The Little Red Book on Mao Zedong. By: China Writers’ Group. With free, downloadable PDF ebook!




Free, downloadable PDF ebook and the link to share,

The Little Red Book on Mao Zedong. By- China Writers’ Group


The Little Red Book on Mao Zedong

By: China Writers’ Group



I am deeply humbled and honored to present to you The Little Red Book on Mao Zedong by the China Writers’ Group.

First, a little background about the China Writers’ Group and who we are. Several years ago, Dongping Han, Godfree Roberts, Mobo Gao, Peter Man, Wei Ling Chua and I were trying to email each other and keep the threads going using Reply All. It was not working well at all. Someone was always getting left out. We were chasing our collective tails. I am known for being a networking collaborator, so volunteered to take on the project. I was already subscribed to Office 365, so created our Outlook group, keep it running and it has grown and grown, now about 30 members. The majority of them are shown below in the montage, as some prefer to keep a low profile.

What an incredible roster of creators! I cannot begin to thank them for the incredible knowledge and understanding that we have and continue to share amongst ourselves, and for how much I have learned over the years. It is a priceless fraternity of fruitful, mutually beneficial, win-win cooperation. Brain food for those starving for justice and speaking truth to power. Together, all of us have centuries of experience writing books, articles, teaching, doing research, maintaining websites, podcasting and putting out information that helps humanity understand what’s really going on behind the headlines, especially with respect to China and Asia versus the West.

We stay in regular contact by email. Most of us have worked together doing online seminars, interviews, book reviews, et cetera. Quite a few of us have met each other in person. Over the years and around the world, I have had the pleasure of spending time with a number of the members.

This is the China Writers’ Group first collective initiative, to celebrate the 130th birthday of Mao Zedong, who was born on 26 December 1893. For 99% of Westerners, and even non-Westerners around the world, just the mere mention of the word Mao creates instant, Pavlovian images in people’s minds, and they are not good ones. Mao has been totally debauched in the minds of the vast majority of humanity outside of China, thanks to the West’s incredibly efficient and ruthlessly powerful Big Lie Propaganda Machine.

As I like to joke, Western writers and journalists, in order to get published and keep their jobs, portray Mao Zedong sporting mossy covered vampire fangs, and instead of fingers, he has blood dripping claws. The evil fiend wakes up each morning, all excited, trying to figure out how he can exterminate another million of his fellow citizens!

This excerpt from an introduction of the book, Was Mao Really a Monster? The Academic Response to Chang and Halliday’s Mao: The Unknown Story – Edited by Gregor Benton And Lin Chun, offers descriptions that probably resonate with you, in terms of your impressions about Mao Zedong,

…Mao as a liar, ignoramus, fool, philistine, vandal, lecher, glutton, hedonist, drug-peddler, ghoul, bully, thug, coward, posturer, manipulator, psychopath, sadist, torturer, despot, megalomaniac and the greatest mass murderer of the twentieth century — in short, a monster, equal to or worse than Hitler and Stalin. He cared nothing about the fate of the Chinese people and his fellow human beings, or even his close friends and relatives. He was driven by bloodlust and the craving for power and sex. He ruled by terror, led by native cunning, and defeated Chiang Kai-Shek by leaning towards Stalin and treacherously insinuating moles and sleepers into the Guomindang.

Sound familiar? I bet it does.

China Writers’ Group members, a number who have collectively spent decades living, working/traveling in China and/or have dedicated their careers to explaining the Chinese people’s amazing 5,000-year story, have a different understanding of Mao Zedong’s place in 20th century history, and the impact that he has had on the world, even today. Thus, this compendium of articles is a tribute to Mao Zedong, what he means to the people of China, and the effect he had on world history, starting with his birth in 1893. The Little Red Book on Mao Zedong is available on the website in PDF form, so that you can keep it, print it out as you wish, share it with others and discuss it, which we hope you will do.

After you finish reading The Little Red Book on Mao Zedong, I think you will agree that you have been lied to your whole life about the man’s place in modern history.

I hope you enjoy reading The Little Red Book on Mao Zedong and will take the time to explore the different members of the China Writers’ Group, where for each author, I include links to find their work, et cetera. Individually and collectively, all of us provide you with knowledge and understanding that you will never see in the mainstream media.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and all the best for 2024 and the Year of the Dragon.

Jeff J. Brown



The Little Red Book on Mao Zedong


Portraits of Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Square Gate, 1949-present. @visuals_china



Amarynth Flower















Amarynth Flower is Founder and Editor of World Order Z: Chronicles of Multipolarity and the Global South (

Contributions to China Rising Radio Sinoland:


Long live Chairman Mao 


Designer: Ha Qiongwen (哈琼文) , Date: 1959, November, Publisher: Shanghai renmin meishu chubanshe (上海人民美术出版社), Size: 76.5×53 cm., Call nr.: BG E12/605, Collection: IISH collection. Notes: Daughter and mother during a 1 October Parade on Tiananmen Square in Beijing (indicated by the ‘huabiao’ column top left), smiling towards the Chairman. 


On discovering China: I slowly understood that almost my entire understanding of the world is the product of my culture. And that there were other, dramatically different but equally valid ways to understand the world. So my approach to first learning about China and its history was the opposite of a scholarly approach. I wanted to know what the people were about. Yet, soon I realized China has preserved a culture of incredible depth that is foreign to most of us and China is one of the best places to understand this radically different take on life, with little influence from the outside world.  

Mao was of course a most outstanding human being. So, I set out to try and understand the person.  

Ad this brings us to Mao’s birthday during the time of Christmas. Dec. 26 is the birthday of the modern Chinese state’s founding father, Mao Zedong. Some want to replace a festival that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ with one that honors the birth of the Great Helmsman. Christmas is a festive time even in China, with young people going out to restaurants and children spoiled with gifts and treats, but support for President Xi Jinping’s vision of “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” puts this celebration’s future here in doubt. 

People in China often say that Mao Zedong was 70% right and 30% wrong. Mention this to the shortsighted and immediately such a one wants to figure out what is the contributory or ‘right’ 70%, and hand out demerits for the so-called 30% faults.  It is not that simple.    

Mao unified China to create the PRC. He left a party-state structure in place for his successors to implement their policies and this is an undisputed success. Scholars and historians evaluate Mao favorably on this one axis. 

Some of the criticism of the Great Leap Forward is that it was simply an attempt to show Khrushchev a thing or two. This is still there to be discussed and the end of this discussion is not yet cut and dried. We will probably be talking about Mao in another 127 years which is a indication of the importance of the man. 

While we honor Mao for major achievements, we can’t forget about the man who played jokes on others. It is said that he became so frustrated during the time of the Sino/China split (1966) that Mao met Khrushchev at a swimming pool and suggested they swim together. Mao was an accomplished swimmer, and he knew full well that Khrushchev did not know how to swim. He gave it a try, but eventually got out of the pool. “It was Mao’s way of putting himself in an advantageous position. Well, I got sick of it,” Khrushchev would later say. “I crawled out, sat on the edge, and dangled my legs in the pool. Now I was on top, and he was swimming below.” Tensions continued in the following years, and ultimately resulted in what is now known as the split. Yet before Lenin and the Communist International, there was no Marxism and no Marxist party in China. It was Soviet Marxism that initially shaped the Communist Party of China (CPC) is the modern interpretation. And without the CPC, the struggle for China’s freedom may have been less successful or still in the hands of the Kuomintang.  (We don’t know whose story is the correct story here ..)   

Despite wicked games in swimming pools and critical changes historically in the relationship between the two Communist countries, yet, the Chinese still sing Long live Chairman Mao during the time that for many of us, is Christmas. 

You can listen to this celebrated song,

万岁毛主席! Long Live Chairman Mao! (English Lyrics) (

If you can’t get YouTube, here it is,



Amir Khan















Amir Khan is Professor of English Literature at Hunan Normal University, China ( and



Contributions to China Rising Radio Sinoland:


Serve the People! 

Postmortem poster: Carry on Chairman Mao’s unfulfilled wish: continue the Proletarian Revolution to the end!


Western philosophy promotes the contemplative life away from real world distractions as the sincerest path to freedom—a spiritual freedom seemingly available to anyone who can think. Descartes’ Cogito, for example, requires no special learning or practice. One simply has to have reason enough to “logically” exit the realm of total solipsism. As a supposed “act” (albeit an act of thinking), even an adolescent can assert, “I think, therefore I am.”

In the West, liberation begins alone, in private. Mao understood there is no such thing as liberation, philosophical or otherwise, without validation from the people. The Maoist slogan “to serve the people” does not put forward some altruistic prescription. The slogan is a philosophical recognition that one’s thoughts matter only as public speech since speech is the only conduit via which thoughts effect change in the real world. Words are useless unless they serve the people—that is, unless they change people’s behaviors. Science works when a material change takes place in the laboratory; language works when human beings are moved to act.

So which actions count? To Western ears, wei renmin fuwu sounds like obvious propaganda sloganeering. Westerners cannot hear in it a rival Cogito. The recognition to “serve the people” does not entail that philosophy finally give way to politics. It is an understanding that politics has always been in command, even in the time before Descartes’ Cogito. Philosophy is possible only after politics creates space for it. If one reads “literature and art” as coterminous branches of philosophy, Mao has it in his “Talks at the Yan’an Forum” in 1942 that

literature and art are subordinate to politics, but in their turn exert a great influence on politics. Revolutionary literature and art are part of the whole revolutionary cause, they are cogs and wheels in it, and though in comparison with certain other and more important parts they may be less significant and less urgent and may occupy a secondary position, nevertheless, they are indispensable cogs and wheels in the whole machine, an indispensable part of the entire revolutionary cause. If we had no literature and art even in the broadest and most ordinary sense, we could not carry on the revolutionary movement and win victory. Failure to recognize this is wrong. Furthermore, when we say that literature and art are subordinate to politics, we mean class politics, the politics of the masses, not the politics of a few so-called statesmen. Politics, whether revolutionary or counter-revolutionary, is the struggle of class against class, not the activity of a few individuals. The revolutionary struggle on the ideological and artistic fronts must be subordinate to the political struggle because only through politics can the needs of the class and the masses find expression in concentrated form.


Philosophy is shaped by (and does not apriori shape) class struggle. This lesson is ultimately Marxist but taken to the streets and recognized on a mass scale in China only during Mao’s era. To go back even further in Western history, the goal of ancient Greek philosophy was liberation from Plato’s infamous cave. Once again, the lone philosopher manages to see beyond or past the ordinary words and concepts (shadows) used in unexamined fashion by his fellow citizens. He breaks the chains of counterfeit significance and exits the cave.


Plato’s cave.


The sunlight outside represents absolute unadulterated truth sans language. Yet of course, our so-called philosopher returns to try to awaken his countrymen (still chained to their solipsistic viewing gallery) using language—i.e. the very same shadows he is both trying to liberate his fellow human beings from and forced to communicate with.

But what need for the philosopher at all? Political struggle is the struggle for collective escape from the cave. The Western imagination cannot fathom this. One way to think of Mao’s Cultural Revolution is as a political (rather than philosophical) attempt at liberation en masse.

Of course, whenever the masses rise up to demand their freedom (wherever in the world), the West recoils in horror. Better to follow the “objective” and rational prescriptions of some lone individual philosopher-king and exit the cave responsibly, one-by-individual-one. This allows the Western imagination to keep philosophy confined to the parlor room where it belongs and guarantees the masses remain locked inside the cave forever. The Western imagination, in short, has never been able to cope with the possibility of true mass liberation and of language initiating a political/philosophical project altogether, in service of the people all at once.

