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Former communist dictator, Mao Zedong’s portrait on the Chinese currency shows that “leftists murderers seem to get a pass” for their crimes, China expert Gordon Chang said.
“If Germany put Hitler on the currency, there would be outrage around the world,” Chang told Fox News. “But when China puts Mao Zedong on the currency–no big deal. No one thinks about it,” he said.
Mao Zedong, the founder of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and chairman of the party from 1949 until 1976, is depicted on every monetary bill (renminbi) in the PRC. Mao is responsible for an estimated 65 million deaths, more than any dictator in history, according to the Heritage Foundation.
“What we are seeing is a glorification of a mass murderer,” Chang said. “Nobody in history has killed more people, the person who’s in second place is not even close,” he added.
Former leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, is believed to be responsible for 20-30 million deaths under his rule from 1922 to 1953. The third dictator with the most blood on his hands is the former leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, who is believed to have killed 11 million people.
Chang said the Communist Party “is very careful about what it teaches the Chinese people about Mao Zedong.” He believes most Chinese citizens are ignorant to the atrocities committed by Mao.
“I think most Chinese people view him as a hero,” Chang said.
Hero of the peasant-backed revolution in 1949, Mao inspired God-like worship among hundreds of millions of Chinese. He took over China promising to bring power to the people through communism.
From 1958 to 1962, Mao’s Great Leap Forward policy to led to the deaths of up to 45 million people – making it the biggest episode of mass murder ever recorded. In pursuit of a communist utopia, individuals’ homes, land and belongings were collectivized and people were put in work camps. This resulted in the worst famine the world has ever seen, tens of millions died of starvation and a large number of victims were executed or tortured.
While the horrors of the Great Leap Forward are well known to experts on communism and Chinese history, they are rarely remembered across the world.
“The Communist Party propagates this notion of Mao as a hero throughout the Third World,” Chang told Fox News. Even in the West, the evils perpetrated by Mao are often forgotten.
“Leftist murderers seem to get a pass,” Chang said, comparing Mao’s perception around the world to those of other dictators considered to be right-wing, like Hitler.
“Mao’s crimes were different from Hitler’s,” Chang told Fox News. “Mao killed tens of millions of people just through recklessness, gross negligence and that is considered to be different than mass extermination, which is Hitler’s crime.”
Chang said people are able to soften some of the communist revolutionary’s crimes by labeling him “an idealist gone wrong.”
Chang said the “leftist bend in media” also contributes to the public’s perception of Mao, and that mainstream media is more sympathetic to left-wing figures.
“Someone who was an idealist like Mao, even though he was a mass murderer, I think gets a pass,” he said.
The Chinese Communist Party’s current leader, Xi Jinping, “very much reveres Mao,” and, like Mao, is moving China toward totalitarianism, Chang said.
“As long as Xi Jinping is around Mao’s going to remain on the currency.”