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Anti-Rightist Movement

One of the many 1950s Chinese parade to show support to communist's political movement.
One of the many 1950s Chinese parade to show support to communist's political movement.
The Anti-Rightist Movement () in the People's Republic of China occured in the 1950s and early 1960s, consisted of a series of campaigns to purge alleged "rightists" within the Communist Party of China (CPC) and abroad. The definition of "rightists" was not always consistent, sometimes including critics to the left of the government, but officially referred to those intellectuals who appeared to favour capitalism and class divisions and against collectivization. The campaigns were instigated by Chairman Mao Zedong and saw the political persecution of an estimated 550,000.[1]



The Anti-Rightist Movement was a reaction against the Hundred Flowers Campaign, which had promoted pluralism of expression and criticism of the government.

Going perhaps as far back as the Long March there had been resentment against "rightists" inside the CPC, for example Zhang Bojun.[2]

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 labeled 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 death.

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 Conference of July 2 August 16, 1959. The meeting condemned General Peng Dehuai, who had criticised the Great Leap Forward.

Historical revisionism after Mao

After Mao's death, many of the convictions were revoked in 1979. Many of those accused of rightism and who had been persecuted for that crime for 22 years were suddenly found never to have been labeled as rightists.

Censorship in China

Discussion of the Anti-Rightist Movement is currently subject to heavy censorship within China. In 2007, a ban was placed on the book The Past is not Like Smoke, by Zhang Yihe whose father was persecuted as a rightist, due to its discussion of the Anti-Rightist Movement.

In its meeting at the beginning of the year, the Chinese communist Party's Central Propaganda Department listed the Anti-Rightist Movement as a topic to be restricted in the media and book publications.

In 2009, leading up the 60th anniversary of the PRC's founding, a number of media outlets in China listed the most significant events of 1957 but downplayed or omitted reference to the Anti-Rightist Movement.[1] Websites were reportedly notified by authorities that the topic of the movement was extremely sensitive.[1]

See also


External links

cs:Kampa proti pravi k m es:Movimiento antiderechista fr:Campagne anti-droitiste ja: pl:Kampania przeciwko prawicowcom pt:Campanha Antidireitista zh:

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