Chinese Divination: China’s Fate May Resemble the Eventful Year of 1976

Chinese Divination: China’s Fate May Resemble the Eventful Year of 1976
Students walk past the ruins of the university library, now an earthquake memorial, on the university campus of Tangshan, in China's northeast Hebei Province, on July 19, 2006. Over 240,000 people died from a powerful earthquake that struck Tangshan city on July 28, 1976. (Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images)
Jessica Mao
Chinese tradition holds that “heavenly signs portend good or ill fortune.” In March this year, Beijing residents witnessed what appeared to be a rare blue super meteor. Then, in early August, a strong earthquake hit Shandong Province in North China.
The last time similar phenomena occurred was in 1976, when three leading figures of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), including Chinese dictator Mao Zedong, died one after another. The year 1976 also marked the end of the Cultural Revolution, a national catastrophe that profoundly affected China.


In ancient China, divination was used to predict various events, including major changes in society, battle outcomes, and the rise and fall of dynasties.

For example, Chinese people used to believe that unusual weather and natural disasters were an indication of punishment from Heaven.

“The Shandong earthquake occurred in China's Northern China seismic region, which was last active on July 28, 1976, when the Tangshan Earthquake struck. The year 1976 was the most turbulent year for the Chinese communist regime. Three leading figures of the CCP died before and after the quake: Zhou Enlai, Zhu De, and Mao Zedong,” China expert Ji Da told The Epoch Times.

Mr. Ji also mentioned the meteorite that was seen in Jilin Province in March 1976. This year, also in March, a blue super fire meteor was seen in Beijing, with two flashes as it exploded in the sky, according to various reports.

“The phenomena that occurred this year are quite similar to those in 1976,” he said.

Earthquakes in 1976, 2023

In the early morning of Aug. 6, a 5.5-magnitude earthquake struck Pingyuan county of Dezhou city, Shandong Province, at a depth of 6 miles. Even two neighboring provinces, Henan and Hebei, felt the quake strongly. As of 8 a.m. that day, 59 aftershocks had been recorded.
A restaurant owner in Dezhou told Chinese media that the ground rattled and two white lights flashed in the sky when the quake struck.

At least 23 people were injured, more than 100 houses collapsed, and dozens of trains were suspended, according to state media.

The earthquake occurred in the North China Seismic Zone, which was last active during the 1976 Tangshan earthquake.
The city of Tangshan in Hebei Province was hit by one of the deadliest earthquakes in recorded history on July 28, 1976. It measured between 7.8 and 8.2 on the Richter scale and resulted in the deaths of an estimated 242,769 people, although some estimates suggest that the death toll may have been higher. The severity of the disaster, coupled with a lack of preparedness and limited international assistance due to China’s political isolation at the time, made recovery efforts immensely challenging.

Anomalies in 1976

In early 1976, Mao Zedong's health condition deteriorated. He was distraught when he heard about the Tangshan earthquake and died 43 days later.

According to the CCP’s documents, at 3:42 a.m. on July 28 that year, Zhongnanhai, the CCP leadership’s main compound, suddenly trembled. Mao’s bed was even shaking, and his staff rushed to his room to make sure he was okay.

At around 10 a.m., he was informed about the earthquake that struck Tangshan. Wang Xinde, a member of Mao’s medical team, recalled that after Mao heard the news, he wailed, and it was the first time that Wang had ever seen Mao in such a state, according to official documents.

Prior to the earthquake, a meteorite weighing about 4 tons fell in a suburb of Jilin City, in northeastern Jilin Province, on March 8, 1976.

A meteor shower covered the sky, and the sound of the falling meteorite could be heard for hundreds of miles, according to various reports. The thunderous noise and shockwaves from the landing shattered the windows of many homes.

A total of 138 meteorite specimens and more than 3,000 fragments weighing a total of 2,616 kilograms were collected, according to reports. The largest piece, named Jilin 1, weighed 1,770 kilograms. When it impacted the ground, this piece alone produced a cloud of smoke and dust, piercing through the frozen soil to create a crater 6.5 meters deep and 2 meters wide.

 Mao Zedong (L), with Zhou Enlai, leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, pictured in 1935. (Keystone/Getty Images)
Mao Zedong (L), with Zhou Enlai, leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, pictured in 1935. (Keystone/Getty Images)

When Mao heard the news about the meteorite, he was speechless. According to historical accounts, he told a staff member, “For many prominent figures in history, before they died, there were meteorites falling from the sky as an omen.”

The staff member said that she did not believe in such superstition. Mao reportedly said: “I believe in this. There's a school of thought in China called heaven-human resonance. It says that when there is a big change in the human world, nature will show signs to herald the event for people to see. There are auspicious signs for good events and ominous signs for bad ones. Earthquakes and large rocks falling from the sky are signs that some prominent individuals are going to die.”

End of the Cultural Revolution

The year 1976 saw one of the most drastic changes in modern China. Three top CCP leaders died one after another: Premier Zhou Enlai on Jan. 8, military leader Zhu De on July 6, and Mao Zedong on Sept. 9.

Less than one month after Mao’s death, a pivotal political shift occurred with the arrest of the Gang of Four through a coup. These individuals were a radical political faction led by Mao's wife, Jiang Qing. They rose to power in 1969 and implemented harsh policies during the Cultural Revolution. Their detention symbolized the end of the brutal campaign.

It is believed that Mao launched the Cultural Revolution in 1966 to purge his political enemies and reassert his control over the CCP. The 10-year chaos and violence crippled the economy, ruined countless lives, and destroyed traditional culture and values. Some historians have estimated that 65 million Chinese died under Mao's rule.
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.