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Thread: Who was the greatest Chinese political leader of the 20th century?

  1. #21
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    Quote:

    'I clean myself in the bodies of my women' (paraphrased from the original Chinese)

    Who said this quote?

    In other news, the AIDS epidemic is over outside of Africa. Mao saved precisely 0 lives there.
    Prostitution is always present; it's just less visible in certain cultures. It's much less a problem in China than say Western Europe.

    I still think TC is a troll.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post

    It's a shame that there are more and more women becoming prosititute at the time of the country getting richer and richer everyday. Some of them are educated with university degree. Jeezz.... Where are their Confucian values?
    I think their Confucian values got destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. I was going to vote for Deng until I remembered Tienanmen Square.

    As for Sun, great visionary - but I always believed that a good politician should, at a minimum, secure their political base. I always had the impression that Sun was a puppet to rally the anti-Qing supporters, and when his usefulness expired, Yuan tossed him aside.

    As for Chiang, with hindsight (which is unfair to him), I cannot make sense of his policy to destroy the communist first and then fight the Japanese who had already invaded Manchuria. And there must be major corruption going on, because US donated millions to Chiang's war effort (because they don't like the Communists), but somehow the Nationalist army still lack shoes.

    The lesser of the evils - my vote goes to Sun. (I don't know much about Zhou or Wen's record).

  3. #23
    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Without question, grandpa Deng!
    Read the latest chapters of Coiling Dragon at Wuxia World!

  4. #24
    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzaku View Post
    I was going to vote for Deng until I remembered Tienanmen Square.
    To my knowledge, it wasn't clear who was behind the Tiananmen crackdown. I'm pretty sure Deng was part of the party group who decided its ultimate fate, but it was mainly the conservative hardliners (who were against Deng's reform) who pushed for the crackdown, and it was they who caused the student riot in the first place (angering students by downplaying Hu Yaobang's funeral, who was popular with students back then).

    The Tiananmen incident was a setback for Deng Xiaoping's leadership and influence, as his opponents (who pushed for the crackdown) used it to demonstrate the importance of political stability over economic reform.
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

  5. #25
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    Another crucial player in the transformation of China is Chen Yun. After reading his biography on the web, I've developed tremendous respect for the man.

    It was he who set the stage on which Deng Xiaoping played. It was his championing of Deng and criticism of Mao to the Central Committee in 1978 that enabled Deng's reformist ideas to be adopted by the big party. Although Chen's conservatism emerged in the mid 80s, on which basis he and Deng no longer saw eye to eye on reform, he always put the country and the people first. He was one of the few top officials of post-Mao China who acted on principle and was not corrupt (unlike his disgraceful mentee Li Peng).

    One more thing about Deng. Generally, I'm a great admirer of his, but one thing I regret that he did was ordering the attack on Vietnam in 1979, for which 25,000 Chinese soldiers lost their lives. Although everyone in China has been (mis)led to believe the Vietnamese were at fault, the rest of the world believes China was the aggressor. Inside sources say this bloody war was merely a sacrifice for Deng Xiaoping's political gain--albeit an important one for China: Deng wanted to keep the military busy while he consolidated power within the party.
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

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    Was Confucianism against prostitution?

    Who knew?

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ View Post
    To my knowledge, it wasn't clear who was behind the Tiananmen crackdown. I'm pretty sure Deng was part of the party group who decided its ultimate fate, but it was mainly the conservative hardliners (who were against Deng's reform) who pushed for the crackdown, and it was they who caused the student riot in the first place (angering students by downplaying Hu Yaobang's funeral, who was popular with students back then).
    Deng, although not solely responsible, is responsible for what happened because he was the leader of the state. It is just like saying Mao was not responsible for the Cultural Revolution and the Gang of Four was.

    The Tienanmen Square incidence can be rationalized as an unfortunate incident that was necessary for the stability of the country, because the alternative will be that the conservative hardliners will gain power and drive China back a couple of decades.

    But for some inexplicable reason, the Tienanmen Square incident has a closer connection to my heartstrings, and thus so much more vile. (Could be the news coverage of the incident, and my childhood memory of tanks rolling into Tienanmen Square).

