He criticized Mao’s Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, estimated to have killed tens of millions
A professor in China lost his job for criticizing Mao Zedong on his Weibo social media account.
Deng Xiangchao taught at the Shandong University of Architecture and Engineering University’s art department until he was fired last week for making “erroneous remarks” about the leader who founded Communist China, reports the Wall Street Journal.
“If he’d died in 1945, China would have seen 6 million fewer killed in war. If he’d died in 1958, 30 million fewer would’ve starved to death,” Deng wrote in one of his Weibo posts.
During his reign, Mao led campaigns such as the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward, which resulted in tens of millions of deaths from persecution and starvation.
“It wasn’t until 1976 when he finally died that we at last had food to eat. The only correct thing he did was to die,” said Deng.
The posts were criticized as being a bad influence by the public university’s propaganda department, and have since been removed.
Hong Kong-based historian Frank Dikötter estimated that 45 million people were beaten, starved, or worked to death during the four years of the Great Leap Forward. The death toll estimate for the Cultural Revolution, which lasted from 1966 until Mao’s death in 1976, is between 1.5 million to 10 million.
It is generally accepted by historians that Mao’s policies were extremely destructive, with Dikotter ranking the Great Leap Forward alongside the Holocaust as one of the greatest events of the 20th century, “like [the Cambodian communist dictator] Pol Pot’s genocide multiplied 20 times over.”
However, the Chinese regime still promotes Mao as a revered figure.