and therefore the
end of the worst of the eects of the Cultural Revolu-
The Cultural Revolution wreaked much havoc on minor- tion to ethnic minorities in China, *
coincides closely with
ity cultures in China. In Inner Mongolia, some 790,000 Lin Biao's removal from power. [166]
people were persecuted. Of these, 22,900 were beaten to
death and 120,000 were maimed,* [151] during a witch
hunt to nd members of the alleged separatist New Inner
Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party. In Xinjiang,

the Chinese people.* [167]

The ocial view aimed to separate Mao's actions dur-
ing the Cultural Revolution from his heroicrevolu-
tionary activities during the Chinese Civil War and the
Second Sino-Japanese War. It also separated Mao's per-
sonal mistakes from the correctness of the theory that
he created, going as far as to rationalize that the Cul-
tural Revolution contravened the spirit of Mao Zedong
Thought, which remains an ocial guiding ideology of
the Party. Deng Xiaoping famously summed this up with
the phraseMao was 70% good, 30% bad.* [168] After
the Cultural Revolution, Deng armed that Maoist ide-
ology was responsible for the revolutionary success of the
Communist Party, but abandoned it in practice to favour
"Socialism with Chinese characteristics", a very dierent
model of state-directed market economics.
In Mainland China, the ocial view of the party now
serves as the dominant framework for Chinese historiog-
raphy of the time period; alternative views (see below) are
discouraged. Following the Cultural Revolution, a new
genre of literature known as "Scar literature" (Shanghen
Wenxue) emerged, being encouraged by the post-Mao
government. Largely written by educated youth such as
Liu Xinhua, Zhang Xianliang, and Liu Xinwu, scar lit-
The central section of this wall shows the faint remnant marks of erature depicted the Revolution from a negative view-
a propaganda slogan that was added during the Cultural Revolu-
point, using their own perspectives and experiences as a
tion, but has since been removed. The slogan reads Boundless
basis.* [169]
faith in Chairman Mao.
After the suppression of the Tiananmen Square Protests
of 1989, both liberals and conservatives within the Party
7 Legacy accused each other of excesses that they claimed were
reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution. Li Peng, who
7.1 China promoted the use of military force, cited that the stu-
dent movement had taken inspiration from the grassroots
7.1.1 Communist Party opinions populism of the Cultural Revolution, and that if it is left
unchecked, would eventually lead to a similar degree of
mass chaos.* [170] Zhao Ziyang, who was sympathetic
Main article: Ideology of the Communist Party of China
to the protestors, later accused his political opponents
of illegally removing him from oce by using Cul-
To make sense of the mass chaos caused by Mao's tural Revolution-styletactics, includingreversing black
leadership in the Cultural Revolution while preserving and white, exaggerating personal oenses, taking quotes
the Party's authority and legitimacy, Mao's successors out of context, issuing slander and lies... innundating the
needed to lend the event a properhistorical judg- newspapers with critical articles making me out to be an
ment. On June 27, 1981, the Central Committee adopted enemy, and casual disregard for my personal freedoms.
the "Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of *
Our Party Since the Founding of the People's Republic of
China,an ocial assessment of major historical events
since 1949.* [167] 7.1.2 Alternative opinions
The Resolution frankly noted Mao's leadership role in the
movement, stating thatchief responsibility for the grave Although the Chinese Communist Party ocially con-
'Left' error of the 'Cultural Revolution,' an error compre- demns the Cultural Revolution, there are many Chinese
hensive in magnitude and protracted in duration, does in- people who hold more positive views of it, particularly
deed lie with Comrade Mao Zedong.It diluted blame on amongst the working class, who beneted most from its
Mao himself by asserting that the movement was ma- policies.* [172] Since Deng's ascendancy to power, the
nipulated by the counterrevolutionary groups of Lin Biao government has arrested and imprisoned gures who have
and Jiang Qing,who caused its worst excesses. The Res- taken a strongly pro-Cultural Revolution stance. For in-
olution armed that the Cultural Revolution brought stance, in 1985, a young shoe-factory worker put up a
serious disaster and turmoil to the Communist Party and poster on a factory wall in Xianyang, Shaanxi, which de-
7.2 Outside mainland China 19

