IB Extended Essay: “Did Mao initiate the Cultural Revolution or was he driven by events beyond control?”

Did Mao initiate the Cultural Revolution or was he driven by events beyond control?”


Did Mao initiate the Cultural Revolution by himself, or was he was driven by events beyond his control?
Having read American Chinese sources as extracts form Wu Han’s play I became to understand that Mao was longing for a Revolution, correlating with the struggle for the new economic policy that Mao was trying to implement.. The Great Leap Forward officially ended in 1961, costing millions of lives.
.Why did Wu Han’s play written in 1966 the heatedly criticized play -officially dated- 1966 not stir up history-altering controversy until the Cultural Revolution?
Mao’s wife Jian Qing played a significant role in Mao’s actions. I found out that due to Jian Qing’s motivations and ideas, Mao continually focused a Cultural Revolution.
 Understanding modern Chinese history and can evaluate and assess China’s historical background, interpret and identify, in order to create my personal opinion of China post-Mao, and on societies’ perception today.I was interested in investigating this topic due to my fascination with History and how, and to what extent it relates to modern politics, and the Chinese culture and study of societies. Mao’s main incentives lie in discovering new means to transform China’s party, state & society with ideals- China transformed into a land of prosperity, universal justice in order to gain the attention and respect of the Western powers. Mao also desired to enhance his much weakened authority and reputation through events conducted by himself, such as the Great Leap Forward.

Word count: 240


Was Mao driven to initiate the Cultural Revolution or was he driven by events beyond his control- threats from within the government? In hopes to transform China’s party, society and state under his ideology Mao was driven to initiate the Cultural Revolution by two main purposes - to advance China into a prosperous land emerging as a great leader, and secondly his desire to reinforce his crippled authority and reputation due to the calamity of the Great Leap forward of 1958-1960. [1]
What were potential precursors for the Cultural Revolution were Wu Han’s play “Hai Rui Dismissed from Office” and his opposition within the Party- Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping and Lin Biao- as well as outside office- his wife Jiang Qing.
The significance of the topic relates to the importance of modern politics and how Chinese relations are handled and interpreted today. It gives the world an insight to a former majestic Empire and allows its full development integrated as a world leading country today. The research question relates to existing knowledge of the Cultural Revolution and take the investigation a step further, debating its origin in order to be able to detect complex issues.
The historical significance of this question can not be stressed enough; through the identification of Mao’s public enemies, especially those within the government, and the consideration of the variety of aspects under which Mao was influenced, evaluates his actions taken and events that were seemingly beyond his control with the judgment of historians and Chinese citizens from China under Mao’s influence. In reference to relevant ideas and opinions, it allows for my evaluation and of Historians’ perceptions of Mao, pre- and post-revolution as readers and historians alike will be able to determine the effect of Mao’s suppression in relation to China’s society and how we perceive modern Chinese history today: to what extent the opposition groups of Mao have influenced Mao’s decisions and struggle for power, and to clarify if it was really Mao who initiated the Cultural Revolution of 1966 or if it was driven by events beyond his control.
‘Events beyond control’, as stated in the research question is defined by the threats of opposition groups of Mao, which are of significant importance to understand Mao’s position of launching the Cultural Revolution of 1966. Suppression from within the government forced Mao to deal with the dominant influence of Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping between 1961-66, who, opposing Mao’s authority, reintroduced some capitalist incentives and were his strongly opposed enemies. Interestingly enough, Mao posed threats outside the government as well; his wife Jiang Qing ultimately initiated Mao’s realization in his favour to advocate a critique of Wu Han’s historically significant play
One can question if Mao would have emerged as a powerful force if there would not have been a popular critique in Mao’s favour, as we learned that he was insulted by the prominent portrayal of Peng Dehuai as Hai Rui in the Ming Dynasty criticizing the Emperor portrayed as a hero.
“The disastrous consequences of the Great Leap Forward had shaken the myth of Mao’s infallibility, weakening for the first time chairman’s leadership of the party and state.[2]
Chen Jian describes Mao as “Mao could clearly sense that both his grand revolutionary enterprise and his own “indisputable position as the party’s paramount leader were at stake”.[3] Chen Jian, who had experienced the China under Mao’s rule.
The significance of this extract lies in the fact that it was the fist time that Mao had to deal  with criticism within that initially fuelled his insecurities and resulted in a the encouragement to prove his power to potentially save his position in the CCP. In the way that Mao behaved in situations like these, portrays his continual thirst for Revolution and acceptance as the greatest of Chinese leaders.
Mao’s ideology of continuous revolution and rectification instinctively lead Mao to make his decisions, whether he felt threatened from his opposition or encouraged.
Mao’s battle with Liu Shaoqi about the Socialist Education Movement is a vibrant example of how Mao fought for authority and his key aims of this Movement, such as the intensification of class struggle, the purity of ideology and reinforcing his Communist revolutionary idea into the party.
The building up of his personal powerbase within the PLA under Lin Biao was an attempt to threaten his opposition and to set a clear statement of his authority, and the creation of the Red Guards and China’s economical impact are of crucial importance in order to identify Mao’s initiative. Most importantly the row over Wu Han’s play and the dismissal of Hai Rai from office are of extreme significance and importance to consider if Mao initiated the Cultural Revolution or if he was driven by events beyond his control.

Mao was leader of the Cultural Revolution and as the initiator of Chinese social and political reform. Others claim that Mao was struggling for his position in power, and being a weak dictator in the terms of carrying out actions/ was by no means entirely responsible for the Revolution on the mass scale it occurred.
In this essay I will prove that Mao was the initiator of the Cultural Revolution only because of his weak struggle for power, and that his opposition and events beyond his control underlined his fight for the success of his ideology and ended his brutal regime.

Wu Han’s Play and the Dismissal of Hai Rui
The row over Wu Han’s play, first published in 1944 is of significant importance when attempting to understand Mao’s political decisions
in prior the Cultural Revolution,
which is why Wu Han’s play is so significant as it is a major debatable issue for varied interpretations of how it impacted Mao to initiate the Cultural Revolution. What got me interested is that I was not capable of retrieving Chinese sources for interpretation, as it is banned in China. I used the following non-Chinese sources written, which interestingly enough were written by American historians.
Wu Han’s play “Hai Rui Dismissed from Office” of 1965 was based on the on the Ming Minister Hai Rui of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), who criticized the Emperor and was therefore imprisoned, whereas Han portrays Rui as a hero. Mao was originally impressed by the production, until Yao Wenyuan published an article castigating Mao’s dismissal of Peng Dehuai, who had criticized Mao’s eclipse of the Great Leap Forward at the Lushan Conference, 1959. Arguably, Mao’s dismissal was part of his resentment towards Peng Dehuai, Dehuai’s involvement in the Korean War, leading to the death of Mao’s son. Due to the controversial play, Mao “denounced the reactionary ideology of Wu Han”[4], fuelling his rage and “distrust of intellectuals for their independent thought and elitism”[5] - implementing his sense for a change in school and university systems. By criticizing Wu Han’s play Mao was “attacking the party apparatus and leadership that had permitted the publication of the play and implemented many other policies that Mao opposed”[6]- Mao was decisive that the leading party had “sabotaged”[7] him once again whilst he was implementing “radical social change” in China, which ultimately lead to his decision to plan a reformed China. On the issue of Mao’s discontent and public attack on Mao , historian Peter R. Moody claims that by 1965 Wu Han “had become completely disillusioned”[8]. Peter R. Moody describes Wu Han’s protagonist, the “peasant emperor”[9] from the Ming dynasty and Mao Zedong to have striking “similarities”[10]. Moody claims that Wu had been oblivious to all the fundamental comparisons to Mao, and “could not have known this until 1965”.[11]

“Mao remarked: ‘The crux of Hai Jui (Rui) Dismissed from Office was the question of dismissal from office. The Jia Qing Emperor (of the Ming Dynasty 1522-1566) dismissed Hai Jui from office. And Peng Dehuai is “Hai Jui” too.’ ”[12]

Coming directly from Mao, the quote demonstrates his pure abomination with Peng Dehuai. I will interpret his abhorrence originating from the crippled relationship Mao to do with the death of Mao’s son. It also provides the relation to the 1600s when the original play was first performed. Dating back for several centuries, only further exhibits how traditional China still was to Mao Zedong’s regime, and how powerful this play becomes through the extensive time gap that gives such significance and importance to it, making it all the more insulting to the current leader, in comparison to the biography of the first Emperor of the Ming Dynasty.