    I do not think that Confucius ever said anything against prostitution. From memory, Confucius preached the virtuous and ritualistic life. The five relationships, where the only one that involve woman was the relationship of husband and wife. Hence, as long as you are not someone's wife, Confucius really does not object to prostitution. Further, Confucius viewed woman as "xiao ren," so Confucius never had a high moral regard for woman to begin with. But I stand to be corrected.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzaku View Post
    Deng, although not solely responsible, is responsible for what happened because he was the leader of the state. It is just like saying Mao was not responsible for the Cultural Revolution and the Gang of Four was.
    Cultural Revolution is known to be Mao's brain child, while the same cannot be said of Deng for the 1989 Tiananmen incident.

    I prefer to know the real culprit, which was widely known to be the conservative hardliners led by then-Premier Li Peng.

    The Tienanmen Square incidence can be rationalized as an unfortunate incident that was necessary for the stability of the country, because the alternative will be that the conservative hardliners will gain power and drive China back a couple of decades.
    Yes, and I reckon that's why Comrade Deng ultimately gave in. It's the lesser of the 2 evils.

    In fact, Deng later disclosed that "factions of the Communist Party could have grabbed army units and the country had risked a civil war" (quoted from The Legacy of Tiananmen By James A. R. Miles). Having this insight is helpful in assessing the decisions made for the Tiananmen incident.
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ View Post
    Cultural Revolution is known to be Mao's brain child, while the same cannot be said of Deng for the 1989 Tiananmen incident.

    I prefer to know the real culprit, which was widely known to be the conservative hardliners led by then-Premier Li Peng.



    Yes, and I reckon that's why Comrade Deng ultimately gave in. It's the lesser of the 2 evils.

    In fact, Deng later disclosed that "factions of the Communist Party could have grabbed army units and the country had risked a civil war" (quoted from The Legacy of Tiananmen By James A. R. Miles). Having this insight is helpful in assessing the decisions made for the Tiananmen incident.
    Deng was in the position to stop the incident and chose not to because he risked a civil war and ultimately his position as head of state. Mao created the Cultural Revolution to protect his political position after the Great Leap Forward. The Cultural Revolution is a shame but it served its purpose in protecting Mao's political position. It brainwashed millions of people into believing that Mao was a saint, and pitted people against each other instead of against Mao or the party. Using the same argument, without Mao at the helm, China could too fall back into civil war - hence, the Cultural Revolution is justified.


    Deng's passive response was not less blameless then Mao's assertive brain child.

    As much as I hate Mao, you have to give him credit for ending the civil war and bringing peace to China. Ironically, peace did not bring an end to the suffering of the people, merely a change in the name of the government.

    You could rationalize many things in history - including the Cultural Revolution, the Great Leap Forward, the Hundred Flower Movement and Japanese occupation with human experiments. For example, how do you govern millions of people that are starving and penniless - you use fear and ideology to turn them against each other. Destroy the concepts of family, heritage, and culture. Pit father against son, and brother against brothers. The Japanese "research" on Chinese citizens and POW did advance medical studies and saved millions of lives - but the price is human experimentation.

    Similarly, Deng's work laid the foundation for its growth today - but the price is the suppression of free thought and speech.

    Hence, in my view, Deng does not deserve the title to be the greatest Chinese political leader in the 20th century.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntingX View Post
    Wait, seriously? Did TC just name some of the worst leaders in history? Add in Hitler and I think you basically finish the list.

    Anyway, Deng should win this hands down.
    had Adolf Hitler been successful in his invasion of Russia (which he would have been, if not for some critical strategic mistakes such as insisting on taking Stalingrad) thereof securing German access to important mineral and energy resources in the Caucasus, the whole Europe wouldve had to kneel down to him praising him as a new Alexander. I personally don't think Hitler is as bad as the likes of Kim Jong-il 'cause he really did revive a depressed post-WW1 Germany, and though he started the war that caused the deaths of millions, he came very close to winning the whole thing/gaining permanent occupation of important areas at some points of time.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzaku View Post
    Deng was in the position to stop the incident and chose not to
    Do we know that for sure? In fact, one of the changes Deng made to the administration during his tenure was to divide up power at the top, to prevent a cult of personality such as Mao from emerging. Therefore, he may not have had as much power as one might think of a "paramount leader." Furthermore, when the student demonstration was going on, he was already losing face in the party leadership because his opposition now had a real "stability card" to use against him.

    Also, I don't think we can compare the disastrous blunder that is Cultural Revolution to the 1989 Tiananmen incident. Tiananmen incident was a shame yes, but its effects were minute compared to those of Mao's blunder.

