Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Not Rule the World” – Part 5/12

December 1, 2011

Fourth Question [Parfitt]:

Apart from business and trade, what does China have to offer the world?

Answer [Lofthouse]:

The PRC was the first Chinese government to attempt systematically to reduce both inequality and poverty offering the world a lesson on how to reduce poverty and illiteracy on a scale unmatched in global history.

In addition, the respect accorded to teachers and the merit-based educational system offered to the world a lesson when 15-year-old Shanghai students placed first in every category in the 2009 International PISA test. The only Western nation that came close was tiny Finland.

These achievements may be attributed to Confucius’s teachings.

Henry Kissinger says it best, and I agree. “China’s exceptionalism is cultural. China does not proselytize; it does not claim that its contemporary institutions are relevant outside China.”

However, China’s accomplishments to improve the quality of life since 1982 offer many lessons to learn from.

Chinese culture is mostly about the collective mindset of the family. Western culture focuses on the self-esteem and happiness of the individual to the exclusion of long-term cultural survival as Niall Ferguson points out in Civilization: The West and the Rest.

Ferguson says, “The West’s reign is coming to an end as it loses faith in itself.”

A better explanation may be found from a Gallup study by Richard Burkholder and Raksha Arora that concluded, “With greater levels of affluence, the importance of the capitalist work ethic begins to erode, and the end becomes self-expression…”

For these reasons, many in China want nothing to do with the evolution of the West’s political and cultural institutions.

Emperor Qianlong’s 1793 letter to King George III demonstrates what most Chinese believe. “As your Ambassador can see for himself, we possess all things. I set no value on objects strange or ingenious.”

In this letter, Emperor Qianlong points out the differences between the West and China and that the West has nothing to offer China.

That changed after the Opium Wars in the 19th century due to the West gaining a slight technological advantage in weaponry.

Today, we see China catching up and when it does, will it say that the West has nothing to offer China beyond technology already gained?

Response [Parfitt]:

The PRC reduced inequality (A) and poverty (B), offering the world an unparalleled lesson on how to reduce poverty (B) and illiteracy (C)?

In terms of GDP per capita, the IMF lists China in 94th spot, with $7,519. What, then, does China have to teach the 93 countries above it about poverty reduction? Ditto that question for literacy, where the UN lists China in 68th spot.

The CCP has made great strides toward improving the lot of its citizenry, and may have something to teach the developing world – but not the developed one. China is not a developed nation. It’s listed on the UN’s Human Development Index (a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and living standards) in 101st spot.

Moreover, though the CCP has worked to reduce poverty and inequality, it has adopted an economic model that, by its own admission, has created the world’s sharpest rich-poor divide.

Final Word [Lofthouse]:

The answer for “C” should be “ALL OF THE ABOVE”, which is correct.

I find the rankings you list interesting but meaningless.

In fact, a better measurement compares China’s poverty reduction with India, the world’s largest democracy. For example, the CIA Factbook says “absolute poverty” in China is 2.8%while India is listed at 25%.

In addition, the CIA says China’s public debt is 17.3% of GDP while India’s is 50.6%.

Even more shocking, the CIA reports 15.1% of the US population lives in poverty while the US public debt is 61.9% of GDP.

Another example would be to discover what life was like in China before the CCP became the only government in China’s history to set goals that have reduced both inequality and poverty dramatically. To learn more, read a poverty study of China written by David C. Schak, an Associate Professor at Griffith University in Australia.

Continued on December 2, 2011 in Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Never Rule the World – Travels in the Two Chinas” – Part 6 or return to Part 4.

See Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 1


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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Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Not Rule the World” – Part 4/12

November 30, 2011

Third Question [Lofthouse]:

In your book trailer, you claim that China has nothing to offer the world culturally and in a stereotyped blanket statement say that the Confucian hierarchy of China’s culture causes businesses and industries to have a rigid chain of command that exerts total control over the people below them. Due to this, you say it leads to inefficiency and a lack of coordination.

