Mao’s ‘alleged’ Guilt in the Land of Famines – Part 1/8

November 11, 2011

I have an “old” friend who often takes conservative theories, opinions and conjecture fueled by emotions, and believes in them as if God wrote them with His own hand.

In addition, many people believe any claim if it supports their own biased opinions and will attack anyone that disagrees with them no matter how valid the evidence presented. However, when it comes to China, that reaction is understandable due to Western democracies partnership with capitalism, which is the polar opposite of communism/socialism.

It makes sense that many in the West will bend over backwards (even fabricate evidence) to demonize anything from a rival seen as evil that was already demonized for decades during the West’s Cold War with global communism.

In other words, prejudice in the West of any country linked to socialism/communism is hard wired to be biased.

In this case, Mao has been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion of the crime of mass murder based on exaggerated theories and opinions supported by inflated evidence.

I wrote on this topic before in China’s Great Famine (1959-1961) Fact of Fiction. That doesn’t mean I was finished with it.  If you shake a few trees, something falls out and you learn something new and compelling on a controversial topic, it’s time to return to the subject.

This time, I went looking for recent books about China and ran into several titles that perpetuated the myth that thirty to forty-five million (or more) people died during the Great Leap Forward (GLF) when in fact there may have been no massive loss of life due to the GLF — at least not in the numbers the mostly biased Western theorists and sources keep inflating higher in book after book, which is an example of the old saying that if you tell a lie enough it grows like cancer into a malignant, evil false truth.


droughts cause famines, people starve and die

In Hungry Ghosts: Mao’s Secret Famine (April 1998), Jasper Becker claimed, “Population statistics made public since 1979 reveal that at least 30 million people starved to death in the wake of Mao’s Great Leap Forward.”

However, in one sentence the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health reveals that Becker’s claim is a fraud. “Though population, disease and mortality statistics of modern China are spotty and sometimes questionable, common consensus among the researchers is that since 1949 the public health situation in China has improved tremendously.”

Then in Catastrophe and Contention in Rural China (May 2005), Ralph A. Thaxton Jr. says, “This book documents how China’s rural people remember the great famine of Maoist rule, which proved to be the worst famine in modern world history.”

If we examine “modern world history”, Thaxton’s claim is easily dismissed.

Continued on November 12, 2011 in Mao’s ‘alleged’ Guilt in the Land of Famines – Part 2

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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

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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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China’s Great Famine (1958 – 1961) Fact or Fiction – Part 3/4

September 2, 2011

The War in Korea (1950 – 1953), Vietnam (1955 – 1975), McCarthyism (1947 – 1957) 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.

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, since 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.


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

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

This embargo was lifted in 1969, when Richard Nixon was President. Source: Washington Post.com

However, while people were starving in China and US officials were waiting for Communist China to collapse, Washington D.C. had no idea how much suffering the Chinese people were capable of enduring and that even with the drought and famine, most Chinese were better off than they had been in centuries.

The evidence that the quality of life was improving was the fact that in 1949 when Mao came to power, life expectancy in China was 35, and by 1960 life expectancy had improved to age 60 or almost double what it had been in 1949, while the population of China increased by 19.5% with child mortality rates improving dramatically.

Field-studies in the 1930s revealed that in all parts of China, large numbers of landless laborers lived in tremendous poverty, and their situation had not changed since the sixteenth century. Source: China for all.info

If you want more evidence, I refer you to Pearl S. Buck’s “The Good Earth”.

We may never know how much of an impact America’s “economic warfare” against China crippled its ability to import food to feed its starving people in a time of drought and famine. In fact, this may have also influenced Mao’s decisions since he wanted the world to see China as strong and capable of feeding itself.

If anyone pulled a trigger on China’s people, it was not Mao. It was Washington D.C. fueled by fear of everything Communist caused by the Korean War, Vietnam, McCarthyism’s Red Scare and the Cold War with Communist Russia.