clared that The Cultural Revolution was Goodand inroads made by numerous prominent sinologists, inde-
led to achievements such asthe building of the Nanjing pendent scholarly research of the Cultural Revolution is
Yangtze River Bridge, the creation of hybrid rice crops discouraged by the Chinese government.* [176] There is
and the rise of people's consciousness.The factory concern that as witnesses age and die, the opportunity
worker was eventually sentenced to ten years in prison, to research the event thoroughly within China may be
where he died soon after without any apparent cause. lost.* [178]
[173] That the government still displays such heightened sensi-
One of the student leaders of the Tiananmen Square tivities around the Cultural Revolution is an indicator that
protests of 1989, Shen Tong, author of Almost a Revolu- it still considers itself, at least in part, an inheritor of its
tion, has a positive view of some aspects of the Cultural legacy. The government is apprehensive that academic
Revolution. According to Shen, the trigger for the famous probing and popular discussions will lead to ideological
Tiananmen hunger-strikes of 1989 was a big-character conict and increase social instability. It may threaten the
poster (dazibao), a form of public political discussion that foundations of Communist rule. The focus of the Chinese
gained prominence during the Cultural Revolution. Shen government on maintaining political and social stability
remarked that the congregation of students from across has been a top priority since the Tiananmen crackdown
the country to Beijing on trains and the hospitality they on reformers on June 4, 1989, and the current govern-
received from residents was reminiscent of the experi- ment has no interest in re-evaluating any issue that might
ences of Red Guards in the Cultural Revolution.* [2] lead to a split in the Chinese leadership, or which might
Since the advent of the Internet, people inside and outside polarize the Party on ideological grounds. [176]
China have argued online that the Cultural Revolution
had many benecial qualities for China that have been
7.2 Outside mainland China
denied by both the post-Mao Chinese Communist Party
and Western media. Some hold that the Cultural Revolu-
In Hong Kong a pro-Communist anti-colonial strike in-
tion 'cleansed' China from superstitions, religious dogma,
spired by the Cultural Revolution was launched in 1967.
and outdated traditions in a 'modernist transformation'
Its excesses damaged the credibility of these activists for
that later made Deng's economic reforms possible. These
more than a generation in the eyes of Hong Kong res-
sentiments increased following the U.S. bombing of the
idents.* [179] In Taiwan, Chiang Kai-shek initiated the
Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999, when a segment of
Chinese Cultural Renaissance to counter what he re-
the population began to associate anti-Maoist viewpoints
garded as destruction of traditional Chinese values by the
with the United States.* [174]
Communists on the mainland. In Albania, Communist
Contemporary Maoists have also become more organized leader and Chinese ally Enver Hoxha began a Cultural
in the internet era, partially as a response to criticisms of and Social Revolutionorganized along the same lines as
Mao from academics and scholars. One Maoist website the Cultural Revolution.
managed to collect thousands of signatures demanding
In the world at large, Mao Zedong emerged as a sym-
punishment for those who publicly criticize Mao. Along
bol of the anti-establishment, grassroots populism, and
with the call for legal action, this movement demands the
self-determination. His revolutionary philosophies found
establishment of agencies similar to Cultural Revolution-
adherents in the Shining Path of Peru, the Naxalite in-
era neighborhood committees, in which citizens
surgency in India, various political movements in Nepal,
would report anti-Maoists to local public security bu-
the U.S.-based Black Panther Party,* [180] and the 1960s
reaus. Maoist rhetoric and mass mobilization methods
counterculture movement in general. In 2007 Hong Kong
were resurgent in the interior city of Chongqing during
* Chief Executive Donald Tsang remarked that the Cul-
the political career of Bo Xilai. [175]
tural Revolution represented the 'dangers of democracy',
remarking People can go to the extreme like what we
saw during the Cultural Revolution [...], when people take
7.1.3 Contemporary China everything into their own hands, then you cannot gov-
ern the place.* [181] The remarks caused controversy
Public discussion of the Cultural Revolution is still lim- in Hong Kong and were later retracted with an accompa-
ited in China. The Chinese government continues to pro- nying apology.* [181]
hibit news organizations from mentioning details of the
Cultural Revolution, and online discussions and books
about the topic are subject to ocial scrutiny. Textbooks 7.3 Academic debate
on the subject continue to abide by theocial view(see
above) of the events. Many government documents from Various schools of thought have emerged surrounding
the 1960s on remain classied, and are not open to formal several key questions surrounding the Cultural Revolu-
inspection by private academics.* [176] At the National tion, seeking to explain why events unfolded the way they
Museum of China in Beijing, the Cultural Revolution is did, why it began in the rst place, and what it was.
barely mentioned in its historical exhibits.* [177] Despite The movement's complexities contain many contradic-
20 9 NOTES

tions: led by an all-powerful omnipresent leader, it was Mao personally, with more sympathetic portrayals of his
mainly driven to fruition by a series of grassroots-led allies and opponents.* [188] A small number of scholars
popular uprisings against the Communist establishment. have challenged the mainstream portrayals of the Cultural
While Mao's leadership was pivotal at the beginning of Revolution and attempted to understand it in a more pos-
the movement, Jin Qiu contends that as events progressed itive light. Mobo Gao, writing in The Battle for China's
it deviated signicantly from Mao's utopian vision.* [182] Past: Mao and the Cultural Revolution,* [189] asserts that
In this sense, the Cultural Revolution was actually a much the movement beneted millions of Chinese citizens, par-
more decentralized and varied movement that gradually ticularly agricultural and industrial workers,* [190] and
lost cohesion, spawning a large number of 'local revolu- sees it as egalitarian and genuinely populist, citing con-
tions' which diered in their nature and goals.* [182] tinued Maoist nostalgia in China today as remnants of its
positive legacy.* [191]
Academic interest has also focused on the movement's re-
lationship with Mao's personality. Mao had always envi-
sioned himself as a wartime guerrilla leader, which made
him wary of the bureaucratic details of peacetime gov- 8 See also
ernance. With the Cultural Revolution Mao was simply
returning to form, once again taking on the role of a Morning Sun (), a documentary
guerrilla leader ghting against an institutionalized party exploring the events and eects of the Cultural Rev-
bureaucracy. MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, writing in olution
Mao's Last Revolution, paint the movement as neither a
bona de war over ideological purity nor a mere power Red Scarf Girl, a memoir of experiences during the
struggle to remove Mao's political rivals.* [183] Cultural Revolution

