Mao zedong and the ccp

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  • China had a rural population of 500 million.

  • Three thousand years of dynastic rule – under the Qing dynasty until the 1911 revolution.

  • China was isolationist, uninterested in contact/trade with the west.

  • Opium wars compelled the Chinese to open up to the west.

  • Foreign powers forced China to grant commercial bases and rights.

    • Completely took over peripheral areas of China

      • Russia claimed Manchuria, 1900

      • France seized Indo-China, 1880-1890

      • Japan took Taiwan and Korea, 1895

  • Severe peasant poverty – only 10% of China was arable, many natural disasters.

  • Sun Yatsen aimed to save China by overthrowing the Qing dynasty and establishing a republic.

    • Sought to end foreign domination

    • To create a strong, unified China

    • Fairer distribution of wealth

Mao’s Rise to Power

Maoist Ideology

  • Orthodox Marxist – boosted by the failure of the 1911 revolution, inspired by Russia.

    • Believed in class struggle, collective ownership by means of production, dictatorship of the proletariat (working class).

  • Adapted Marxism to Chinese history/culture/conditions.

    • Focused on the peasantry.

  • Following Russia, aimed to industrialize China as quickly as possible so as to catch up with other powers.

  • Revolution and Rectification to prevent becoming self-seeking.

The Guomindang

  • Ended the chaos of the warlord era.

  • Industrial output grew at 6% per annum.

  • Expanded the railway network from 8000 miles to 13,000 miles.

  • Reform of financial institutions: established a central bank, abolished tax on internal trade.

  • Education improved: between 1931 and 1937, the number of children attending primaries increased by 86% and university students by 94%.

    • Research institution “Academia Sinica” was set up in 1928.


  • Corruption became a problem as the GMD lost its revolutionary outlook.

    • Intimidated businessmen to give them large sums of money and high taxes due to the industrial expansion occurring in foreign-owned factories.

  • Lacked popular support after purging the party in 1927 and neglecting peasants, workers and young people.

    • Educational development did not address rural areas.

  • Dependent on army support: relied on former warlords and officials to collect taxes, showed little interest in the peasantry. Inadvertently supported landlord exploitation.

    • Accepted warlordism, did not defeat it.

    • 80% of government spending went to the 5 million strong GMD army.

  • Failed to unite China, only controlled two-thirds of its population.

  • Limited progress in ending foreign domination.

    • Unable to retrieve Outer Mongolia, Hong Kong.

Timeline of Events

  • 1839-42 – Opium Wars

  • 1850-64 – Taiping Rebellion

  • 1898-1900 – Boxer Rebellion

    • Foreign powers imposed the Boxer Protocol of 1901 on the Imperial government (a fine of $330 million), further undermining support for the Qing dynasty.

  • 1898 – Hundred Days Reform

    • Attempt to reform and modernize

    • Stopped by the Empress Dowager Cixi

  • 1911 – “Double Tenth” Revolution

    • Sun Yatsen proclaimed President, but struggled with the Imperial government.

    • Yuan Shikai (military general) made a deal with Sun Yatsen to help on the condition that he take over as President.

  • 1912-16 – False dawn of a parliamentary government

    • GMD won elections but was immediately shut down due to YSK not wanting to share power.

    • Short-lived attempt at a parliamentary government.

  • 1916-27 – The Warlord Era

    • Living conditions terrible

    • Constant in-fighting

    • Heavy taxes

    • Further undermined the integrity of the former Chinese Empire

  • 1919 – May Fourth Movement

    • Massive student protests about the TOV conceding Shandong to Japan.

    • Provided nationalist feeling, boosted GMD.

  • 1923-27 – First United Front

  • 1927 – White Terror

  • 1928 – Mao Zedong reaches mountains, first soviet.

  • 1929-1934 – Encirclement Campaign

    • Chiang Kaishek using German encirclement tactics to surround Jiangxi.

  • 1934 – New Life Movement

    • A movement to get people to follow nationalist values.

