Created: 4/1/1977

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The "Gang of Four" and the Rise of Hua Kuo-feng

The "Gang uf Four*'and Ihe Rise of Hua Kuo-feng

Centralgency Dttctomu nf InMUxence7


he principal leader of the Chinese Communist Party,entrist in the Chinese political spectrum. In making his spectacular rise, he had the favor both of Mao Tsc-tung, for his loyalty to Mao's revolutionary objectives, and ofai, for hisability and sensible work-style. He proved able to work with the Left and the Right, to avoid the mistakes made by leaders of both, and to turn those mistakes to his own advantage. He also had good luck, as one contender after another was removed from the scene After Mao's death, Hua was able tooalition to purge his immediate challengers, the Leftist "gang ofnd he has thus far been able tootential challenge from the Right.1

Having established himself in theedicated Maoisl with an unusual range of competence in practical matters, Hua demonstrated his highly developed political sense in the Cultural Revolution. He survived and prospered both in the destructive period, in whichirst came to attentionroup of Leftistsass campaign for factional ends and in theyears of reaction against the Leftist excesses of that period. Brought from the provinces to Pekingua gained again from the fall of Lin Piao, moving intopositions under Chou. Hua and theLeftist of the "gang" were added to the Politburo3 to join ihe three Leftists already there.

I.its papar. ito tatmi imnaitdari to naduM drttmdriK dffiera af apputnflo Mm'* (uadacimul rriulubcuiy askia: of the craiiion ihiouth continjlnf "dati struggle- of tdrolofkallr mollvjltil ne* Chinese mail. Uid ol rgitllntun and Ijryilyif-mi Murium China. LeltuL Ccmiui, ind Kiuhthiii.xu Tend in leprawnt genuine pred dec riant an polk)ut mai be uwd primarily farow] advinllje inilrufala fur power.

The four Leftists used the anti-Confucian campaigno attempt to discredit Chou and the rehabilitated Rightist Teng Hsiao-ping (restored to Ihe Politburo) as potential successors to Mao, and in factional struggle against military leaders and old Party cadres throughout China Hua Kuo-feng wasarget of Leftist attack, but, with the support of Mao and Chou, continued to tfirive. The Leftists were temporarily set back inhen Mao held them partially responsible for the large-scale disorder* of Ihe anti-Confucian campaign-In thecampaign to "study the dictatorship of the proletariat" (reaffirming revolutionaryhich immediatelyPeking's commitment lo themodernization" of China by thehe Leftists were given anotherWithai terminally ill and out of contention, the Leftists focused on Teng Hsiao-pine, who had been the principal beneficiary of their own errors in the anti-ConfucianAgain they sought lo bring down large

numbers of veteran Party cadres and military men, thus increasing the hostility to themselves on the part of leaders of the Center and Right.

Teng unwittingly axled (he Leftists in the summer5 bycries ofmost importantly by appearing to be an unrepentant Rightist interestedhe "modernization" of China at whatever cost to Mao's Cultural Revolution programs. InHua was performing well as the Party's supervisor of agriculture and as minister of public security. In October, Teng markedfor his second purge by endorsing criticism of some of Mao's "revolutionary" policies. Again in contrast, in thai same month Hua had occasion to make clear his unassailable Centrist position, reaffirming his loyalty to Mao'sobjectives while calling for realistic measures to reach them.

Soon after Ctiou En-lai's death ineng was removed as de facto premier, and Hua was named acting premier. The most important Leftist, who had beer, in line for the post, was passed over. Mao was once again recognizing that the Leftists were unsatisfactory as the managers of programs (in this case,ith constructive aims. With this appointment. Hua replaced Teng as the Leftists' main enemy.

The Leftists* long campaign against Chou (and Chou's memory! was turned against them in April,eek-long display of popular affection for Chou and of hostility to the Leftists-ended in unprecedented rioting in Peking's central square. This time Hua was able to profit from the misfortunes of both the Right and the Left. Teng was held responsible for the noting and was removed from all of his Party posts, but the Leftists were pre-empted from exploiting the situation. Hua was named both first vice chairman of the Partyew post) and premier, giving him the best chum of any Party leader to be Mao's designatedThe failing Mao seemed to beinal decision: toentrist who could be relied upon not to repudiate hisobjectivesightist would, but could also be relied upon to avoid the excesses repeatedly committed by the Leftists.

After Mao's withdrawal from the scene in June. Hua apparently became the de facto leader of the Party, to whom most others (but not the Leftists) looked for guidance. The Leftists continued to attempt to bring Hua and others down, and Io that endao directive. By late summer, Huaew key mililary figures had probably laid plans cither to exclude the four Leftists from (he post-Mao leadership orurge thorn utterly.

Soon after Mao's deatheptember, the Leftists put on record their falsified version of the Mao directive, thus directly challenging Hua. In the same period, diey probablythe leaden of military and security forces in Peking, seeking support against Hua, and were both rebuffed and reported. The Leftist press continued lo make ominous threats against othci leaders in that period.

Since the purge ot the Leftists, tlie current leadership, which badly needs Mao forand continuity, has been defending Mao's overall record. The case of the Leftists is an embarrassment because it is widely recognized that the four could not have survivedeftist faction for moreecade without Mao's support, but Peking evidently hopes that

the case will seem small in the totality of the legacy that Hua was given. For the time being. Hua is forced to affirm more than he wants in the wayevolutionary Leftist component, and it will lest his managerial skill to divest himself of those features that he does not want while retaining those Ihal he docs.