However, how do you explain that under the same collective, cultural Confucian hierarchy you criticize, China was the wealthiest, most powerful and technologically advanced nation on the planet for more than two thousand years until the 19th century?

Answer [Parfitt]:

In addition to directing the reader toward a particular conclusion, begging-the-question language assumes a premise has already been established. However, it hasn’t been established that China was the world’s greatest nation from the Qin (221 BCE) to 1800. Was China really wealthier, more powerful, and more technologically advanced than the Roman Empire (44 BCE – 1453 CE)? Says who?

Most cultures devise a gilded-age myth. Conspicuously, China’s gilded-age spans two millennia, from the First Emperor to the Opium Wars. It speaks to patriotism and victimization, and is a Communist Party fabrication. An eighth-grade social science textbook begins, “Our motherland… was once an advanced and great nation… but after the invasions of the… capitalist powers, a profound national crisis occurred.”

Specious and hyperbolic declarations only obscure a reasoned analysis of China’s contributions. A relevant example is Gavin Menzies’s 1421: The Year China Discovered the World. China’s 15th-century age-of-exploration is truly remarkable, but Menzies overreaches to where the Chinese built a Danish granary in America and a Loyalist farm in Canada. Like many Sinophiles, he specializes in mythomania. The Cambridge scientist Joseph Needham (1900–1995) is guilty of overstatement, too. Needham accurately noted China had made contributions to science never documented, but he grossly inflated their scope and importance, explicating that the Chinese had invented virtually everything – only to forget it all just before the Europeans arrived.

In Jonathan Spence’s The Search for Modern China, no gilded-age appears and European presence is not treated as the prevailing theme. Chinese civilization is portrayed as highly complex but infinitely troubled, by poverty, lawlessness, chaos, violence, warlordism, rebellion, warfare, despotism, etc. Spence, the foremost China scholar, does not indicate China represented the most advanced nation, nor does he propose its achievements were the result of Confucian values.

China’s achievements have occurred despite Confucian values. Overwhelmingly, Confucianism works only to stifle creativity, stymie critical thinking, and nullify questioning. It is a form of authoritarianism, tyranny of the mind and soul. If the Chinese wish to genuinely advance, they must scrutinize this antediluvian rubric. They must ask if it has served to advance them, or kept them subjugated.

Response [Lofthouse]:

Spence is not “the” foremost China scholar. At best, he is widely recognized as “a” leading scholar of Chinese history, among “many” others.

As for China’s Han Dynasty being superior to Rome during Emperor Marcus Aurelius time (161- 180 AD), Discovery Channel’s Neville Gishford and Archaeologist Charles Higham, a world famous authority on ancient Asia, sets the record straight in Xi’an (Chang’ an).

In ‘The Indiscreet Charm of Tyranny’, Buruma writes, “Confucius, and especially Mencius, believed in the people’s right to rebel against corrupt rulers,” and the Chinese people are aware, explaining The Mandate of Heaven.

In addition, “Ancient Chinese Inventions” published by Cambridge University Press reveals that China gave birth to numerous scientific and technological inventions, and for centuries led the world in such innovations.

In conclusion, Spence explored ‘Why Confucius Counts’ and said, “In the hands of major current thinkers it (Confucianism) is neither farce nor fraud.”

Final Word [Parfitt]:

Whether the Han dynasty was “greater” than Marcus Aurelius’s Rome has nothing to do with the claim that China represented the greatest civilization on Earth.

I don’t deny China’s scientific achievments; I have read about them and Science and Civilisation in China, the pertinent, authoritative work. Chinese innovations should not be disregarded. However,  it must be asked why so few have appeared in modern history. Of the 976 Nobel laureates to date, only 1 has been a citizen of China: Liu Xiaobo, awarded the 2010 Peace Prize while in prison for subversion.

If Confucius had focused more on reasoned thinking than tautology, and encourged his compatriots to question and investigate rather than imitate and obey, the Chinese might not have a government working under the directive of an inanimate entity with a dubious existence. The Mandate of Heaven is no more meaningful than the Mandate of Earth, Wind, or Fire.

