The China-India Comparison with Lots of Facts – Part 5/5

January 4, 2012

China, unlike India, has managed to contain unrest caused by such groups as the Falun Gong [cult] and the Tibetan and Islamic separatists over the objections of Western human rights activists that cannot stand how China manages these challenges.

Due to what many in the West call brutal measures, harmony and economic progress continue as planned for the vast majority of Chinese.

In addition, in rural China, “Living standards soared in the early 1980s—average incomes doubled in both the cities and the countryside, while there was a boom in both food consumption and the availability of consumer goods.” Source: Socialist Review

“Growth in (China’s) peasant income, which had reached a rate of 15.2% a year from 1978 to 1984, dropped to 2.8% a year from 1986 to 1991. Some recovery occurred in the early 1990s, but stagnation of rural incomes marked the latter part of the decade.” Source: Asia Times

In fact, the last five-year plan is extending electricity to rural China and subsidizes the cost of appliances for rural villages once the electricity is turned on.

For an example of China’s continued progress, Tom Carter, one source for this post, is currently living in a small rural village in the tea-producing region of China near Hangzhou and has internet access from a village of twenty people.

I agree that India has the potential to equal or match China, but I doubt that will happen in the next few decades due to the economic long-term problems that India must overcome.

I don’t know where Manjeet Pavarti lives, but I suspect it isn’t outside of the gleaming glass and steel cites such as New Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore.

People living inside these economic growth bubbles may have no idea how serious it is outside and probably don’t care or India would be dealing with these challenges as China has been doing since 1949.

India became a democracy in 1947, which means it has had more than sixty years to solve these problems, while China has had less than thirty since 1982 when the republic wrote its new constitution, took a seat at the United Nations in 1971 [replacing Taiwan] and joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

It is ironic how the West seldom hears about India’s problems but always hears about every bit of negative news that happens in China, which is often distorted.

Return to The China-India Comparison with Lots of Facts – Part 4 or start with 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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Note: This revised and edited post first appeared on October 22, 2010 as India Falling Short

No Link for Misguided Misinformation – Part 2/5

September 23, 2011

Kier’s rant continues with, My wife’s Chinese but there’s no way I’d consider my son applying for anything other than Western citizenship—as a Chinese he’d simply be a subject of the Party to read what is allowed, express ideas which are permissible and conduct himself in a manner that has been cleared.”

My wife is Chinese too, and she has a better understanding of what happened and why most Chinese older than 30 (born well before 1980) see Mao in a different light.

Most Chinese that lived through the Cultural Revolution era understand this better than most and once all the facts were weighed, many in China felt that Mao was not the great monster the West makes him out to be.

In another post, I explained why Mao may have made some of his disastrous decisions in Mao and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Did Mao and the Party he led make mistakes during The Great Leap Forward?

Stalin deliberately caused the deaths of millions of peasants and  then confiscated their land. In 1950, Mao allowed the peasants to judge the wealthy landowners, convict and then execute them for crimes against the peasants. Then China divided the land among the peasants after the wealthy landowners were gone. In 1958, Mao collectivized rural China into large communal farms but never rounded up the peasants and starved them deliberately as Stalin did.

Yes, but those mistakes did not have goals to execute and exterminate millions of people by starving them as Stalin did in the USSR or what Hitler’s Nazi Party did in Germany.

In fact, the five-year plan that mapped out The Great Leap Forward was cancelled in 1960s after knowledge of the starvation reached the leadership of China’s Communist Party.

The Party leadership then stepped forward and managed to find countries willing to defy American’s complete embargo of China, such as Canada and Australia, which provided enough imported wheat and other food to feed China’s rural population, and most Chinese living in major cities had no idea what was going on in rural China.

China has a long history of droughts and famines and loss of life due to events caused by nature. Plans for the Great Leap Forward did not take into account the possibility of a drought and famine.

Continued on September 24, 2011 in No Link for Misguided Misinformation – Part 3 or return to 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.

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.

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

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.