Cultural Revolution was a big mistake, official Chinese media reaffirm, as 50th anniversary passes
BEIJING — China’s official media reaffirmed on Tuesday the Communist Party’s longstanding judgment that the Cultural Revolution was a catastrophic mistake after staying silent on Monday’s 50th anniversary of the start of the decade-long upheaval.
The official party mouthpiece People’s Daily published an opinion piece on its website precisely at midnight on Tuesday unequivocally praising the 1981 party resolution that condemned the bloody political movement launched by Mao Zedong to enforce a radical egalitarianism.
“Our party has long taken a solemn attitude toward bravely admitting, correctly analyzing and firmly correcting the mistakes of our leadership figures,” the piece read.
The party has long suppressed open discussion of the tumultuous period, fearing that could undermine its legitimacy to rule and lead to direct criticism of Mao, the founder of the communist state who remains a revered figure.
So political observers have been closely observing the party leadership’s attitude toward the milestone as a bellwether of the country’s ideological direction. No official commemorations have been held, although some Mao loyalists have staged private events.