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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Directorate of Intelligence1
Communist China: Conflict at the Top Suranary
Two years ago the Chinese Communists held their ninth party congrest to mark the "victorious"of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and to announce the formationew ruling elite ostensibly more responsive to Mao Tse-tung and his heir-designate. Defense Minister Lin Piao. Theof thaho wsre named at tha congress to fill all of theeats on thewere not,oyal phalanx ofMaoist-. Instead, thay represented an uneasy conglomerate of disparate civilian and militarygroups thrown up by the twiats and turns of ths campaign launched6 to purge and revitalize the nation's power structure. Thoir relations in the past had been marred by bitter personal quarrels and rivalries, and despite the legitimacy conferred on them by election to the politburo, it was clear that allew superannuated figures would wish totheir political positions further inof the eventual passing of Mao. Forear this fragile coalition presented virtually anpublic face. Beginning ina series of unexplained shifts in thahierarchy in Peking strongly suggested that the leadership waaeriod of extended tension and more directconfrontationby the process of reconstituting China's party and government apparatus and promoting economic and social recovery following the turmoil that had disrupted national life during the Cultural
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The persistencerious divisloi of China's power structure was affirmed)
that "the Cultural Revolution still continued in the form of the struggle for_power at the nationalndthat factional wrangling waaajor obstacle to rebuilding the ahat-tered Chineae Communist party apparatus at thelevel. Since all deciaions on staffing major party organa have to be taken ln Peking, it appears that the loadera with whom Snow talked were referring to bitter internecine quarreling within the ruling polltburo itself.
The sense of fluidity and absence of coheaion within the elite that ia conveyed in the Snowadd weight to the numeroua indirect eigne of backwtage maneuvering and discord in Pekingthe past yeart the persistent rumors that the major party plenum held early last autumn was atomy, the year-long absence of polltburo member Hsieh Fu-chih followed by hla sudden resurfacing this March under peculiar circumstances, and the apparentaldelining of politburo atanding committeeChen Po-ta and Kang Shenq, both of whom were
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appear to be some diaceritrble threads running through out the present pattern of political infighting in Peking. Put broadly, the strains within theaeem to stem both from disagreements since the ninth congress on specific policies and from theof personal antagonisms and divisionsover from the Cultural Revolution. To thismixture has been added an apparentlyquarrel over the enhanced role of the People's Liberation Army in political affairs and civil
In the past year both the power and policylines within the politburo seem to have been more aharply drawn between the radical ideologues who have been part of Mao's inner circle since the beginning of the Cultural Revolutionooser grouping of proponents of relative "moderation" in domestic and foreign policy, whose principalappears to be Premier Chou En-lai. Although the impression gleaned last fall by Edgar Snow that "Chou is running the country may be exaggerated, there have been indications in recentasank through in forming provincial partythat the balance of forces within the politburo is swinging in favor of Chou and some of tha morecentral and regional militarywho are also responsible for day-to-day administration. Coa-
ly, the disoppearance
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mid reports that the activities of "extrem-ista" are being donounced in Peking auggests ain the political fortunes of some, if not all, of those leaders below Mao and Lin moat closely associated with the excesses of the Cultural
Despite the uncertain atmosphere in Peking,atLlonably remains the dominant political figure, and there is no reason to believe that he ls not still setting the tone and the general direction of current policies, all of which contain an eclectic mixture of the doctrinaire and the pragmatic. Although Mao's prostlge could be tarnished in tha course of the current complex'hrlng over difficult questions of reconstruction ptllcym-nnel staffing.the awripenyJug pelit euveii.ig within the politburo,v> ev-Ja.-ca that any concertedis under way to 'hrust Mao once again on theaile lines. On the other hand, thero to be aigna that Mao'sr hir svijc;n the Cultural Revolution did not gain him the license to work his will unobstructed on all major policy and personnel questions, and the shifts within theover the past yesr have demonstrated that theequilibrium in Peking can be shaken even with Mao at the helm.
Parring any major leadership upheaval before the death of Mao, his post as party chairman presumably will pass uncontested to his heir designate, Lin Piao. But because Lin can have nc assurance that his own proteges in China's top civil-military command structure will be reliable, it can only ba aaaumed that to retain his position he will have to secure the acquiescence of the conservatively orientedpowerholders as well as the governmentled by Chou En-lai. It seems equally clear that Lin will not ba able to rule the countryif he should persist in playing the role of an unreconstructed Maoist ln all fields.
At the moment, the influence of thoee leaders who seem inclined to acknowledge readily that muchao's revolutionary dogma haa proved irrelevant
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the surface at leaat, the formentduring the past year appeara to have hadlittle impact on the ragima'a- Cultural Revolution reconstructionprogress has been evident inorder, rebuilding the Chineae(CCP) apparatus at the provincial levelataffing and streamlining centralworkingew five yearand, moat important, inoreforeign policy. For these efforte toat all there mustegree ofsome willingness to compromise within the Appearancea can be mialeading,the parameters of Peking's varioua program*in the domesticalways readily discernible. Thus, itthat there are serious divisions at the
top that account for the issuance of often-ambiguous policy guidelines,irect bearing on thepace in Implementing various programs, and help explain the apparent discord between central and local leaders on many issues.
repeated delay in convening theNational People'slato be the capatone of the regime's efforts
to "revolutionize" the central government bureaucracy and the forua for preaenting guidelines on future economic and aocialauggesta that the leadership cannot yet agree on mattersa general consensus. The facts that no important leader in Peking ia making speeches on domeatleor writing reports forfor ritual incantations on major holidays andthat any azticle touching on aenaltive or tendentioua laauea usually is signed by an"writing group" are additional eigne that moat officiala ara maintaining low viaibilityime when tenaiona era high. Finally, Mao's admission to Edgar Snow that his deliberate efforts in the Cultural Revolution to create "fluid conditions"
necessary for tha party purge had leduch more "bitter" factionaliam than he had anticipated aug-gesta that the current regime ls still deeply troubled from within.