What American historian and Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affair Lieberthal suggests[13]  is that Mao’s wife Jiang Qing was the origin and cause for initiating the critique of the play, under Mao’s name. Chiang argued that the play Hai Rui Dismissed from Office was in fact, a direct attack on Mao from “political enemies”[14] which represented the dismissal of Peng Dehuai for which Mao was responsible for Lieberthal clarifies that Chiangs allegation is “plausible but probably wrong”[15]- that Wu Han had written the play before attending the Luhsan Conference, with proof through the “specific request of Mao’s secretaries”[16].  Officially the Luhsan Conference been called upon to discuss the course of the Great Leap Forward, and given the circumstances to deal the nation-spread famine, it was Peng Dehuai himself that expressed his concern: “ ‘I saw my people lying dead and dying in the fields and by the roadside.’ ”[17] Peng’s declaration had him declared as a “troublemaker”[18] and got denounced by the delegates of the Luhsan conference and the fellow delegates.  Retracing my original steps, it was Mao who was ultimately persuaded by Jiang to have Yao Wenyuan to produce a critique of the play. Peng was known to maintain a close relationship with Peng Zhen- deputy as Mayor of Beijing. It forced Peng Dehuai to choose sides with the idea of Wu Han or Mao. Distinctively, it was Mao’s wife that initiated Wu Han’s play to receive critical reception as to promoting the idea of that the party would launch a revolution to draw out the intellectuals of society, and in the long-run, causing the dismissal of Peng Dehuai from office.
Exactly this dismissal is significant, as it symbolizes the reception of the public in Mao’s favour- unconditional support- but not 
Lieberthals explanation is valuable, providing new understanding of how Mao was driven to initiate a political act under the influence of his wife- and not the CCP or other government officials. However, this appealing viewpoint contains limitations as it does not explain any reasons why Mao accepted his wife’s opinion as the general Chinese mentality regarding women, the distorted image in leading positions- considering in the fact that Mao was prominently known to enjoy plays.
Although British historian Jack Gray does not diminish the argument of the wife ‘pulling the strings’ behind the critical response of Wu Han’s play, he specifically argues that the play and its origins lie in the Great Leap Forward and the famine of the nation due the corruptive government system.  What was the critical argument between Peng Dehuai and Mao- with contradicting viewpoints about Hai Rui – “ ‘For the retention of the seal of office’, read Peng’s determination to persist his condemnation in spite of all warnings. ”[19] in contrast to which Mao responded: “ ‘For the Emperor, mislead by bad counsellors,’ ”[20] This confrontation is significant when direct communication seemed inevitable between Mao and Peng, opposition within the Party resulting in the latter’s expulsion- and the potential spark of the Cultural Revolution due to the power altercation.

Experts such as the historians Schoenhals and McFarquhar claims that the critique of Yao Wenyuan “kicked off the Cultural Revolution.”[21] , in no mention to who initiated the critical response. The extreme detail of Schoenhals’ and McFarquhars’ work is extraordinarily insightful, providing primary evidence for critical evaluation of my own.

The Sunday Times describes female historian Mitters’ work as “Raises such big questions and does so in such striking good prose”, I was not convinced by the clarity of the text; proving a dismal interpretation of Wu Han’s play, only to describe that the critical reception of Mao through this play was the key initiator to the Cultural Revolution, which “paved the way of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.” [22] Mitter does give an interesting and useful insight by providing a primary source from British economist Joan Robinson who experienced the Cultural Revolution as a foreign observer: “ ‘…another generation… plunged into the revolution… without the aid of grown-ups and Long Marches, they learned more about politics.’ ”[23] Discussing that Joan Robinson was present in China to the begin of the revolution, unable to give insight to the impact on society or having been a scarred nation by the end of the revolution in 1976. It is limited to the value of helping the outside observers to relate what a foreigner- oblivious to the consequences the powerful Cultural Revolution would expel- might experience.

Jiang Qing
Jiang Qing was the most prominently contested politician in China’s 20th Century politics- sharing a position in the CCP along with her husband Mao Zedong. Chinese traditional imagery and portrayal of the fanatical wife that curses evil, did not only exist in the eye of the members of the CCP. After the criticism of Wu Han’s play under Mao’s name -along with Peng Dehuai- she was publicly humiliated a through vicious attacks of patriotic revolutionaries. Upon “Jiang Qing! Jiang Qing! Poisonous snake, devil woman! You cruelly injure the loyal, ad bring calamity to the country and the people!”[24] Due to controversial incidents opposing Jiang’s public appearances, she did not gain much support.  This quote displayed on poster from the university student, a teacher and a worker- the intellectuals and the working class- evidently called himself “children of the party” upon throwing beastly accusations as Jiang. As a women it was easily disputed that Jiang could serve as the culprit of any negative disputes arose for which Mao would have been responsible for and received negatively, blamed for what Anchee Min describes as “countless bloody executions” on his wife.  Having grown up in Communist China and experienced understanding and admiration for “Madame Mao” alike,
University professors June Grasso, Jay Corin Michael Kort, teach cultural China in a admirable level, however the depth analysis is missing that challenges not only the lay historian, but  describes the prominent figure “Jiang Qing, Mao’s wife, an enthusiastic force behind the Cultural Revolution.”[25], underlining the importance of he presence and character in the shadow of Mao’s support, but fails to establish a connection to Jiang’s antagonistic reception within Chinese society.
Mao, portrayed as a God-like figure emerged in the Cult of Mao. Mao initiated the collaboration with his wife, from which I assume he enjoyed the support and relied greatly on her, enabling her to become a key political figure behind Mao. “a closely knit group… away form the centre of party power.”[26] What I can draw from this evidence, is that Mao’s wife certainty was fully supported her husband and her doing were misperceived in the public eye, as the excuse of Mao’s failures- as mentioned through Mao’s approved public executions– and is not at all as devilish as portrayed- struggling for survival as the better half, when according to the public eye, Mao’s better half are “Mao’s children”- the citizens of China.

Based on the evidence under this section, I must suggest that Mao was controlled through various issues, like his wife Chiang, that forced the weak dictator to act, only to learn from the consequences of the dismissal of Peng Dehuai that he would emerge as After this event- Mao assured of his power,  now relates to the Cultural Revolution
Overall, I am more or less convinced by the detail Jack Gray offers in “Rebellions and Revolutions: China from the 1800s to the 1980s”, explaining how the critique of the play came about, and the source of public humiliation of Mao due to Wu Han’s Hai Rui Dismissed from Office. I believe to that Mao’s anger emerged through the public humiliation and the empowerment through the support of his wife, and the ability to focus his rage on an individual about the death of his son during the Korean war, for which Mao made Peng Dehuai responsible for- to prove his power with the desire to gain respect and cult status of the people of China. For this reason, I believe that this was the precursor for the Cultural Revolution.
To that extent, I agree with Historians Schoenhals and McFarquhar that it kicked off the revolution-
Grasso, Kort and Corrin effectively display Mao’s perspective and allow me to evaluate to what extent Mao was planning to revenge critics and counter-revolutionaries 

Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping between 1961-66
So why did Mao Zedong launch the Cultural Revolution? “Mao’s final effort to regain control over the progress of the revolution in the form of a power struggle against Liu Shaoqi and his supporters.”[27] June Grasso states this as the major factor for Mao’s decision to drive out his opponents, which resulted in the Cultural Revolution.
The rivalry of Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi between Mao, were precursors to the Cultural Revolution and Mao’s desire to recreate a Communist China. Mao distinctively knew his opponents and was aware that in order to become the Chairman of China and eventually to establish the Cult of Mao, he would need to succeed in driving out his enemies.
 Liu Shaoqi, the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, elected in the new state constitution of 1954, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and Vice Premier of the State Council and secretary general of the party was one of Mao’s main public enemies he was determined to eliminate.
“Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping controlled the Party Central Committee in the capital”[28]
Liu Saoqi, prominently became “Mao’s chief target”[29], potentially the fear of who would be his successor after his death- who would continue to lead the Cult of Mao?
Mao’s concern with creating the new elite, the  “bourgeois”[30]