A Maoist example, practice, and even Cogito undercuts (Western) philosophy by putting politics first and in so doing, putting the people first. This has nothing to do with caring or sympathizing with the downtrodden or the poor. It means first awakening the people to act and change reality only then to see what sort of philosophy follows. In short, there is no abstract universal human nature that exists beyond politics because politics is class struggle. As long as class struggle exists and is real, philosophy, in its overzealous advocacy of Truth that transcends politics, is fake. The quest to articulate some universal human nature is misplaced. Note Mao’s taught rebuttal of abstract philosophy here:

Is there such a thing as human nature? Of course there is. But there is only human nature in the concrete, no human nature in the abstract. In class society there is only human nature of a class character; there is no human nature above classes. We uphold the human nature of the proletariat and of the masses of the people, while the landlord and bourgeois classes uphold the human nature of their own classes, only they do not say so but make it out to be the only human nature in existence.


Mao understands that even “proletarian” philosophy is partial. Of course it is! The masses are confined to the same shadows they are simultaneously trying to free themselves from. They must be both the arrow and the bull’s eye. Only when all chains are smashed collectively can philosophy reign—and precisely not under the auspices of the philosopher-king or a collection of learned men at the academy but only at the behest and push of the people themselves.

This is not idealistic nor romantic nonsense; it makes good philosophical sense. Either we change our lived reality together and thus exit the cave altogether or not at all. Truth is not a matter of individual contemplation to be attained in brief, private moments of Emersonian liberation. Rather truth ripples across the population in cascading waves only at times of intense communal clamor. Truth is collective rather than individual awakening. Recognizing (rather than initiating) such collective awakening is the true goal of a philosopher who serves the people; such recognition can only cause the people’s collective desire for liberation to cascade further.

I’ll conclude also by noting that Plato’s Republic is a treatise which asks how to get good people to govern. Socrates answers by saying that good people should not be enticed to rule out of any personal or financial gain. Instead, good people should be punished for not wanting to rule. Punishment is not to be administered by the state. Good people will come to realize that the worst form of tyranny is to be ruled by someone less capable than themselves.

Who knows what forces of history brought Mao to rule? (It was certainly not personal nor financial gain.) Mao is the first historical figure to make it to the highest political office in the land armed with a political agenda that explicitly put people first. We may have to wait another 5000 years to see another like him make it all the way to the apex of power.

Mao himself had little faith supposing a train of well-educated philosopher-kings would continue to reign in service of the people for generation after generation. Therefore, only by empowering the people could Plato’s question of rule not be answered, but put away entirely. This is the essence not of Mao’s philosophy but his practice: empower the people because only they are capable of liberating themselves.

One-hundred and thirty years after the birth of the greatest philosopher-statesman the world has ever known, the political project of mass emancipation, i.e. mass awakening and exodus from the cave, has no doubt stalled once again. The goal is not to wish to the helm the return of another Mao Zedong-type figure or even to wax on philosophically about Mao Zedong thought; rather, the only validation of such thought must come from the masses, in China and the world over, who must push to put politics in command once more.




Billy Bob















Billy Bob is a dedicated anti-imperialist activist and blogger. You can reach him at his Facebook page HERE:

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 Mao’s Legacy



It is absolutely my honor to offer a few thoughts on the occasion of the 130th birthday of Mao Zedong.  First and foremost, I must acknowledge that Godfree Roberts and Jeff Brown have, more than anyone, helped to shape my understanding of Mao.  So, in a way, much of what I write is simply a re-offering of their work through the filter of my own mind. 

There are a few absolutely important points regarding Mao and his legacy, that I believe need to be made clear to the citizens of the West.  Because of the increasing likelihood (and perhaps inevitability) of violent conflict between the US and China, it is instructive to use the subject of Mao, to elaborate on the lies and false narratives spun by the West and proliferated via their control over the platforms of mass communication. The first topic that requires our attention is Mao’s legacy and the second topic is the nature of communism itself: 

Mao’s Legacy

While Mao is widely reviled in the West and accused of being “the greatest mass murderer of all time” ™, I argue that reality is precisely the opposite.  I believe that any objective assessment of the historic record makes it clear that Mao was in fact the greatest humanitarian of all time.  It is simply an indisputable fact of history that Mao did more good for more people, than anyone else in the history of the known universe.  I often quote Godfree Roberts to make this point: 

“When Mao stepped onto the world stage in 1945, Russia had taken Mongolia and a piece of Xinjiang, Japan occupied three northern provinces, Britain had taken Hong Kong, Portugal Macau, France pieces of Shanghai, Germany Tsingtao, the U.S. shared their immunities and the nation was convulsed by the Chinese Civil War. China was agrarian, backward, feudalistic, ignorant and violent. Of its four hundred million people, fifty million were drug addicts, eighty percent could neither read nor write and their life expectancy was thirty-five years. The Japanese had killed twenty million and General Chiang Kai-Shek complained that, of every thousand youths he recruited, barely a hundred survived the march to their training base. Women’s feet were bound, peasants paid seventy percent of their produce in rent, desperate mothers sold their children in exchange for food and poor people sold themselves, preferring slavery to starvation. U.S. Ambassador John Leighton Stuart reported that, during his second year there, ten million people starved to death in three provinces.” 

“When he stepped down in 1974 the invaders, bandits and warlords were gone, the population had doubled, literacy was 84 percent, wealth disparity had disappeared, electricity reached poor areas, infrastructure was restored, the economy had grown 500 percent, drug addiction was a memory, women were liberated, girls were educated, crime was rare, everyone had food and shelter, life expectancy was sixty-seven and, by several key social and demographic indicators, China compared favorably with middle income countries whose per capita GDP was five times greater.” 

Here’s more from the National Institute of Health

“China’s growth in life expectancy at birth from 35–40 years in 1949 to 65.5 years in 1980 is among the most rapid sustained increases in documented global history (Banister and Preston 1981; Ashton et al. 1984; Coale1984; Jamison 1984; Banister 1987; Ravallion 1997; Banister and Hill 2004). These survival gains appear to have been largest during the 1950s, with a sharp reversal during the 1959-61 Great Leap Famine that was then followed by substantial progress again during the early 1960s. A more moderately-paced mortality decline continued through the later 1960s and 1970s throughout the large-scale social and economic disruptions of the Cultural Revolution (Banister and Hill 2004). Altogether, between 1963 (the first on-trend year after the Great Leap Famine) and 1980, the average annual gain in life expectancy was nearly one year of life, rising from 50 to 65.5 (World Bank 2009).” 

Before Mao left office, the population of China doubled, life expectancy doubled, and food production increased exponentially. 

So, how do we explain this chasm of difference that exists between these two competing narratives?  How can the same individual be seen by some as the greatest force for evil and others as the greatest force for good, that the world has ever seen?  Ultimately, I believe the answer to this question lies in the ability of Western capital to proliferate falsehoods and shape people’s opinions through elite control of academia and the platforms of mass communication. 

One can’t speak of the legacy of Mao Zedong without discussing the Great Leap Forward and the hunger and hardship that accompanied this project.  The West of course would have us believe that the GLF famine was the greatest famine in the history of the known universe and that Mao was entirely responsible for it.  The Western narrative is so laughably preposterous because it attempts to ignore the context of historic famine and the reality of the worst weather patterns to hit China in a half century.  The Western narrative claims that the four pests campaign and the policy of “collectivization” caused the famine which led directly to 30 to 60 million deaths.  But “collectivization” continued well into the 70’s after famine had been forever eradicated. 

In reality, the GLF was successful in many ways and many GLF projects helped to provide a solid foundation that later generations were able to build upon in order to achieve the amazing successes which define today’s modern China.  Additionally, the scope and scale of the famine is exaggerated out of all rational proportion.  In reality, the increased mortality rates associated with the hunger and hardship were commensurate with mortality rates experienced in India, under “normal” conditions, during the same period.  Mortality rates during the GLF, temporarily plummeted to what they had been ten years prior, when Mao first took power, but once the weather cleared up, mortality rates returned to normal and continued on a trajectory of unprecedentedly sustained improvement. 

So what caused the famine?  Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about famine in China: 

“In China famines have been an ongoing problem for thousands of years. From the Shang dynasty (16th-11th century BC) until the founding of modern China, chroniclers have regularly described recurring disasters… Between 108 BC and 1911 AD, there were no fewer than 1,828 recorded famines in China, or once nearly every year in one province or another.” 

So, another way of describing this reality is to observe that for the 2000 years prior to communist rule, China had averaged a famine a year.  Yet, within barely a decade, and despite experiencing the worst weather patterns to be seen in 50 years, despite a mercilessly enforced Western economic embargo, and despite the Sino-Soviet split, Mao and the CPC, completely and forever eradicated famine from the face of China.  This fact bears repeating *WITHIN BARELY A DECADE OF COMING TO POWER, MAO AND THE CPC FOREVER ERADICATED FAMINE FROM THE COUNTRY THAT WAS KNOWN AS “THE LAND OF FAMINE” AND “THE SICK MAN OF ASIA” BECAUSE OF THE PREVIOUS 2000 YEARS OF **ANNUAL FAMINE**. 

I mean, what an accomplishment!  What a legacy!  What a humanitarian Mao was!  This is not to say that there was not considerable hunger and hardship from 1959 to 1962, but once we appreciate the context of annual famine and the very bad weather that hit at the most inopportune time, we can disabuse ourselves of the malicious and bad faithed Western narratives of a “mass murdering Mao”. 

“Not surprisingly in view of the drought, most of the flooding had been due to the typhoons, more of which had hit the Chinese mainland than in any of the previous 50 years, 11 between June and October; and each typhoon had lasted longer than usual, averaging ten hours, the longest stretching to 20. Moreover, nature had played an additional trick. The typhoon did not strike north-westwards as usual, but northwards. This added to their impact because it meant that there were no high mountains to ward them off, and that less rain reached the rest of the country. In the aftermath of the drought and floods came insect pests and plant diseases.”
— The Great Leap Forward 1958-1960, Volume 2 of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, p. 322. 

The Nature of Communism

So how does Mao help us to understand the nature of Communism?  How does Mao help shatter Western narratives about what communism is, how it functions, and what strategies it pursues?  Let’s start with the false Western narrative which claims communism is the violent acquisition of state power in order to implement the dogmatic abolition of private property.  From this perspective, Communism is perceived as an undeniably evil ideology that spreads poverty and misery by turning people into misguided, brainwashed, zealots who intentionally destroy society’s ability to prosper.  I mean if I believed this about communism, I wouldn’t be a communist either, I would be an anti-communist.  Reality of course, is quite different. 

No one denies that Mao was a Communist, so lets see what we can learn about communism by reading Mao: 

“But to try to transplant to China all of Marx’s description of the society in which he found himself…and the steps (class struggle and violent revolution) which he saw would be necessary for the people to escape from those conditions, would not only be ridiculous, it would also be a violation of our basic principles of realistic objectivism and the avoidance of doctrinaire dogmatism.” 

“China at present is not even capitalistic. Its economy is still that of semi-feudalism. We cannot advance at one jump to socialism. In fact, because we are at least two hundred years behind most of the rest of the world, we probably cannot hope to reach socialism until after most of the rest of the world has reached that state.” 

“First we must rid ourselves of this semi-feudalism. Then we must raise our economic level by a long stage of democracy and free enterprise. What we Communists hope to do is to keep China moving smoothly and steadily toward this goal. By orderly, gradual and progressive development we will avoid the conditions which forced Marx to draw his conclusions of the necessity (in his society) for class struggle: we will prevent the need for a violent revolution by a peaceful planned revolution.” 

