Mao Zedong dies in 1956

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by herkles, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. herkles Well-Known Member

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    So in the thread about Robert Mugabe, someone brought up Chen Yun's quote about Mao.

    “Had Mao died in 1956, his achievements would have been immortal. Had he died in 1966, he would still have been a great man but flawed. But he died in 1976. Alas, what can one say?”

    This makes me curious what would be the effects on China had Mao died in 1956 instead of in 1976. This would be not long after he launched the 100 flowers campaign but before he cracked down upon it. This was also when the Sino-Soviet Split began.

    What would happen to the 100 flowers campaign that Mao started before his death? What about the Sino-Soviet Split? Obviously these two questions depend on how would succeed the great helmsman. So thus who would be the most likely person to succeed Mao in 1956?
     
  2. interpoltomo please don't do coke in the bathroom

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    250 million more chinese without the one child policy, no economic reform and probably a policy of solving population issues by blackmailing "allied" states to take in chinese immigration -- Mugabe and Mandela in TTL would be remembered as the men who led their respective countries into becoming mostly ethnically Han.
     
  3. lionhead Pretty fly for a white guy

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    If Zhou Enlai takes over there is probably no great leap forward and no greatest famine in human history. This will of course help China improve their economy and modrnization, giving them more chance to compete with the great powers early on.

    No idea if Zhou Enlai or someone like Deng Xiaoping would take over however. Or what someone like Deng or Liu Shaoqi would do.
     
  4. SandroPertini98 Well-Known Member

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    A Troika between Zhou Enlai, Peng Dehuai e Lin Biao seems probable. No Great Leap Forward. As Lin and Peng were pro-Soviet it's likely a reversal of Sino-Soviet Split.
     
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  5. lionhead Pretty fly for a white guy

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    But Lin Biao wasn't in the picture to become the leader of China in 1956 and had poor health.
     
  6. Belarus-Chan Well-Known Member

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    China develops at a slower but less bloodier pace, avoiding most deaths caused by Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. However, as Maoism would still be a significant force (and likely to remain so with the absence of the atrocities), and the successors of Mao may still attempt a large scale industrialisation reform which could result in mass deaths.

    However it is unlikely this reform would be any worse than the Great Leap Forward, meaning less deaths and possibly more effective industrialisation as a whole.

    However, the lack of extremist Maoist policies means economic reform is also going to be slower. Deng-style privitisation would probably be delayed until the late 80s and the post-Mao era would essentially resemble a poorer Soviet Union. Sino-Soviet relations will last longer but are likely to decline at some point.

    What is interesting is what Tiananmen Square will look like in such a scenario. There would be unrest directed at the Communist government itself and not the various issues such as corruption. Really it is a wildcard.
     
  7. Seandineen Member

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    What about Green apple, Madam Mao, and everyone's favorite Secret Policeman Keng Sheng?
     
  8. Dingus Khan Emperor of Nowhere

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    What the? This borders on ASB. If no country in Africa ever had a European-majority population, then there sure as hell won't be any African country that ever turns Chinese.
     
  9. interpoltomo please don't do coke in the bathroom

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    It's not "turning chinese" it's "accept immigration from a fraternal ally in the people's struggle"...
     
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  10. Dingus Khan Emperor of Nowhere

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    I don't think I've ever heard of any country voluntarily taking hundreds of millions of immigrants from another country on a foreign government's orders. Plus there's no evidence that the Chinese government ever considered exiling a big fraction of their population to Africa, nor would any friendly governments in Africa even want to do this.
     
  11. herkles Well-Known Member

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    If Zhou Enlai takes over what does this mean for China? Would he end the 100 Followers campaign? Would he mend relations with the Soviets or keep China going on its own seperate course?
     
  12. GSD310 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this. Without the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, there probably won’t be or less impetus for China to try their OTL reforms.
     
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  13. Seandineen Member

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    I think without going full Gorbachev he understood, the main reason the ccp won the civil war, is the promise of development and order.
    The valve needed to be loosened.
     
  14. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    How the hell would they get to Africa in the first place? Shipping millions of people from China to Africa would be far from cheap and what would be the point? Does China want to lose power and influence?
     
  15. Sam R. Well-Known Member

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    Zhao’s China entirely depends on the depth of his network within the party. Reformism and a hundred flowers doesn’t mean heightened wage labour: it means decentralised agricultural production and increased consumer productions.
     
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  16. Landmass Wave Well-Known Member

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    1956 was around the time Khrushchev consolidated his power. That could affect how Mao's successor proceeds.
     
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  17. Relekka Member

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    This... no, what the fuck are you trying to say? This is some 'Yellow Peril in the Darkest Continent' type mentality that has both no basis in reality whatsoever.
     
  18. xsampa Well-Known Member

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    What specific sources do you have about Chinese plans for emigration to Africa before 1956?
     
  19. LostInNewDelhi Anarcho-Shaivist

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    Okay, I think the initial sentiment here was that a PRC which didn't lower its population by mass deaths or by One-Child Policy would end up with more people than its (likely unreformed) economy would be able to provide adequate opportunities/infrastructure/whatever for. This would probably lead to emigration-- if not as a top-down policy of forced exile then at least as a bottom-up policy of people just leaving to somewhere that will take them. But if there were not countries willing to take them, then Beijing may have reason to influence countries to do so, and this would start with the countries it has the most influence over-- which is to say, African countries recently overtaken by majority-rule movements.

    The most obvious problem with this, though, is that by the time overpopulation starts to be seen as an issue (probably the mid to late 70s) there are places where Chinese emigres can go: Southeast Asia and the West. And for every country that shuts its doors from nativist sentiment (Suharto's Indonesia, probably Malaysia too) there'd probably be another that's more permissive (Thailand? Philippines? Singapore?) or which can't police its borders even if it wanted to (Burma). I just don't see why the routes over Yunnan to Upper Burma, over Guangdong to Hong Kong, or over the sea to wherever would lose their centuries-old importance. And of course, there's plenty land within China itself-- overpopulation in East China may just flow over into the cities of the West and North (Lanzhou, Xining, etc), with some encouragement from higher up.

    The other problem is that China's influence over African liberation movements isn't that strong-- China provided lots of military aid, but these movements' main priorities were solely their own. The ANC was able to gain the acceptance of the West very quickly, so I don't see what leverage China would have over it. UNITA went even further-- despite Jonas Savimbi being trained in China, he became a Western-backed opponent of the MPLA. The only way a Southern African country would accept such a forced change to basic policy would be if it was utterly diplomatically isolated and dependent on China... at which point few Chinese would actually want to move there. Seriously, why would a people that have historically been an urban diaspora seeking opportunities as businessmen and educated professionals move to a pariah state with no links to the world economy? And that's assuming the country which accepts such a forced change actually remains stable enough to see it through. Considering that nearly every communist-leaning Southern African liberation movement had a great internal struggle or civil war with a local rival (ZAPU, RENAMO, UNITA, etc.), that seems unlikely.

    Put simply, a majority of Chinese emigres would probably move anywhere but Africa. And even if so many millions did move to a given African country as to turn a sizable proportion of the country Chinese, the country in question can likely avoid being forced to accept them, either because the government leans on non-Chinese allies to resist the pressure or because the government faces a fatal challenge from within as a consequence of giving in to China.
     
  20. BigBlueBox Well-Known Member

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    If China doesn’t implement a one-child policy then it would implement a two-child policy, which is what every other Asian country that tried to control there population did. It’s a much more practical and sustainable solution than a one-child policy.