China - Mao Zedong Regime

Chairman Mao led the communist party to victory in the Chinese Civil War. He became the first leader of the People's Republic of China. Upon taking over the country, Mao ordered the seizure of all assets of the rich, and execution of those deemed dangerous to the regime. Over 3 million wealthy were killed in this roundup. Mao distrusted all intellectuals, and so he made almost all decisions for the country on his own. In the 1950's, he implemented his "great leap forward", an attempt to increase industrialization in the country. Citizens were forced out of the cities and moved into labor camps. Farmers were pulled away from their work to work making steel, leaving fields unattended. This, along with several years of drought in the country led to a massive decline in the supply of food. Further exascerbating the problem, Mao continued to export food to the rest of the world, not wanting to admit to the rest of the world that his plans had failed. From 1958 to January of 1961 the world's greatest famine unfolded in China. Additionally, the Yellow River flooded in July of 1959, this single event killed an estimated 2 million people.

An estimated 25 million people died from famine, and an additional 25 million died in the forced labor camps during this atrocity.



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