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Impact of the Chinese Cultural Revolution

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Megan Fung

on 17 June 2014

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Transcript of Impact of the Chinese Cultural Revolution

Significance of the
Chinese Proletarian
Cultural Revolution

Chinese Film Industry
The Blue Kite (1993)
Deng Xiaoping
Confucius (551-479 BCE)
Bring about positive changes to the unrest of the Spring and Autumn period (722-476 BCE)
Proposed an ethical reform of society

Key concepts of Confucianism:
Key text: The Analects

national allegory

representative of the voices of individuals
Until 1911, Confucianism remained the "state ideology and cultural foundation of China" (Lu 2004)
In 1949, CCP took over China and communism was enforced as the "official ideology" of the People's Republic of China
In 1967, CCP launched the Chinese Proletarian Cultural Revolution, transforming over a billion adherents of Confucianism to devotees of Mao Zedong
From Confucianism to Communism
Notable Events
Film production first started

Communist Party celebrated victory
"political indoctrination" (Chow, )

Fifth Generation Directors
Spanning 1980's and 1990's
Chen Kaige, Zhang Yimou, Tian Zhuangzhuang
Educated after the Cultural Revolution
Funded by state and passed by the state film's censors
During the Cultural Revolution
Confucius's tomb and his statue in
Qu Fu, his hometown, were destroyed

Image from http://people.reed.edu/~brashiek/syllabi/Poster/index.html
"The evil life of Confucius"
Confucianism was deemed counterrevolutionary, as it emphasized on strict social hierarchy
Class struggle existed everywhere
"In schools children were taught to hate their teachers who were label 'class enemies'" (Lu 2004)

During the Cultural Revolution
Classical books, religious texts,
"old" and traditional objects were burned
Image from the NEW YORK TIMES by Wang Shilong 1966
Red Guards' Slogan
"To rebel is justified."
Image from http://chineseposters.net/themes/cultural-revolution-campaigns.php
Image from http://www.gradesaver.com/author/confucius/
Image from http://blog.kaiwind.com/users/18/archives/2013/201322892751.html
Quotations from Chairman Mao
Little Red Book
became the 'new' textbook.
Images from creative commons
Image from http://chineseposters.net/themes/cultural-revolution-campaigns.php
"The mobilization of
revolutionary peasants is good!"
Impact of the
Cultural Revolution on Confucianism
Confucianism was never completely eradicated, in fact, it was "assiduously studied in order to be criticized and have his influence erased from Chinese life and culture" (Bresciani 419)

The New Confucian Movement
Had its roots from 1919
Attempted at a "modern formulation of the basic Confucian traditional philosophy"

1958 Manifesto
A Manifesto for a Re-appraisal of Sinology and Reconstruction of Chinese Culture
Fang Keli:

"the new Confucian thought was mainly a philosophy of life, and that therefore, if one lacked a sympathetic attitude toward his/her own history and culture, one would hardly reach a true understanding of that thought."
(Bresciani 426)
New Confucianism
Image from http://bhoffert.faculty.noctrl.edu/REL260/22.NewConfucianism.html

humaneness / benevolence

propriety in behavior / ritual propriety

Five key relationships:
Ruler and subject
Father and son
Husband and wife
Older son and younger brothers
Elders and juniors
Key Confucian Concepts
Image from http://www.npm.gov.tw/en/Article.aspx?sNo=04001061
Beijing: Dry Well Lane

Time period:

1950's - 1970's

Liu Yunwei - naiive enthusiasm
Tetou's father - "rightest"
Teitou's mother - counter-revolutionary
Shuyan - proud and unruly
Zhuying - reluctant to obey
Shusheng - previous career in the nationalist air force
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution must be waged to the end. (1973)

Image - http://chineseposters.net/posters/e13-793.php
Mao surrounded by Red Guards in the Forbidden City
Historiography of the
Cultural Revolution
[Official 're-telling of
the past']
- Reformist Leader
- Responsible for Econimic Reforms including Free Market and FDI.

- Purged during the CR.

- Returned as most powerful
leader in CCP after failure of

- Asserted CR was Mao's fault
- Said that CR caused a
'generation of mental cripples'.

- Supported Authoritarian Govt.
Deng Xiaoping
'Resolution on Certain Questions in Our Party's History since the Founding of the PRC'
A way to seek a judgement on the events of the Cultural Revolution.
"The most severe setback and the heaviest losses suffered by the Party, the state and the people since the founding of the people's republic."
Revolution was led and initiated by Mao - rejection of Mao's theses.
Mao was used - A 'tragic hero' misguided by his peers.
Mao put himself above the party - Autocratic Government.

Aftermath of the Cultural Revolution
The Cultural Revolution resulted in a break in the 'History' of China.
Daily Life came to a standstill, social chaos and violence became the norm.
The Cultural Revolution started from the CCP.
At its conclusion, the CCP had to still regain its power and authority.
The CCP, under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, sought to explain the suffering and sought to use China's official Historiagraphy as a way to remediate CCP power and its right to govern the country.
Central Question - "How could the CCP; which claimed the right to run the country and protect its people, have allowed it this to happen?" (Macfarquahar & Schoenals 2006, p. 456)
Answer - 'Resolution on Certain Questions in Our Party's History since the Founding of the PRC'

Image - http://topics.time.com/Deng-Xiaoping
Image - http://www.cartoons.ac.uk/browse/cartoon_item/china%20deng

A Retelling of China's History took Place.
It is now the only 'official' recount.

