“Government Historians’ Ten Minute Speed Program”

This is a translation of this post from Hen Huang, Hen Baoli, which seems especially appropriate given upcoming anniversaries that, perhaps, aren’t going to be accurately represented by government authorities.


  1. People in history can be fundamentally divided into two kinds: “good people” and “bad people”.
  2. In history, the working class were all always good people; the ruling class were always bad people.
  3. Historically, the working class was always industrious, courageous, intelligent, and correct; the ruling class was always lazy, weak, stupid, and wrong.
  4. In history, war hawks were all national heroes, every war they advocated was correct and patriotic, the peace advocates were degenerate scum and traitors to China, every time they advocated for peace it was a mistake and selling out China.
  5. Historically, whenever there was conflict between the Han people and ethnic minorities, [it was because] the ethnic minorities had invaded. The Han generals were national heroes. Whenever there was conflict between China and foreign countries, [it was because] the foreign countries invaded. The generals resisting the invasion were national heroes.
  6. In China before 1949, everyone who broke the laws, every thief and murderer was a rebel opposing the wicked ruling party. After 1949, they were were all class enemies, counterrevolutionaries, and after 1976 they were criminals.
  7. The collapse of every single dynasty was because of the corruption of the ruling class.
  8. At the beginning of every dynasty new ruling measures were adopted that were a step forward and should be regarded as positive; whatever measures they adopted towards the end were reactionary and should be firmly condemned.
  9. Before every peasant uprising in history was revolutionary activity, but afterwards they all became morally degenerate.
  10. In history, aside from [those waged by] the leaders of the Party, the eventual result of every revolution has been defeat.
  11. Every failed revolution failed because of lack of correct guidance on political theory, making the mistake of leaning too far left or right, not first joining the Party leadership, not founding and consolidating a worker-peasant alliance, etc. If it’s not one of those reasons, it’s definitely that the counterrevolutionary forces were too strong, Chinese and foreign counterrevolutionary forces united to strengthen the effort.
  12. Every Chinese scientific invention came at least a few years earlier than [it was invented] in Europe (if Europe had it first then don’t mention it at all).
  13. In recent times, the reason China is undeveloped is that imperialists strongly invaded and frenziedly looted, the reason these imperialist countries were strong is that they looted other countries.
  14. The governments of capitalist countries generally regard us with hostility, the people of capitalist countries are always friendly to us.
  15. It is the inevitable trend of history that capitalism will fall, the failure of socialism is just a complication along the road forward.
  16. Our current policy is always wise and correct, old policies were definitely flawed and mistaken. When “current” becomes “old”, the now-current policies will accordingly become flawed and mistaken

Our Thoughts

It’s an amusing piece and perhaps also some insight into the way official history comes off to Chinese people, as many of this site’s readers probably learned their Chinese history outside China and don’t spend a ton of their free time reading Chinese history textbooks (…right?). In light of the Tiananmen university, do you think he missed anything here?

Also, we would be remiss if we didn’t share with you this image from the post’s original source (Hen Huang, Hen Baoli often takes its posts from elsewhere):

Also of Interest Today:

0 thoughts on ““Government Historians’ Ten Minute Speed Program””

  1. Pingback: Hao Hao Report
  2. Let me see.
    Only 7, 9, 10, 15 are what comes off to Chinese people when you read Party history textbooks. The rest is just pushing things to the extremes nobody has ever said and then making fun of the extremes. It’s a pretty cowardly way of humor. I remember the other day reading an article on the NYT about how Obama is adept at this tactic.

    14) The governments of capitalist countries generally regard us with hostility, the people of capitalist countries will never be friendly to us.

    Never ever ever did the commies say the people of capitalist countries would never be friendly to us. I don’t like the commies, but I swear they never said that. Every Chinese was taught from kindergarten that peoples in other countries are our friends (governments are another story). The government tried to cover the Indonesian riots against ethnic Chinese, and is doing that now with the atrocities in PNG. Even with the Japanese, the government’s official line is always “Japanese government – especially Koizumi – bad, people good.”


  3. And Chinese liberals really should give their ordinary folks some credit. They can tell.

    And yes I do appreciate sarcasm. Colbert is usually my way of retreat after a hard day’s work.


  4. LOL I read the Chinese version from GFW blog.
    I think it is a really good summary..maybe too extreme but overall is TRUE. I majored history in high school (shanghai) and I will say if you follow these principles for your exams, you will definitely get a decent score.


  5. oh,one more thing, actually the history after 1949 is not important at all in high school history text book..anything about the culture revolution, the teacher will tell you those will not be examined, no need to remember.


  6. wooddoo, I disagree. Every time I’ve ever recommended to Chinese people that they make an attempt to study in America or somewhere else is usually “But Americans discriminate against Chinese people!”

    Also, whenever there is shit being stirred up with international relations, the Chinese can do no wrong. I think that aspect is what this is satiring more than anything.

    Example: When hotshot pilot Wang Wei clipped the wing of an American surveillance plane in international waters, Wang Wei was a hero against the imperialist Americans.

    Example: Recently, when an American spyboat was, again, operating in international waters, they were at fault after skirmishing with fishing boats.

    However, how many people in China know about the poisoned pet food and lead-based paint covered toys that went to America in 2007? In my experience, none.


  7. im reading these back to back..im confused at this part. are you mistaken never for forever?
    the people of capitalist countries will never be friendly to us.


  8. Funny commentary on writing history. With a few minor changes (say swapping “communist” and “capitalist” wherever they appear for example) this could be written about any Western country’s approach to history as well…


  9. Things on the list is nothing new. If you’ve taken any historiography, history or East Asian Studies course in most North American universities you would have known about it. But then you have these people in China questioning the virtue of studying Chinese history in the west or what the heck do people in the west known about Chinese history. That just shows how ignorant these people are.


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