Mao’s ‘alleged’ Guilt in the Land of Famines – Part 3/8

November 13, 2011

Before I reveal new evidence to cast doubt on the claims of Mao’s critics in the West, two more books blame Mao for the loss of life due to the famine that took place during The Great Leap Forward (GLF).

In Mao’s Great Famine (September 2010), Frank Dikotter claimed, “that as many as 45 million Chinese died from starvation, execution, and maltreatment under forced labor.”

Then, in Eating Bitterness (February 2011), two editors that compiled this book claimed that some “30 million peasants died of starvation and exhaustion during the GLF”.

I find it interesting how two editors claim the loss life was from starvation and exhaustion while another author claimed it was from starvation, execution, maltreatment and forced labor with a difference of 15 million deaths, which is a huge disparity.

In addition, In Henry Kissinger’s On China (pg 184), he says, “The Great Leap Forward’s production goals were exorbitant, and the prospect of dissent or failure so terrifyhing that local cadres took to falsifying their output figures and reporting inflated totals to Beijing.” Then Kissinger says this led to the deaths of over twenty million people from starvation–twenty-five (25) million less than Dikotter’s inflated claim. Other’s have estimated the loss of life closer to 15 million.


Famines throughout the Ages: 19th to 21st Century

It appears, that as the false accusations and the fraud grows, so does the emotional language.

There is a name for books of this sort, and it is “Yellow Journalism” where writers take advantage of popular opinions and without valid evidence spread lies and exaggerations as if they were the truth. I’m sure those authors laugh all the way to the bank too.

Before I continue, I want to mention that in 1949, the average life expectancy in China was 36 and in 1960, it was 36.3 years of age, as you shall eventually see from a reliable source. It has been estimated that it took at least a decade for the Chinese Communist Party to establish a political/governmental infrastructure in all or most of China, which means goals to develop the country and improve health were not in full swing until about 1959.

As for how many starved, theories abound and cover a wide spectrum and all the higher numbers of deaths are easily challenged as two Amazon reviewers of Dikotter’s flawed and biased book demonstrate with impressive facts.

From these two Amazon reviewers, I learned something new I did not consider in my post of China’s Great Famine (1959-1961) Fact of Fiction.

Continued on November 14, 2011 in Mao’s ‘alleged’ Guilt in the Land of Famines – 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.

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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

______________

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 4/4

September 3, 2011

The last damaging factors that may have led to millions of deaths due to famine and starvation was the statistical lies of rural farmers and local party bosses reporting crop yields in rural China and Mao’s impossible goals to create a miracle in five years.

Mao’s five-year plan for the Great Leap Forward set quotas (goals) to develop agriculture and industry so China would catch up to America and the other Western nations that had invaded China during the 19th century (England, France, Japan, Germany, Russia, America, etc.)

Mao believed that both agriculture and industry had to grow to allow the other to thrive.

Industry could only prosper if the workers were well fed, while the agricultural workers needed industry to produce the modern tools needed for modernization.

For this to happen, China was reformed into a series of giant communes.

However, the droughts, floods and other severe weather arrived soon after this five-year plan was implemented and set the stage for a tragedy caused by nature and supported by American “economic warfare” in the form of a “complete embargo” of China.

Due to quotas set by Mao’s agricultural policies, no one wanted to be seen as a failure and/or unpatriotic so this generated boastful claims about output that were followed by more boastful claims of incredible crop yields.

Nobody – least of all the central government in Beijing – knew the real output figures and nobody was trying to find out. Instead, there was a sense of general euphoria in Beijing that China was succeeding.

While rural farmers and party posses lied about crop yields, China started exporting rice and wheat to other countries as a source of revenue, since Beijing believed there was a bumper crop. The result was that only urban areas suffered with reduced rations but with still enough food to survive.

However, the situation was different in the areas that lied the most and resulted in mass starvations largely confined to rural China, where, because of drastically inflated production statistics, very little grain was left for the peasants to eat.

Food shortages were bad throughout the country. However, the provinces, which had adopted Mao’s reforms with the most energy, zeal and the highest boasts, such as Anhui, Gansu and Henan, tended to suffer disproportionately.

Sichuan, one of China’s most populous provinces, known in China as “Heaven’s Granary” because of its fertility, is thought to have suffered the greatest absolute numbers of deaths from starvation due to the vigor with which provincial leader Li Jinquan undertook Mao’s reforms.

Once the central government in Beijing discovered the truth, the Chinese Communist Party acted quickly to correct the errors in national agricultural decision-making, to conserve food, and to save as many lives as possible implementing drastic measures to feed those in need and to restore agricultural productivity.

Grain exports were stopped, and imports from Canada and Australia (in spite of America’s complete embargo) helped to reduce the impact of the food shortages. Source: Library Index.com

The final question is: Would Mao’s Great Leap Forward have been more successful if there had been no drought, no floods and no “complete (U.S.) embargo” and the people had not lied about crop yields?

It is no secret that millions of rural people starved to death in China during the famine of 1959 – 1960, but it was a “great” tragedy caused by a complex series of circumstances and was not murder.

In addition, the actual number of deaths was significantly lower than what has been claimed in the West.

The CCP’s lofty goal was to prove to the world that the Party ruled China successfully by boosting crop yields and industrial output.

Another reason the CCP set such unrealistic goals for the five-year plan that contributed to the tragedy that was Great Leap Forward was because of Taiwan, which was recognized by the world as the official government of China and still held its seat in the United Nations.

