Saturday, October 01, 2005

China: Happy 56th anniversary

China is celebrating the 56th anniversary of the Peoples Republic of China. China wants to make friends all over the world. Let's take a look at China's friendly overtures to its own people, beginning with the civil war which catapaulted Mao and the communists into power. These types of friendly overtures are most commonly referred to as "genocide" or, when sponsored by the government, "democide". However, the numbers of those murdered are so mind-numbingly huge that the term "hemoclism" (Greek for "blood flood") might be more appropriate.
4,968,000 Victims: The Civil War
8,427,000 Victims: The Totalization Period
7,474,000 Victims: Collectivization and "The Great Leap Forward"
10,729,000 Victims: The Great Famine and Retrenchment Period
7,731,000 Victims: The "Cultural Revolution"
874,000 Victims: Liberalization

The Eastern Hemoclysm began with the overthrow of the Manchu dynasty in China in 1911 leading to 38 years of Civil War and a Japanese invasion. In 1949, the bloodbath of the interregnum gave way to a greater bloodbath as the Communists consolidated power under Mao (who died in 1976). When seen as a continuum, this phase of Chinese history was a 65 year nightmare which took some 75 million lives.
And its not like historians and investigators haven't given this any attention:
People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong's regime (1949-1975): 40 000 000 overall average estimate

Agence France Press (25 Sept. 1999) citing at length from Courtois, Stephane, Le Livre Noir du Communism:
Rural purges, 1946-49: 2-5M deaths
Urban purges, 1950-57: 1M
Great Leap Forward: 20-43M
Cultural Revolution: 2-7M
Labor Camps: 20M
Tibet: 0.6-1.2M
TOTAL: 44.5 to 72M

Judith Banister, China's Changing Population (1984): 30M excess deaths

Wang Weizhi, Contemporary Chinese Population (1988): 19.5M deaths

Jin Hui (1993): 40M population loss due to "abnormal deaths and reduced births"

Chen Yizi of the System Reform Inst.: 43-46M deaths

Forcible collectivization: 27 million peasants
Cultural Revolution: 1-2 million
TOTAL: 29 million deaths under Mao

Daniel Chirot:
Land reform, 1949-56
According to Zhou Enlai: 830,000
According to Mao Zedong: 2-3M
Great Leap Forward: 20-40 million deaths.
Cultural Revolution: 1-20 million
Total: 23.8 million - 63.8 million

Kurt Glaser and Stephan Possony, Victims of Politics (1979):
They estimate the body count under Mao to be 38,000,000 to 67,000,000.

Cited by G & P: Walker Report 44.3M to 63.8M deaths.

The Government Information Office of Taiwan (18 Sept. 1970): 37M deaths in the PRC.

A Radio Moscow report (7 Apr. 1969): 26.4M people had been exterminated in China.

Guinness Book of World Records:
Although nowadays they don't come right out and declare Mao to be the Top Dog in the Mass Killings category, earlier editions (such as 1978) did, and they cited sources which are similar, but not identical, to the Glaser & Possony sources:
On 7 Apr. 1969 the Soviet government radio reported that 26,300,000 people were killed in China, 1949-65.
In April 1971 the cabinet of the government of Taiwan reported 39,940,000 deaths for the years 1949-69.
KMT cadre, rich peasants, landlords (1950-51): 800,000-3,000,000
Cultural Revolution (1966-75): 400,000-850,000

John Heidenrich, How to Prevent Genocide: A Guide for Policymakers, Scholars, and the Concerned Citizen: 27M death toll, incl. 2M in Cultural Revolution

R. J. Rummel:
Democide: 34,361,000 (1949-75)
The principle episodes being...
All movements (1949-58): 11,813,000
incl. Land Reform (1949-53): 4,500,000
Cult. Rev. (1964-75): 1,613,000
Forced Labor (1949-75): 15,000,000
Great Leap Forward (1959-63): 5,680,000 democides
War: 3,399,000
Famine: 34,500,000
Great Leap Forward: 27M famine deaths
TOTAL: 72,260,000

Cited in Rummel:
Li, Cheng-Chung (Republic of China, 1979): 78.86M direct/indirect deaths.

World Anti-Communist League, True Facts of Maoist Tyranny (1971): 64.5M

Walker Report, 1971 (see below): 31.75M to 58.5M casualties of Communism (excluding Korean War).

