Like Hitler, Mao Was a Callous Killer
In a speech on August 10, 1959, Mao gave the reasons why there was no Hungarian Rebellion in China, saying that since the communist takeover “more than one million counterrevolutionaries have been killed. Hungary has not killed any counterrevolutionaries. For the elimination of more than one million of the 600-odd million people, I think we shall shout hurrah for that.” (True Records of Lushan Meeting by Li Rui, ISBN 978-962-257-661-2, p 336) The counterrevolutionaries referred to in his speech were mostly unarmed civilians put to death in peacetime. The terror lies in his pride and joy in the killing.
Mao’s Two Fits of Domestic Madness with Heavy Death Toll
Mao’s mad campaign the Great Leap Forward giving rise to a death toll of 20 to 40 million people is now well-known the world over. Frank Dikötter gives an astonishing, riveting, magnificently detailed account of it in his book Mao’s Great Famine.
Mao’s second fit of madness the Cultural Revolution is even more famous. It was at first hailed in America as a campaign with lofty ideal. There were no statistics of the death toll and the number of victims. People who personally experienced it like me know that the number was enormous. People outside China now know the evils of the campaign when the truth has come out, but Mao’s misunderstood image as an idealist remains in the minds of quite a few people.
Mao’s Fits of International Madness
Mao told Soviet leader Khrushchev in 1957 that he would fight a nuclear war to eliminate capitalism all over the world even if half of Chinese population–300 million then– died in the war. Taking into account of China’s poor economy and backward weapons then, Mao was much madder than Tojo Hideki. However, when I was studying in a university in Anhui, China in 1958, there was hot enthusiasm for communism among the students there. Some of my close classmates talked about Mao’s words and said in private (not openly to please Party cadres) that they admired Mao that he represented Chinese people in saying that we Chinese were willing to make the greatest national sacrifice for communism. Mao was able to make quite a few Chinese people as mad as him because elements of Maoism are deeply rooted in China’s popular culture for infection of his madness. That is China’s most serious problem.
You cannot believe that unless you have personally experienced it. At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, I was amazed to see students even those in prestigious universities turned into mad Red Guards overnight and later discipline-abiding workers turned into rebels promptly.
in his book On China,Henry Kissinger says that Mao brought the world to the brink of nuclear war twice in the two Taiwan crises in the 1950s.
Mao’s Export of Revolution
1. Mao transferred 50,000 experienced troops with weapons to increase Kim Il-sung’s troops to 231,000 for invasion of South Korea and sent troops to fight against America to preserve North Korea’s communist regime.
2. Mao trained and armed Vietnamese communists, sent lots of military advisers to help drive away France and establish communist North Vietnam, sent troops into Vietnam for logistic support, etc. and provided aids worth billions of yuan to help them take over South Vietnam.
3. Mao helped Khmer Rouge rise to power in Cambodia in 1975. Mao’s “ideal” of “purifying the society” inspired Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, resulting in the Killing Fields.
4. Mao provided substantial aids to communists and guerillas all over the world in spite of China’s own economic difficulties.
You can find description of those activities in quite a few Chinese Communist officials’s memoirs. General Qiu Huizuo who was in charge of the logistic department of the PLA for more than 20 years until September 1971 mentioned such activities in his memoir that was recently published in Hong Kong.
Mao, an Idealist?
Mao’s propaganda on his Cultural Revolution made quite a few people believe he was an idealist. Having curried favor with Mao, Kissinger strives to sell Mao’s image as an idealist in his book On China. His trickiest advertisement is that he says that of Mao’s four titles: the Great Teacher, Great Leader, Great Commander and Great Helmsman, Mao told Kissinger Mao only wanted to keep the title of “Teacher” as if Mao was a loving teacher. Mao persecuted people but that was the punishment given by Mao the strict teacher for purifying his pupils, Kissinger hints.
However, Mao was not a loving but a cruel tyrannous teacher, whose teachings you were not to trifle with. Non-acceptance of or doubting any of his teachings or instructions was a crime. One would be severely punished even if one revealed it in one’s diary. In 1970, Zhang Yihe, a common clerk then but a well-known writer now, wrote in her diary upon Mao’s promotion of his wife Jiang Qing the Chinese saying “When a man becomes immortal, even his hens and dogs become immortal, too”. She got a sentence of 20-year imprisonment for that. When I was in Shanghai then, persecution and imprisonment for dissent in people’s diaries were common phenomena.
Mao’s Cruel Persecution of Dissidents
People know well that in 1957 Mao coaxed intellectuals into criticizing the Party and then labeled 550,000 intellectuals as rightists to persecute in order to silence voice of opposition. However, they do not know very clearly that more than 3 million people were persecuted as rightists in 1959 because they aired their opposition to Mao’s mad Great Leap Forward in order to prevent the disaster it would cause to China. They failed to stop Mao’s madness and at least 20 million people died due to Mao’s madness. Red Guard’s cruel persecution of innocent people and Party and state cadres is well known now, but quite a few people believe that it was over by 1969 when lots of Red Guard had been sent to the countryside. In fact, persecution did not stop.
In 1970, lots of young dissidents including some Party members openly said that Mao’s Cultural Revolution deviated from Marxism after they had diligently studied Marxist classics. Mao carried out a nation-wide One Strike-Three Anti Campaign and according to official figure, by November 1970 arrested 280,000 dissidents labeled as “counterrevolutionaries”. Those young dissidents were brave and wanted an open debate with Mao, but Mao “purified the society” by cruel torture, imprisonment and execution.
Zhang Zhixin was a typical case. The tortures she suffered and the cruelty of the Campaign can still be found on the Internet. My father was framed-up and arrested as a counterrevolutionary then. He told me that he heard noise of torture everyday when he was detained in a detention center in Shanghai for more than one year.
It is very clear that Mao’s “ideal” was not to “purify the society” but to establish his absolute authority. However, a man cruelly realizing such an “ideal” is normally regarded as a tyrant instead of idealist.