“It is impossible to predict how long this process will take. But we can be sure that it will be more than thirty of forty years, and probably more than a hundred years.” 

“Large amounts of capital will be needed for the development of our industries. They will come chiefly from the accumulated wealth of the Chinese people, and at the same time from foreign assistance. We welcome foreign investments if such are beneficial to China’s economy and are made in accordance with China’s laws. Enterprises profitable to both the Chinese people and foreigners are swiftly expanding large-scale light and heavy industries and modernizing agriculture, which can become a reality when there is firm internal and international peace, and when political and agrarian reforms are thoroughly carried out. On this basis, we shall be able to absorb vast amounts of foreign investments. A politically retrogressive and economically impoverished China will be unprofitable not only to the Chinese people, but also to foreigners.” 

“Some people refuse to understand why the Chinese Communists do not fear capitalism but, on the contrary develop it as much as possible.  Our answer is simple: we have to replace foreign imperialist and native feudalist oppression with capitalist development because that is the inevitable course of our economy and because both the capitalist class and the proletariat benefit.  What is superfluous is not native capitalism but foreign imperialism and native feudalism.  On the contrary, our capitalism is indeed too little… To develop industry, enormous capital is required.  Where will it come from?  It can only come from two sources: the capital accumulated by the Chinese people themselves and from foreign loans, and we must welcome all foreign investment as long as they obey the laws of China and are advantageous to our economy.” 

“When China finally wins her independence, then legitimate foreign trading interests will enjoy more opportunity than ever before. The power of production and consumption of 450,000,000 people is not a matter that can remain the exclusive interest of the Chinese, but one that must engage the many nations. Our millions of people, once really emancipated, with their great latent productive possibilities freed for creative activity in every field, can help improve the economy as well as raise the cultural level of the whole world.” 

These quotes make clear that the Western perversion of communism which is proliferated into the minds of the masses is entirely detached from the actual existing communism which Mao embraced and which is currently being pursued by the Communist Party of China.  Communism isn’t the dogmatic abolition of the private ownership of the means of production, rather communism is the identification and pursuit of the best economic and political interests of the working class majority.  Communism is not dogmatic, it is pragmatic.  Communism is not about the equal distribution of poverty, it is about the rapid development of productive forces and a planned economy which (may) incorporate free enterprise in order to most efficiently develop the productive forces and to increase quality of life and access to opportunity. 

So, why do the false Western narratives accuse Mao of pursuing a policy of “economic isolation” and “self sufficiency” when it was the imposition of the Sino-Soviet split and the unilaterally imposed Western economic embargo which *necessitated* this policy?  Self sufficiency, as we have seen, was not Mao’s choice, but it was the only option available to him, due to the aforementioned external factors which Mao had little control over. 

But even while Mao was doing his best to progress China despite the Sino-Soviet split and despite the unilaterally imposed Western economic embargo, Mao was trying to shape material conditions in order to provide more economic opportunities.  Between 1955 and 1970, China engaged in 136 ambassadorial level meetings with the US in an effort to, among other things, convince the US to end the embargo so that the economic reforms (eventually put in place by Deng) could be possible.  The idea that Mao was a “real” dogmatic communist who opposed the economic reforms put in by Deng, are contradicted by all the quotes I shared above as well as the objective historic record of 136 ambassadorial level meetings and the fact that Mao called Deng out of exile in 1973 and made him Vice-Premier. 

Here’s Deng on Mao

“The second fall, it’s known, took place at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution when I still was secretary general and a member of the standing committee of the central committee as well as vice premier. Well, this time, too, Chairman Mao tried to protect me. Without success, though, because Lin Biao and the Gang of Four hated me too much. Not as much as they hated Liu Shaoqi, yet enough to send me to Jiangxi Province to do manual work. And when, in 1973, Chairman Mao called me back to Peking… and put me back in government as vice premier.  Some believe that I was called back by Premier Chou Enlai, I know, but it wasn’t Chou Enlai: It was Chairman Mao. Chou Enlai was seriously ill at that time, and as the government depended almost exclusively on him, Chairman Mao called me back and put me back in government as vice premier. He said that my mistakes were only 30 percent, my merits 70 percent, and he resurrected me with 30/70.” 


The West in general including both the left and right wing of the ruling corporate establishment, lie constantly about Mao’s legacy, about China, and about the nature of Communism itself.  They fear the threat of a good example and they don’t want their own citizens to know what is possible when a Communist party dedicated to furthering the interests of the working class majority, attains political power.  The West feels threatened by China’s superior form of government which is characterized by a sincere effort to further the political and economic interests of the vast working class majority.  There is a high likelihood that the West will initiate a war against China in a futile attempt to maintain their declining global hegemony.  We must do what we can to set the record straight and to tell people the truth about the nature of this conflict.  No, Mao is not the greatest mass murder of all time, Mao is the greatest humanitarian of all time.  No, Communism is not about spreading poverty and misery, China is the proof that Communism is about identifying and pursing the interests of the working class majority, against the oppositional interests of the imperialistic global elite.  Thank god for China as they offer the world proof of what Communism is capable of.  Thank god for Mao who has done more good for China and more good for humanity than perhaps any other single person in the history of the known universe.  Happy birthday Mao, rest in power!!! 



Chet Ozmun















Chet Ozmun records audiobooks about China, blogs about China, and translates newer works about contemporary Chinese society from Chinese into English. His work can be found at the links below: 

Contributions to China Rising Radio Sinoland:


Mao at 130 

Peoples of the world unite, rise up to the defeat American aggressors and diametrically oppose their running dogs!


When asked to give advice to up and coming writers, the great American film critic Armond White replied: write something that hasn’t been written before; if it’s not original it’s not worth writing. I’ve tried to stick to this difficult demand whenever publishing my work online. But when Jeff J. Brown of the Seek Truth from Facts Foundation sent out a call to our China Writers Group, asking us to write a short essay in memory of Mao Zedong on his 130th birthday, I realized that honoring Mr. White’s advice would be very difficult in this case. What hasn’t already been said about one of the greatest world leaders of the 20th century, if not of all time? Mao has been thoroughly demonized, thoroughly glorified, and thoroughly everything in between. Is there anything original left to say about The Great Helmsman?

Thankfully I have a lot of familiar material to draw on. For the past year or so, I’ve been recording audiobooks of the Selected Works of Mao, and posting these recordings to my YouTube channel. Reading these out loud for an audience allows me to slowly pour over these writings, and absorb more vital information than I would if I was simply reading silently. One of my favorite pieces I’ve recorded comes from volume 2 of the Selected Works, and it’s titled “INTERVIEW WITH A NEW CHINA DAILY CORRESPONDENT ON THE NEW INTERNATIONAL SITUATION.” In this reflection, I will discuss why this interview, conducted on September 1st, 1939, still matters in 2023, and why I can think of no better way to honor Mao’s 130th birthday than to revisit this under-read piece and use it as lens through which to appreciate Mao’s genius and foresight.

On September 1st 1939, all those who followed international politics had one thing on their minds: the signing of the “Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.” The Atlantic Council’s narrative explains this “pact” as follows: “On the eve of World War II, Moscow made the [Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact] with what it saw as the pre-eminent power in Europe to divide smaller nations between them.” But in the interview with Mao mentioned above, the correspondent for New China Daily calls this document by its correct, official name, “the Treaty of NonAggression Between the Soviet Union and Germany,” and when asked about this treaty Mao gives a different narrative from The Atlantic Council:

The Soviet-German non-aggression treaty is the result of the growing socialist strength of the Soviet Union and the policy of peace persistently followed by the Soviet government. The treaty has shattered the intrigues by which the reactionary international bourgeoisie…sought to instigate a Soviet-German war…and [has] safeguarded the progress of socialist construction in the Soviet Union. In the East it deals a blow to Japan and helps China…All this provides a basis for helping the people throughout the world to win freedom and liberation. Such is the full political significance of the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty.

So whose narrative is correct? Were two power-hungry dictators carving up weaker European states between themselves, as The Atlantic Council would have it? Or was the world’s most powerful socialist country “shattering the intrigues of the international bourgeoisie” in its struggle for world peace?

A sober assessment of the facts shows that Mao’s analysis is right. The Soviet-German non-aggression treaty contains no mention whatsoever of dividing up nations or partitioning nations between the USSR and Germany. In fact, in line with Mao’s claims above, Germany already considered Poland a non-state entity, and its leaders felt at the time that they were entitled to occupy this non-state territory right up to the Soviet borders. The “reactionary international bourgeoisie” Mao’s calls out above would have been very happy with this outcome, as it would have set the stage for the bloody destruction of socialist progress. The USSR, in being able to wrangle a non-aggression treaty from the Nazis, thwarted this potential disaster. For a more thorough analysis of the primary sources that build this case, see Grover Furr’s Blood Lies.

But what does all this 1930s diplomatic intrigue have to do with us today in 2023. The Atlantic Council makes this clear in the piece already referenced:

On the eve of World War II, Moscow made the pact with what it saw as the pre-eminent power in Europe to divide smaller nations between them. Today, Russia is pursuing a similar ambition—with its invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin is once again trying to expand its borders by force and make a bargain with a great power at the expense of the smaller country it seeks to conquer.

We’ve already seen Mao expose the first part as a complete lie. Now let’s turn to the second part of the quote. Today, the “reactionary international bourgeoisie” Mao warned about in 1939 is continuing to use Nazis to tear Russia to shreds, this time with Volodymyr Zelensky in the same role Hitler once played.

This time there’s a very big difference relevant to this essay: Mao’s extremely popular successor, Xi Jinping, helms a strong Communist Party to Russia’s east. And make no mistake: Xi shares a similar understanding of Russia’s goals and strategy in 2023 to that of Mao in 1939.  Xi has studied the works of Mao thoroughly. He cites them regularly in his own speeches. He likewise knows the history of Russia well. Though he may be more reticent about Russia’s objectives in Ukraine than Mao was about the USSR and Germany, his respect for the Great Helmsman and for Russian history guarantees his sympathy is in accord with the embattled Russians.

We should follow Xi’s example. Anyone in the West who is tempted to equate Nazism with Soviet communism would do well to read Mao’s works, especially the interview cited above. Mao’s clarity about politics was not limited to his own borders. He understood international conditions quite well. Unfortunately, not enough about these international crises has changed since 1939. On Mao’s 130th birthday, let’s remember to return to his writings from the past to help us illuminate our dark present.



Christopher Paddon and Caren Black














Christopher Paddon is a retired design engineer, and Caren Black, MA, MEd, are Co-Founders of Titanic Lifeboat Academy, a fully sustainable homestead in Astoria, Oregon, USA (

Christopher is a director of Seek Truth From Facts Foundation (

Caren’s books:

Caren’s contributions to China Rising Radio Sinoland:


Mao here, there, everywhere


Jeff J. Brown riding in a Beijing tuk-tuk on a very cold, winter day, with a bundled up driver. The Mao amulet kept them both warm!


Jeff told me if I hailed a taxi in Beijing, the driver would likely have a likeness of Mao hanging on the dashboard. That says to me that working people still respect him as a leader and I can’t think of anyone in this country except possibly JFK or Martin Luther King Jr. who would be respected in that way. – Christopher Paddon


Mao the teacher


Young Mao Zedong teaching Red Army soldiers about the Do’s and Don’t of serving the people.


John Dewey wrote, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” As a young teacher, I carried this quote along with more of Dewey’s writing into my work. Learning by doing, through experience. Practical knowledge. “Authentic assessment”, not tests, measuring personal growth. Little did I know I was treading a path similar to that advanced by Mao Zedong. 