Lin Biao

Lin Yurong- predominantly known under the nom de guerre Lin Biao- prominently supported Mao in favour of a Cultural Revolution. In an official speech of Lin Biao: Lin Biao tongzhi zai Zhongyang gongzuo huiyi shang de jianghua (Lin Biao’s Talk at the Central Work Conference)[31] the military leader and Mao’s comrade-in-arms, emphasizes the necessity of having a revolution and proposes the question of “how is it to be done?”[32] - in order to show is undeniable support to Mao Zedong.
Mao’s advocate was known for working not only towards common goals, but also under Mao’s supervision and acted for common aims- Lin Biao attacked The Four Olds, which Mao wanted to exterminate  “Old Ideas, Old Culture, Old Customs, Old Habits”[33]. Directed at China’s Youth, Lynch describes the process of eradication of these elements as “bizarre”- “a man of 73 years, calling on the young to overthrow the old…irony when unnoticed by the youngsters.”[34] Truthfully, I too agree with this statement; when “China had been told that nothing in its past was worth preserving.”[35], a great deal of irony is present. Mao, dedicated to re-establish China, provided an excellent platform for the re-education of the Red nation in eradicating everything that China had consisted of until this day- the man that ostensibly loved the Chinese nation, to lead it towards a healthy and better life, ultimately destroyed the lives of 70 million[36] sons and daughters of the nation through his utopian reform of China, the Cultural Revolution.

So why did the Cultural Revolution end with Mao’s death? How significant is this fact- would it have continued?
After Mao’s death, Jiang Qing was imprisoned, and committed suicide soon after.
Through this evaluation and that Mao did not initiate the Cultural Revolution by with reform and re-education on his mind, the significance of the critique his wife successfully initiated and planted the idea of power into Mao conciseness Wu Han’s play-
Due to the successful elimination of Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi the Cultural Revolution was successful for Mao.
MLA Style


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[1] Jian, Chen. Mao’s China and the Cold War. London: The University of North Carolina Press/Chapel Hill, 2001. Page 243-244.
[2] Jian, Chen. Mao’s China and the Cold War. London: The University of North Carolina Press/Chapel Hill, 2001. Page 82.
[3] Jian, Chen. Mao’s China and the Cold War. London: The University of North Carolina Press/Chapel Hill, 2001. Page 82.
[4] Schoenhals, Michael, ed. China's Cultural Revolution, 1966-1969: Not a Dinner Party. M E Sharpe Inc, August 1996. Page 16.
[5] Grasso, June., Corrin, Jay P., and Kort, Michael. Modernization and Revolution in China: From the Opium Wars to World Power. 3rd ed. published in … M E Sharpe Inc; 8. August 2004. Page 198.
[6] Grasso, June., Corrin, Jay P., and Kort, Michael. Modernization and Revolution in China: From the Opium Wars to World Power. 3rd ed. published in … M E Sharpe Inc; 8. August 2004. Page 207.
[7] Grasso, June., Corrin, Jay P., and Kort, Michael. Modernization and Revolution in China: From the Opium Wars to World Power. 3rd ed.. M E Sharpe Inc; 8. August 2004. Page 207.
[8] Moody, Peter R. Oppositon and dissent in contemporary China. Hoover Inst Pr, 1977
[9] Moody, Peter R. Oppositon and dissent in contemporary China. Hoover Inst Pr, 1977
[10] Moody, Peter R. Oppositon and dissent in contemporary China. Hoover Inst Pr, 1977
[11] Moody, Peter R. Oppositon and dissent in contemporary China. Hoover Inst Pr, 1977
[12] Grasso, June., Corrin, Jay P., and Kort, Michael. Modernization and Revolution in China: From the Opium Wars to World Power. 3rd ed.. M E Sharpe Inc; 8. August 2004. Page 210.

[13] MacFarquhar, Roderick. The Politics of China: The Eras of Mao and Deng. 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press 1993, 1997. Page 135.
[14] MacFarquhar, Roderick. The Politics of China: The Eras of Mao and Deng. 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press 1993, 1997. Page 135.
[15] MacFarquhar, Roderick. The Politics of China: The Eras of Mao and Deng. 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press 1993, 1997. Page 135.
[16] MacFarquhar, Roderick. The Politics of China: The Eras of Mao and Deng. 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press 1993, 1997. Page 135.
[17] Lynch, Michael. People’s Republic of China 1949 – 1976 (Access to History). 2nd ed. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2008. Page 62
[18] Lynch, Michael. People’s Republic of China 1949 – 1976 (Access to History). 2nd ed. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2008. Page 62
[19] Gray, Jack. Rebellions and Revolutions: China from the 1800s to the 1980s. Oxford University Press Inc., New York, 1990. Page 334.
[20] Gray, Jack. Rebellions and Revolutions: China from the 1800s to the 1980s. Oxford University Press Inc., New York, 1990. Page 334.
[21] MacFarquhar, Roderick., and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao’s Last Revolution. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 4. March 2008. Page 421.
[22] Mitter, Rana. A Bitter Revolution: China’s stuggle with the Modern World. Oxford University Press Inc., New York, 2004. Page 210.
[23] Mitter, Rana. A Bitter Revolution: China’s stuggle with the Modern World. Oxford University Press Inc., New York, 2004. Page 211.
[24] MacFarquhar, Roderick., and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao’s Last Revolution. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 4. March 2008. Page 421.
[25] Grasso, June., Corrin, Jay P., and Kort, Michael. Modernization and Revolution in China: From the Opium Wars to World Power. 3rd ed.. M E Sharpe Inc; 8. August 2004. Page 211.
[26] Grasso, June., Corrin, Jay P., and Kort, Michael. Modernization and Revolution in China: From the Opium Wars to World Power. 3rd ed.. M E Sharpe Inc; 8. August 2004. Page 211.
[27] Grasso, June., Corrin, Jay P., and Kort, Michael. Modernization and Revolution in China: From the Opium Wars to World Power. 3rd ed. published in … M E Sharpe Inc; 8. August 2004. Page 208.
[28] Grasso, June., Corrin, Jay P., and Kort, Michael. Modernization and Revolution in China: From the Opium Wars to World Power. 3rd ed. published in … M E Sharpe Inc; 8. August 2004. Page 211.
[29] Grasso, June., Corrin, Jay P., and Kort, Michael. Modernization and Revolution in China: From the Opium Wars to World Power. 3rd ed. published in … M E Sharpe Inc; 8. August 2004. Page 211.
[30] Grasso, June., Corrin, Jay P., and Kort, Michael. Modernization and Revolution in China: From the Opium Wars to World Power. 3rd ed. published in … M E Sharpe Inc; 8. August 2004. Page 208.
[31] Schoenhals, Michael, ed. China's Cultural Revolution, 1966-1969: Not a Dinner Party. . M E Sharpe Inc, August 1996. Page 9.
[32] Schoenhals, Michael, ed. China's Cultural Revolution, 1966-1969: Not a Dinner Party. . M E Sharpe Inc, August 1996. Page 10.
[33] Lynch, Michael. People’s Republic of China 1949 – 1976 (Access to History). 2nd ed. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2008.  Page 81.

[34] Lynch, Michael. People’s Republic of China 1949 – 1976 (Access to History). 2nd ed. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2008. Page 81.

[35] Lynch, Michael. People’s Republic of China 1949 – 1976 (Access to History). 2nd ed. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2008.  Page 81.

[36] Lynch, Michael. People’s Republic of China 1949 – 1976 (Access to History). 2nd ed. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2008.

The Chinese Communist Party's Responsibility for the Massacre and Cannibalism During the Guangxi factional wars of 1968

Plan of Investigation (154 words)
This investigation assesses the role of the Chinese Communist Party in the massacre and cannibalism of Guangxi Province in 1968, during the peak of the Cultural Revolution: was the central government responsible for the death of 200,000 people?Claiming as many lives as the Nanking Massacre, the mass killing and cannibalism which took place in the rural areas of Guangxi autonomous region remains one of the biggest taboos in China. Understanding the context to decipher the root cause is the aim of this paper. The prompt requires extensive research on what instigated the factional war and the government’s involvement throughout. I will employ the Scarlet Memorial,by Mr. Zheng Yi and a dissertation titled “State Sponsorship or State Failure? Mass Killings in Rural China, 1967-68”, by Professor Yang Su as my primary sources. Other sources include interviews with witnesses, doctors, government consultants, as well as literature by Chinese and Western historians, and organizational behaviourists.