With the striking apprcclalion of Chou En-lai since Mao's death, Hua is presenting his own working style as more like Chou's than Mao's. This fits Ihe realities of Hua's situation because he does not stand above the Party as did Mao, or even alone at the top of it. He is compelled to be likeanager andoalition-build ing and consensus-seeking leader.

The other key figures of this collective leadership appear to be: the ranking military leader and the principal economic coordinator, both longlime friends of Chou's, and bothtep down, two career Party cadres like Hua, one apparently the Party's de facto Secretary (leneral and the other the political boss of the city of Peking, both probably Centrists; and, less secure, the commander of the Peking Military Region and the director of the political security apparatus (Partyoth regarded as "wildf great value to any leader to whom they give their support.

There may be disagreement among the seven current key figures as to how to deal with the difficult problem of Teng Hsiao-ping. There has apparently been much pressure to return Teng-who had the best record of any Party leader in opposing the Leftistsosition of power. Hua may be reluctant, as Teng's return wouldmall cloud on Hua's Own legitimacy, wouldopular choice to replace Hua as premier, would give the Right an aggressive leader, and might evenhreatua's position as Ihc Party's principal leader. But Hua, if indeed reluctant, will probably compromise, by returning Teng at least to the Politburo.

The seven leaders (or eight, if Tengof Peking's inner circle appear to haveolicy consensustrategic sense-to put firmly behind them Ihc extremism associated wilh the purged Leftists, and to move at leas) in the direction of the moderate and pragmatic domestic policies last seen before the Cultural Revolution. But there are some specific tough problems on which there are bound to be differences of opinion.

In Party-build ing, there seems to beon the need lo restore order, to identify the most important followers of the Leftists, and to reorganire Party committees. There appears to be some disagreement, however, as to how far to extend the purge.

Similarly, there seems to be agreement to pursue aggressively Chou's plan for Iheof China (agriculture, industry, national defense, and science andut there apparently is some disagreement as to what proportion of resources should go io ihc production of weapons.

Further, there is clearly agreement to return the armed forces to thr high status they enjoyed before the Lin Piao affairo display military figures in the leadership, to restore discipline, to cmphasiu military' training over political indoctrination, and soon. But for the civilian leaders there is the very difficult management problem of retaining primacy in the decisionmaking process while avoiding the kind of showdown that would provoke the PLA intoe facto military dictatorship.

In foreign policy, the new leadership is not expected to make any important change in the near future. Hostility to the USSR as the "main enemy" will be maintained, and Peking will continue to value the UStrategicThere will remain room forhowever, as to what tactics to adopt toward the USSR and the US.

There are various ways in which the leadership might be broken down meaningfully: older and longtime national-level leaders versus

younger relative newcomers; career Party cadres versus career military and security figures; and Centrists (in whom there is an inescapable Leftistightists, and "wild cards" But little can yet be said with confidence about divisions in the leadership on particular issues.

Hua's position is not secure, but hit record is impressive. He can probably conciliate Teng's supporters by returning Teng to power and yet remaintrong enough position to contain any challenge by Teng. He can probably resolve oilier possible problems by compromising as much as is necessary to retain the support of the military leaders. He seems the best bet to be the Party's principal leader for at least the year ahead.

Hua mighi be able to survive for yearsind of Chinese Brezhnev,entrist position, balancing Ihe forces around him, discouraging the formation of any coalition against him. reducing the strength of theon either side on any issue, gradually gathering the support of other leaders for his own position. As Mao's Leftist pull (still strong) on the leadership loses its force over time, the center of the political spectrum will probably become what would now be regarded as Centrist-Rightist, ln any case, there seems no prospect for domination by the "revolutionary" Left.




Hua and ulc "Gang" in the

Al Ihc National Level

The Anti-Confucian Campaign

The Threat ol Teng Hsiao-ping

Teng's Mistakes. Hua's Successes

Hua's Elevation Over tbe Right and the Left

Mao's Important

Preparations for a

The Smashing of the

Defense Of Mao's

Hua's Position in the

Other Key Figures

The Teng Dilemma

Strategic Consensus. Tough Problems





"Gang of Four" and the Rise of Hua Kuo-feng

Hua risenin the past decaderovincial Party secretaryship lo ihe Chinese Communist Party's two most important posts-chairman of the Central Committee and chairman of theAffairs Committee, the same two posts that Mao had occupied-and to the moslgovernmental post, premier of the State Council, that Chou En-lai had held. Hua has done this by:

Gaining Mao's favor early in his career for his association with Mao's objectives, and retaining that favor until Mao in his last months was ready touccessor.

Gaining Chou En-lai's favor as well inor his managerial ability andwork style, thuslaim on Chou's admirers also.

enuine Centrist, so that he could work comfortably with either Left or Right, during both the advances in Mao's mass campaigns and the retreats from them.

ighly developed political sense, so that he could not only avoid the excesses committed by the unwary of both Right and Loft but could turn the mistakes of others to his profit.

arge measure of good luck, in that he was there to fill the vacancy when one contender after another (Chou, Teng Hsiao-ping, Chang Chun-chiao) wasfrom the scene by illness or hubris.

Using his good relationships wilh the Right, notably the military leaders, tooalition soon after Mao's death to repel the challenge from the Left, to purge the Leftist "gang ofnd to rule China since.

Successfully employing Mao's legacy (at least so far) tootential challenge to him from Ihe Right.

Hua and the "Gang" in

sdtutcd and proclaimed He wasoming man.