    Similarly, Deng's work laid the foundation for its growth today - but the price is the suppression of free thought and speech.
    Free thought and free speech is not something that existed in China before Deng's time. Therefore, it's unfair to count that against him. If anything, his opening up of China did help loosen the crackdown on it.
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

  12. #32
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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100111...ionmenmarriage

    I predict a huge prostitution problem in China in the coming decades.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Chen View Post
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100111...ionmenmarriage

    I predict a huge prostitution problem in China in the coming decades.
    And this time, Chairman Mao won't be around to fix it.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ View Post
    Sure, I'll give Mao +1 point for cracking down on prostitution.

    He gets -100 for Cultural Revolution. And another -100 for Great Leap Forward.
    +1 point for the great work and -100 points for the bad work??
    That is unfair and so biased against him.

    Quote Originally Posted by HuntingX View Post
    Quote:

    'I clean myself in the bodies of my women' (paraphrased from the original Chinese)

    Who said this quote?

    In other news, the AIDS epidemic is over outside of Africa. Mao saved precisely 0 lives there.
    Prostitution is always present; it's just less visible in certain cultures. It's much less a problem in China than say Western Europe.

    I still think TC is a troll.
    There are a lot more STDs than AIDS/hiv. And yes, prostitution wasn't 100% eliminated during Mao era, but he was by far the best of the best in handling the problem. Without the crack down, china might be just like another africa with large part of population dying of STDs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Chen View Post
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100111...ionmenmarriage

    I predict a huge prostitution problem in China in the coming decades.
    Agree, I can see this coming in the future too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    And this time, Chairman Mao won't be around to fix it.
    Dead man can't return. However, I don't think the future leaders will have the gut to crack down on prostitution like Chairman Mao either.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ View Post
    Do we know that for sure? In fact, one of the changes Deng made to the administration during his tenure was to divide up power at the top, to prevent a cult of personality such as Mao from emerging. Therefore, he may not have had as much power as one might think of a "paramount leader." Furthermore, when the student demonstration was going on, he was already losing face in the party leadership because his opposition now had a real "stability card" to use against him.
    The presumption is that the head of the state will have - to a degree - some power to stop its own army and order it's deployment. (I don't think it is unreasonable to contend absolute power, but for argument sake a degree of power) To argue otherwise will demote Deng to no more than a figurehead, which is not all too believable. I do not think it is too much of a leap to argue that Deng had power to stop the incident had he wanted to - but the consequences were merely unfavorable to him. As you mention, he was losing face but that goes to show that the consequences will be grave if he took action, not towards his inability to act.


    Also, I don't think we can compare the disastrous blunder that is Cultural Revolution to the 1989 Tiananmen incident. Tiananmen incident was a shame yes, but its effects were minute compared to those of Mao's blunder.
    I take the position that the effect of Tiananmen incident is not only - not minute compared to the Cultural Revolution - but in some respect more profound. If we compare the number of people affected - there is no contest that the effects of the Cultural Revolution was more profound. In the way that it touched the lives of nearly every person living in China in some respect; especially, the generation of youth that was sent down. But if we compare the effect that the incidents had on the overall course China's political and ideological development - the Tiananmen Square incident in the same league.

    The aftermath of the Cultural Revolution is the lost of a generation of youths that were sent down. But the government, in the end, did acknowledge the blunder and prosecuted or persecuted the Gang of Four. But the literati that were sent down or persecuted during the Cultural Revolution did not lose that nationalistic pride and passion for a new China.

    This is evidenced in the literary works and newspapers around the era that either openly or covertly critiqued the system. The literary tradition was the trend that could be traced from the works in the late-Qing dynasty works, to the works during the Nationalist era, the disillusion with the Nationalist and later support of the Communist, and end with the subtle critique of the Communist governance. The worst example may be the open critique during the Hundred Flower's Movement.

    This desire and or pride in China as a nation and the drive for reform - sometimes in the form of disillusion - was very strong during the pre-Tiananmen Square incident. Even sent down youths during the Cultural Revolution continued to write and to express this ideal. But this intangible nationalistic pride was completely replaced by a complete focus on economic reform and economic growth and power after the Tiananmen Square incident. Also, many of the forward thinkers and literati were exiled.

    Hence, I contend that depending on your point of view - the effects of the Tiananmen Square is comparable, if not more profound, to the Cultural Revolution. The effect of the Cultural Revolution sent China back a generation - but the Tiananmen Square incident destroyed or distorted something intangible that is, in my point of view, more important to a nation.


