Mao’s ‘alleged’ Guilt in the Land of Famines – Part 6/8

World Life (WLE) shows that in one decade between 1960 and 70 (Mao did not die until 1976), life expectancy in Indonesia was 47.9, India 49.3 and China 61.7.

Did you do the math and see the results of Mao’s policies regardless of the suffering during the Great Leap Forward (GLF) and the Cultural Revolution?  From 1960 to 1970, China added 25.4 years to life expectancy while Indonesia only added 6.4 years (six “point” four in case you missed the dot) and India seven years.

Then by 1980, Indonesia was 54.8, India 55.7 and China 65.5.

In 1990, Indonesia was 61.7, India 59.7 and China 68.3.

In 2000, Indonesia was 67.5, India 62.5, and China 71.4

In 2010, Indonesia was 71.1, India 66.5 and China 74.5 (the US National Institute of Health) says, “Since the establishment of a new social order in 1949, China’s attempts to feed and nurture its large population has been a topic of serious study in many disciplines… In 1949, the life expectancy in China was only 36 years. In early 1980s, it has increased to 68 years.”

Since the NCBI says life expectancy in 1949 was 36 years and in 1960, it was 36.3 years (according to WLE), it is safe to say that the mortality rate in China in 1960 was still closer to 38 per 1000 and not 10 per 1000 as Frank Dikotter, the author of “Mao’s Great Famine” claims.

This increase in life expectancy is attributed mostly to improved nutrition and lowering of mortality rates due to decreases in infectious diseases. In fact, during the most dramatic gains in life expectancy, Mao ruled China (1949 – 1976).

Overwhelming facts from reliable sources show that Mao’s policies increased life expectancy and decreased mortality rates during the era he ruled, which included the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

That does not mean suffering did not take place but it does prove that even during hard times, life expectancy in China improved dramatically while mortality rates dropped.

 mentions the British caused famines in India/Ireland and who really managed the Great Leap Forward in China
This video makes a case that only three million may have died from the famine.

After reading Lu and Chen’s figures, which were supported by Judith Banister’s work, China’s Changing Population (Stanford University Press – 1987), along with facts from the WLE and, I sat down with my wife, who as a child grew up in Shanghai during the GLF, and lived with the hunger but only remembers hearing of a few people that died of starvation in rural China and never saw anyone starving to death in Shanghai.

Continued on November 17, 2011 in Mao’s ‘alleged’ Guilt in the Land of Famines – Part 7 or return to Part 5

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Recommended reading on this topic for those who seek the unblemished truth: From the Monthly Review, Did Mao Really Kill Millions in the Great Leap Forward? by Joseph Ball

From Griffith University, Australia, Poverty, by David C. Schak, Associate Professor


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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34 Responses to Mao’s ‘alleged’ Guilt in the Land of Famines – Part 6/8

  1. Alessandro says:

    “There is only the data that is found in China and all of the authors and scholars that have written on this topic use that data as their launching pad. If Mao were to be tried for deliberately murdering millions of people during the GLF by starving them to death, there would be no evidence to support the accusations and a jury would have to find him innocent. There would be no one to sit in the witness stand that could testify that he gave those orders and orchestrated those deaths.”

    Mr Lofthouse, MCB is not at all interested in proofs or datas or, even less, a “factual truth”. He doesn’t need them…in his mind he already decided (and has been raised in this way by the “free western media”) that Mao is a monster, it’s 100% guilty, and there can’t be any other possibility. He is interested in condemning what he doesn’t like, that’s all. It’s quite useless to try and make this people see datas and reason with them. They are only interested in perpetuating their own vision (after all, it makes them feel good to think they live in the good part of the world, and the bad guys are elsewhere)..cause even doubting it for a sec. would shake that world irreparably.

    • Alessandro,

      Thank you. I understand all about the MCBs of the world. They are a virus. My replies to his biased comments are antibiotics designed to hamper the spread of his poison to someone that may not have mad eup his or her mind yet and wants to know more. If no one replied to an MCB comment, then a reader may believe the poison he spouts may be true. We have far too many in America and Europe taht already believe this trash.

