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The Mao Years
                Dr Sun Yat Sen
• 1912 China’s last imperial dynasty
  and becomes the Republic of
  China – revolution led by Sun Yat
• Dr Sun Yat Sen is made the first
  provisional president of the
  Republic of China
• Sun Yat Sen found the Kuomintang
  party (Nationalists)
• After the revolution, power struggle
  emerges within the government
• Yuan Shikai takes over and orders
  Sun Yat Sen’s arrest
   – he and his military commander Chiang
     Kai Shek escape to Japan (1913)
                    Sun Yat Sen
• Yuan’s new revolution (return to monarchy) fails and
  warlords around China gain power
• Sun Yat Sen returns to China in 1916 in the disorder
• Establishes his political doctrine:
   – Social Reconstruction, attributed the failure of democracy in
     China to the people's lack of practice and application
   – Psychological Reconstruction, argued that popular acceptance
     of his program had been obstructed by acceptance of the old
     saying "Knowledge is difficult, action is easy.“
   – Material Reconstruction, constituted a master plan for the
     industrialization of China to be financed by lavish investments
     from abroad.
                 Sun Yat Sen
• Communist Party established by Mao Zedong in 1920
• Tries to gain financial support from Western countries
  but with little success
• Turns to an alliance with the communist party
• Soviet Union 1923 would pledge help to Sun to reunite
• 1924 a new constitution is forged along Soviet lines
  (Executive Committee in charge of propaganda)
• USSR would help Sun train a military
• Sun adopts his Three Principles of governance:
  nationalism, democracy and social reform
           Chiang Kai Shek
• 1925 Sun dies of cancer
• Chiang Kai Shek will take over
• Almost immediately begins a
  purge of Communists from the
• Defeats the Communist army
  and survivors take the “Long
  March” to Shenxi Province in
  NW China to regroup (9700km)
               Chiang Kai Shek
• Begins reforms
   – Renews Confucianism to replace communist values (New Life
     Movement 1934)
   – Improves transportation network and education system
• 1937 Japan takes Nanking and Chiang is forced to move
  his capital to Chunking
• Chiang is forced to form an alliance with Mao against
  Japan – truce and cooperation don’t last long
• Immediately after WWII, Communists and Nationalists
  fight for control of China
• US supports Nationalists by helping them liberate areas
• Mao Zedong wins because of peasant support and in
  1949 proclaims the People’s Republic of China
• Chiang and his followers flee to Taiwan (until 1971, the
  West recognized Taiwan as the official Chinese
Mao Zedong
                Mao’s China
Hundred Flowers Campaign 1956-1958
• Previous policy of political and artistic work
  having to promote the CCP (Chinese
  Communist Party)
• Education aimed to rid of social and political
  thought – purge of non-revolutionaries (800,000
  in the 1950s)
• 1956 collective farms were successfully
  integrated (meanwhile Communism was failing
  around the world – de-Stalinization, uprisings in
  Poland and Hungary)
                     Mao’s China
Hundred Flowers Campaign 1956-1958
• 1956 speech: "let a hundred flowers bloom and a
  hundred schools of thought contend,"
• Wanted nationalism and modernization
• Mao decides to allow criticism of the government by non-
  party intellectuals to help him create a better and more
  modern Chinese Government
   – Cooperation with democratic parties (small party)
   – Tolerance of artistic expression and political debate
• CCP members were now apprehensive because the
  very ideologies they suppressed to gain power were now
  invited to be presented
• Little response to Mao’s speech (fearful and skeptical)
              Mao’s China
Hundred Flowers Campaign 1956-1958
“feared an early spring--one that promised a
  healthy growing season before killing with
  a deadly, late-winter frost”
• Second speech given in Feb 1957 that
  finally proves to the people that Mao was
  serious about the policy
• Early expressions weren’t political, started
  with science

