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China’s New History Textbook: Mao’s Cultural Revolution No Longer a Mistake

In the new edition of eighth grade Chinese history textbooks that the government owned People’s Education Press published, the word “erroneously” disappeared from the description of the 1966 – 1976 Great Cultural Revolution that Mao Zedong launched.

Chinese netizens were the first who exposed the particular revision in the new textbook. In the old edition, the relevant part read: “In the 1960s, Mao Zedong erroneously believed that there was Revisionism in the party’s Central Committee and that the party and the country were facing the danger of capitalist restoration. In order to prevent the restoration of capitalism, he decided to launch the ‘Cultural Revolution.’”

In the new textbook, the wording became: “In the mid-1960s, Mao Zedong believed that the party and the country were facing the danger of capitalist restoration. To this end, he emphasized ‘taking class struggle as the key’ and trying to prevent it by launching the ‘Cultural Revolution.’ In the summer of 1966, the ‘Cultural Revolution’ was in full play.”

Comparison of the two versions shows that the word “erroneously” was removed from the new version. Some Chinese netizens commented that “In the late 2010s, Mao Zedong became a great leader who made no mistakes.”

In August 1980, when Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci interviewed Deng Xiaoping, Deng said, “Unfortunately, in the last part of his life, he (Mao) committed mistakes, particularly the Cultural Revolution mistake. As a result many misfortunes were brought upon the party, the country, and the people.”

When Fallaci asked whether the portrait of Mao will remain at the entrance of the Forbidden City, Deng answered, “Yes, it will certainly be kept forever.”

Source: Central News Agency, September 10, 2018
http://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201809100256-1.aspx

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