In March 1950, six months after the Communists defeated Kuomintang (KMT) troops and won the Chinese civil war, Mao Zedong launched the first political campaign in the fledgling People's Republic of China to "suppress counter-revolutionaries".
During the three-year campaign to consolidate the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) hold on power, at least 2.6 million people comprising KMT remnants, landlords and bandits were rounded up and half that number were sent to labour camps.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2020, with the headline 'Xi's latest purge to ensure party and internal stability'. Print Edition | Subscribe
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