Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 01, 2021

Thoughts On Xi Jinping's Anniversary Speech

Right in time for the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China the World Health Organization certified China to be free of Malaria:

The World Health Organization (WHO) today is certifying China as free of malaria, after a decadeslong effort drove an estimated annual toll of 30 million cases in the 1940s, including 300,000 deaths, to zero in 2017. Along the way, China developed new surveillance techniques, medicines, and technologies to break the cycle of transmission between the Anopheles mosquitoes that spread malaria parasites and humans.
“China’s ability to think outside the box served the country well in its own response to malaria,” Pedro Alonso, director of WHO's Global Malaria Programme, said in a statement.

After maintaining zero indigenous cases for three consecutive years, China applied for WHO’s malaria-free certification, which is being granted following a May inspection mission by the independent Malaria Elimination Certification Panel. One requirement for winning certification is having a program to prevent the reestablishment of malaria, a particular challenge because China shares borders with three countries where the disease is endemic: Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos.

After the chaos created by European style imperialism in the 19th century China has made a great comeback. Its system of governance has allowed for great achievements like the above within a relative short timeframe.

Most remarkable is that China did this without imperial aggression towards the outside. The speech party chairman Xi Jinping held on the CPC's 100th anniversary promises that China will continue on a peaceful path while it will stay vigilant against exterior aggression:

The Chinese nation has fostered a splendid civilization over more than 5,000 years of history. The Party has also acquired a wealth of experience through its endeavors over the past 100 years and during more than 70 years of governance. At the same time, we are also eager to learn what lessons we can from the achievements of other cultures, and welcome helpful suggestions and constructive criticism. We will not, however, accept sanctimonious preaching from those who feel they have the right to lecture us. The Party and the Chinese people will keep moving confidently forward in broad strides along the path that we have chosen for ourselves, and we will make sure the destiny of China's development and progress remains firmly in our own hands. ... We will continue to champion cooperation over confrontation, to open up rather than closing our doors, and to focus on mutual benefits instead of zero-sum games. We will oppose hegemony and power politics, and strive to keep the wheels of history rolling toward bright horizons.

We Chinese are a people who uphold justice and are not intimidated by threats of force. As a nation, we have a strong sense of pride and confidence. We have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country, and we never will. By the same token, we will never allow any foreign force to bully, oppress, or subjugate us. Anyone who would attempt to do so will find themselves on a collision course with a great wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people.

There is lot of anti-China propaganda in 'western' media. It is thus helpful to look at the conflict between the U.S. and China from the Chinese side. In 1989, ten years after China had opened its economy, the U.S. used legitimate student protests in Beijing to send the CIA and Gene Sharp, the inventor of 'color revolutions', to instigate a violent uprising against the Chinese government. The uprising was defeated but the U.S. used the tale of a 'Tianamen massacre', which in reality had never happened, to propagandize against China. Other 'color revolution' attempts were made in Hong Kong in 2014 and 2019. They were also defeated. When U.S. induced Islamic terrorism threatened China's western province Xinjiang the country introduced a development and education program that eliminated poverty in the area and thereby denied terrorism the necessary fertilizer. Groundless claims of genocide in Xinjiang and evidence-free Covid 'lab leak' theories are current propaganda efforts against China.

Other U.S. efforts to set up a conflict that could hinder China's further rise evolve around Taiwan and Japan. Taiwan is indisputably a part of China though with a different system of governance. The U.S. is pushing Taiwan to declare itself independent while it pushes a latent nuclear Japan to give Taiwan a security guarantee. That would set up east Asia for a huge (nuclear?) conflict during which the U.S. could stay on the side line while it watches how a lot of the world's production capacity gets destroyed. A remake of World War II which let the U.S. rise to primacy.

China is by its laws obligated to intervene should Taiwan ever declare independence. Xi Jinping's speech leaves no doubt that it would do so:

Comrades and friends,

We will stay true to the letter and spirit of the principle of One Country, Two Systems, under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong, and the people of Macao administer Macao, both with a high degree of autonomy. We will ensure that the central government exercises overall jurisdiction over Hong Kong and Macao, and implement the legal systems and enforcement mechanisms for the two special administrative regions to safeguard national security. While protecting China's sovereignty, security, and development interests, we will ensure social stability in Hong Kong and Macao, and maintain lasting prosperity and stability in the two special administrative regions.

Resolving the Taiwan question and realizing China's complete reunification is a historic mission and an unshakable commitment of the Communist Party of China. It is also a shared aspiration of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation. We will uphold the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, and advance peaceful national reunification. All of us, compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must come together and move forward in unison. We must take resolute action to utterly defeat any attempt toward "Taiwan independence," and work together to create a bright future for national rejuvenation. No one should underestimate the resolve, the will, and the ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

China has done well under guidance of the CPC. It is on its way to become the world's foremost power. But the U.S. is unwilling to relinquish that position without a fight. The party's most important task now is to find a way to avoid a conflict that could destruct a lot of the country's achievements.

Posted by b on July 1, 2021 at 18:26 UTC | Permalink

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Invasion of Vietnam in 1979 in defense of the Khmer Rouge. Collaboration in the ongoing siege of DPRK. Exaltation of the United Nations of the immediate post-war-world *before decolonialization.* Membership in the WTO, which is rules-based order to the max. Deliberate support for the most predatory capitalism in China, Hong Kong. Neocolonial concessions in the SEZs.

The current leadership is adamantly committed to repudiation of two of the greatest movements that led to China's great achievement, collectivization and the Cultural Revolution and to ever increasing the role of capital, which will inevitably undermine its achievements.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 1 2021 18:42 utc | 1

kudos to china.. either there is a slick propaganda operation in effect, or china is indeed moving forward into the role of primary leadership in the 21st century.. i choose to believe the later.. usa-uk-israel - move over..

Posted by: james | Jul 1 2021 18:52 utc | 2

Your either with Marco Rubio, Gordon Chang, and Mike Pompeo or you are against them.
You can't have it both ways. It's either China or the big 3.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 1 2021 18:54 utc | 3

Aha! Rice and freedom!

Hat tip Kropotkin's Bread And Freedom, original title of his Conquest Of Bread.

Posted by: chu teh | Jul 1 2021 18:57 utc | 4

The uprising was defeated but the U.S. used the tale of a 'Tianamen massacre', which in reality had never happened, to propagandize against China...When U.S. induced Islamic terrorism threatened China's western province Xinjiang the country introduced a development and education program that eliminated poverty in the area and thereby denied terrorism the necessary fertilizer. Groundless claims of genocide in Xinjiang...

Interesting. I took that as fact. Guess I have to look a little deeper. Skewered by the propaganda sword? Any links/information would be apprecited.

Posted by: circumpsect | Jul 1 2021 19:04 utc | 5


Great article here re the 'massacre'-

Posted by: Lonkal | Jul 1 2021 19:23 utc | 6

> China shares borders with three countries where the disease is endemic: Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos

There is no border with Thailand.

There is more or less no Malaria in Thailand and Vietnam, except the Border Regions to Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos.

Posted by: anon | Jul 1 2021 19:31 utc | 7

Ganchao - “catch up and surpass.”

China is rising! China has developed its culture on VALUES of unity, diligence, flexibility, resilience and shared prosperity. China’s key future DEVELOPMENT themes are:
1. High-quality growth
2. Sci-tech progress
3. Cultural confidence
4. Responsible global player
5. National and economic security

Hopefully, China will live by its values and implement its development themes well!

Nations that invest in their people and overall well-being, be blessed! Those pursuing imperialism are out of luck. What are your nation’s values and development themes?

Posted by: Max | Jul 1 2021 19:38 utc | 8

Reference Tianamen Square incident here is another link that exposes the hoax.

Posted by: Ed in Kanata | Jul 1 2021 19:54 utc | 9

b says:

(WHO) today is certifying China as free of malaria

Readers may not know the significance of this statement. Just a trivial quiz: which animal kill the most people every year: snake, human or mosquito?


The answer is mosquito. The fight against malaria is a galactic efforts. Chinese have been looking for ways to cure malaria for thousands of years, and some Chinese medicines were the most effective one. Tu Youyou received Nobel Prize because of her works in artemisinin extracted from herbs (inspired by works in Chinese medical classics). The discovery saves millions of lives in the world. It is a contribution that is most under-reported/appreciated compares with its impact.