All other opinions and voices are
'STRONGLY' discouraged.
"China is a sleeping lion. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the world." - Napoleon Bonaparte

1. Entry into the United Nations (1971)

2. Normalisation of relations with the U.S. (1978)

3. China opens up to the world economy (1978)
Entry into the United Nations (1971)
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 - recognised the People's Republic of China (PRC) as "the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations" and expelled "the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the United Nations." (A-RES-2758(XXVI))

Normalisation of Relations with the U.S. (1978)
Opening up to the World Economy (1978)
Kissinger's secret preparatory visit in 1971, and Nixon's subsequent visit in 1972 shifted the interplay between the two main actors, the Soviet Union and the United States, in the Cold War.

The later establishment of formal diplomatic relations in 1978 opened the door to Sino-American relations and paved the way forward to their current relationship today.

A stronger and more assertive China, willing to engage in multilateral diplomacy to achieve its broadening national interests.
China's adoption of a new constitution in 1978 greatly emphasised the need to focus on restructuring their weakened economy.
Signaled a sharp turn towards participation in the global economy, acquiring large amounts of capital from abroad to speed up the country's modernisation process.

This era of reform and opening under Deng Xiaoping however, highlighted the disagreement between those in favour and those who opposed "Westernisation" and this remained the fundamental cleavage of Chinese politics.
Today, the Chinese economic system can be best described as a socialist market economy, and the second largest economy by nominal GDP and purchasing power after the US.

The Analects
Analects 1:6
on humaneness and cultivating good relationships

The Master said, “A youth, when at home, should be filial, and, abroad, respectful to his elders. He should be earnest and truthful. He should overflow in love to all, and cultivate the friendship of the good. When he has time and opportunity, after the performance of these things, he should employ them in polite studies.”
"Today, the lion has woken up." - Xi Jinping (2010)

"This was the week that changed the world, as what we have said in that Communique is not nearly as important as what we will do in the years ahead to build a bridge across 16,000 miles and 22 years of hostilities which have divided us in the past. And what we have said today is that we shall build that bridge." - Richard Nixon
Key moments in Chinese political and economic policy both during and immediately after the revolution.
Diplomatic Relations
The significance of the Cultural Revolution on Chinese Foreign Policy/International Relations
"China is poised to overtake the US as world’s leading economic power this year" - World Bank, 2014 (Financial Times)
Success of the Chinese economic system widely credited to the economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping.
Which of the following is Mao Zedong?



Which is China?
(A) Republic of China

(B) People's Republic of China

Which of the following is the slogan for the Cultural Revolution?
(A) Seek truth from facts

(B) Achieve the four modernisations

(C) To rebel is justified
Bresciani, U. (2001). Reinventing Confucianism: The New Confucian Movement. 1st ed. Taipei: Taipei Ricci Institute for Chinese Studies.

Joseph Y.S. Cheng, ‘An interpretation of China’s foreign policy – The Post-Cultural Revolution phase’, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 148-171.

Chow, R 1998, Ethics After Idealism: Theory Culture, Ethnicity, Reading, Indiana University Press, United States.

Gao, M. 2008, The battle for China's past. 1st ed. London: Pluto Press.

Chris Giles, ‘China poised to pass US as world’s leading economic power this year’, Financial Times, accessed 21 May 2014, available at http://www.ft.com/.../d79ffff8-cfb7-11e3-9b2b...

Takayuki Izumi, China’s Foreign Policy Since the Cultural Revolution – Steps toward the Recovery of Its U.N. Seat, October 1971.

Joseph, W., Wong, C. and Zweig, D. 1991, New perspectives on the Cultural Revolution. 1st ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Council on East Asian Studies/Harvard University.

Lai, K. (2011). An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom.

Lu, X. (2004). Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. 1st ed. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press.

Moïse, E. 1994, Modern China, a history. 1st ed. London: Longman.

Andrew J. Nathan and Robert S. Ross, The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress: China’s Search for Security (New York: W.W. Norton, 1997).

Silbergeld, J 1999, China into Film: Frames of Reference in Contemporary Chinese Cinema, Reaktion Books, London, United Kingdom.

Sturgeon, D. (2011). The Analects. [online] Chinese Text Project. Available at: http://ctext.org/analects [Accessed 11 May. 2014].

Tam, K & Dissanayake, D 1998, New Chinese Cinema, Oxford University Press, New York, United States.

Tsou, T. 1988, The Cultural Revolution and post-Mao reforms. 1st ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Zhang, Y (ed.) 2012, A Companion to Chinese Cinema, John Wiley & Sons, Sussex, United Kingdom.

Re-instiling Confucius
The Confucius Temple in Qu Fu, province of Shandong
Image from Wikipedia
Economic Policy - Increased Globalisation
Full transcript