BBC Online : The 50th anniversary of the start of the Cultural Revolution, which plunged China into a decade of chaos, has been met with silence in state media. On 16 May 1966 Communist leader Mao Zedong began a campaign to eliminate his rivals. At the same time he called on Chinese youth to “purge” society. Years of bloodshed and turmoil ensued, ending with Mao’s death in 1976. How to handle the era’s contentious legacy has remained a challenge to China’s Communist rulers to this day. On Monday, the main state media outlets made virtually no mention of the anniversary, focusing on coverage of the South China Sea and other domestic issues. No official events were planned by the authorities to mark the 50-year milestone. One blogger “Media Lao Wang” posted a picture on micro-blogging site Weibo that showed the front pages of five major Chinese newspapers on Monday and none of them mentioned the Cultural Revolution. Another Weibo user called @Sunshine rainingwind called the Cultural Revolution “China’s appalling disaster” saying it had set civilisation back thousands of years and needed to be reflected on. Only Hong Kong media, which enjoy greater freedoms than their counterparts on their mainland, gave coverage to the anniversary. Phoenix Television, a Communist Party controlled outlet broadcast from Hong Kong, had prepared a special online feature on the anniversary but the link has now been frozen. It is seen by many as the most chaotic period of recent Chinese history, but analysts say there are some on the mainland who still lionise the leftist ideals of the age.