The Unfinished Revolution
Mao'a claim to Snow that hethe Cultural Revolution aa "successful,"appear that the root cause of theat the apex of power in China todayfact that tha political outcome of theia otill in doubt. Indeed, the majordomestic propaganda over the peat six monthsthe clear impreaaion that the central issuesCulturalstruggle againatthe fight to re-establish Mao'sthe party, and the attempt to preserveas the guiding force inuture yet to be resolved. Therefore,maneuvering within the politburo todayto be essentially another phase of the criaia
in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that precipitated the Cultural Revolution.ratherew and unique power and policy struggle.
The Struggle Over Power and Ideology
Cultural Revolution, with itarapid ahifta of front, and confusingwaa obvioualy an extensive campaignevery major phaae of the Chinese Despite the vagaries of the revolution
in process, however, ita origins are not hard to It is now clear that beginning in then intenae debate developed within the party on many important iaauea, that this debate led to questioning the applicabilityumber of the major teneta of the "thoughts of Mao Tae-tung* to the problems of governing and developing China, andajor struggle for power within the party evolved around this question. umber of leaders grouped around Mao and supported by Lin Piao advocated the preservation and inculcation of the "revolutionary
ferment" end mass enthusiasm evident in the early daya of Communist power, whilewith former head of state Liulip service to Maoist ideals were mora concerned with the practical problems of developing andthe state. This contrast in approach created for theested interest in "upholding Mao's thought" and for their putativeested interest in limiting its application in practice.
differences in viewpoint,narrow on the surface, had deep roots. Communists' long struggle to attain, they had emphasized classcontradictions, protracted struggles, theman over material conditiona, and thepolitical work. These political doctrines,inide popularas guides in formulating policies ondiverse social groups, party building,the economy, and resolving inner partywere closely identified with Mao himaelfa built-in bias in favor ofand of radicalizing the domesticthe CCP. But by theould only be applied in an environment
of increaaing popular desireeasure ofroutinlsatlon, and individual economic In particular the disasters growing out of the Great Leapexample of "revolutionary ferment" lndissidentmore importantly aenior leaders within the party, government, and militaryquestion whether the Mnoist approach waa still applicable to the problemseveloping, industrialising, and moaernizing society.
emphssls on mass enthusiasm andhad become so identified with theMao that to question it automatically became it least in the Chairman's own eyei. tha Red Guard press have disclosed that Maoconcerned that after theome members of the inner circle were
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challenging his basic assumptions* withrogram of economic retrenchment after the Great Leap Forward, he became convinced that some of his associates were pursuing programs that in spirit were conservative and evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Indeed, in the period9ao's control over party affairs was weakened to the point that veiled personal attacks on him began to appear in the press. For Mao this was an intolerable situation. 2 heounterattack that culminated] in the Culturalfour years later.
?. Mao told Edgar Snow last year that it was misleading to look for policy motives behind the Cultural Revolution. He said his challenge to his party opponents took the form of attacks on their revisionist policies, but the real issue had been the leadership plus the need to revitalize the These remarks are interesting not so much because theyatent distortion ofpolicy differencea were indeed an important cause of thebecause they suggest that Mao himself ia probably less concerned with specific policies than with the .motives, of those who propose them. He has shown, forenchant for pushing radical programs, but he also possesses the political acumen to recognize the necessity for periods of consolidation and retreat.
8. Mao felt threatened in the period prior to the Cultural Revolution, however, because other leaders began to doubt the validity of his basic prescription forelflese and classless China. Then and aince he haa labeled the doubters "revisionists" who sought to undermine the goal of achieving communism in China. He concluded that revisionist ideas and achores must be eliminated from the mlnda of "dissident" intellectuals and party leaders, and he acted to remove thefrom power in the party and government. of revisionism became the overriding issue in the Cultural Revolution, and Mao's failure to root out its influence has much to do with themaneuvering in Peking today.
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9. Indeed, thehigh degree of tension in Peking and the problems obliquely hinted at inpropaganda over the past six months suggest that the problem of revisionism is far from settled. Although he told Edgar Snow that the Cultural Revolution wasChina's leadership is apparently still In flux precisely because Mao'sin purging his major revisionist opponents in the party was incomplete. Since the second plenum of the ninth party congress lastforounting campaign to have senior officials re-study Mao's philosophy plus continuingof persistent revisionist trends in thesocial, cultural and political spheres all suggest that the major issues that inspired the "revolution" in the first place are still being debated.
