Mao Zedong

No way back

No way back

In the second of a two-part series looking at the lasting effects of social engineering projects initiated in the 1950s, Hannah Xu meets some of Mao's 'sent-down youth' who never made it home. Pictures by Simon Song.

Saturday, 8 December, 2012, 11:06pm 2 comments

Maoists print newspaper to spread views after Utopia website shut

A front page of China Maozedong Paper. Photo: SCMP

Faced with the shutdown of leading leftist websites earlier this year, supporters of the late Mao Zedong are spreading their views the old-fashioned way: printing a newspaper.

15 Nov 2012 - 4:49am

Congress Briefs, November 11, 2012

18th National Congress

Beijing plans 600b budget for railways

11 Nov 2012 - 7:11am

Han Suyin loved China but turned a blind eye to its excesses

Author Han Suyin, pictured in 1991, a prolific writer on China who was often dismissed as an apologist for Mao's China. Photo: China Foto Press

There are few women whose life and views on modern China have aroused as much controversy as Han Suyin, who died aged 95 in Switzerland on November 2.

11 Nov 2012 - 5:36am 1 comment

China's power elite mix influence and fashion as Mao suits fade out

President Hu Jintao wears his military-green Mao suit only on special occasions. Photo: Xinhua

Voters like to see strong fashion choices from their leaders, and the recent US campaign trail shone a spotlight on style. To attract voters, the American presidential candidates, and their wives, had to show outstanding sartorial taste during the campaign. Sometimes they even had to show off more than just good taste.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Great minds not necessarily to be trusted

Chinese-born author Han Suyin speaking at a press conference in 1977. Photo: SCMP

Why did some of the most brilliant minds of the last century become apologists for history's worst tyrannies? Today we cringe recalling the 1968 pronouncement of Chinese-born author Han Suyin, who died last Friday aged 95, that Mao Zedong was "the greatest man China has known".

7 Nov 2012 - 1:57am 2 comments

The long shadow of the Cultural Revolution

Mao's Cultural Revolution and the reactions to it continue to shape national politics.

Let me begin with what for most Western scholars is a truism: No Cultural Revolution, no reform. In other words, without the disasters that occurred in the first 30 years of the People's Republic, and particularly in the last 10 years of Mao Zedong's life, we wouldn't have seen the amazing economic growth of the subsequent 30-plus years.

7 Nov 2012 - 7:18am 4 comments

China’s painful past displayed under political shadow

Chinese businessman Fan Jianchuan with relics of the Cultural Revolution at his museum near Chengdu, in Sichuan province. Photo: AFP

A group of museums commemorating China’s violent Cultural Revolution is opening up normally tightly controlled discussion of the chaotic era – but only up to a point.

3 Nov 2012 - 7:05pm

A cultural relic reappears

Mao Yuanxin, sporting sunglasses and a green and orange coat, trying to revive his late uncle's influence.

His family's waning influence aside, Mao Zedong's long-forgotten nephew has chosen an interesting time to make a public appearance.

31 Oct 2012 - 10:28am

Mao Zedong's nephew draws online attention

Li Shi visits a national water conservancy site on October 20, 2012. Photo:

A recent high profile appearance and comment by Mao Zedong’s nephew lead to a flurry of activity on China’s social networks, ahead of the 18th Communist Party congress.  

31 Oct 2012 - 9:43am

Will Mao Zedong's philosophy live on in party constitution?

An actor (far right) plays Mao Zedong in a battle re-enactment at a tourist attraction in Yanan, Shaanxi, his base in the 1930s. Photo: AP

To include Mao, or not to include Mao? That is the tough question China's rulers are facing as the nation prepares for the once-a-decade leadership transition in two weeks.

25 Oct 2012 - 5:15pm

How rudeness was once a survival strategy

Rudeness was a means of survival in communist China then, and remains so today.

Earlier this month, Thierry Gillier, the founder of French fashion house Zadig & Voltaire, announced to the world that its new boutique hotel, due to open in Paris in 2014, would not welcome Chinese tourists. This shocked and angered many Chinese on the mainland and overseas and Gillier was labelled a racist.

25 Oct 2012 - 2:42am 8 comments

CCTV news presenter takes on China's radical left

Liberals retaliate by spreading this photo of Sima Nan and Wang Lijun

Widespread criticism of patriotic violence has given ideological extremists a small bump in popularity

28 Sep 2012 - 8:42am

China's nationalist left is getting really agitated by criticism of protest violence

China's nationalist left is getting really agitated by criticism of protest violence

Cultural Revolution discourse is back, on Sina Weibo

21 Sep 2012 - 9:20am 1 comment

Mao portraits in anti-Japan protests a cause for concern for leaders

Demonstrators carry Deng Xiaoping (left) and Mao Zedong portraits during a protest over the Diaoyu islands outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

The unexpected brandishing of images of Mao Zedong in anti-Japan rallies is more worrying than welcome for the Chinese government, even if it has sanctioned or encouraged such protests, analysts say.

Some protesters were seen carrying portraits of Mao and making references to him in chants and on banners during the widespread rallies, which have lasted for days.

20 Sep 2012 - 8:13am 1 comment