Summary of Evidence (450)
In the early 1960’s, Mao sought to refocus the public on his goal of a ‘continuous revolution.’ The violent year of “class struggles” in 1968 is the pinnacle of the perilous decade that caused 2.8 million deaths and political dissonance resonant even forty years later.

Background to the Factional Wars Answering Mao’s call, in 1966, Revolutionary Committees were established nation-wide to open all levels of government, from officials in the Politburo to municipalities in rural counties for the “criticism and judgment of the sharp-eyed masses” . The targets of this movement, “class enemies”, spanned from ‘anti-revolutionary’ artists to doctors, “landlords” to “capitalist roaders”, teachers to students . Mass gatherings were held where these people were openly humiliated. At this point, the public still adhered to Mao’s call for Verbal Struggle . Meanwhile, because local governments were disbanded and upper party members were in dispute , the number of factions grew exponentially in the country.

Wei Guoqing and ‘Physical Struggle’By July of 1967, the Red Guards in Guangxi generally sided with one of the two major factions , one in support of the Provincial Party secretary Wei Guoqing, and the other against. Due to his close diplomatic ties with Hanoi during the Vietnam War , Wei was able to exercise his power autocratically, focusing public discontent on the faction known as the “411 Group” that disagreed with his conservative policies. Due to growing threats, the “411 Group” stole weaponry for protection, and after misreporting to the central government on the situation and gaining permission to act, Wei Guoqing mobilized all his supporters to wipe out the “class enemies” , ridding the province of “armed bandits” . He encouraged shows of “commitment to revolution”; from July until December of 1968 over 200, 000 were tortured and murdered, without trial. 100, 000 died between July and August alone. All individuals suspected of 411 membership, their associates and their families were not spared.

The most extreme method of killing was cannibalism; 3000 named individuals fell victim to it in four counties alone . Perpetrators usually began with summoning a village meeting, calling forth the ‘suspect’, stating the crime and calling for justice. Then, the mass would gather around the subject, physically assault him or her, cut two diagonals across the abdomen and push out the organs. Those who were most involved in this process “had the most resolve”. Official records claim that near the close of December, news regarding the intensity of the activities in Guangxi finally reached Beijing in the form of a letter from a local cadet in Wuxuan and Premier Zhou Enlai, outraged, immediately sent commander in chief of the Guangxi Military Region to dispatch militia into the counties, putting down the unrest. The extreme violence ended at the beginning of 1969.

Evaluation of Sources (530)
Source A: Scarlet Memorial By Zheng Yi
The book is a primary source published in 1993 by Westview Press, a company renowned for democracy promotion. Written by Chinese journalist, writer, and exile about his investigation on the cannibalism and mass killings of the Guangxi Massacre in 1986, the book was one of the only two documents on the subject and was the only reason the event is known overseas, making it invaluable. New York Review of Books applauded Zheng ; Pulitzer Prize-winner Nicholas D. Kristof chided with, “ through immense courage and persistence, Zheng Yi has assembled the most painful and damning and haunting indictment of Maoist China that one can imagine.” Historian Jasper Becker in bestseller Hungry Ghosts, along with seven books, a multitude of periodicals, and the infamous Epoch Times all cite the Scarlet Memorial as a source of primary evidence. It is the book on this topic that is “best known to the Western world.”The author asserts he “intended to collect historical material on various ruthless incidents during the Cultural Revolution and to analyze the poisonous effects of ultra-leftism from a psychological perspective.” He sought to “focus on the local level …” because “the higher the bureaucrat, the tighter his mouth.” Yet, the book is saturated with emotional language and details that seem to be for shock value. This aspect limits the source, as does the fact that it was originally written in Chinese, and “edited and translated” by T.P. Sym, another democracy advocate. Furthermore, Zheng single-handedly collected the data on his journalistic trip, “smuggled it out of the country”, when he was running away as a wanted man . Authenticating his data is near impossible at this point and his possible political vendetta cannot be ignored.

Source B: “State Sponsorship or State Failure? Mass Killings in Rural China, 1967-68” by Yang Su, Ph.D.

This source comes from a professor of sociology in the University of California at Irvine (UCI) , who received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University and has worked with academia in the study of social movements, political sociology and “China’s Political Transition”. Published in 2003 by his university press as a thesis paper, Su personally researched scores of officially published county annals in Chinese and uses geography, demography, even statistics, to examine every aspect of the mass killings in Guangxi, including the question of government responsibility. This paper is crucial, as it arises from unbiased research , a writer who is not a political dissident.

Su’s purpose is not personal; his clinical language is consistent and in his conclusion, he speaks of genocide research and finding out the “how” . This scholarly perspective aids historians to use his data trustingly and to consider his neutral understanding of the event: blame cannot be fully allotted to the central government, just as the mass murders cannot be completely dismissed. Thus, the limitations to this document are in proportion to the limitations on the contentious topic itself: even when governmental archives are opened, the rural disposition of the counties with will have eroded the objective truth to the event.

Analysis (722)
Mass Killing 
To prove or disprove the government’s relationship with the mass killings, we must examine the evidence that is present, and due to censorship, the evidence that should be present, be it for or against the verdict. Official records show that Wei Guoqing was deposed after the fall of the Gang of Four, in 1975; though he never went on trial and his ‘misdemeanor’ was never made known and criticized widely, he was “guilty of insubordination, inciting popular violence, and bribery” . This first fact establishes governmental responsibility, be it on a provincial level. The question then is whether the central party members were directly behind the instigation, and moreover, whether they were even aware of the situation.

Becker, who followed up with further research, personally acknowledged his firm belief that “ultimately, Mao [himself] was responsible.” Though he did not claim circumstantial evidence to the above comment, Zheng, likewise, clearly implied the same with, “In this country, with its complete ban on freedom, people were unable to learn the scope and depth of the suffering, nor could they realize that the cause of the suffering was the totalitarian system, with Mao sitting on the top… thus, the common people could only focus their anger elsewhere” . Logically, this anger expressed in extremity is expressed in the factional wars, where each antagonized “class enemy” is made to be the “stagnation to the revolution” , a direct cause of their pain. This psychological approach to the issue is valid and does place guilt upon the government in general. Yet, tangible evidence suggests the opposite. There are two general memorandums, and countless references from Mao and Deng in late 1968 that call for “a return to ‘Verbal Struggle’, not violence” and “an end to factionalism, reclaiming industrial goals and advancement” . However, judging from their previous work, historians like Sheryl Wudunn and Jung Chang, would argue the validity of these papers: if the authorities gave permission to certain regions to use ‘physical struggle’, of course there would be no documentation of it.

Su was able to use the timing, location, victim and perpetrator profiles to show that the massacre in Guangxi was paradoxically both a “state sponsorship and a state failure”. This builds into the prior ideas of indirect causation, providing evidence that the establishment of government instigated revolutionary committees occurred immediately before or after the height of mass killing in many provinces. Yet Su asserts the violence was not caused by a “top-down diffusion process” , as shown by the absence of genocidal activities in urban areas, and how death tolls in rural areas were exponentially greater. Others like Su agree that though the government called for ‘rebellion’ in the mid 60’s, it was necessary considering the context of the time and the need for, ironically, political consolidation. The factions that formed to support these ideals eventually became uncontrollable; from an organisational behaviour perspective, mass aggression only escalates.

Sadly, cannibalism is the reason why Zheng Yi’s book on the massacre caught public attention. Though there is no evidence whatsoever of the government’s involvement, and hence no responsibility for its beginning, the perpetuation of the brutality has been questioned. The most popular question is why a government so indignant over tragedies like the Nanking massacre , would turn and ignore another genocide which claimed just as many lives, and in such an animalistic manner? The question answers itself, or as government consultant Kang would say in Chinese idiom, “family ugliness is not to be made known.” If there was no governmental incitement and a cover-up was still in order, only one fact can be proven: the subject is simply too great of a taboo, not just for China, but for the entire civilized world. Japanese historians, like Nagae Yoshimasa, would then use these ‘sub-human’ traits to justify the war crimes during the invasion of WWII. In any case, killing may have arguably been state sponsored, but cannibalism was an expression of ‘loyalty’ that the government did not call for. Judging from how militia was sent in to Guangxi as soon as the top officials discovered the extent of the crises, there was no direct government responsibility to the cannibalism itself.

