October 20, 2011

Mao Tse-Tung Killer File Part 4 of 5

[source: More or Less]

1968 - The militant phase of the Cultural Revolution comes to an end towards the middle of the year when Mao reassesses the usefulness of revolutionary violence. The normalisation is also considered necessary because of a further deterioration in China's relations with the Soviet Union.

Many of the leaders of the Red Guards are arrested, universities are reopened, skilled workers are returned to the positions from which they were previously removed, and foreign companies are allowed to invest in selected projects.

1969 - The Cultural Revolution is further curtailed in April at the First Plenum of the CCP's Ninth National Party Congress, where Mao is confirmed as the supreme leader and his supporters are appointed to the senior party posts. The Mao acolyte and leader of the PLA, Lin Biao, becomes vice chairman of the CCP and is named as Mao's successor.

However, while the rebuilding of the CCP begins, the ramifications of the militant phase of the Cultural Revolution continue to be felt, with the party splitting into two main factions, the "radicals" led by Mao's wife, Jiang Qing, and the moderates led by Premier Zhou Enlai. The ageing Mao takes the role as elder statesman and intermediary between the two forces.

The Red Guards, meanwhile, are withdrawn from the political equation, with millions being forced to resettle in remote parts of the country, where they will remain until the 1980s.

In foreign affairs, relations with the Soviet Union reach rock bottom during the winter months of 1969 when Chinese and Soviet forces exchange fire across the border at the Ussuri River in China's northeast. The Soviets will subsequently station about a quarter of their combined armed forces along the Chinese frontier.

1971 - The tension between the radical and moderate factions comes to a head in September when Lin Biao stages an abortive coup d'รฉtat against Mao. His subsequent death in a plane crash as he attempts to flee the country marks the beginning of the end for the radicals and the ascension of the moderates.

Meanwhile, the CCP government receives international recognition when it takes the China seat at the UN, replacing the government in Taiwan.

1972 - The influence of the moderates and Mao's suspicion of the Soviets is reflected in a shift in China's foreign policies. Rapprochement with the US is confirmed when President Richard M. Nixon visits China in February. In September diplomatic relations are established with Japan.

1973 - The moderates' policies of modernisation are formally adopted by the CCP at the First Plenum of the 10th National Party Congress held in August, a meeting during which Mao makes his last official appearance.

The year is also marked by the rehabilitation of Deng Xiaoping, who is reinstated as a vice premier. Deng's position is further solidified in January 1975 when he is appointed as a vice chairman of the CCP and as a member of the Political Bureau and its Standing Committee, the apex of power in China.

1975 - Conflict between the radicals and moderates reemerges when Mao's wife, Jiang Qing, and her three principal radical associates (the so-called 'Gang of Four') launch a media campaign against Deng.

1976 - The final showdown between the radicals and moderates occurs following the death of Zhou Enlai in January. On 5 April, at a spontaneous mass demonstration held in Tiananmen Square in Beijing to memorialise Zhou, Mao's closest associates are openly criticised. The authorities forcibly suppress the demonstration, which is considered to be vote of support for Deng.

When Mao responds by blaming Deng for the demonstration and ordering that he be dismissed from all his public posts, the radicals appear to be on the ascendancy. However, in June the government announces that the increasingly ailing Mao will no longer receive foreign visitors. The radicals' days are now numbered. Mao dies of a heart attack in Beijing on 9 September. In October the Gang of Four are arrested.

The official announcement of Mao's death released by Hsinhua, the Chinese news agency, on 9 September states that, "All the victories of the Chinese people were achieved under the leadership of Chairman Mao; they are all great victories for Mao Tse-Tung thought. The radiance of Mao Tse-Tung thought will forever illuminate the road of advance of the Chinese people." Full copy of the announcement.

In its obituary published on 10 September the New York Times states that Mao was "one of the most remarkable personalities of the 20th Century." [WOW! This speaks volumes to me! TWISTED! Another schizophrenic person reflecting Mao's schizophrenia! How can anyone honor a mass murderer like him. WOW! (emphasis mine)]

"Mao was an infinitely complex man," the obituary says, "by turns shrewd and realistic, then impatient and a romantic dreamer, an individualist but also a strict disciplinarian. His motives seemed a mixture of the humanitarian and the totalitarian. He himself once commented that he was 'part monkey, part tiger', and perhaps after all he was riven with the same contradictions he was fond of analysing in the world around him." Full copy of the obituary.

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