Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Still haunts China today.
Mao Yushi, an 82-year-old economist, penned a blog entry that was strongly critical of Mao, suggesting he should be held responsible for the deaths of 50 million Chinese citizens during the 1960s. The economist also noted his reputation as a womanizer who made decisions for his own benefit, rather than for the greater good of China’s development.

Unsurprisingly, the entry captured the attention of the media, academics, senior government officials and ordinary citizens. But when I tried to access the original entry, I found it had already been removed ...

In many ways, Mao Zedong still looms over China, decades after his death. His portrait is hung in Tiananmen Square and his image appears on the country’s currency. Yet Mao Yushi’s blog might finally open up discussion on what is still largely a taboo issue. Either way, it was a remarkable act of daring to publish this piece in the first place.

Some on the left have told me that we shouldn’t expect this to be the last effort among opponents of Mao’s legacy to force debate on the issue. The battle lines, it seems, are being drawn ahead of the crucial 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party next year.

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