Posted by: d dan | Jul 1 2021 20:29 utc | 10

Fantastic summary of the situation. The MSM is so full of propaganda the "man in the street" is afraid of China invading western countries but nothing real supports this point of view.
Thank you for some common sense.

Posted by: Ike | Jul 1 2021 20:36 utc | 11

Today's Guardian war mongering propaganda piece on China:
Censorship of comment section rampant.

Posted by: Joe | Jul 1 2021 20:42 utc | 12

China has made great progress, but their conservative society produces weak arts. They are competent artists, but the arts are not pushed forward very much.

The upside to such conservatism is that there is very little crime in China.

Still, I feel they have an uphill battle convincing most Europeans the merits of their society due to their underwhelming artistic expressions and this will make it easier for the West to use propaganda against them in the forseeable future.

Posted by: Rutherford82 | Jul 1 2021 21:28 utc | 13


Their society very much suites their culture, but they do not try and push their culture and society onto others as the anglosphere does.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 1 2021 21:47 utc | 14

I guess submission to Daoist principles is in effect submission to Buddhism. Which is compatible with Orthodoxy in an esoteric way. After all Shoigu is Tuvan Buddhist himself. Universal principles are alive and well in China's foreign policy. The US is the chaos spreader. Earthly domain of the Archontic influence, ignorant of it's own created nature, with a spirit of malice. Earmarked for capitulation.

Posted by: Jezabeel | Jul 1 2021 22:04 utc | 15

"oh China has been trying to wipe out 1/3 of its population since forever, for at least 100 years," some dumbass comment on the wuhan lab theory. this kind of racist shit is quite present in the US.

on the other hand, we love love LOVE Tianamen Square! just keep it over there! no uprisings here, or there'll be some not so fake student massacres. Americans want "heroism": as long as it is on the big screen, in a distant land or playing field.

on the other hand, something's really effed up about China and Transformers movies. hopefully "the last knight" will be the last of that shite.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jul 1 2021 22:21 utc | 16

IMO, it's very important to realize that the Chinese see their Revolution as Democratic. The initial revolutionary pamphlets and discussions all mention democracy and its essentialness. Xi uses the words democracy and democratic 5 times in his speech, as in this excerpt:

"The victory of the new-democratic revolution put an end to China's history as a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society, to the state of total disunity that existed in old China, and to all the unequal treaties imposed on our country by foreign powers and all the privileges that imperialist powers enjoyed in China. It created the fundamental social conditions for realizing national rejuvenation."

China's system is an excellent example of bottom->up democracy, a fact no Western nation wants its public to learn. When writer Edgar Snow embedded with the CPC, he was wowed by the fact that consensus was the predominant mode of decision making. He was so motivated by the newness of what he was seeing that it gushes forth in his seminal Red Star Over China. Today, the Snows are honored by all Chinese and some of his remaining relatives were invited to participate in the celebrations.

But an even greater emphasis is placed on the Marxist nature of China's system, and Xi intones Marxism a full dozen times, and adds Leninism to it as in this example:

"We must continue to adapt Marxism to the Chinese context. Marxism is the fundamental guiding ideology upon which our Party and country are founded; it is the very soul of our Party and the banner under which it strives. The Communist Party of China upholds the basic tenets of Marxism and the principle of seeking truth from facts. Based on China's realities, we have developed keen insights into the trends of the day, seized the initiative in history, and made painstaking explorations. We have thus been able to keep adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of our times, and to guide the Chinese people in advancing our great social revolution. At the fundamental level, the capability of our Party and the strengths of socialism with Chinese characteristics are attributable to the fact that Marxism works.

"On the journey ahead, we must continue to uphold Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development, and fully implement the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. We must continue to adapt the basic tenets of Marxism to China's specific realities and its fine traditional culture. We will use Marxism to observe, understand, and steer the trends of our times, and continue to develop the Marxism of contemporary China and in the 21st century." [My Emphasis]

It seems to me an excellent scholarly inquiry into How China Employs Marx ought to be undertaken since China's explicitly saying Marx is the key to its success. And here's the paragraph no western politico wants anyone to read or hear:

"On the journey ahead, we must rely closely on the people to create history. Upholding the Party's fundamental purpose of wholeheartedly serving the people, we will stand firmly with the people, implement the Party's mass line, respect the people's creativity, and practice a people-centered philosophy of development. We will develop whole-process people's democracy, safeguard social fairness and justice, and resolve the imbalances and inadequacies in development and the most pressing difficulties and problems that are of great concern to the people. In doing so, we will make more notable and substantive progress toward achieving well-rounded human development and common prosperity for all.

Government of the People, By the People, For the People was Lincoln's maxim and description of democracy, and that's the #1 goal of the CPC--to serve and uplift all Chinese--and via the BRI, to serve and uplift as many people elsewhere as possible in what I'd call an attempt at constructing a Utopia. Neoliberals and Zero-sum minded people oppose that entire project. And that's the fundamental ideological difference in the world of today and of all human history. That's THE reason why China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, and kin are demonized relentlessly and baselessly.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 1 2021 22:49 utc | 17

@ stj #1
How was the Cultural Revolution a 'great achievement'? My impression was that the entire intellectual and truly cultural core of China (artists, scholars, writers, religious leaders, etc) was exterminated leaving a vacuum which have to be ultimately filled by Western science, clothing, concepts of state, universities, and so on for two-three generations. Chinese culture today is a hybrid of Chinese-Western culture as a consequence. Wasn't the Cultural Revolution a stunt pulled by Mao to mobilise bored teenagers against his enemies in the party?

Posted by: Patroklos | Jul 1 2021 22:54 utc | 18

China advances in challenge to dollar hegemony!
China’s goal is to gain a competitive advantage and address the threat of subversion in the currency arena. It is pursuing unorthodox plan to dethrone the dollar. Morgan Stanley analysts forecast that the yuan would account for 5-10 percent of global foreign exchange reserve assets by 2030.

“If Beijing succeeds in its quest it will undermine the dollar-led global order, at least in China’s sphere of geopolitical influence, and challenge the way America wields power…

The People’s Bank of China is well advanced in preparations for the digital renminbi, which will initially serve the domestic economy. But the central bank is also working with its counterparts in Hong Kong, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates, alongside the Bank for International Settlements, on using a digital ledger of transactions that is distributed among counterparties. The aim is to harness central banks’ digital currencies to make multicurrency cross-border payments simpler and cheaper…

China is now striving to capitalise on a reputation for innovation in payments to carve out a sphere of currency influence, defined not by common interests or political culture but by shared infrastructure and technical standards. While interests can change, the hard wiring of digital and economic connectivity is far harder to break once established. And it is China that enjoys first-mover advantage.”

Posted by: Max | Jul 1 2021 23:00 utc | 19

Whoever smelt it, dealt it. Do not look there, look hear. Yada,yada, yada. Yet more evidence of a real genocide (715 graves +/- 15%) on top of the 215 found barely a month ago:

An example of why personally I am partial to the Fort Detrick / University of North Carolina "theory" (hypothesis, like Americans know the difference between the two) of the origin of the Covert 1984 Scamdemic. After all, you cannot spell "Fort Detrick" without "trick."

PS: How do you cancel / genocide "American culture"? In order to cancel / genocide a culture does it not have to have existed at one point in the first place? There was a lame attempt (from what I hear, was not around then) to cobble something together in the 1950s-early 60s which fell apart as fast as its attempted implementation.

Posted by: William Haught | Jul 1 2021 23:44 utc | 20

Hi Max. On considering it, federated and other similar systems of trust are ideal for governments.
The currencies but other business documents and events such as contracts, your bookkeeping, etc.

That's a specific use case though, not all of them. I think it would be more efficient database wise.

Anonymous is much tougher problem.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Jul 1 2021 23:45 utc | 21

Posted by: Patroklos | Jul 1 2021 22:54 utc | 18

STJ's point is that the emperor's new clothes with Chinese fashion sensibilities is rather not unlike the Western fashion trends.

The topic of cultural revolution is an interesting one. Mao was a monster in the same sense as the God Emperor of Frank Herbert's Dune was a monster. A consciously monstrous leader that sacrificed a passing generation to insure the health of untold future generations. Leadership in the world that we inhabit is not for saints. In fact saints shun the world for this precise reason and not due to a lack of charisma or ability. It takes monsters to govern half-beasts.