How could I? In the West, Mao was equated with evil by Western media. Direct experience gradually taught me that nearly everything coming through Western media is distorted or outright false. So, I began a search for “truth from facts”, again unknowingly following advice from a nation I wanted to learn more about.  

While I have learned more about China, my knowledge of Mao is as yet severely limited. I do know that anyone so reviled by the West is a threat to “Western values” and I know that Mao was the best kind of teacher, one who supported the practical, the testing of truths through practical application. These are two of the highest tributes I could pay to anyone. – Caren Black



Dongping Han















Dongping Han is professor of Chinese Studies at Warren Wilson College, North Carolina, USA ( He is also guest professor at Hebei University, China.


Contributions to China Rising Radio Sinoland:



Chairman Mao Is the Beloved Leader of the Oppressed People in the Whole World

To Mark the Anniversary of Chairman Mao’s 130th Birth Day 

 It is hard to convey to Westerners just how revered Mao is among the vast majority of the citizens. Here are memorabilia being dusted off in a store. They continue to sell like hot cakes.


I am a farmer’s son, grown up among and worked with Chinese farmers during the Cultural Revolution Years.   Farmers in old China were the most oppressed and exploited.  Chairman Mao and Chinese Communist Party empowered the Chinese farmers though land reform and collective farming.  Chinese farmers were the most organized in the world under Chairman Mao’s leadership.  They owned the land and other means of production collectively.   They built their own schools, and their own medical clinics.  At the time, they enjoyed free education, free medical care and job security.  Chinese people’s life expectancy increased from 32 in 1949 to 69 years in 1976 when Chairman Mao passed away, more than doubling in 27 years, 19 years ahead of India which had the similar starting point in 1949. 

In 1993, I gave a speech at Hunter College about Chairman Mao.   An anthropology professor from NYU raised a question about Chairman Mao’s personality cult.  I told him that all leaders in the world wish that their people love them.  But love cannot be mandated.  Love has to be earned.   Chairman Mao refused to allow his images to appear on the Chinese money when he was alive.  He did not allow people to celebrate his birthday or name any streets in his honor.  During the Cultural Revolution years when his popularity reached the peak,  he criticized the practice of making and wearing his badges.  The recent declassified archives revealed that Chairman Mao did not approve the proposal to raise his stature, and to build a railway to his hometown and so on.   

After Chairman Mao’s death, his successors said that Chairman Mao made mistakes in late years of his life.  The Cultural Revolution which he considered one of two his most important accomplishments was labeled as national “holocaust” by his opponents.   But after forty years of development in China, more and more Chinese people no longer believed that Chairman Mao made any mistakes in his later life.   In the eyes of Chinese farmers and workers Chairman Mao was never wrong.  He was right in leading the Chinese people to fight and expel imperialism out of China.  He was right in laying the economic foundation for Chinese socialism through transforming private capitalist firms into all people owned socialist enterprises.   He was right during the Cultural Revolution to call on the Chinese people to fight the capitalist tendencies among the officials, particularly officials at the center.   History has shown once again that Chairman Mao’s opponents themselves have proved Chairman Mao was right.   

Liu Shaoqi’s wife, Wang Guangmei, said in an interview in Fenghuang TV in Hongkong that judging what was happening in China today Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution was right.  

In 2013, I was invited to give a speech at an International Conference in Xiangtan University to mark the anniversary of Chairman Mao’s 120th birth day.   I was the eighth and last person to speak at the first day of the conference.   But the seventh speaker, a woman professor from Beijing University, said that she decided to give her twenty minutes to me so that I would be able to speak more.  I did not know that professor, and never met her before.   She said that she heard my brief remark at a mall gathering the day before.   At that gathering, people were discussing why Uyghur Minority people rioted on July 5, 2009.  I made a comment that Uyghur people enjoyed the same economic and political rights during Chairman Mao’s time.  Workers of different nationalities worked together as brothers in the state owned enterprises, but now all these state owned enterprises were privatized.  Because the No. leader in Xinjiang was Wang Lequan, who were from Shandong Province, the capitalists from Shandong Province were able to buy these state owned enterprises.   But after the capitalists acquired these formerly state owned enterprises, they only hired Han people from their hometown or other Han people from other provinces.  The minority people who do not speak the same language and who have different culture were left out.   Nobody can expect the capitalists to treat workers equally and fairly, let alone the minorities equally.  That is why we need socialism and communism in the first place.  The objective and goal of the private capitalists are to make profits and a lot of it.  In order to achieve their goal and objectives, they will exploit and oppress workers and farmers, particularly minorities workers and farmers.  

I was honored by the professor from Beijing University, and something like that never happened to me before.  I realized that I had to make a good speech in order to be worthy of the trust of that professor.  I decided to abandon my written speech, and spoke my mind directly to the audience.   The first speaker that day was a high official named Shi Jingquan, who was the director of the Office of Party History.  His topic was Chairman Mao’s mistakes in his later life.   I was very upset with his speech at the time.  Therefore I started my speech by saying that someone talked about Chairman Mao’s mistakes in his later life on this special occasion.   But I want to ask these people where do they stand?   In the eyes of Jiang Jieshi, in the eyes of imperialists, Chairman Mao was never right.   He was wrong throughout his life.   He was considered a monster in their eyes.   But in the eyes of Chinese people, the oppressed workers and farmers, Chairman Mao was never wrong.   He has always been their dear leader, leading them on the path to emancipation.  Those who are talking about Chairman Mao’s mistakes during the Cultural Revolution years need to ask themselves: who do they stand with, with Chinese workers and farmers or their oppressors?.  

There were more than three thousand students and faculty in the audience that day.   That all stood up to cheer for me.   Throughout my speech, the stood up a dozen times to applaud for me.   When my forty minutes was up, the chairman of the meeting, a scholar from Chinese academy of social science, told me that I could continue as long as I wanted  and I did not need to worry about time.   In the end, I spoke a total of 80 minutes, four times of the time I was allotted.  

After the meeting, the dean of Henan University of Science and Technology told me that I became the main stream that day.   The audience was with me.  Otherwise, they would never allow me to continue like that at all.   An American historian whom I knew for a long time came up to me said: “Dongping, I never know that you are so powerful in China.”  I told him that it was not me.  It was the Chinese people.  They have been pissing off by those in power who have been tarnishing Chairman Mao’s image for their selfish motives.  I served as the spokesperson for the Chinese people on that day.   

Because of that speech, I was invited to give another speech at Wenzhou University the following year, and then was invited to give a speech at Hebei University and Zhongshan university on similar topics.  The social climate has been changing since that time.  More and more Chinese people are singing praise of Chairman on personal media now, and the tide in the world is changing as well.   Chairman Mao’s opponents have been proving Chairman Mao has been right.  

In 1988, I was studying in Singapore National University.  I befriended the assistant general manager of Bank of China Singapore branch.   He told me that during the cold war, Singapore Government was very anti-China.  They tried to close the bank of China on two occasions.  On each occasion, hundred and thousand Singaporean lined up to open an account with Bank of China.   The poor people did not have much money at the time.   They opened an account with five or ten dollars.  The line was so long that Bank of China had to work twenty four hours a day to handle these demand for days.  Finally, the Singaporean Government got the message, and give up the idea of shutting up Bank of China.   That is the power of the people.   

On September 9, 1976, Chairman Mao passed away.  At that time, there was no diplomatic relations between China and Singapore yet.  The Singaporeans did not have a place to mourn Chairman Mao.  Bank of China decided to set up a memorial service for Chairman Mao in the main hall of the bank.  Their original plan was to keep the memorial service for three days.   But again the lines to mourn Chairman Mao was so long that they had to extend the memorial service for ten days.  Among the mourners were Singaporeans and international sailors who were anchored in Singapore.  The banners made by these foreign sailors said that Chairman Mao is the great leaders of oppressed people of the world.  The former assistant general manager was still a young man at the time, and he had an archive of several hundred photos from the occasion.  

Lei Jieqing, former Deputy Chairman of Chinese Political Consultation Conference, wrote in 1994 with tears in her eyes at the age of 90 when she was visiting Chairman Mao’s residence in Shaoshan: “gongzhe qiangu sizhe yishi”(公者千古,私者一时) those who are dedicated to the public interests will live forever, those who were motivated by self interests will not last long.)。 These eight Chinese character will be the most succinct epitaph for Chairman Mao who dedicated his whole life and seven of his family members for the liberation and emancipation the Chinese people and oppressed people world over.



Eric Arnow















Eric Arnow was a robed Buddhist monk for much of his life, now retired.

Founder and Editor of: Bumble Buddhist (

Contributions to China Rising Radio Sinoland:





I recently met one of the typical Chinese dissidents who live in Chiang Mai (Thailand). These ingrates always bad mouth China, and everything about it. As if Chinese prosperity which allows him the ability to live in Chiang Mai just dropped out of the sky. So he said, “Mao killed my grandparents”. 

I replied that they died due to the effects of decades of Western imperialism impoverishing the country, not to mention the Japanese invasion, not to mention the civil war between the people of China and the Western backed Kuomintang, with their own pile of dirty laundry. 

I pointed out that it was Mao’s leadership of the people that freed China, by kicking the foreigners out of the country. And finally, ‘What is the life expectancy in China now compared with then?” It was Mao, of course, who provided the leadership and vision to guide the Chinese people, and laid the foundation for modern China. Life expectancy doubled during his life. 

The Big Lie Propaganda Machine, in its petulance and arrogance won’t give Mao Zedong his due, and unfortunately poisons the minds of modern Taiwanese, overseas Chinese, and even so called ‘sophisticated Chinese’, who take Western propaganda as truth, while not seeing China’s success, right in front of their own eyes. 



Frank Scott















Frank Scott is Co-Founder and Co-Editor of:

Contributions to China Rising Radio Sinoland:


a giant among great leaders 



 i knew little about china and nothing about mao- many years ago- when i worked in a coffee shop in newyork’s greenwhich village, cross roads for artist wannabees, musical wannabees and lots of real artists, musicians and especially politically informed folks,,, a poet type who was also a maoist was a good friend and we would have arguments-discussions about politics…i was already convinced america was mostly full of shit but found the shit content of all governments to be almost equal amounts of hypocritical bullshit…then this guy passed on to me a copy of mao’s little red ( yellow? blue? orange? many years back) book with a collection of his thoughts, advice, preachments and my brains almost fell out…this guy who i knew nothing about and thought my poet friend was naive to follow seemed brilliant and it helped me to never again judge anyone or thing until i had a chance to investigate it myself, no matter how reliable and sincere an informant might be…am sure if i took time to delve deeply into all his writings-thoughts i’d find plenty to disagree with but i sometimes disagree with my wife renee, who is the most beautiful brilliant mind in my universe…mao was and remains a giant among great leaders and he blessed far more than china with the sharing of his knowledge and viewpoints which are universal and not simply national. 



Frans Vandenbosch















Frans Vandenbosch (方腾波) is Founder and Editor of: Yellow Lion (


Contributions to China Rising Radio Sinoland:



Mao Zedong    
A tribute to Mao Zedong on his 130th birthday 


Mao Zedong on the left and Deng Xiaoping on the right, in a public display of all of China’s post-liberation leaders. Under the Mao photo, it says, “Our cause is led by the core strength of the Communist Party of China. Our guiding thought and theory is based on Marxism-Leninism”. Deng always said the same thing and under his photo can be made out about how  the Chinese people rose up and created their own “Socialism with Chines Characteristics”.