10. One area of debate is the economic sphere. In the course ofecovery from theof the Cultural Revolution, Peking has made it clearajor goal of future economic plans is the development of small and medium-aized industries in rural areas, primarily to support agriculture. This program unquestionably has Mao'sit accords with his known bias in favor of increasingeconomic decision-making, promoting theof intermediate technology, and fosterinqprime requisite, incidentally, for enabling China to defend itself "ln depth" against foreign Nevertheless, in implementing this program the regime has continued to avoid past mistakes such as encouragement of indiscriminate capital construction. Similarly, it has quietly abandoned certain disruptive experiments in agricultural policy that were attempted
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before tha ninththat appeared to embody aome of the more radical notions putduring the Culturalaa efforts to reduce further the material incentives to peasants by confiscating their private plots, to curb rural free markets, and to make institutional changea aimed at expanding decision-making at the commune level. There have been signs, however, that the present cautious approach has not won acceptance byassociated with the more radical measures, who claim that there are thoae who are attempting to achieve economic recovery by following aUiey did in the*
a recent Peking editorial raisedbogey by declaring that continuedbourgeois influence is revealed by emphasis onof private plots, material incentives, and The editorial lashed out at "thoseargue that the struggle between Mao's lineShao-chi'a line has been settled and is a This notion is wrong, it declared. Inthere are still those who placepolitics and want to put "experts" infactories] in agriculture there are thosethe validityigh degree ofand in commerce, some give priorityand adhere to capitalist interpretationslaw of supply and demand. This editorialcharging that the influence of thethinkers persists seem to be warnings byon the politburo that sentiment iain favor of insisting on anideological approach to economic The failure to mention the fourth five-year
lan in the second plenum^
nforce the impression of continuing debate over the applicability of Maoist precepts in economic planning.
are also many signs ofbetween the two lines in non-economicuniversities were reopened this year and
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ars supposedlyeries of "radical" reforms, including the abolition of entrancethe introduction of more students withcorrect worker-peasant backgrounds, and the elevation to important academic posts of ordinary workers and others with "practical" experience. All -this is designed to obviate the "elitiat mentality" fostered by China'sultural Revolutionand to reduce what the ideologues consider an unacceptable gap between theoretical and practical training. Regardless of the individual merits of some of these reformseveloping country, there have been repeated indications in the press that they are being resisted in practice. Thus, denunciations are frequently published of those who are stillfor tha necessity of advanced theoretical training and of bourgeois professors who have refused to mend their ways despite being chastened by Red Guards in the Cultural Revolution.
Indications of debate also abound in the arena ofregime'a firat order of domestic business aince the ninth congreaa. There haseries of press denunciations since the second plenum, for instance, of unnamed comrades who have been propounding the theory of "inner-party peace" and who have been attempting to play down the need for prolonged ideological investigation of candidate members, in particular of party veterans being returned to responsible positions.
Mounting criticism r* the politicalof the veteran party officials and military officers follows the pattern of earlier attacks on the former party and state apparatus. They too have been rebuked for their elitism and their penchant for routinizing, organizing, and consolidating, which did not accord with Mao's notions of revolutionary leadership. In particular, the People's Liberation Armyhas takenider range of civil administrative and party functions than at any time since the early days of Communistbeen accused of allowing attitudes of arrogance andto become widespread. These criticisms
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could indicate that the ideologues are concernedestructured organizational authorityby the PLA may evolveechno-bureaucra-tic elite as divorced from the populace and asto Mao's revolutionary dicta as the old party and state machinery that was decimated in the Cultural Revolution.
at present the PLA is the onlyorgan of state power, these attacksmilitary raise the possibility that Mao maybelieve his personal authority is beingand, by extension, suggest that Lin Piao,been charged with molding the PLA into ainstrument, haa not been entirelynotion seems to be supported by thein China's new draft state constitutionand his heir designate Lin as the nation'srulers. Although the citation mayramatic reaffirmation of Mao's andover their former opponents, ic seemsto view it as an attempt by Mao topersonal legitimacy in order to compensate for
the weakening of his ideological legitimacy.
theory that Mao cannot and doesby fiat on many issues under debate insupported in his interviews with Edgar Snow. the point that Mao should not be regarded asautocrat, adding that Mao himselfhe formulated policy and issued directivesthe details of execution to others. impression left by the Snow interviews lahaa some serious reservations over the shapeemergentultural Revolution party
and govamment apparatus.
indirectly admitted these doubtstold Snow that it was wrong to judge hisrenewing the leadership by referring to theor provincial level, where many of thewere back in office and the army was Instead, Mao told Snow, ha shouldthe county levelj it was here that the newup by the revolution were to be found. to Mao, they would be the next generation of
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provincial and national leaders, and they would be reliable heirs to hla ideals. Available evidence, however, ahows that essentially the same forces prevail at tha county and other local governing levels as at the national leveli.it would therefore seem that Mao ia either out of touch with reality or straining very hard to rationalize what has been in fact very substantial modification of his goals In the Cultural Revolution. In any case, Mao'sto claim success for himself in drastically reforming the top levels of administration and his strange admission that his job now was "to convince the county-level leaders that they had won theconvey the impression that not all of those holding the principal levers of power In the country are entirely responsive to him and his entourage.
Squaring the Inner Circle
long as he remains on the scene,be tempted to take'further steps to maintain
the authority of his dogma and to revive revolutionary enthusiasm. But whether he now has the power to do thisoot point. Reonsummatewho, if unable to have his way on all matters, is still able to retain considerable leverage by playing off opposing groups within the elite against one another. Indeed, much of the leadershipin Peking today may stem from Mao's devotion to thisdevice that in effect avoids the riak of raising any direct challenge to his
Maoharismaticenormous prestige,hallenge seemsat this stagei but the machinationsleadership over the past year auggeat thatbe playing the game of palace politicspreasure than at any time since hla newwas formed at the ninth congress. He hasto work his will by making timelythe more moderately inclined leaders whileoccasions supporting the efforts of tho"Maoiets" to improve their standing. shifting within the politburo, however, may
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mean that the fragile balance of rival groupings has been tipped. If so, it seems likely that the shift was caused by an abortive effort by Kao'a radical lieutenants to shore up their political positions.
