China, rating Mao, calls his last years a 'tragedy'

A long-awaited assessment of the Chinese Communist Party called Mao Tse-tung's last years a tragedy based on erroneous theoretical foundations. The document issued to celebrate the party's 60th anniversary said Mao's successor, Hua Guofeng, replaced as chairman by Hu Yaobang, rigidly adhered to outdated Maoist dogma and prevented wronged officials from being reinstated.

As expected, it said Mao's "merits are primary and his errors secondary." But in the strongest criticism of him to date, it called the last decade of Mao's life a "tragedy," saying that the Cultural Revolution he launched in 1966 was based on wrong theoretical foundations. It also said that during that era Mao let a personality cult develo p which made him into a demigod.

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