This is a translation of an article written in Dutch by Frank Willems for Chinasquare. 

Mao and Deng, one fight 

As is known, the later reformer Deng Xiaoping in the 1980’s assessed Mao Zedong’s contribution to China’s development as 70% positive and 30% negative. It was simply assumed that the 70% included the successful revolution and the establishment of the Chinese People’s Republic, and the 30% included just about everything he had done since 1958, especially the Great Leap and the Cultural Revolution.  

Last year, the Global Times, however, presented a more nuanced picture.  They’re referring to important speeches by President Xi Jinping about the role of Mao. In a speech on 18 December 2018 commemorating 40 years of reform, Xi Jinping stated that the Communist Party of China (CPC) under the leadership of Mao Zedong achieved the basic conditions and institutional foundations for all subsequent development and progress of contemporary China . Although its exploration process suffered serious failures, it provided valuable experience, theoretical preparation and a material basis for “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” Xi said. In an earlier speech on January 5, 2013, Xi had already stated that the historical periods before and after the start of the reforms should not be presented as mutually exclusive.  

Fan Yongpeng, deputy director of the China Institute at Fudan University in Shanghai, emphasizes that it is wrong to completely separate or contrast Mao’s legacy and the success of the reforms. He explains it vividly: ‘If you are full after eating six rolls, you cannot say: I should have eaten the sixth immediately, the other five were not necessary.’ 

Concrete contributions  

What were Mao Zedong’s most important concrete contributions to the development of China after the founding of the People’s Republic?

Mao led the building of an independent and broad industrial system. He also introduced a sound system of primary education, which virtually eradicated illiteracy and would form the basis for the training of technicians and engineers. Mao Zedong changed the mentality of the Chinese people. He taught them to trust in independent action without submitting to hegemony. Under Mao’s leadership, China developed the knowledge to build a strategic nuclear deterrent force. It achieved a military victory in the Korean War, against the most powerful military coalition in the world; it was the first time since the Opium War of 1841 that China could successfully resist a Western power. 

According to Su Wei, professor at the Chongqing Party School, without the achievements of the Mao era, China would not have been able to successfully implement subsequent reforms. As an example, he gives the opening to foreign investors in the 1980s. Those investors would not have come if they did not know that in China everyone, including the farmers, was literate and they could call on skilled, motivated workers. Fan also thinks along these lines: Mao ordered the universities to pay a lot of attention to scientific and technical training. That is a fundamental reason why millions of technicians and engineers continue to graduate every year and why China is able to expand its infrastructure so quickly.  

At the 130th birthday commemoration of Mao Zedong, all Chinese media and official WeChat social media accounts will pay attention to the remembrance of Mao Zedong: the party magazine People’s Daily, the army magazine People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Daily, the Central Commission for the Inspection of Discipline of the CPC, and the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League. They will assess various aspects of Mao’s legacy that were beneficial to the reforms and open-door policy, about Mao’s poems and President Xi’s assessment of Mao. 

Emotional and political Maoists  

Some 5 years ago, a 65-year-old visitor to the Mao mausoleum in Beijing told Global Times that life during Mao’s time was harsh with few comforts, but people were honest and personal relationships were simple. Today people live much better, but society is becoming more complicated. That’s why older people miss some aspects of that period, he explained.  

A 32-year-old visitor to Mao’s birthplace once said: ‘We know Mao made some mistakes, but his contribution and sacrifice for our country is much more important. We must not exaggerate his mistakes and suppress his contributions.”  

Each year at the commemoration of Mao’s birthday, some ultra-left Maoists are using the commemoration to argue for a return to Maoist politics. According to Su Wei, they are a small minority. They play on emotions but have a political agenda that wants to reverse the reforms and the open-door policy. 



Godfree Roberts















Godfree Roberts is Founder and Editor of Here Comes China! (




Nine Essays on Mao Zedong, by Godfree Roberts. With downloadable PDF files for each one included.:

Contributions to China Rising Radio Sinoland:


Commander Mao 

Better than Napoleon? 

Inwardly, I often smiled at the extravagance of Mao’s claims, which then seemed more naive than Gandhi’s hopes of conquering the British by love power. There he sat, with two pairs of cotton pants to his name, his army a minuscule band of poorly armed youths, facing a precarious existence in the most impoverished corner of the land. Yet he spoke as if his Party already had an irrevocable mandate over ‘the workers and peasants’ of all China, acted as if he believed it, and told the foreign powers just how a free China of the future ‘could’ and ‘could not’ cooperate with them.  

Still, if social revolution could provide the dynamics which can regenerate China, then in this profoundly historical sense, Mao Tse-tung may become a very great man. – Edgar Snow. Red Star Over China, 1937. 

Left to right: Zhou Enlai, Mao Zedong, unknown comrade and Bo Gu, in Yan’an, Shaanxi Province, circa 1937.


Though outnumbered ten to one, commanding ragged, underfed troops and lacking artillery, communications, airplanes, heavy equipment, reserves, and trained officers, Mao won most battles decisively. Nor was he an armchair general. He stayed behind in Yan’an with a small force to attract the Nationalists and allow the Red Army to withdraw unmolested. His bodyguard was killed while standing beside him, and a bomb that drenched him with a soldier’s blood left him unscathed. “Death never seemed to want me,” he shrugged. 

Said former British officer and visitor Robert Payne, “Mao’s invisible army played a cunning, furious, violent game, circling the Nationalists in the shadows, just out of reach, feinting, threatening, needling, then suddenly striking blows from quarters so unexpected that entire armies sometimes collapsed in shock”. 

His scattered armies lacked communications equipment, so he united them with simple principles. Mao’s standing order to commanders, The Four Nevers, covered most contingencies: “Never be afraid to negotiate; never be afraid to retreat; never be afraid to change your plans; never be afraid to attack”.  

By arranging sixteen characters into four rhyming verses, he taught tactics to millions of peasant troops, who sang as they marched: “When the enemy advances, we retreat; when he escapes, we harass; when he retreats, we pursue; when he is tired, we attack”. As he later explained, “Those sixteen characters are the basic directives for a counter-campaign against encirclement–and the phases of both the strategic defensive and the strategic offensive–as well as for strategic withdrawal and the strategic counteroffensive in a defensive operation. In a sense, all that came afterward was just an elaboration of those sixteen characters”.  

He taught his peasant warriors by reducing strategic principles to marching songs and won battles by maneuver and morale alone.  


Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery knew Mao and compared his campaigns to the best of Alexander’s and Napoleon’s, especially his Battle of the Four Crossings. His thirty thousand troops crossed the Chishui River under fire from four hundred thousand Nationalists – an exhausting, terrifying maneuver – then recrossed it thrice more, attacked the enemy’s flank and reversed the course of the war.  Payne observed dryly that Mao played the game so well because he wrote the rules,  

Mao’s contribution to the strategic operations can always be detected. Mao is the surgeon, exploring the wound, insisting above all on the delicate probing, the discovery of the enemy’s weakened nerve, the dangerous point where weakness is balanced by strength: at this point, he will order the attack. There follows a cunning interweaving among the enemy columns. As Mao describes his tactics, they have something of the inevitability of a dance. Finally, there is the withdrawal to the chosen terminus, which may be within the enemy lines, or deep in enemy territory, or safely within the territory the Reds have circumscribed for themselves. The theory, as he relates the battles, seems to be pure Mao. Mao’s notes on the actions, compiled with the help of Chu Teh, give an impression of illusory ease to the whole campaign. It is almost a dance or a game of skittles.  

As Mao said after one campaign, “We faced the enemy with poise and ease”. 

Amidst the fighting Mao opposed political violence, kept peace among the leadership by prescribing re-education for heterodox views. Hearing of Stalin’s bloody purges, he established a rule which still holds: “Not a single person must ever die from internal political struggles”. After capturing Chiang Kai-Shek, whose agents had murdered Mao’s wife and thrown his children onto the street, Mao treated him honorably, returned him to his troops, and offered to place the PLA under American command. 


By war’s end, China was agrarian, backward, feudalistic, ignorant, and violent. Most of its four hundred million people could neither read nor write, life expectancy was thirty-five years, and fifty-million drug addicts roamed its cities. Peasants paid seventy percent of their produce in rent; women’s feet were bound; desperate mothers sold their children for food; poor men sold themselves, choosing slavery over starvation. The Japanese had massacred twenty-million people, and US Ambassador John Leighton Stuart reported that ten million starved to death in just three provinces. Hundreds of millions, lives catastrophically dislocated by a century of war, needed vast quantities of food, clothing, and shelter merely to survive.  

Entering Beijing in 1949, the ordinarily self-assured Mao was anxious, “We don’t know enough about managing a whole country. We’ll be lucky if we don’t get thrown out!” 

Convinced that China needed foreign investment, Mao sent President Roosevelt a plea he repeated to Truman and Eisenhower, “China must industrialize, which can only be accomplished by free enterprise. Chinese and American interests fit together, economically and politically. America need not fear that we will not be co-operative. We cannot risk any conflict”.  

When they ignored him, he was philosophical, “Some people refuse to understand why we do not fear capitalism, but, on the contrary, develop it as much as possible. Our answer is simple: we have to replace foreign imperialist and native feudalist oppression with capitalist development because that is the inevitable course of our economy, and because both the capitalist class and the proletariat benefit. What we don’t need is not native capitalism, but foreign imperialism and native feudalism”. 

Unlike Napoleon, who left France defeated and depopulated Mao, denied foreign capital and intellectual property, working under embargoes that make today’s look mild, laid the foundation of the China we see today.  



James Bradley 














James Bradley is a director of Seek Truth From Facts Foundation (  

James Bradley’s website and award-winning, best-selling books: 

Contributions to China Rising Radio Sinoland:  

JB West and JB East Present: See You in The Hague!:  



Mao and Ho 

 Mao Zedong, left and Ho Chi Minh, enjoying each other’s company, 1959. They were good friends and comrades, who greatly respected each other. They not only transformed their countries and peoples, but changed world history in very beneficial ways. Ho was an amazing multilinguist and spoke fluent Mandarin.


Following Mao Zedong’s example, Ho Chi Minh was able to defeat the French. In 1945, Ho Chi Minh controlled Hanoi and he declared independence in September. The French retaliated by taking Haiphong and Hanoi thinking that this would quash Ho Chi men’s movement. But how Chi Minh had learned from Mao Zedong that the cities don’t matter that you can retreat to the middle of nowhere where it’s difficult for Western enemies to penetrate. My Mao had done it in the countryside of Yunnan and Ho Chi Minh did it in northern Vietnam. He retreated into the hills and from caves built a small following. He founded the Vietnamese army with a few ragtag volunteers and just like Mao built it into a great movement that eventually took over the entire country. 


Audio reading of his text: 



Jeff J. Brown















Jeff J. Brown is the Founder of Seek Truth From Facts Foundation and China Writers’ Group (

He is the Founder and Editor of China Rising Radio Sinoland ( and China Tech News Flash! (

He is a co-founder and the Curator of Bioweapon Truth Commission (





Essays and writings on Mao Zedong:



Merry Maomas!

A Mao Zedong badge on my sun hat, with his very famous and oft repeated motto, in his inimitable calligraphy style: SERVE THE PEOPLE! (为人民服务 = wei renmin fuwu).


My contribution,

Never in the history of humankind has one person done so much good for so many people in so little time.



Kwan Lee (aka Quan Le)


Kwan Lee is a director of Seek Truth From Facts Foundation (
His contributions to China Rising Radio Sinoland:

A respectful & heartfelt tribute to the Son of Heaven 毛 泽 东 (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976) at the occasion of the 130th anniversary of his birth. 