So the Cultural Revolution was, in a sympathetic reading, a cauterization of the Chinese collective psyche. 5000 years of civilization provides certain intellectual and social riches but also can (and in the case of almost all Asian civilizations) saddle a people with dead weights that minimally reduce freedom of movement and choice going forward. Taoism had almost immediately decayed into magical thinking in ancient China, for example, and was a fount of superstitious thinking. As a Materialist, Mao was brutally decisive in cutting dead cultural limbs.

My personal take on these so-called geo-political matters is that while the governing subset is globally unified, they are each in charge of masses with distinct historical baggage and various "low intensity" "conflicts" are psychological devices to guide the various peoples to a well defined (and well advertised) final destination. You will voice the objection that e.g. millions of Syrians were displaced, etc. This is true, but note that the ruling classes were not really affected. For example, this same Syrian leadership used to provide dark sites for CIA to torment human beings.

We the plebes aka "the people" lack an understanding of the psychological mindset and content of those born to the manor. Our "god" gets beaten to a pulp and then is crucified. Their god, it may be, is the one that does the beating to a pulp.

This in no way detracts from the accomplishments of the CCP in China. In all civilizations strong central power can give rise to growth and development. This is a fact of history of the planet of half-beasts. Until the day that the masses -- each and every single human being -- reaches a level of aware human being, there will be monsters, there will be oppression, and there will be coercive force to insure adherence to civility.

No one can rule in tyranny over a collective of aware, self respecting, human beings.

Posted by: contra sentiment | Jul 1 2021 23:46 utc | 22

Brazilwire has a quick read on CIA head William J. Burns meeting with Bolsonaro's aids, kindof funny since they announced the meeting and then said they can't talk about it--- seems like the State Dept/CIA is stuck in the puberty stage: raging mood swings, no focus, lots of lies that are sooo obvious. (I'm a retired teacher and counselor and tend to recognize that developmental phase)

Recent history: W. Bush took his eye off Latin America during the beginning of the Iraq disaster and Lula emerged along with the pink tide, Chavez, Correa, Evo. Obama let blowhard Biden spearhead a weak return of the imperial mafias as they pushed out Dilma, imprisoned Lula, propped up Lenin Moreno in Ecuador, juiced up Colombia's psychopaths, etc. Trump and Pompeo followed suit with no original ideas beyond creating a fake president Guaidó for Venezuela richies. Now Brazil's people are poised to depose Bolsonaro and Biden's brain trust is confused, some want to support and "turn" Lula (LOL) and others want to support and prettify Bolsonaro. CIA appears to be in the "prettify Bolsonaro" camp. The whole Biden team appears to be stuttering and stammering in Latin America while the Street is mad and appears to be organizing.

Posted by: migueljose | Jul 1 2021 23:49 utc | 23

@ Posted by: Patroklos | Jul 1 2021 22:54 utc | 18

That was the goal. One of the main factors that motivated the republican revolution of 1911 was precisely the perception that Chinese culture had failed its people. That's why the students were a decisive factor.

The process of Westernization started in 1911, not with the Cultural Revolution. This would happen either way in China, with the Kuomintang or the CPC. Kuomintang's exotic and bizarre revivals of medieval and ancient Chinese culture and rituals in Taiwan started only during the Cold War, when propaganda warfare became particularly important.

Posted by: vk | Jul 1 2021 23:51 utc | 24

As best I can work out, the words translated as "collision course" are rendered by the Spectator as "have their heads bashed bloody".
( ) Can a Mandarin-fluent commenter here say whether there's any justification for that translation?

Posted by: Hope | Jul 1 2021 23:51 utc | 25

"Other 'color revolution' attempts were made in Hong Kong in 2014 and 2019."

Remember the one in Tibet circa 2005 or 7, I don't recall the exact date. I do recall that photos of actors dressing up as lamas for a movie being shot at Lhasa were passed off as "evidence " that the rampaging Lama-led mobs attacking Han civilians were actually Chinese agent provocateurs in disguise. In a Poirotesque bit of online detective work, Chinese netizens pointed out that the colour scheme of Lhasa tuktuks in the background of the photos was of a type that had been changed long before the attempted insurrection.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jul 1 2021 23:59 utc | 26

Remember the Canadistani "journalist " Gwynne Dyer I mentioned here some weeks ago? This person, who spent over 20 years, 1989- roughly 2013, predicting the inevitable and imminent collapse of China, is now reduced (in between pushing for bregine change in Belarus *) to trying to belittle the historical achievements of Mao Zedong.


How are the mighty propagandamongers fallen!

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jul 2 2021 0:07 utc | 27

We do hear about how horrible the Chinese Cultural Revolution was, here in the Great and Glorious USA. Some compare the current Woke Totalitarians in the US and other western countries who attack, censor, threaten and ban those who dissent from the Orthodoxy of Established Thought, as proclaimed by the media and the universities, to that imagined time in China.
However, this man, who grew up as a peasant during the Cultural Revolution, looked at the movement differently. I would recommend listening to his story.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jul 2 2021 0:14 utc | 28

Thanks b for excellent analysis and links, I have learnt many things. Also thanks to a number of barflies for further useful information.

Here is an Asia Times article on some of the financial issues:

Here is some light on the sometimes opaque workings of the Chinese political system from Geoff Raby a former Australian ambassador:

The rise of China must keep power hungry Neo-Con jingoists awake at night with worry about their future to dictate 'the rules', who follows these 'rules' and who is exempt from these 'rules.'

Losers usually blame someone else for their own self inflicted failures. When countries do it it is a bad look.

Trump was obsessed with the US national debt to China and simply wanted to default.

Posted by: Paul | Jul 2 2021 0:39 utc | 29

Posted by: circumpsect | Jul 1 2021 19:04 utc | 5

Check out moonofshanghai. com
"Tiananmen Square: The Failure of an American-instigated 1989 Color Revolution"

Posted by: Per/Norway | Jul 2 2021 0:48 utc | 30

Posted by: circumpsect | Jul 1 2021 19:04 utc | 5

type "TIANANMEN SQUARE" in the search option there is a lot more about it there, both videos and intervies with honest western media that was there.
i just checked

Posted by: Per/Norway | Jul 2 2021 0:53 utc | 31

As I understood it, but would like the more erudite specialists to weigh in, the cultural revolution was an attempt to instrumentalize the idea that each generation needs it's own revolution.

The Chinese were far to beareaucratically astute to buy the idea of continual revolution, knowing the time/stability for any constructive growth is an order of magnitude greater than what is required to deconstruct an existing system

This is the huge danger of wokeism to America. Insist on a continual process of deconstruction, which will leave nothing but chaos in its wake.Some would say you sow you reap.

So Mao tried to structure generational revolution- in part to subvert the formation of elites,who no longer have real connection with those for whom they make rules.

While economically the cultural revolution seemed to set China back immensely, it also produce the situation in which they're blending of capitalist economy could take hold.

There is also the social cultural factor to be considered. Prior to Mao ruling Elites had centuries of entrenchment behind them Mao's huge concern was that the communist elites would maintain their connection to the Common Man. There is every reason to believe that the current Chinese leadership has learned much of that lesson.

Posted by: les7 | Jul 2 2021 0:58 utc | 32

China's Cultural Revolution was a very complex event that needs to be understood in the context of what transpired since 1949 and even earlier in China's history. A great many books examine it and a short comment is useless. But I have a solution for those wanting to know more. We used Maurice Meisner's Mao's China and After: A History of the People's Republic in our graduate seminar on China along with other texts. You can freely access the book at the link by being an Archive member, which is also free and comes with no strings. Meisner devotes a significant portion to the CR and much can be learned from his treatment. One caveat is the book is dated--1st edition, 1977, 2nd edition, 1986--and better examinations are available but not freely as this is. On Page 310 of the 2nd edition, Meisner writes:

"Those in post-Maoist China who are free to speak and write about the Cultural Revolution are for the most part those who were the political and sometimes physical victims of the time, and their political and emotional stake in portraying the "cultural revolution decade" as an unmitigated disaster is no less compelling than the political stake Maoists had portraying it as the most glorious of revolutionary triumphs. As Harry Harding has cautioned:

'China's official repudiation of the Cultural Revolution invites another look. This time, however, we should be skeptical. The Chinese who today preach a new gospel condemning the Cultural Revolution are in principal its surviving victims, the "ghosts and monsters" so often beaten, duncecapped, and denounced by the Red Guards. If we simply translate the revised authorized version into English, we will be repeating the mistakes we made in the late 1960s, when we took the official rationale for the Cultural Revolution at face value.'

