Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has apologized to Beijing for a series of tweets ridiculing the late Chairman Mao Zedong, revered as the founder of the socialist People’s Republic of China.
“My profound apologies to the People’s Republic of China, the Communist Party responsible for its unprecedented achievements and Ambassador Zhao [Jianhua,] for using the Great Helmsman’s name in vain,” Locsin tweeted on Sunday.
All this revisionism makes me—as the first defender of “Red China”—forget my admiration,” he added.
“Great Helmsman” is one of the titles accorded to Mao, the Chinese paramount leader from 1949 to 1976.
Locsin had been making critical remarks about Mao in the last two weeks, including his suggestion to move on from philosophies of Vladimir Lenin, who founded the now dissolved Union of Soviets
Socialist Republic, and Mao—whom he mocked as “Mao Che Tutung”—a play on word for the Filipino word for “burnt rice.”
Locsin also commented on a book by the Dutch-born historian Frank Dikötter on China before communist rule under Mao, which Locsin described as a “horrifying long, long period of Chinese history.”
In a separate tweet, Locsin referenced the famine under Mao when he claimed that Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo won in accepting the challenge of left-leaning organizations for him to commute to work.
“It was a giant win for Sal Panelo because he answered the challenge and pulled it off and that was the point, right? Of course it is. Unless you’re a f****** communist then the only point is to take power and unleash a famine-like Mao did,” Locsin tweeted.
The Chinese government denies that Mao’s policies led to the Great Chinese Famine between 1959 and 1961, and instead blamed it on natural disasters during that period.