Mao Zedong, center, with an international delegation from the Global South.


The Great Helmsman Mao Zedong’s meteoric life restored the honor of the Chinese people and re-established the political sovereignty of the Chinese Nation, the first vital and essential step for a long endeavor to be kept on by his successors. He led China between 1949 and 1976.

The Little Helmsman Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997), from 1977 to 1989 (unofficially from 1989 to 1997 as The Paramount Sage) created the needed basic conditions for true economic development, technological innovation and scientific progress.

President Jiang Zemin (1926-2022) steered the Chinese Ship from 1989 to 2002.

President Hu Jintao (born on December 21, 1942) ensured its dynamic Journey from 2002 to 2012
The Younger Helmsman Xi Jinping (born on June 15, 1953) has the immense task of initiating the restoration of glory. He is leading China since 2012.

G.L.O.R.Y. means :

*G.lobal peace & development for all the peoples living on Earth.

*L.ifting everyone out of poverty, thus enjoying material dignity.

*O.verture of the minds by offering a Classical Education for all, not only a professional training.

*R.evolutions in the Arts, Sciences & Technology, including Philosophy.

*Y.earning for Space Exploration & achieving what is needed for that infinite adventure.


Further reading on Mao Zedong,



Matt Ehret and Cynthia Chung















Matt Ehret, Director, and Cynthia Chung, President, are Co-Founders and Editors of Rising Tide Foundation (

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Mao Zedong: poet, statesmen and revolutionary


Mao Zedong is ranked as one of China’s greatest modern poets. His calligraphy style is so unique and immediately identifiable, that there is font for it!


Recently, Xinhua made the astute summary of China’s progress out of the century of humiliation towards the incredible position of leading light of growth, defense of traditional values, and embrace of creative growth which she now embodies: “There were plenty of bumps along the road, too, mostly due to foreign interference; yet those efforts failed to kill the common aspiration of those involved to establish a necessary order, one that would facilitate regional cooperation and prosperity. “The agreement illustrates that a longing for peace outweighs any outstanding differences between the parties. It defeats attempts by nonregional countries to mislead public opinion, provoke confrontation and create tension; dialogue and consultation have proven better at settling disputes than outside meddling.” … Mao Zedong’s influence as a poet, statesmen and revolutionary created a nearly miraculous but entirely lawful outcome in breaking China free of the trap of foreign subversion, internal corruption, and demoralization from forces without and from within, creating a potent dynamic that would allow for a process of renaissance, renewal and moral rejuvenation beyond anything her enemies could have dreamed in their wildest nightmares. – Matt Ehret and Cynthia Chung


















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That Little Red Book



Back in the 1970’s. I would guess around 1972, my father came back from a work trip and gave me a present. It was a tiny book. The cover was plastic, and it was about 2 cm thick. It was about 4cm x 5cm or so. It was red. A little red book. 

Because the cover was plastic, it was flexible and compact, and easy to slip into the pocket of my Levi jeans. 

It was (the now infamous) “Little Red Book”. And I loved it. 

It was in English. 

And it was page after page of sayings. All of which seemed to make a lot of sense to me, even though I was in my teens at the time. 

I carried that book with me to college. To my various homes as I worked, and all the way up until I moved to China. I cannot say for certain that it influenced me to join the Chinese Communist Party, as I wouldn’t even begin to consider how to do so. But it absolutely DID influence me. 

I could feel the “revolutionary spirit” of what was being birthed so far away at the other end of the world. 

The Three Main Rules of Discipline are as follows: 

(1) Obey orders in all your actions.
(2) Do not take a single needle piece of thread from the masses.
(3) Turn in everything captured. 

The Eight Points for Attention are as follows: 

(1) Speak politely.
(2) Pay fairly for what you buy.
(3) Return everything you borrow.
(4) Pay for anything you damage.
(5) Do not hit or swear at people.
(6) Do not damage crops.
(7) Do not take liberties with women.
(8) Do not ill-treat captives.  

“On the Reissue of the Three Main Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points for Attention – Instruction of the General Headquarters of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army” (October 10, 1947), Selected Military Writings, 2nd ed., p. 343. 

How can you possibly not be impacted by such profound and intelligent direction?


Mobo Gao















Mobo Gao is Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Adelaide, Australia (

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A fresh perspective 50 years after Mao Zedong’s death


Mao had always been a leader who would arouse sharp likes and dislikes for two main reasons. One reason is that Mao was so creative and so far-sighted that he could be half a century ahead of his peers. One of the veteran Red Army Generals Wang Zhen openly admitted as such when he commented about the Cultural Revolution. In early days of the revolutionary period those who disagreed with Mao such as Zhou Enlai, Zhu De and later Wang Ming all proved to be wrong, wrong in terms of strategies and policies for the benefit of the CCP Revolution.  

Indeed, many of Mao’s ideas such as his idea on education, on health care and on economic development were super post-modern.  

The second reason why Mao was so intensely liked and disliked is that Mao’s premise and position for political theory and practice were for the betterment of the ordinary people. The ordinary people though in the majority usually have no resources to speak up for themselves, whereas the political and intellectual elite, though in minority, dominate the narratives of what should be allowed and what should not, and what should be right and what should not.  

The emergence of social media in recent years has a democratic function in that the ordinary people have some outlets to express themselves. That is why now 130 years after Mao’s birth, more and more voices can be heard about a more balanced and realistic assessment of Mao’s life. More and more people, old or young, know how to appreciate what Mao had done nearly half a century after his death.  


Patrice Greanville














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Homage to the Great Helmsman

Pictured are Mao’s famous motto, SERVE THE PEOPLE!, the flag of the communist revolution during the Chinese Civil War, the flag of the People’s Liberation Army and the Little Red Book. It also shows China’s 55 minorities.


A proper homage to Mao Zedong—a truly multidimensional man—is a hard assignment. How can one capture in a few lines, or paragraphs even, the greatness and essence of a human being whose example continues to mean so much to billions of people around the world? A man who, against colossal obstacles, accomplished so much that he literally changed history massively for the better? 

As we all know Mao—like Lenin, another great human being and world-historical figure in his own right—embodied many admirable qualities. In his character the strictly intellectual and the emotional seemed to exist in a perfect but fluid balance, as befits a leader who, over decades of harsh struggle, had to often implement a superior and flexible Marxian praxis. 

People who knew Mao have testified to his great intellect and political sagacity, but a great intellect is ultimately only a mere instrumentality. Wisdom informed by selflessness and compassion is a different matter. Mao possessed all these qualities. Let me dwell on this topic for a moment. 

Men of powerful intellect abound. Most come and go leaving no real enduring mark on history. Each year, throughout the West, especially the US, the world citadel of capitalism, tens of thousands of bright-eyed students graduate from fancy universities with degrees in business, a fancy label for applied capitalism, or, worse from a moral standpoint, from institutions dedicated to teaching young people how to advance and defend the fortunes of imperial hegemony radiating from Washington, an evil, inherently useless, and despicable thing if ever there was one. Upon graduating, these innocents (I want to be generous) start profitable careers in the intricate ecology of “national security” think tanks, politics, or both, their ultimate prize becoming pet advisers to the rulers, and, perhaps someday, policymakers. Think here Jake Sullivan, Condi Rice, Samantha Power, Antony Blinken, or the notorious Neocon criminal Victoria Nuland. Such people, forever wrapped in self-interest, a form of antisocial myopia, and serving the puny minorities at the apex of the social pyramid that prosper only by oppressing and exploiting others, lack by definition the crucial moral virtues to reach authentic greatness. Fleeting fame, like a Kissinger or a Metternich, yes, perhaps, but never enduring greatness. Let alone the gratitude and affection of future generations. 

Mao’s greatness is of a different kind. Probably incomprehensible to many people in the West, still immersed in the dog-eat-dog race and constant insecurities and fears that capitalist propaganda presents as the natural and inevitable order of things. The captive populations of the “collective West”—thanks to constant indoctrination—suffer from a severely stunted political and empathetic imagination. Under such conditions, society is atomized and solidarity suffers. And without solidarity, no real social change is possible. Further, in keeping with the squalid values of such a system, its leaders—except for a tiny handful, and mostly outside the political establishment—have been and still are outright criminals, charlatans or pathetic mediocrities. All these people are doomed to eventual obscurity—which they richly deserve, I should add. 

I said earlier that Mao was cut from a completely different cloth, for Mao was first and foremost a revolutionary, a key figure in the most massive, astonishing, and consequential process of social transformation ever seen in human history. Through tireless and often highly perilous personal work, punctuated with much penury and many setbacks, Mao and his comrades in struggle eventually rescued China from the horrors of colonialism, feudalism, banditry, foreign invasions and warlordism, not to mention incipient comprador capitalism—an eventual dead end, as we all understand by now. The fight took almost 30 years, but in 1949 China finally stood free and sovereign and ready to take her rightful place in the family of nations. The country was in ruins in many parts, and still crawling with problems, but the reins of the nation were at last in the hands of capable patriots. 

The revolutionists paid a heavy personal price for such an achievement. Their wives, children, and other immediate family were often involved in their work, often out of desperate necessity. They became targets for brutal repression. Mao lost his second wife, Yang Kaihui, in 1930, at age 29, executed by the KMT. (One of his sons by Yang, Mao Anying, later died early in the Korean War). This chapter in Mao’s life—romantic in the truest sense of the word—deserves some elaboration if only for what it says about China’s early communist feminism (compared to the joke that passes for feminism in the West) and the moulding of Mao’s character through constant personal challenges and even devastating tragedies. I am excerpting below from Yang Kaihui’s Wikipedia page, which, surprisingly enough, does not seem maliciously adulterated: 

Yáng Kāihuì 


Fellow China Writers’ Group members Jeff J. Brown and Amir Khan, paying their humble respects at the Yang Kaihui Memorial, in Hunan Province.


Yáng Kāihuì (6 November 1901 – 14 November 1930) was the second wife of Mao Zedong, whom he married in 1920. She had three children with Mao Zedong: Mao Anying, Mao Anqing, and Mao Anlong. Her father was Yang Changji, the head of the Hunan First Normal School and one of Mao’s favorite teachers.

Yang Kaihui was born in the small village of Bancang in Changsha, Hunan Province, on 6 November 1901. Her name meant “Opening Wisdom”, although she came to be nicknamed Xia, meaning “Little Dawn.” Her father was Yang Changji, a teacher and leftist intellectual…Through his teaching of ethics at the First Normal School of Changsha, Changji had become a father figure to a pupil named Mao Zedong, later writing in his journal that “it is truly difficult to imagine someone so intelligent and handsome” as him. A friendship developing, in summer 1916, Mao was invited to spend several days at Yang’s Bancang home, walking twenty miles in straw sandals in order to get there. 

Yang Changji gained a professorship at Peking University and moved his family to the city when Mao came to Peking in September 1918 with several like-minded friends from Hunan. Upon arrival, they stayed in the Yangs’ small house in the north of the city. Here, Mao met Kaihui again, and the two discovered a mutual attraction. A friend who knew Kaihui at the time described her as “small in stature and round-faced, with deep-set eyes and pale white skin”, and her appearance impressed both Mao and his friends. Kaihui later related that she had “fallen madly in love with him already when I heard about his numerous accomplishments” but did not make her feelings immediately known. She kept “hoping and dreaming” that he shared her feelings and decided that she would never marry anyone but him.

