George Yang, a candidate running for California Superintendent of Public Instructions, believes that U.S. students should learn about China’s Great Famine.

Talking with Chinese media Da Ji Yuan, Yang felt it was a great miss when everyone in the U.S. was aware of the Holocaust but not the Great Chinese Famine. 

In a 2015 report on behalf of The Review of Economics Studies Limited, Oxford University Press found that the famine killed between 16.5 million and 45 million people from 1958 to 1961. 

A summary document released by the Chinese regime in September 2005 estimated that the total number of Chinese who died of unnatural causes reached 37.55 million from 1959 to 1962.

Approximately 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust during World War II.

In a documentary by Radio Free Asia, people were so desperate that they turned to grassroots, tree bark, and even white mud. A survivor of the Great Famine in Sichuan Province said people also committed cannibalism. 

In the book “Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962,” Chinese Communist Party politician Li Rui said there were thousands of events of cannibalism happening across the country during the period. The book was authored by Yang Jisheng, ex-reporter at China’s Xinhua news agency.

Speaking with the Guardian in 2013, Yang Jisheng said, “People died in the family and they didn’t bury the person because they could still collect their food rations; they kept the bodies in bed and covered them up and the corpses were eaten by mice. People ate corpses and fought for the bodies. In Gansu they killed outsiders; people told me strangers passing through were killed and eaten. And they ate their own children. Terrible. Too terrible.”

The cause

It started in 1957 when the then leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Mao Zedong, launched his Great Leap Forward campaign. 

The plan envisioned that China’s economy could rival the UK in only five years and the U.S. in 10 years. But it only resulted in the historic famine and deaths of execution, torture, forced labor, and suicide out of desperation.

The plan was centered on two primary objectives: collectivizing agriculture and extensive industrialization. There were two main targets: raising grain and steel manufacturing.

Private plot farming was outlawed, and rural farmers were ordered to labor on collective farms, where the CCP was in charge of all production, resource allocation, and food distribution.

The ideology was that farmers wouldn’t need to keep rations and seeds at home. Instead, they could go to the public canteen and eat as much as they want. Therefore, they would eat large portions from pots of rice at the canteen. 

However, production was waning because the communist regime imposed unproven new agricultural techniques and irrigation projects that lacked consultancy from skilled engineers.

This subsequently contributed to the great famine.

At the same time, political officials were forced to achieve a certain amount of grain, or they would face heavy repercussions. As a result, they started to fabricate statistics and exaggerated the amount of grain produced.

In addition to high quotas that ripped peasants of grains, the CCP believed that the lowered crop yields were because the farmers were secretly storing it up. Hence, they initiated an anti-hiding campaign and brutally beat people as officials tried to force them to give up their allegedly hidden grain. 

According to Yang Jisheng, many farmers were beaten to death.

Until this day, the CCP has never admitted its blunder. In children’s textbooks, natural disasters were attributed as the cause of the Great Famine. 

California school superintendent candidate, George Yang, told Da Ji Yuan that at present, not even many Chinese children know about the famine. He believed that the actual events behind the historic disaster should be taught instead of Critical Race Theory.

He said that primary and secondary school students should learn the most basic historical facts. The theoretical content on viewing history would be more appropriate during discussions in college classrooms.

George Yang was born in 1976 and moved to the U.S. when he was 15 years old. After leaving China, he spent a lot of time studying historical events that the CCP had twisted.

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.