Although the various terms employed to describe the broad leadershipversusextremists" versus"ideologues" versusrethere iaistinct group on the politburo which rose to its present position because of proven loyalty to Mao and vigorouaof power and policy excesses in the Cultural Revolution. Opposing this grouperhaps looser conglomerate of government bureaucrats and central and military regional figures whosestatus was often in doubt during the Cultural Revolution end who generally appeared to favorits excesses. Although the members of this grouping may be personally loyal to both Mao and Lin, most seem to share an antipathy to the lesser figures among the radical forces.
Apart from Mao and Lin, tha "radical" group associated with the excesses of the Cultural Revolution includes the two leaders* wives; Mao's speech writer, Chen Po-taj security specialist Kang Shengi propaganda specialist Yao Wen-yuan; and Chang Chun-Chiao, the political boas of Shanghai. All of thesethe exception of Madamsbelonged to the so-called centraln inner elite fostered by Mao and charged with purging the Chinese Communist Party and pushing his "revolutionary" ideas. Before the Cultural Revolution, these people, with theof Chen and Kang, were political nonentities
or lower echelon leaders, with no firm independent base of support. Most, if not all, appear to be fanatical doctrinaire ideologuea who share Mao's belief that it ia essential toigh atata of tension and ideological fervor in China in order to sustain revolutionary momentum andrapid change.
Odd Hen Out
hole, the membera of theRevolution Group have hadimitedof their own aince the Cultural Revolutionduring the more radical phases of thethey appeared to be formidable figuresof Mao'a support and because they were able
tcumber of powerful Red Guard groupa throughout the country aa their politicalespite the fractious nature of these massthey provided the CRGajor source of leverage againat entrenched party and military ea-tabliahmenta in tha provinces. The "revolution"ortuous process, however, one that ebbed and flowed between perioda of extreme radicalism and periods of moderation and restraint. In ita later phases the influence of the CRG in the councils of the regime waa noticeably weakened.
of the subsequent inner tensionregime haa stemmed from the efforts of th*to find politically aecure positions inof countervailing moderate pressures. Theof "revolutionary leftists" in thelate8 end the normalizing trendin domestic politics since the ninthcertainly have further circumscribedroom for maneuver. Once Mao go*a, tha power
of the CRG la likely to diminish considerably aince ita prospects for developing new sources of political strength seem remote.
principal stratagems the CRGemployed to Improve their positions haveaince the group was formed in the summer Basically they have sought topower by acting aa ideological watchdogaand by trying to weaken their opponentscentral and regional leadership. Inhas meant that they have led the way invarious policy proposals to the teat ofrectitude. They have tried to insertresponsive to their direction in responsible
positions in the rebuilt party and governmentto win military support for their followers, and to purge rival leaders. On the whole, however, these efforts have met with too little success to provids surety for their political futures.
the arena of government and partyfor example, there are civiliancadres in nearly every central andorgan who aeera to have been promoted becausefealty to the ultraleftists at the center. all, the new party and government unitsin favor of conservatively orientedmen and veteran cadres who were stronglyby the CRG or their Red Guard cohorts inand who can be presumed to be reluctant toultraleftist leadership in the future, PLA, the radicals have had soma success inadherents within Individual units, butmajority of the PLA seems to beorder-oriented officers rather thanproteges of the CRC. Moreover, there have
been signs over the past two years that within some of China'sajor military regions armies andthat supported local leftists during the height of the Cultural Revolution have beenneutralized.
and large, the principal politicalof the CRG stems from the failure of itscampaigns to undermine the power base ofgovernment leadora and some of thechieftains who it judged were ogainstthe Cultural Revolution, for example, theclearly behind at least two traumatic andto divide and weaken the military. Thein the immediate aftermath of the Wuhanin the summerhe second led toof acting PLA chief of staff Yang
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27. The Wuhan Incident waa precipitated in7he Wuhan Military Region Commander defied Peking's order to ceaseadical Red Guard faction that waa opposing his authority in the region. The commander was promptly dismissed,ubsequent series of editorials inspired by the radlcala that called for the "small handful" of revlaionist laadera in the army to be "dragged out" touchedave of Red Guard attacka on PLA leaders. At the same time, there wero indicationa that the notoriousltraleftiat group headed by second echelon CRG leaders, auch ns journalists Wang Ll and Chi Pen-yu--war maneuvering to ouat premier Chou En-lai and several militarycommanders. All of this radical aound and fury came to an abrupt halt in Septemberumber of important regional military leaders who feared for their political aurvlval and who wanted to restore order apparently joined Chou En-lai ln braking the radicals' drive to intimidate or purge their opponents in the central government and regional military This waaevolt against Mao, but it did demonatrate an increased ability and willingness on the part of the conservative forces to coalesce when directly threatened by the ultraleftists and to attempt to deflect Mao'a declaionaourse more acceptable to themselves.
28. The end of the radical thrust was signaled when the vitriolic Madame Mao (Chiang Ching)waa forced toetreat. Sheajor speecheptember in which she praised the PLA's political performance, denounced the "Maynd demanded that leftist Red Guard factions turn in their arma and cease criticising local military At the aameeral CRG leadera of the "Mayorps" were purged, and the group ostensibly waa dissolved. Thus, the Wuhan Incident earned the CRG considerable enmity within military circles; but it also probably convinced the CRG leadera of the weakness of their position and of the political danger to themselves if China'atroop commanders ware allowed to coalesce againat them.
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29. After the regional military leaders were authorized to use force if necessary to halt Red Guard fighting inherief revolutionary pausereturn to normality." During this fragile pause the ranks of the CRG were considerably thinned, and by8 only five of the originalembers of the CRG still survived. The remainingChen Po-ta, Kang Sheng, Chiang Ching, Chang Chun-chiao,ohave felt that their own future was at stake. They apparently did not cease their maneuvering against theirmaneuvering that was overtly demonstratedash of wall-poster attacks upon some of Chourominent vice premiers in Ultimately, the machinations of the remaining CRG leaders peaked when the acting chief of staff Yang Cheng-wu, the first political commissar of the air force, end the commander of the critical Peking garrison were ousted. The origins of this purge are still shrouded in mystery.
