Introduction to the book Cultural Revolution in the People’s Republic of China

By Ambassador Chen Duqing from the People’s Republic of China, January 2017, China.

Interest in China increasingly awakes in Brazil. My friend Dr.
Durval de Noronha Goyos Jr. recently gave a master class for post-graduate
programmes at PUC-SP. He made a brief account of the history of modern
China with emphasis on the Cultural Revolution (hereinafter abbreviated
as CR). On last 1 October, China has celebrated the sixty-eighth anniversary
of the New Republic Foundation. 68 years is just a lapse of time of the
ancient Chinese history. China got out of poverty and backwardness and
stands now as the second economy in the world. However, to reach this
level, China has run a winding path with many ups and downs. For that
matter, we cannot fail to approach the period of the CR.

Regarding CR, there are many studies in and out of China. A
thousand heads, a thousand conclusions. How should the CR be seen and
analysed? In June, 1981, five and a half years after the CR, the Chinese
Communist Party held the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eleventh Congress,
and approved the extensive “Resolution on Several Questions of the Party
after the foundation of the Republic”. The Resolution categorically defines:
the history of CR has shown that the main arguments of Comrade Mao
Zedong with which he triggered the CR did not correspond to Marxism-
Leninism, or the Chinese reality. The arguments of Comrade Mao Zedong,
resulting from the assessment of the situation of classes and the political
partisan situation were completely wrong.

The CR began in May, 1966 andended in October, 1976, causing the Communist Party, the country and
the people setbacks and heavier losses post-Foundation of the People’s
Republic. During the CR, malicious elements within the Communist Party
took the opportunity to usurp maximum power. They took advantage of
the mistakes of Comrade Mao, and practiced many criminal activities to
its default. At least, in the course of the CR, two conspiratorial groups were
opportunely unmasked, one of Lin Biao, and the other, the Gang of Four,
led by Jiang Qing, Mao’s wife. The CR brought no social progress, but a
catastrophic disorder. The CR was an ultra-left-wing mistake, lengthy and
widespread throughout the country, for which, Comrade Mao Zedong was
mainly responsible. The triggering of the CR had also very complex socio-
historical reasons. One should not be simplistic to assign all responsibility
to Comrade Mao Zedong.

The Resolution shows that the Communist Party of China had
the courage to face and correct their own mistakes, being determined
and able to avoid past mistakes. Regarding Comrade Mao Zedong, the
Resolution considers that he was a great leader. He was the saviour of the
Chinese nation. Without him, China could still be in darkness. He is not
God. Thus, it is understandable that he had made mistakes, even if they
were serious.

On the negative effects of CR, the Communist Party and the
people of China thought about and reflected much. Correctly, the setbacks
and losses gave reason to a turnaround. At the end of 1978, a process of
opening and reform had started. Over the past 37 years, China follows a
healthy and steady way to build socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Today, the Chinese people, more than ever, is convinced of the hits on the
adopted theory, on its path and on the chosen social system as well as in its
own culture, working hard to achieve two big objectives: one, a modestly
comfortable life to all people by 2021, when the hundredth anniversary of
the Chinese Communist Party’s foundation will be celebrated, and second,
China to line up to the developed countries in the year 2049, when the
People’s Republic celebrates its one hundred years.

China and Brazil are geographically distant. However, the distance
does not prevent the two countries to approach to each other. Bilateral
relations in all areas are very intense, but still far below the desired level. In
my view, the main obstacle is still the lack of mutual knowledge. Increasing
exchanges should promoted between the academic, educational, media
sectors and opinion makers in favour of a more friendly atmosphere
between the two countries and people, while steadily deepening the
commercial-economic, technological-scientific cooperation, etc.

I believe that the lecture by Dr. Durval de Noronha Goyos Jr. can
help the various segments of Brazilian society to be more interested in
China, to understand the Chinese history and the reality. As Dr. Noronha
said very well in the last paragraph of his speech, “the current China has
been working for its own happiness and civilization, in the same way, it
has been promoting world peace and freedom.”

It is with admiration and esteem for my friend that, I wrote the
above, hoping to serve with a modest introduction to the book to be