"Today's wholesale condemnations of the Cultural Revolution will prove little more conducive to historical understanding than did the uncritical celebrations of the event in years past."

And unfortunately, the commentary on this thread about the CR fits Meisner's and Harding's warnings.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 2 2021 1:02 utc | 33

All I can say is thanks of the links on the 'Tianamen massacre'. It is an eye opener. I will spend some time on that.

On the topic of the bodies of first nation children being found at the Canadian churches I had in times past listened to a talk by Lynda Prince, President, First Nations of North America and I can tell you the story of the Canadians treatment of the first Nations People is horrific to say the least.

She has spent a good portion of her life forcing the Empire and the Church to come clean. The sexual abuse and murder of the children is well documented and truly horrific. None the less she is a committed Christian.

It is a story that needs to be told and the struggle has been kept off the pages of the press for a very long time. Some of the story is found here but I have not had time to vet the whole write up.

Posted by: circumspect | Jul 2 2021 1:03 utc | 34

Patroklos@18 has a false impression about "extermination." The universities were extremely limited, heavily fixated on serving the children of party cadres and exceedingly credentialist. As a consequence, the elementary and middle school, not to mention high school, education of the the vast majority of rural masses was neglected...until the Cultural Revolution. The first major attempts to extend social services to the countryside occurred as a consequence of the Cultural Revolution. The elites weren't exterminated at all. Criticism/self criticism sessions were not executions. The bloodshed in the Cultural Revolution in the universities was often the red princes, children of the old elite, fighting the Maoists, while claiming to be Cultural Revolutionaries. Further, the Chinese economy as a whole did not decline, but advanced, though not at the rapid pace of twenty or thirty years *after* the Cultural Revolution, when Deng's Great Leap Forward on IOUs finally, finally started getting the foreign direct investment (among other developments.) The advent of the murderous Deng, invader of Vietnam, didn't spark a boom. Wages were frozen during the Cultural Revolution but the iron rice bowl was still a thing. It was Deng who broke that, a grievance that led to what popular support for Tian An Men there was.

Han Dongping and Gao Mobi are good sources for correctives to the crazy propaganda picture. Outside academic views of interest are Joel Andreas, Perry and Li Xun, and Wu Yiching. They are eager to criticize but even so refute the extremist impression of Patroklos.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 2 2021 1:41 utc | 35

"We have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country, and we never will."

That's not what the Vietnamese think. Nor the Tibetans, I assume.
Or, for that matter, the Yue Chinese (Cantonese) when complaining of the northern Han (and their Mongol invasion acestors).

But, in general, the sentiments are correct.

Posted by: imo | Jul 2 2021 1:41 utc | 36

b really only has the one lens, ie the CIA is behind everything, and is incapable of viewing any event through anything other than that lens. Gene Sharpe was in Beijing during the Tienanmen protests, therefore, to b, Gene Sharpe was helping mastermind them. No one outside of the US has agency and there are no local drivers behind anything. Everything ever is an American plot, and everyone non-American are basically just idiot children waiting to be guided by the puppet masters from Langley. I'm surprised he could even bring himself to concede that there were 'legitimate student protests'.

If this were Syria he would be denying even that, so I guess this amounts to a kind of progress.

"the tale of a 'Tianamen massacre', which in reality had never happened"

Bullshit. There was no massacre in the square itself, true, because the student protest movement largely voluntarily disbanded. The massacres were mostly of the accompanying worker's movement (that the elitist students refused to truly ally with) in the side streets around the square as the military finally brought the hammer down after weeks of gradual escalation. The CCP itself conceded 300 dead, including both soldiers and civilians.

You can make an argument that the CCP and the military were actually very restrained. They let events drag on for weeks, and started attempting to disperse the protests by first sending in unarmed police and soldiers, some of whom were lynched. The government then escalated to the point where they sent in tanks and APCs, some of which were set on fire. So you could make an argument that when faced with violent opposition the Chinese government and military responded with needed force. But just honestly make that argument. Don't fucking deny that anyone was killed.

Of course, to make that argument would mean having to pick a side in a fight between the Chinese government and a bunch of revolting Chinese people. And b refuses to pick a side, so he attempts to side-step the issue by a. denying any killing, and b. presenting the revolt as foreign engineered and not fundamentally genuine, so whatever did happen to get rid of it was justified.

Which of course does amount to picking a side: the government. b tells us to look at things from the 'Chinese side'. And in this instance, which Chinese are those, exactly? Certainly not the Chinese people, who of course to b have no legitimate agency beyond the pronouncements of the CCP.


No, the Party presents itself as the only legitimate avenue for Chinese democracy. Try to organize outside of it and you'll quickly discover what it thinks of genuine, in the wild democracy. The Party has crushed democratic movements at least twice, first in 1966-67, and then the Democracy Wall movement a decade later.

There's a whole history of these Chinese democracy, student, and workers movements that stretches back decades before 1989, and endures beyond it. But you'll get none of that here. No, in the world of MOA everything is just a CIA plot. Countries never have genuine internal histories or dynamics, no, just gullible fools who follow nefarious foreign supervillains at the drop of a hat.

Posted by: Ben | Jul 2 2021 1:46 utc | 37

PS All living cultures are hybridizations. Children are neither copies of parents nor their immortality. The golden age is in the future, not the past, and for us it's always today. In dialectical materialism, everything eternal and unchanging is imaginary, ideological. Tomorrow will be different, maybe catastrophically so, maybe wonderfully so, but only a fool things we can go back. After all, if the past was so great, why did it go away? (The commonest answer, that the immigrants or the rabble ruined it, is self-serving BS by reactionaries.)

Some of the rituals applied to the Kims in DPRK seem to be modeled directly on old Korean emperors. The value of tradition is always disputable, should never, never simply be assumed.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 2 2021 1:49 utc | 38

@Ben 37:

You mean the insurrectionists who burnt alive unarmed soldiers with Molotov cocktails?

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jul 2 2021 2:08 utc | 39

re Xi Jinping: We must take resolute action to utterly defeat any attempt toward "Taiwan independence"

What more does he want? Taipei has repeatedly declared that it is the Republic of China (ROC), that is in its flag, passports etc. This "Republic" has a federal structure with a president and various ministries. Annually on October tenth (double ten day) is celebrated National Day.

ROC "President" Tsai Ing-wen was interviewed by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on January 14, 2020 and she responded to questions regarding issues such as the presidential election, cross-strait relations, Taiwan-US relations, national defense, and diplomacy.

Q: If we leave aside the question of timetable, the question of practicality, are you in principle, at least, in favor of the idea of formal Taiwanese independence?
A: Well, the reality and what it is now is that we are already a functionally independent country. And we have our own government, we have our own elections, of course, presidential election, and that is a way to express that we do have sovereignty, and our people elect their own leaders. So, effectively we are a country already.
Q: Will there come a day when that reality needs to be spelled out by calling Taiwan a country, and a formal declaration of independence to do that?
A: Well, the idea is that we don't have a need to declare ourselves an independent state. We are an independent country already and we call ourselves the Republic of China (Taiwan), and we have our own system of running the country, and we do have a government and we have a military, and we have elections, like the presidential elections that you have witnessed. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 2 2021 2:18 utc | 40

@14 Peter AU1

Thanks for the reply.

I don't wish for China to have to push their culture onto others, but if they are becoming a dominant geopolitical force which is no longer pushed around by the West, then I think it will be harder to demonize them if they have an increased global presence in popular culture.

They are quite skilled at cinema, especially, and could consider producing films that would only air on the international market (implying edgier content).

It's a difficult scenario to come up with ideas that would fit well with their society, but the impact of their Beijing Olympic ceremonies really made a strong impression on Western audiences and a little more of that sort of "wow factor" in the arts could go a long way for them, especially knowing the power and influence of Western media.

Posted by: Rutherford82 | Jul 2 2021 2:26 utc | 41

The Cultural Revolution (CR) is greatly misunderstood. It was not an attempt by Mao to increase his power but to diminish it. The CR deliberately took power and privilege out of the cities and transferred it to the villages, directly into the hands of the peasants - giving them education and real local political power, both directly at the local level and participatory at the regional and national levels.

The education revolution, which built thousands of schools and which brought Chinese literacy from essentially nil to 80% in a few decades, was cited by Deng as one of the great pillars from the Mao era that enabled China to advance under his leadership.

