28 November, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 10/07/2006
CHINA
30th anniversary of downfall of Gang of Four passes unobserved

Chinese historians and academics say the current leadership allows all sensitive anniversaries to pass by in silence, to avoid any confrontation with history. But this has created a void in the population's awareness of national history.



Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The 30th anniversary of the arrest of the Gang of Four passed in total silence yesterday. The Gang of Four consisted of the most radical ideologists of the Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976).

According to academics and historians, the silence comes from the Chinese leadership, which continues to avoid commemorating any "politically sensitive" anniversaries. This approach effectively prevents objective analysis of the country's recent history.

Some academics have used this latest ignored anniversary to highlight how "the population no longer has any awareness of recent events, which have been changed or deliberately forgotten to avoid any comparison with the current situation."

Joseph Cheng, who teaches history at the City University of Hong Kong, said: "Most people associate the Gang of Four with the most undesirable and nightmarish period in the history of the People's Republic of China. They think of the fact that they had so much power and were able to create so much havoc and disturbance."

However, continued the lecturer, "many people have forgotten about the Gang of Four. Young people don't quite know who they were."

It is likely that the media does not supply this information to the people. In a bid to avoid any debate about the tormented history of China's power struggles, the government avoids recalling sensitive anniversaries, including Mao's death.

Liu Xiaomeng, a historian at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said this "reflects a general unwillingness to permit objective reflection on our country's history. The current leadership has not entirely come to terms with this history and this has caused serious misunderstanding among ordinary Chinese, who have no awareness of the nation's recent history."

The historian said: "During their trial, the gang was blamed for all the barbaric acts of the Cultural Revolution, and although this was not really true, they are still considered as the only ones who were guilty."

He added: "Even though China's economy has made great strides, systemic contradictions still haven't been solved and we still don't have true democracy, while the process of modernisation is not entirely guaranteed."

The most notorious and powerful member of the Gang of Four was Jiang Qing, Mao's widow and his fourth and last wife. The other three were Zhang Chunqiao (propaganda expert), Wang Hongwen (labour activist) e Yao Wenyuan (literary critic).

Notwithstanding the great power they wielded in the course of the Cultural Revolution, the four were aware that most of their influence depended on the acquiescence of Mao, founder of Communist China. Thus, when Mao died in September 1976, they sought to seize supreme power in Beijing, but they were defeated by the then leader of the party, Hua Guofeng, and later arrested and condemned in a highly publicised farcical trial.

Last December, the remaining member of the Gang of Four, Yao Wenyuan, died of diabetes. The other three killed themselves in prison while serving their sentence.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
03/03/2006 CHINA - NPC
China on the quest for a new development model
by Bernardo Cervellera
10/01/2009 CHINA
Celebrating 60 years of (censored) history in China
by Bao Pu
12/20/2011 CHINA
"Get behind me Satan": No religion for the Chinese Communist Party members
by Bernardo Cervellera
06/07/2010 CHINA
China, Internet buzz over Li Peng diaries
04/14/2005 CHINA
Chinese history books silent on Tiananmen

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Letter from Archbishop of Mosul: Thank you for your aid, supporting the plight of refugees
by Amel NonaThe donations made through the "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" campaign are used to buy food, warm clothes, blankets for refugees and rent houses or caravans given the early onset of winter and. Two women have defended their Christian faith before the Islamist militants who wanted to convert them, despite the threat of death. A refugee among refugees, Msgr. Nona discovers a new way of being a pastor.
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.