Candidate for superintendent of California schools wants to add the Great Chinese Famine to the school curriculum

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George Yang is a Chinese immigrant. As a candidate for California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, he wants to ensure that all public school students will be educated about the Great Chinese Famine.

“We in the United States right now are only talking about the Holocaust,” Yang said in a phone interview with The Epoch Times. “It is unfortunate that many people, including children in China, are unaware of the Great Chinese Famine,” Yang said.

The Great Chinese Famine occurred during the period of China’s Great Leap Forward Campaign in 1958, 1959, 1961 and 1962. Oxford University Press published a report (pdf) in 2015 on behalf of The Review of Economics Studies Limited titled “The Institutional Causes of the Great Chinese Famine, 1959-1961”. According to the report, the famine resulted in the death of 16.5 to 45 million people.

Chinese journalist Yang Jisheng has written a book based on his independent famine investigation. The booktitled “Tombstone: An Account of Chinese Famine in the 1960s,” reveals that 36 million Chinese died of starvation as a result of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) extreme political and economic policies in the late 1950s and early 1960s. 1960s. The book was published in 2008 in Hong Kong.

In September 2005, the Chinese government published a summary document titled: “The situation of persons who died of non-natural causes in different regions (of China) from 1959 to 1962”. The document shows that the number of Chinese who died of “unnatural causes” during those four years included: 5.22 million in 1959, 11.55 million in 1960, 13.27 million in 1961 and 7.51 million in 1962 Based on this document, the total number of deaths was 37.55.

For comparison, the death toll of Jews in the World War II Holocaust was around 6 million.

In November 1957, the CCP’s mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, published a long commentary article which, for the first time, officially introduced the slogan “the great leap forward” to the public. The Chinese regime, under the leadership of Mao Zedong, launched an aggressive economic development plan in which the regime would lead China to catch up with the British economy in 5 years and the American economy in 10 years.

Chinese refugees queuing for a meal in Hong Kong, May 1962. During the famine caused by the ‘Great Leap Forward’ policy, between 140,000 and 200,000 people entered Hong Kong illegally. (AFP via Getty Images)

The main agricultural objective of the plan was to increase China’s total food production from 195 million tons in 1957 to 525 million tons in 1959, a 270% increase in two years. The result-oriented campaign eventually became the political movement of the CCP.

In order to achieve the goals set by the CCP, all levels of officials have been mobilized to find ways to increase food production. Ultimately, competing to fabricate reports showing huge food production became a political game played by local CCP officials. The game was called “shooting satellites”.

On September 18, 1958, the People’s Daily reported a harvest of 65,217 kilograms of wheat per mu (a Chinese measurement unit, about 1/6 acre) in Guangxi province, which was the highest “satellite” ever. recorded during the Great Leap Forward. country. Such exaggerated reports has become common.

More than 60 years later, September 22, 2021, China News reported a new national paddy production record in Guizhou province of 1123.87 kilograms per mu.

The highest number of “satellite” productions in 1958 was about 58 times China’s national record in 2021.

The problem created by setting up these production records was that agricultural land in China belonged to the government and farmers had to turn over most of the crops to the government. Local officials, after fabricating the increasingly high production figures on paper, had to turn over enough product to the central government to meet their demands.

In order to harvest enough crops, CCP officials forcibly took everything from the farmers, including seeds for next year’s planting and food for their families.

Today, people over 70 still tell stories of how they survived the Great Famine. People often say that they eat tree leaves, tree bark and roots to survive. Many regions remember people who died of constipation because they ate kaolinite, a clay mineral typically used for making pots.

China’s Great Leap Forward ended in the Great Famine.

Children were among those who suffered from the failure of the Great Leap Forward and the famine that followed.  (NTDTV)
Children were among those who suffered from the failure of the Great Leap Forward and the famine that followed. (Screenshot via NTDTV)

In an interview with The Epoch Times, George Yang said that for decades after the famine, Chinese state media and school textbooks blamed natural disasters for causing the famine, an excuse proven baseless by historians. and meteorologists.

George Yang came to the United States in 1992, when he was 15 years old. Yang said he loved history and spent a lot of time researching China’s true history after he came to the United States. As a candidate for school superintendent at Golden State, he wants to contribute much of his knowledge to the education system.

For example, he thinks Critical Race Theory (CRT) is not an appropriate subject for students before college age. He said K-12 students should learn facts, not theories. He suggests that CRT, along with many other historical theories, can be taught and discussed in colleges where the students are much more mature.

As an immigrant from the largest communist country in history, he suggests that the Great Chinese Famine is a much better substitute for CRT in the curriculum for K-12 students.

Nathan Su

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