    Free thought and free speech is not something that existed in China before Deng's time. Therefore, it's unfair to count that against him. If anything, his opening up of China did help loosen the crackdown on it.
    Not precisely the US version of freedom of thought and freedom of speech, but if you analyze the Chinese literature and art during the era - you will notice some hidden critique of the system and the government. And this use of thought and speech was stilted by the government's reaction and the large number of literati exiled because of the incident. And this critique is ever present either in the underground films that were prohibited by the China government or even Zhang Yimou's "Not one less." "Not one less" showed the lives of the young children not being educated in the rural parts of China. How the monthly salary of a teacher cannot buy a can of Coke in the city - but the best was the backhanded comment that 10% of the rural student's education has improved since this film's production. But this begs the question for what about the other 90%. (I only recall the disparity in the percentages and the numbers may not be exact).

    Hence, this form of critical thought and speech has been ever present in the Chinese literary and arts, and I contend that post-Tianamen Square it has been severely stilted.

    I apologize for babbling so long - I resolve to be more concise for 2010.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    +1 point for the great work and -100 points for the bad work??
    That is unfair and so biased against him.

    There are a lot more STDs than AIDS/hiv. And yes, prostitution wasn't 100% eliminated during Mao era, but he was by far the best of the best in handling the problem. Without the crack down, china might be just like another africa with large part of population dying of STDs.

    Agree, I can see this coming in the future too.

    Dead man can't return. However, I don't think the future leaders will have the gut to crack down on prostitution like Chairman Mao either.
    Prostitution helps to crack down on rape. If not for prostitution, the men (or women) who would've resorted to prostitutes might resort to rape.

    Are you saying that you support rape? Where are your Confucian morals?
    明月心跳起來,又回頭,嫣然道,你還要不要我帶上那面具?
    傅紅雪冷道,現在你臉上豈非已經戴上了個面具?

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzaku View Post
    Not precisely the US version of freedom of thought and freedom of speech, but if you analyze the Chinese literature and art during the era - you will notice some hidden critique of the system and the government. And this use of thought and speech was stilted by the government's reaction and the large number of literati exiled because of the incident.
    Are you serious? Criticism of the system and the government in the modern day is far more direct and widespread than in those 'hidden critiques'.
    Read the latest chapters of Coiling Dragon at Wuxia World!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bliss View Post
    Prostitution helps to crack down on rape. If not for prostitution, the men (or women) who would've resorted to prostitutes might resort to rape.

    Are you saying that you support rape? Where are your Confucian morals?
    Anti-prostitution = support rape??? Where is your common sense?
    In most cases, sex is not the main reason people rape. People like Paul Bernardo is a good example. He was handsome never had difficulty of getting women.

  19. #39
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    After more reading on the subject, my current opinion is that Deng Xiaoping made the biggest positive impact on China, while Sun Yat-sen and Zhou Enlai deserve the most respect for their efforts (although, I'm a little confused by Sun's deserting of his wife and marrying another woman without divorcing his wife, but that is likely a small personal issue).
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    +1 point for the great work and -100 points for the bad work??
    That is unfair and so biased against him.
    I'm not sure you got my point. I consider prostitution to be a minuscule issue compared to the monstrosity that brainwashed, impaired, and wrecked hundreds of millions of lives for a period of 10 years.

    There are a lot more STDs than AIDS/hiv.
    Yes, starting with Chairman Mao himself. In his book The Private Life of Chairman Mao, Mao's personal physician Li Zhisui paints Mao as a sexual predator who attracted STDs from the many women who went through his bed. Interestingly, Mao refused treatment, thus spreading his diseases onto other companions.

    Chairman Mao was no "Saint of STD Removal".

    Without the crack down, china might be just like another africa with large part of population dying of STDs.
    I think that's really a stretch. Are Africans dying of STDs because of prostitution? Or are they dying of STDs because of poverty, lack of education/awareness, and lack of access to treatment? I think the latter is the bigger cause.

    Why does Africa dominate the STD/HIV market? Why is it less of a concern in the developed world? Is it a coincidence that Africa is the poorest continent, and that STD/HIV is most prevalent in the poorest regions of the world?

    China was piss poor during Chairman Mao's reign of almost 30 years; millions of people were dying of hunger and famine thanks to Mao's brain child the Great Leap Forward. Apparently, Mao was too busy getting it on with random women and cracking down on something that might become a problem, to do something about the enormous problems plaguing the country and killing millions of people which was happening in front of his eyes!
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

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