Mark Magnier: Like Japan’s, Chinese Textbooks Are Adept at Rewriting History

From The LA Times:

When Li Xuanyao, a student at Beijing’s No. 55 Middle School, wants to learn about the Great Leap Forward, she has her work cut out for her. Mao Tse-tung’s disastrous 1950s policy, which saw 30 million Chinese die of starvation, is relegated to a few paragraphs in her 163-page history textbook.

The text blames bad central planning for its failure and is quick to add: “During the Great Leap Forward, every village in China built its commune. Members of the commune could eat in its dining hall free of charge.”

Although Xuanyao’s history teachers have taught her a lot about Japanese atrocities, she said, they are reluctant to talk about the Great Leap Forward. And they never mention the deadly Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.


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