Al Ihe National Level

9hou En-lai was the Party's de facto secretary-general (replacing Teng Hsiao-ping, purgeds well as premier,hat role was Hua Kuo-feng's supervisor He was probably instrumental in bringing Hua-already known as an excellent adiruiustntor-'to Pekingua again showed his talent for profiting from themade by others. Soon after the death of the Ultra-Leftist Lin Piao and the arrest of his fellow-conspirators inJ, Hua emerged as the director of the GeneralOffice of Chou's State Council and wasember of Chou's groupthe Lin affair (although Hua's role may have been confined to Hunan).

ua wai established as an able administrator at the national level andenuine expert on agnculture. At the Tenth Party Congress in3 he was elevated to the new Politburoull (voting) member. Three of the four Leftists were renamed to the Politburo (they had boon members. and the fourth-young Wang-was added. Wang gave one of Ihe two most important report* lo Ihe Congress, fiercely Leftist in its expressed delight in political "struggle" and Ihe prospect of further Cultural Revolutions.*

The Tenth Parly Congress gave Ihe four Leftists-by thai lime known as "the Shanghaiecause all hut Madame Mao came from the Shanghai Parlymuch stronger organizational base to support their factional activity. From lhat Umc on. Chang and Wang were members of the Politburo Standing Committee (the core ofoth had posts high in the Party apparatus and reportedly in the Military Affairs Committee as well, Yao was the director of the Party's propaganda apparatus, and Madame Mao was the Chairman's sometime messenger and mailut Mao, as always, did noi leave ihc stage to any one group tn the politicalwaiting in the wings, ready io be restored to the Politburo, was the confirmed Rightist Teng Hsiao-ping, who was to be the ailing Chourincipal deputy in running theMao recognised that there would he contention, evenetween tlie two extremes of the permissible spectrum, but he welcomed thisealthy thing.

As oft least three of the Leftists had common enemies: on Ihe record, Chou En-lai (although one of the four. Chang, was already sharing Chou's work and had some hope of being Chou'snd many other veteran Party cadres and military leaders; but mosl importantly Teng Hsiao-ping, whose return to power could be expected to lead to the rehabilitation of many more old Party cadres and military leaders and perhapsoalescence of forces in the leadership opposed to the Leftists Some if not all of the Leftists had helped to purge Teng6 and had opposed his rehabilitation3 and had reason to fear him. Hua Kuo-feng at that time, was apparently not regarded by Ihe Leftislsajor rival


Anti-Confucian Campaign

The four Leftists all had important roles in the anti-Confucian campaign. Just as in the Cultural Revolution, they appeared to manipulate this campaign for personal ends. The Leftists' main aim. at the highest level, appeared to be that of discrediting both Chou and Teng (restored to the Politburo ins potential successors to Mao. Below lhat level, the principal targets appeared to be regional and provincial military leaders, and secondarily old Party cadres; the main objective of the Leftists was to increase the share of power held by their supporters and potential constituency in governing bodies.5

Hua Kuo-feng wasarget of Leftist attack, but continued to thrive. Bye had apparently become the new minister of public securityost of specialnd was reportedly chosen to make an important speech on the Fifth Five-Year Plan.

Mao may have warned some or all of the four Leftists ins alleged, to take care nol tosmallis, not to engage in factional activity, long proscribed. In any case, the anti-Confucian campaign led in fad to large-scale factional struggle, political and social disorder, and economicwhich Mao held the "gang" (not yet called that) partially responsible. Moreover, one of the four, young Wang, may have angered Mao in4 (as Peking claims) by slandering Chou in conversation with Mao; and Mao may have repeated his warning of July. (Wang never thereafter seemed to be in Mao'sinally, it is credible that inmmediately prior to the National People's Congress which was to fill important government posts, Mao flatlyeftist proposal to nameeyumber of members and proteges of the "gang" (the Leftists' so-called "cahinei").

The Threat of Teng Hsiao-ping

Although il was Chou En-lai who set forth at the National People's Congress (NPC) in5 the plan for the "comprehensive modernization" of China by thea plan endorsed by Mao as having both aaimevolutionary spirit by this time Chou had already been hospitalized,ill, and was noontender for the succession. The Leftist faction may have crystallizedonspiracy against Teng as the main enemy al thaieng had turned out to be the principal beneficiary of the Ultra-leftist errors made by the Lefiisis in the anti-Confucian campaign. Jusl prior to the NPC, Mao had appointed Teng as vice chairman of the Military Affairs Committee and as senior vice premier and chief of staff, thus givingtronger organizational position than any one of the Leftists. Moreover, Teng's speech al lhat lime madenot to Mao, to others of theTeng had not really changed his mind about the Cultural Revolution and iis instruments, so that the Leftists knew what they could expect of him if he were to become Mao's successor.

The Leftists' view of Hua Kuo-feng-who in5 became one oficeand surfaced in his post as minister of public sccunty-cannoi be judged withOn the one hand, he was on his record lesshreat to them than was Teng. On tlie other, he enjoyed the favor of both Mao and Chou, hetrong figure who wasto rise, and he was not one of

The primary aim of the campaign whichonth later-to "study the dictatorship


lhclo reaffirmvalues. Typically, Mao, having strengthened the Right through Teng, nowoncern not to go too far and moved to slrengihen Ihe forces of the Left throughout China. Among other things, he tasked two of the four leading Leftists, Chang and Yao, to provide theoretical and practical guidance for this campaign. Once again, given this new opportunity, the Leftists wrote and commissioned articles during the spring5 which clearly took aim at old Party cadres like Teng (in particular, at Teng) and at military leaders as well: for example, by describing both as "crafty old bourgeoisresponsibleangerous "bourgeois wind" in Ihe Party leadership and as the proponents of "empiricism" (disregard of