The central members of the Communist Party are not directly responsible for the massacre in Guangxi during the Cultural Revolution. Though they initiated factionalism, created the idea of ‘class enemies’, and allowed people to ‘rebel’ and ‘struggle’ in whatever ways the mass defined those terms, there was no mandate that encouraged murder, not to mention cannibalism. The time and rural location of the cases prove that not only did the higher authorities clearly not foresee the consequences, therefore, did not premeditate them. This conclusion is perhaps more decisive than it should be, considering the Communist archives are still unopened and only forty years have passed, not allowing enough objectivity to make a certain historical judgement. Yet, at this point, the evidence shows no correlation.

1.Becker, Jasper. E-Mail interview. 24 Mar. 2007.  2.Becker, Jasper. Hungry Ghosts. New York: The Free P, 1996.  3.Chang, Iris. The Rape of Nanking: the Forgotten Holocaust of World War II. New York: Penguin, 1997.  4.Chang, Tony H. China During the Cultural Revolution, 1966—1976: a Selected Bibliography of English Language Works . Westport: Greenwood P, 1996.  5.Chong, Key Ray. Cannibalism in China. Wakefield: Longwood Academic, 1990.  6.Donahue, Phil. The Human Animal. New York: Fireside, 1985. 190-232.  7.Elliott, Michael. ""China-- Dawn of a New Dynasty"." Time 22 Jan. 2007.  8.Fogel, Joshua A. The Literature of Travel in the Japanese Rediscovery of China, 1862-1945. Stanford, CA: Stanford University, 1996. 228-300.  9.Gao, Quan, and Jia Qi Yan. The Cultural Revolution-- History of the Decade . Hong Kong: Chao Liu.  10.Jurmain, Robert, Harry Nelson, and William A. Turnbaugh. Understanding Physical Anthropology. 3rd ed. St. Paul: West Company.  11.Ke, Yunlu. The Extreme Decade: 1966-1976. Hong Kong: Mirror Books, 2007.  12.Kristof, Nicholas D., and Sheryl Wudunn. China Wakes. New York: Random House, 1994.  13.Leung, Laifong. Interviews with Chinese Writers of the Lost Generation . New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1994.  14.Li, Shizhen. Ben Cao Gang Mu (Compendium of Materia Medica). Ed. Hao Zhang and Misheng Cui. Beijing: Zhong Yi Gu Ji Chu Ban She (Chinese Medicine and Ancient Works Publications), 2006.  15.Liu, Xiaoyun. “Letter to Caixia Zhou in Wuxuan County.” 12 July 1968. Exchange Before the Provincial Lockdown and Purges Began.  16.Lu, Xiuyuan. "A Step Toward Understanding Popular. Violence in China's Cultural Revolution." Pacific Affairs 67 (1994).  17.Luo, Guanzhong. Three Kingdoms. Trans. Moss Roberts. Beijing: Foreign Languages P, 2005.  18.Mao, Zedong. Mao Zedong Yu Lu. 4th ed. Beijing: Ren Min Chu Ban She, 1987.  19.Myers, David G. Social Psychology. 6th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill College, 1999.  20.Shi, Naian. Shui Hu Zhuan (Outlaws of the Marsh). Shanghai: Tuan Jie, 1995.  21.Su, Kang. (Chinese government’s History and Foreign Relations consultant) Personal interview. 20 May 2006.  22.Song, Yongyi. "The Cultural Revolution and the War Against Fascism." The Epoch Group. University of Chicago, Illinois. 24 Sept. 2002.  23.Song, Yongyi, ed. The Cultural Revolution: Historical Truth and Collective Memories. Hong Kong: Tian Yuan Book House, 2006.  24.Unger, Jonathan. The Transformation of Rural China . M. E. Sharpe, 2002. P 150.  25.Valentino, Benjamin. Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the Twentieth Century, Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2004.  26.Waldron, Arthur. "Eat People-- a Chinese Reckoning." Commentary 104, 1997. P 28.  27.Wang, Chaohua. One China, Many Paths. New York: Verso, 2003.  28.Wen Ge Shi Nian (Decade of Change). Dir. Lei Li. DVD. CCTV, 2001.  29.Yan, Jiaqi, Gao Gao, and Danny Wynn Y. Kwok. Turbulent Decade: a History of the Cultural Revolution. University of Haiwaii P, 1996. P 393.  30.Yang, Kelin, ed. Wen Hua Da Ge Ming: Buo Wu Guan (Museum of the Cultural Revolution). Vol. 1. Hong Kong: Tian Di Books, 2001.  31.Yang, Su, "State Sponsorship or State Failure? Mass Killings in Rural China, 1967-68" (May 1, 2003). Center for the Study of Democracy. University of California, Irvine. Paper 03-06.  32.Yue, Gang. The Mouth That Begs: Hunger, Cannibalism, and the Politics of Eating in Modern China . Durham: Duke UP, 1999.  33. Zheng, Yi. Scarlet Memorial. Boulder, CO: Westview P, 1996.
Appendix A: Historical Chronology Of Events Concerning Guangxi Province1950-19861950Guangxi is “liberated” by Chinese Communist forces1955Wei guoqing is appointed governor and Party secretary1957 June: Anti-rightist campaign leads to widespread persecution ofintellectuals and writers throughout China1958 Guangxi is established as one of five “autonomous regions” in China1958-60The great Leap forward is launched by CCP Chairman Mao Zedong1960-63The “three bitter years” of famine and privation sweep the nation as a consequence of Mao’s irrational and grandiose Great Leap policies1962-65The Socialist Education Movement is launched in the Chinese countryside against cadre corruption and the abuse of power1965March: Large-scale U.S. bombing of North Vietnam begins near theGuangxi border1966-76The period of the Cultural Revolution1966May: first big-character poster appears at Peking University (Beida) initiating a mass campaign among students.

July: First Red Guard organisations appear in BeijingAugust: A series of massive Red Guard rallies begins in Beijing. Eleventh Plenum of the CCP Central Committee authorizes formation of the Revolutionary Committees.

1967January: The first Revolutionary Committee is established in Heilongjiang Province as left-wing radicals decide to seize Party and state powerApril 22: “Small Faction” of Red Guards is formed in Guangxi leading to a two-year period of intense factional fightingJuly: Wuhan incident brings China to the brink of civil war as PLA units in this central China city directly challenged central authority1968January: Mao denounces the factionalism and anarchism of extremeleft.

March: extreme Left regains the initiative as Jiang Qing, Mao’s wife, strengthens her control of leftist elements.

April: The Left is encouraged to step up attacks on powerholders in the Party and government June: Violence intensifies throughout ChinaJuly 3: CCP Central Committee, the State Council, and Central Military Commission issue “July 3 Bulletin” warning against disruption of railway communication in Guangxi and attacks on PLA organs and troops. The bulletin provokes vicious battles in the region among various factions that result in the incidents of cannibalism.

August: Provincial-level Revolutionary Committee established in Guangxi headed by Wei Guoqing1969April: Ninth party Congress selects Lin Biao as Mao’s official successor1976September: Death of Mao Zedong brings an end to the Cultural Revolution October: Members of the Gang of Four, including Jiang Qing, are arrested and imprisoned1983-84Following Wei Guoqing’s fall from power in Guangxi, CCP investigations of abuses during the Cultural Revolution unearth evidence of cannibalism there.

To what extent did Stalin truly influence Mao’s decision to enter the Korean conflict?

A. Plan of Investigation

After twenty years of ferocious war, both civil and against Imperial Japan, Mao’s decision to enter the Korean conflict was not taken lightly but was the result of various considerations. Chief among them was the support the USSR was willing to provide. To what extent did Stalin truly influence Mao’s decision to cross the Rubicon and enter the Korean conflict? To investigate this, the main Chinese source used will be interviews conducted by a Chinese author of the military officers during the war as well as later historians. With the different interpretations of the historians as well as the personal witnesses of these officials, their explanations will then be compared to the ones of the British as well as the Chinese that have suffered from the persecutions of the Cultural Revolution. Along with these two extreme views of Mao and his foreign policies, the addition of future historical analysis of other Western historians and primary Chinese documents, will then be used to determine the most influential aspect on Mao’s decision.


B. Summary of Evidence

With Dean Acheson’s Defense Perimeter Speech January 1950, the Korean War broke out several months later on June 25th, 1950. During the initial beginning of the war, China had not intervened, but four months later on October 16, after sending an ultimatum on October 3, 350,000 Chinese soldiers entered the war.

