China's Great Leap Forward:
Chairman Mao Zedong began the Great Leap Forward in 1957 to bring the nation at the top of the economy. Mao wanted China to become a leading industrial power, and to accomplish his goals by construction of steel plants across the country. Mao made these changes because he wanted to improve the conditions of the society by regulating agriculture, and building public eating facilities to support foods and clothes to the peasants.
However, Mao's utopian dream began to move away from the reality, and turn into a nightmare. For instance, at the beginning of the Great Leap Forward, Mao promised that China will become a greater country than the Great Britain in productions within 15 years. However, as the time passed, he began to delay his promise, and it was never accomplished. In addition, more exaggerated promises were made that were never fully accomplished.
In pursuit of its fantasized goals, 550,000 people were executed by the government, who did not agree with the radical changes. Also, the condition of the society grew worse as the government plunged into a deep debt by increasing the development of heavy industry.
Due to the failure of the goals, the grain reserves were exhausted, and thus the famine had begun. Although no one is sure exactly how many people perished as a result of the spreading hunger, it is believed that about 16.5 million to 40 million people died by end of 1961, making the Great Leap famine the largest in world history.