Their relationship did not develop swiftly, as Mao was shy and lacked sufficient funds to court her, living in cramped rented accommodation with other Hunanese students in Peking’s Three-Eyed Well district. Changji secured Mao a job at the university library as assistant to the librarian Li Dazhao, an early Chinese communist.
In January 1920, Yang Changji died. Mao was in Peking ostensibly on business, though biographer Stuart Schram suspected his presence was partly due to his desire to comfort Kaihui. Yang Kaihui and her mother returned to Changsha with her father’s remains, and she soon entered the Fusiang Girls’ School. At the missionary school, her exposure to revolutionary ideas got her labeled a ‘rebel’, who refused to pray and cut her hair short in defiance of convention.

Mao had gone from Peking to Shanghai, where he worked in a laundry and joined a Communist group for the first time. Following the overthrow of Hunanese warlord Zhang Jingyao by generals favourable to Mao, he returned to Changsha in July 1920. Mao opened a bookstore and publishing house. Now possessing social status and financial security, Mao was able to marry Kaihui.

Yang Kaihui’s Revolutionary experience 


At her memorial in Hunan Province, Yang Kaihui and Mao Zedong depicted before her martydom in 1930. The line is from a famous 1957 poem Mao wrote in homage to his wife and her friend’s husband, Liu Shuyi, also martyred by the KMT, entitled “Butterfly Love Flower·Answer to Li Shu” (蝶恋花·答李淑 = Dié liàn huā·dá lǐ shū ). Translated, this line says, “Yang and Liu lightly float up to Ninth Heaven” (杨柳轻飏直上重霄九 = Yáng Liǔ qīngyáng zhíshàng chóngxiāojiǔ).


Yang joined the Chinese Socialism Youth League (CYLC) in the second half of 1920 as one of the first members in Hunan. She married Mao Zedong that winter, without any wedding ceremony or other celebrations. Yang joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the beginning of 1922.

By the 1920s, the Communist movement in China used a labor and peasant organizing strategy that combined workplace advocacy with women’s rights advocacy. The Communists would lead union organizing efforts among male workers while simultaneously working in nearby peasant communities on women’s rights issues, including literacy for women. Yang and Mao were among the most effective Communist political organizers using this method, using it in the Anyuan mines and nearby peasant communities.
In April 1923, Mao went to the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party in Shanghai to work as the Organization Department Minister. In the following year, Yang, together with her two children, Mao Anying and Mao Anqing, joined her husband in Shanghai and organized an evening school at a cotton mill. In 1925, accompanied by Mao, Yang Kaihui went to Shaoshan to organize peasant movements, while caring for her husband and educating their children. At the same time, she continued to teach peasant evening schools and contracted with other comrades. In the beginning of 1927, Mao inspected the peasant movement in Hunan. Yang Kaihui sorted through the large amount of investigation materials and neatly copied them down. Mao’s Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan including Yang’s contributions, was published in March of that year. During this period Yang organized many movements among peasants, labor, women, and students.

After the National Revolution failed, Yang returned alone to Bancang to organize underground revolutions and lead fights against the Kuomintang (KMT) in Changsha, Pingjiang, and the borders of Xiangyin. Amid the great difficulties and dangers, Yang wrote many letters to her cousin Yang Kaiming, asking him to take good care of her children and mother if she met a sudden death. Because of the great distance and spare communication with Mao over the next three years, Yang often only saw news about her husband in the KMT’s newspapers and worried greatly about his safety.

In early 1928, Mao began a relationship with He Zizhen without ending his marriage with Yang Kaihui.

In October 1930, the local KMT warlord He Jian captured Yang Kaihui and her son Mao Anying. Her captors wanted her to publicly renounce Mao Zedong and the CCP, but she refused to do so. Even under torture, she is reputed to have told her captors, “You could kill me as you like, you would never get anything from my mouth … Chopping off the head is like the passing of wind, death could frighten cowards, rather than our Communists … Even if the seas run dry and the rocks crumble, I would never break off relations with Mao Zedong … I prefer to die for the success of Mao’s revolutionary career.”

Yang was executed in Changsha on 14 November 1930 at the age of 29. Her children with Mao Zedong were effectively orphaned, and were rediscovered years later. Mao Anying later died early in the Korean War, and Mao Anqing became a translator for the CCP Central Committee. 

Although he would have relationships with other women, Mao mourned Kaihui for the rest of his life. In summer 1937, he conversed with the American reporter Agnes Smedley, reciting to her a poem that he had written in memory of Kaihui.

Such events cannot fail to temper a man’s character and Mao, when young a sensitive and even shy intellectual, eventually became the complex, fascinating and ultimately elusive man that many historians and biographers have tried to describe without complete satisfaction. For Mao is a man of many parts—military tactician and strategist, political and social philosopher, poet, writer, and, of course, teacher.  All great revolutionary leaders —regardless of the cultural ambit in which they operated—have been moral and political teachers, sometimes by default if you like: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Che, Ho, Kim, Khomeini, no one in this category escapes that rule. Their contribution to the progress of humanity is incalculable. And yet, even in this formidable company, Mao stands as Primus inter pares. By several measures, he remains the greatest of them all. 

For more than 50 years, starting in the 1920s, Mao and his comrades in the CPC struggled against ridiculous odds to make China a nation in which generalised misery and massive suffering someday would be banned. Indeed it was Mao’s contributions that made it possible for China to lift 800 million people from poverty into the middle class, in a historically absurdly short time. 

Escaping the claws of poverty, a form of constant, lifelong torment, with a multitude of ills, is a dazzling achievement unprecedented in the history of humanity. Although Mao and his comrades were not able to see the glorious social harvest they had striven for, their knowledge of historical dynamics probably assured them that such day would inevitably arrive. It took China almost precisely a full century to be rid of this scourge, attained with Pres. Xi Jinping at the helm:

In February 2021, President Xi Jinping announced that extreme poverty in China had been eradicated, in what he called a miracle. President Xi announced that “through the combined efforts of the whole Party and the entire nation, China has secured a complete victory in its fight against poverty in this important year”.—See Poverty Eradication: A Chinese Success Story. 

Mao’s steadfastness in the long fight against the multitude of deeply entrenched ills he had to face was sustained by his poetic belief in the beauty and ultimate triumph of justice, and as Che Guevara explained, the revolutionary’s great feelings of love for his fellows, life, and nature itself.  Mao, by example, taught nobility of character to innumerable people he came in contact with. Above all, as he made clear on many occasions, he was an enemy of selfishness, which, not accidentally, happens to be the cornerstone of capitalism, and of just about every infernal system grounded in the institutionalised oppression, brutalisation, and exploitation of one class or race by another.

Mao regarded empathy, the ability to practice the golden rule, as essential to the life of a revolutionist. Without empathy, he warned, there could never be stable justice nor, by extension, social peace. Socialism is nothing if this virtue is not encouraged and cultivated by all the cultural arms of the state. Mao saw very clearly that the more a human being integrates with the rest of the human family, the more s/he contributes to the collective well-being, the happier and more fulfilled s/he is likely to be. Self-centeredness, as we observe throughout the bourgeois world (where having a shrink is for many a necessity), is a social disease that also triggers mental and emotional disorders, a feeling of general dissatisfaction, and at the societal level, corrosive dysfunction.  Mao also correctly believed that selflessness was indispensable for the triumph of internationalism and the overthrow of imperialism. 

The value he put on these moral virtues is clearly expressed in his moving homage to Dr Norman Bethune, the heroic Canadian Communist surgeon who traveled across the world (after serving with distinction with the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War), to offer his services to the embattled Chinese Communist 8th Route Army, still engaged in the War of Resistance Against Japan. The following are excerpts from Mao’s oration (December 21, 1939):



Norman Bethune treating rural Chinese children.


Comrade Norman Bethune, a member of the Communist Party of Canada, was around fifty when he was sent by the Communist Parties of Canada and the United States to China; he made light of traveling thousands of miles to help us in our War of Resistance Against Japan. He arrived in Yenan in the spring of last year, went to work in the Wutai Mountains, and to our great sorrow died a martyr at his post. What kind of spirit is this that makes a foreigner selflessly adopt the cause of the Chinese people’s liberation as his own? It is the spirit of internationalism, the spirit of communism, from which every Chinese Communist must learn. 

Comrade Bethune’s spirit, his utter devotion to others without any thought of self, was shown in his great sense of responsibility in his work and his great warm-heartedness towards all comrades and the people. Every Communist must learn from him. There are not a few people who are irresponsible in their work, preferring the light and shirking the heavy, passing the burdensome tasks on to others and choosing the easy ones for themselves. At every turn they think of themselves before others. When they make some small contribution, they swell with pride and brag about it for fear that others will not know. They feel no warmth towards comrades and the people but are cold, indifferent and apathetic. In truth such people are not Communists, or at least cannot be counted as devoted Communists. No one who returned from the front failed to express admiration for Bethune whenever his name was mentioned, and none remained unmoved by his spirit. 

Comrade Bethune was a doctor, the art of healing was his profession and he was constantly perfecting his skill, which stood very high in the Eighth Route Army’s medical service. His example is an excellent lesson for those people who wish to change their work the moment they see something different and for those who despise technical work as of no consequence or as promising no future.

Comrade Bethune and I met only once. Afterwards he wrote me many letters. But I was busy, and I wrote him only one letter and do not even know if he ever received it. I am deeply grieved over his death. Now we are all commemorating him, which shows how profoundly his spirit inspires everyone. We must all learn the spirit of absolute selflessness from him. With this spirit everyone can be very useful to the people. A man’s ability may be great or small, but if he has this spirit, he is already noble-minded and pure, a man of moral integrity and above vulgar interests, a man who is of value to the people.




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The Undisputed Pop Politico Icon of the 20th Century 




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The Genius of Mao Zedong’s political poetry

Mao’s original rendition of his poem, Qin Yuan Chun: Snow (沁园春.雪), in his iconic, calligraphy style.


Since I don’t know much about Mao, and much of my early impressions of Mao came from dubious sources when I was growing up in Hong Kong, I doubt that I have anything valuable to add, such as Mao quotes, Mao history or Mao anecdotes, especially when many members of the China Writers Group are probably experts on the subject of Mao. 

After giving it some thought, I have decided to share something written by Mao in the winter of 1936 after surviving the Long March. It is a very well-known verse in mainland China, but I never heard of it until much later in life. It made me think rather differently of Mao.  

Shortly after Japan surrendered in 1945, Chiang Kai-Shek invited Mao to meet face-to-face at Chongqing, the wartime capital, to work out a peace deal. The Chinese have a term for such a meeting, Hongmen (Wild Goose Gate) Banquet, which could turn out very badly for the attendees. Mao went anyway (my sci-fi trilogy has included this account). He also decided to share his 1936 verse which was published in Chongqing. It created quite a stir because Nationalist propaganda had convinced a lot of people that the communists were uneducated brutes and bloodthirsty bandits. Some Taiwanese politicians still refer to mainland Chinese officials as “Communist Bandits” (共匪). Mao’s 1936 verse probably changed a lot of minds. Even Chiang’s most loyal propagandist who wrote all of Chiang’s public speeches, Chen Bulei (陈布雷), exclaimed that Mao’s work was epic. When Chiang’s main army was encircled at the end of 1948 with no hope of escape, Chen saw the writing on the wall and committed suicide. He knew what Mao was talking about and Chiang had no chance. 

The verse is known as Qin Yuan Chun: Snow (沁园春.). Qin Yuan Chun is the name of a format established during the Tang and Song dynasties. The meters and even the tones are very strict. It’s almost like a canon in music. All poets using this format must follow very strict rules. Although it is a famous Mao verse, I do not believe there are good English translations. Here is my attempt. I hope it is good enough to convey the feeling and the message. I’ll let the reader make his or her own interpretation of what kind of a person Mao was. 

