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50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution, discussion with Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Zhang Dejiang's visit & discussion with Maria Tam (21 May 2016)


-- Due to copyright restriction, no online video is available for this episode. --

Monday marked the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution, launched by Mao Zedong in May 1966. The resulting decade of political and social turmoil brought fatal levels of chaos to China and a very heavy personal toll. Official figures say more than 1.7 million people died. Other sources put the figure much higher. Many more were tortured, harassed or had their lives horrifyingly disrupted. It remains a sensitive topic. And one that the Chinese authorities find hard to confront but for some people, this remains an object of nostalgia. With us in the studio is Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Head of the Department of Government and International Studies of Hong Kong Baptist University. Julius Caesar famously said of Britain: “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, was a bit less ambitious, when he came to Hong Kong his week. He said he was here to “see, listen and speak.” But with 8,000 policemen and other members of security forces between him and the hoi polloi – that’s us - how much did he actually encounter “all sectors of society”? With us in the studio is Maria Tam, a Hong Kong deputy of the National People’s Congress.

The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Saturday, May 21, 2016
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