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LOOKING BACK

"The dream that we had at that time is not finished. I don't regret that time. We made a sacrifice for our ideals."

Shanghai Businessman

"The Cultural Revolution was a barbaric and ignorant phenomenon. You couldn't have your own thoughts. If you didn't participate you would be criticized.... It was a Red Terror."

Retired Government Worker

AFTER MAO'S DEATH

The struggles of the Cultural Revolution technically ended in 1969, but people lived radical Maoist lives until Mao's death in 1976. In 1978, Deng Xiaoping became leader of China and began a period of "reform and opening to the outside world." Deng abolished collective farming and allowed private investment of capital. He also encouraged criticism of the Cultural Revolution. Most people felt that it had been a terrible mistake.

CHINA HAS CHANGED

Since the end of the Cultural Revolution, China has changed. People now can choose their professions, run their own businesses, trade with foreign countries, and farm their own land. But reform has brought its own problems, such as high unemployment, poverty in the countryside, increasing cost of living, environmental pollution, and political corruption.

Today, many people blame Mao for the violence of the Cultural Revolution. Others still revere him as a folk hero who cared about the common people.

To see how other visitors feel about the Cultural Revolution, and to offer your own comments, please visit our comment area.

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This page last updated September 25, 2002

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