I linked all this here quite recently but the search doesn't seem able to find it - regrets.

Ramin Mazaheri has the essential analysis on the CR in his 8-part series:
A necessary revolution in discussing China’s Cultural Revolution: an 8-part series (1/8)

And you will need to go to part 8 to get an index of links to all the parts.

Mazaheri also has a stand-alone article on the subject:
When Chinese Trash saved the world: Western lies about the Cultural Revolution

Mazaheri says of his 8-part series that it

examined Dongping Han’s book The Unknown Cultural Revolution: Life and Change in a Chinese Village in order to drastically redefine a decade which has proven to be not just the basis of China’s current success, but also a beacon of hope for developing countries worldwide.

Dongping Han is the same person cited above in the Soundcloud interview by wagelaborer @28. This is Chinese data showing that the peasants of China experienced a tremendous enfranchisement from the CR.

But as Mazaheri illustrates, culture and history are cultivated in the cities, and the cities felt the lash of the CR. The peasants were too busy learning and growing into their new stature as China's brilliant human capital to write the true history of the Cultural Revolution that had brought them this elevation. Dongping Han is one of the first.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 2 2021 2:38 utc | 42

@ Posted by: Rutherford82 | Jul 2 2021 2:26 utc | 41

Of all the anti-China arguments, the cultural one is the weakest.

New Western generations - from Millennials onward - have been gobbling and drenching themselves in Japanese and South Korean pop culture (anime, k-pop, j-pop, k-drama) and nobody talks about the imminent cultural conquest of the West by Japan and/or South Korea. And South Korea openly states k-pop is a propaganda warfare weapon subsidized and protected by the State to be used, among other things, to bring down the North Korean government/regime/system; and nobody bats an eye.

Posted by: vk | Jul 2 2021 3:18 utc | 43

>We have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country


Posted by: Jim C. | Jul 2 2021 3:46 utc | 44

what I dislike about the self praise by Chinese leadership is the lack of reciprocity in dealing with outside world - e.g. they do promote immigration into every country in the world, but there is a lot of hurdles for foreigners to settle in China. This just one example. My son spent 2 years in Shanghai so I heard lots of anecdotes to support this opinion.

Posted by: bystander04 | Jul 2 2021 4:07 utc | 45

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 2 2021 2:18 utc | 40

If you bother to delve more into Tsa Ing Wen and her party rhetoric you'd find a total reverse of that interview just some years before.

What the PRC feared is not that Taiwan became independent. It's when they're made into FOB and proxy forces against itself by the western government. Which would certainly happen if they come to declare independence.

Posted by: Lucci | Jul 2 2021 5:35 utc | 46

@43 vk

To be clear, I'm not anti-China, but I do call things as I see them.

Your point about K-pop as a weapon against. N. Korea is in line with my thinking that China could also be on the receiving end of a similar campaign. I am sure Hollywood films have warped many a young mind there over the decades and intentionally at that.

It's a tough nut to crack, but my points are not to disparage Chinese culture or cheapen it with their own Hollywood veneer. Rather, I think they would be wise to step up their global artistic presence, but in some way that upholds their image in a positive way.

I imagine some cutting edge fashion trends, or automotive body designs could be just one positive way to show the world they have style without changing their culture very much.

China has a very intelligent and wise society, but the smart kids are rarely the most popular in high school unless they have other qualities the popular crowd appreciate.

Most average young people of the West will be nonplussed by great feats of Chinese civil engineering and economic or intellectual advancements, but if China were to start more global trends in the arts then the younger generations in the West would notice. And then, when articles bashing China continue to circulate in the news, it's possible some in those younger generations wouldn't be so quick to believe it.

Posted by: Rutherford82 | Jul 2 2021 5:43 utc | 47

Let us not overlook the emphasis placed in Chinese culture on maintaining social harmony. An important factor in ruling such a populous nation.

And that is often the approach that the CCP takes in stifling "disruptive social elements", which it does when it feels a need to crack down on something that is ruffling its feathers.

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Jul 2 2021 7:10 utc | 48

Both Russia and China have one major problem, much more so in the case of China: their absolute neglect of soft power projection. For China this has always been a problem, partly due to the language issue, and partly due to the ingrained cultural view of themselves as the Middle Kingdom, to which all other countries are barbarians. Obviously if one is superior to everyone else, one doesn't have to bother about winning hearts and minds abroad with soft power. Only now is China beginning to make an effort to set that straight, but it still does need to do an enormous amount more. For example a Latin alphabet version of Chinese characters, Mandarin courses offered by Chinese embassies, cheap books on Chinese history, mythology, and culture*; these would all be of tremendous benefit. So would Chinese film festivals abroad, showing the best of Chinese cinema (like "City Of Life And Death"), not trash from Hong Kong which far too many take to be the exemplar of Chinese films today.

*The USSR knew the importance of soft power. It had the cheap, well produced, well translated books from Raduga Publishers, distributed abroad by Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga. It had films like Ballad Of A Soldier, An Office Affair, Moscow Doesn't Believe In Tears, Irony Of Fate, etc, playing on foreign television screens; anyone in India in the 70s and 80s could readily buy Sports In The USSR or Soviet Woman or Sputnik. And this was all when almost all Soviets couldn't speak a word of English. Unfortunately, Russia has totally forgotten our deliberately abandoned the whole idea of soft power, and that is why people tend to not believe what it says even when every word is the truth.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jul 2 2021 7:15 utc | 49

There is no border between China and Thailand. Thailand's northern borders are Laos and Myanmar.
And there is no malaria anymore except aling Myanmar's border, and under control.

Posted by: Philippe CLAUDE | Jul 2 2021 7:16 utc | 50

A bit out of date (2016) but a picture is worth a thousand (well, lots of......) words.

This alone shows why Chinese influence is not limited to words, propaganda or ideology. Simply, if your next bowl of food is conditional on trade, then you will be inclined to look favourably on the traders.

Small shopkeepers have long been a means of Chinese penetration into other societies. If by now they have upgraded the influx to include Corporate and State "providers", this is a continuation of a workable system, not something that has appeared out of the blue.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 2 2021 8:41 utc | 51

In 1989, ten years after China had opened its economy, the U.S. used legitimate student protests in Beijing to send the CIA and Gene Sharp, the inventor of 'color revolutions', to instigate a violent uprising against the Chinese government.

Was there a "legitimate student protest" or was it manufactured by the US?

Posted by: BM | Jul 2 2021 9:24 utc | 52

There is more or less no Malaria in Thailand and Vietnam, except the Border Regions to Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos.
Posted by: anon | Jul 1 2021 19:31 utc | 7

Unfortunately there is indeed malaria in many places in Thailand, including very far from its borders - in Korat for example, right in the middle of Thailand!

Northern Thailand is pretty close to China, and there was a border crossing possible from Thailand to China by a short boat journey (the route was closed by China a couple of years ago though).

Posted by: BM | Jul 2 2021 9:35 utc | 53

Toppling statues and burning churches - that isn't justice but media fueled woke lynch mob. Hm, where did/do we see that last 30 yrs...?

West will collectively implode itself thats for sure.

Posted by: Abe | Jul 2 2021 9:38 utc | 54

" evidence-free Covid 'lab leak' theories "

uh, no. That is quite the evidence-free statement, which doesn't mean that some are not using the lab-leak theory or fact as propaganda.

Posted by: Bance | Jul 2 2021 11:28 utc | 55


There. Solved China's Malaria problem.

lol...China may be 'peacefully' solving their problems--but they're ROBBING The USA blind by stealing just about EVERTHING

Its been reported as many as 1/3rd of all China students are forced to be SPIES

Corporate America reports

China has figured out that INFILTRATION instead of INVASION works better than boots on the ground. Infiltration of US universities. Infiltration of US AG. Infiltration of US Corps. Infiltration in US politics. Just ask Fang Fang Swalwell's lover and Diane Feinsteins 'Driver' of 20 years.

Posted by: christy | Jul 2 2021 12:17 utc | 56

Posted by: christy | Jul 2 2021 12:17 utc | 56

MOA patrons are a little been more sophisticated then this tripe. Please sell crazy somewhere else. Thank you.

Posted by: One Too Many | Jul 2 2021 12:48 utc | 57

@ Posted by: Rutherford82 | Jul 2 2021 5:43 utc | 47

I can talk about this with certain confidence because this is my area of expertise.