30. According to the official version, Yang, in order to enhance his own position had been trying to undermine the authority of the CRG and wasto purge major regional military leaders and vice premier Hsieh Fu-chih, head of the Pekingcommittee. Yang's "plotting" was allegedly uncovered by Madame Mao, and her importance along with that of the othar CRG members appeared to be Increased by the episode. According to the Red Guard press, Lin Piao at that time instructed several units charged with investigating political problems in the PLA to seek advice from her, Chen Po-ta, and Yao Ken-yuan. The affair also was accompanied by calls to stamp out the threatew "rightist resurgence" and by renewed armed clashes between radical Red Guards end PLA unitsumber of provinces.
31. At the time, the purge of Yang Cheng-wu and hia colleagues appeared toajor victory for the militant forces in the leadership. ase can be made that Yang's fall marked yet another downturn in the CRG's disruptive
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quest for political dominance. Yang had fairly good credentials as one of the military officers whowith, or at least was willing to exploit for personal gain, the aims of the radical leaders. He had been handpicked to displace the disgraced Lo Jui-ching as "acting" chief of staff, and hadattempted to implement changes in the PLA that emphasized the "revolutionary" over the professional qualities of the army. He also was firmly allied with periodia attempts to promote systematic rotation of PLA units to prevent military leaders fromwith local party and government bureaucrats who might resist the attempts by revolutionary activists to seize power in their bailiwicks. These programs supposedly were advocated by Mao and Lin and the CRG militants, so there is, on the surface, littlethat Yang was anything but faithful to thaw.
Yang's militant credentials werewhy did the CRG attack him? ThisImpossible to answer definitively, but itthat if Yang, as charged, had beenmilitary regionaaChen Hsi-lien, and Hsu Shih-yu, whounder heavy radical attack for theand ahis efforts probably hadfrom the CRG. Indeed, the vigor withCRG leaders denounced Yang stronglyhe was servingtalking horse forand that this waa recognized by hisvictims. In any case, it appeara morethat Yang'a ouster was forced by strong,coordinated, opposition from otheropposed to the disruptive policieshe waa associated.
machinations of the radical leaders
78 to effect changes in the leadership of tha revolutionary committees, to divide theand to purge or neutralize those who were attempting to moderate the excessea of revolution generated powerful antagonisms that subsequently were carried into the new politburo. This bodya number of military and government figurea
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who apparently had been the intended victims of the CRG and whose actions in the revolution may have raised doubts in Mao's mind aboutto his ideological predilections. Whether or not these man survived the political infighting of the Cultural Revolution because they ultimately were able to prove their personal loyalty to Mao and Lin or because they were simply needed to run the country mayoot point. Their admission to the inner circle in any eventecognition of the existing balance of political forces in the nation at the time of the ninth congress. It also meant* however, that because they were powerful figures in their own right, their views wouldounterweight to those of the Maoists in the decision-maxing process and that sooner or later the radicals might feel impelled to make yet another attempt to shore up their power positions.
34. The move by the radicals apparently come sooner rather than later. As the reconstruction process moved forwardhere were scattered warnings that the Cultural Revolution was not yet over ond indications In propaganda that the Ideologues were maintaining their ideological wotchdog.function. Then, in Januaryobserved the brief "appearance of wall posters calling for the defense of Chou En-lai.
I Onco again something seemed
to have fueled existing antagonisms in tha politburo, ond events in the remainder of the year bore out the notion that another round of battling between the Maoists and their opponents had begun.
35. The full ramifications of there by no means clear, but Itbeen the central Issue touching off thealterations within the top leadershipthe past year.
Ithe investigationlaunched in Its purpose]
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waa both to weed out former May
embers from official positions they had acquired7 within various administrative organs-Including the governing committee of Pekingand tie Peking cityto prevent them from joining the party committeej that were in the process of being reconstructed in those bodies.
"Mayorps" was not an ordinary Redelatively email coterie of extremist "have-not" junior officials, journalists, andarmy officers, who hoped to promote their own careers by undermining the positions of incumbent central and regional officiala. The group operated behind the acenea in Peking and in several provinces7 under the leadership of some members of thean CRG. It certainly could not have existed without the backing of Chen Po-ta, Kang Sheng, and Madame Mao. And it is equally certain that it was regardedajor threat by Chou En-lai, whose vice premiers were victimized by attacka instigated by the" and by such majorfigures as Huang Yung-sheng, whose baseof Kwangtungcene ofctivity.
37. Thenvestigation apparentlybitter recriminations at the top and produced at least one major politicalew months after its inception. In0 polltburo member Hsiehice premier and public security minister who was reputed to be in charge of the investigation, mysteriously disappeared from >ublic view.
Hsieh, who had been among the most
active politburo members, stayed out of public viewull year and waa clearly on the political sidelines.
Hsieh'e record during the Culturaleuggeate that he could very voll havehinaelf on thenvestigation. on occasion he apparently made accommodations to the radical forces, he was more often on record as an outspoken critic of militant tactics and was himself attacked several times by men openlywith the "Mayorps" and with radical Red Guards at Peking University. Even Mao once said that Hsieh was ono of those officials who wasbeing criticized, and Madameof the severest critics of the old public security apparatus-publicly described Hsieheak man who had made serious mistakes. Moreover, Hsieh,iceworked closely with Choua target of thettacks.
