One Man to Rule a Billion

Mao Zedong (stf/afp/getty images)

 

Fifty years ago, Chinese dictator Mao Zedong unleashed his Red Guards against members of his own Chinese Communist Party accused of having capitalist sympathies. This paramilitary group of Chinese youth carried out mass killings in Beijing and other major Chinese cities in the name of Mao Zedong and Communist orthodoxy. In the southern region of Guangxi, these violent pogroms escalated to the point of cannibalism—with teenagers killing their school principals and eating them in celebration of their triumph over “counter-revolutionaries.”

While there is no official count of the number of people murdered during these purges, historians estimate that millions—even 30 million or more—may have perished in the decade-long Cultural Revolution that began in May 1966.

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China’s Xi moves to take more direct command over military

BEIJING (AP) — Bolstering his status as China’s most powerful leader in decades, Chinese President Xi Jinping has assumed a more direct role as head of the country’s powerful armed forces with the new title of commander in chief of its Joint Operations Command Center, state media and analysts said Thursday.

Xi’s new position was revealed in news reports that featured prominently on national news broadcasts Wednesday and Thursday in which he appeared publicly for the first time in camouflage battle dress wearing the joint center’s insignia.

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