‘Revolutionary Leaders Are Not Gods': China’s Leader Xi on Mao’s 120th Birthday

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People gather at a square where the statue of Mao Zedong stands, while fireworks explode to celebrate his 120th birthday in Shaoshan, China, on Dec. 26, 2013

He was no god. That was Chinese President Xi Jinping’s assessment of Mao Zedong on the 120th anniversary of the Great Helmsman’s birthday. In a Dec. 26 speech at the Great Hall of the People — the squat, socialist edifice abutting Tiananmen Square in Beijing — Xi laid out his judgment on the founder of the People’s Republic of China, who is alternately adored for unifying the Chinese people under communist rule and reviled for his disastrous political campaigns that destroyed millions of lives:

Revolutionary leaders are not gods, but human beings; [we] cannot worship them like gods or refuse to allow people to point out and correct their errors just because they are great; neither can we totally repudiate them and erase their historical feats just because they made mistakes, [we] should not simply attribute the success in historically favorable circumstances to individuals, nor should we blame individuals for setbacks in adverse [situations]; [we] cannot use today’s conditions and level of development and understanding to judge our predecessors, nor can we expect the predecessors to have done things that only the successors can do.

(MORE: China Marks Mao’s Birthday With Controlled Tribute)

The official reckoning of Mao’s legacy, released not long after the ruinous Cultural Revolution, deemed that the Chairman was 70% good and 30% bad. Xi’s own father Xi Zhongxun, a communist revolutionary elder, was persecuted during that chaotic decade.

Since coming to power last year as the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi has praised the spirit of Mao Zedong Thought, a paean to revolutionary class struggle that might seem at odds with modern-day China. Xi has revived Maoist notions like “mass line” campaigns designed to reinvigorate the party through nationwide soul-searching and housecleaning. As defender of a party committed to continuing its rule of the People’s Republic, Xi on Thursday praised Mao as “a great figure who changed the face of the nation and led the Chinese people to a new destiny.”

But expectations that Mao’s 120th birthday would be celebrated with a wave of national red fervor were dampened when plans for certain festivities were curtailed. On Thursday, Xi also noted that Mao had made “serious mistakes” during his later years leading China. One century and two decades after the Great Helmsman’s birth, the 70/30 formula still appears to hold.

PHOTOS: 90th Birthday of China’s Communist Party

36 comments
ysprefer
ysprefer

Mao is a great man, a scholar pushed forward by history. And he is remembered not only by his follower and friend but also by his enemy. Prostitues and drug addiction still are world wide problem, but almost one night after 1949 the founding of new china, all those were disappeared, they were transformed to worker living on their own hand, and have their own family. Although there are some unexpected side effect of his policies, but it is misfortune created by good intention. He despise injustice, cares for the poor, feel angry as millions of Chinese people do due to the humiliation inflicted on us due to the anti Japanese war. The war between china and Japan was officially broke out near Beijing, the capital of china, that is what we shall be remind of the policy of appeasement. 38 years has past, he is always remembered and loved by Chinese people, not for politics but for the love from the heart.

Ricky Ric
Ricky Ric

N¡c3 °r W°rςt Ur_c°mm3nt b°ut RR¢ ... Ur_8¡G 80$$ lay_d。wn th3¡r_m°n3¥ ●n_ㄩㄘ, tht'ς 4ςur3 Gu¥ς !

J.j. Lasne
J.j. Lasne

Thank you for the clarification.

The Bullingdon Club
The Bullingdon Club

I was in China in 1971 a year before Nixon got there and I can tell you the place was hell.

jefforsythe9
jefforsythe9

Mao was a brutal monster directly responsible for the murder of twenty million of his own people. He once said that he wanted to see his country covered by a wave of red. He got his wish and his inhuman ways are still being practiced today by the cruel Chinese Communist Party. The blood-thirsty CCP in using slavery, torture, organ harvesting and murder in its attempt to eliminate the more than fifty million innocent Falun Gong practitioners who live in Mainland China. These are the facts concerning Mao and his filthy Party.

