China’s Last Great Famine: Part 3 of 6

The first time I heard that droughts and extremely bad weather also played a role in the so-called Great Famine was early July 2011, and it was an accident. I was researching another topic for this Blog and stumbled on that mostly unknown fact by accident.

Then I discovered another more insidious factor when I started working on this post that may have contributed to the deaths of millions of Chinese, who starved during what is known as the Great Famine.

This insidious factor I’m talking about was influenced by America’s paranoia with Communism caused by the War in Korea (1950 – 1953), McCarthyism (1947 – 1957), Vietnam (1955 – 1975), and the Cold War with the USSR (1945 – 1991) set the stage for what may have contributed to mass deaths by starvation in China during the Great Leap Forward.


The US embargo on China was a “complete embargo” that must have contributed to the death toll of the Great Famine, a factor never mentioned before.

During the McCarthy era (1947 – 1957), thousands of Americans were accused of being Communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies.

In 1950, because China fought alongside North Korea against allied UN forces under the leadership of the US, the United States implemented a “complete embargo” that forbade all financial transaction with Communist China.

The US also convinced many of its allies to join this “complete embargo” to cut China off from the world.

After the Korean war, the United States did not lift this embargo for the next twenty years (1949-1969), with a goal to disrupt, destabilize, and weaken China’s communist government by causing the people to suffer and this “complete embargo” was one of the tools to achieve this.

Sources in the U.S. government have admitted that the objective of the economic warfare was aimed at causing a breakdown of Communist China. The thinking was that problems in the Chinese economy would lead to loss of support from the people causing the collapse of the Communist Republic. China for all.info and Asia for Educators – Columbia.edu

This embargo was lifted in 1969, when Richard Nixon was President, but by then it was too late—millions of Chinese suffered and died during the Great Famine. Washington Post.com

Continued in Part 4 on March 20, 2015 or return to Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Finalist in Fiction & Literature – Historical Fiction
The National “Best Books 2010” Awards

Low-Res_E-book_cover_MSC_July_24_2013

Honorable Mentions in General Fiction
2012 San Francisco Book Festival
2012 New York Book Festival
2012 London Book Festival
2009 Los Angeles Book Festival
2009 Hollywood Book Festival

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