The USA's soft power rise came very suddenly. It started at the very beginning of the 1950s and ended somewhere between the end of the 1950s and the 1960s, depending on the art. In visual arts, for example, everything was solved in less than one decade: by 1959, nobody in the West doubted New York had taken Paris throne as the world capital of the arts.

In the case of the visual arts, there was a lot of help of the CIA, who funded the famous tours around Western Europe - finishing with a triumphal expo in the Louvre - of its abstract expressionist artists; but the reality is that it merely accelerated the inevitable: kids in West Germany were prostituting themselves to American soldiers for a bar of candy, and the adults were doing the same for a cigarette. American soldiers in occupied territory were treated not only as gods, but also as very rich saviors. They would rebuild Europe back and only them: Europe was on its knees in 1945-1946, it was unconditional surrender.

Even in England - a country less devastated by the War - art almost stopped entirely for the entire period. London's famous art market essentially ceased to exist from circa 1937-1945. Imagine what must've happened in the Continent.

In that scenario, the void left in the cultural sphere was too big, and was quickly occupied by American culture/art. Imagine you're an adult French guy in the 1950s. You remembered the golden epoch of the Paris cultural life, but now you don't even have what to eat. Then, suddenly, comes those monumental paintings, dripping with expensive and colorful pigments, to decorate the halls of the Louvre, all the way from New York. Even if you're a cultured person, you would be susceptible to succumb to American cultural supremacy after such episode.

In cinema, America already was superior to the rest of the world since the 1920s. Hitler was a painter, but he admitted the most elevated form of art of his time - meaning, the art with the most propaganda potential - was cinema. And he openly admitted American cinema was the most elevated form of the art, in the 1930s, frequently calling out their German counterparts to learn with the Americans. This supremacy was not only kept, but grew even larger, after the war, as cinema is the industrial art par excellence, and was the first to be extinct by WWII. Hollywood (here meaning the American movie industry; many American movies nowadays are not filmed in Hollywood proper, but in Vancouver and in Toronto) keeps its supremacy in cinema and tv series until the present day, even though they can't penetrate China and India (which have their own movie industries with a scale capable of monopolizing their respective markets).

Music was the same process. Here it suffices to say rock - the style that dominated the post-war miracle - came from blues, which makes British rock a tributary of American pop culture. Pop music - which dethroned rock during the 1970s - also was invented in the USA. Yes, K-pop and J-pop come from American pop. Western supremacy in music was more pronounced because, in the East, music didn't survive in a pop form; as a result, even Eastern music, produced by local musicians, follow a Western formula/theory.

Posted by: vk | Jul 2 2021 14:28 utc | 58

@ Lucci 46
If you bother to delve more into Tsa Ing Wen and her party rhetoric you'd find a total reverse of that interview just some years before.
Oh darn, I was looking at Taipei's current situation, silly me. . . ./s
Fact is, Taipei is done everything possible to become independent, and about the only thing in its favor now is that no country recognizes Taiwan as a country (even though Taipei does).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 2 2021 15:19 utc | 59

The world can thank it's lucky stars that China reemerged on the world stage at this time. It saved the world from possible centuries of the "Dark Ages" under Western hegemonic exploitatin. With China's startling economic success and people oriented political system China has exposed the clownish and incompetent Wester political systems. The oligarchs are in panic mode. The MSM brainwashing is losing its potency and the growing disillusioned masses will want their due

Posted by: curious | Jul 2 2021 15:26 utc | 60

@Per/Norway ( Jul 2 2021 0:53 utc ) 31

WROTE: "type "TIANANMEN SQUARE" in the search option there is a lot more about it there, both videos and intervies with honest western media that was there.
i just checked"

MY ANSWER: What are You trying to tell us, Per?
Since You call Yourself "Per/Norway", I hope Your are familiar with the first line of Henrik Ibsens play "Peer Gynt", which starts with this line:

"Peer, du lyver!" (Per. you're lying - as usual), shouted by his morther.
To Whuch Per the Grunt replies:

"Nej, jeg gjør ei" (No, I'm not!)
This is of course the one drama/musical by Ibsen that is his most popular pay here in Norway, since every Norwegian identifies wit Per "der Hochstapler".

What about ourselves?; Here in Norway, our major media outlets (Newspapers, Radi, TV) all belong to the Peer Gynt tradition as far as CHoaa is concerned.
The major commentator, a sinologist M.A called Harald Bøckman, has joined the myth ovf a massakre on the grounds south of the Tiānānmén gate which is the entrance to the "Forbidden City". The norse missionary offspring Torbjørn Færøvik/der Tor Farovik, who has published the most books in Scandinavia and Germany about the horrors of Chicom China now for 45 years, has however left the massacre story one week ago and called the may and june events in Bêijing 1989 'a rebellion' and 'street-fights'.
RSVP to me in Oslo, please!
TOLLEF ÅS +47 97484988

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Jul 2 2021 15:44 utc | 61

having read about the subject and talked to many, many "asian" friends, i can safely say it's usually safe to bet on japan screwing with china. not only are the former a reliable lapdog of the US, they're also only a few generations removed from the rape of nanking and unit 731. also (not to give too much weight to stereotypes, but) never underestimate the suicidal impulses of the people who gave us the kamikaze.

Posted by: the pair | Jul 2 2021 15:55 utc | 62

i seldom look at other comments but

"China may be 'peacefully' solving their problems--but they're ROBBING The USA blind by stealing just about EVERTHING"

and citing VoA is what the kids today call "facepalm AF".

yes, the country that gets to exploit borderline slave labor in a second country for its cheap consumer goods is totes a "victim". not like the US ever stole anything. definitely not land, oil, minerals, little girls and boys for adoption and/or sex or, y'know, MILLIONS OF AFRICANS.

poor little america...just a babe in the woods.

[unrelated but my "i can safely say it's usually safe to bet" = epic grammar fail. oops.]

Posted by: the pair | Jul 2 2021 16:03 utc | 63

@ curious 60
While we have many excellent comments here, I rarely say this . . .excellent comment. You practiced economy of words fully to describe a complex situation.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 2 2021 16:05 utc | 64

Tibet was always China, right? That's the only way Xi's statement of non-interference against other nations holds. Otherwise, yes, China's doing far better by its people than the US has ever done in its entire history for its people.

Posted by: Bret Bowman | Jul 2 2021 16:05 utc | 65

@ the pair 62
it's usually safe to bet on japan screwing with china. . .
Japan also has strong historic ties with Taiwan and some of its people, from the fifty year occupation to 1945.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 2 2021 16:10 utc | 66


Thank you for referencing Meisner's book. It is one of the best at understanding modern Chinese history from the angle of class struggle and imperialism. It makes clear that the CR had deleterious consequences for the revolutionary process in China (Mao is sidelined, bureaucracy restored, and the communes dismantled) but it also shows the continued economic growth during that decade. Mao was right about the new class struggles inside Chinese socialist construction.

My problem with Meisner is his assumption that some kind of utopian socialist democracy is the standard for measuring Chinese socialist construction. As a result, he only sees capitalist restoration since Deng. And he doesn't foresee China's incredible rise and development since Deng, which of course built off the gains of the Mao period.

I still haven't found a good Marxist understanding of China in the present. And, the Chinese self-definition isn't convincing either. What does the "socialism" mean in China's political economy? A high degree of public ownership is not sufficient for socialism.

Posted by: Prof | Jul 2 2021 16:48 utc | 67


Very elegant commentary and I agree with you. You make cogent points that escaped me. Yes I agree Russia and China both have a similar situation here.


America is only dominant in the arts these days, especially cinema, because they spend a lot of money in order to be relevant. American cinema was quickly outclassed long ago by French, Italians, and others, but Hollywood simply outspent them.

My favorite Chinese film is Shaolin Challenges Ninja (rereleased in widescreen as Heroes Of The East, watch that version). Yes it is a Shaw Brothers Hong Kong kung fu film, but it is top notch and discusses the cultural rivalry between China and Japan with an excellent surface level plot.

I'll have to look for more mainland film and television, but a quick glance shows a lot of films centered around the Cultural Revolution, so I guess I will try a few of those first.

Posted by: Rutherford82 | Jul 2 2021 17:32 utc | 68

To understand just a little bit of modern China,
I highly recommend reading the book

"Winter in China".

