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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

R. J. Rummel on China

R. J. Rummel, Professor Emeritus at the University of Hawaii, has compiled the most extensive, detailed statistics on mass-murder in the 20th century.

I recently saw two sources who came to very different conclusions than Rummel on the number of Chinese citizens murdered by the communist Chinese government.

Sadly, when trying to count bodies by the tens of millions, from a considerable distance (space and time)--acts intentionally obscured by their own government--I see how one could be off by millions.

I e-mailed Dr. Rummel about this very large discrepancy, and here's what he said.

It all depends on how one treats the Great Famine during the late 50s and early 60s. My figure for it was 27,000,000. Some put it at 30-40 million, and treat it as the cost of Mao's communism. I did not treat it as democide, since from my information it was not an intended famine, although Chinese policies certainly were responsible for it. Without it, I get a democide or more than 35 million after 1949-1987. ... I've mentioned it here and there, but especially in my book China's Bloody Century.

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