Three Red Banners

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Three Red Banners
Chinese 三面红旗
Literal meaningthree face red banners

Three Red Banners (Chinese: 三面红旗) was an ideological slogan in the late 1950s which called on the Chinese people to build a socialist state. The "Three Red Banners" also called the "Three Red Flags," consisted of the General Line for socialist construction, the Great Leap Forward and the people's communes. [1] [2] [3]

Great Leap Forward economic and social campaign by the Communist Party of China

The Great Leap Forward of the People's Republic of China (PRC) was an economic and social campaign by the Communist Party of China (CPC) from 1958 to 1962. The campaign was led by Chairman Mao Zedong and aimed to rapidly transform the country from an agrarian economy into a socialist society through rapid industrialization and collectivization. These policies proved to lead to an exponential social and economic disaster, but these failures were hidden by widespread exaggeration and deceitful reports. In short order, large resources were diverted to use on expensive new industrial operations, which, in turn, failed to produce much, and deprived urgently needed resources from the agricultural sector. An important result was a drastic decline in food output, which caused millions of deaths in the Great Chinese Famine.

After the first Five-Year Plan, the People's Republic of China continued its socialist construction by introducing "Three Red Banners Movement". The General Line directed the Chinese people to "go all out, aim high, and build socialism with greater, faster, better, and more economical results." [2] By the end of 1958, nearly all Chinese peasants had been organized into communes averaging 5000 households each. All privately owned property was taken for or contributed to the communes and people were not allowed to cook their own food and instead ate in communal dining halls. The Great Leap Forward, begun in 1958, was a campaign to rapidly modernize by using China's vast labor resources in agricultural and industrial projects. The Leap instead resulted in economic destruction and tens of millions of famine deaths, and had been mostly abandoned by early 1962. Membership in communes was gradually reduced in the early 1960s, with some private property ownership and enterprise again being allowed. The communes continued until being dismantled in the early 1980s under Deng Xiaoping.

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  1. Woo, X. L. ; Two Republics in China: How Imperial China Became the PRC; Algora Publishing, New York, NY;(2014) p. 155
  2. 1 2 Yang Jisheng (2012). Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962 (Kindle edition). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p.87. ISBN   9781466827790.
  3. The Other China: Hunger Part I - The Three Red Flags of Death (1976)