• Sat
  • Jul 26, 2014
  • Updated: 11:31am
NewsChina

Mao's achievements outweigh mistakes: state media poll

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 December, 2013, 12:05pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 December, 2013, 3:34pm

More than 85 per cent of respondents in a Chinese state media survey said that Mao Zedong's achievements outweigh his mistakes, as the country prepares to mark 120 years since the "Great Helmsman's" birth.

Mao's legacy remains mixed in China, where he is revered for the 1949 founding of the People's Republic but authorities have called for restraint in commemorating the anniversary.

Mao is blamed for the deaths of tens of millions due to famine following his "Great Leap Forward" and the decade of chaos known as the Cultural Revolution.

Since his death in 1976, the Chinese Communist Party's official line has been he was "70 per cent right and 30 per cent wrong".

But participants in the survey conducted Monday and Tuesday by the Global Times newspaper, which is close to the ruling party, seemed to hold an even more favourable view of Mao.

Asked "Do you agree that Mao Zedong's achievements outweigh his mistakes?" 78.3 per cent of respondents in the Global Times survey said they agreed, 6.8 per cent strongly agreed and only 11.7 per cent disagreed. About three per cent said they did not know.

Nearly 90 per cent of those surveyed said that Mao's "greatest merit" was "founding an independent nation through revolution".

China's ruling Communist Party heavily censors accounts of Mao's 27-year-long rule, and there has never been a full historical reckoning of his actions in the country.

Younger and better-educated Chinese were more likely to be critical of Mao, the Global Times said, while older respondents and those with a high school or vocational school education were more likely to revere him.

One potential reason for the Mao nostalgia among older and less-well-educated respondents could be China's widening wealth gap, the paper suggested.

"Fairness being the second most popular of Mao's merits makes sense as it's part of the reason that people miss the Mao era, because the wealth gap was not as big as now," Zhao Zhikui, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

The newspaper surveyed 1,045 respondents over 18 by telephone and online in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Xi'an, Changsha and Shenyang.

Video: In China, hundreds of entrepreneurs attend meeting for Mao’s 120th anniversary

Share

Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

14

This article is now closed to comments

chuchu59
Well, I guess I am one of the remaining 15% though I am Chinese.
lizapak
It's a poll. By the CHINESE media, on the CHINESE people, restricted from most, if not all outside sources. How more biased can it get?!
chaz_hen
Nonsense...the Chinese are true believers in authentic data gathered by legitimate means! Hence the CCP's oft repeated slogan, "Seek truth from facts."
johnh
If only the people of China were allowed to know of all his mistakes

Pages

 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or