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The Chinese Communist Party will mark its 90th founding anniversary this year. A new book, "Chairman Mao's Purgatory" was published in Hong Kong to meet the occasion. Its author says the book will restore a page in history that the Communist regime is trying hard to erase.
"Chairman Mao's Purgatory" is photojournalist Du Bin's latest publication. Released last week in Hong Kong, the book travels back in time with a collection of photos and historic records of the Chinese regime's so called "Great Leap Forward" campaign.
The campaign was the brain-child of the then Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong. It was one of the worst periods of economic mismanagement. Mao's pursuit of rapid agricultural and industrial development led to the death of tens of millions of Chinese peasants from 1959 to 1962.
The period is considered a great embarrassment for the Chinese regime, and is glossed over in history books. Du says he wants his new book to fill in the gaps of the past, as the CCP celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.
[Du Bing, Author of Chairman Mao's Purgatory]:
"This book coincides with the CCP's 90th founding anniversary. In Beijing now, books are being published about the Party's history. The CCP is trying to beautify its past, and glosses over the periods of the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward, trying to erase this shameful page from history. But my book can be said to fill the books in history, showing again the true sufferings of the time."
Mao's Great Leap Forward came as the Communist Party tried to consolidate power through economic growth. It had just taken control of China after defeating the Kuomintang in 1949.