The Battle for China's Past: Mao and the Cultural Revolution
Mao and his policies have long been demonised in the West, with the Cultural Revolution considered a fundamental violation of human rights.
As China embraces capitalism, the Mao era is being surgically denigrated by the Chinese political and intellectual elite. This book tackles the extremely negative depiction of China under Mao in recent publications and argues most people in China, including the rural poor and the urban working class, actually benefited from Mao's policy of a comprehensive welfare system for the urban and basic health and education provision for the rural, which is being reversed in the current rush towards capitalism.
By a critical analysis of the mainstream account of the Mao era and the Cultural Revolution and by revealing what is offered in the unofficial e-media debates this book sets the record straight, making a convincing argument for the positive effects of Mao's policies on the well-being of the Chinese people.
country 30 billion yuan (US$3.88 billion) in tax revenue each year’ (Chung 2007). The Chinese compradors also use a two-tier system to create their own ‘foreign companies’ by first transferring funds overseas as investments in ‘suitcase’ or ‘paper’ companies, and then repatriating them as foreign investment in China. According to Mei Xinyu, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce, ‘of China’s utilized FDI of $72.4
typical dry humour of Mao. After the speech, Mao and Peng bumped into each other when they came out of the conference hall. Mao smiled at Peng, and took the initiative in greeting him and invited him to have a talk, to which Peng replied in a loud voice, ‘There is nothing to talk about!’ and walked off. This encounter took place in front of many senior CCP leaders. Later when Mao went back to his residence several ‘CCP leaders’ came to offer critical remarks about Peng and suggested to Mao that
behind human development, and that therefore the labouring masses are the bearers of the torch of science, popular science such as is exemplified by the magazine Fossils emerged in spite of resistance from the elite intelligentsia (Schmalzer 2006). Mao’s political experiment, the Cultural Revolution, like all other social revolutions before it, claimed many victims. It did however, again like other social revolutions, have some positive outcomes. It encouraged grassroots participation in
Guangzhou for no reason other than the fact that he was not carrying the right papers with him. The news was exposed by Southern Metropolis Daily and was spread by the e-media, which were flooded with protests. The Chinese government ordered an investigation of the case and finally enacted a law that abolished the notorious detention centres targeted at migrant workers. Though one cannot say for certain that e-media protests were the direct cause of this very significant change, which affected
century. Yes China is wealthier, but not necessarily [ 174 ] T H E B AT T L E O F C H I N A ’ S H I S T O RY stronger. For many, China is unstable and is weaker when facing the global capitalist onslaught. In the context of these issues there are three questions that need to be asked about the post-Mao reforms. The first is to what extent material improvement in the post-Mao reform years should be attributed to the Mao era. The second question is who benefits most from the postMao economic