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  • Oct 22, 2014
  • Updated: 11:40pm

China marks Mao’s birthday with controlled tribute

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 December, 2013, 10:40am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 December, 2013, 5:48pm

China’s leaders bowed three times before a statue of Mao Zedong on the 120th anniversary of his birth in carefully controlled celebrations that also sought to uphold the market reforms that came after his death.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Communist Party chief Xi Jinping and other top leaders paid tribute to the founder of the communist state Thursday.

Xinhua says the leaders visited the Mao mausoleum in the heart of the capital, Beijing, where Mao’s embalmed body lies in state.

The party’s flagship People’s Daily said in an editorial that the “best commemoration” of Mao would be to keep advancing economic reforms.

The celebrations avoid Mao’s central role in China’s worst post-war tragedies: the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, in which millions died. 

Video: China marks Mao's birth with noodles and songs


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While my daughter was playing w her friends, I spent some quiet time on a well-known Chinese river to remember Mr. Mao. I am most intrigued by Ms. Yang, his first wife, mother of his three boys, daughter of Prof. Yang (Changji), his mentor (and returnee from England, a nationally renowned philosopher). She died a painful death in 1930 at the age of 28 only because she was his wife and she refused to divorce him (which she probably should have done for the sake of the three boys). She wrote quite some literature about her feelings toward him and her life after he left her for good to head to the hills in 1927 and hid her manuscript in the walls of her house; such manuscript was only discovered in the 1980s (after Mr. Mao's death in 1976) when the house was renovated by the government. I am very intrigued to read the manuscript. Apparently she felt very insecure after he left and was hotly pursued by another man in her village...if I am to visit Changsha, I think I will visit her tomb and village as a matter of first priority, not necessarily Mr. Mao's own house or village...
I consider the story of Mr. Mao and his family epic and always hoped young ppl (incl my children) can learn and benefit from it.


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