China

Weibo Account Of Prominent Chinese Historian Who Criticized Mao Zedong Suddenly Shut Down

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Image by methodshop.com via Flickr

The Weibo account of prominent Chinese historian Yuan Tengfei (袁腾飞) has suddenly been shut down.

As the Liberty Times reports, on September 11 Yuan’s account on Weibo, a Chinese microblogging website, suddenly disappeared. His last Weibo post was published on September 8 at 20:20. “Today is a great day, the weather is good, too, so happy! Life goes on, really good!” he wrote.

In 2010 The New York Times called Yuan Tengfei “[p]erhaps the most famous maverick teacher in China these days.” Videos of his lectures, in which he was deeply critical of Mao’s Great Leap Forward, had been posted online by Jinghua School, where he worked part-time, and had drawn millions of hits.

Born in Beijing in 1972, Yuan majored in Chinese history from Capital Normal University and taught in various schools. He is currently an associate researcher at a private institute in Beijing’s Haidian District. He was also a frequent guest at The Hundred Schools of Thought Forum, a Chinese television programme hosted by China Central Television (CCTV).

In a lecture held at Jinghua School in 2008, he mocked Mao Zedong and criticized the crimes committed by the Communist Party. He also drew an equivalency between Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek, calling them both dictators. Videos of the lecture went viral, causing an uproar.

China can only produce autocracies, from the time of Yu the Great up until the present day, over thousands of years we have grown accustomed to obeying one man,” he said. “Chiang Kai-shek’s government was a one-party dictatorial government, and Mao’s was just the same. Both of them were dictators. One can’t talk too much about the reason why the Guomindang lost [the civil war with the Communists], if you say it, you will easily disturb the current authorities.”

On September 10, popular Chinese essayist and blogger Zhou Xiaoping (周小平) launched an attack against Yuan Tengfei on his Weibo account, accusing him of “insulting the People’s Volunteer Army”and condemning his views regarding the issue of Tibet.

Zhou Xiaoping (born in 1981) is a staunch supporter of Communist Party rule. At a “Forum on Art and Literature” held on October 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping praised Zhou Xiaoping, encouraging him to continue to write “works that carry positive energy.”



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