Continued on September 3, 2011 in China’s Great Famine (1958 – 1961) Fact or Fiction – Part 4 or return to Part 2

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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

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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.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


China’s Great Famine (1958 – 1961) Fact or Fiction – Part 2/4

September 1, 2011

The other factors that may have contributed to China’s so-called Great Famine will be listed in order of influence with the most damaging factor listed first and the least damaging last.

The first factors that may have contributed to the famine were droughts, floods and general bad weather.

In 1959 and 1960, the weather was less favorable, and the situation grew considerably worse, with many of China’s provinces experiencing severe famine.

Droughts, floods, and bad weather caught China completely by surprise, and in July 1959, the Yellow River flooded in East China and directly killed,either through starvation from crop failure or drowning, an estimated 2 million people.

In 1960, at least some degree of drought and other bad weather affected 55 percent of cultivated land, while an estimated 60 percent of northern agricultural land received no rain at all. Source: Great Leap Forward – Climate Conditions and famine in China (Wiki)

In fact, droughts and famine are common in China. Between 108 BC and 1911 AD, there were no fewer than 1,828 major famines in China or one nearly every year in one or another province.

In the West, most if not all of what we hear about Mao is that he was a brutal monster responsible for the deaths of about 30 million people during the Great Leap Forward as if he pulled the trigger and ordered others to deliberately kill people by the millions as Hitler and Stalin did.

However, the facts do not support this claim.

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 while 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, which may have contributed significantly to the early deaths of millions in China and no one in China was responsible for this one.

This factor was influenced by both American and Chinese paranoia generated by the Korean War (1950 – 1953), America’s involvement in Vietnam (1955 – 1975), McCarthyism‘s Red Scare (1947 – 1957) and the Cold War with Communist Russia (1945 – 1991).

Continued on September 2, 2011 in China’s Great Famine (1958 – 1961) Fact or Fiction – Part 3 or return to Part 1

View as Single Page

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

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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.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


The Collective Will

May 19, 2010

In “China’s Private Party” by Richard McGregor, The Wall Street Journal, quickly sketches how those that hold power in China keep it. He mentions the Red Machine—an encrypted communication system—that stitches the few hundred who rule China together for making quick decisions.

Where McGregor gets it wrong is when he says that China’s government may not look like Communists any more, but once you strip away the wrapping, they still are. The truth is that Communism as the world knew it during the Cold War is gone and what replaced it in China hasn’t been defined yet.

Confucius

Confucius said when the men (who rule) are there, good government will flourish, but when the men are gone, good government decays and becomes extinct. With the Red Telephone, China insures this government will always be ready to act. Confucius called for the people to show respect to the high ministers of state and the leaders of today’s China expect nothing less as long as the government continues to improve life in China.

These leaders are not Marxists, Leninists, Socialists or Communists. They are Chinese, who plan to stay in power. In a democracy like America, every few years the political climate changes like a stormy wind and these Chinese do not like uncertainties. They plan, set goals and want to be there to insure that what was set in motion is completed. It’s all about the collective harmony. Taoism plays a roll  too. It’s why the Chinese may say one thing and do something else.

The reason China is studying Singapore may clarify what I mean.

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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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China’s Heart and Soul

February 9, 2010

The Introduction for China, Heart and Soul by Stephen L. Koss says what I thought when I first went to China in 1999.  “My impressions had formed from decades of Cold War Red scares…” I am sure that most Americans who have never visited China still feel the same. Most of the Western media earns a FAILING grade when it comes to reporting on China. They are usually wrong in so many ways.

Forbidden City, Beijing, China

If you are open minded and want to discover the real China and learn the differences between what you read and hear in the Western media and from American politicians, I suggest you visit Tom Carter’s work and spend two minutes and forty-two seconds to see China through his eyes.  Or, even visit China from the eyes of someone special and precious to Tom Carter. This Blog is written in English and Chinese.

See The First Emperor: The Man Who Made China

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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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