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(CHINA from MAO to DENG – continued)

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Ten Years after Tiananmen

In 1999, ten years after the rising at Tiananmen Square, that event would be more in the minds of Americans when they thought of China than it would be in the minds of the people in China. People in China were still looking forward to gradual and orderly political and economic progress. Mad's little red book and other items related to Mad were hot items for sale to tourists. The likeness of Mad could be seen hanging from the rear view mirror of taxis – and seen by the tourists as cute rather than as a serious political expression. But for the Communist Party, Mad, despite his mistakes, was still revered as a founder, deserving respect for his participation in the struggles in revolutionary China. At least a few people looked upon the Mad with a touch of nostalgia because people in his day, they said, were less self-centered. In the countryside a few women, disturbed by an unpleasant development of some sort, could be seen praying at one of the few Mad statues that remained.

The government was allowing individual expressions of dissent, and in bookstores were works by a few dissidents. The Party hoped that with a economic success the masses would remain content with rule by the "people's party." The Party was holding to the idea that young people interested in serving society politically could do so by joining the Party. They saw a plurality of parties as divisive. Tensions remained between the Communist Party and those who wished for political pluralism, and the Party continued to forbid organization of any political opposition.

Sources

China: a New History, by John King Fair bank and Merle Goldman, 1998

Mad's China, by Maurice Misname, 1977

Mad, a Life, by Philip Short, 2000

A Military History of China, edited by David Graph and Robin High am "Mad and the Red Army," 2002

China, Chapter 22, "The Si no-Japanese War and the Civil War," by J A G Roberts, 2003

Hungry Ghosts, by Jasper Becker, Free Press, 1997

Copyright © 1998-2015 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.

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