      For example, here’s a report from PEW Global

      “In most regions of the world, opinion of the United States continues to be more favorable than it was in the Bush years, but U.S. image now faces a new challenge: doubts about America’s superpower status. In 15 of 22 nations, the balance of opinion is that China either will replace or already has replaced the United States as the world’s leading superpower. This view is especially widespread in Western Europe, where at least six-in-ten in France (72%), Spain (67%), Britain (65%) and Germany (61%) see China overtaking the U.S.”

      • Merlin says:

        First I’d like to mention I just talked with my farmer uncle that mentioned China practically owns our grains. They are one of our biggest buyers of corn and soybeans. IF they were to ever pull out for any reason, the economy would tank again as well as the price of corn/bushel would rapidly drop. Actually, I think China has so much stock in the US (without physically owning part of our govt). How many other countries cooperate with the US? I know many jobs go to Mexico if not China.

        Second, I’d like to mention changing a person’s mind is near impossible once it’s already set in motion. Like the great philosophers Socrates and Plato. One tried to get the public to question everything around them and was convicted of corrupting the youth ending in forced suicide. The other wrote one of his philosophies being that of a cave with a fire inside and prisoners staring at shadows on the wall. As he said, the philosopher leaves the cave and sees the sun. It is a challenge to try to get others out of the cave because some will continue to not believe the outside exists. Also if that last sentence is grammatically incorrect I’m sorry and dont feel like deleting it because my bak is out and in pain.

      • Merlin,

        Do not sweat the grammar. As long as a person can read it and understand what you mean, it works unless you are publishing a book and then every typo must be fixed eventually to silence the anal-retentive critics.

        You are right and so were Socrates and Plato regarding “changing a person’s mind is near impossible once it’s already set…”

        However, there are people that have open minds or their opinions are not set. If you were to visit and scroll down to the chart showing China’s favorability trends, you would note that over time the opinion of China in the US (in every country for that matter) changes from year to year.

        Among Western European countries, favorable opinion of China has risen over the past year. Positive views have increased 13 percentage points in Britain, 10 points in France, 8 points in Spain, and 5 points in Poland. Even in Germany, the proportion of people who hold a favorable opinion of China is up four percentage points. In the US in 2005, only 43% of the population saw China favorably but in 2011 that rating is up to 51%–an eight percent increase in six years. Leaving comments for people like MCB are not meant for him/her. They are meant for open minds that are not set in concrete and steel as MCB is.

        What happens if there are no comments and no rebuttals to biased opinions such as MCB’s?

        One example would be the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” campaign to smear Presidential candidate John Kerry during the 2004 US presidential/national election. Kerry and his people ignored the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and the idea that he was a coward spread until enough people believed it that he ended up losing the election.

        However, I fought in Vietnam and I knew veterans that served on swift boats in the delta and that was a very dangerous job. Kerry was wounded three times (yes, they were flesh wounds but most people have no idea what it is like to come that close to death and see people around you dying) but the Swift Boat Veterans made it sound like he was a coward for coming home early due to the three flesh wounds while G. W. Bush, the real coward, used his family influence to avoid fighting in Vietnam when Bush was a drunk and a womanizer and an all around flake. Kerry served his country [regardless if we agree with the war or not] and he put himself in harm’s way while Bush did everything he could to avoid it.

        The moral of this story is that if we say nothing, then those with open minds may perceive the biased opinions of the MCB’s of the world as the truth. In addition, there is a large segment of the population that are considered moderates or middle of the road voters willing to be convinced sometimes up to the last moment before an election to change their vote, which is why last minute smear campaigns during an election may turn out to be lies designed to influence those open minded swing voters that do not have biased opinions buried in granite.

        There are not enough MCB in the population to win an election. The MCB’s exist on either extreme and are either conservative or liberal in their political believes while the moderates are more flexible.

        We write comments to people like MCB not for him/her but for those moderates that may be reading to learn something.

