Chairman Mao was aged 82 when he died. He had ruled China for a quarter?
Chairman Mao was aged 82 when he died. He had ruled China for a quarter of a century. He came to power and became the first head of the People's Republic of China in 1949 after his forces had fought for over 20 years against the right-wing Chinese Kuomintang forces, the Japanese and then the Kuomintang again.
Statesmen and ordinary people across the world praised the late Chairman Mao Tse Tung of China on Friday (10 September). The 15 member United Nations Security Council, including the Soviet Union whose relations with China have not always been good, paid tribute to Chairman Mao, who died on Thursday (9 September) - and people called at Chinese embassies to sign condolence books in capitals all over the world.
SYNOPSIS: In the French capital, Paris, the flag over the Chinese embassy flew at half mast and embassy staff stood in silence. French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing said a beacon of world thinking had gone out with the death of Chairman Mao, who came from the popular depths of China and snatched it from part humiliation. Many Parisians came to the Chinese embassy to sign the book of condolences.
In the Italian capital, Rome, which has the biggest Communist party in west Europe, a stream of government ministers arrived to pay tribute. The Communist party called Mao's founding of the People's Republic "one of the greatest historical events of the century", but the Roman Catholic newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, was not so lavish in its praise. In a front page editorial the Vatican newspaper said the Chinese Communist party under Mao's leadership successfully eliminated anarchy, illiteracy, superstition, opium addiction and hunger - but this had been achieved by a rigorously organised system of channelling hundreds of millions of human beings under a military and police regime dependent until today on one sole will." Vatican radio added that respect for the truth impelled it not to pass over silently Mao's strong desire, put into action, to eradicate religious life and especially to tenaciously persecute the Roman Catholic Church.
The Chinese Embassy in Tanzania the east African country which has received a particularly large amount of Chinese aid. Tanzania still has hundreds of Chinese technicians in the country, who helped to build the Tanzam railway linking Tanzania and Zambia. President Nyerere himself came to sign the condolence book. He described Chairman Mao as "a world leader and an inspiration to revolutionary lovers of freedom and human dignity everywhere." There were also tributes to Chairman Mao from all 15 members of the United Nations Security Council meeting in New York and the organisation's Secretary General Kurt Waldheim.