Continued on December 1, 2011 in Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Never Rule the World – Travels in the Two Chinas” – Part 5 or return to Part 3.

See Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 1


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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Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Never Rule the World” – Part 3/12

November 29, 2011

Second Question [Parfitt]: You (Lofthouse) mention Mao Zedong in your first question and reference his statement that women hold up half the sky. The Chinese Communist Party’s official line about Mao’s rule is that it was 70 percent good and 30 percent bad. What’s your assessment of Mao’s reign?

Answer [Lofthouse]:

A Museum of Tragedy near China’s port city of Shantou offers evidence of why most Chinese decided Mao was 30%”bad”.

The “bad” refers to Mao’s Cultural Revolution [1966 – 1976] leading to the many suicides of those that could not cope, as Mao’s teenage Red Guard waged war on Confucianism and persecuted people accused of bourgeois tendencies.

In addition, there were millions of deaths by starvation mostly in 1960 caused by droughts and food shortages during Mao’s Great Leap Forward.

Opinions of how many died of starvation from 1959 into early 1961 vary dramatically, and it is a controversial hot-button issue.  Claims range from 16.5 million to a high of 60 million.

For example, Henry Kissinger on page 184 of “On China” says, “From 1959 to 1962, China experienced one of the worst famines in human history, leading to the deaths of over twenty million people.”

Judith Banister’s work, China’s Changing Population [Stanford University Press – 1987], agrees with Kissinger’s quote.

In fact, Banister shows that the greatest loss of life took place in 1960 and returned closer to normal in 1961.

It didn’t help that the US had a complete embargo of China (1949 – 1963), which was designed to cause suffering among the people leading to an overthrow of the Chinese Communist Party and a return to power of Chiang Kai-shek.

If Australia, Canada and France had not shipped wheat to China in 1961, the loss of life would have been worse.

What Mao did to earn the 70% “good” rating is due to his early land-reform policies ending feudalism in rural China, in addition to improving health care, which led to dramatic improvements in life expectancy.

In 1949, the average life expectancy was 36 years.  By 1970, during the Cultural Revolution, average life expectancy was almost 62 years — a 71% improvement.

Today, life expectancy is 74.68 years.

Facts show that more people benefited from Mao’s “good” policies than those that suffered from the “bad”. However, critics in the West prefer to focus on a glass almost empty instead of admitting the glass was more than half-full.

Response [Parfitt]:

Chinese people believe the reign of the former Communist Party chairman was 70 percent good and 30 percent bad because that’s what the Communist Party tells them.

Historian Jonathan Spence tells a different story, one not muddled by contemporary life-expectancy statistics or charges against America. According to Spence, Mao’s land reform involved the brutal seizure and redistribution of property, with Mao admitting 700,000 “evil gentry” were justly killed.

The program didn’t put a dent in private ownership, but was a violent failure resulting in Party scorn.

Mao responded with his Hundred Flowers Movement and Anti-Rightist Campaign, part one in his trilogy of campaigns, which, along with the Korean War, may have caused 70 million deaths. Since Mao’s death, the Party has made significant strides in material development, the welfare state, national security, and prosperity, but locating a valid academic source concluding Mao’s reign was more beneficial than not is impossible.

Final Word [Lofthouse]:

Proving China prospered [on average] under Mao at the same time it suffered due to his Anti-Rightist Campaigns was easy.

Professor Stephen Thomas [University of Colorado at Denver] wrote for the World Bank’s Forum on Public Policy, “In 1949, the newly established People’s Republic of China designed and carried out economic development policies that led to an annual average economic growth rate of about 4 percent from 1953 to 1978, among the highest in the developing world…

Then, Compton’s Living Encyclopedia says, “After the Communist revolution in 1949… Private ownership of land was abolished, but each peasant family was given a small plot to farm. Health care improved. The fluctuations in the food supply leveled off and life expectancy increased.”

I do not dispute landowners were tried, convicted and executed by the peasants they allegedly abused and exploited.

As for Mao’s policies killing 70 million—”MAY HAVE CAUSED” proves nothing.

