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Two Versions of Mao’s China

At Global Voices, Oiwan Lam draws attention to a popular Weibo user's recent posting of a collection of photos doctored to support the historical narrative of the Communist Party. From Lam's introduction: On January 29-30, 2013...

At China’s New Museum, History Toes Party Line

The New York Times reports on the newly refurbished National Museum of China, centrally located in Tiananmen Square, and the selective history that is on display there: China spent more than a decade and nearly $400 million to...

A System Afraid of Its Own History

In the New York Times, Didi Kirsten Tatlow interviews Fan Meizhong, the teacher who has encountered many difficulties due to his unorthodox views, and looks at the failure of China's education system to teach students their own...

Mao Now – Ross Terrill

In the Wilson Quarterly, Ross Terrill writes about Mao’s legacy: In the early 1990s, a story circulated among Chinese taxi drivers about an eight-car traffic accident in Guangzhou that resulted in injuries to seven of the drivers involved; the eighth, unscathed, had a Mao portrait attached to his windshield as a talisman. The story fueled […]

Anniversaries and reflections in China

September 9 will be the 30th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s death, and this year also marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of the Cultural Revolution. Both anniversaries have been written about prolifically in the western press. John Pomfret comments on the Cultural Revolution in today’s Washington Post, while Lindsay Beck of Reuters writes about […]

Modern China’s founding legend: heavy on myth? – Robert Marquand

From the Christian Science Monitor (link): For China, it’s Paul Revere’s ride and Washington crossing the Delaware in one. The Luding Bridge battle is the most famous moment in the Long March, itself the defining legend of modern China. The Red Army is hotly pursued in 1935. Soldiers hoof it 24/7 for 140 miles. They […]

A Year of Some Significance РGeremie R. Barmé

The following essay by Geremie R. Barm√© originally appeared in the Review weekly supplement, The Australian Financial Review, 31st March 2006. Published without notes under the title “Historical Distortions”. Thanks to Mr. Barm√© for allowing CDT to reprint it here. A Year of Some Significance By Geremie R. Barm√© History matters. It matters in Australia […]

Jonathan Watts: A tale of two massacres

From the Guardian: At a recent lecture at a Beijing university, students politely lambasted this correspondent – and by association all other foreign journalists – for painting too negative a picture of China. “Why,” asked one questioner, “do you keep writing about the Tiananmen Square incident and the Cultural Revolution? The past is the past. […]

Pu Zhiqiang: China’s Selective Memory

In today's New York Times, lawyer Pu Zhiqiang writes: We Chinese are outraged by Japan's World War II crimes - the forcing of Chinese into sexual slavery as "comfort women," the 1937 massacre of unarmed civilians in Nanking, and...

Rupert Wingfield-Hayes: China suffers memory lapses too

From the BBC: The past month has seen an eruption of anti-Japanese protests in several Chinese cities. The protesters were angry at Japan’s approval of a nationalist textbook which they accuse of glossing over atrocities during the years when Japan occupied China. However Rupert Wingfield-Hayes says the Chinese also have a habit of forgetting awkward […]

Stephen Vines: A couple in denial

From the Standard: If China wants to stand on the high moral ground when dealing with the distortions of history it surely cannot do so on the basis of its record – a record which demonstrates it cannot even come to terms with the enormity of the disasters that characterized the Mao Zedong era. History […]

Liu Xiaobo: The Chinese Communists and the Japanese Rightists: Neither Will Apologize

ESWN has translated excerpts of an essay by writer Liu Xiaobo titled, “The Chinese Communists and the Japanese Rightists: Neither Will Apologize.” The original Chinese version is here. From the translation: Why are the many Chinese historians who are angrily challenging and criticizing the new Japanese history school books not also angrily challenging and openly […]

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