  • 1934-1935 – Long March (Jiangxi to Yanan)

  • 1935-45 – Communist Life at Yanan

  • 1936 – Xian Incident

  • 1942-44 – Rectification of Conduct Campaign

  • 1931-45 – Japanese Occupation

  • 1931 – Occupation of Manchuria

  • 1937 – Rape of Nanjing

  • 1940 – 100 Regiments Offensive

  • 1946 – United Front dissolved

  • 1946-47 – Struggle for Manchuria

  • 1947 – Strong Point Offensive

  • 1948 – Liaoshen Campaign

  • 1948-49 – Huaihai Campaign, Pingjin Campaign

  • 1949 – PRC declared, CKS fled to Taiwan

First United Front, 1923-27

  • Neither the GMD nor CCP were strong enough to achieve power at this point in time.

  • USSR helped to broker an alliance – CCP allowed to join GMD as individual members; no merger.

    • Provided money and ammunition.

  • Prioritized unity against Warlords.

  • Anti-communist forces unleashed after Sun Yatsen’s death in 1925.

    • Chiang Kaishek emerged as the new leader of the GMD (right-wing).

    • White Terror, 1927 – killed 5000 Communists.

    • Death toll in Hunan: 250,000

  • Autumn Harvest Rising, 1927 – Mao Zedong declared GMD and CKS as “scum of his party”.

    • Mao defeated in Changsha.

    • Communists flee to Jiangxi.

  • 1928 – CKS declares GMD ruler of China

    • Failed to fully eradicate Warlordism.

    • Did not have full control over China.

Communist Survival

  • Mao’s reputation had grown from denouncing the United Front and leading the Autumn Harvest Rising.

    • Had support from a great general, Zhu De.

    • Unrivalled knowledge of the peasantry helped when survival was needed.

  • Labour force was largely peasantry.

    • Non-agricultural workers: 51 million

    • Agricultural workers: 205 million

  • Futian Incident, 1930 – GMD supporters executed, est. 3000 men.

  • Encirclement, 1929-34 – GMD surrounded Jiangxi and began target aerial bombing.

  • Long March, 1934-35 – October to October, Jianxi to Yanan.

    • 6250 miles, 11 provinces, 18 mountain ranges.

    • 20,000 out of 100,000 survived (1/5)

    • Sheer scale helped boost Mao’s reputation and showed his leadership.

Yanan, 1936-45

  • Xian Incident, 1936 – Red Army imposed communism on the countryside while CKS lost support.

    • CKS’ strategy of trading space for time against the Japanese Occupation

      • Could not control troops, Japanese expanded into 6 other provinces.

      • Example of Nationalist lack of military skill.

  • Second United Front, 1936 – to fight the Japanese.

  • Thousands flocked to Yanan to live a communist life.

    • Self-sustained, fed themselves while the rest of China starved.

    • Grew and sold opium with 40% revenue.

    • Landowners were shot and driven out, gaining peasant support.

    • The party grew from 40,000 to 1 million during this time.

  • Rectification of Conduct Campaign, 1942 – Established Mao’s ideas as the official ideology through self-criticism and of each other. (Refer to Maoism)

Japanese Occupation, 1931-45

  • Occupation of Manchuria, 1931

  • Rape of Nanjing, 1937

    • 300,000 Chinese slaughtered

    • 20,000 girls serially raped

  • 100 Regiments Offensive, 1940 – Display of CCP resolve to fight.

    • Commander Peng Dehuai

    • 400,000 troops and 100 regiments attacked Japanese positions with success.

    • CCP gains support.

  • USA supplies resources, 1941 – CKS still reluctant to fight head on.

    • Use of guerrilla warfare

    • Results: Chongqing becoming the most heavily bombed city in the 20th C.

    • GMD undermined.

  • Nationalists lost support due to military inferiority, lack of will to fight, savage recruitments and ill treatment of the peasantry.