Stated in Crossing Over the Yalu River, even before Inchon, China had already contacted Moscow and warned both them and Kim Il-Sung to take precautions. Zhou Enlai specifically quoted “Mao Zedong believes that in order to protect and cover Seoul, the Koreans must build a strong base in Inchon because the Americans are likely to land there.” During Zhou’s meeting with Moscow’s representative he also agreed that if the American’s were to cross the 38th parallel line, the Chinese would camouflage as North Korean soldiers and aid in their defense. But two days before Zhou’s ultimatum, Mao Zedong received a letter from Kim asking for help, with explicit descriptions of their state. But in it, there was absolutely no mentioning of Stalin.

By October 8th, Mao announced the creation of a group of volunteer soldiers for the war and at the same time he sent Zhou to Moscow to discuss the aid Stalin would provide. Zhou stated that as long as the Soviet army agrees to cover with air force, the Chinese will send in their army. Stalin replied that they would provide the air force, but since the Soviet army is not ready, he would need around two months time to prepare.

Zhang Baijia in Crossing over the Yalu River explained that Mao entered to war for four reasons. Firstly, Mao needed to protect the Northeast section of China because during the time the area was crucial in industrial development. Mao had feared that if the Americans cross the Yalu River, the industrial development section of China will be at risk. Secondly, if China did not enter the war, then the Soviet influence will increase, which will put China at a disadvantage. Thirdly, Mao believed that if they did not support North Korea, many refugees will escape to China, which will result in chaos. Lastly, Mao believed that as a Communist leader, they had the responsibility of supporting the other nations that wished to pursue Communism and in this case especially North Korea. This was because they had fought together against the Japanese and had already formed a “teeth and lip” relationship, they relied on each other and so China had to intervene.

Along with the reasons Zhang argues, Chang and Halliday describe Mao’s motives as global ambitions. They claim that many of the ways Mao dealt with other countries was a copy of Stalin’s methods. In their opinion Mao decided to enter the war was because he wanted to break from Stalin’s influence and that he wanted to show that the newly established People’s Republic of China is strong and is able to take on strong forces such as the USA. Mao believed that fighting in the war would be able to take him out from Stalin’s sphere of influence. At the same time they would be gaining Soviet technology and military equipment services, which Mao believed was essential in helping China in becoming stronger in the future.


C. Evaluation of sources

Mao: The Unknown Story is written by both a Chinese and Western author, one of whom is a former research fellow at King’s College, University of London. The main author, Chang, is not a trained historian, but rather a linguist. She uses personal experiences and witnesses during the Cultural Revolution as a basis for her criticisms of Mao. It is valuable in that it provides alternative perspectives on the issue of the reasons for why Mao entered the war. The perspective and provided opinion clearly differs from the one provided through the war veterans in Crossing over the Yalu River, which is comprised of opinions from the Chinese. The focus is more on the ambition of Mao in an endeavor to escape from Stalin’s influence and his dream to become strong, but fail to present the reasons which were the protection of the China from the US troops as a reason for Mao entering the war. The authors provide more links between Mao and Stalin, which emphasizes that the intervention of Mao in the Korean War is mainly due to Stalin’s influence. But despite the different view which Chang presents, her entire focus in on the aspects of Mao in all of his decisions and not only the Korean War. With this breadth of knowledge she is presenting, it is difficult for her to pin down the specifics of this war. However, despite this limitation, the presentation of Mao’s entire life shows the pattern of his decisions and may lead to a greater understanding of him fighting in the Korean War.

In Crossing Over the Yalu River, the author Cheng Hong provided interviews with all the military officials and historians to explain the reasons. If Chang is accused of “a simple personalization of blame”, Cheng then goes the opposite by presenting Mao as a leader of the country, and his brave intervention with the war was for the sake of the country even the situation China was in at the moment was not the best time for war. This source is valuable in that the historians and experts providing the information from an objective view point. The publication date is after the reign of Mao, which emphasizes the extent in which the Chinese believes that Mao’s purpose were for his brothers. This source portrays China as the defenders and not the aggressors. Zhou Enlai had specifically warned the Americans to not cross the 38th parallel, otherwise they would attack. It is valuable because of the Chinese perception, but it is also unreliable because due to the publicity of the interview, Chinese governmental officials would never say anything against Mao. The public forces these interviewed officials to speak in favour of Mao, and the author himself, agreeing with Peng Dehuai, believes that Mao was the only man to understand history. Clearly he will portray Mao in a positive light.


D. Analysis

From the perspective of the Chinese, Mao’s decision to enter the war was for two main reasons. One was to protect the newly established state and the second one was to help the North Korean brothers. Mao said himself, "if the whole of Korea were occupied by the United States, and the Korean revolutionary forces were totally defeated, the U.S. aggressor would be more arrogant, and the whole situation in the Far East would be unfavorable (to us)." As this appears, the Chinese did so for their protection, but Zhang also stated that they had international responsibility to support the countries that wished to obtain independence as well as unity. Besides this, MacArthur’s decision to bomb Beijing and attack across the Yalu River threatened Mao, but Gaddis rather puts a specific emphasis on Stalin’s creation of the war.

Besides the support for Zhang’s claims, is the influence Stalin had on Mao. Stalin agreed to help the Chinese if they fought in the war by supplying them with weapons and air power. “The Chinese would send volunteers to confront the American-led forces on the ground, while the Soviets would provide air cover”. However, the air force in which Stalin promised Mao was not prepared. This not only shows that the Soviets encouraged the Chinese to participate in this war, but also the attitude that Stalin had towards Mao. Clearly for Stalin Mao was insignificant because he did not believe Mao had the equipment and the ability to fight in the war. Overall, he just didn’t want to support Mao. This was because Communism at the time was not monolithic anymore. Although viewed by Western powers as monolithic, Stalin understood that Communism was not. If he supplied military weapons to China, he would only be strengthening the country and diminishing his position as the undisputed leader of the worldwide Communist movement.

Originally when North Korea asked for support from the Soviet Union they were turned down, but the Chinese gave a definite answer of yes and it was Mao that gave Kim in the idea to launch attack of South Korea first. Mao was determined to fight the Americans in exchange for escaping from Stalin’s control and to build his own war machine with the supplies that were coming from the Soviets. Mao did want to break from the Soviet Union, and the Korean War gave him a chance to do so along with gaining military support. Mao’s intervention with the war is also argued by many as a card used by Kim to get support from Stalin. Because Stalin had rejected Kim’s earlier request and Mao accepted it, Kim was able to use to this hint to Stalin that Mao was more practical and in a way better than Stalin. Instead of going directly to Stalin to plan ideas Kim would instead go and willingly be under the rule of Mao if Stalin did not agree to support him. Clearly this was a threat to Stalin’s position in Communism and so reluctantly Stalin agreed to help. So rather than saying it was Stalin’s influence, being used by Kim may seem more appropriate.

Another reason Mao entered the war was because of the anchoring of the Seventh Fleet in Taiwan, which had no relations with the Soviet Union. Mao saw that combat with the Americans was inevitable and Korea at the time served to be battlefield. Mao was prepared for the Americans to attack mainland China and he had in mind to completely eradicate the invading troops of USA, all he need was for the weapons that Stalin promised to supply to arrive. Mao wanted to destroy the Americans for the fear of his position and as well as the sake of his countries, especially since the Americans created the policy of “roll-back” according to NSC 68 and they had supported Chiang-Kai-shek in the Chinese civil war.. If democracy was to take over the whole of Korea, invasion and “roll-back” of Communism would be much simpler as well as the landing of Chiang-Kai-shek if he wished to pursue mainland China again.


E. Conclusion

From the sources and the several opinions presented, Mao’s decision to enter the Korean War is a mixture of many reasons. But despite these several aspects, it can be seen that Stalin’s motivation of Mao in his provision of arms was not the main reason, seeing as Mao was not armed with the appropriate equipment. The “heroic” rescue of the North Koreans is constantly emphasized by both the officials as well as Mao, but under the circumstances of the newly established nation, this incentive does not seem strong enough, but rather the consequences of not helping seemed at the time to be a greater motivation.

The consequences of the Americans enforcing “roll-back” and the threat of the industry seem much more convincing than the “brotherhood” which the officials emphasize. These consequences and the incentives for Mao to prevent them from occurring were much more pragmatic since Mao was willing to risk another war. As for Stalin’s influence, his persuasion of Mao to enter and to continue fighting seems minimal, because Mao was doing so for his “ambitions” and not because he is controlled by Stalin.