                Mao’s China
Hundred Flowers Campaign 1956-1958
• Examples of criticism:
    – Government ordered creation of ploughs
      that were sitting idle in Southern China (not
      appropriate for the soil)
    – Math textbooks replaced with ones including
      communist doctrine but the old ones were
•   Criticisms continue to grow more severe
    – eventually denouncing communism
               Mao’s China
Hundred Flowers Campaign 1956-1958
• Mao publishes his speech but adds
   stipulations to the publication – criticisms are
   invalid if they undermine the CCP
• Mao grows distrustful of the intelligentsia
• Begins an anti-rightist campaign to arrest
   those who use the HFC as a political platform
• Offenders were imprisoned, or "sent down" for
   years of reform through labour
                Mao’s China
Hundred Flowers Campaign 1956-1958
• Explanations?:
    –   Mao created the campaign as a trap to purge
        more anti-revolutionaries
    –   Mao was overconfident when creating the
        campaign thinking people were generally happy
        and very little extreme criticism would arise
    –   Mao saw the discontent in Eastern Europe to a
        dictatorship and thought he needed to please the
        people to maintain power
• Leads Mao to change strategies – if the “mind”
  of China could not lead its way, maybe the
  “hands” could
              Mao’s China
Great Leap Forward 1958-60
(5-Years Plan?)
• Goal to modernize China’s economy to
  rival the US
• Industry could only prosper if the work
  force was well fed, while the agricultural
  workers needed industry to produce the
  modern tools needed for modernisation
                Mao’s China
Great Leap Forward 1958-60
• Farmers belonged to a commune and worked
  for them
  – The commune provided healthcare, education, tools,
    housing, childcare, old age care, entertainment
  – 12 families in a team with a specific purpose
• Propaganda was pumped through speakers
  while farmers worked the fields
• Increased metal production (backyard
  production) and agriculture
                  Mao’s China
Great Leap Forward 1958-60
• Problems arise:
  – CCP will start to give unrealistic goals to the
  – communes don’t complain because they will be
    arrested for being anti-communist
  – Production quality decreases (industry)
     • Workers fell asleep because of long work hours
     • Steel was made quickly and was not strong
• Machinery created failed
     • Focus on backyard steel production took farmers away from
       fields so food production fell (+ flooding in 1959)
     • Coal used for smelting meant less coal for trains   Encouraging
                    Mao’s China
Great Leap Forward 1958-60
• Estimated 9 million died in 1960 due to famine
• 1959-1962 about 20 million die of starvation
• Mao takes blame for the failure and steps down from
  being the head of state
   – He remains the CCP leader (title of Chairman)
   – Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping take over the running
     of the country
   – Great Leap forward ended 1960, privatization of land
     reinstated, farmers encouraged to produce more than
     quotas to sell in free markets
   – Mao remains popular with the public
• Leads to the Cultural Revolution for Mao to regain power
                    Mao’s China
Cultural Revolution 1965 - 1968 (-1976?)
• Education produced elitists and there needed to be a
  return to a proletarian focused revolution
   – Mao believed that engineers, scientists, factory managers were
     creating a privileged class – they didn’t know about the average
     lifestyle of the majority of Chinese peasants
• Red Guard was created from youths
   – purge those who thought they were above others and followers
     of Mao’s opponent Liu Shaoqi
• Purge of CCP members who didn’t support Mao
• Victims were subjected to public criticism, humiliation,
  and physical abuse
• Mao wanted a classless society (peasants and educated
  working together for the greater good of China)
holding the
Little Red
Book of
“We're so caught up in what
today brings we don't have the
time and the space to think
seriously what history really
holds out. The government
certainly doesn't encourage          “The picture of me taken when
people to reflect on the political   I was three years old wearing
implications of the Cultural         my Mao badge and waving my
Revolution. Academic                 Little Red Book never fails to
conferences and intellectual         entertain my friends and
discussions on those years are       colleagues,”
still banned. We also choose to
stay away from politics in order
to focus on the pursuit of an
affluent material life. We look at
the commercial value of this
unique Red Art from the era,
and overlook the oppression           Bessie Du
and the suffering behind it.”
                   Mao’s China
Cultural Revolution
• Red Guards created factions that fought amongst each
• Red Guards destroyed the British Embassy
• Old ideas and old culture destroyed (history books, art,
  buildings, etc)
• Workers and farmers arm themselves against the Red
• Liu Shaoqi was ousted from the party
   – Ends the Cultural Revolution because Mao had achieved his
     goal of regaining political power
• Mao emerges as “godlike” to these young people
             Mao’s China
Cultural Revolution
• Urban youths eventually sent to the
  countryside to learn from peasants
• 1969 government officials and intellectuals
  were sent as to the countryside as well
  and to study Mao’s teachings
• Families are split up and not allowed to
              Mao’s China

