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>> Millions died on his watch, and a country was plunged into chaos and violence, but Chairman Mao Zedong still has big fans in China. Leftists from in and outside the Communist Party will remember the 40th anniversary of his death on Friday. And as Ben Blanchard reports, some of them are making things a little uncomfortable for China's modern leadership.
>> For many Chinese people, the economic reforms of the last 30 years while they may have made China the second largest economy in the world and a diplomatic force to be reckoned with, they have brought a lot of problems within the growing rich-poor gap, environment degradation and especially, corruption.
Now some of these people look back with a fair amount of nostalgia at the era of Mao and they say there is a time of equality. So it's really sort of an idealization for this sort of past China that perhaps never really existed in the first place.>> Today's Leftists want to bring back Maoist ideas like equal access to healthcare and education and worried Beijing is trying to play down their hero's image.
For President Xi Jinping and his government, it's a delicate balance pushing ahead with modern reforms while keeping the Communist Party that Mao founded front and center.>> Since Xi came to power, he has referred to Mao's legacy. He said that he was an important person. And there have also been a lot of people who say well actually, a lot of what Xi is doing is very sort of one-man rule model that he runs China with, that's actually something that is very Maoist.
>> For now, it's seems Beijing is taking a cautious less is more approach to Mao's legacy with no plans to mark the anniversary of his death on Friday.