Neven Mubarak
Neven Mubarak

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Nikom Kt Thailand
Nikom Kt Thailand

He wasn't god himself,however, he will be in his people's minds forever.

Milton Chow
Milton Chow

The truth is that Communist nations like China tended to be isolationist like North Korea is now. China never really opened up to the world until Nixon's landmark 1972 visit to China, and the USSR opened up a bit later during détenté. Today it's still difficult to visit North Korea, which remains very much closed off from the world.

Fan David
Fan David

"Kill" is a strong word. Most of the people were died in famine during Mao's wrong policies. I wonder why international groups (like Red cross) and foreign countries didn't provide any help to China at that time.

AbrahamYeshuratnam
AbrahamYeshuratnam

Mao was not a revolutionary. Chinese soil is soaked in the blood of millions killed by him. But he was fortunate to get American arms dropped in his camp and by using them  he could  seize territories inside China and finally defeat Chiang-kei-Shek. So the political climate during and after World War II was favorable to him, especially the lukewarm support given to Chinag by Americans and later the defeat of japan.If these external circumstances were not advantageous to him, Mao would have remained an ordinary tribal leader. After assuming power, he proved himself to be a bloodthirsty tyrant, killing millions. His economic policy was a total failure and millions died out of starvation. It was only after his death, Deng's pro-capitalist economy gave new life to China.

MariettaAlexander
MariettaAlexander

Jesus Christ is Coming; China and all nations will be subject to Him when He comes. The Lord is angry with the wickedness in the earth and is coming to judge the earth in His Wrath.  With signs on earth (conditions prophesied - will not list here) and signs in the Heavens ( comets, rare hybrid solar eclipse Nov 3rd, Blood moons on the Lord's feast days 2014-2015, solar unrest and storms ) we know that the Tribulation period is starting in April, 2014 especially if the peace treaty is signed as Kerry as indicated between Israel and the Palestinians. This period of 7 years will be a time of horror unparalleled in human history- conditions so dreadful that if the Lord had not shortened the days, no flesh would survive.  During this time period, there will be great battles, one of which. the Kings of the East march to Israel and all nations come to this battle to fight Jesus Christ when He returns from Heaven with His Armies (The Saints and Angels) No contest.  All the millions of men from all the earth will not stand against Him; with one word, He takes the Anti-Christ and False Prophet alive and throws them into the Lake of Fire (the Sun) and then, He kills the rest of the armies with his mere breath!  Unimaginable Power!!!  If the tribulation starts in 2014, the Kingdom period should begin in 2021-22.   Get ready; prepare your hearts; Jesus is coming very soon to catch away His Bride before the Tribulation period starts.  Turn to Jesus today in repentance and faith; seek, Him and He will save you.

Pablo Nava
Pablo Nava

"we] cannot worship them like gods or refuse to allow people to point out and correct their errors just because they are great; neither can we totally repudiate them and erase their historical feats just because they made mistakes." Excellent message from the communist China to Latin America: " Revolutionary Leaders Are Not Gods’: China’s Leader Xi on Mao’s 120th Birthday"

Viet Tran
Viet Tran

And the vietnamese people think Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap are gods hahaha

Ly Le Tran Nguyen
Ly Le Tran Nguyen

Mao Zedong: statesman, tyrant, hero, bloodiest mass killer (also Ho Chi Minh). The greatest mass murderer of the 20th century, it was Mao Zedong. He killed more than 80 million of his own people.

Ning Luo
Ning Luo

Can believe the current chairman is actually doing this great thing!!! Awesome!

