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Mao Zedong (simplified Chinese: 毛泽东; traditional Chinese: 毛澤東; pinyin: Máo Zédōng; Wade-Giles: Mao Tse-tung) Zh-Mao_Zedong.ogg pronunciation (December 26 1893 – September 9, 1976) was a Chinese military and political leader who led the Communist Party of China (CPC) to victory against the Kuomintang (KMT) in the Chinese Civil War, and was the leader of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. Regarded as one of the most important figures in modern world history, and named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, Mao remains a controversial figure to this day. He is officially held in high regard in mainland China where he is often portrayed as a great revolutionary and strategist who eventually defeated Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in the Chinese Civil War and transformed the country into a major power through his policies. However, many of Mao's socio-political programs, such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, are blamed by critics from both within and outside China for causing severe damage to the culture, society, economy, and foreign relations of China, as well as a probable death toll in the tens of millions.
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