  • Japanese surrender to Red Army and concede their controlled lands.

    • Communist success.

  • The CCP took a more active role in resisting the Japanese aided by peasants and fighting behind enemy lines.

The Civil War, 1946-49

  • Focus shifted from the countryside to the major cities.

  • GMD focused on Manchuria and ignored Northern and Central regions.

  • CCP had control over the south as well as the countryside in between the major cities, allowing them to cut communications between the GMD.

    • Mao ordered his commanders to avoid battle unless they were certain of victory.

    • Mao employed the strategy of encouraging the enemy to overextend by giving up territory. E.g. giving up Yanan in 1947.

  1. Struggle for Manchuria, 1946-47

  • CCP bases were strongholds. E.g. Harbin.

  • CCP destroyed Nationalist airstrips.

  • CCP sabotaged railways to disrupt flow of supplies,

  • Chinese people doubting CKS’ ability to control China.

  1. Liaoshen Campaign, 1948

  • Nationalists lost to CCP in Jinzhou (a city on the way to Beijing) after shelling and hand-to-hand combat.

  • Nationalists lost 3 major battles, 400,000 troops, Manchuria and most of Northeast China – in three months.

  1. Huaihai Campaign, 1948-49

  • Nationalists had poor communication, information leaks, loss of air cover, irregular food supplies.

  • Deserters would join the PLA.

  • Nationalists lost 200,000 men, elite units and equipment.

  • Xuzhou surrendered.


  • PLA (People’s Liberation Army) successes destroyed NRA (Nationalist Revolutionary Army) reinforcements and the main body of the GMD.

  • The People’s Republic of China was declared on October 1st 1949.

    • Nationalist death count: 3 million

    • Communist death count: 1 million

    • Civilian death count: 6 million

Mao’s Consolidation of Power

  • Mao declared that he was inaugurating a new era in Chinese history.

  • He consolidated power by addressing previous failures with land, social and thought reform as well as establishing solid political control.

  • The initial economic success of the First Five-Year Plan also helped boost the CCP’s image.

Addressing the failures of the GMD
Unification of China (total control)

  • Divided the country into 6 regions.

    • Identical power structures in the provinces involving strong military presence to maintain CCP control.

    • Refer to governmental structure under Domestic policy.

  • CCP referred to border regions as old liberated areas and the rest of China as the new liberated areas.

    • Reclaimed Hainan, Xinjiang and Tibet.

      • Reunification campaigns of 1950.

      • Refer to Tibet details under Religious policy.

  • Zhonghua minzu meaning ‘Chinese nationality’ was coined.

    • Refers to an identity that “transcends ethnic divisions and incorporates all peoples living within the boundaries of China”.

  • Implementation of standardized language, 1955

    • Refer to Education policy.

Lack of defense against foreign invasion

  • December 1949, Mao Zedong left China to go to Moscow and negotiate with Stalin – resulted in the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Alliance and Mutual Assistance (promised mutual support in the event of an attack by Japan)

Eradicating landlord exploitation (Land Reform), 1950-52

  • Modified land policy from the Yanan period.

    • Refer to Yanan details in Rise to Power.

  • Saw the destruction of power and wealth of the landlord class.

  • 43% of China’s arable land was redistributed to 60% of the population instead of 4%.

  • Peasants were encouraged to take the lead in attacking their landlords,

    • Organized “Speak Bitterness” sessions.

  • 2 million landlords killed.

  • Garnered peasant support and emphasized their role in the revolution.

Involvement of the youth (as opposed to neglection)

  • Cultural revolution aimed at young people.

  • Made use of the new generation in order to fuel the revolution.

    • Refer to Red Guard details in the Cultural Revolution.

Thought Reform

  • Aimed to cultivate a socialist culture and mindset.

  • To reshape the attitudes and habits of the Chinese population.

Campaign against Counter-Revolutionaries, 1950

  • Mao aimed to identify and eliminate anyone who supported the GMD.

