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The aftermath of the great leap forward Notes
Debates about economic Policy
Mao on the defensive
Despite his success in crushing Peng Duhai and silencing criticisms of the GLF, Mao's prestige
suffered from the catastrophic failures of his policies.
Mao showed himself to be increasingly appalled and Chen Yun's economic planning as a retreat
Jan 1962, Mao called a 7000 cadre conference to gain support against a further drift from socialism
Liu Shaoqi praised Mao's leadership but went on to say "it is necessary to point out that the primary
responsibility for the shortcomings and errors in our work in these past few years lies with the
The Party centre included Mao; Liu was implying Mao must share the blame for past mistakes.
Mao was caught unaware, Later in the conference Mao made a form of self-criticism in which he
accepted responsibility as chairman but made no apology or admission of mistake.
This had a massive impact, a figure that was previously infallible was now admitting to failings, and
moreover he left the meeting feeling that his warnings about revisionism had not been heeded by
his delegates, for the next few months he withdrew from public life.
Clear ideological divide between Mao and Liu Shaoqi.
In the eyes of Deng, Liu and Chen Yun, the situation facing china after the GLF was so desperate the
main priority was to get the country back on its feet, even if it meant ideological compromises:
o Private farming
o Private Trade
Liu also favoured adopting a more conciliatory stance towards the USA and the USSR, China need to
Mass mobilisation was not an effective strategy to economic development, rather the control of
the economy was to be placed in the hands of technical experts.
Mao on the offensive
o To Mao this was dangerous heresy
o He saw by 1962 china had recovered from the GLF and no further retreat from socialism was
necessary, his priority was ideological purity.
o He conceded mass mobilisation was not successful in achieving economic development; this was
no longer his main concern.
o Mao's aim was to revive the revolutionary fervour of the masses and to struggle against
bureaucratic control over the economy and the danger that a bourgeoisie might emerge within the
o At the annual summer conference in 1962, Mao returned to the political fray and posed a stark
choice for china's leaders.
The socialist education Movement
1964: Student Education movement launched: to preach the virtues of the collective economy and
superiority of socialism. This was also used to root out corruption among cadres.
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Mao intended a nationwide mass mobilisation campaign of struggle meetings against party officials
Liu, the approach was more centrally controlled and concerned with imposing discipline rather that
Work teams of over 10,000 cadres were sent to rural areas to investigate local leaderships and root
out corruption and those guilty of economic crimes.
Thousands were executed and many committed suicide.
A Growing Power Struggle
· Until 1961, Liu Shaoqi was Mao's chosen successor.…read more