Published by a poet from Wabash college Indiana in the years around 1987-1992 (several editions).
It involves the saga Prophessor of English Robert Winter (Dōng Wéndé'/東文德/东文德), who went to China (Nánking) 1924 on the insistance of Wén Yìduō to teach at Tsingnhua University in Peiping and finally at the BêiDà (Peking University) in Bĕijing until his death at age 1001 in 1987. He had taught English to many prominent CHicom leaders and diplomats 1935-1980.
an associate of Ezrah Pound, T.S. Elliot and A.C. Richarsv(founder of the Nes CChritisism and author of "The meaning of meaning"-- later both Richards and Winter becoming supporters of Churchls idiotisational idea of "Simple English" for the colonial sub-humans, masters, most regrettably.but brought him funding from The Rockefeller Foundation thru his last 50 years of life.

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Jul 2 2021 17:53 utc | 69


> ...because China shares borders with three countries where the disease is endemic: Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos.

>> Northern Thailand is pretty close to China, and there was a border crossing possible from Thailand to China by a short boat journey (the route was closed by China a couple of years ago though).

100+ km or so, but it does not change the wrongly stated fact, that it shares a border with china.

> Unfortunately there is indeed malaria in many places in Thailand, including very far from its borders - in Korat for example, right in the middle of Thailand!

Yes, there is Malaria in Thailand.

> more or less

Does not mean *none*.

Thailand is endemic, but Vietnam also, which *has* a Border with china.

But the chance, that you catch it up in one of the surrounding states, is much greater.

Malaria was endemic up to Central Europe till the middle of the 20th.

We will see, what climate change will *change* in this respect.

Posted by: mt | Jul 2 2021 18:03 utc | 70

Prof@67 may have a typo. Mao was sidelined before the Cultural Revolution, used largely for international prestige in polemics with the USSR. In regards to mass mobilization, the Cultural Revolution may be deemed to have peaked early, in 1967 with the Shanghai commune. You might think every phase after that was a step back, whether it was the triple alliances in the Revolutionary Committees, or in a different way, the fall of Lin Biao. Hua Guofeng's coup against the so-called Gang of Four however is the generally regarded as the end of the Cultural Revolution. This seems correct, like saying the 18th Brumaire was the end of the French Revolution, even if you analogize Thermidor with, say, the triple alliance Revolutionary Committees. And the communes were not widely dismantled until the guan xi emperor's reign.

Again, it is correct that the Cultural Revolution was not a gigantic catastrophe, quickly replaced by an astounding renaissance under Deng. Overall growth continued under the Cultural Revolution, with widespread development in the hitherto neglected countryside. Overall growth merely continued under Deng, which was *not* characterized by any economic boom, though Deng did break the iron rice bowl for the masses, while failing to deliver on cushy jobs for all the would-be petty bourgeois-living college students. (A huge part of the students' displeasure was the precisely Deng's failure to deliver on leadership jobs for all graduates, as near as I can tell.)

The thing is, all supporters of Deng and his successor Xi are in fact formally committed to the proposition that the Cultural Revolution was in fact a catastrophe, so catastrophic that implicitly all concessions to capitalism must be not just permanent, but guaranteed to become ever larger.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 2 2021 18:37 utc | 71

@Rutherford82 | Jul 2 2021 17:32 utc | 68

May I suggest "Leap", it's recent, 2020.

The fact that it was trashed by the US rag "variety" is a good vote of confidence.

HK director with mainland budget. Ticks all your boxes :)

Beneath the rise and fall and rise story, and even taking away the expected patriotism slant in an Olympic sport doco-film, it touches on a lot of issues that obviously had no impact nor resonance on the variety author.

A few of the characters actually played themselves!

I don't want to spoil the film but the challenges faced by the protagonists reflects very well with the struggles of china as a whole over the decades.

1. Relying on hard work alone to excel and then falling prey to others who have moved on and are working smarter.

2. Idolizing and adoption of Western methods and then figuring out it doesn't work for everyone.

3. Making compromises and adjustments and arriving to a better solution that works for you.

Sound familiar?

If you read between the lines it also addresses the psyche of an expat, being torn by friends and families from both sides, the mental struggle and fortitude to hold on to one's own moral compass while being called out as traitor by both sides.

Be warned tho, the token western actors' performances were pretty ordinary but that's to be expected.

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 2 2021 18:56 utc | 72

BM @ 52:

Genuine protests over increases in food prices, or in prices of electricity or other utilities, have often been engulfed by regime-change agents in other countries (Syria in 2011, Armenia and Hong Kong in 2015), so much so that a definite pattern can be discerned. Genuine protests usually focus on material grievances or issues and do not usually escalate once govts say they will deal with the problems.

Color-revolution protests change material grievances into abstract demands for justice or human rights that take time to deal with (because they need constitutional changes or referenda) and if govts agree to deal with the problem, the "protesters" then insist on more changes and "reform" and end up calling for the govt they target to be overthrown by any and all means. Once genuine protests are hijacked by regime-change agents, the original protesters usually go away as they fear being associated with the regime changers and their tactics.

The US war on Syria originally began in Dar'aa in 2011 when a local protest over increasing food prices was taken over by regime-change militants. This was one example of how regime-change undermining starts, by piggybacking on real grievances and exploiting them.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 2 2021 20:53 utc | 73

Many thanks to b and the contributors here today. The Aus links in particular are outstanding. For several years now I've mostly taken a regular look at us using outside news sources like MofA & the links to try joining the lines in interpreting the stories that our media's racist, bigoted or lying official lines are up too. Many of today's links to local blogs or researched stories are new to me, and shed an amazing light on some of our very destructive but "awarded" "professional journalists" and their employers that I once believed or subscribed. Thanks again.

Posted by: Dim sim | Jul 2 2021 21:50 utc | 74

I suspected there was a better understanding of the CR out there. My comment aimed to elicit commentary; sometimes I find my requests for more information are ignored here unless I deliberately provoke reaction. This time it worked. I for one am quite ignorant of the CR's local and theoretical aims, so thanks to all who have pointed me toward a more nuanced and sophisticated analysis, especially Karlof for the link to scholarly material.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jul 2 2021 22:12 utc | 75

@ Karlof
PS. I note Meisner's book is in a 3rd edition (1999) that carries the analysis down to 1998. Thanks for the reference.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jul 2 2021 22:37 utc | 76

Prof @67--

Thanks for your reply! Our Prof for that seminar pointed out Meisner's biases prior to our treading his text. I agree with your question asking where's the Socialism, which I would join with where's the Marxism and Marxism-Leninism. According to Xi, Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is still being constructed with the aim for completion by the PRC's 100th anniversary in 2049. IMO, it's paramount to remember Marx's attitude toward Capitalism that it would provide the springboard for Socialism. Given that, I'd expect the current mixed economy's blend to become increasingly Socialist. But to be more precise than that, I'd need to become a specialist on China, know the languages, visit the country, etc.--all those things I don't have time for given my choice to examine the Big Picture.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 2 2021 23:10 utc | 77

Patroklos @75&76--

Thanks for your reply! A great many Chinese scholars are now writing for the foreign audience, and their works rapidly multiply. The ones I have deal with the recent inroads made into ancient Chinese history as well as a few dealing with BRI. I also think it's a mistake to ignore the Chinese government's appraisal of its actions and suggest its growing archive of White Papers be used as source materials.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 2 2021 23:20 utc | 78

Karlof and others,
If you are interested in an updated version of Meisner's analysis, I recommend Rebecca Karl's book, Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth Century World (Duke UP).
She might have been Meisner's student, as she follows his framework. She updates the analysis of his book, and adds new dimensions, including gender analysis of Chinese socialism in the Mao period. There were important gains made for Chinese women.

Posted by: Prof | Jul 2 2021 23:49 utc | 79

Put a silo farm in the middle of nowhere. Have trucks carrying dummy missiles there and a large number of yank missiles will be dialed for that site.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 0:58 utc | 80

@72 A.L.

I am hardly a cinephile, but I will definitely give Leap a watch.

We watched Over The Moon some time ago on a recommendation. It's an animated family movie that incorporates the myth of Chang'e. It was Netflix, and a Chinese-American story, but was enjoyable and is the sort of stuff I would be excited to see come out of Beijing.

Posted by: Rutherford82 | Jul 3 2021 1:23 utc | 81

The Brock-bots are working this thread too, I see. Gotta reinforce that imperial jingoism! Cannot let a non-hostile word about China go un-countered.