Mao is now said to have criticized the leftists in late5 for theirof the concept of "empiricism" and for regarding themselves as always in the right, thus justified in lecturingie is said also,olitburo meetingay, to havehis longstanding warning againstsplitting and conspiracy, and (for the first time) to have actually described the Leftistsunctioning "gang ofe is said to have given instructions on the same day that lhc problem of the "gang" should be resolved as soon as possible; but he himself did nol lake the decisive action which Hua Kuo-feng was to take in

Teng's Mistakes, Hua's Successes

Teng unwittingly helped out the Leftists at the height of his power in lhe summer5 byareless mistake on an ideological position important to Mao (lhe primacy of "classyeries of speeches in which he seemed lo be an unrepentant Rightist interested solely in China'sat whatever cost to Mao's Culturalprograms, and by making himselfto specific charges of suppressing young "revolutionary successors" (the good Leftists whom the Cultural Revolution was supposed lo produce) while rehabilitating too rapidly too many old cadres (Rightists overthrown by the Culturaly contrast, Hua Kuo-feng was performing well in his roles asof agricullure and as minister of public

security; in the latter role, investigating security cases In South China, he gave evidence of what he was to prove inthat he could be as tough as he had to be.

Ineng marked himself for his second purging by endorsing an educator's letter to Mao which was strongly critical of the implementation of Mao's "revolutionary" policies in education. Mao chose to take the letter a> aimed at himself (which indirectly itnd immediately set ingreat campaign"-beginning in the universities-to discredit Teng. Again Hua displayed his ability to profit from the mistakes of other leaders. Chosen to make the summation report to the national conference on "learning from Tachai" (increasing production through self-reliance) in that tame month. Hua made clear hisCentrist position, he feaffirmcd his loyalty to Mao's revolutionary objectives, while calling for realiilic measures to reach fhem. Hua's speech to the conference was widely publicized, whereas the speeches of both the Right and the Left-by Teng and Madame Mao respectively -were suppressed, presumably on Mao's order. Hua was apparently added to (he officers of the Military Affairs Committee at that time.

Chou fin4ai diedAlthough Chou's official obituary gave him greater praise than had been accorded any other of Mao's lieutenants. In the light of Chou's true contributions to tlie Parly's cause for more thanears the obituary and the surrounding media commentary and coverage wereungenerous. While there is no record of Mao's objection to tha mean-spirited treatment of Chou, the "gang" hat been credibly blamed for il, and the four may. as charged, have so manipulated events that Teng Hsiao-pine, was obliged to deliver the eulogy, thus permitting the Leftists to attempt to discredit Chou through the soon-io-bc-disgraccd Teng. The "gang" was to pay dearly for this.

Hua's Elevation Over the Right and the Left

In lale January, Teng was removed as de. facto premier and Hua was named acting premier. The Chinese haveart of image-build lug-that when Mao informed Hua of his intention to name him, Hua demurred several tunes, thusense of his personal limitations, which simply confirmed Mao in his choice. In any case, with Teng gone, Chang, who as the then-ranking wc premier was in line for the post and surely desired it (heitter commentaryas passed over. Mao and others were once againthai the hard Leftists, while useful as agitator* in periods of revolutionary turbulence, were unsatisfactory as managers andof programs with constructive aims.

Although the charge that the "gang" 'frantically opposed" Hua's appointmentormal rhetorical flourish, it is not incredible

that some or all of the four were foolish enough at lhat time (a* foolish as they were later in

n prove themselves to be) to express in some way their displeasure with theand thus to coalesce in the mind of Mao and othersn any case, Hua had now replaced Teng as tbeam enemy, and theytablishcd themselves as his.

The "gang" continued to be active in the anti-Rightist campaign (centering on Teng) in6 and probably did attempt once again, as now alleged, to widen the target and bringarge number of Party,and military leaders. The assertion that Mao criticized Ihcm for this at the lime lends lo be supportedeoples Daily editorial ofarch quotingon Mao's order, becauseas not in the Leftists' interest lo don tlie need to emphasize education of lhe erring and to "narrow the attack."

In Peking in earlyeek after the publicationeftist journal of an article unmistakably aiming at the late Chou En-lai as thai "capitabsl-roader" who had helped to restore Teng to power, thereeek-long display of popular affection for Chou-and by implication for Teng. Il was also aof hostility lo the Leftists and evenegree) to Mao himself. The overnight removal from Peking's central square of thousands of

BF' _

tributes to I'liim-jn action which may have been ordered by the Leftists leday of unprecedented rioting in the square, with many injuries, much property damage, and the arrest of hundreds.

Mao responded swiftly by purging lhc Right, pre-empting the Left, and elevating the Center.pntt, Teng (the "root cause" of the rioting) was removed from all of his Party posts. At the same time Hua was named first vice chairman of the Parlyew position) and concurrently premier (no longeroth actions were said to be taken "on ihe proposal" of Mao. This time two Leftists hierarchically in line for the posts Wang for the first vice chairmanship. Chang again for the premiership were passed over. In naming the Centrist Hua, who on this occasion was able lo profit greatly from mistakes made by both the Right and the Left, Mao and others were not only pre-empting any effort by the Leftists lo exploit the rioting, bul were giving Hua the best claim of any Party leader to be Mao'ssuccessor, greatly strengthening Hua's position againsl any challenger. The failing Mao seemed to beinal decision to point to an established Centrist as his personal choice to be hisan who could be relied upon nol lo repudiate Mao's revolutionaryightist would, but who could also be relied uponvoid the excesses repeatedly committed by the Leftists

Mao's Important Directive

Onpril, Mao reportedlyhree-part "directive" to Hua about handling problems of the anti-Rightist campaign in the provinces. One of the parts-"acl according IO pastto become important in the struggle for power, as the Leftists are credibly charged with alteringay as lo buttress their position.

