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Mao statue openly smashed in China
[March 15, 2011]

Mao statue openly smashed in China


HONG KONG, Mar 15, 2011 (The Straits Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Maoism is obsolete in China, but the open smashing of a statue of Mao Zedong by a developer in Hainan is seen by his still large following as a plan to subvert the socialist state he founded.



A real estate company wrecked the statue of the 'Great Helmsman' -- China's most powerful figure between 1949 and 1976 -- while re-developing a district in Longlou town in Wenchang region, reported Hong Kong's South China Morning Post.

Now it has come under fire from some Chinese still fiercely committed to his ultra-leftist ideology, said the newspaper.


Erected in 2008, the 9.9m white marble statue had attracted many visitors, China News Service (CNS) reported.

Internet users on leftist websites demanded severe punishment for the unnamed developer for smashing the Mao statue into five pieces, said CNS.

"Why can't Longlou tolerate a magnificent statue of Mao Zedong?" the agency quoted a netizen as saying. "It's not only a humiliation to people in Longlou, but also a humiliation to the people of Hainan." Internet users on maoflag.net and wyzxsx.com -- two major Chinese leftist websites -- were furious to see two photographs of the broken statue posted online and widely circulated on China's Twitter-like microblog platforms.

One photo featured the head of the statue, its nose and forehead damaged.

Many Internet users said the way the statue was toppled was "extremely cruel", akin to the way the statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down by American soldiers in Iraq in 2004.

"The ruining of the statue was meant to attack Maoists and Mao's image and is a sign of subverting socialist state power," said a post on wyzxsx.com, which was endorsed by 20 supporters.

"Developers now wield the greatest power of destruction in China, tearing down houses and flattening martyrs' mausoleums in the name of development," another post remarked on China.com.

"Now they have even brought the wrecking ball to Chairman Mao," the post added.

However, a netizen critical of Mao pointed out that when the leader was in power, he tore down many statues of historical figures, including those of Confucius. "Now it's Mao's turn!" he wrote.

Towering statues of Mao could be found all over China, but the incident in Hainan could be the first open smashing of his image.

To see more of the Asia News Network, go to http://www.asianewsnet.net/home/ Copyright (c) 2011, The Straits Times, Singapore / Asia News Network Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For more information about the content services offered by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (MCT), visit www.mctinfoservices.com.

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