China

Aging Chinese Apologize for Cultural Revolution

And the human rights abuses that ensued

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As a teenager radicalised by China's Cultural Revolution, Zhang Hongbing denounced his mother to the authorities. Two months later a firing squad shot her dead.

Now after more than 40 years of mounting guilt, Zhang has ruffled the silence that cloaks China's decade of turmoil with a public confession.

Such rare apologies have been welcomed as a potential gateway to the collective soul-searching that could bring healing — but is blocked by a ruling Communist Party whose critics say is unwilling to confront its own responsibility.