The population of Great Britain in 2015 is a little more than 60 million - yet Mao Zedong oversaw between 45 million and 75 million deaths during his time as leader of the People's Republic of China. As the leader of the Communist Party, Mao set about reforming the country following his socialist victory during the Chinese civil war and, between 1949 and 1953, 6 million people were killed after being sent to be "reformed through labour" at camps around the country. Execution quotas and death sentences were also handed out left, right and centre during the 1950s as Mao justified his action by explaining that China could not grow if there were dissidents within. Furthermore, social reform programmes including the "Cultural Revolution" and the "Great Leap Forward" saw at least 14 million and 22 million deaths respectively as people were starved, forced to industralise and died as a result of the fumes from smelting pots that sprang up around the country. By the time Mao died in 1976, his regime had executed or willingly allowed for the death of between 50 and 75 million of its own citizens - and even in a country the size of China, that amounted to more than 10 per cent of the entire domestic population. General Mao's tenure as Chinese leader is the top incidence of democide in human history - and it equates to roughly the population size of Great Britain. That is an astonishing statistic, and an extremely harrowing and horrific one.
NUFC editor for WhatCulture.com/NUFC. History graduate (University of Edinburgh) and NCTJ-trained journalist. I love sports, hopelessly following Newcastle United and Newcastle Falcons. My pastimes include watching and attending sports matches religiously, reading spy books and sampling ales.