Argentine President Lays Wreath at Tomb of Mass Murderer Mao Zedong  

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Argentine President Alberto Fernández laid a wreath at the mausoleum of Mao Zedong in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on Saturday, China’s state-run Global Times reported Monday. The Global Times cited an original report on the “floral offering” by the Casa Rosada, or the office of the Argentine presidency. The office described Fernández as having “laid a wreath at the mausoleum of Mao Zedong, leader of the Chinese Communist Party from 1945 until his death in 1976,” while visiting Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on February 5. Mao Zedong led the fight to turn China communist from 1945 to 1949. Mao established the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in October 1949 and ruled the PRC as a totalitarian dictator from its founding through 1959. He also served as the leader of the Chinese Communist Party from 1935 until his death in 1976. Tiananmen Square is infamous as the site of a Chinese Communist Party massacre of students and pro-democracy allies from about April 15 to June 4, 1989. The 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre saw China’s People’s Liberation Army send troops and tanks to the square, where they killed thousands of people. Some historians argue that Mao was the deadliest dictator on record. Accounts from China place the death toll of his Great Leap Forward initiative at 45 million people. Millions more died in the Cultural Revolution, a witch hunt campaign to eradicate anti-communists, and in subsequent campaigns to repress political dissidents, religious people, ethnic minorities, and all suspected opponents of the regime. President Fernández visited Beijing from February 3 to February 6 to support Argentina’s bilateral relations with China. During his three-day trip, Fernandez attended the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on February 4 and met in person with Chinese dictator Xi Jinping on February 6. Xi and Fernandez agreed to a number of political and economic deals between Beijing and Buenos Aires during their meeting, including Argentina’s decision to formally join China’s infrastructure-building Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

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