While Mao's personal motivations were certainly pivotal Born Red: A Chronicle of the Cultural Revolution, an
to the Cultural Revolution, they reasoned that a mul- autobiography that includes experiences during the
titude of other complex factors contributed to the way Cultural Revolution
events unfolded. These include China's relationship with
A Year In Upper Felicity, book chronicling a year in a
the global Communist movement, geopolitical concerns,
rural Chinese village during the Cultural Revolution
the ideological rift between China and the Soviet Union,
Khrushchev's ouster, and the failures of the Great Leap
Forward.* [183] The movement was, at least in part, a Inspired by:
legacy project to cement Mao's place in history, aimed
to boost his prestige while he was alive and preserve the Cultural and Ideological Revolution in Albania, in-
invulnerability of his ideas after his death.* [184] spired by the Cultural Revolution
The mass hysteria surrounding the Cultural Revolution July Theses, a mini-Cultural Revolution in Romania
was also unprecedented. Historian Phillip Short contends
that the Cultural Revolution contained elements that were
akin to a form of religious worship.* [185] Mao's god-
like status during the period yielded him ultimate de-
9 Notes
nitional power over Communist doctrine, yet the esoteric
and often contradictory nature of his writings led to end- [1]Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our
Party Since the Founding of the People's Republic of
less wars over its interpretation, with both conservatives
China,adopted by the Sixth Plenary Session of the
and liberals drawing on Mao's teachings to achieve their Eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of
divergent goals. Many factional struggles were not unlike China on June 27, 1981 Resolution on CPC History (1949
religious wars, with all sides claiming allegiance to the 81). (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1981). p. 32.
most authenticform of Maoism.
[2] Tang Tsou. [1986] (1986). The Cultural Revolution and
Virtually all English-language books paint a highly neg- Post-Mao Reforms: A Historical Perspective. University of
ative picture of the movement. Historian Anne F. Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-81514-5
Thurston wrote that itled to loss of culture, and of spiri-
tual values; loss of hope and ideals; loss of time, truth and [3] Worden, Robert (1987). A Country Study:China". Li-
of life.* [186] Barnouin and Yu summarized the Cul- brary of Congress.
tural Revolution asa political movement that produced [4] Jin, Qiu (1999). The Culture of Power: Lin Biao and the
unprecedented social divisions, mass mobilization, hys- Cultural Revolution. Stanford, California: Stanford Uni-
teria, upheavals, arbitrary cruelty, torture, killings, and versity Press. pp. 2530.
even civil war, calling Mao one of the most tyranni-
cal despots of the twentieth century.* [187] [5] Historical Atlas of the 20th century.

In Mao: The Unknown Story, Chang and Halliday at- [6] Jin Qiu, p. 55
tributed all the destruction of the Cultural Revolution to
[7] Spence

[8] Jin Qiu, Ch. 2 [39] MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao's
Last Revolution. Harvard University Press, 2006. p. 119
[9] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals 2006. pp. 0407.
[40] Asiaweek, Volume 10.
[10] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals 2006. p. 07.
[41] Jeni Hung (April 5, 2003). Children of confucius.
[11] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals. pp. 1518. The Spectator. Retrieved 2007-03-04.
[12] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals. pp. 16. [42] murdoch edu Archived December 25, 2005, at the
Wayback Machine.
[13] No relation to Peng Dehuai
[43] Yu, Dan Smyer. Delayed contention with the Chinese
[14] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals. pp. 1419. Marxist scapegoat complex: re-membering Tibetan Bud-
[15] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals 2006. Chapter 1. dhism in the PRC.The Tibet Journal 32.1 (2007)

[44] Lu, Xing. [2004] (2004). Rhetoric of the Chinese Cul-

[16] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals 2006. pp. 2027.
tural Revolution: The Impact on Chinese Thought, Cul-
[17] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals. p. 24. ture, and Communication. UNC Press. ISBN 1-57003-
[18] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals 2006 Chapter 1.
[45] MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao's
[19] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals. pp. 2735. Last Revolution. Harvard University Press, 2006. p. 107

[20] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals 2006. pp. 3940. [46] MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao's
Last Revolution. Harvard University Press, 2006. p. 124
[21] Quoted in MacFarquhar and Schoenhals 2006. p. 47.
[47] MacFarquhar & Schoenhals; pp. 515
[22] Li Xuefeng quoted in MacFarquhar and Schoenhals 2006.
p. 40. [48] MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao's
Last Revolution. Harvard University Press, 2006. p. 126
[23] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals 2006. p. 46.
[49] MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao's
[24] Wang, Nianyi (1989). 19491989 Last Revolution. Harvard University Press, 2006. p. 125
[Great age of turmoil, a history of China 1949
89]. Henan Renmin Chubanshe. p. 13. [50] MacFarquhar & Schoenhals; p. 124

[25] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals 2006. p. 41. [51] MacFarquhar & Schoenhals; p. 137

[26] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 5658 [52] Yan, Jiaqi. Gao, Gao. [1996] (1996). Turbulent Decade:
A History of the Cultural Revolution. ISBN 0-8248-
[27] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 5961 1695-1.

[28] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 6264 [53] Huang, Wei; Xie, Ying (Jan 2012). The New Year That
Wasn't. NewsChina. NewsChinaMagazine. Retrieved
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Western Managers Can Learn from Trailblazing Chinese
[31] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 84
Entrepreneurs. Harvard Business School Press. pp. 17
[32] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 94 18. ISBN 978-1591397151.

[33] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 96 [55] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 285.

