World Life Expectancy.com (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
NCBI.gov (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 NCBI.gov, 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
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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