  • Mass demonstrations against the USA and other capitalist countries.

  • 700,000 people executed.

  • 500,000 imprisoned in reformation camps.

    • Reform through labour, laogai.

Thought Reform Movement, 1951

  • Sought to eradicate bourgeois and capitalist ideas from intellectuals.

  • 6500 intellectuals and university professors were obliged to undertake courses in Communist thought run by the Party.

  • Art and literature had to conform as well, preaching only proletarian values.

Socialist Education Movement, 1962

  • An attempt to reeducate the masses politically.

  • CCP officials and intellectuals were sent to the countryside to be educated by peasants.

  • Attended school but worked in factories and alongside peasants.

Social Reform (details in Domestic Policy)

  • Three and Five Anti-movements, 1951-52

  • The Cultural Revolution, 1966-76

  • Religious policy

  • Education

  • The role of women

Political Purity and Hierarchy (details in Domestic Policy)

  • Structure of the government.

Purges and Terror Tactics

  • 100 Flower Campaign, 1957

  • The Red Guard

  • Secret Police

The military

  • The PLA only answered to the CCP.

  • Priority was protection of the party, not the state.

Successes (details in Domestic Policy)

  • First Five-Year Plan, 1952-56


  • Increased literacy rates from 1949-76

  • Standardized language, 1955

Failures (details in Domestic Policy)

  • Second Five-Year Plan (Great Leap Forward), 1958-62


  • Living conditions.


  • Statistics revealed after Mao’s death show that a very small proportion of China was properly educated.

Domestic Policies and Impact

Structure and Organization (Government and Admin)

  • Divided into 6 regions, each with:

    • Chairman

    • Party Secretary

    • Military Commander (PLA)

    • Political Commissar (PLA)

  • 1949-52, 10 political parties eradicated. E.g. GMD, Democratic League

  • Purges against “counter-revolutionaries” and “imperialists”.

  • “Our aim is to exterminate capitalism, obliterate it from the face of the earth and make it a thing of the past.”

  • Registration as a weapon

    • Danwei – permit to work

    • Hukou – certificate for a family to gain accommodation

    • Dangan – a dossier held by local officials on all members of society

      • Hours of investigation

  • Claimed to be servants of the people, but the CCP ruled the PRC.

    • Nothing Mao disapproved of was passed.

Economic Policies
First Five-Year Plan, 1952-56

  • Built on the Soviet model of heavy industry.

  • Urban population increased from 57 million to 100 million by 1957.

  • Inflation brought under control from 1000% to 15% from 1949-51

    • Slashed public expenditure

    • Raised taxes on urban dwellers

    • Replaced Chinese dollar with the Yuan

  • Expenditure increased from 1950-59.

    • Economic development: 25.5% - 51.4%

    • Education and Culture: 11.1% - 16%

    • Defense: 41.5% - 19%

  • Growth rate of 9% per annum.

  • Succesful.

Second Five-Year Plan, 1958-62

  • Two aspects: peasant collectives and self-made industry.

  • Wanted to assert independence – veered away from sole focus on industry.

  • All land was taken away and made into 70,000 communes.

  • Political and ideological slogans passed for planning.

  • Poor quality.

  • Political interference.

  • Sino-Soviet split, 1960 – impacted industrial production immensely as Khruschev withdrew thousands of soviet advisors.

Industrial Reform:

  • Backyard Furnaces – civilians were encouraged to produce steel in their backyards, resorted to melting everyday objects.

    • Produced useless steel.

  • Target quotas – output quotas jumped.

    • Steel quotas increasing from 6.2 to 12 million tons in 1958 alone.

  • State Owned Enterprises – private enterprises no longer allowed.

    • Prices, targets and wages fixed by the state.

    • No incentive for profit, very inefficient.

  • China’s GNI (Gross National Income) fell by 30% in 1960.

