China is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Thursday, reveling in what it views as the bedrock of the nation’s global success.
But while lavish festivities have been planned, they will no doubt fail to mention that tens of millions of people have been killed at the hands of the CCP.
The Party was founded in 1921 on the principles of Marxism-Leninism, but it wasn’t until 1949 that it was able to gain complete control of the country.
The CCP challenged the nationalist Kuomintang government and prompted an intermittent 12-year long civil war.
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Beginning in 1927, an indeterminate number of people were killed as a result of the internal political struggle, though some estimate that as many as 4.9 million died during the civil war.
CCP chief Mao Zedong became China’s leader in 1949 and by 1951 launched what the Chinese have dubbed the “Peaceful Liberation of Tibet,” deciding that the independent state needed to be incorporated with the People’s Republic of China.
The annexation eventually led to the bloody 1959 Tibetan Uprising where an estimated 87,000 Tibetans were killed, alongside 2,000 Chinese soldiers.
The Dalai Lama fled into exile, where he has remained since.
In an attempt to propel China’s economy forward on a global scale, Mao launched a campaign known as the “Great Leap Forward” in 1958 – a disastrous program that forced millions of rural Chinese villagers from their farms to join mass communes.
Livelihoods, homes, and possessions were removed and instead, people were forced to receive their food from public canteens where provisions were doled out based on merit, Frank Dikötter explained in his literary work, “Mao’s Great Famine.”
Mao at this point made himself one of the world’s greatest mass murders, killing up to 45 million Chinese civilians between 1958 and 1962 – largely through starvation.
Extreme discipline became commonplace and an estimated 2-3 million people were tortured to death or executed — including one case when a father was forced to bury his son alive after he stole a “handful of grain.”
More people are believed to have died just under the CCP’s “Great Leap Forward” than were killed by either the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin’s or Germany’s Adolf Hitler.
In a move to reassert his power following the catastrophic results of the economic campaign, Mao initiated the Cultural Revolution in 1966.
He closed schools and pushed youth groups to mobilize and purge “impure” elements of Chinese society.
The CCP chairman encouraged the harassment of the elderly, government workers, and intellectuals he believed did not focus enough on ideological CCP values.
The youth groups transformed into a paramilitary network known as Red Guards, which were encouraged to rid the Chinese population of the “Four Olds,” which included old customs, culture, habits, and ideas – reminiscent of the Soviet youth movement formed under Stalin.
Defense Minister Lin Biao relied on the Maoist cults that sprang up and widely distributed what is known as the “Little Red Book” – to further spread Mao teachings.
The chaos that erupted at the onslaught of the Cultural Revolution was just a glimpse at the violence and social unrest that would ensue for a decade.
Estimates of the number of deaths during the Cultural Revolution range from 1 million to 20 million, though the total is probably closer to the lower number, according to Tufts University’s World Peace Foundation.
Some scholars estimate that in sum, Mao’s horrific decades-long tyranny caused as many as 80 million “unnatural deaths.”
After Mao’s death in 1976, under the new leadership of Deng Xiaoping, China continued its oppression. It launched what was initially a voluntary one-child policy in 1978.
But demand from within the CCP pushed the central government to mandate the oppressive policy nationwide on Sept. 25, 1980.
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The policy was intended to curb China’s population explosion but led to acts of cruelty.
The prioritization of male children led to a significant male-to-female gap in China by 2020, with over 105 males for every 100 females, compared to the global ratio of 101 males for every 100 females.
The policy was lifted in 2016 to allow two children per family unit in order to counter the diminishing working-age population.
In May, the CCP again lifted the restriction to allow three children per married couple as birth rates had yet to significantly increase.
But limits on basic human rights spread into nearly every aspect of Chinese culture, and one decade after the one-child policy was implemented, pro-democracy students gathered in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to call for the end of press censorship and the right to assemble.
What started as a peaceful protest in April 1989, became an outright massacre three months later.
The People’s Liberation Army was called in to clear the square with 200,000 troops and 100 tanks.
Soldiers opened fire and used expanding bullets, bayonets, and clubs on the student protestors.
The CCP claimed 200 civilians were killed following the attack, but documents released in 2017 showed the death rate far exceeded what even Western scholars estimated.
Records provided by a source within China’s state council through U.K. diplomatic channels revealed that upwards of 10,000 civilians were killed in the state-sanctioned attack on June 4, 1989.
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Beijing has refused to acknowledge the events, and information surrounding the massacre has been suppressed by the CCP — leaving many Chinese unaware to this day of the atrocities that occurred.
China has further engaged in arbitrary detentions, forced labor, torture, sterilizations, and re-education of ethnic and religious groups over the last thirty years.
Falun Gong, Tibetans, Uighurs, and other minority groups have been targeted by the CCP, which maintains it has not violated any human rights abuses.
An indeterminate number of Chinese civilians have been killed for their varying religious beliefs and human rights groups believe more than 1 million Uighurs have been detained by the government over the last three years.
The U.S., Canada, and the Netherlands have accused China of committing genocide against the Uighurs – which is defined by the international convention as the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”.
Human rights groups have reported forced sterilizations against women to suppress Uighur population growth.
Children have also reportedly been separated from their families to prevent the continuation of Uighur culture.
CCP officials have routinely rejected allegations of genocide and have alleged their “re-education” camps are merely systems to counter Muslim extremism.
In response to the CCP’s centenary celebration, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers submitted a resolution last week condemning the immense number of human rights abuses over the last 100 years.
The resolution, led by Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher, was originally cosponsored by three Republican and three Democratic House members. But within a week of its submission to Congress, it has “tripled” in the number of co-sponsors, Gallagher’s office told Fox News.
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Gallagher called on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi Tuesday, to bring the resolution to the House floor in an “unambiguous message” that condemns the atrocities committed during the reign of the CCP.
“For the last century, the Chinese Communist Party has repeatedly violated basic human rights and brutalized its own citizens,” Gallagher said in a statement to Fox News. “The story of the Party is one of repression, torture, mass imprisonment, and genocide.