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The Cultural Revolution in China: Its 50th Anniversary Was Ignored but Its Legacy Lives on Today

07-06-2016

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was one of the most tragic periods in China's history. It unleashed a decade of violence, in which more than a million Chinese died, some 16 million were banished to the countryside and many others suffered imprisonment, seizure of property, torture or humiliation. It left in its wake a shattered country, a fractured society in turmoil and a devastated economy. The Chinese Communist Party ignored the 50th anniversary on 16 May of the start of the Cultural ...

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was one of the most tragic periods in China's history. It unleashed a decade of violence, in which more than a million Chinese died, some 16 million were banished to the countryside and many others suffered imprisonment, seizure of property, torture or humiliation. It left in its wake a shattered country, a fractured society in turmoil and a devastated economy. The Chinese Communist Party ignored the 50th anniversary on 16 May of the start of the Cultural Revolution, with no official commemoration. The state-controlled media then exhorted the people to regard the Cultural Revolution as a closed chapter and to look ahead. They distanced the Party from its responsibilities for the disaster, in an indication that the country's leaders are still haunted by its spectre. Nonetheless, the Cultural Revolution's legacy lives on in modern China and some parallels are being drawn with the current President Xi Jinping's crackdown against corruption. Xi's use of some of the Revolution's methods seems to reflect a pragmatic attempt to reassert the Party's authority in response to the new challenges posed by the rapid transformation of China, rather than heralding a repeat of the Cultural Revolution. The Party has said its lessons have been learned and it must not be repeated. Nevertheless, the former Premier, Wen Jiabao, cautioned in 2012 that without effective political reforms, a similar historical tragedy might happen again.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP): How to explain its longevity?

29-06-2015

With a membership of 86.7 million in 2013 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the largest political party worldwide, representing only slightly more than six per cent of the Chinese population. The CCP is the second-longest lone-ruling communist party, in one of the world's five remaining party-states. It heads assertively towards its 100th anniversary in 2021, since contrary to numerous past forecasts of the CCP's demise, no signs of regime change in China loom on the horizon. The CCP's strong ...

With a membership of 86.7 million in 2013 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the largest political party worldwide, representing only slightly more than six per cent of the Chinese population. The CCP is the second-longest lone-ruling communist party, in one of the world's five remaining party-states. It heads assertively towards its 100th anniversary in 2021, since contrary to numerous past forecasts of the CCP's demise, no signs of regime change in China loom on the horizon. The CCP's strong resilience against internal and external threats to its survival appears to result from a combination of its excellent capability to adapt flexibly to changing realities, and its iron grip on power which relies on a systematic heavy-handed approach to political opposition and peaceful dissent that could challenge its monopolistic one-party rule. Since its inception, the CCP has witnessed transformations of varying degrees of its ideology, organisational structure, governance methods, leadership style and leadership succession practice, as well as membership size and composition, which have allowed it to safeguard its legitimacy and thus its longevity. Prospects are extremely bleak for the democratisation of the party-state triggered from outside the CCP by an opposition party able to threaten the CCP's control as the sole political party with 'genuine influence' in Chinese politics. Based on the CCP's self-established status as a 'vanguard party', i.e. a group of communist leaders determining what is in the best interest of the Chinese people, the CCP leadership adheres strictly to the conviction that the party monitors itself, and therefore staunchly dismisses the idea of outside scrutiny. Gradual democratisation inside the party is more likely in a long-term perspective.

Central and Eastern European Women : A Portrait

01-06-1996

Deals with the participation of women in the labour market, in the political institutions and the support infrastructures, both legal and social. Analysis of the situation of women during the 40 years of the Communist regime, allowing a better understanding of the impact of transition.

Deals with the participation of women in the labour market, in the political institutions and the support infrastructures, both legal and social. Analysis of the situation of women during the 40 years of the Communist regime, allowing a better understanding of the impact of transition.

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