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Lecture 5

HIST 2312 Lecture Notes - Spring 2018 Lecture 5 - Falun Gong, Mao Zedong


Department
History
Course Code
HIST 2312
Professor
Brooke Franks
Lecture
5

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Collective Actions in Post-Mao China Video Reflection
Professor Dingxin Zhao (University of Chicago) shared his views on the role of collective
actions in post-Mao China. He proved that these actions brought the Chinese economic liberty
and helped them get rid of the ineffective canons of communism. Moreover, due to these actions
the Chinese created a progressive economic system that combines both the features of
communism and capitalism. Before he started his lecture, he warned his students that such
problems as religious conflicts, regional variations or ethnic conflicts would not be discussed.
This way, Professor Dingxin Zhao divided a post-Mao era into three main stages. The
active phase of the first stage (1976-1989) began soon after the death of Mao Zedong with the
Tiananmen incident (1976) in Beijing. Having started as a political action, this incident resulted
in numerous clashes between the police and protesters. The professor shared with his students his
emotions and feelings he got as an eyewitness. He also stressed that the further events such as
putting demands of democracy on a long brick wall in Xidan Street in Beijing contributed to
changing the course of national policy in China. Finally, student protests in the late 1980s led to
the gradual changing of the communist course.
Nevertheless, democratic reforms in China were not well-developed and consistent. The
second stage of collective actions began in 1992 and lasted until 2002. The government of China
decided to implement some effective strategies of American economy, but these strategies did
not fit the realities of China. Moreover, they resulted in bankruptcy of state-owned factories,
reforming the state medical system and changing tax policy. These negative consequences of
economic reforms caused numerous killing of tax collectors (especially in rural areas) and mass
protests. Deprivation of people of the basic medical services led to development of Falun Gong
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