During 1956, when mass unrest swept through parts of Eastern Europe, there were some reverberations in China, such as strikes and withdrawals from agricultural cooperatives. Perhaps to defuse unrest, or to engage intellectuals in the next stages of socialist development, the Party leadership, in particular Mao, encouraged intellectuals to speak out in this period, and many cautiously began to do so. This apparent sanctioning of dissent encouraged students also to protest and many workers to start asserting their demands through petitions, marches, hunger strikes, sit-ins and strikes. Mao and the Party responded in mid-1957 by suppressing all dissent and hundreds of thousands of intellectuals were blacklisted, students expelled, and many sentenced to manual labour or exile.
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C. II.1.a. Hundred Flower 56-57
This is Doolin’s translation of a Beijing Student Union pamphlet, together with his own introduction.
Highly respected scholarly analysis.
Looks at little known worker unrest accompanying intellectual dissent.
Wu, a university teacher of English educated in the US, returned to China in 1951. This is a personal account of his experiences. The Hundred Flowers campaign is covered pp. 47-72.