Lionel Boggi
Lionel Boggi

he was a warrior. salute to mao tse tung

ZeeFlynn
ZeeFlynn

Ah yes, so that's how the party justifies their modern corporate crony crimes: by showing that Mao, the man who was worshiped as a god was merely a mortal with clay feet and many terrible faults.  So true.  Still, they fail to mention that a man such as Mao only got into power due to too many years of massive abuses of the struggling workers at the hands of a privileged few.  Very similar to the situations in China and the US today, the latter of whom the elitists seem hell bent on destroying the prosperous middle class for fun and profit.  Perhaps a new Mao will rise in the west soon and repeat history in a slightly twisted way.  The only problem is, by the time that happens the middle class will have become a totally enslaved surf class who are willing to tolerate no more.  And just like that previous Chinese revolution, things will get very ugly and bloody indeed.  No one will win in that scenario.  What's sad and scary is so many of today's elitists (a.k.a. the 1% Club) seem so determined to go all the way with their unrelenting greed that they may bring about their own (and everyone's) worst nightmare.   

Kapitan
Kapitan

@ysprefer, How many millions of lives did this 'misfortune created by good intention' cost?

cz0218
cz0218

Falungong was a anti-government organization in china and its leader Lihongzhi was a complete sham!

AbrahamYeshuratnam
AbrahamYeshuratnam

@MariettaAlexander Apart from sending Kerry by Obama to destabilize present Israel, the supply of American arms to Iraq, Egypt and other Muslim countries in the name of controlling terrorism, is also a sinister agenda to stockpile lethal arms in Muslim countries to be used against Israel in a future war.

MichaelReardon
MichaelReardon

@MariettaAlexander I wouldn't go as far as definitively disagreeing since no one knows the exact day or hour, not even the Son, as it is only for the Father to know, but one thing...there is a necessity for the temple to be rebuilt before the tribulation, but it has not been.  Actually, the temple mount is current occupied by the Dome of the Rock, so until there is some way that situation changes (which it could easily by a stray missile, act of terrorism, etc) I don't think what you are saying would happen.  With that said, the vessels and garments according to OT standards are being kept by the Temple Institute in Israel, so the second something DOES happen I'm sure the construction of the temple will be up and running, but yeah...Just thought I would throw it out there that I do believe the Lord is coming back soon, but its probably not that soon.

ysprefer
ysprefer

No need to be hypocritic, there are always people dying everywhere, during the war, during the famine, due to terrorist, due to invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, Poland. The American Indians was cleared to make space for the white people, but no one compare the colonizer of early America to that of Hitler, basically, they are talking about the same thing. "take the living space by sword and blood". But as the American India become nearly extinct, there is no one accuse them. Chinese has been fooled by its own experor for thousands of years, and has been fooled by the so called "confunism", we shall not be fooled again by the so called hypocrisy of "democracy, human right". Why we love Mr. Mao, is because, his intention is good, he feels exactly what millions of Chinese people feels at that time, to put it into the sentense preached by Mr. Sun Zhong Shan, "We shall do some things to save China, to save our people, when we still have the chance, to do what ever we could, no matter how many blood was shed, how many lives was to be sacrificed". Mr. Mao are loved by Chinese people, because he cares about social justice, he cares about the poor, he defiant the rich, the unjust, the inequality, he think everyone is equal, only education make man stupid. what he has done is a long time bless for Chinese.

jefforsythe9
jefforsythe9

@cz0218 This is exactly the misinformation that Jiang Zemin told his already brainwashed people when he started the genocide in 1999 of the gentle one hundred million Falun Gong practitioners. Jiang was then President and became jealous of Falun Gong and falsely saw them as a threat to his absolute power over the Chinese people. He created a Propaganda Office for the sole reason of eliminating all Falun Gong. Since then the blood-thirsty Party has used torture, slavery, organ harvesting and murder. This genocide continues today. His Propaganda machine is so powerful it even affected you and many other people like you who are not aware of the truth. I am glad that you are now learning the facts. Falun Gong is a heart and mind cultivation practice with no political aspirations whatsoever and is totally without charge. Mr. Li Hongzhi has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Thanks.