16 May 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of China's Cultural Revolution which took place from May 1966 to October 1976. Chinese leader Mao Zedong consolidated his power by purging his political rivals and those favouring capitalism. Millions of Chinese were persecuted, China's economy was paralysed, and the country was plunged into chaos. More than 16 million people, mainly students, were sent to the countryside for re-education. It is estimated that more than a million people died in the countryside amidst harsh living conditions.