Mao’s Great Leap Forward, designed to make China the world’s leading communist state, generated the worst famine in history. Until recently, the West was uninformed about the causes and magnitude of the disaster, which killed tens of millions in four years: this is a part of its past official China wants to forget. As veteran Chinese journalist, Yang Jisheng tells in his book “Tombstone”, for decades the massive population loss was blamed on “natural calamity”: references were made only to epidemics, “and no mention of starvation was allowed.”
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