Continued on November 30, 2011 in Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Never Rule the World – Travels in the Two Chinas” – Part 4 or return to Part 2.

See Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 1


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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Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Not Rule the World” – Part 2/12

November 28, 2011

First Question [Lofthouse]: Since 1949, Taiwan and mainland China have followed significantly different paths. While Taiwan held onto the old culture, the mainland went through a painful metamorphosis to rise from the ashes of the Civil War (1926 – 1949) as if it were a phoenix to be reborn.

One example of these differences may be found in the written language. While Taiwan held onto the old style of writing Mandarin, which goes back thousands of years, Mao simplified the language and instead of writing vertically from bottom right in columns toward the top left, the written language on the mainland was simplified with fewer strokes and is written from the top in horizontal lines from left to right ending in the lower right corner as Western writing does.

In addition, Mao saw Confucianism as a weakness that led to China’s decline in the 19th century as the world’s wealthiest and most technologically advanced nation on the earth — a position it held for about two thousand years. To rid Communist China of this weakness, Mao declared war on Confucius.

However, piety, which is a result of Confucian ethics and morals since the Han Dynasty, remains strong in both cultures. Since you lived in Taiwan and taught ESL for ten years and then traveled as a tourist through mainland China, how would you describe the differences you observed between how piety is practiced in mainland China and Taiwan?

Answer [Parfitt]:

First, as the term pertains to Taiwan, there is no such thing as mainland China. There is China, and there is Taiwan. The word ‘mainland’ denotes a connection, but there isn’t one and never really has been. The Dutch, not the Chinese, were the first to establish controls over Taiwan. When the Dutch arrived, there were a few thousand Fujianese farming families living on the Western plains (they had fled China despite a Qing ban on emigration) and aboriginals living in the mountains. The Dutch were eventually sent packing by the Ming loyalist, Koxinga, who in turn was toppled by the Qing. The Qing asked the Dutch if they wanted Taiwan back. They didn’t, so, mainly to prevent the island from falling into other foreign hands, it was annexed in 1885. The Qing, remember, were Manchus, considered foreign rulers by the Han Chinese.

Even today, the Chinese commemorate their demise. The Manchus admitted they held no jurisdiction over half of Taiwan. The other half they ruled badly.

In 1895, Taiwan was ceded to Japan, and though the Japanese exploited it, living standards exceeded any province in China.

In Cairo, in 1943, Chiang Kai-shek argued that Taiwan had been stolen by the Japanese and ought to be returned.

Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin agreed, hence the mainland myth, perpetuated to this day by the Communists and the Nationalists. Approximately 90 percent of Taiwanese want nothing to do with China, and why would they?

In addition to retaining some of the finer aspects of traditional Chinese culture, such as complex characters, Taiwan has liberalized through democratization and represents a major step forward for Chinese civilization.

As for the Confucian concept of piety, it is a core cultural component, virtually identical in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Macau. This is unfortunate because Confucianism is dogma. “The plague of heterodox theories can be eliminated by fierce attack,” says the Analects of Confucius. Until people realize the Analects represents only stone-age logic and dictums posing as wisdom, they will remain slaves to tyranny and history.

In China, I was no mere tourist.

Response [Lofthouse]:

The history of Taiwan is interesting.

However, if history decides who rules a territory, the US would not exist, and Hawaii’s native population would still rule an independent country instead of being the 50th state.

Taiwan’s fate was decided by Chiang Kai-shek (a Han Chinese) when he ordered KMT troops to slaughter Taiwanese natives. He ruled Taiwan as a dictator before and after he lost China’s Civil War.

As for democratization, America’s Founding Fathers despised democracy and saw it as a path to mob rule.

Regarding Confucianism, — under Mao, it was seen as a weakness and a brutal war was waged on the philosophy during the Cultural Revolution.

Indeed, Confucianism is but one element of China’s culture, which is a blend of Face, Guanxi, Confucianism, Legalism, Taoism , and Buddhism, etc.

In addition, the Mandate of Heaven plays an important role that often cancels out the negative aspects of Confucianism.