Mao’s vision for China to be a major power neglected glaring problems of unemployment and raw material shortage (Roberts, 2011), focusing largely on the idea of utilizing China’s great numbers to succeed. (Mao, 1945) This vision also neglected China’s preponderance of the countryside versus the urban areas (Fairbank & Goldman, 2006), pushing human resources and producing output of dubious quality. As the urban population continued to swell, more strain was placed on food procurement that the struggling agricultural industry could not meet while working conditions worsened (Roberts, 2011), which did nothing to help reach the unrealistic production targets set by Mao. The task to reach these quotas resulted in the adoption of absurd methods such as “backyard blast furnaces” which not only produced largely useless masses of metal (Watkins), but led to destruction for the sake of producing numbers. The questionable results and excessive labour in sub-standard conditions of the industrial reforms (Roberts, 2011) showed that in this aspect, the Great Leap Forward was, to a whole extent, a socio-economic failure.

Agricultural Reform:

  • Lysenkoism – flawed theories of Trofim Lysenko (a Soviet agronomist).

    • Close planting (led to withering)

    • Sparrowcide – the entire population was told to kill sparrows and any wild bird that ate seed.

      • Without birds, insects multiplied and ate the harvest.

  • Triggered “the worst famine in human history”.

    • Death count: 42 million, 2.54% of the population

  • Starvation was most severe in Shandong, Anhui, Henan and Tibet.

  • Mao refused to accept blame, and accused three things:

    • Hoarding by peasants

    • Mistakes by local officials

    • Bad weather

Perhaps the greatest failure of the Great Leap Forward was its agricultural reform; collectivization bifurcated the agrarian peasantry by creating an elite class and erroneous policies drove the nation into famine. By 1958, all property was taken and reorganized into communes. (Roberts, 2011) Initially succeeding and increasing national income by a rate of 8.9%, the newly tiered power structure created a brand of patriotic, ambitious youths who used questionable means to acquire results. (Fairbank & Goldman, 2006) The neglect of the fields for industrial goals set off a famine that was exacerbated by flawed Lysenko theories. (Watkins) As food became a scarcity, it became a meritocratic weapon. This translated to widespread barbarism as children were slaughtered for petty infringements and neighbours turned on each other. (Dikötter, 2010) This produced a warped value system that encouraged atrocities for the sake of upholding the collective spirit espoused by Maoism. Political pride in State policies obfuscated common sense and led China into a terrible famine; the reform of agriculture resulted in an upended power structure and terrible living conditions. This showed that to a significant extent, the Great Leap Forward failed socially and economically.


  • Meritocratic structure of communes resulted in widespread violence.

    • Youths wanted to ascend the power structure.

    • People brutally killed for minor infractions.

  • Famine induced cannibalism in Anhui province.

    • Mothers starving their daughters to be eaten.

  • Wives left husbands to look for food.

Social Policies
Reunification Campaigns, 1950

  • Tibet, Xinjiang, Guangdong

  • All easily overcome, even Tibet, despite resistance.

The Three and Five Anti-movements, 1951 and 1952

  • Three Anti-movement: waste, corruption, inefficiency.

  • Five Anti-movement: industrial sabotage, tax evasion, bribery, fraud, theft of government property.

    • Aimed to break the bureaucratic class.

Hundred Flowers Campaign, 1957

  • Mao was convinced he was in touch with the people and told the CCP it was time for a greater freedom of expression, inviting criticism.

  • “Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend” – from Mao’s Contradictions speech.

  • Accusations of corruption, unrealistic policies, censorship and Mao himself.

  • Those who spoke were considered rightist.

    • Educated people had to go for “re-education” and admit their mistakes.

    • Party was purged. E.g. Zhou Enlai – publicly humiliated.

  • Philip Short – Suggests that Mao was trying to combine “a totalitarian system with democratic checks and balances”.

  • Jung Chang – Thinks it was a trick designed to flush out opposition.

The Cultural Revolution, 1966-76

  • Born out of Mao’s paranoia that he was losing control over the people after the failure of the Great Leap Forward.

