Seven Thousand Cadres Conference

The Seven Thousand Cadres Conference (simplified Chinese: 七千人大会; traditional Chinese: 七千人大會), or 7000 Cadres Conference, was one of the largest work conferences ever of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) which took place in Beijing, China from 11 January - 7 February 1962.[1][2][3][4][5] The conference was attended by over 7,000 party officials nationwide, focusing on the issues of the Great Leap Forward which resulted in the deaths of tens of millions in the Great Chinese Famine.[1][2][5] CCP chairman Mao Zedong made self-criticism during the conference, after which he took a semi-retired role, leaving future responsibilities to Chinese President Liu Shaoqi and Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping.[2][4][6][7]

The ConferenceEdit

The Conference took place in Beijing, China from 11 January - February 1962.[5]

During the conference, Liu Shaoqi, the 2nd President of China and Vice Chairman of the Communist Party, delivered an important speech that formally attributed 30% of the famine to natural disasters and 70% to man-made mistakes, which were mainly the radical economic policies of the Great Leap Forward since 1958.[2][4][6]

The policies of Mao Zedong were criticized, and Mao also made self-criticism as the conference promoted "criticism and self-criticism".[2][4][8][9] CCP vice chairman Lin Biao, however, continued his praises of Mao at the conference.[4][5][9] The conference promoted "democratic centralism" within the Communist Party.[5][6]


After the 7,000 Cadres Conference, Liu Shaoqi together with Deng Xiaoping, was in charge of most policies within the party and the government, while Mao took a semi-retired role.[6][7][9]

The conference corrected some of the far-left economic policies. Economic reforms such as sanzi yibao (三自一包) which allowed free market and household responsibility for agricultural production were carried out by Liu Shaoqi, Deng Zihui and others.[10][11] The reforms alleviated the economic difficulties after the Great Leap Forward to an extent.[5]


President Liu Shaoqi and Chairman Mao Zedong (1964)

The conference revealed serious divisions within the party's top leadership between those who thoroughly endorsed the Three Red Banners and those who maintained doubts about them.[12]

The disagreement between Mao and Liu (and Deng) became more and more apparent, especially on Mao's call to "never forget class struggle".[7]

In August 1962, Mao emphasized during a meeting in Beidaihe that class struggle must be talked about "every year, every month and every day (年年讲, 月月讲, 日日讲)".[13] Mao reinforced his point of view in September 1962 during a national conference of the Chinese Communist Party (八届十中全会).[14]

Mao also criticized the economic reforms carried out by Liu Shaoqi and others, even describing the reforms to foreign leaders as "attempts to undermine socialist collectivism and destroy socialism" in February 1964.[15]

In 1963, Mao launched the nationwide Socialist Education Movement and in 1966, he launched the Cultural Revolution in order to return to the center of power, during which Liu was persecuted to death as a "traitor" as well as a "capitalist roader" and Deng was also purged (twice).[1]

Lin Biao, on the other hand, was formally selected by Mao as his successor in 1969.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c MacFarquhar, Roderick (1999). The Origins of the Cultural Revolution: Volume III, the Coming of the Cataclysm 1961--1966. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-11083-9.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Chinese Foreign Policy Database - Timeline". Wilson Center. Retrieved 2020-06-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Schoenhals, Michael; Stone, Brewer S. (1990). "More Edited Records: Liu Shaoqi on Peng Dehuai at the 7000 Cadres Conference" (PDF). CCP Research Newsletter. 5.
  4. ^ a b c d e He, Henry (2016-07-22). Dictionary of the Political Thought of the People's Republic of China. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-315-50043-0.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "七千人大会". Renmin Wang (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2021-01-15. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  6. ^ a b c d Sun, Zhonghua. "刘少奇"三分天灾,七分人祸"提法的由来". Renmin Wang (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2020-08-07. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  7. ^ a b c d "Three Chinese Leaders: Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, and Deng Xiaoping". Columbia University. Retrieved 2020-06-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Mao, Zedong. "Talk At Working Conference". Marxists Internet Archive. Retrieved 2020-06-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ a b c Li, Yanchun. "七千人大会的现代启示录". Yanhuang Chunqiu (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2020-11-09. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  10. ^ Denhardt, Janet Vinzant; Denhardt, Robert B. (2007). The New Public Service: Serving, Not Steering. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-0-7656-2181-8.
  11. ^ "Liu Shaoqi (1898-1969)". Chinese University of Hong Kong. Retrieved 2020-07-02.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ Jisheng, Yang (2021-01-19). The World Turned Upside Down: A History of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-374-71691-2.
  13. ^ "1962年北戴河会议阶级斗争升温 走上文革之路". China Internet Information Center (in Chinese). 2014-09-23. Archived from the original on 2021-01-02. Retrieved 2020-07-02.
  14. ^ Mao, Zedong. "在八届十中全会上的讲话". Marxists Internet Archive (in Chinese). Retrieved 2020-07-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "重要会议:1949-1978(新中国成立——改革开放以前)". Renmin Wang (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2021-01-02. Retrieved 2020-07-02.