[34]China's reluctant Emperor, The New York Times, Sheila [56] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 288.
Melvin, Sept. 7, 2011. [57] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 292.
[35] Decision Concerning the Great Proletarian Cultural Rev- [58] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals. Chapter 17.
olution, adopted on August 8, 1966, by the CC of the CCP
(ocial English version) [59] As quoted in MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 291.

[36] MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao's [60] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 291.; At the time, no
Last Revolution. Harvard University Press, 2006. p. 106- other Communist parties or governments anywhere in the
7 world had adopted the practice of enshrining a successor
to the current leader into their constitutions; This practice
[37] Wang, Nianyi. Period of Great Turmoil: China between was unique to China.
19491989, p. 66
[61] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 289.
[38] MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao's
Last Revolution. Harvard University Press, 2006. p. 110 [62] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 290.
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[63] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 296. [94] Andrew, Christopher. Mitrokhin, Vasili. [2005] (2005).
The World was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle
[64] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 316. for the Third World. Basic Books Publishing. ISBN 0-
[65] Qiu, p. 115
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[66] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 317.
tion: The Impact on Chinese Thought, Culture, and Com-
[67] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 321. munication. University of South Carolina Press. pp. 61
64. ISBN 978-1570035432.
[68] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 322.
[96] Xing Lu (2004). Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolu-
[69] This position, eectively China's head of state, has been tion: The Impact on Chinese Thought, Culture, and Com-
called Presidentsince 1982 munication. University of South Carolina Press. pp. 59
61. ISBN 978-1570035432.
[70] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 327.
[97] King. p. 10
[71] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 331.
[98] Joel Andreas (2009). Rise of the Red Engineers: The
[72] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 328. Cultural Revolution and the Origins of China's New
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[73] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 332. 0804760782.
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[75] Qiu, Jin (1999). The Culture of Power: The Lin Biao Inci-
dent in the Cultural Revolution. Stanford, California: Stan-
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Cultural Revolution and the Origins of China's New
[76] Hannam and Lawrence 34
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[78] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 364. [101] James T. Myers, Jrgen Domes, Erik von Groeling, eds.
(1995). Chinese Politics: Fall of Hua Kuo-Feng (1980) to
[79] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 340. the Twelfth Party Congress (1982). University of South
Carolina Press. ISBN 978-1570030635.
[80] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 366.
[102] Xing Lu (2004). Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolu-
[81] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 372. tion: The Impact on Chinese Thought, Culture, and Com-
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[82] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 381. ISBN 978-1570035432.
[83] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, Chapter 22 [103] Ming Fang He (2000). A River Forever Flowing: Cross-
cultural Lives and Identies in the Multicultural Land-
[84] Teiwes and Sun 217218
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[86] Tiewes and Sun, 213 [104] Tracy You (October 25, 2012).China's 'lost generation'
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[110] Chan [128] Harriet Evans; Stephanie Donald, eds. (1999). Picturing
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[133] Julia Frances Andrews (1995). Painters and Politics in
[116] Xing Lu (2004). Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolu- the People's Republic of China, 19491979. University of
tion: The Impact on Chinese Thought, Culture, and Com- California Press. pp. 351352. ISBN 978-0520079816.
munication. University of South Carolina Press. p. 115.
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the People's Republic of China, 19491979. University of
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[118] Jiaqi Yan; Gao Gao (1996). Turbulent Decade: A History [135] Jiaqi Yan, Gao Gao, Danny Wynn Ye Kwok, Turbulent
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munication. University of South Carolina Press. p. 115. [137] Jun Wang (2011). Beijing Record: A Physical and Polit-
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tic Publishing Co Pte Ltd. pp. 446447. ISBN 978-
[120] Jiaqi Yan; Gao Gao (1996). Turbulent Decade: A History 9814295727.
of the Cultural Revolution (1st ed.). University of Hawai'i
Press. pp. 352253. ISBN 978-0824816957. [138] Barbara Barnouin, Changgen Yu (2010). Ten Years of
Turbulence: The Chinese Cultural Revolution. Kegan Paul
[121] Zicheng Hong (2009). A History of Contemporary Chi- International, Routledge. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-7103-0458-
nese Literature. Translated by Michael M. Day. Brill. pp. 2.
213214. ISBN 978-9004173668.
[139] Journal of Asian history, Volume 21, 1987, p. 87
[122] Zicheng Hong (2009). A History of Contemporary Chi-
nese Literature. Translated by Michael M. Day. Brill. pp. [140] James P. Sterba, New York Times, January 25, 1981
219220. ISBN 978-9004173668.
[141] ChangHalliday (2005), p. 545.
[123] Paul G. Pickowicz (2013). China on Film: A Century
of Exploration, Confrontation, and Controversy. Row- [142] Zheng, Yi (1996). Scarlet Memorial : Tales of Cannibal-
man & Littleeld Publisher. pp. 128129. ISBN 978- ism in Modern China. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press.
1442211797. ISBN 081332615X., p. 198

[124] Handbook of Chinese Popular Culture edited by Dingbo [143] Chen, Xiaomei (2002). Acting the Right Part: Political
Wu, Patrick D. Murphy. Greenwood Press. 1994. p. 207. Theatre and Popular Drama in Contemporary China. Uni-
ISBN 978-0313278082. versity of Hawaii Press. pp. 3031.