With Hsieh's disappearance it appeared that the CRG leaders hadaneuver that was shaping up toajor effort to circumscribe their authorityutmurky political picture in Peking failed to clear up. At several leadership turnouts in May, for example, there were some unusual flipflops in polithuio rankings that suggested that another of Chou'a vice premiers,specialist Li Haien-nien, was being downgraded, at least temporarily. Moreover, in June Pekingcommander Wenpast associate of Chief-of-staff Huangdropped from public view, another development that could mean that efforts were being token to realign the political and military power structure in the Whether or not these moves represented radical initiatives is uncertain, but it seems that Hsieh's setback triggered some intense jockeying forat the top.
sponsible for burning the British Embassy in7rofound problem with which the leadership
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waa atill grappling. Thislear reference to the; its leaders, allegedly instigated by Kang Sheng, were ttl^^faB
the perpetrators of the turmoil ln the Chinese For-eign Ministry and the Peking diplomatic community during that period. The most significant indication that theffair had not run its course, however, was the fact that two more rankingmembers, Chen Po-ta and Kang Sheng, dropped Trom public view between late summer and mid-fall
_|that they had been censured forextremist activities during and since the Cultural Revolution.
I Chen and
uch lesser extent, Madamecriticizedentral Committee plenum last autumn. The story claimed that Chen was specifically chargedozen "crimes"! these included organizing the "Mayttacking veteran cadres, mistakes in education reform, and advocating egalltarianism in the economy. Most of the charges are consistent with what is known about Chen's views or activJ in the past. Inor example^ ffff/ffffofaf^Bclaim thatself-confession1'his support of the" and one of the secondary CRG figures later purged for leading the corps said he was acting on Chen's orders.
42. By implication, Chen's, fellow CRG member. Kang committed similar errors. r_or example, indicated that heajor role in the attacks on Chou En-lai. No details of the charges against him were divulged, however. The only information provided was that he hadelf-criticism at the plenum, which may explain why Kang continued to make public appearances after Chen had dropped from public view shortly before the plenumang apparently gained only areprieve, however; he was not seen in Peking afterovember, indicating that he too had been >olitically sidelined.
At this stage it aeema premature tothat both men, long close allies of Mao, have been permanently divested of all political,within the leadership. InBLammmmmmeammemmmmmmmmm^Blf^cn and Kang have been observed on assignments'in the provinces since they disappeared from Peking. Moreover, the unexpected resurrection of Haieh Fu-chih aa first secretary of the newly formed Peking municipal party committee after he had been out of the political limelightear demonstrates how risky it is to describe purges in China's present unsettled leadershipas final. Nevertheless, oven if Chen and Kang have only been reassigned for the past six months, they almost certainly have been at loaat temporarily excluded from the highest councils of the regime during this period.
The reasons for their demotiona are not hard to fathom. Because of their previous ties with the "Mayoth men probably were, ortargets of thereportedly is still in progress and whicn, according to one recentccount is still "too dangerous to discuss at home." Thessue appears to beersonal vendetta andeflection of deep-aeated disagreements within the politburo. These disagreements probably revolve around the cautious tenor of someultural Revolution reconstruction policies and the staffing of China's rebuilt party and government apparatus with military men and veteran cadres who resisted the power playa of ultraleftists supported by Chen, Kang, and the
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other CRG leaders. Chen, for example, hadarticles in7 disparaging the army's political performance, and itistinctthat continuing criticism along these lines by both Chen and Kang may finally have pushedforces on the politburo to coalesce against them.
45. Thus,road sense, the machinations of CRG leaders7 appear to have gained them little political insurance; instead they have strengthened the hand of their opponents. Therecord since the ninth congress in particular seems far from impressive, and there are fewthat the CRG leaders have significantly broadened their bases of power in the rebuilt party and government ozgans. Effective authority in most of the new provincial party committees, which ^egan to be formed ins still in the hands of leaders with conservative records in the Cultural Revolution. In many cases, these are the same leaders who7 were threatened by the attacks oforps."
46. Insofar as the army is concerned, Chen and Kang may have been questioning not only whether
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the army uhould continue toeavy civiland political burden/ but also thein which the army waa performing ita new choree--in other words, waa it supperting local leftiats and the goals of the radicals ln economic, social/ and political activity. In essence, these were thethat prompted CRG attacks on selected army leaderand it eeems likely the criticisms have continued because the radlcala believe that tha PLAhole ie still not fully committed to "Maoist"years of indoctrination under Linand because they feel that theof power by the army had progressivelytheir own political positions and thoae of their lettist supportere in various localities. Theprice the CRG has paid so far for itsof "power-holders" la dramatically underscored by the recent setbacks auffered by Chen Po-ta and Kang Sheng.
the difficulties of these twodoubt on the future prospects of other CRGleftist voices in the regime have by no means.
there are continuing criticisms of "arrogant" atti-tudes In the PLA, attacka on thoae in the military who put professionalism ahead of "revolutionary" concerns, and diatribes against advocates ofpolicies that subordinate politics to theof technology. Moreover, the recentof CRG members Chang Chun-chiao and Yao Wen-yuan to the top party poats in Shanghaionscious effort to onaur* that theae men will at least retain some regional power base.
is alao somewhat unrealistic toentirely the role of leftist forces inparty organs. Aa was the case duringof the administrative revolutionaryin many of tha provincial partyfar established there seems to be aby Peking to insertosition ofleaat one military or civilian leader whoradical elementa during tha Cultural
Provincial radiobroadcast fron Anhweia new man in the pest of Nanking Military Region comnar.cer, raising questions afacut the current status cf Hsu Shih-yu; Hsu haseen seenune.
remier Li Hsien-nien leads government
economic delegation to North Vietnam.