        Sure, many of the people will not get up and leave the cave to walk into the open and see the sky [the world was once flat too but today it is round because someone sailed toward that imagined edge and didn’t find it]. If one of us gets up, walks out, then returns, and tells the rest how great it is, someone in that crowd may follow us outside to see for him or herself. As for the Greek philosopher Socrates being convicted of corrupting the youth and ending up being forced to commit suicide, one thing I learned while serving in the US Marines in Vietnam is that the only thing to fear is fear itself and I had some sniper bullets come close [another inch and I wouldn’t be here]. Once we allow that fear to control what we say, believe, or do, we have lost to the MCB’s of the world and then they become the thought police telling us what to think and what we are allowed to do in our lives.

        I’m sure that after I wrote the last paragraph, MCB will point out that China has thought police, which is and isn’t true. I’ve been to China. I know Chinese and they think for themselves. It is a commonly held belief among most Chinese that when the state owned media in China says one thing about a political issue, the people often believe the opposite is true. However, most of the Chinese people are content because the standard of living in China and the personal freedoms (not counting public political opinions) are the best they have been in Chinese history. Today, more Chinese have more freedom and a higher standard of living than at any time in their history. And if something is against the law, such as getting an abortion because the couple doesn’t want a girl and wants a boy, the people just go to underground clinics and have the operation done. If a book or movie published in the West is censored in China and you want to read it, the underground is huge and blacklisted books are available from underground everywhere in China.

        Another example would be a TV series I read about that was censored in China (I wrote a post about this). When the star of that series visited China as a tourist, word that he was coming spread through China’s internet and a crowd of thousands met him at the airport screaming and cheering wanting autographs and pics with him.

        The TV series he was the star of was censored in China and never aired on public TV but it was streamed into China via the Internet bypassing the leaky bucket of Internet censorship in China and millions watched this show on their computers linked to the Internet. This show, which I think was called Prison Break, was a hit in China even though it was censored there.

        The fact is that censorship in China is a joke and it doesn’t work. I suspect that all the people the Party hires to work in the agency that is in charge of filtering the Internet and censoring books is just a way to create jobs so people won’t be unemployed. After all, it says in the 1982 Chinese Constitution that people have to work.

        There are more than 1.3 billion people in China and the Party only has 80 million members to rule those 1.3 billion people. As long as the Party is improving the quality of life and expanding personal freedoms, which does not necessarily mean political and religious freedoms, the people will be content with their lot in life. The few that speak out publicly about politics in China and end up in jail for breaking the law are a very small minority of malcontents and anarchists. If the Party stops doing the job they are doing to improve life in China, then the people will rise up and throw them out. All anyone need do is study China’s long history to see that this has happened before many times, which explains why China has had many Dynasties and usually a lot of bloodshed during the transitions because most of the Dynasties that were replaced did not go quietly into the night.

      • Merlin,

        Regarding US grain exported to China.

        Here’s a New York Times piece about China’s worst (current) drought in sixty years (Sixty years ago, that previous drought was one of the major factors that led to the famine during the Great Leap Forward).

        What will China do different today to make sure its people do not starve again? Read the NY Times piece to find out.

  2. Alessandro says:

    “I am not sure your point about plethora of voices, since each voice is the government’s. Censorship. Every day, a list of forbidden topics is delivered to television stations. In American that does not happen”

    Yes yes, MCB..this has the same value as ur statement about Stern, Limbough etc., practically less than zero.
    I’ve already said, it’s kinda useless to argue with people so close and rigid in their own prejudice and bias.

    BTW, I take it u fluently speak chinese and monitor what happens on and offline, right? 🙂 (from what u say, it is clear u have no idea of the sheer number of newspapers, tv channels, magazines, blogs, microblogs, forums and so on…)

    “In America that doesn’t happen”…..I’ve already said it more than once, US is way ahead of China (and many other countries) in manipulating public opinion and making propaganda, they’re ways are much more subtle, and silent. China’s are still crude, and somewhat primitive, they should take some lessons from US.

    And, btw, are u really sure in America that doesn’t happen at all?
    Seeing how the mainstream medias present or don’t present many topics, I wouldn’t be so sure.

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