Foreign Relations/
             Invasion of Tibet
• Chinese historical argument
  that Tibet was united with
  China by the Mongols in 1206
• PRC now had the power and
  organization to take it by force
  after hundreds of years of
  debate over it
• Chinese troops invade 1949
• China imposes Maoist rule on
• 1959 Tibetan uprising
“The Chinese occupation led to "an estimated one million
  Tibetans dead from imprisonment and starvation. Tibet's
  6254 monasteries . . . [are] gutted and in ruins; the
  Tibetan people themselves vehemently anti-Chinese." "A
  flood of Chinese immigrants has moved into Tibet, taken
  the best land for destructive, collectivized agriculture,
  decimated the already scarce forests, and wantonly
  slaughtered Tibet's once abundant wildlife."

• Dalai Lama flees Tibet

  Nissani, M. 1992. Lives in the Balance. Quoted from
• UN forces pushed the North
  Koreans back to the Chinese
  border                             Korean War
• Mao was concerned that their
  new regime (only a few months
  old at the time) would be
  threatened by the
  aggressiveness of the U.S. which
  might motivate Chinese
• If the US had more influence in
  Korea, they might get in between
  Mao’s claim for Taiwan
• 1951 China sends about 700,000
  troops to begin pushing the UN
  forces back into South Korean
• Chinese were equipped with         An army of Chinese volunteers
  Russian weapons                    cross the River Amrok
• 1953 armistice agreed on           to fight with the DPRK against
  between China and the US           their common foe U.S.
• US and China pitted as enemies
 Second Indo-China War 1962
• Dispute over border in the Himilayas
• China is successful in taking these
  disputed territories
          Sino-Soviet Relations
• Stalin refused to help Mao during the Japanese invasion
  of WWII
   – Stalin was worried about Mao’s independence and therefore
     might not side with the USSR
   – Stalin supported the Kuomintang along with the US
• 1950 Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and
  Mutual Assistance
   – China recognized the USSR as the leader in international
     communist movement
• With Stalin’s death, Khrushchev’s new policies (de-
  Stalinization) were unaligned with Mao’s
   – Mao accused the USSR of splitting from true communism
• Khrushchev is reluctant to help Mao with his claims on
          Sino-Soviet Relations
• USSR had promised to share nuclear information with
  China but they don’t live up to that promise
   – China proceeds with its own research and develops their first
     nuclear bomb in 1964
• Great Leap Forward rids of Soviet advisors in China
• China sees Russia as competition for Communist
  leadership and therefore wants to be independent rather
  than subordinate
• Border disputes arise in the 60s and into the 70s
  resulting in both sides militarizing their shared borders
• Soviets forcing Communism in Czechoslovakia showed
  China that Russia was out for domination
    Results of Sino-Soviet Split
• Mao turns to US for a partner
• Invites US table tennis team to play 1971
• October 1971, China entered the U.N. after
  being denied entry from American veto
• Nixon visits in 1972
  – Beginning of efforts of economic operations between
    the two countries
• USA kept a massive naval fleet off of Taiwan
• December 1978, President Carter withdrew
  recognition of Taiwan as representing China
            Mao’s Death 1976
• Two factions were left to fight for control:
   – Gang of Four – radicals that had participated in the
     Cultural Revolution (included Mao’s widow Jian Qing)
   – Deng Xiaoping
• New leader of the CCP Hua Guofeng finds out
  the Gang of Four planned a coup against the
  government (Jian Qing tried to forge Mao’s will)
• Gang of Four is arrested
• From 1978-1982, Deng Xiaoping will gradually
  take power becoming premier (gov) and chair of
  the military (CCP Army)
Practice Essay:
Read pp 326-332

Key Question:
Explain (give reasons for) the
 transformation of China in terms of
 economic change, political change, and
 international relations.

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