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a nucleus of military personnel capable of expansion


several related operations aimed at achieving a particular goal (usually within geographical and temporal constraints)

capitalist roader

Derogatory term used to label moderate CCP leaders during the Cultural Revolution.


the teachings of Confucius emphasizing love for humanity

cult of personality

Promotion of the image of an authoritarian leader not merely as a political figure but as someone who embodies the spirit of the nation and possesses endowments of wisdom and strength far beyond those of the average individual.

democratic centralism

a form of democracy in which the interests of the masses were discovered through discussion within the Communist party, and then decisions were made under central leadership to serve those interests


Right of foreigners to be protected by the laws of their own nation.


a group, usually a small part of a larger group, united around some cause; disagreement within an organization

four modernizations

Deng Xiaoping's plan to change China after the disaster of Cultural Revolution. Improve- agriculture, science/technology, defense and industry

mass line

Economic policy of Mao Zedong inaugurated in 1955; led to formation of agricultural cooperatives that then became farming collectives in 1956; peasants lost land gained a few years earlier


the system of patronage in Communist countries


an assemblage of parts that is regarded as a single entity


supreme military leader exercising civil power in a region especially one accountable to nobody when the central government is weak

Chen Duxiu

Founder of CCP, leader of New Cultural Movement (supported changes in Chinese society positive to communism) and editor of the New Youth

Chiang Kai-shek

General and leader of Nationalist China after 1925. Although he succeeded Sun Yat-sen as head of the Guomindang, he became a military dictator whose major goal was to crush the communist movement led by Mao Zedong.

Deng Xiaoping

Communist Party leader who forced Chinese economic reforms after the death of Mao Zedong.

Fang Lizhi

physicist and leading chinese dissident, now living in exile in the United States

Hu Jintao

China's current Communist party leader and head of state

Jiang Qing

She was the leader of the Gang of Four, wife of Chairman Mao. Orchestrated campaign against Zhou Enlai, called for death of Liu Shao-Qi, saying "He should die the death of 1,000 cuts!" Was arrested by Guofeng, and sentenced to life in 1976.

Jiang Zemin

Successor of Deng from 1997 to 2002; continued economic reforms and liberalization

Lin Biao

Minister of Defense. In 1964, published "Little Red Book," with quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong. Appointed as Mao's successor, but died in a plane crash in 1971 (scholars unsure if it was an accident or planned). Him and Mao had grown apart, thus he was accused of betraying Mao, and some claimed he had planned a coup d'etat.

Liu Shaoqi

He was a moderate CCP politician and designated successory to Mao Zedong. He died during the cultural revolution, held the position of official headship of state, and had a strong base in the parties. He came to power after Mao stepped away following GLF. He rolled back Mao's reforms but kept China's communistic views in tact.

Mao Zedong

This man became the leader of the Chinese Communist Party and remained its leader until his death. He declared the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and supported the Chinese peasantry throughout his life.

Sun Yat-sen

This man was a radical Chinese reformer who sought to overthrow the government

Wei Jingsheng

Major Chinese dissident, now in exile in the United States, Chinese physician and political leader who aimed to transform China with patriotic, democratic, and economically progressive reforms.

Wen Jiabao

China's current premier and head of government

Zhou Enlai

He was a prominent and influential member of the Chinese Communist Party during the time of Mao. He played a large role in China's reestablishing ties with the West.


CCP Central Advisory Committee


Chinese Communist Party


Central Military Commission of the CCP


Chinese Nationalist Party; overthrown on mainland China by CCP; in power on Taiwan


Mao Zedong's army that by winning large battles was able to gain strong support in urban areas. It was the army that made the long march. It helped allow the communists to gain power. It stands for the People's Liberation Army.


People's Republic of China


special economic zone

Central Committee

Supposedly the most important body in a communist party; its influence declined as it grew in size and the party needed daily leadership.

Cultural Revolution

a radical reform in China initiated by Mao Zedong in 1965 and carried out largely by the Red Guard

Democracy Movement

Protests by Chinese students and others that culminated in the Tiananmen Square disaster of 1989 in Beijing

Democracy Wall

The place where the first "big character" posters were hung in Beijing during the Autumn of 1978. When Wei Jingshen was arrested in April 1979, the wall was shut down. It had statements that suggested reform in the government and criticized the current ways.

Falun Gong

a spiritual movement that began in China in the latter half of the 20th century and is based on Buddhist and Taoist teachings and practices

Gang of Four

term used to denote the four leading radical figures - Jiang Qing, Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan, and Wang Hongwen, who were arrested and blamed for the faults of the Cultural Revolution.

Great Leap Forward

Started by Mao Zedong, combined collective farms into People's Communes, failed because there was no incentive to work harder, ended after 2 years

Hundred Flowers Campaign

1957. Campaign launched by Mao to trick scholars into speaking against the government so he could later accuse them of betrayal, and get rid of them. People said: government had too much control over intellectual thought, education poor in rural areas, earlier government programs too severe, China should not follow the Soviet Union, standard of living too low, foreign books should be legalized, CCP was corrupt, land reform not working, wanted free speech, wanted democracy

Long March

The 6,000-mile (9,600-kilometer) flight of Chinese Communists from southeastern to northwestern China. The Communists, led by Mao Zedong, were pursued by the Chinese army under orders from Chiang Kai-shek.

May Fourth Movement

was an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement growing out of student demonstrations in Beijing

Nationalist Party

The party of Chiang Kai-shek. They ruled China from 1928 until the victory of the Communists in 1949. This party led a revolution against the emperor 1911. They also tried to establish a democracy. When they were defeated by the communists they fled to Taiwan. They still rule Taiwan today.


the chief executive and political committee of the Communist Party

red guard

Militia units formed by young Chinese people in 1966 in response to Mao Zedong's call for a social and cultural revolutions

red versus expert

debate in China pitting ideologues against supporters of economic development

Sino-Soviet split

the breaking of all relations between China and the Soviet Union

Standing Committee

A permanent committee established in a legislature, usually focusing on a policy area

Tiananmen Square

Site in Beijing where Chinese students and workers gathered to demand greater political openness in 1989. The demonstration was crushed by Chinese military with great loss of life.

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