It wouldn’t be until 1971 that the U.N. recognized the People’s Republic of China instead, and the United States wouldn’t switch diplomatic relations with China from Taipei to Beijing until 1979, finally recognizing the Communist Party as the legitimate ruler of China.

Return to China’s Great Famine (1958 – 1961) Fact or Fiction – Part 3 or start with Part 1

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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.

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 1/4

August 31, 2011

In America and the rest of the West, most people believe that Mao was a monster worse that Adolf Hitler or Stalin and is responsible for killing at least 30 million people during what is known as China’s Great Famine.

In fact, many Chinese also believe that millions died of starvation during The Great Famine (1958 – 1961) due to Mao’s demanding production goals during China’s Great Leap Forward.

Until recently, I also believed this without doubt since that is all I have ever heard.

The details that may have caused this famine are not common knowledge and no attempt by the Western media has been made to reveal them.

However, after discovering what happened in China and the world during Mao’s Great Leap Forward, what was once a certainty (at least to me) is now a mystery and possibly another hoax equal to the hoax that Tibet was never part of China before 1950 and there was a massacre in Tiananmen Square in 1989, which Wiki Leaks recently proved wrong.


No mention of drought, floods and severe weather that cut crop yields, and the number of deaths quoted in the video cannot be supported with evidence. Evidence that does exist supports half the number.

Why Mao may have become scapegoat or victim of a hoax is worth examining.

The reason I say this is because in 1949 when Mao came to power, life expectancy in China was about 35, and then in 1960 life expectancy improved to about 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.

If Mao’s policies were responsible for these improvements in life expectancy and population growth, how could he also be the monster responsible for causing a famine that may have killed millions?

If a famine did occur, my research revealed that other factors may have contributed to the deaths and all but one of those factors did not deliberately cause people to die of starvation.

After learning of these other factors and completing the puzzle, it is obvious (at least to me) that Mao and the Communist Party did not order the deaths of 15 to 70 million people (the numbers quoted in the West vary widely because different people have made different claims without valid evidence to support those claims. There is evidence that supports the lower number.).

Before I started researching this post, I believed that Mao’s agricultural reform policies were mostly responsible for the famine, and then I learned that drought and severe weather also played a role in the famine.

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

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

______________

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-right of the screen in the menu bar.


A mutual preference for baby boys

August 22, 2011

Imagine what it would be like to live in the United States if the population was China’s 1,339,724,852, which is 4.3 times the population of the US.

According to the US Bureau of Transit Statistics, there were 255,917,664 vehicles registered for use on the highways in the
US in 2008.

Multiply that number by 4.3 and we might have more than 1 billion vehicles on US roads today if our population matched China’s.

What would your commute to work look like if you lived in a city such as Los Angeles, New York or Chicago, but there were four times as many vehicles on the roads?

At this point, as a reader, you may be wondering what the significance of this post’s title is, which was influenced from an article, Americans Like Baby Boys Best, written by Stephanie Pappas for “Live Science”.

Pappas wrote, “If they (US families) were only allowed to have one child, more Americans would prefer it be a boy rather than a girl, a new survey finds.”

For China, providing enough food has always been a challenge since China’s arable land covers about 15% of total land area, but China’s 300 million farmers today rank first in worldwide farm output. Source: Agriculture in China (Wikipedia).

America, on the other hand, is blessed with farmland covering about 41% of total land area. Source: USDA

Between 108 BC and 1911 AD, there were no fewer than 1,828 major famines in China. In fact, four of those famines happened between 1810 and 1849 killing about 45 million. Source: List of famines (Wikipedia)

Then between 1959 to 1961, during The Great Chinese Famine (according to Chinese government statistics) about 15 million died while unofficial estimates of scholars puts the toll between 20 to 43 million that may have starved to death.

However, the United States has never suffered a famine. If people in the US go hungry, it is not because there isn’t enough food. It is because those people live in poverty and do not have enough money to buy food.

When Americans criticize China’s one-child policy, remember, China has survived about 1,800 major famines in the last 2,000 years and five of those famines killed 88 million.

However, the US and China do seem to have one thing in common. Most Chinese also prefer baby boys to girls. Have you ever watched a child starve?

To discover more facts about China’s one-child policy, visit One Child, The One-Child Tragedy, Exemptions in China’s ‘one-child policy’, Reversing China’s “one-child” Policy, and Avoiding China’s “one-child” Policy

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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.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


One Child

March 7, 2010

China’s one-child policy is due to a population of 1.3 billion people in a country where food crops may be grown on only sixteen percent of the land. What isn’t well known is that the one-child policy applies only to the Han majority. That policy does not apply to the hundred million people that belong to the fifty-six minorities in China. That means Tibetans may not be able to worship and maintain the feudal, nomadic lifestyle like they had before Mao’s reoccupation of Tibet in 1951, but they can have as many children as they want.

Crowded China

The biggest challenge is growing enough food to feed the bulging Chinese population of 1.3 billion people.  The Chinese government says if it weren’t for the one-child policy, there would be another four-hundred million mouths to feed and provide shelter for.

Meanwhile, Christians in the West (people who believe abortion is wrong) criticize China for this policy. If China did not have the one-child policy, I doubt if these antiabortion voices would have stepped up to feed four-hundred million people. How many would have starved if a famine struck?

There are other exceptions to the one child policy, and you may read about them at the Asian Correspondent .

You may also learn more about China from Tom Carter’s Book, China: Portrait of a People

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

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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China’s Holistic Historical Timeline