Whereas Mao's original directive wasfocused, the Leftists' formulation of it was designed lo make it appearand to permit the "gang" to pose as the sole authorized exegeies of Mao's texts and as ihe arbiters as to who was loyal lo Mao and who was not. The Leftists are also credibly charged with presenting this counterfeit as Mao's last words.

The (hrce-parl directive to Hua does in fact conslitute lhc last remarks which Peking has attributed to Mao. Although one part-"with you inm atusedime by Peking lo imply the handing-over of the scepter to Hua. this murprelaOon is so obviously at variance with Peking's ownof the original provincial context that Peking has stopped using il for ihai purpose.

After Mao's withdrawal by an action of the "Central Committee" in mid-June,another sharp deterioration in his health, lhc old man was probably oul of things. Otherwise, he would probably have made some stronger remarks for subsequent use by his successors. Hua appears to have been Ihe de facto leader of the Parly-to whom mosl others (but not the Leftists) looked for guidance-from aboul that time.

The record supports Peking's charges thai during the summer the Leftists continued to use the anti-Rightist (anti-Teng) campaign to attempt to bring down other leaders.lanning conference in July, the four are said to have incited attacks on Hua and others in the name of critioiiing Teng. Hua is saidave put on record Ihe abovc-cllcd Mao nutruciior "act according to past principles" at lhat lime. As he had already toM other Politburo members aboul il, he was apparently putting il on the record here in order tonownarger circle*


It seems likely thai by the end of theew principals including Hua and the

key miliiary and securily figures in Peking-had mel and had laid plans either to exclude the four Leftisls from the post-Mao leadership (without purging Ihcm) or to purge them utterlylear and present danger. And it is possible, as some observers have conjectured, that the Tangshan earthquake emergencya few key principals during August to move certain armies closer lo Peking in readinesshowdown.

There is no independent confirmation of current charges lhat immediately after Mao's deatheptember (he had beenomaeek while Madame Mao washe Leftists seized and altered some of Mao's documents, although that allegation iswith the action of Hua and the political securily chief later in taking custody of all of them. Neither is there confirmation of charges of Leftisi attempts lo use the Parly machinery to send instructions to provincial-level Parly

an organizational position to do so.


in the Leftist-controlled Parly press, ihe version of Mao'spnl directive which Peking credibly asserts toabrication. Thisirect challenge lo Hua. who had put the correct version on the record at least twice.

There was probably, as Pekingolitburo meeting in late September in which the Leftists were charged with mishandling Mao'sarranged as to make Madame Mao appear to be foremost, with Hua far behind.

The Smashing of the "Gang"

During the following week, the Leftists made their final challenge andmashed at onet is evident thai they were hopelessly outmanned and outgunned from the start of Ihe showdown, whether things were lo be settledote in the Politburo or by physical force or by both.

The first engagement of the week cameeceptively mild formctober when Hua deleted the falsified version of Mao'spril directivepeech to be delivered by Peking's foreign minister. The laller infonned the "gang" of this, ihus helping to set up his Own purge as their supporter.

ami laiieu io win me support oi Key iigures ui the physical security apparatus which even Wesiern observers could (and did) judge that they would have to have in order lo triumph either inside or outside the Politburo. It seems doubtful that they had private assurances from some of the key figures, who later discovered the true balance of power and thereupon

Iana no n

Scpicmbei, People's Dallvpublished an unprecedented aiUelc about Mio'i close [elasoitdiip with1 Unit, tht ujtcul bcdytruaid fata which Wang Twig ho lupcrvUed


the Leftists, as this would have emerged in the interrogations (and in fact no other key figures havel is possible, however, that the Leftists wentolitburo meeting at that time without any real hope of dislodging Huaote. That is. they may have hadope ofredible threat of widespread disorder-from the leaders of certain armies outside Peking and through followers in Party, government and mass organizations, especially the trade unions and theorder lo preserve their own positions in the leadership.

The pubUc record gives some support to this latter interpretation and shows at least that the Lefbsts were indeed on the offensive as latectober. On thatarticularly militant and defiant article by their best known writing team again put forward the falsified directive as Ihe Party's permanent guide, and alsoeapon to be used at will by the Leftists against other leaders. The article, since described by Pekingmobilization order" or "declaration ofoes seem to have presumed widespread support which could be brought out into Ihe streets and fields in aid of Leftist initiatives al the Politburo level.

arrested on the nightctober (Peking has confirmed therobably by the special bodyguard unit controlled by Ihe political security chief. Very little disorder followed. While the Leftists may indeed haveonstituency of millions, it turned out toonstituency they could not mobilize.

ctober, Hua's group of eight unanimously elected Hua chairman of the Party and of its Military Affairs Committee.ctober. Peking announced decisions toa memorial hall which would include Mao's preserved body, and to publish Mao's works under Hua's supervision. Hua now had in hand Mao's posts, Mao's body, and Mao's works.

Defense of Mao's Record

Since the purge of thehe current leadership, which badly needs Mao forand continuity andnifying symbol, has felt obliged to defend Mao's overall record-not simply his record on the immediately embarrassing matter of the Leftists, but throughout the history of the Party since. Peking evidently hopes lhat the former will seem small when viewed in the totality of the latter.

