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World

China meets a grim anniversary with silence

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World

China meets a grim anniversary with silence

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COMING UP:China meets a grim anniversary with silence

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Transcript

00:00:00
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00:00:01
Smiling revolutionaries and faded political slogans. A rare public reminder of one of modern China's darkest chapters, on display in a small private museum. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the cultural revolution but China's communist party is ignoring the date when it's founder Mao Zedong launched a violent and chaotic political campaign.
00:00:22
And as Reuters' Ben Blanchard says, Beijing won't break its silence any time soon.>> Two years ago I went to a press conference with a senior communist party historian. And I asked him the question of, when is the communist party ever gonna open up its files on the cultural revolution and he said, well, probably never.
00:00:38
As far as the communist party is concerned, it is something they would really rather everybody forgot.>> Mao Zedong kicked off the cultural revolution in 1966 calling on the nation's youth to rise up against authority, he wanted to use them to silence his critics in the communist party.
00:00:54
Millions responded setting off a wave of violence, students beat their teachers to death, children turned on their parents. Nobody knows exactly how many died but estimates run into the millions. The chaos is glossed over in classrooms, and censors try to control the discussion online, but it's become a hot topic in the run up to the anniversary.
00:01:14
It's been 50 years since the cultural revolution and authorities still don't have the courage to face it, one blogger writes will we need to wait another 50 years. Museum owner Fanjen Twan says the time isn't right for an official acknowledgement.>> Many of the people who participated are still alive, bringing up these past events would only cause trouble.
00:01:36
>> For now, he says let the artifacts speak for themselves.