  • Aimed to:

    • Reassert control

    • Remove opposition

    • Obliterate the record of the GLF

      • Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi were targeted for their role in the GLF and beaten.

    • Change society irreversibly

  • Targeted the new generation.

  • Massive transfer of 20-30 million people to the countryside.

  • 500,000 people died.

  • Propaganda, censorship (reshaping culture), sensational campaigns, terror tactics.


  • The Little Red Book was created – originally for the army but spread to the civilians.

    • 750 million copies, became national curriculum.

  • The Diary of Lei Feng

    • The story of an exceptional PLA worker who perished in his duty to the state (martyrdom and dedication).

  • Propaganda Posters

    • Mass-produced and pasted at all levels of accessibility: schools, hospitals, homes, offices.

    • ‘Big-character’ posters that criticized educational leaders and policies.

Censorship (Reshaping culture):

  • Gang of Four – included Mao’s wife Jiang Qing.

    • Responsible for leading Mao’s cultural policy that all arts should serve to propel the revolution.

    • Part of the Central Cultural Revolution Group.

  • Attack on the Four Olds

    • Ideas

    • Culture

    • Customs

    • Habits

  • Wu Han Affair – Wu Han wrote a play between 1961-65 about a court official who disobeyed and was demoted.

    • This was interpreted as criticism of Mao’s agricultural policies and the dismissal of Peng Dehuai for speaking up about it.

    • Immediately made to self-criticize.

  • Strict controls were placed on what could be displayed, performed and published.

  • A lot of ancient Chinese art was destroyed, including Buddhist temples.

Sensational Campaigns:

  • Swimming the Yangtse River, July 1966

    • Mao swam the Yangtse River at Wuhan, site of the 1911 revolution.

    • Extremely well publicized, filling the newspapers, television and cinema.

    • Performing such a feat at 73, Mao recaptured the attention of the people.

    • Used the excited atmosphere to rededicate the committee to revolution.

  • The Great Rallies

    • August Rally, 1966 – 1 million people (teenagers and young adults) wait to see Mao in Tiananmen square.

    • 8 mass rallies – stirred up renewed revolutionary spirit.

Terror Tactics:

  • Secret Police – headed by Kang Sheng.

    • Principal organizer of terror, did Mao’s bidding.

  • Red Guards – consisted of angry youth.

    • Aimed to create a new generation of Chinese people.

    • Young people believed propaganda, thought of Mao as a god.

    • Granted freedom and exemption from the police.

      • No moral restrictions

        • Elderly people were attacked.

        • Teachers

        • Temples and shrines

      • Did not need authorization for brutal tactics

        • Torture

        • Humiliation

      • Free rail travel – “revolutionary tourism”


  • 30 000 agricultural middle schools and about 4000 ‘red and expert’ universities were opened.

  • Great Leap in Education

    • Primary school enrolment rose by 20 million and there were large increases in the number of students at secondary and tertiary level.


  • In schools and colleges, administrators and teachers were subjected to criticism.

    • Main division was between students who came from the ‘five kinds of red’ family background (workers, peasants, soldiers, cadres, revolutionary martyrs) and those from bourgeois backgrounds.

  • Teachers were identified as lower than eight reactionary groups and were held to blame for ‘old’ education.

    • They were publicly humiliated.


  • Curriculum was shortened and more time was spent on political education.

    • Incorporation of The Little Red Book.

  • All pupils required to participate in manual labour.

    • Focus on agriculture.

  • Children in rural areas were helped by redistribution of resources.

  • Adoption of Mandarin, 1955 – standardized language (pinyin).

Success and Failure

  • 1949-70, literacy rates increased from 20%-70%.

  • After Mao’s death (1976), effects of the destruction of education during the CR showed.

    • Less than 1% had a university degree.

    • 11% had schooling past the age of 16.

    • 26% had attended school between 12-16.


  • “Religion was the opium of the masses”, synonymous with weakness.

