The 'last word' on Mao: More democracy ahead?

An official assessment of Mao Tse-Tung will be published July 1 for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, Shanghai mayor Wang Dochan says.

The New York times quotes Mayor Wang as saying the evaluation would do much to "attain in a healthier way a normal political life for our people," including more democracy.

Officials in Peking said the assessment was completed by a consensus of party leaders. Various factions have battled for months over how to judge Mao's record since the 1949 takeover. Since most of these officials carried out his orders, the assessment could affect them as well.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Huang Hua, the consensus was that Mao's early triump hs outweighed his later mistakes.

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