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The Impact Of The Cultural Revolution On Reform Era Political Culture

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the legacy of the Cultural Revolution, in particular its impact upon China's post-1978 polity. According to the author, the Cultural Revolution is a watershed, not just in the history of the China, but also in modern Chinese history, and even when seen against the backdrop of the long sweep of Chinese dynastic history. Though willing to adopt any policy to get China back on the road to wealth and power, the aim espoused by all patriots at the start of the 20th century, Deng Xiaoping did not pay much heed to the goal of democracy espoused by the leading Chinese revolutionary of that time, Sun Yatsen. A favorite observation of Mao Zedong's - out of bad things can come good things - may be applicable also to the Cultural Revolution: a terrible era, but out of which has emerged a saner, more prosperous, and perhaps one day a democratic China.

Keywords: Chinese political system; cultural revolution; Deng Xiaoping; Mao Zedong; reform era



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