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Lin Zhibo’s weibo page (courtesy of online picture)

People’s Daily Gansu Branch Head Lin Zhibo has apologoised today for his previous posts on weibo, which denied the Great Famine from 1959 to 1961, igniting great fury among millions of weibo users on Sina.

Mr. Lin Zhibo apologised on his weibo after a few days of wrangling with furious weibo users. He said,"Apology: I lack research on the Great Leap Forward, and I didn’t know very much of it. My personal words triggered many people’s traumas, and hurt them, I apologise for that! Thank for pointing out my mistakes and I am willing to stop the tragedy to happen again with you together. " Netizens still aren’t satisfied with his apology, they demand that he should resign from People’s Daily.

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Lin Zhibo’s apology on weibo (courtesy of online picture)

In the late April, Lin posted several messages, saying “I never heard that many people died of famine in the early 1960s…" He even said, “Some people say, his family members all died except him. If a whole family died like this, weren’t there millions of people dead? That’s impossible." After his posts had been noticed and aroused netizens’ anger, he removed all of them; but screenshots of the posts are kept by netizens.

The Great Famine happened in the late 1950s seeing the early 1960s, causing estimated 15 million people died of shortage of food, or other disease due to famine, according to the Chinese Communist Party’s statistics. Lin’s denials about the Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s, which caused the Great Famine later, set a fire in the Internet. Netizens scolded him by retweeting his posts up to thousands times. Afterwards, Lin Zhibo’s luxurious Porshe Cayenne and Tibetan Mastiff have been dug out by netizens’ via “Flesh Search”.

Even though Lin has posted an apology on his weibo, the demands that his possible bribery and personal property should be probed continue spreading on Sina weibo. Lin Zhibo explained that his Porshe was bought by his wife before they got married, when his wife was running a business. However, Chinese netizens don’t believe his story.

Some public intellectuals consider that Lin’s issue is a good negative example in the Internet that teaches Chinese again about the man-made devastating catastrophe, because his words brought about a wide discussion of the Great Famine. On the contrary, many historic scholars are worried that there are still a considerable amount of people who deny the Great Famine like Lin did; they contend that recognizing faults and true history is crucial to resist the Left Maoism to come back, whereas coverage of the Great Famine is seldom allowed to appear in Chinese official media.

Lin Zhibo is the current director of People’s Daily Gansu Branch; He is a main participant of the leftist website Utopia; His posts on weibo tell that he supports Mao Zedong, and he opposes Western theories. Lin even said he fully supported “the Chongqing Model" and the deposed Bo Xilai. Bizarrely, he drives a fancy made-in-Germany sport car.

In Dutch historian on Chinese history Frank Kikotter’s book Mao’s Great Famine, he estimated at least 45 million Chinese died of famine from 1958 to 1962 , exceeding the total number of people died in the Sino-Japan war.

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