Mao ZeDong

The fifth Greatest Leader of the Last 122 Years

Mao Zedong, also known as Chairman Mao, was the founding father of the People’s Republic of China, which he ruled as the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party from the establishment of the PRC in 1949 until his death in 1976. 

Chairman Mao

Early Life 

Mao was born in the Hunan Province village of Shaoshan to a peasant family who became moderately wealthy as a result of grain traders. Mao began attending the village elementary school at the age of eight, where, due to the circumstances of the time, he only learned the basics. He began working full-time on his family’s farm at the age of 13, but he was unwilling to do so. Finally, in protest of his father’s forced the age of 14, Mao left home to attend an elementary school in a nearby neighborhood county and then a high school in Changsha, the provincial capital. He spent six months as a soldier in the uprising’s new army after the Xinhai Revolution erupted. Finally, when he was 21, he enrolled in the First Hunan Normal School, where he was introduced to Marxist ideals. He progressively became interested in the country’s political and cultural reforms. 

Mao’s Leadership Achievements 

First, Mao created an inspiring vision. From April 23 to June 11, 1945, the Seventh national Congress of the Chinese Communist Party was successfully held in Yan’an. It was a historic meeting of great significance in the history of the CCP, and the Chinese Revolution. An important contribution of the Seventh national Congress of the CCP is that for the first time Mao Zedong Thought was explicitly established as the guiding ideology of the whole Party and solemnly written into the Party Constitution. His goal was to unify the Chinese nation and so realize progressive change for China. Mao Zedong Thought is a set of political, military, and economic theories proposed by Mao Zedong that were widely used throughout China’s socialist revolution and construction in the twentieth century. It is generally regarded as the development of Marxism-Leninism is China. The Chinese Communist Party recognized Mao Zedong Thought as an important theory for its victory in the new Democratic Revolution, the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese Civil War, and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.  

Secondly, Mao motivates and inspires others to reach that vision. The Chinese Communist Party was founded by Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao. And Mao set up a Changsha branch, also establishing a branch of the Socialist Youth Corps, and a Cultural Book Society. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, Mao began his final push for consolidation of CCP power under his authority, and his teachings became the central tenets of the CPP doctrine that came to be formalized as “Mao Zedong Thought”.

Thirdly, Mao built and coached Chinese people to make them ever stronger. Mao Zedong attached great importance to science and cutting-edge science and technology. When China was in economic difficulties, Mao made the final decision at the crucial moment of whether to mount or dismount cutting-edge nation defense technology: “We must make up our minds to develop cutting-edge technology.” Under the guidance of Mao Zedong’s strategic thought, China has made outstanding achievements in cutting-edge science and technology and cultivated a large number of scientific and technological talents. Under Mao’s leadership China became more stable, there were no civil wars and civil unrest was limited in duration. 

Mao Zedong in 1927

Legacy of Mao 

Mao is still a divisive figure, and there is no consensus on his legacy in China or elsewhere. He is recognized as one of the most influential and prominent people of the twentieth century. During his 27-year reign, his actions caused tens of millions of people in China, more than any other 20th-century leader. His policies paved the way for China’s later ascension to economic superpower status, however some argue that they slowed economic development and that China’s economy grew rapidly only after Mao’s policies were widely abandoned. During his reign, China’s population rose from roughly 550 million to over 900 million people. His fluences on China’s political structure and culture was far-reaching, and his ideas remain the guiding ideology of the Chinese Communist Party in China today. Mao ushered in a new era for China in which the people were the masters of their own house and began the arduous and tortuous quest to realize socialist democracy.  

A large portrait of Mao at Tiananmen Square
Mao in 1959

Achievement of Mao

Mao Zedong left an indelible mark on Chinese history. He had led the Chinese people through a protracted revolution, eventually achieving national independence and people’s emancipation, and establishing a new China. He paved the way for the Chinese people to build a communist society. Mao provided a firm foundation for China’s economic development, established the Communist Party of China’s dominant position, and worked tirelessly to ensure the Marxist party’s advancement and ruling position. His achievements helped to shape China into what it is today. 

Degree of recognition in the world 

Mao Zedong was highly recognized and discussed in the world. He visited the Soviet Union twice, and in terms of foreign policy, he put forward the strategy of “three worlds” and the important idea that China would never be a hegemon and began to open new horizons in foreign work, creating favorable international conditions for China’s modernization and construction. 

Mao with Henry Kissinger and Zhou Enlai, Beijing, 1972

 The Chinese Civil War was a Cicil War in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led government of the Republic of China (ROC) and forces of the Chinese Communist Party (CPP) lasting between 1927 and 1949. During the Chinese Civil War, Mao helped to found the Chinese Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army, led the Jiangxi Soviet’s radical land policies, and ultimately became head of the CCP during the Long March. The CCP gained control of Chinese mainland and established the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

The September 18 Incident began when the Japanese army attacked Shenyang on September 18, 1931. The Japanese invasion troops quickly occupied northeast China and established the pseudo-Manchukuo because of the officials’ non-resistance. The Chinese Communist Party, led by Mao Zedong, upheld the ideal of unification in the face of adversity, worked to rally the masses, waged guerrilla warfare behind enemy lines, and constructed a number of big anti-Japanese strongholds. The Song-Shanghai War began on January 28, 1932, when the Japanese army attacked Shanghai, marking the first full-scale clash between Chinese and Japanese soldiers. The Sino-Japanese War began on July 7, 1937, when the Japanese forces caused the Lugou Bridge Incident near Beiping.  

 Proclamation of the People’s Republic of China

Although Mao Zedong made serious mistakes in his later years, in terms of his life, his merits for the Chinese revolution far outweighed his faults; his merits came first and his mistakes came second, and he is still revered and beloved by the Chinese people. Five years after his death, the Chinese Communist Party made a comprehensive evaluation of all his revolutionary activities and revolutionary ideas in the form of a resolution of the Central Committee. Mao Zedong Thought, as a development of Marxism in China, is still the guiding ideology of the Chinese Communist Party.


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