  • Replaced with loyalty to the party and Mao.

  • Compared Christian missionaries with the Nazis, rallying hate.

  • Churches closed, nuns and priests expelled.

    • Open worship banned

    • Focus on Buddhism and Confucianism (characteristic of Ancient China)

      • Confucianism denounced as the worst part of China’s past.

    • Ancestor worship banned

  • Patriotic Churches were allowed to exist.

    • Clergy had to profess support for communism and incorporate dictation of doctrines.

    • Rejected by the Vatican.


  • Ancient Chinese teachings (Confucian) were patriarchal.

    • Therefore CCP teachings would preach that women were equal to men under Mao.

  • Marriage Reform, 1950

    • Mao condemned arranged marriages as “indirect rape”.

      • Changsha affair – bride commits suicide.

    • Divorce allowed.

    • Concubines and bride prices abolished.

    • More freedom for women.

    • Divorce rates increased by 60% in Gansu.

  • Women at work increased from 8%-32% from 1949-76.

    • Formed 13% of the CCP.

      • Still faced discrimination and prejudice.

    • Work was largely hard labour, arguably a worse situation to be in.

  • Women could own and sell land.

    • Redundant policy due to no private property.

  • Outlawed foot binding.


  • Collectivization destroyed the family, as mothers would work instead of maintaining the home.

  • “It is not the family which has given us everything, but the Communist party and the revolution.”

  • Child abandonment, exploitation and sexual abuse were high.


  • Particular region that Mao feared would have breakaway tendencies.

  • They had their own faith, language and history.

  • 1950, Invasion by the PLA to destroy their identity.

    • Political meetings, language and history banned.

  • The practice of Lama was banned.

  • Renamed Xizang.

  • Mass migrations of Chinese people (to swamp the culture).

  • Mandarin enforced as the official language.

  • Resisted with 60,000 but was defeated.

Famine during the GLF, 1958-62

  • Tibet was self-sustained: rearing yaks and sheep, growing oats and barley.

    • No reason for famine.

  • Chinese government imposed communal and socialist farming techniques.

    • Switch from barley to maize

      • Did not grow well in Tibetan climate.

    • Disagreed with Tibetan digestive systems

      • Caused diarrhea and dehydration.

  • Khampas (nomadic tribes) were forbidden to roam, so yaks could not plough fields.

    • Animals became malnourished.

    • Production of milk, cheese and meat stopped.

Tibetan Uprising, 1959

  • Protests and marches against China.

  • PLA sent in

  • Thousands imprisoned and executed.

  • Mentioning the Dalai Lama was an arrestable offence.

    • Dalai Lama flees

Foreign Relations

  • Full diplomatic relations were not recognized until Mao’s death in 1976.

Sino-Soviet Relations

  • Sino-Soviet Treaty, 1950.

    • 300 million USD (loan)

    • Upkeep of 10,000 Soviet experts (fully paid by China)

    • Mao knew it was exploitative and insulting.

  • Mao observed de-Stalinization and the USSR’s failure to control their states.

    • Khruschev’s disloyal speech, 1956.

  • Treated the Soviet delegation with disdain during their visit to Beijing in 1958.

    • No air conditioning in their hotel.

  • Sino-Soviet split, 1960.

Relations with the USA

  • USA angry over the fall of Nationalist China.

  • Great ideological divide.

  • Refusal to recognize China.

  • Protection of Taiwan (and the GMD)

  • The USA formally recognizes China, 1971.

    • Eased tensions.

    • USA table-tennis team invited to China – “Ping-Pong diplomacy”

  • Richard Nixon visits China, 1972.

    • With the intention of commercial/economic exchanges and resolution over Taiwan.


Jung Chang – antagonistic towards the regime; parents killed during CR.

John K. Fairbank – was impressed by China’s infrastructure upon visiting.
Frank Dikötter – estimates the largest amount of deaths in the GLF.
Lee Feigon – think 100 Flower Campaign was genuine.

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