China does not recognize 50th anniversary of Cultural Revolution

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China 50th anniversary of cultural revolution
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China does not recognize 50th anniversary of Cultural Revolution
A girl takes a selfie with statues depicting late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong (L) and former general Zhu De during the War of Resistance against Japan, at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY?
Tea pots from the 1960-70s are displayed at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A staff member walks past a porcelain figure of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A statue of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong is displayed at a ticket office at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A staff member cleans an exhibition hall displaying images of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong and pictures taken in the 1960-70s at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A visitor takes a picture of a display bearing hand prints of war heroes from the War of Resistance against Japan, at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY?
A staff member opens a door by a wall where honorary prize papers bearing the image of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong hang, at an exhibition hall at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Badges of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong are attached to a sculpture of Mao at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A visitor looks at a display of porcelain figures of the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Mannequins from the 1960-70s are displayed at an exhibition hall at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A visitor takes a picture of badges bearing images of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Fan Jianchuan, the founder of Jianchuan Museum Cluster, poses next to porcelain figures of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong at his office in the museum in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A visitor looks at porcelain figures of the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong at an exhibition hall at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Visitors hold the Chinese national flag as they take a picture next to statues depicting late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong (L) and former general Zhu De during the War of Resistance against Japan, at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A staff member looks for a newspaper published in 1966, requested by a photographer, at the commemorative newspaper display centre at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Students sit at the Chinese Heroes Statues Plaza, which displays war heroes from the War of Resistance against Japan, in Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Badges of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong decorate an image of Mao at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Visitors check their mobile phone after taking a picture with a cut-out depicting an image from a 1960-70s era poster at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Jars containing badges of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong are displayed at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Visitors walk in an exhibition hall which displays mirrors produced in the 1960s and 1970s, at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. Picture taken with a fish-eye lens. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Visitors walk on a floor showing the years of the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution, in the entrance of an exhibition hall at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A student puts a red scarf on a statue of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong in the Chinese Heroes Statues Plaza, which displays war heroes of the War of Resistance against Japan, at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Copies of "Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong", commonly known as the "Little Red Book", are displayed at a exhibition hall at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A statue and porcelain figures of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong are displayed at an exhibition hall at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A couple takes a rest on the ground of Tiananmen Square where the portrait of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong is seen, on the 50th anniversary of the start of the Cultural Revolution in Beijing, China, May 16, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
A worker checks a security camera on Tiananmen Square on the 50th anniversary of the start of the Cultural Revolution in Beijing, China, May 16, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Paramilitary solders stand guard at Tiananmen Square where the portrait of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong is seen, on the 50th anniversary of the start of the Cultural Revolution in Beijing, China, May 16, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
A cleaner sweeps ground in front of the Mausoleum of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Square on the 50th anniversary of the start of the Cultural Revolution in Beijing, China, May 16, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Visitors look at Mausoleum of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Square on the 50th anniversary of the start of the Cultural Revolution in Beijing, China, May 16, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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China marked the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Cultural Revolution with little to no pageantry Monday.

None of China's five major newspapers mentioned the event on its front pages. The Global Times of China, run by the Communist Party, focused on the controversy with the U.S. in the South China Sea. The Beijing Morning Post reported on Boris Johnson and Donald Trump.

The "Cultural Revolution" was a movement within the People's Republic of China beginning on May 16, 1966, and lasting – some argue – until Mao Zedong's death in 1976. The modern PRC has a difficult relationship with its more hardline past. China changed course after Mao, embracing the market economy in a state-managed capacity, and de-emphasizing absolutist adherence to dogma. Still, the country very much remains officially Communist, so the government avoids occasions for contradiction to be brought to light.

Within the Marxist-Maoist framework, the Revolution officially aimed to re-establish the primacy of the working class over the bourgeoisie, or professional class. A consensus of critics alleges, however, that the goal was chaotically and violently pursued, and in the end, subjugated to a more sinister purpose: reasserting the authority of Mao within the world's most populous country.

China's Cultural Revolution curios

By some estimates, 1.5 million died during the Cultural Revolution. Students and the country's young were actively encouraged by the state to overthrow and even kill their superiors. Students took to the streets in violent demonstration, and stories of the young murdering their teachers and even their parents litter the historical record. These actions were a manifest rejection of the country's millennia-old Confucian traditions. Confucianism, first dominant in China hundreds years before the birth of Christ, emphasizes tradition and respect for elders and parents.

"Those representatives of the bourgeoisie who have sneaked into the Party, the government, the army, and various spheres of culture are a bunch of counter-revolutionary revisionists. Once conditions are ripe, they will seize political power and turn the dictatorship of the proletariat into a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie," Mao said during the campaign.

International observers postulate Chinese leader Xi Jinping may have a two-fold incentive for de-emphasizing the memory of the events from 50 years ago. First, China's Communist Party that has accepted some market realities since the 1980's. But Second, Xi Jinping himself is a strongman, and denigrating Mao's legacy would hurt his ability to sell the prudence of his governing style to his people.

Copyright 2016 U.S. News & World Report

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