The first edition of Peking Review appeared on 4th March 1958.
1958 was the year of the start of the ‘Great leap Forward’ – a revolutionary attempt to move China, which had been kept in a near feudalistic stage by foreign capital from the middle of the 19th century until Liberation in 1949, into the modern, industrial age.
If truth is the first victim of war it’s the last thing to appear when criticism is made of countries which attempt to build a new society which is not based upon exploitation and oppression of a minority over a majority. For that reason condemnations and criticisms made by capitalism and its cronies always have to be taken with a large pinch of salt. If all that happened after 1949 was such a disaster why is it now that capitalist (and increasingly imperialistic) China is able to threaten the capitalist countries that have been running the world for centuries?
The capitalist China of today is based on the wealth created by the struggles of the Chinese workers and peasants who, through their own efforts and (for most of the period of when Chairman Mao was at the helm of the country) having to face the hostility and isolation imposed upon it from the very beginning by the imperialists (mainly US imperialism) and later by the aggressive attitude of the erstwhile friend of workers struggles, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), when it started to follow the revisionist and capitalist road from the mid-1950s.
Even ‘statistics’ produced under the auspices of the powerful elite in charge of the Communist party of China in recent years have to be treated skeptically. Deng Xiaoping and his successors have even more to gain from denigrating the achievements before 1976 – otherwise their credibility comes to nought.
The articles published in the following issues of Peking Review will provide the reader with an opportunity to compare both sides of the argument. The reader will have to decide who to believe and consider context at the time as well as what they are being told today.
(There’s a Subject Index – for the whole year – at the end of Issue No. 44.)