[125] Yingjin Zhang (2004). Chinese National Cinema. Rout- [144] Roderick MacFarquhar, and Michael Schoenhals. Mao's
ledge. pp. 219220. ISBN 978-0415172905. Last Revolution. Harvard University Press, 2006. p. 259

[126] Tan Ye; Yun Zhu (2012). Historical Dictionary of Chi- [145] Yue, Gang (1999). The Mouth That Begs: Hunger, Canni-
nese Cinema. Scarecrow Press. p. 41. ISBN 978- balism, and the Politics of Eating in Modern China. Duke
0810867796. University Press. pp. 228230.

[127] E. Taylor Atkins, ed. (2004). Jazz Planet. University [146] Source List and Detailed Death Tolls for the Primary
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24 9 NOTES

[147] Maurice Meisner (1999). Mao's China and After: A His- [166] Dreyer, June Teufel (2000). China's Political System:
tory of the People's Republic (3rd ed.). Free Press. p. 354. Modernization and Tradition, 3rd Edition. London, Great
ISBN 978-0684856353. Britain: Macmillan. pp. 289291. ISBN 0-333-91287-
[148] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals. p. 262
[167] Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our
[149] Chang, Jung and Halliday, Jon. Mao: The Unknown Story. Party Since the Founding of the People's Republic of
Jonathan Cape, London, 2005. p.569 China (Chinese Communism Subject Archive)".

[150] The Chinese Cultural Revolution: Remembering Mao's Vic- [168] Schiavenza, Matt.Does a New Biography Tell the Whole
tims by Andreas Lorenz (Beijing) Der Spiegel Online. Story on Deng Xiaoping?". Asia Society. Retrieved Oc-
May 15, 2007 tober 30, 2011.

[151] MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao's [169] Gao 2008. p. 32.
Last Revolution. Harvard University Press, 2006. p. 258 [170] AsiaNews.it

[152] Yongming Zhou, Anti-drug crusades in twentieth-century [171] Zhao 4344

China : nationalism, history, and state building, Lanham
[172] Gao 2008.
[u.a.] Rowman & Littleeld 1999, p.162
[173] Gao 2008. p. 46-47.
[153] Khalid, Zainab (4 January 2011). Rise of the Veil: Is-
lamic Modernity and the Hui Woman(PDF). SIT Digital [174] Gao 2008. p. 117.
Collections. Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection. [175] Ewing
SIT Graduate Institute. pp. 8, 11. Paper 1074. Retrieved
25 July 2014. [176] Fong

[154] John Powers, David Templeman (2007). Historical Dic- [177] Johnson, Ian (April 3, 2011).At China's New Museum,
tionary of Tibet. Grove Press. p. 35. History Toes Party Line. New York Times. Retrieved
October 31, 2011.
[155] Adam Jones. Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction.
[178] A Grim Chapter in History Kept Closed article by
Routledge. pp. 9697. ISBN 978-0415353854.
Didi Kirsten Tatlow in The New York Times July 22, 2010,
[156] Ronald D. Schwartz (1996). Circle Of Protest. pp. 1213. accessed July 22, 2010
ISBN 9788120813700. [179] Wiltshire, Trea. [First published 1987] (republished & re-
duced 2003). Old Hong Kong Volume Three. Central,
[157] Jane Ardley (2002). Tibetan Independence Movement:
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Political, Religious and Gandhian Perspectives. Routledge.
p. 9. ISBN 978-0700715725.
[180] Up Against the Wall, Curtis Austin, University of
[158] Thomas Laird. The Story of Tibet: Conversations with the Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, 2006, p.170
Dalai Lama. p. 345. ISBN 9781555846725.
[181] BBC (October 13, 2007). HK's Tsang apologises for
[159] Jane Ardley (2003). Tibetan Independence Movement: gae. BBC News.
Political, Religious and Gandhian Perspectives. Routledge.
p. 22. ISBN 9781135790257. [182] Jin, Qiu (1999). The Culture of Power the Lin Biao In-
cident in the Cultural Revolution. Palo Alto, California:
[160] Kimberley Ens Manning, Felix Wemheuer (2011). Eating Standard University Press. pp. 23. ISBN 0-8047-3529-
Bitterness: New Perspectives on China's Great Leap For- 8.
ward and Famine. UBC Press. p. 23. ISBN
[183] MacFaquhar, Roderick; Schoenhals, Michael (2006).
Mao's Last Revolution. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belk-
[161] John Powers, David Templeman (2007). Historical Dic- nap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-
tionary of Tibet. Grove Press. p. 170. 02332-3.
[184] MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, Mao's Last Revolution, In-
[162] Warren W. Smith (2009). Tibet's Last Stand?: The Ti-
betan Uprising of 2008 and China's Response. Rowman &
Littleeld Publishers, Inc. p. 6. ISBN 978-0742566859. [185] Short, Phillip. Mao's Bloody Revolution: Revealed.
Retrieved November 1, 2011.
[163] John Powers (2004). History As Propaganda : Tibetan
Exiles versus the People's Republic of China. Oxford Uni- [186] Thurston 198485. p. 605-606.
versity Press. p. 142. ISBN 978-0198038849. [187] Barnouin and Yu 217
[164] Barry Sautman, June Teufel Dreyer (2006). [188] Chang and Halliday, Mao: The Unknown Story.
Contemporary Tibet: Politics, Development, and So-
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ISBN 9780765631497. [190] Gao 2008. p. 01.
[165] See Sino-Soviet split and Sino-Indian relations [191] Gao 2008. p. 03.
11.1 General 25

