1959-1961 Great Chinese famine
The Great Chinese Famine (Chinese: 三年大饥荒, 'three years of great famine') was a period between 1959 and 1961 in the history of the People's Republic of China (PRC) characterized by widespread famine. Some scholars have also included the years 1958 or 1962. The Great Chinese Famine is widely regarded as the deadliest famine and one of the greatest man-made disasters in human history, with an estimated death toll due to starvation that ranges in the tens of millions (15 to 55 million).The major contributing factors in the famine were the policies of the Great Leap Forward (1958 to 1962) and people's communes, such as inefficient distribution of food within the nation's planned economy, requiring the use of poor agricultural techniques, the Four Pests Campaign that reduced bird populations (which disrupted the ecosystem), over-reporting of grain production, and ordering millions of farmers to switch to iron and steel production. During the Seven Thousand Cadres Conference in early 1962, Liu Shaoqi, the second Chairman of the PRC, formally attributed 30% of the famine to natural disasters and 70% to man-made errors ('三分天灾, 七分人祸'). After the launch of Reforms and Opening Up, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officially stated in June 1981 that the famine was mainly due to the mistakes of the Great Leap Forward as well as the Anti-Rightist Campaign, in addition to some natural disasters and the Sino-Soviet split.Source: Wikipedia
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