"Chairman Mao's Good Soldier" Lei Feng

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Associate Professor of Department of Universal History, Philosophy and Culturology
Affiliation: Blagoveshchensk State Pedagogical University
Address: Russian Federation, Blagoveshchensk
Journal nameProblemy Dalnego Vostoka
EditionIssue 5

The article examines the personality of "Chairman Mao's good soldier" Lei Feng — a soldier of the People's Liberation Army of China, who died tragically in 1962. On March 5, 1963, on the initiative of Mao Zedong, a political and ideological campaign was announced in China under the slogan "Learn from Lei Feng". In order to consolidate the positive image of Lei Feng in the mass consciousness of the people of the PRC, the possibilities of culture and art were widely used. The largest-scale political and ideological campaign under the slogan "Learn from Comrade Lei Feng!" acquired in the first years after the death of Lei Feng and during the "cultural revolution" (1966-1976). In 1977 Lei Feng's study campaign unfolded with renewed vigor. In the 1980s, the mass movement gradually began to fade. The CPC leadership made significant efforts to preserve it in 1980-1981, to revive it in 1987 and after the tragic events in Tiananmen Square (1989). Since 2012, there has been an increase in this campaign. Currently, Lei Feng is the personification of altruism, volunteering and helping others, carried out on a selfless basis. In this capacity, the image of Lei Feng is used in the public discourse of modern China. The Chinese media constantly refer to stories, the heroes of which are ordinary Chinese — "modern Lei Feng’". The cult of Lei Feng, persistently promoted by the CCP for decades, confronts the recently widespread facts of corruption in various (including the highest) echelons of political power.

KeywordsChina, Lei Feng, cultural revolution, propaganda
Publication date18.10.2021
Number of characters39017
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