While Mao’s reputation was tarnished by the chaos and destruction of the ultra-radical 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution, subsequent generations have generally accepted the ruling Communist Party’s official verdict that he was, overall, “70 percent right and 30 percent wrong”.
Political observers have suggested that current President Xi Jinping shares many of the same political traits as Mao, and is considered by some to be the most powerful leader since.
Mao has once again become a potent symbol for leftists both within and without the ruling Communist Party who feel that three decades of market-based reform have gone too far, creating social inequality and fostering widespread graft.
In lauding Mao, the left sometimes seeks to put pressure on the current leadership and question its market-oriented policies.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)
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Tags: Chinese Communist Party, Communist Party, Cultural Revolution, founder of the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong, September 9 marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Mao Zedong, Xi Jinping