10 References 11.1 General

Li Peng, the 'Butcher of Tiananmen,' was 'Ready Michael Schoenhals, ed., China's Cultural Revolu-
to Die' to Stop the Student Turmoil. AsiaNews.it. tion, 19661969: Not a Dinner Party (Armonk,
2003. Retrieved August 21, 2011. N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1996. An East Gate Reader).
xix, 400p. ISBN 1-56324-736-4.
Barnouin, Barbara and Yu Changgen. Zhou Enlai:
A Political Life. Hong Kong: Chinese University Richard Curt Kraus. The Cultural Revolution: A
of Hong Kong, 2006. ISBN 962-996-280-2. Re- Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford Uni-
trieved on March 12, 2011. versity Press, Very Short Introductions Series, 2012.
xiv, 138p. ISBN 9780199740550.
Ewing, Kent. (2011, June 4). Mao's Army on the
Attack. Asia Times Online. Asia Times Online MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael.
(Holdings). Retrieved at <http://www.atimes.com/ Mao's Last Revolution. Harvard University Press,
atimes/China/MF04Ad01.html> on June 16, 2011. 2006. ISBN 0-674-02332-3

Fong Tak-ho. (2006, May 19). Cultural Jiaqi Yan; Gao Gao (1996). Turbulent Decade: A
Revolution? What Revolution?" Asia Times On- History of the Cultural Revolution (1st ed.). Univer-
line. Asia Times Online (Holdings). Re- sity of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 978-0824816957.
trieved at <http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/
Morning Sun, Bibliography,Morningsun.org
HE19Ad01.html> on June 15, 2011.
Books and articles of General Readings and Se-
Gao, Mobo (2008). The Battle for China's Past: lected Personal Narratives on the Cultural Revolu-
Mao and the Cultural Revolution. London: Pluto tion.
Press. ISBN 978-0-7453-2780-8. Retrieved
at <http://www.strongwindpress.com/pdfs/EBook/
The_Battle_for_Chinas_Past.pdf> on September 2,
11.2 Specic topics
Andreas, Joel (2009). Rise of the Red Engineers:
Richard King, ed. (2010). Art in Turmoil: The Chi- The Cultural Revolution and the Origins of China's
nese Cultural Revolution, 196676. University of New Class. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
British Columbia Press. ISBN 978-0774815437.
Chan, Anita. 1985. Children of Mao: Personal-
MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael ity Development and Political Activism in the Red
(2006). Mao's Last Revolution. Harvard University Guard Generation. Seattle: University of Washing-
Press. ISBN 978-0-674-02332-1. ton Press.

Spence, Jonathan D. (1999). The Search for Mod- Leese, Daniel (2011). Mao Cult: Rhetoric and Ritual
ern China, New York: W.W. Norton and Company. in the Cultural Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge
ISBN 0-393-97351-4. University Press.

Thurston, Anne F. (1988). Enemies of the People: Li, Jie and Enhua Zhang, eds. Red Legacies in
The Ordeal of Intellectuals in China's Great Cultural China: Cultural Afterlives of the Communist Revo-
Revolution. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. lution (Harvard University Asia Center, 2016) 409
pages; Scholarly studies on cultural legacies and con-
Teiwes, Frederick C. & Sun, Warren. (2004).The tinuities from the Maoist era in art, architecture, lit-
First Tiananmen Incident Revisited: Elite Politics erature, performance, lm, etc.
and Crisis Management at the End of the Maoist
Era. Pacic Aairs. Vol. 77, No. 2, Sum- Fox Buttereld, China: Alive in the Bitter Sea, (1982,
mer. 211235. Retrieved from <http://www.jstor. revised 2000), ISBN 0-553-34219-3, an oral his-
org/stable/40022499> on March 11, 2011. tory of some Chinese people's experience during the
Cultural Revolution.
Zhao Ziyang. Prisoner of the State: The Secret Jour-
nal of Premier Zhao Ziyang. Trans & Ed. Bao Pu, Chang, Jung; Halliday, Jon (2005). Mao: The
Renee Chiang, and Adi Ignatius. New York: Simon Unknown Story. New York: Knopf. ISBN
and Schuster. 2009. ISBN 1-4391-4938-0 0679422714.

Xing Lu (2004). Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural

Revolution: The Impact on Chinese Thought, Culture,
11 Further reading and Communication. University of South Carolina
Press. ISBN 978-1570035432.

Ross Terrill, The White-Boned Demon: A Biography 11.5 Memoirs by Chinese participants
of Madame Mao Zedong Stanford University Press,
1984 ISBN 0-8047-2922-0; rpr. New York: Simon Liu Ping, My Chinese Dream - From Red Guard to
& Schuster, 1992 ISBN 0-671-74484-4. CEO (San Francisco, June 2012). 556 pages ISBN
Wu, Yiching (2014). The Cultural Revolution at the
Margins: Chinese Socialism in Crisis. Cambridge, Nien Cheng, Life and Death in Shanghai (Grove,
MA: Harvard University Press. May 1987). 547 pages ISBN 0-394-55548-1

Jung Chang, Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China

(New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991). 524 p.
11.3 Commentaries LCCN 91-20696

Simon Leys (penname of Pierre Ryckmans) Bro- Heng Liang Judith Shapiro, Son of the Revolution
ken Images: Essays on Chinese Culture and Politics (New York: Knopf : Distributed by Random House,
(1979). ISBN 0-8052-8069-3 1983).