Final Word [Parfitt]:

Taiwan’s history has been irrevocably altered by Chiang Kai-shek, but its fate regarding China has not been decided.

Face is a puerile concept, a license to behave however one pleases.

Guanxi is important in all societies. It only seems more prevalent in China because people discuss it.

Confucianism, Legalism, and Taoism are enlightened philosophies to those who’ve never read them. The essence of Confucianism is obedience. Legalism is Machiavellian. “A weak people means a strong state…” says The Book of Lord Shang. The Tao Te Ching urges rulers to eradicate knowledge and desire. The strains of despotism in these native ideologies speak to communism’s appeal.

Nowhere in Jonathan Spence’s Mao does it say Mao’s Cultural Revolution had to do with waging war on Confucianism. Spence notes Mao “never wrote a single comprehensive analysis of what he intended to achieve by the Cultural Revolution, or… how he expected it to proceed.”

Continued on November 29, 2011 in Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Never Rule the World – Travels in the Two Chinas” – Part 3 or return to Part 1.

See Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 1


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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Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution (Viewed as Single Page)

August 6, 2011

Before reading this post, I suggest first reading China, The Roots of Madness to understand what led to Mao’s era in China (1949 – 1976). This link will take you to that post. When you finish, return.


Mao’s era started October 1949 with victory celebrations in Beijing, as the country with the largest population saw a Communist government come to power.

Mao says, “The People’s Republic of China is founded today. China will be free of inequality, poverty and foreign domination.”

Before 1950, most Chinese lived as they had for centuries as part of a feudal system. Even after the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, warlords ruled much of China, and then China was torn by Civil War and an invasion by Japan during World War II.

For most Chinese, feudalism describes the “old society” that existed before “liberation” in 1949.

The following video shows what this life was like before Mao’s era.  It is estimated that about half the people in rural China lived in severe poverty and were in debt to landowners.

(When the advertisement appears, advance the video scroll bar to 2:00 minutes to avoid it.)

In the video, Hu Benxu, a peasant farmer from Sichuan says that in the past, there was justice for the rich but nothing for the poor.

Chiang Kai-shek believed that improvements would spread through the country (sort of like President Reagan’s trickledown theory, also known as voodoo economics or Reaganomics, which did not work in the US) as foreign investments poured into China.

However, the opposite happened. As the country industrialized, the gap between the rich and the poor widened because the rich held on to money and wanted more and protests about working condition in the factories were met with death from Chiang Kai-shek’s troops.

Meanwhile, at the same time, Mao promised land reforms, and his troops treated the peasants with respect.

When Mao won China, he said, “We Chinese should work hard. The country is poor. Our people are uneducated. We must make China a modern industrialized state.”

However, there would be many mistakes and much suffering during the next 27 years. After two thousand years of an Imperial system of government, China was embarking on a journey of reinventing a country and a culture without foreign influence.

Mao held more power than anyone since the emperors, and he wanted China to be a purer, fairer more progressive state than the Soviet Union, so the peasants were the first to benefit.

As Mao promised during China’s Civil War (1926-1949 – with a break during part of World War II), there were land reforms.

Luo Shifa, a party official in Sichuan, tells his story about what happened in 1950. Rural property owners were judged enemies of the people (by the people) and hundreds of thousands were executed.

Changes in urban areas were not as violent. The owners and managers of factories were needed to keep things running but all property was signed over to the state. Factory and business owners who resisted were executed.

Women were given new rights at work and in marriage and foot binding was abolished. Literacy was also important. Before 1949, illiteracy in Mainland China was 80% and life expectancy was 35. When Mao died, the average life expectancy had increased to 55 and today it is 76 (while literacy is now more than 90% and China has done more to reduce poverty than any country on earth).

To deal with disease, the Communists launched programs to improve health care that had never existed before. Millions were inoculated against the most common diseases.

The nation went on a cleaning spree. Posters said everyone had to help exterminate pests. Songs were sung, “Pest free areas are glorious. Let’s wipe out the flies, bugs, mosquitoes and rats.”

