Muted celebrations as China remembers Chairman Mao

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China is celebrating what would have been the 120th birthday of communist leader Mao Zedong.

Chairman Mao was the founder of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

Whilst members of the Politburo Standing Committee of China’s ruling Communist Party visited Mao’s mausoleum in Tiananmen Square, events around the country were more low-key this year.

This may be due to the economic and social reforms being pursued by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The one-child policy will be relaxed and markets will become less regulated.

Some are unhappy with reforms, blaming them for widening the gap between the rich and poor. Leftists critical of the economic changes praise Mao Zedong as a way of voicing their dissent.

During nearly 30 years in power, Mao attempted to create a Chinese version of communism and re-shape society. But his Great Leap Forward economic plan and Cultural Revolution led to the deaths of millions of people.

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