With respect to the Leftists, however, what the record shows is thai Mao himself put each of the four into high positions and forears gave them important roles in carrying oul his policies, and that while he was probably angry with each of them from time to time for Ultra-Leftist errors he continued lo give them the support without which they could not have survived, and that in fact he did not clearly recognize the fourangerous "gang" or

Bui there may in fact have been no Politburo meeting at that time. The Centrist-Rightist coalition, much provoked, may simply have moved pre-emptively against the Leftists before the Leftists could make any further attempt to mobilize their forces. (Peking itself encourages thishe four Leftists were

clearly subordinate them to other leadershen he did clearly choose the Centrist Hua over all of them.

The impossibility of fully dissociating Mao from thes awkward for Hua. who must recognize that knowledge of the relationship between Mao and the Leftists over lhc years on tbe part of most Parly cadres and much of the populace will necessarily lead lo someof Mao. There is much evidence that this has already happened, and il will probably increase.

llua has no alternative lo his strategy of presenting himself as loyal to Mao's abiding objectives, reaching back to lhe heroic years of the Parly's struggle to establish itself, the Kiangs) Soviet, and the Long March, on up through the Yenan period and lhc defense against Japan, (he brilliant conduct of the civil war after World War II. and ihe generally construclivc yearslo which Hua is looking for most of his programmaticut continuing even through Ihe Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, the latterculmination ofhere is enough variety in Ihe record so that Hua can continue lo present theolicies in lhc name of thatven while modifying ;is he is some of the most distinctively Maoist of them. But Mao gave Hua the entire legacy, and the rest of lhe record is stubbornly there. To put the mailer bluntly, for the lime being llua is sluck with it-almost certainly with more than he wants in the wayevolutionary Leftist component. Just how much he wants is still uncertain, but another test of Hua's managerial skill will be whether over time he will be able to divest himself of those Leftist fealures he does not want while retaining those he does.

osition in Ihe Leadership

With lhc striking appreciation of Chou En-lai since Mao's death, Hua has much to gain by presenting his own working style as much more like lhat of Chou than of Mao; offering himself notgreat" (and remote) leader.

but as one who is thoughtful, deliberate, modest, considerate, diligent, unambitious, close to his comrades and to tlte people. This seems lo suit llua temperamentally (he is in fact thoughtful andnd ii also fiis the realities of his situation.

Hua docs not sland above the Party as Mao did, or even alone at the top of it. Standing with him, symbolizing lhe coalition between the career Parly cadres and the professional mililary, is the old Marshal Yeh Chien-ying, Chou's longtime friend and Hua's most valuabletandinglep or Iwo below are lhc other full members of lhe Politburo.

Hua is forced lo be-likeanager andoalition-building andleader. He is notfront" for military and security figures who dominate ihe central leadership; he is genuinely lhe principal leader, Bui three of the seven active Peking-based Politburo members who Compose lhe Party's present inner circle are in fact the tliree mosl importanl figures of lhe mililary and security system on which Hua depends, and iliis consideration alone would deter Hua from attempting Ioictator. The case of the "gang" gave considerable support to ihe pre-existing view lhateader who has the allegiance of these key figures-the senior vice chairman of the Military Affairsthe commander of Ihe Peking MR, and the head of the political security apparatus- can be confident of his ability lohallenge. At least until such lime as Hua is able to install his "own" men in these posts (oneime as opportunityua must conciliate the incumbents,

Other Key Figures

In addition to the Centrist Hua as the central or principal leader, lhe key figures, in order of rank, have appeared to be:

Oldeh Ctiien-ying, currently the Party's only vice chairman and the senior vice chairman of the Military Affairs Committee, an anti-ideologue andRightist, who is probably holding the military together for Hua just as he did for Mao;

Liikeareer Party cadre, almost at Yeh's level, likeongtime friend of Chou's, the regime's principal economicight-leaning figure;

Chenecond only to Yeh in the Military Affairs Committee, and the current commander of the criticallyPeking MR, whose position in the policy spectrum is not known and who has been regardedwild card" of great value to any leader who can play liim;

Chi Teng-kuei, likerovincialuntil recent years, at abouthe youngest of the leaders, apparently acting now as the Party's de factond probably another Centrist;

Wangirector of thesecurity apparatus and supervisor of the bodyguard forces, regarded like Chenwildho has apparently been able Io persuade Hua (for the time being) thai he could transfer his loyalty from Mao to Hua; and

Wuike Hua, Li, andareer Parly cadre with responsibility for the city of Peking as the head of both its Party committee and its municipal government, regarded as another Centrist.11

Even with the inclusion of the other five full members of the Politburo (two of them unimportant, three important regional militaryhe Party's topmost body is loo small, and there arc no Hua proteges on it (whereas Mao's Politburos were usually composed mainly of his proteges, who could be depended on to vole for hishere are other unfilled key posts in the Party apparatus, Ihemachinery, and the military establishment (in all of which there is alsotriking paucity of Huand yet other posts in which the incumbents will probably beecisions on appointments to these posts-even the military posts-may have been delayed by disagreement as to how to deal with the pressing problem of Teng Hsiao-ping,

The Teng Dilemma

There has apparently been much pressure-whether at ihe Politburo level (for example, from Yeh Chicn-ying, who refused to associate himself wilh tlie anti-Teng campaign) or from Teng's many onetime comrades and proteges installed in the structure of power throughout China-to return Tengosition of power, pressure which is increased by Peking's total defamation of Ibe Leftists. Teng had the best record of any Parly leader in opposing the "gang of four"nd was strongly associated with attractive, moderate,programs, some of which are being affirmed now.