Yuan Gao, with Judith Polumbaum, Born Red: A

Simon Leys. Chinese Shadows (1978). ISBN 0-670-
Chronicle of the Cultural Revolution (Stanford, CA:
21918-5; ISBN 0-14-004787-5.
Stanford University Press, 1987).
Simon Leys. The Burning Forest: Essays on Chinese Jiang Yang Chu translated and annotated by Djang
Culture and Politics (1986). ISBN 0-03-005063-4; Chu, Six Chapters of Life in a Cadre School: Mem-
ISBN 0-586-08630-7; ISBN 0-8050-0350-9; ISBN oirs from China's Cultural Revolution [Translation of
0-8050-0242-1. Ganxiao Liu Ji] (Boulder: Westview Press, 1986).

Simon Leys. The Chairman's New Clothes: Mao Bo Ma, Blood Red Sunset: A Memoir of the Chi-
and the Cultural Revolution (1977; revised 1981). nese Cultural Revolution (New York: Viking, 1995).
ISBN 0-85031-208-6; ISBN 0-8052-8080-4; ISBN Translated by Howard Goldblatt.
0-312-12791-X; ISBN 0-85031-209-4; ISBN 0-
85031-435-6 (revised ed.). Guanlong Cao, The Attic: Memoir of a Chinese
Landlord's Son (Berkeley: University of California
Liu, Guokai. 1987. A Brief Analysis of the Cultural Press, 1996).
Revolution. edited by Anita Chan. Armonk, N.Y.:
Ji-li Jiang, Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural
M. E. Sharpe.
Revolution (New York: HarperCollins, 1997).

Anchee Min, Red Azalea (New York: Pantheon

11.4 Fictional treatments Books, 1994). ISBN 1-4000-9698-7.

Sijie Dai, translated by Ina Rilke, Balzac and the Rae Yang, Spider Eaters: A Memoir (Berkeley: Uni-
Little Chinese Seamstress (New York: Knopf: Dis- versity of California Press, 1997).
tributed by Random House, 2001). 197p. ISBN 0- Weili Ye, Xiaodong Ma, Growing up in the People's
375-41309-X Republic: Conversations between Two Daughters of
China's Revolution (New York: Palgrave Macmillan,
Xingjian Gao, translated by Mabel Lee, One Man's 2005).
Bible: A Novel (New York: HarperCollins, 2002).
450p. Lijia Zhang, Socialism Is Great": A Worker's
Memoir of the New China (New York: Atlas & Co,
Hua Gu, A Small Town Called Hibiscus (Beijing, Distributed by Norton, 2007).
China: Chinese Literature: distributed by China
Publications Centre, 1st, 1983. Panda Books). Emily Wu, Feather in the Storm (Pantheon, 2006).
Translated by Gladys Yang. 260p. Reprinted: San ISBN 978-0-375-42428-1.
Francisco: China Books.
Xinran Xue, The Good Women of China: Hidden
Voices (Chatto & Windus, 2002). Translated by
Hua Yu, To Live: A Novel (New York: Anchor
Esther Tyldesley. ISBN 0-7011-7345-9
Books, 2003). Translated by Michael Berry. 250p.
Ting-Xing Ye, Leaf In A Bitter Wind (England,
Ying Chang Compestine, Revolution Is Not a Dinner Bantam Books, 2000)
Party : A Novel. (New York: Holt, 2007). ISBN
0805082077. Young adult novel. Zhang Xianliang, Grass Soup, ISBN 0-7493-9774-8

11.6 Films set in the Cultural Revolution

Xie Jin, Hibiscus Town (1984))
Zhang Yimou, Red Sorghum (1987)

Chen Kaige, Farewll My Concubine (1992)

Zhang Yimou, Story of Qiu Ju (1992)

Tian Zhuangzhuang Blue Kite (1993)

Zhang Yimou, To Live (1993)

Jiang Wen, In the Heat of the Sun (1994)

12 External links
Encyclopdia Britannica. The Cultural Revolution
History of The Cultural Revolution

Chinese propaganda posters gallery (Cultural Revo-

lution, Mao, and others)

Hua Guofeng's speech to the 11th Party Congress,


Morning Sun A Film and Website about Cultural

Revolution and the photographs of the subject avail-
able from the lm's site.
Memorial for Victims of the Chinese Cultural Rev-
William Hinton on the Cultural Revolution by
Dave Pugh
Student Attacks Against Teachers: The Revolution
of 1966 by Youqin Wang
A Tale of Red Guards and Cannibals by Nicholas D.
Kristof. The New York Times, January 6, 1993.

