Cultural Revolution in China

Cultural Revolution in China

Cultural Revolution, Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, term for the domestic political struggles for power and direction in the People’s Republic of China 1966–76; introduced by Mao Zedong in order to consolidate his position, which had been weakened since 1958/59 (failure of the policy of the “great leap forward” and the “people’s communes”) and the more pragmatic group around Liu Shaoqi (head of state) and Deng Xiaoping (general secretary the CCP). The Cultural Revolution was accompanied by a broad political-ideological campaign (Maoism), which – according to the resolution of the 11th plenum of the 8th CPC Central Committee on the Cultural Revolution of August 1966 – was directed against representatives of the “capitalist path” and against ways of thinking and living traditionally Chinese. This decision gave the official start to the Cultural Revolution.

Prepared by actions against critical intellectuals (since autumn 1965), especially against writers and publicists, the Cultural Revolution was triggered in 1966 by the left faction around Mao Zedong, his wife Jiang Qing and Lin Biao (Defense Minister). To achieve her goals she mobilized millions of students and pupils who organized themselves in the Red Guards; these terrorized v. a. in the big cities the critics of Mao Zedong (Holding of “combat meetings”; humiliation, mistreatment or killing of functionaries, scientists and teachers; house searches and devastation) and destroyed numerous cultural assets (temples, churches). Universities and schools were closed for years. In order to propagate ideas, the “Red Guards” at times led to a veritable “wall newspaper war” in the cities. “Special investigation groups”, which organized and tried to control the political terror in a bureaucratic manner on behalf of the Maoist leadership during the Cultural Revolution, created an extensive information and spy network throughout China, arrested tens of thousands of high-ranking cadres in preparation for political cleansing and often delivered those who had fallen out of favor targeted the “cultural revolutionary” masses.

According to carswers, the cultural revolution led to the extensive destruction of the Chinese party and state apparatus (including the overthrow of Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping). It was from a cultic veneration of Mao Zedong (“Grand Chairman”, “Grand Helmsman”) accompanied; his “Red Book” (also known as the “Mao Bible”) was widely distributed. The Red Guards, which were increasingly out of control and supported by militant “Red Rebels” (casual workers, apprentices) since the beginning of 1967. a. met tough resistance in the provincial towns (civil war-like conflicts), were disciplined in bloody actions in 1967/68 by the army, which, among other things, acted as a force for order. gained much influence through their leading involvement in the creation of “revolutionary committees.” Millions of young people were then sent to work in the countryside.

The cultural revolution should actually with the IX. The CCP’s party congress in April 1969 (election of a leadership group oriented towards cultural revolution, appointment of Lin Biao as successor to Mao Zedong) came to an end, but had become independent and led to renewed power-political struggles (change between ultra-left and pragmatic politics) that lasted until 1976. These “ten years of chaos” were, among other things, in their second half. marked by an attempted coup by Lin Biao, who was initially overwhelming in influence, but since 1971 was slowed down by Mao Zedong and eliminated in the same year, by a return of the »moderates« under Zhou Enlai (from 1972/73) and finally through the “counterattack” of the left (from 1973), v. a. of the later members of the Gang of Four, overthrown in 1976. Most of the politicians and intellectuals persecuted during the Cultural Revolution were later rehabilitated.

The cultural revolution not least influenced the thinking of the intellectual left in Western Europe, v. a. in the 1960s.

Cultural Revolution in China

China World Heritage Sites (K) and World Natural Heritage (N)

  • Great Wall of China (K; 1987)
  • Tai Shan mountain region (K / N; 1987)
  • Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing (Imperial City) and Shenyang (K; 1987)
  • Grottoes of Mogao (»Grottoes of the Thousand Buddhas«) (K; 1987)
  • Tomb of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huangdi, near Lintong (K; 1987)
  • Sinanthropus (” Peking Man “) site in Zhoukoudian (K; 1987)
  • Huang Shan Protected Landscape Area (K / N; 1990)
  • Jiuzhaigou Valley Landscape Park (N; 1992)
  • Lime sinter terrace landscape Huanglong (N; 1992)
  • Wulingyuan Landscape Park (N; 1992)
  • Summer residence and associated temples near Chengde (K; 1994)
  • Confucius temple, cemetery and house of the Kong family in Qufu (K; 1994)
  • Daoist shrines in the mountains of Wudang Shan (K; 1994)
  • Historical ensemble of the Potala Palace in Lhasa (Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Norbulingka Palace) (K; 1994)
  • Lushan National Park (K; 1996)
  • Mountain landscape Shan Emei and “Big Buddha” by Leshan (K / N; 1996)
  • Lijiang Old Town (K; 1997)
  • Old Town of Ping Yao (K; 1997)
  • Suzhou Classical Gardens (K; 1997)
  • Summer Palace (Yihe Yuan) near Beijing (K; 1998)
  • Temple of Heaven with imperial sacrificial altar in Beijing (K; 1998)
  • Rock paintings by Also (K; 1999)
  • Granite rocks of Wuyi Shan in Fujian Province (K / N; 1999)
  • Xidi and Hongcun villages (K; 2000)
  • Imperial tombs of the Ming and Qing dynasties (K; 2000)
  • Longmen Cave Temple (K; 2000)
  • Qincheng Mountain and Dujiangyan Irrigation System (K; 2000)
  • Yungang Cave Temple (” Cloud Ridge Grottoes “) (K; 2001)
  • Protection zones in the national park of the » Three Rivers Running in Parallel « in Yunnan (N; 2003)
  • Ruins of the former capitals and tombs of the ancient kingdom of Koguryŏ (K; 2004)
  • Historic Center of Macau (K; 2005)
  • Panda nature reserve in Sichuan (N; 2006)
  • Yin Xu , former capital of the late Shang dynasty near Anyang (K; 2006)
  • Karst landscape in southern China (N; 2007)
  • Diaolou towers and villages in Kaiping (K; 2007)
  • Tulou loam buildings in Fujian (K; 2008)
  • Mount Sanqingshan National Park (N; 2008)
  • Mount Wutai (K; 2009)
  • Historic sites of Dengfeng (K; 2010)
  • Danxia landscapes (N; 2010)
  • Cultural landscape West Lake near Hangzhou (K; 2011)
  • Xanadu in Inner Mongolia (K; 2012)
  • Chengjiang fossil site in Yunnan (N; 2012)
  • Hani rice terraces in Yunnan (K; 2013)
  • Tian Shan Mountains in Sinkiang (N; 2013)
  • Archaeological sites along the Silk Road (K; 2014)
  • Kaiserkanal (K; 2014)
  • Tusi sites , tribal chief system in southwest China (K; 2015)
  • Rock paintings of the cultural landscape on the Hua Shan and the Zuo Jiang River (K; 2016)
  • Shennongjia Forest Area in Hubei Province (N; 2016)
  • Hoh Xil of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (N; 2017
  • Traces of the various colonial powers on the island of Gulangyu (Kulangsu) in front of the city of Xiamen (K; 2017)
  • Mountain Fanjingshan in Guizhou Province (N; 2018)