Sparrows were considered pests since they were accused of eating crops. Whoever killed the most sparrows in each village was rewarded.

However, exterminating sparrows led to insect populations exploding, which endangered crop yields.

Then the people were told to watch for capitalistic or counter revolutionary behavior and to denounce suspicious people.

In 1958, Mao’s boldest program was launched. He wanted to out-produce industrialized nations in manufacturing and crop yields. The land given to the peasants in 1949 was confiscated and people communes of 100 thousand or more were created.

Mao believed that more people working together meant larger projects. By the end of 1958, 700 million people had been placed into 26,578 communes.

Ironically, one of the key factors in food production in China was the weather and 1958 had particularly good weather for growing food.

Then in 1959, things started to go wrong.

The excellent growing weather of 1958 was followed by a very poor growing year in 1959. Some parts of China were hit by floods. In other growing areas, drought was a major problem. The harvest for 1959 was 170 million tons of grain – well below what China needed at the most basic level.

Soon, in parts of China, starvation occurred and millions died.

In addition, political decisions/beliefs took precedence over commonsense and communes faced the task of doing things which they were incapable of achieving.

Mao said, “Revolutionary enthusiasm will triumph over all obstacles.”

To achieve Mao’s goals, the Communist Party encouraged competition between communes. Instead, overproduction caused crops to rot in the fields and the communes hid the truth by faking records.

Huge construction projects began without proper planning leading to accidents and deaths, which were hidden by the project managers. No one wanted Mao to discover the lack of proper revolutionary enthusiasm.Some critics claim that Mao was aware of what was going on but others argue he had no idea of the extent of the problems until late 1959.

During this time, steel production was to double in one year. Instead of producing steel from industry, Mao wanted the peasants to build small furnaces.

Again, there was competition between teams of peasants, and forests were cut down to fuel the crude furnaces the mostly illiterate peasants built.

All over China, people were neglecting the fields and crops to produce steel because the people were told they had to listen to Mao. All metal was melted — including cooking woks, but the steel produced using these methods was useless.

While the peasants were producing this useless steel, the crops rotted in the fields. Then in 1960, there was a drought and food production fell more than 25% and millions died from the resulting famine (no one knows the exact number — estimates run from 10 million to 45 million or more).

Having failed, Mao publicly admitted he had been wrong and stepped aside to let someone else run the country.

The large communes were abandoned in 1960, and the peasants returned to their villages and were given land again.  At the time, Mao was still popular with the people but he still resigned as the Head of State.

However, fearing a return of capitalism and exploitation of the people, Mao’s supporters printed a book with his quotations and slogans.

The goal was to break the thinking and attitudes of old China. Using film, a propaganda campaign was launched so Mao could regain power. Then in 1966, the Cultural Revolution started.

By 1966, Mao’s Red Book of quotations was being used as a textbook in the schools.

Shao Ailing, a head teacher in Shanghai says, “The pupils began to realize that all the changes taking place in their families, in school, in Shanghai and China were because of Chairman Mao.”

Mao encouraged students to attack authority and the leadership of the Communist Party that did not agree with his beliefs.

This advice was coming from a man considered to be the “George Washington” of China, the man who had delivered on his promises to the peasants in 1950 and brought them medicine and land reforms—something the emperors of Imperial China and Chiang Kai-shek had never done, and Mao was still popular with the vast majority of the Chinese people.

Zhang Baoqing, an early Red Guard member in Beijing, says, “Chairman Mao started the Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976) to keep up the momentum for change. We thought if we followed Mao, we could not go wrong.”

Mao motivated millions of students from speeches in Tiananmen Square. This time it wasn’t the rural peasants that suffered the most during the Great Leap Forward (1958 – 1960). This time he looked for support from China’s urban youth that did not remember or were not aware of Mao’s earlier mistakes.

Urban student anger focused on Mao’s rivals, President Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping. Even small children were taught to denounce Liu. Then anyone in power was denounced. The structure of the Communist Party collapsed. Schoolteachers were attacked and tortured by their students. More than a million were killed or driven to suicide.

