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Anti-Rightist Movement

From Academic Kids

The Anti-Rightist Movement(反右派运动) of the People's Republic of China in the 1950s and early 1960s consisted of a series of campaigns to purge alleged "rightists" within the Communist Party of China apparatus and abroad. The campaigns were instigated by then Chairman Mao Zedong.

Contents

Background

Going perhaps as far back as the Long March there had been resentment against "rightists" inside the CCP.

Origins

The Anti-Rightist Movement was a reaction against the Hundred Flowers Campaign, which had promoted pluralism of expression and criticism of the government. It is not clear whether the Hundred Flowers Campaign was a deliberate tactic to smoke out "rightists", or whether Mao simply decided that it had gone too far.

First wave

The first wave of attacks began immediately following the end of the Hundred Flowers movement in July 1957. By the end of the year, 300,000 people had been labelled as rightists, including the writer Ding Ling. Future premier Zhu Rongji, then working in the State Planning Commission, was purged in 1958. Most of the accused were intellectuals. The penalties included informal criticism, "re-education through labour" and in some cases execution.

One main target was the independent legal system. Legal professionals were transferred to other jobs; judicial power was exercised instead by political cadres and the police.

Second wave

The second part of the campaign followed the Lushan Meeting of July 2-Aug 16 1959. The meeting condemned General Peng Dehuai, who had criticised the Great Leap Forward.

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