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The so-called "millions killed" propaganda and excerpts from my post under another thread:|
Unfortunately for Western propagandists and their proxies, many of us are still around and we would like to know where the "famine" was. I was shocked when about the late seventies that rumor made the rounds in the Western mass media and then kept repeating in the tradition of Goebbel's Big Lie. The Lie, in fact, started in the periodical called "China Quarterly" which talked about the "millions of deaths." Turned out later, as noted in the London Review of Books, that the periodical was CIA-financed, though the editor McFarquhar had the audacity to say he wasn't aware of that (CIA support was, however, just part of the massive brainwashing and disinformation campaign that was uncovered by the Church Committee during the mid-70s. Included in this effort was the use of the mass media like Reuters and other news agencies as well as periodicals such as Europe's Der Spiegel for propaganda purposes. In some cases, CIA agents were installed as editors of those publications, and about 1,000 authors were paid to plant false "news" about China and the Soviet Union).
There were Westerners living in China at the time, and they did notice hardships but no famine. This tallies with our experience - though my relatives lived in more coastal areas - as well as that of the overseas Chinese who'd maintained contacts all those years. Still, it was possible that the hardships had caused more widespread malnutrition and thus we'd more deaths than usual. Further, many Chinese were not robust in their health as the Revolution was barely 10 years old: quite a number were undernourished during their childhood years - the years of the Japanese invasion and foreign occupation, when average life expectancy was about 35 years old or less. Despite the few bad years of the late 60s, Chinese life expectancies did improve by leaps and bounds. The Chinese population had stayed around 400 - 500 million for nearly a century, but about 20 years after liberation it increased to 600 -700 million. By the late 70s, when the average life-expectancy was over 65 years, it was clear that China needed a one-child policy to stem the population explosion.
Those of us who emigrated during the early 60s - mostly to Hongkong but some also to Southeast Asia - were surprised when we started to hear about the so-called famine during the late 70s. Still, because Quangdong and Fujian tended to be better off in terms of grain output, we were ready to accept deaths caused by malnutrition in some inner provinces. A few even said some small-scale famine was possible, but certainly not the CIA inflated 30 millions (and later even that was doubled by the Western mass media). The few that believed the possibility of a few million deaths were old-timers who'd known previous famines during the Ching dynasty: China was a land of famines, like India. In India, however, the period of almost constant famines occurred during the British administration from around the mid-18th century to WW2. During that period, India saw over 25 famines, some of which wiped out nearly half the population of some provinces. Mike Davis ( "Victorian Holocausts") put the total number to tens of millions, but the older Indians I knew during the 1950s put the figure at about a hundred million. What someone here said was true: together with one of the worst droughts in history, Chinese leaders' inexperience probably aggravated the bad situation and caused much hardship. Then there was the natural resistance of landlords that were against having their lands classified as commune lands and thus had to share their crops with other peasants. China was still a young people's republic then and not everyone was happy with socialism.
We Chinese are used to the Big Lie the West used in order to divert attention from the deaths of tens of millions of Africans, the ten million of native North Americans exterminated, and the millions more of natives in South America, Australia and New Zealand, not to mention the complete extermination of the Tasmanian native. To all this must be added the millions more in Africa itself during the Scramble for Africa, the massacres at the Congo that wiped out about half the population, etc.The 200 million slaughtered by Western imperialism is thus probably grossly under-estimated.