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China rewrites History

Thursday, August 31, 2006

(SNN Shenyang) Chinese high school students will be receiving the first new history textbooks in 24 years this fall. The books radically rewrite history. All Chinese history before 1979 is only mentioned briefly. Instead the books focus on international trends and economic movements.

Authorites want students to see China as a country with a more stable and less violent history. “Our traditional version of history was focused on ideology and national identity,” said Zhu Xueqin, a historian at Shanghai University. “The new history is less ideological, and that suits the political goals of today.”

The books are seen as being progressive. Mao Zedong is barely mentioned, while Bill Gates is profiled. One chapter features the history of neckties, but General Tso is not mentioned at all.

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