Total Word Count : 2075

F. Sources

Andrew Nathan (2005-11-17). Jade and Plastic. London Review of Books. Retrieved on 2007-04-04   Chang, Jung, and Jon Halliday. Mao: the Unknown Story. London: Jonathan Cape, 2005.   陈 宏. 跨国鸭绿江. 北京: 蓝天出版社, 2003. (Cheng Hong. Crossing Over the Yalu River. Beijing: Lantian Publisher, 2003.)   Chen Jian. China’s Road to the Korean War: The Making of the Sino-American Confrontation. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.   Collection of Mao Zedong's Writings After the Establishment of the PRC. Vol. 1. Beijing, 1989.   Gaddis, John Lewis. The Cold War. Penguin Books, 2005.   Gaddis, John Lewis. We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.   Goncharov, Sergei N., John W. Lewis, Xue Litai, and Litai Xue. Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao, and the Korean War. Stanford UP, 1993.   Hong, Xuezhi. Recollections on the War of 'Resisting the U.S. and Assisting Korea. Beijing: Jiefangjun Wenyi Chubanshe, 1991.   Jung Chang, Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China Anchor Books, 1992.   Maoist Dualism and the Chinese Communist Foreign Relations, 1935-1949. York University, 1991.   Montefiore, Simon S. "History: Mao by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday." Times Online. 25 May 2005.6Nov.2007 .   Taubman, William. Khrushchev: The Man and his Era. New York: Norton, 2003.

To what extent did Mao's Cultural Revolution in China affect the destruction and elimination of all religious institutions in Albania (1967-1970)?

A. Plan of Investigation

The aim of this investigation is to analyse the extent to which the Cultural Revolution in China affected the destruction and elimination of all religious institutions in Albania from 1967, because of the two countries' strong relationship at the time.

The methods to be used to give a relevant and precise answer to this question consist of researching primary and secondary sources (the most recommended books written from the actual victims as a result of the Cultural Revolution in Albania and search through internet for further information and analysis for the impact that the Cultural Revolution in China had in Albania), which would help me identify different aspects of this problem. Furthermore, interviews with experts and analysts that have extensive knowledge about this period in the history of Albania and the communist regime in Albania will be given particular consideration. These will include interviews with the head of the Albanian National Library in Tirana, Mr. Aurel Plasari, the head of the Albanian section of Voice of America in New York, Mr. Elez Biberaj, and with the Albanian Catholic Cleric of Shkodra, Father Zef Pllumi, who had suffered directly from the Cultural Revolution in Albania. The reasons I am going to use these sources are related to the direct connection that the Cleric from Shkodra has with the events occurred at the time, in 1967, as well as the political view he approaches in his book about the impact that China has in the Cultural Revolution in Albania. However, one of my plans to investigate this question was also to interview experts from China that can give me more information and a relevant answer, but this was not possible because of the lack of confidence from the Chinese side.

B. Summary of evidence

The Cultural Revolution in Albania can be considered one of the most critical periods in the history of this country. When Albania put an end to its servile relationship with the USSR (1958-1960) it turned to China as the only ally possible that would accept its political and ideological differences which, as it would turn out would remain the only common factor that brought them together. This alliance consisted in reciprocal aid, both financial and military, and also consisted in Albania being the only representative of Chinese ideological and political movements in Europe. From the time this friendship started the Chinese government had given to Albania millions of pounds sterling worth of financial aid to develop industry in Albania and other areas of life. However, to what extent was the Cultural Revolution in China an essential impact in the destruction campaign undertaken as part of the Cultural Revolution in Albania? Once, the Chinese said to their European allies: "you cannot stop fires by throwing water from far away". The Chinese Prime Minister had been twice to Albania and for the second time in Enver Hoxha's newspaper "Zeri I Popullit" (People's Voice) there was this byline before the Prime Minister's arrival:, "For this New Year's Eve we will have some sihariq (news) for the Albanian people". At the time there were rumours about what the leaders of these two "sister-parties" would discuss and would decide for the future of this new Marxist-Leninist theory on how to treat the masses and the people; to protect the socialist Motherland. At the time the Cultural Revolution in China had already started and it attacked mostly intellectuals and religious institutions. The events occurring in China were seen by Hoxha with great interest and in order to fulfill his "desire to subordinate all aspects of life to the Communist Party control and thus prevent the emergence of 'revisionism' and restoration of capitalism in Albania"made his ultimate speech on February 6th 1967 where he supported "the elimination of useless religious beliefs and unrevolutionary traditions", where the government would call the young generation to turn down these religious institutions so finally the government could rule in a pure revolutionary state. On February 7th 1967 students from Durres's high school of Naim Frasheri destroyed the church of Shen Vlash, one of the oldest monasteries in Albania. By May 1967, religious institutions had been forced to relinquish all 2169 churches, mosques, cloisters and shrines in Albania, many of which were converted into cultural centers for young people. Albania afterwards would declare itself "the first atheist nation in the world".

C. Evaluation of sources

The first source evaluated is primary; the speech that the Albanian communist leader, Enver Hoxha, made on February 6th 1967, where for the first time he officially launched the Cultural Revolution and denounced religious institutions as "useless beliefs for the sake of the communist nation"(X). This source is extremely important in its historical context particularly because it is Hoxha himself speaking to the party members about this new movement in Albania. This speech is recognised as one of the most important speeches that Enver Hoxha had ever made, because it turned the country into a new era, where for the first time the right to believe was banned. This speech is mentioned in many books that talk about the Cultural Revolution in Albania including At Zef Pllumi's book where he examines the course of events that occurred at the beginning. It is also mentioned in many websites and relevant articles that talk about the banishing of religion in Albania. Therefore this source is very valuable. However this source has its limitations as well, because it is Hoxha speaking to his party members, trying to be persuasive by boasting about the party's achievements and the reasons why collectivization and "socialist education" would be aided by eliminating all religious institutions. He uses young people to denote this fact and the reliability of the source and what Hoxha is saying is actually true is to be doubted. His being a dictator doubts the trustworthiness of his words.

On the other hand, the second and third volume of the book written by At Zef Pllumi "Rrno vetem per me tregue" (I live just so I can convey) is more balanced. His books are about the banishing of religion in Albania since the communists came to power and is written from a personal point of view. At Zef Pllumi has been a priest in the city of Shkodra for many years and the sources he gives us in his books are valuable because they are recounted from a person who lived himself through the days of communism and in the end suffered many years of imprisonment from the regime. His analysis about the social and political situation are important because they are told from a man who was a victim of the Cultural Revolution. This book was published and written in 1999 and this is another advantage of the source because it is not constricted from political power in Albania. Since it was published in Albania it stands from an Albanian point of view. The purpose of the author writing this book is foreshadowed from the actual title of the book "I live so I can convey". However, the limitations to these sources consist on his being biased for many claims and statements because of his strong religious beliefs and also the coverage where he mentions and analyses the impact that China had on the Albanian Cultural Revolution is not enough and is mostly a chapter in the end of the second volume. When the author talks about the Chinese Prime minister coming to Albania, he neither gives specific dates nor recounts specific quotes from Hoxha's and Zhuen Lai's conversations about this new theory that they both had to support. On the other hand when he says that "At the time there were rumours on what the leaders of these two 'sister-parties' would discuss about and would decide for the future of this new Marxist-Leninist theory on how to treat the masses and the people; to protect the socialist Motherland", he bases his ideas on rumors and not on actual facts based on research. Another limitation would be the fact that the translation of this book's extracts are not official, but are done by me. The lack of experience that I have in translation might present another limitation to this source, even though I have tried to give a precise and appropriate translation.

D. Analysis

Religion, though protected from the constitutional law of the Socialist Republic of Albania of that time, presented a threat to the regime. Therefore Hoxha found the right moment to fight this threat and the right model to follow (China) in order to fight religious institutions which were anti-propagandistic for Hoxha's regime. The similarities between the Cultural Revolution in China and those in Albania are not to be neglected.

