The People’s Republic of China is about to turn 60, how to evaluate and pay tribute to the founding leader of the Chinese Communist Party Mao Zedong (毛泽东) once again became a topic of discussion.
Remarks of Mao Zedong’s grandson causes concern
Mao Zedong’s only grandson, senior colonel Mao Xinyu (毛新宇) said in an press interview, the birthday of the founding leader should be set as the national holiday, to be widely publicized, so that future generations can always remember. He said that he would submit a proposal relating to traditional education on the National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) these two meetings next year to call for the date December 26th – Chairman Mao’s birthday to be a national holiday.
Mao Xinyu also said that he had already requested to the State Education Commission to encourage the establishment of “Mao Zedong Thought” Department in Universities. (ESNW: Mao Zedong Thought in university and thoughts on it)
People who opposed: Does not match with Mao’s wishes when he was alive.
These remarks when reported in the media immediately caused considerable public concerns and heated discussions on the internet forums.
Netizen commented on EastNet stated, there is no need to set up a legal holiday to commemorate the founding leader Mao Zedong. He said that without a legal holiday is also showing great respect to the great man. This netizen pointed out that the Second Plenary Session of the seventh CPC provisioned that not to celebrate birthdays, giving gifts, not to name after great leaders (at a national level), However set up Mao Zedong’s birthday and the day of his death to be a national holiday is inconsistent with the spirit of the Second Plenary Session of the Seventh CPC, also does not match with Mao’s wishes when he was alive.
People who supported: Even great man makes mistakes
On the other hand, the argument of supporting to set up a national holiday to commemorate Mao also had its reasons. Institute of Technology Changzhou, Jiangsu Province associate professor Zhu Wenmin (朱文民) told the reporter that it is appropriate to set up a national holiday to commemorate the founding leader. He said “As far as the Chinese history was concerned, he was the person who rewrote the history. Others may consider him as a person who rewrote the history. We even gave Qu Yuan (屈原) an anniversary, why couldn’t we give this great man also?”
As for the merits and demerits of Mao Zedong’s life, especially in his later years was responsible for anti-rightist, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, a series of serious historical mistakes. People have been debating for years, but it is still difficult to draw a consistent conclusion.
Once had closely interviewed the original China’s founding ceremony, deputy director of Xinhua News Agency Li Pu (李普) said “Mao Zedong constantly engaged in movements, these movements, some were him shirking responsibilities. He corrected some aspects of the movement which went too far, as if he was very civilized. However he was not. He did not understand the city people. He pretended. He is a bad guy. Mao Zedong is a bad guy! I do not like Mao Zedong.”
But Zhu Wenmin said, Mao Zedong was a great man, and even great man makes mistakes, not matter ancient or modern times, even the United States as well. He said “The democratic process was a little more reasonable, but this does not mean the Americans’ decisions are always right, for example, the Iraq war, the Afghanistan war. Right now after Obama took office, there are so many issues. Americans may not admit they were wrong, but in fact they were wrong.”
Professor Zhu Wenmin who teaches chemistry at China’s institutions of higher learning pointed out that some people requested to commemorate Mao Zedong, the main reason was to inherit and carry forward the spirit of hardworking and plain living and the ideal of serving the people which Mao Zedong advocated. He pointed out that this also has a positive meaning in promoting anti-corruption.
Mao Xinyu (毛新宇)