We moved on to Changsha to go and see our final founding father of the Communist Party Liu ShaoQi.
Liu was a poiltician through and through. In the 30s he was involved in politics both locally and nationally. On the formation of the People's Republic of China he was Vice-Chairman.
Liu spoke in favour of the Great Leap Forward and was thus made President in 1959. Along with Deng XiaoPing he lead the economic reforms which dragged China out of the mire after the great famine.
By 1962 it was widely accepted that he was Mao's successor. However he began to disapprove of Mao's policies and as Mao's prestige grew again in the 60s it became inevitable that Liu would be toppled.
by 1966 it became clear that there was a need for policies to get rid of corruption within the party and to eliminated bureaucracy. Liu chaired the meeting which launched the Cultural Revolution. Liu however quickly lost control of the situation. The Cultural Revolution was overtly Maoist with the Mao cult going into overdrive making him a demigod, prayers would be said to him before meals. Anyone who had criticized Mao were
now arrested by the Red Guards along with their families. in 1967 Liu and his family were placed under house arrest. After his arrest he was never seen in public again.
He was subjected to many public struggle sessions where he was beaten, he was denied medical treatment for pneumonia and his diabetes. Jiang Qing, Mao's wife, only granted medical help because she feared he would due and she wanted o keep him alive as a "living target".
Mao invited Liu to visit him and told him he was pleased with his self criticism but the beatings and public humiliation continued for another year before he finally died. His body was taken from the prison in which he was being held and cremated under a false name. This was kept from his family and the public for 10 years.
Again when Deng XiaoPing became Chairman Liu ShaoQi was rehabilitated as a Chinese Hero. As ever the blame was not put on Mao but on The Gang of Four and Lin Biao for fabricating evidence.
The museum is a little sparse due to the fact that 90% of his belongings were destroyed by the Red Guards. His
house has also been reconstructed as it was burnt down in the 60s.
I feel a little sad for Liu as he, in effect, started his own downfall by not being able to control the hysteria created by the Cultural Revolution.
A good day out
Enjoy the photos
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