In the history of world political thought, Sun Yatsen introduced his doctrine of the Three People’s Principles and the constitution of the five authorities. The idea of the Three People’s Principles was nationalism, democracy, and people’s welfare. In this work, the author revealed the idea of the five branches of government. The need for the ideal of a democratic state should be guided by the following branches of government: legislative, judicial, executive, and selective control. Sun Yatsen developed his theory of the Three People’s Principles and added three political attitudes: collaboration with the Communists, support of the workers and peasants in their struggle for a broad democratization of social life in China, and the alliance with the USSR.
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Mao Zedong’s work On New Democracy states that the basis of democratic dictatorship is the union of the working class and the urban petty bourgeoisie, and, mainly, alliance between the working class and the peasantry since they make up 80 to 90 percent of China’s population. Democratic dictatorship should be led by the working class, for the working class is the most far-sighted, fair, and consistent.
Wei Jingsheng was a prominent human rights leader. His most famous work was Fifth Modernization: Democracy issued on the Democracy Wall. It caused extensive discussion among the dissidents of the Cultural Revolution. The work implied that China had to change the course from communism to building a democratic state in order to correspond with the needs of the world. Also, it revealed the absence of many democratic freedoms and the information about violation of the human rights. The author had to spend 18 years in different prisons and then, migrated to the USA. After publishing his work, Wei Jingsheng became a victim of Culture Revolution and repressions of the intelligentsia.
Deng Xiaoping became the initiator of the new thinking and developed the principle of socialism with Chinese characteristics. He summarized his position in the book Build Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, where he stated about the necessity of adherence to market principles even on the way of building socialism. By the principles announced in that work, he has initiated economic reforms in China and made the country part of the global market. He laid the foundation of China’s economic development, which enabled China to achieve a reputation of a country with the fastest growing economy in the world.
Fang Lizhi was a Chinese astrophysicist, social activist, and dissident. His fundamental work was Democracy Reform and Modernization. The author expressed the necessity of interchanging experience and emphasized on the value of critical response in any sphere of social, scientific, and even private life. Absence of fear of being criticized and the ability to take advantage of critiques are important aspects of modern Chinese development and economic growth. Fang Lizhi underlined the value and importance of democracy as the basis for free and sound competition. The author stressed that the attempts could come from the economy, knowledge of the political system, ideology, as well as moral and ethical criteria. He had to ask for political asylum in the USA. While staying at the embassy, he was awarded the Prize of the Robert F. Kennedy for his ideas, which were summarized in his work Democracy Reform and Modernization.
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May 4th Movement was a mass anti-imperialist movement in China in 1919, which arose under the influence of the October Revolution in Russia. In a broad sense, the May 4th Movement marked a turn in the views of the Chinese intelligentsia to massive reorientation from traditional culture to Westernization. Movement affected all aspects of intellectual life in China. It was marked by the spread of spoken Baihua language, revision of Confucian ethics, criticism of conventional historiography, new requirements for education, comprehension of republican form of government, along with the spread of new political theories of nationalism, social Darwinism, and socialism (Schirocauer et al 323).
Qiu Jin was a Chinese feminist, revolutionary, poet, and journalist of Qing Dynasty. In 1904, she was sent to study in Japan. She joined revolutionary groups among Chinese students. She managed to establish friendly relations with Sun Yatsen. In 1906, Qiu Jin was a co-founder of the first magazine for Chinese women China Women’s News, in which she urged women to achieve independence by means of education and training in various professions. She called for resisting oppression by the family and the government, in particular, the tradition of binding feet.
Chiang Kai-shek was a military and political leader of China, Marshal and Generalissimo. He led the Kuomintang in 1925, after the death of Sun Yatsen. In an effort to collaborate with the major powers of the time in the fight against Japan, Chiang Kai-shek, at the same time, developed cooperation with the USSR and Germany (Schirocauer et al 329).
The United Front of the Chinese people was the political unification of China, which was nominally headed by the People’s Front and the Communist Party of China. Unified Front Work Department managed the United Front. United front cooperated with other civil society organizations including trade unions and women’s and youth organizations in China (Schirocauer et al 331).
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Nanjing Massacre. In December 1937, soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army massacred many civilians in Nanjing, former capital of the Republic of China. In 2007, the documents of one of the international charities working in Nanjing during the Second Sino-Japanese War were made public. The documents and records seized from Japanese troops showed that Japanese soldiers killed more than 200,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers in 28 mass slaughters, and at least another 150,000 people were killed in separate occasions during the infamous massacre Nanjing. The maximum number of victims was about 500,000 people.
The Long March was the legendary campaign of the army of Chinese communists. Great Journey is a retreat of Communists from their positions and controlled territories combining separate communist organizations and strengthening the Special Area in the capital in Yenan controlled by Gao Gang. In the continual battle, the Red Army passed over 10,000 kilometers, crossed the 12 provinces, overcame 18 mountain ranges, and crossed the 24 major rivers and flimsy grass marshes.
Mao Zedong was a Chinese statesman and political figure of the XX century and the chief theorist of Maoism. After the Long March, Mao was able to take a leading position in the CCP. From 1943 and until his death, he served as chairman of the Chinese Communist Party and in the 1954-59 served as chairman of the PRC. He was one of the most prominent figures in the political History of Chine. The period of his reign is usually referred to as the epoch of totalitarian ruling as many people suffered from the reforms he tried to carry out while establishing his cult of authority (Schirocauer et al 348).