2*pally article lashes out against
unicentified members cf "Confuciusints that on ths one hand the Soviets have been trying to utilize this group while) threatening" nuclear blackmail" or. the other.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman in Peking informs diplomatic community that Choc's traditional banquet on theeptember) of National Day will be replaced
jonsored by the MFA.
30announces on the morning ofeptem-
berhinese aircraft crashed in Mongolia on the nighteptember; Soviets claim that itilitary plane;
ae ciploBifci Ih Mas:cw aefcr.cvladet fchar thenrashhat itivilhat.
fails t= publish usual edi-.ma; tha ava l ;
roa France claims thai foreign
brads [Sinisterr cf tha previacats, was awakened in tha middle of tha nightctober by Chinese Ba-bassy ofiicials whoil-tripParis.
Da.-jriar* ir.icmedacon Foraign Ofiica0 hours ia thahat thay had "just received" instructions irrn Pacing requiring their return or.ctober,ay earlier than scheduled, crier tc attendastxng."
neously that Or. Xisnr.ccr will visiting in tha Lattar par-.'ci Oct=her t= -a'<a
"concreta arrangements" for the President's trip; Peking announcement released0ctober, Washington time-
Mao Tse-tung received visiting Ethiopian Emperor Halle Selassie, according to press sources close to the Ethiopian delegation. Mao reportedly looked well.
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Revolution to serveolitical counterweight to other more conservatively oriented officials. Finally, the continued failure of Hsieh Fu-chlh to bein his previous pcsitlons as public security minister or vice premier or even to appear in public aince the announcement of his appointment as Peking party aecretary suggests that some form of leftist pressure may be preventing his full rehabilitation.
Despite these caveats, not only have the local leftists made few inroads in the new party organs, but it ia possible those who retain their positions have lesa room for political maneuver. Xn fact, several provincial leaders who were highly praiaed by the Maoists inas, Wang Hsiao-yu in Shantung, Hu Ko-ping in Shansi, and Li Tsai-han into bev* been purged in the past
he loft are unlikely to wane completely, although there have been recent indications thatnvestigation may belimax. Accordingress article by pro-CommunistJournalist Wilfred Rurohett, who recentlyPaklne, he wee orflelally Infermed about
an iRVtmigaUen intB inflnU=Hse piet by
eference tn rheffair. Burchett'a article discusaea an extreme leftist shadow cabinet that tried toitaelf into power during the Culturalhe journalist claima that the namea of the plotters, who may include Chen Po-ta, would bewhen the investigation was completed. In any case, the setbacks to Chen Po-ta and Kang Sheng, th? forward movement in provincial party building, the pronounced flexibility in Chinese foreign policy, Hsieh Fu-chlh's appointment as Peking party boas, and tha continuing denunciations of the "Mayorpa" are all signs that the political seesaw in Peking haa tipped at leaat temporarily ln favor of the moderates,
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'/.ho's Up on the Seesaw?
50. Attaching political labels to the various rrenbers of the politburo outside tho ranks of the CRG is particularly difficult because of the paucity of data on the activitiesumner of lesser, but nonetheless important, full and alternate politburo nerbers, such as the new head of the PLA GeneralDepartment (GPD) Li Te-sheng. Even within the CRG membership there may be differences inor at leant styles. Thus it is possible that Chang Chun-chlao, whoistinct facility for bending with the wind in the Cultural Revolution, might be better able tooliticalwith his enemies than, for example, the radical firebrand Chiang Ching. Nevertheless, the reactions to, and activities in, the Cultural Revolution of the remaining non-CRG members suggest that the principal civil government and military leaders of theare not mere opportunists and can be safelyas opponents of those favoring furtheror Ideological excesses.
The military leaders who rank just below LinYung-sheng, Yen Chien-ylng, Chen Hsl-lien, and Hsuell under heavy andradical attacks in the revolution, whichgenerated bitterness and anxiety on their part. Since then they have appeared to favor getting on with the business of reconstruction and probably have sought to modify the diaruptive impact ofsocial and political programs. Their basic Inclinations are epparently shared by theministers, Ll Bsien-nien and Hsieh Fu-chih.
The political affinities of the lowermilitary men on the politburo, who seem to play an Important role in day^je-day affairs, are moi difficult to pigeonhole.
sherovincial commander whose caree?
eteoric rise sinceh Army was ordered into Anhwei Province7 to curb Red Guard His success there does not in itself explain
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why he was elevated to tho politburo or the GDP directorship over men mora senior than he, and it remains debatable whether he should be regardedepresentative of the conservativeensitive army political post, as aof Lin Piao, oravorite of the CRG leaders. The records of General Rear Services Director Chiu Hui-tso and navy political commissar Li Tso-peng ara also mixed, although it ia worth noting that the navy lined up in province after province with radical forces attacking senior army leaders during theRevolution. The air forceimilar pattern, and both Li Tso-peng and air force commander Wu Fa-hsien appear to be good examples of military leadera who have been ready and willing to_accommo<iata programs pushed by the CRG.
Neither of the remaining alternate members of the politburo, party veteran Li Hsueh-feng orChi Teng-kuei, seems toolitically Jignifleant role. Little is known about Chi except that he waa personally praised by Mao for the aupport he gave radical forces in Bonan Province through the Cultural Revolution. Despite this record, however, Chi was recentlyarty post in Honan below several ordinary members in the local hierarchy; his failure to move up to the top party post inlear departure from long-standing party practice and may be taken as an interesting coramentary on tho political weight leftist leadera are currently pulling in the politburo.