Prof @79

The feminism in China was very refreshing for me. Rather than despising and trying to subvert their own femininity like so many western women do, Chinese feminists embrace their femaleness and try to accentuate and flaunt it. A simple and painfully conspicuous example is that, as if in a Monty Python skit, western women almost universally strain to cast their voices into a lower and more masculine register; what they perceive as a trope of power. Chinese women, on the other hand, speak in a more natural and relaxed register, and given that women's tracheae and vocal articulators are smaller and tend to be more limber then men's their voices are higher pitched, as is natural. What is seen in the West as being "empowering" for women is seen by Chinese women as disrespect for their femaleness.

A further example: In the traditional Chinese characterization, the character Mulan is just an average Chinese girl who overcame difficulties and challenges through perseverance and hard work that was motivated by her lover and respect for her family. This is something any average Chinese girl can relate to and be inspired by. Disney then took the character Mulan and turned her into a magical super being that nobody can relate to. And then Disney wondered why their re-spin of the story of Mulan flopped in China.

To put it bluntly, western feminism is terribly misogynistic, and the Chinese know it. That is why they have been increasingly referring to the western faux left as "baizuo".

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 3 2021 2:08 utc | 82

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 2 2021 15:19 utc | 59

The position it want to sell in that BBC interview you mentioned is totally BS. The long position they made prior is their true intention. If you want to believe such obvious bullshit then good luck to you that's on you.

Posted by: Lucci | Jul 3 2021 5:24 utc | 83

I really hope Xi himself does not believe that China has never oppressed or bullied other nations/countries, that's such a blatant lie that can easily be disproved.

The last China invasion (of Viet Nam) was a mere 40 years ago, and that was under the current CCP.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 3 2021 6:15 utc | 84

« The Chinese nation has developed a splendid civilization over more than 5,000 years of history. »
Let us therefore recall, the so mysterious history of China.
Link (French):

Posted by: Annwn | Jul 3 2021 6:31 utc | 85

The last China invasion (of Viet Nam) was a mere 40 years ago, and that was under the current CCP

That was to stop Vietnam's invasion of their ally, Cambodia. Context matters.

Posted by: Littlereddot | Jul 3 2021 6:51 utc | 86

@ Littlereddot

How? Cambodia was ruled by Pol Pot at that time and in fact invaded Viet Nam first and carrying out massacre.

The fact China jumped in and invaded Vietnam is no just cause, it's in fact illegal and shameful.

What's good is that the chinese invasion didn't stop Viet Nam from liberating Cambodia from Pol Pot.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 3 2021 6:56 utc | 87

>>Tibet was always China, right? That's the only way Xi's statement of non-interference against other nations holds. Otherwise, yes, China's doing far better by its people than the US has ever done in its entire history for its people.

Tibet has been part of China (Qing dynasty) longer that the USA has been in existence. I am not saying I am in favour of it. But it is a fact never mentioned in the MSM so that their readers can draw their own conclusions.

Posted by: littlereddot | Jul 3 2021 7:01 utc | 88

@ Smith

>>in fact invaded Viet Nam first and carrying out massacre.

You really do believe this, don't you?

Posted by: littlereddot | Jul 3 2021 7:49 utc | 89

@ Littlereddot

Uh, yes?

If you visit Viet Nam, you can still see the skulls in the historical sites. It took these massacres for Viet Nam to intervene, otherwise, Viet Nam wouldn't bother since it was supporting Pol Pot in the first place.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 3 2021 7:59 utc | 90

In the back and forth between littlereddot and Smith, Smith wins. About the only correct thing littlerreddot said was, context matters. The context is much, much worse for Deng and China. The context was that invading Vietnam punished Communists for their defeat of US imperialism. The context was that China was supporting the Khmer Rouge, which made the famine started by US bombing of the essential irrigation systems, much, much worse by a crazy empty the cities policies. The Vietnamese incursion was the model of a humanitarian intervention that came in, briefly, helped solve a problem with an out of control armed force, then left the people there to resolve further issues more or less on their own. (Insofar as any small country is "sovereign" in the idealized sense of the word.)

Xi, by endorsing the invasion of Vietnam, shames himself personally and China. And China supporters who ignore this don't do China any real favors.

Vietnam was not a supporter of Pol Pot or the Khmer Rouge after the wave of massacres of ethnic Vietnamese living in Cambodia shortly after the Khmer Rouge took power. The intervention did not take place then however but after the failure of the Khmer Rouge to cope with their tasks had becomes apparent.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 3 2021 14:18 utc | 91

I'd accept it if Xi said "China has oppressed many countries in the past but we never will again", that would have been ideal.

But such a brazen lie, and no doubt some of the new CCP trained cadre truly believe that.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 3 2021 15:03 utc | 92

@ Posted by: Smith | Jul 3 2021 15:03 utc | 92

Evidently, he was talking about socialist China, not imperial and nationalist China.

He's a CPC member - he cannot claim responsibility for what some random emperor and some tin pot liberal dictator did a century ago.


@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 3 2021 14:18 utc | 91

I've heard from many liberals and rightists this fairy tale the CPC invaded Vietnam. It's like as if it was some kind of purification ritual they do to themselves in order to get rid of the humiliation in Vietnam.

Nations invade other nations for many reasons - not all of them being imperial. Neither China nor Vietnam have released their archives on the conflict yet (they're still classified on both sides). Both countries officially claim victory in the conflict.

Long story short, we don't know what happened in the Sino-Vietnamese war. Maybe some five decades later, when at least one of the archives is opened for research, future generations will know. But our generation doesn't know - and probably will never know - what the Sino-Vietnamese war was, let alone its motivations and objectives and how it panned out.

People here should stop commenting as if they were experts on the Sino-Vietnamese conflict. You're not, for the simple reason no such expert exist yet.

Posted by: vk | Jul 3 2021 15:18 utc | 93

@ vk

Well, socialist China under Deng also attacked Viet Nam, that was my point.

And no such experts really? It's clearly evident that China invaded Vietnam in order to aid Pol Pot Khmer Rouge/Cambodia.
Deng admitted it on freaking American TV:

You are clearly in denial of the level of the cooperation between China and USA at the times, the when the PRC was at its smelliest.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 3 2021 15:27 utc | 94

William Gruff @ 82, your observation about the difference between western women and Chinese is a bit silly. I had to, having been born before any such silly issues were in vogue, examine my own voice timbre to see, was I woke? Was I imitating men?

I have decided that yes, Oriental women are delightfully feminine, and have a culture that emphasizes that. I bow to that beauty. But I do not feel sad that I am heavier constructed; that was the way of my maker for the place in which I came to be. And there, yes, the women are of a different style of femininity. We were born that way.

So please, stop that nonsense.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 3 2021 15:53 utc | 95

I will further add that in my travels back and forth between my native land and my adopted one, I have found the intonation of the common language in the latter to be preferable to my own enjoyment listening to it. American usage doesn't truncate the language, skip over syllables, end somewhat querulously, as the kiwi version often does, or did when I last was there.

(I will make a distinction between pakeha speech and maori - the latter is extremely musical, and the former does well when it imitates maori cadence. My own grandmother was raised maori - she spoke differently from anyone else in the family, a beautiful useage of language, celebrating all of its parts - I can still hear her voice.)

Posted by: juliania | Jul 3 2021 16:09 utc | 96

"...preferable for..." sorry.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 3 2021 16:31 utc | 97

juliania @95

Though American women certainly tend towards obesity, that is not why they speak at the bottoms of their vocal registers. The problem that causes this phenomenon is psychological, not physical.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 4 2021 1:35 utc | 98

Food for thought from a contemporary Marxist "Imperialism and the Crisis in the Socialist Camp"

And on the Cultural Revolution "China and the Class War"

And after "China: The End of the Revolutionary Mao Era," also titled "The Suppression of the Left"

On closely related topic of Soviet Union "The Class Character of the USSR"

And a reminder of some very basic ideas, which were always obvious and should never have been forgotten "Soviet Socialism: Utopian or Scientific?"

As to China's prolonged experiment with perestroika without glasnost? What was obvious when it was happening, just as it is now, "Perestroika: A Marxist Critique"

Marxist views that aren't rightist or liberalism have been around for a very long time.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 4 2021 2:06 utc | 99

The author of the above was contemporary *to the event.* Not a contemporary now.

Another view from a different perspective is "And Mao Makes Five"

The general right-wing nature of the commentariat could use some exposure to left-wing views.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 4 2021 2:10 utc | 100

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