China’s god


Millions still worship at the feet of Mao Zedong, his body preserved, for all to view in Beijing. As new leaders settle in at the helm of the world’s most populous country, Jackie Cameron reflects on why Mao remains ‘god’ in China.

Few can deny that China’s Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s was a human catastrophe of astonishing proportions. Accounts of the number of deaths as a result of Chairman Mao Zedong’s grand plan range from 30m to 70m, depending on who is counting and whether you include human error-induced mass starvation as well as all the brutal killings.

Putting that into perspective, Germany’s Adolf Hitler was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 17m civilians, including at least 6m Jews. Looking at the blood on his hands alone, Chairman Mao is without doubt right up there with Hitler as ranking among the most vicious human beings ever to…

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