Hundred Flowers Movement was the slogan that proclaimed a broad campaign to strengthen publicity and criticism in 1957. The most active part of the campaign began in February 1957, when Mao Zedong appealed to Chinese intellectuals offering freedom of opinion, criticism, and pluralism. It caused an immediate sharp criticism of the party, the ideas of communism and Mao personally. In June 1957, the entire campaign was sharply curtailed, but the effects lasted from 1958 to 1966. The result was a mass campaign of persecution of intellectuals (Schirocauer et al 355).
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Great Leap Forward was the Chinese economic and political campaign that lasted from 1958 to 1960 and was aimed at strengthening the industrial base and rapidly improving the country’s economy. It had tragic consequences for the Chinese people as they were not ready for radical changes in their habitual ways of living. Many people were not able to adapt to new conditions. Any disapproval or disobedience were persecuted and punished. Those who dared to speak up the failure of the reform were condemned to imprisonment and even death (Schirocauer et al 357).
Peng Dehuai was a statesman and military leader of China known for his criticism of Mao Zedong and his policy of Great Leap Forward. In 1958, Peng Dehuai toured the country and saw the disastrous policy of Great Leap Forward and reported Mao Zedong of the state of things. He tried to speak up criticism against the reform. In April 1967, Peng Dehuai was imprisoned and publicly beaten. In 1974, he died from cancer. There were no people at his funeral.
Deng Xiaoping became the leader of China after Mao Zedong’s death. He was a Chinese politician and reformer, leader of the Communist Party of China. Dan never served as the country’s leader, but was the actual leader of China from the late 1970s to early 1990s. Inheriting destroyed China after the Cultural Revolution, Deng became the core of the second generation of Chinese leaders. In 1977, Deng annulled the results of the Cultural Revolution and launched a campaign called Beijing Spring. During the Beijing Spring, open criticism of Cultural Revolution was allowed, and there was an impetus to the destruction of the class system. Deng Xiaoping was the initiator of the change in direction to establishment of market relations with the western countries (Schirocauer et al 371).
Cultural Revolution was a series of ideological and political campaigns in 1966-1976. It was deployed and managed personally by the Chairman Mao Zedong, who set goals of discrediting and destroying the political opposition and establishing a regime of personal power.
According to Chinese historians the main reasons for the Cultural Revolution were strengthening of Mao Zedong role of class struggle in socialist society; the growth of the personality cult, which reached its peak in 1966-1976 and the fight for the leadership of the party. Cultural Revolution led to widespread repression against intellectuals, colossal damage to culture and education, as well as destruction of cultural monuments under the slogan of struggle against feudal customs and traditions changing international policy course (Schirocauer et al 362).
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Red Guards was created to deal with opponents of Mao Zedong during the Cultural Revolution. Red Guards groups were legally autonomous and acted in accordance with their own understanding of Marxism. In fact, they acted in accordance with the general directions of Mao and other party leaders. Red Guards groups were notable for extreme disregard for traditional culture, cruelty and disgrace towards people, and violation of the human rights (Schirocauer et al 364).
Gang of Four was the term, used in the official Chinese propaganda and historiography to refer to groups of higher leaders of the Communist Party of China, nominated during the Cultural Revolution in 1966 – 1976 years. They were the closest Mao individuals in the last years of his life. According to the official version, after Mao’s death members of the Gang of Four had intended to usurp the supreme authority, but were exposed and arrested. The group consisted of Jiang Qing, Mao’s last wife; Zhang Chunqiao; Yao Wenyuan; and Wang Hongwen. The four people represented a fraction of Leftists in the top leadership of the Communist Party of China, which controlled the activities of governmental bodies CCP and China in the latter stages of the Cultural Revolution acting on behalf of Mao Zedong (Schirocauer et al 368).
Shanghai Communique of the 1972 was the first step of China and the USA to establishing a new economic development. The document stated that both countries were interested in prosperity and mutual support and had to work for normalization of sound competition and legal establishments. However, the actual shift happened only seven years later.
Hu Yaobang was a statesman and political leader of China, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee (1980-1987) and Chairman of the CPC Central Committee (1981-1982). In his youth, he participated in the guerrilla movement. At the end of the Chinese Civil War, he led the Komsomol movement. Hu Yaobang sometimes referred to as Chinese Yeltsin for his role in similar events, in the suppression of anti-communist revolution in the square tanks Tiananmen in 1989.
Events in Tiananmen Square in 1989, also known as event June 4 in China and the massacre in Tiananmen Square were a series of demonstrations in spring of 1989. The main participants were students. Demonstration on June 4 was broken up using army units killing hundreds of protesters.
China in 1997-2013
In the late 1980s early 1990s, China managed to eliminate the problem of providing the population with food, ensured rapid growth of GDP and industrial production, and improved the living standards of the people.
Reforms were successfully continued by Deng Xiapoing’s successors Jiang Zemin (1993), Hu Yaobang (2002), and Xi Jinping (since 2012). Mao Zedong’s reign was condemned, and its victims were rehabilitated.
Due to Jiang Zemin, China’s economy gained the seventh position among the world economies. With Jiang Zemin, China joined the WTO, strengthened its economic and military potential, made a claim to leadership in the Asia-Pacific Region (APR), took on the rights of the host of ASEAN summit in Shanghai, and won the bid to host the Olympics in 2008.