Timing is one thing to be considered as an indicator that the Chinese Cultural Revolution influenced in Albania. The Chinese Cultural Revolution had been going on for years now in China and many religious institutions were eliminated as a result of the revolutionary attacks from the Red Guards. In 1966-67* the Chinese premier Zhuen Lai came to Albania to "discuss and would decide about this new ideological Marxist-Leninist theory to treat the masses and protect the motherland." In the same year, two months later Hoxha gave his great speech where he discussed problems that had to be eliminated, problems that impeded the country's ideological revolution. Why should our laws prevent us from destroying old traditions and useless beliefs?( Zeri I popullit, nr.32). Within one month the government organized students and youth organizations in order to make this movement seem spontaneous and that it had nothing to do with the regime's decisions but was completely natural. " Like you all are informed, our youth has undertaken the campaign against worthless religious beliefs and the people, who are clarified from the Party's lessons , close all churches and now they are ready to destroy them, so their memory would be forever gone. Others religious monuments that are of use will be exploited for people's benefits" (ex. From Rrno per me tregue, pg.273 II).

Other similarities that have to be considered are the use of "denunciation letters" for the first time in Albania. In China they were known as "DaCiBao" in which people would denounce or criticize each other for non-revolutionary behaviour. Religion was central in these letters and many times these letters were put in churches' and mosques' doors. "The next day throughout the whole country the denunciation letters" started to appear, just like in China"(ex from Rrno per me tregue, pg. 251, II).

Do away with the existing and very ridiculous wall papers and turn them into revolutionary wall notices which will help revolutionary education. Do away with these wall bulletins with their editorial boards of opportunist scribblers who uphold the dignity and authority of the director and of themselves at the same time, and let everyone write what he thinks of work and of the people in bold face letters and without fear.(Hoxha's speech 1967).

Sample Student Essay from past IBDP Paper 2 Exam

A successful economic policy is necessary for an authoritarian ruler to maintain power". With reference to the authoritarian ruler, to what extent do you agree with this statement.

As the protracted Chinese civil war drew to a standstill in 1949, and the KMT fled to Taiwan China, was still reeling from decades of conflict, both external and internal. The country as it was laid in tatters. So how was Mao able to achieve a solid foothold in China, were his contemporaries could not? Jung Chang occupies a revisionist stance and argues that Mao’s ability to hold on to power lay in the extension of his WW2 and Chinese Civil War policies that incorporated oppression and violent reprisals. Others such as Guo Morou view Mao’s success as a combination of his excellent ability as a leader and statesmen. This essay will arguing that his economic policies were somewhat influential, yet other factors held far more weight by focusing on solid economic policies, oppression of the people, and statesmanship.

Traditional Chinese historians tend to view Mao’s hold on power as a direct result of his charisma as a leader, vanguard of the proletariat and fierce Marxist. However, this is highly oversimplified and blatantly impartial. Berch Berberoglu argues that Mao’s ability to solidify his power lay in “several important stage” that began with Mao’s immediate attempts to rehabilitate China’s economic potential following the end of the Chinese Civil War. Not only did this “First Five Year Plan” from 1949-52 aid in restoring some of China’s economic potential, it was also extremely popular among the peasantry. This was due to the China’s more moderate take on the strategies used by the USSR in their collectivization programs. Citizens were encouraged, yet not forced to join collectives to move past subsistence farming. This allowed for farming that could produce surplus grain and be sold on the multiple farmer’s markets that were springing up across the nation. This was extremely effective, with 60% of China’s entire agricultural population joining cooperatives by the end of 1955. Income was also allocated to peasants based on how much land they contributed, which increased private land ownership increasing nearly threefold. These economic policies introduced by Mao increased general support of the CCP while also raising the agricultural output that would be needed for Mao’s planned growth from 1953-57. Overall the first decade resulted in nearly 94% contribution in terms of co-operative farming by 1957. Here it can quite clearly be seen that Mao’s economic policies aided in stabilizing a country that had been feudal for centuries and forging a path for agricultural and industrial reform. This is crucial to Mao’s ability to sustain himself as leader of the CCP, as he had effectively contrasted himself from the previous iterations of leaders that had exploited China for their own gain, such as Chiang Kai Shek and Yuan Shikai. For the first time in centuries China was successfully moving forward, in contrast to the Great Reforms that had failed so spectacularly under the Qing rule and the lackluster attempts of the KMT to address constant grain shortages and industrial deficiencies. It can be said that failure to reform or reform properly was the downfall of these past states, due to how disenfranchised the people became with the ruling party, which was especially crippling when internal threats were involved such as warlords or in the KMT’s case the CCP. Mao here can certainly be seen as a savior of the people and a successful leader, cementing his place at the head of the CCP.

This trend is further compounded by Marxist historians such as Guo Moruo; perhaps asserting a view of the proletariat rising above the yolk of KMT oppression as Mao Zedong ousted the nationalist threat. However even Erich Hobsbawm tends to view China’s façade as a nation of the workers and peasantry as a farce, stating that China could not rival the message or aims of that of the Soviet Union and its clear goals represented by the Hammer and Sickle. This becomes very clear when one looks and Mao’s treatment of the proletariat during the Great Leap Forward from 1958-62, in which forced labor not dissimilar to that used on the many Soviet Mega projects was utilized. In fact, Mao’s Great Leap Forward plan was almost a direct imitation of the USSR’s collectivization schemes. This imitation brought with it the methods used by the Soviet Union to punish those that fell out of line. Frank Dikötter stipulates in his book “Mao’s Great Famine” that Mao’s dogma during the great leap forward was centered around “coercion, terror and systematic violence” and resulted in the deaths of up to 55 million people. This era reflects how Mao was able to rapidly industrialize the nation and what Mao’s tactics were in dealing with dissenting parties. Mao’s strategies in deterring any dissent or protest was almost purely centered around violence, with around 10% of those that died in the Daoxian province ‘[being] clubbed to death, buried alive or driven to suicide’. Yang Jishen asserts that these killings were mainly targeted at those that rebelled against the government. It’s estimated that up to 5.5 million people were either killed or driven to suicide through the tactics that the CCP used. This certainly provides a succinct explanation as to why no opposition materialized during the great leap forward, where a huge number of citizens died due to starvation and overworking. Here it can be seen that Mao’s grip on power was facilitated by complete brutality against his own people, and willful acceptance of death and suffering up to a cap that he would allow, a cap that he said “[would not allow] people to rebel”.

In terms of Mao as a statesman, it can be said that his actions held far more weight in terms of his ability to tighten his grip on power than those of economic proportions. This can quite clearly be seen after the alleged initial “detrimental impact” the Great Leap Forward had on China’s economic aptitude and ability to function as a nation. This issue was discussed at the Lushan conference in 1959, and the only senior party member to speak out against Mao was Marshal Peng Dehuai. Dehuai criticized Mao and Mao’s response was to have him dismissed from his post as Defense Minister, denouncing Peng along with his supporters as bourgeois and subsequently beginning a nation-wide campaign against “right opportunism”. This is not dissimilar to what Stalin undertook against Kamenev and Zinoviev’s united opposition at the 16th party congress in 1929, where he managed to eliminate his enemies by branding them anti-bolshevist/leninist, almost exactly as Mao had done here. His ability as a statesman even managed to outweigh the failure of his economic policies during the great leap forward, which had devastated the economy that had been flourishing for a time after the civil war. This is the most crucial aspect. This proves that although Mao’s economic policies post 1957 were highly detrimental and were actually adversely affecting Mao’s grip on power, he was still able to maintain his position through subversive actions, denouncements, nationwide violence and elimination of opponents. This trend of oppression continued into the cultural revolution of 1966-76, where Mao Zedong purged dissenting officials, teachers, value-oriented intellectuals and any revisionists seeking to criticize Mao’s policies. History has only seen a few examples of a world of such brutal oppression and censorship of thought. Noam Chomsky views the persecution of those that seek to criticize the establishment as an end of democracy and as a pathway to total and unequivocal despotism. This is what Mao had achieved through his subjugation of his people and contemporaries. Absolute power. It would not be until his death that power would shift to another man, and that is a testament to his ability to maintain power through violence and coercion.

In conclusion Mao’s economic policies initially cemented him as popular leader with the people and subsequently reinforced his position within the party. However, his ability to subjugate would be opponents, oust political rivals and crush any will the people had to rebel against him allowed him to have complete control over China, even when his economic policies failed him. Thus it can be said that initially his economic policies aided his position, yet became increasingly detrimental during and after the great leap forward, only being saved by brutal reprisals and vicious political maneuvering.