Hundred Flowers Movement

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The Hundred Flowers Movement was a mass campaign in China launched by Mao Zedong in 1956, ostensibly intending to elicit opinions from the common people about the Chinese Communist Party's administration of China, although the true reason for the campaign's existence is debatable. Mao utilized his control of the Chinese media to tell the Chinese people "let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend" - a saying originally attributed to Confucius. This was a request for frank commentary regarding the actions of the Communist Party seven years into the party's control of the People's Republic of China.

Results and Aftermath

The Hundred Flowers Movement brought forth many opinions - and not all were positive. Waves of criticism reached the ears of Mao. Upset, he launched the Anti-Rightist Campaign a year later, in 1957, in which hundreds of thousands of people were branded "Rightists", and thus enemies of the Communist Party. Many were sent to labor camps, and some people remained there over three decades. Some have argued that the Hundred Flowers Movement was a political trap to expose "dissidents" and thus intended only as a precursor to the Anti-Rightist Campaign.

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