“The Cultural Revolution was wrongly launched by the leaders and exploited by a counterrevolutionary clique,” CCP stated on the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution.
The Chinese Communist Party has conceded the Cultural Revolution was a mistake. An editorial printed last month in the People’s Daily, the party’s principal organ, addressed for the first time the campaign unleashed by Mao Zedong that began in 1966. Millions of people were persecuted in the political purges that lasted until 1971 with many suffering arbitrary imprisonment, torture, confiscation of property, and public humiliation. Historical relics were destroyed and cultural and religious sites ransacked, and Christianity all but outlawed in China. On 17 May 2016 the party newspaper said: “The Cultural Revolution was wrongly launched by the leaders and exploited by a counterrevolutionary clique. It brought the grave disaster of internal turmoil to the party, country and people of every ethnicity, and the harm it created was comprehensive and severe. History has amply demonstrated that the Cultural Revolution was totally wrong in theory and practice. In no sense was it, or could it have been, revolutionary or socially progressive.” The Party said it had learned from the mistakes of the past. “History always advances, and we sum up and absorb the lessons of history to use it as a mirror to better advance. ‘The remembrance of the past is the teacher for the future.’ We must firmly fix in our memories the historic lessons of the Cultural Revolution, firmly adhere to the party’s political conclusions about the Cultural Revolution, and resolutely prevent and resist meddling from the left and the right that focuses on the problems of the Cultural Revolution. We will not take the old path that is closed and stultified, nor will we take the errant path of changing our banner. Rather without any wavering we will take the path of socialism with special Chinese characteristics.”