If Hua isto

have Teng return to the inner circle, thai is understandable. Teng's return would cast atmall cloud on Hua's own legitimacy (Hua was the principal beneficiary of Teng's fall) and would embarrass Hua (who 3mong current leaders has been Teng's sharpestt would alsoopular choice lo replace Hua as premier (Teng is highly qualified, and Hua holds too many postsodest, unambitious man) and would give the forces of the Right an aggressive leader (unlike Hua, Teng is not stuck wilh the revolutionary Leftist elements of Mao'ss he repudiated them, and was repudiated by Mao for doingeng's return might evenhreat lo Hua's position as Ihe Party's principal leader.

ire of Oaa kiwi arc on the record as hard-line anti-Sovietenghc other two do no) speak on foreign allain-

ua hirt-wl! hai deicrlbcd alituation in which there aiC so many unfilled liny posit, bui hai pled more prvsuru; problems.

through an alliance between Teng and the military leaders with whom Teng has much in common. But Huaonsensus-seeker will probably have to compromise, perhaps by reluming Teng to the Politburo andice premiership while finding someone else to replace himself as premier, and to lake his chances on winning out in any subsequent competition with Teng.'4

Strategic Consensus, Tough Problems

The seven leaders (or eight if Tengof Peking's inner circle appear to haveolicy consensusarge strategic sense-to put firmly behind them the extremism associated with the purged Leftists, and to move at least in lhe direction of lhe moderate and pragmatic domestic policies last seen in thefter the retreat from the Great Leap Forward and prior to the massiveof the Cultural Revolution. But they have to wrestle wilh some specific tough problems, on which there are bound lo be differences of opinion. These too will lest Hua's skill:entrist manager and conciliator.

eneral proposition, ideology is tomaller role in Chinese decisionmaking, as Hua himself has said. This will be especially tnie in The management of the economy, but should be apparent also in Parly-building, in culture and education, in science andand even in foreign policy.

Party-Building. Hua is strongly committed lo carryingampaign of "consolidation and rectification" meaning thoroughintensive reeducation-throughout the Partyhe priority objectives are probably those of restoring order (using the PLA as necessary) in provinces in which there is still factional fighting and identifying lhe most important followers of thellcommittees will probably be purged and reorganized to some degree. Thereack of clear guidance from Peking, however, evident in lhe differing behavior of various provinces, as to how far to extend the purge of sympathizers with thehis apparently reflects some disagreement in the inner circle itself. Apart from this, the current leadership clearly wants to return lo Ihe stale of Party discipline lhat existed before the Cultural Revolution. This would mean mainly recognition of the Party's absolute authority and of the need for strict obedience by lower levels lo higher. Peking also intends lo cut off criticism of Ihe Party from outside theniquely Maoist

Propaganda. Culture. Education.changes in the fields of propaganda,and education- in which the "gang" was organizalionally the strongest-are evident.

The propaganda apparatus has been thoroughly reorganized at both the national and provincial levels, wilh the "gang's" proieges purged and, at least at lhe nationalore sophisticated type replacing them. Thecomponent of propaganda has not yet been much reduced because the Ultra-Leftist distortions of the true doctrine still have io be corrected from an ideological base, but the aim is to convey more practical, facl-struclured messagesimpler and livelier slylc.

Madame Mao's creature as minister of culture was purged with her,ultural spring has been promised. This has not amounledreat deal thus far,enuine if limited improvement has been nolcd.

ua hai lhmmanaged Tcruj'i teturn well, in avoiding osw-dtanuniaikin of it by not allowing It to oecui diner on the anntveruiy of the Tieninmcn riotine.pril) or on the anniKraary of Ten*.'j teoond purgepril)!

There has been some degree of relum to the pursuit of excellence in education: forc-cmphasls on ideological criteria for admission to universities, moreeduction inew prestige for academic(perhaps especially in the hardltra-Left activists at some universities have been arrested. Peking apparently is serious about making education capable of what Chou En-Lii asked of it supporting the objective of China's modernization.

here seems clearly toonsensus in the present leadership on pursuing aggressively the "comprehensive modernization" plan announced by Chou. Of the four modernizations, agriculture (Hua's own area of expertise) is to have the top priority in the regime's planning process, although the largest proportion of budgetary investment may continue to be in heavy industry. Peking has suggested that there is some disagreement as to what proportion ofhould go to the production of weapons.

Western specialists expect Peking to take steps sooner or later to firm up the Five-Year Plan, to improve industrial management (with an emphasis on laboro enhance the status of scientists and technicians (getting the ideologues out of theo attach greater importance to material incentives, and toore active foreign trade policy (especially in purchasing whole plants and high-technology items).

The Mililary. Peking is in the process of correcting the military-related problems created or exacerbated by thehe status of the PLA. which has been under attack fairlysince the Lin Piao affairs very high: the most importilitary figures arc clearly (even emphatically) part of the ruling coalition; the PLA itself is being used to identify the few PLA supporters of the "gang" at lower levels and to suppress the most unruly of the leftists; the Military Affairs Committee appears to be in effective control of the armed forces; discipline in the PLA has been restored;

there is greater emphasis on military training, less on political study; the militia is being returned to the effectual control of the PLA; and the entire leadership is committed to military modernization.