13 Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses

13.1 Text
Cultural Revolution Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Revolution?oldid=738680604 Contributors: Mav, Slrubenstein,
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Minesweeper, Ellywa, Ahoerstemeier, Xamian, Jiang, Kaihsu, Mnementh, David Newton, Dcoetzee, RickK, Molinari, Colipon, Whis-
perToMe, Wik, Zoicon5, Patrick0Moran, Tpbradbury, Dragons ight, SEWilco, Populus, Thue, SH~enwiki, Flockmeal, Adam Carr,
Gakmo, Stargoat, Phil Boswell, Robbot, RedWolf, Altenmann, Naddy, Chancemill, Sam Spade, Lowellian, Mayooranathan, Postdlf,
Tualha, Flauto Dolce, Bertie, Diderot, Gbog, Sunray, Hadal, Lancemurdoch, DigiBullet, Znode, Davidcannon, Centrx, DocWatson42,
Christopher Parham, Bradeos Graphon, Everyking, Henry Flower, Gilgamesh~enwiki, Eequor, Ruy Lopez, Formeruser-81, Ran, Teacup,
Fpahl, Antandrus, Dunks58, Rdsmith4, Oneiros, DragonySixtyseven, PFHLai, Sotonohito, Huaiwei, Oknazevad, Laca, Ukexpat, Kle-
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Guanabot, Cfailde, Smyth, Ivan Bajlo, Pavel Vozenilek, Trey Stone, Paul August, Bender235, Appleboy, CanisRufus, MBisanz, Szyslak,
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13.2 Images 29

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harnsolo, The Utahraptor, Alph Bot, Skamecrazy123, EmausBot, And we drown, John of Reading, Orphan Wiki, WikitanvirBot, Distal24,
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Frietjes, Braincricket, Stew312856, CopperSquare, Cyrrk, Dongk, Helpful Pixie Bot, Kyactivist, Ajd4no, Swamplog, Calabe1992, Plant-
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13.2 Images
File:A_coloured_voting_box.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/01/A_coloured_voting_box.svg License: Cc-by-
sa-3.0 Contributors: ? Original artist: ?
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lic domain Contributors: http://caiquansheng1958.blog.163.com/blog/static/294985242010111291436168/ Original artist: Un-
known<a href='//www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q4233718' title='wikidata:Q4233718'><img alt='wikidata:Q4233718' src='https://upload.
wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/ff/Wikidata-logo.svg/20px-Wikidata-logo.svg.png' width='20' height='11' srcset='https://
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org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/ff/Wikidata-logo.svg/40px-Wikidata-logo.svg.png 2x' data-le-width='1050' data-le-height='590'
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File:Cultural_Revolution_poster.jpg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c6/Cultural_Revolution_poster.jpg License:
Fair use Contributors:
IISH Stefan R. Landsberger Collection on Stefan Landsberger's Chinese Propaganda Poster Pages (website now closed) (see also this poster
on the IISH site) Original artist:
Unknown, never specied.
File:Cultural_revolution_anhui.jpg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8a/Cultural_revolution_anhui.jpg Li-
cense: CC-BY-SA-3.0 Contributors: Own work Original artist: Chang Liu
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C3%A8ne_Delacroix_-_La_libert%C3%A9_guidant_le_peuple.jpg License: Public domain Contributors: This page from this gallery.
Original artist: Eugne Delacroix
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photo is more than 50 years) , then added colour to the original. (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:LiuShaoqi.jpg) Original artist:
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Contributors: http://history.huanqiu.com/people/2008-12/300871.html Original artist: Unknown<a href='//www.wikidata.org/wiki/
Q4233718' title='wikidata:Q4233718'><img alt='wikidata:Q4233718' src='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/
f/ff/Wikidata-logo.svg/20px-Wikidata-logo.svg.png' width='20' height='11' srcset='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/
thumb/f/ff/Wikidata-logo.svg/30px-Wikidata-logo.svg.png 1.5x, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/ff/
Wikidata-logo.svg/40px-Wikidata-logo.svg.png 2x' data-le-width='1050' data-le-height='590' /></a>
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BY 2.0 Contributors: Intermediate source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardfisher/3451116326/ Original artist: Zhang Zhenshi (1914
1992). Mao Zedong portrait attributed to Zhang Zhenshi and a committee of artists (see [1]).
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image File:National Emblem of the People's Republic of China.png. Originally uploaded by Avala to English Wikipedia. and also see
. Original artist: / Assembleia Legislativa da Regio Administrativa Especial de Macau / Legislative
Assembly of the Macau Special Administrative Region

File:Panchen_Lama_during_the_struggle_(thamzing)_session_1964.jpg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/

wikipedia/commons/0/03/Panchen_Lama_during_the_struggle_%28thamzing%29_session_1964.jpg License: Public do-
main Contributors: http://www.contactmagazine.net/articles/remembering-10th-panchen-lama/ Original artist: Unknown<a
href='//www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q4233718' title='wikidata:Q4233718'><img alt='wikidata:Q4233718' src='https://upload.
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set='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/ff/Wikidata-logo.svg/30px-Wikidata-logo.svg.png 1.5x,
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data-le-height='590' /></a>
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Propaganda_slogan_removed_-_Wuhan_University.JPG License: CC BY-SA 2.5 Contributors: Image taken by me using Casio QV-R41
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File:Red_Guards.jpg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/Red_Guards.jpg License: Public domain Contrib-
utors: Scan of cover of non-copyright elementary school textbook from Guangxi 1971 Original artist: Villa Giulia
File:Revolutionary_opera.jpg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Revolutionary_opera.jpg License: Public
domain Contributors: White House photo by Byron Schumaker. Source: http://www.gmu.edu/library/specialcollections/acsnic6_13_8f.jpg
Original artist: White House photo by Byron Schumaker
File:Trip_to_Ningxia_and_Gansu.jpg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8c/Trip_to_Ningxia_and_Gansu.
jpg License: CC BY-SA 2.0 Contributors: Flickr: Trip to Ningxia and Gansu Original artist: Pat B
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