The anarchy caused by Mao’s Cultural Revolution spread. Schools and hospitals closed. Offices and factories were in chaos. Qi Youyi, who was a factory worker in Beijing, describes how bad it was. Production stopped. No one knew when he or she might be denounced and arrested. Many workers committed suicide.

After two years (by 1968), the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was called in to restore order and reestablish the Communist Party. Then to bring peace to the streets, millions of members of the teenage Red Guard were sent to the countryside to learn from the peasants.

However, the Cultural Revolution did not officially end until 1976 when Mao died.

After his death, Mao’s closest supporters, the Gang of Four, were arrested and Maoist revolutionary activities were abandoned. In an attempt to hold the country together, the Communist Party used propaganda and the PLA to maintain control.

Deng Xiaoping replaced ideological fervor with economic activity so the people would be motivated not by dreams of equality but by money. In the 1980s, the new message was “to get rich is glorious”.

This post first appeared as a six part series starting June 21, 2010 as China’s Great Leap Forward – Part 1.


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 love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves.


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China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


Kissinger on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” with Neal Conan and Ted Koppel – Part 2/3

July 10, 2011

During “Talk of the Nation” with Kissinger, Ted Koppel chimed in saying that after reading On China, he got a sense that Kissinger has developed great admiration for what the Chinese have accomplished.

Kissinger said that was correct, that he respected what the Chinese people have accomplished historically, which was the longest, unbroken record of self-government of any society in the world today, which includes the economic transformations that have taken place in the last 30 years.

Then Koppel led the conversation to 1969, Nixon, Soviet troops on China’s northern border at the time and the Vietnam War. Discover more of China’s motives during Mao’s time at The Lips Protecting China’s Teeth.

Later in the conversation, Koppel mentioned that Mao had attempted to contact the United States through American journalist Edgar Snow but was unsuccessful.

Kissinger replied, Mao did not want to deal with us through a communist channel. We did not want to deal with Edgar Snow.  At the time, there were (political) elements in both countries that believed that the relationship between the US and China would be irreconcilably hostile (impossible to overcome differences) and the challenge was to make contact without a public embarrassment of rejection for either side.

One caller asked, “Does it work against our best interests by pretending that leaders, like, in China represent the Chinese people?”

Kissinger replied, “The United States often deals with countries whose governments were not directly elected by the people.… I think we should tell China that we are, in principle, for self-determination of peoples.”

Continued on July 11, 2011 in Kissinger on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” – Part 3 or Return to Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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Kissinger on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” with Neal Conan and Ted Koppel – Part 1/3

July 9, 2011

Recently, in Closed Minds and Culturally Blind Missionary Zeal, I mentioned Henry Kissinger’s book On China and quoted from the Preface, “American exceptionalism is missionary. It holds that the United States has an obligation to spread its values to every part of the world. China’s exceptionalism is cultural. China does not proselytize (preach); it does not claim that its contemporary institutions are relevant (superior) outside China.”

What Kissinger meant was that China does not believe it has a right to force its cultural beliefs and political system and values on the world while America does believe it has that right.

What do you think? Do you feel the US has the right to preach to other cultures and pressure them to be like America?

I’m still reading “On China”, and it will be some time before I finish because I’m reading several magazines and another book at the same time while writing two Blogs and getting ready to launch my next book, which will see “My Splendid Concubine” and “Our Hart” combined as The Concubine Saga.

However, this post is about Henry Kissinger appearing on NPR’s Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan and Ted Koppel on June 8, 2011. The focus was on China although the program strayed from that topic a few times.

The program ran about a half hour so I am going to share a condensed version.

After an introduction, Neal Conan asked, “In the long run, do you think the Chinese Communist Party can survive the political pressures created by the country’s economic successes?”

Kissinger said he believed China’s political system would have to adapt, which several of China’s leaders have already mentioned as a necessity.

When Conan challenged this answer, Kissinger replied, “But there a new administration coming in and right now, it is in a very defensive mode.”

Continued on July 10, 2011 in Kissinger on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” – Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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