There is the inescapable problem, however, of the civiljan-mililary relationship atroblem in some respects increased by solving other problems. For example, in giving the PLA its new elevated status, Peking may carry the process too far, giving the PLA more influence than the principle of Party control of the military can permit; and in relying heavily on the PLA to restore order in the provinces and on the railways, the civilian leaders underline their dependence on it. The civilian leaders wish to retain primacy in the decisionmaking process, but they must manage this inay as to avoid provoking the PLA intoe facto militaryThis is probably the most seriousproblem that Hua

Foreign Policy. In foreign policy, the new leadership is not expected to make anychange in the near future. Hostility to the USSR as the "main enemy" will be maintained, and Peking will continue to value the UStrategic counterweight. There will remain, however, room for disagreement as to what tactics to adopt in dealing with both the USSR (for example, whether to soften the demand for withdrawal of Soviet troops from "disputed" border 3reasirst stepettlement there) and the US (for example, how long to be "patient" in waitingnormalization" of relations).

One major recent article in defense of Chouoreign policy can be readefense of the current leadership's foreign policy. This may mean that Hua has been criticized for being too soft toward the US, a

m mayelatedbe itaius of the 'Vile" cards" among lhe keyouid be undenUndabk if llua and oihcr leadenmlo gel lhe *VOdui of Die cam*.

criticism that Hua has felt it necessary to answer; but this is conjectural.

Divisions. In sum, two questions that apparently have to be resolved in the near future are those of the status of Teng Hsiao-ping and the extent of the purge to be undertaken in eliminating the influence of the four purgedhird may be the size of the investment in militaryourth might just conceivably be tactics toward the US. There may be others.

A priori, the seven members of theinner circle, with differing backgrounds and representing diverse interest groups, would not be expected to line up in exactly the same way on every possible question. But there are various possible ways to break them down which might be meaningful. Oneivision between old comrades who have been leaders at the national levelong time (Yeh, LL Wang, and Teng if he returns) and the mostly younger men who rose during the Cultural Revolution and became national-level leaders only in recent years (Hua himself. Chen. Chi, andnotherivision between the career Party cadres (Ilua, Li, Chi, Wu, and Teng if he returns) and the professional military and security figures (Yeh, Chen, Wang, and three others outside Peking when they arc brought into theerhaps the most important division is among the Centrists (Hua, Chi,he Rightists (Yeh, U, Teng if hend the "wild cards" (Chen.he only leaders who have three of these categories in common-which might be regarded as enough toentripetal effect among them-are Hua, Chi, and Wu, all relative newcomers, all career Party cadres, and allumber too small tooting majority.

The balance in this leadership is said to be Centrist, rather than Centrist-Rightist, because Mao is still thereeftward pull. In other words, there is an inescapable Leftist component, which cannot be repudiated, in all of the Centrists who rose during the Cultural Revolution, and probably in both of the "wild cards" as well. Moreover, as previouslythey do not want to repudiate all of it, both because they genuinely believe in some Leftist aspects of Mao's thought and because of the importance of the large constituency among the young who think that Mao represented theironstituency that Hua and other Centrists would like to have.

The relevance of the Centrist-Rightist division appears to be illustrated in Ihc Teng Hsiao-ping problem.

[ihe division in the leadership places Ilw.ien, jnd WangfOUp which opposes the rclum of Teng lo ihc inner circle-all four of them leaders with Leftist components, who played roles in bringing Teng down for the second lime and in suppressing the most explosive manifestation of pro-Teng feeling in Ihe Tienanmcn rioting. Yeh. Li, and two outlying military leaders are said to beroup favoring Teng's rctum-alt of them Rightists who did not play any roles in Teng's downfall or at Tienanmcn. The voice of the latter group might have been heard also thus far in favorarger purge of Leftist supporters and sympathizers than Hua and other Centrists desire, andarger share of the budget than the Centrists want the PLA to have.|

y talrffie" composition of Ihe leadership will probably soon change and require recalculations.

Hua's Prospects

Hua is of course not secure (not even Xiao ever seemed entirely secureut his record is impressive. He can probably resolve ihc problem of Teng Hsiao-ping. Thai is, he can conciliate Teng's supporters by returning Teng to favor and even to power and yet remaintrong enough position-exploit ing Mao's legacy-lo contain any challenge Teng may offer him.

Assuming that Hua can get past lhat problem, he can probably then resolve the other

OCGngT -

problems noted above-byas much as he has to in order to retain the support of the military leaders. Just as Hua seemed in the months before Mao's death to be the best net to succeed Mao as the Party's principal leader, to he seems now to be the best bet to be the foremost figure for at least the year ahead -and. if he survives that year, to be likely to consolidate his position to remain foremost.

Although the question deserves further examination in other studies. Hua might be able to survive for yearsind of Chinese Brezhnev, deliberatelyentrist position, balancing the forces around him, discouraging the formation of any coalition against him. reducing the strength of theon cither side on any issue, gradually gathering the support of other leaders for his own position, and postponing large decisions whenever possible until he has achieved this consensus.

This process would makeomewhat different kind of Centrist than he has been.

Although the leadershiphole willfeel obliged for years to define itswith Mao in large part in Leftist terms, its experience with Mao over the years, and in particular its suffering of the Leftist "gang of four" over the past decade, will probably serve to place Ihe leadershiphole on what would now be regardedentrist-Rightist balance, the position that Hua would then be forced to occupy. In other words, in this conception Hua would nol retain as much of the Lcfl, as much ofnd Mao's policy, as has persisted since Mao's death, perhaps not even as much as he himself would wish lo reiain.

If Hua's highly developed political sense, his extraordinary clearsightednessentrist, should fail him and he falls, the prospect looks to be for either another coalition of old Parly cadres and military leaderse facto military dictatorship administered largely by old Party cadres. In either case, there seems no prospect for domination by the "revolulionary" Left.

Original document.

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