Current Death Toll of International Communism (1979): 39.9M

Stephen R. Shalom (1984), Center for Asian Studies, Deaths in China Due To Communism: 3M to 4M death toll, excluding famine.

Walker, Robert L., The Human Cost of Communism in China (1971, report to the US Senate Committee of the Judiciary) "Casualties to Communism" (deaths):
1st Civil War (1927-36): .25-.5M
Fighting during Sino-Japanese War (1937-45): 50,000
2nd Civil War (1945-49): 1.25M
Land Reform prior to Liberation: 0.5-1.0M
Political liquidation campaigns: 15-30M
Korean War: 0.5-1.234M
Great Leap Forward: 1-2M
Struggle with minorities: 0.5-1.0M
Cultural Revolution: .25-.5M
Deaths in labor camps: 15-25M
TOTAL: 34.3M to 63.784M
TOTAL FOR PRC: 32M to 59.5M

July 17, 1994, Washington Post (Great Leap Forward 1959-61)
Shanghai University journal, Society: > 40 million

Cong Jin: 40 million

Chen Yizi: 43 million in the famine. 80 million total as a result of Mao's policies.

Weekly Standard, 29 Sept. 1997, "The Laogai Archipelago" by D. Aikman:
Between 1949 and 1997, 50M prisoners passed through the labor camps, and 15,000,000 died (citing Harry Wu)

WHPSI: 1,633,319 political executions and 25,961 deaths from political violence, 1948-77. TOTAL: 1,659,280

Analysis: If we line up the 14 sources which claim to be complete, the median falls in the 41.6 to 45.75 million range. Keep in mind, however, that official Chinese records are hidden from scrutiny, so most of these numbers are pure guesses. It's pointless to get attached to any one of them, because the real number could easily be half or twice any number here.

Perhaps a better way of estimating would be to add up the individual components. The medians here are:
Purges, etc. during the first few years: 2M (10 estimates)
Great Leap Forward: 30M (12 estimates)
Cultural Revolution: 500T (10 estimates)
Ethnic Minorities, primarily Tibetans: 750-900T
Labor Camps: 15-20M (4 estimates)
This produces a total of some 48,250,000 to 53,400,000 deaths. The weak link in this calculation is in the Labor Camp numbers for which we only have 4 estimates.

And it continues today, in Tibet:
Tibet (1950 et seq.): 600 000

Free Tibet Campaign []
Tibetans killed by the Chinese since 1950: 1,200,000
Died in prisons and labour camps between 1950 and 1984: up to 260,000
1959 Uprising: 430,000 died
Killed in Reprisals: 87,000

Our Times: 1,200,000

Courtois: 600,000 - 1,200,000

Walker, Robert: 500,000-1,000,000 (all ethnic minorities)

Rummel: 375,000 democides inflicted on etnic minorities
... incl 150,000 Tibetans

Porter: 100,000 to 150,000.

1950-51 War: 2,000 civ.
1956-59 Revolt: 60,000 civ. + 40,000 mil. = 100,000

Harff and Gurr: 65,000 Tibetan nationalists, landowners, Buddhists killed, 1959
Sheesh! Those boys have been really busy for 56 years in population control by means of mass murder of their own people as well as, in the case of Tibet, for instance, the mass murder of other people's people. The Chinese communists are also credited by many sources as being the instigators of the Pol Pot Khmer Rouge genocide of some 2 million Cambodians.


Oh, and Vlad "The Impaler" Putin has also sent along his best wishes from Russia.
I handled hundreds of signals to all parts of the Soviet Union which were couched in the following form:

"To N.K.V.D., Frunze. You are charged with the task of exterminating 10,000 enemies of the people. Report results by signal.--Yezhov."

And in due course the reply would come back:

"In reply to yours of such-and-such date, the following enemies of the Soviet people have been shot."

----Former Soviet Spy-Chief Vladimir Petrov

Soviet democide from 1917-1991

Total: 61,911,000
Terror: 8,298,000
Deportations: 4,349,000+
Concentration Camps: 39,464,000
Forced Famine 7,833,000
I don't think this is exactly what Cochise had in mind when he talked to Tom Jeffords about "blood brothers."

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