In Chinese


In English

The northern country’s exquisite scenery, set in ice for a thousand miles, with snowflakes wafting in the air for ten thousand (i). Viewing within and beyond the Great Wall, there is nothing but vast grassland (ii). Up and down the great Yellow River, she suddenly lost her roiling waves (iii). The mountains are as dancing silvery snakes, the plateaux as stampeding white elephants (iv), wanting to vie with the heavenly god (v) for how high they could rise. You must wait for a sunny day to enjoy the pleasing sight of her brilliant red mantle over her simple white dress (vi), it is particularly enchanting (vii). The mountains and rivers (viii) are too lovely (ix), countless heroes have fought to bow before her beauty. Regrettably, the Emperor Qin Shihuang (x) and the Martial Emperor Han Wudi (xi) were slightly lacking in literary talents. Tang Taizong (xii) and Song Taizu (xiii) were similarly inferior in their poetic elegance (xiv). A favored son of Heaven for a generation, Genghis Khan, only knew how to bend his bow to shoot at the great eagles. They all lived in the past; to talk about cultured (xv) persons who have accomplished great deeds, we may have to find them today. 


(i) Mao’s view entering Shanxi from Shaanxi in the winter of 1936 when he ran into a snowstorm. A thousand and ten thousand miles are poetic descriptions of vast distances.  

(ii) some translates 莽莽 as immeasurable vastness, sort of similar to 茫茫, but the Phrase Dictionary (辞海) explicitly defines it as the adjective for grassland.  

(iii) from the freezing of the river.  

(iv) Mao used “paraffin” () to mean white.  

(v) fate.  

(vi) sunlight over the snow cover.  

(vii) description of a sexy enchantress.  

(viii) meaning the country.  

(ix) or cute in the feminine sense.  

(x) first emperor of China (259 – 210 BCE) who conquered all the warring states. 

(xi) at the peak of the Western Han dynasty, Wudi (156 – 87 BCE) conducted endless wars against the Xiongnu, eventually driving them to Europe as the Huns. Han started its inexorable decline after Wudi. 

(xii) the second and most important Tang emperor (599 – 649 CE) who oversaw Tang’s flowering.  

(xiii) the founding emperor (927 – 976 CE) of the Song dynasty.  

(xiv) 风骚 has become a colloquial term in Hong Kong and probably Taiwan to mean coquettish. Its origin is, however, from ancient Chinese poetry.  

(xv) 风流 in Chinese literature describes a cultured person of high character, but in modern times, more popularly connotes promiscuity. Mao obviously used it to mean the former. 



Ramin Mazaheri















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Crossing the Great River

Mao Zedong, at bottom, swimming across the mighty Changjiang (Yangzi) River, on 16 July 1966, just two months after the people’s launch of the Cultural Revolution. This feat was not about demonstrating Mao’s good health, but a powerful metaphor for something much greater.


When the I Ching says it is “Favorable to cross great rivers”, that means it is the right time to dare the greatest of undertakings. Indeed, this sentence reflects the maximum amount of good and luck possible. It means: “Take courage, heaven smiles upon you, you are being just, you are in tune with ethics and in tune with the Tao”.

When Mao literally crossed the great river – famously swimming the Yangzi in July 1966 – he was emphatically, physically telling all the Chinese People: “Join me in daring this great undertaking of the Cultural Revolution. Cross the great river now – in real life.”

Mao the helmsman, the chairman, the teacher, the warrior, the sage, the comrade – Mao at 130 continues to inspire us to cross the greater river of socialist unity and progress.



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Humankind’s greatest women’s libber


1.                                                                                           2.































3.                                                                                           4.

1.We are proud to participate in founding of the country’s industrialization.

2. Women soldiers during Chinese Civil War crossing a torrential river. Painting in a Chinese museum.

3. Women hold up half the sky.

4. Women’s artillery unit. Shanghai, 1974.


I think Mao’s contribution to women’s social status and rights are worth taking note:

Mao’s respect for women rights and ability is by far unparalleled in the history of humankind till date:

A) Mao believe that women 能撑起半边天 (ie. Women are capable of lifting half the sky). So, in today China, percentage of Chinese women working population are the highest on the planet.

B) China is the only country that promote equal pay for men and women. During Mao era, women deserved equal pay as male is written into China constitution (no one else has done that, I believe).

C) Chinese women contributed greatly to the Mao-led CCP revolution. Women soldiers and revolutionists are praised by Mao in his poetry,


1961: 七绝·为女民兵题照





Kwan Lee translated this heptasyllabic quatrain : 七 绝 : Qi1 Jue2

为 女 民 兵 题 照
Wei4 Nü3 Min2 Bing1 Ti3 Zhao4
On the matter of the people’s female soldiers (title)

飒 爽 英 姿 五 尺 枪
Sha1 Shuang3 Ying1 Zi1 Wu3 Chi3 Qiang1
The Heroic Beauties kill resolutely with a 5 feet long rifle

曙 光 初 照 演 兵 场
Shu3 Guang3 Chu1 Zhao4 Yan3 Bing1 Chang3
The light of dawn shines upon the military training ground

中 华 儿 女 多 奇 志
Zhong1 Hua2 Er2 Nü3 Duo1 Qi2 Zi
China’s daughters are hoisting numerous banners

不 爱 红 妆 要 武 装
Bu4 Ai4 Hong2 Zhuang1 Yao4 Wu3 Zhuang1
Not loving feminine adornments & wanting to wear military uniform.

Below is the Internet translation (,

Militia Women

Inscription on a Photograph —a jueju poem, February 1961

How bright and brave they look, shouldering five-foot rifles

On the parade ground lit up by the first gleams of day.

China’s daughters have high-aspiring minds

They love their battle array, not silks and satins.


1939.6.1 Mao wrote the following poem praising women’s contribution to the revolution, simply called “Women’s Liberation”. It was published in the “China Women’s Journal”. It is written in a famous Chinese style called, “Four Character Poetry”, here, two sets of four for each line.


四言诗·妇女解放, Four Character Poem-Women’s Liberation

妇女解放,突起异军,Women’s liberation emerged as a formidable force,

两万万众,奋发为雄。200 million people, working hard to become heroes. (note: during that time, there were 400 million Chinese, half of them were women)

男女并驾,如日方东,Men and women riding side by side, like the rising sun from the east,

以此制敌,何敌不倾。With such forces countering the enemies, no enemies could hold their position.

到之之法,艰苦斗争,The only way is to fight hard with determination and resolve,

世无难事,有志竟成。Nothing is difficult in this world, if there is a will, there will be success.

有妇人焉,如旱望云,The existence of women is like staring at the clouds in time of drought,

此编之作,伫看风行。The content of this magazine is gaining in popularity and disseminating fast.


In closing: two hours of Mao Era music

Two Hours of Music – Mao Zedong – YouTube

If you cannot get YouTube, here is the video and song list. You can download at the end of this page,


“革命不是请客吃饭,不是做文章,不是绘画绣花,不能那样雅致,那样从容不迫,文质彬彬,那样温良恭俭让。革命是暴动,是一个阶级推翻一个阶级的暴烈的行动。”  ——毛泽东主席

“A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.” —Chairman Mao Zedong


0:00 东方红 (The East Is Red)

3:40 毛主席的声音传四方 (Chairman Mao’s Voice Resonates in All Directions)

5:07 生活在毛泽东时代 (Living in the Mao Era)

7:00 全世界人民热爱毛主席 (People Around the World Love Chairman Mao)

8:30 读毛主席的书 (Reading Chairman Mao’s Book)

10:20 毛主席的书是革命的宝 (Chairman Mao’s Book is the Treasure of the Revolution)

11:43 延边人民热爱毛主席 (The Yanbian People Love Chairman Mao)

13:55 敬祝毛主席万寿无疆 (Long Live Chairman Mao)

16:17 毛泽东思想永放光芒 (Mao Zedong’s Thought Will Forever Shine)

19:10 毛主席派人来 (Chairman Mao Has Sent Us)

22:10 颂歌献给毛主席 (Ode to Chairman Mao)

24:26 绣金匾 (Embroider a Golden Silk Banner)

27:38 毛主席来到咱农庄 (Chairman Mao Came to Our Farm)

29:30 贫下中农最爱毛主席 (Poor Peasants Love Chairman Mao the Most)

31:24 毛主席号召学大寨 (Chairman Mao Told Us to Learn from Dazhai)

34:43 我们是毛主席的红卫兵 (We Are Chairman Mao’s Red Guards)

38:20 跟着毛主席跟着党 (Follow Chairman Mao, Follow the Party)

40:30 日夜想念毛主席 克里木 (Day and Night Miss Chairman Mao)

43:45 世世代代铭记毛主席的恩情 (Remember the Kindness of Chairman Mao for Generations)

45:38 手捧珍藏的毛主席像 (Holding a Statue of Chairman Mao)

49:21 太阳就是毛泽东 (The Sun is Mao Zedong)

51:07 听毛主席的话到农村去 (Listen to the Words of Chairman Mao)

52:26 万众欢呼毛主席 (The People Cheer for Chairman Mao)

54:09 伟大导师毛泽东 (Great Teacher Mao Zedong)

55:21 伟大的领袖毛主席 (Great Leader Chairman Mao)

57:27 伟大的毛泽东思想灿烂辉煌 (The Great Brilliance of Mao Zedong Thought)

1:00:35 我们是毛主席的战士 (We Are Chairman Mao’s Soldiers)

1:02:57 们心中的红太阳毛主席 (Chairman Mao the Red Sun in Our Hearts)

1:05:38 我凝望着毛主席住过的地方 (I Visited the Place Where Chairman Mao Lived)

1:09:32 毛主席纪念堂 (Chairman Mao’s Memorial Hall)

1:13:27 永远歌唱伟大领袖毛主席 (Forever Sing of the Great Leader Mao Zedong)

1:17:05 永远跟着毛泽东 (Always Follow Mao Zedong)

1:20:16 永远在毛主席身边 (Chairman Mao is Always Around)

1:22:17 永远做毛主席的好战士 (Always Be a Good Soldier of Chairman Mao)

1:23:18 越看越爱毛主席 (Love Chairman Mao More and More)

1:24:59 在毛主席的指挥下统一行动 (Under the Command of Chairman Mao)

1:26:33 战士爱读毛主席的书 (Soldiers Love Reading Chairman Mao’s Book)

1:28:59 毛主席我们永远歌唱您 (We Will Always Sing About Chairman Mao)

1:32:31 天上太阳红彤彤 (The Red Sun Glowing in the Sky)

1:34:17 这就是领袖毛泽东 (This is the Leader Mao Zedong)

1:38:24 这里是毛主席来过的地方 (This is Where Chairman Mao Has Been)

1:42:40 永远忠于毛主席 (Always Loyal to Chairman Mao)

1:44:57 毛泽东同志是当代最伟大的马克思列宁主义者 (Comrade Mao Zedong is the Greatest Marxist-Leninist of our Age)

1:47:11 桥工想念毛主席 (Bridge Workers Miss Chairman Mao)

1:49:56 咱们的领袖毛泽东 (Our Leader Mao Zedong)

1:51:34 咱要去瞻仰毛主席遗容 (I Pay Respects to the Remains of Chairman Mao)

1:53:58 给我力量毛泽东 (Give Me Strength, Mao Zedong)

1:59:32 大海航行靠舵手 (Sailing the Seas Depends on the Helmsman)


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