Even with the uncertainties surrounding some of the lesser figures on the politburo, it is reasonable to infer that below Mao and Lin the major actors in the complex pattern of interrelationships within the elite are polarized into two mutually' antagonistic groupings, the ideologues and the Dividing them are not only the broad issue of the continuing validity ofdeologicalbut alao thc narrower problems relative to
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Ii Irtdint, But Who li Direettat Chou and the Moderates
the political future of the radical ideologues. The ideologueseemingly identifiable coalition of top army men and civilian bureaucrats who appear to befor greaterof theand political apparatus or at least for tlie orderly pursuitore pragmaticof Mao's romantic vision. The principal spokesman for this group seems to be Chou En-lai, who throughout theturmoilanaged toan image ofmoderation, and responsibility.
During the Cultural Revolution, Chou had enormous responsibilities not only for theadministration of the central government but also for overseeing provincial politicalask that obliged him to win the confidence and cooperation of powerful local military satraps, such IS Huanq Yunq-sheng, Chen_Hsl-lien and Hsu Shlh-s
case, Chou has not been"identified with "Hie worst excesses of the Cultural Revolution and is one of the fewnot the only leader other than
haa genuine popular appeal. Ud alioeputationaster of subtle compromise andough political infighter. Thus, he is uniquely qualified to orchestrate the views of those opposing the powar and policy pretensions of the CRC leaders.
56. Chou has shown considerable responsiveness to the problems of the top military and civilianin the moderate grouping on the Moreover, his political future, like theirs, had been placed in jeopardy by radical onslaughts in the Cultural Revolution. irect result of their attacks on his vice premiers and other centralofficials, Chou's personal power base suffered serious attrition. Through his efforts to curbexcesses, Chou apparently incurred the wrath of the principal CRG leaders;
57. It is likely that Chou survived these political perils because in the end he was able to retain Mno'sthe key factor cementing their relationship :nay not have been so much Mao's belief that Chou was always loyal to him as his conviction that Chou's multiple talents were Indispensable to holding the country together. But whatever the basis of the Mao-Chou relationship, there haveumber of indications since the ninth congress that leftist pressure against Chou mayrime ingredient in keeping the Pekingcauldron boiling. In the weeks immediately prior to the convening cf border talks with Moscow in the falloreries of Aesopian cultural polemics appearod in the press denouncing unnamed comrades who favored the "right capitula-tionist" line of negotiating with the enemy. Since Chou probably was instrumental In persuading Mao to talk with the Soviets in order to reduce thetensions, it seems probable that these diatribes wars directed at Chou to warn him not to go too far and to caat aspersions on his fealty to Mao'santi-Soviet position.
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58. learer sign that Chou continued to be the object of radical machinations was the appearance of the wall posters calling for his "defense" early last vear and the subsecuentnvestigation.
Chou has played
an Important role in the affair and last autumnseveral major speeches denouncing the "Hayorps." Thus it is likaly that in pushing through the investigation Chou has successfully weathered another test of strength with his radical opponents. Indeed, the sidelining of Chen Po-ta and Kang Sheng has in some ways given Chou even more freedom for political maneuver.
59. Chou's position in both domestic an-'affairs seems tod^alnce
autumn. f) Chou
flatly stated for the first time that he was "In charge of rebuilding the party machinery. This revelation contrasted with earlier reports that Lin Piao was directly supervising the process and that the CRG hade facto party secretariat with Kang Sheng playing the principal role. Although it still seems unlikely that Chou is in "sole" command of this sensitive project, the disappearance of Kang Sheng and Chen Po-ta may mean that Chou's personal authority in overseeing party reconstruction haa been enhanced at the expense of the CRG members. This speculation seems substantiated by the fact that Peking did not begin endorsing provincial party coo-mi tthe most important party organs formed since the central committee was produced at tha ninth partyafter Kang Sheng andPo-ta had vanished from center stage. The naming of Hsieh Fu-chih as first secretary of the Peking partymay also be atymbolic victory for Chou since the two had appeared to be working^closely together until Hsleh's fall from grace last March. Finally, the fact that Chinese Foreign Ministryhave recentlyoint of telling visitors that they do not condone "extremist" activities and the continuing enlargement of tha image ofand reasonableness" in Chinese foreign policy both suggest that Chou does have increasedfor "running the country."
60. It Is important to recognize, however, that although Chou himselfany burdens haveon him because he apparently ls the onlyof China's top triumvirate with sufficient vigor to engage in the day-to-day direction of the central government. This does not in itself mean that he is the dominant figure in the regime or that he does not have to consult with both Mao and Lin on major issues. Given the apparent peraistenca of radical attempts to weaken his position, however, it is not axiomatic that Chou does or will elways retain the full confidance of Mao and Lin. Nevertheless, he has apparently protected himself over the years by somehow reassuring Mao that he was not adding his name to tha list of possible succeasors to the
A Successful Successor?
61. There seems to be little questicn that Mao has carefully weighed the possibility that hismightrotracted power struggle that could thwart his revolutionary willumber of unforeseen waya. To avert this Mao has workedto arrange for an orderly transfer of power. Thus the position of Lin Piao as Mao's chosenhas been affirmed both in the new partyand in the draft atate constitution endorsed at last fall's Central Committee plenum. Moreover, the emergence of the PLA as the primary instrument of political and administrative control probably has enhanced both the power and authority of Linis other members of the elite and has possibly improved his chances of consolidating his position after Mao goes. Thus, on the surface at least, Lin appears toormidable figure in the present power equation in Peking.
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charisma and physical vigor. Lin's record, however, shows that he is driving andough and demanding troop commander,killed political inflghtor. His rapid rise in the military and party hierarchy over more senior officers, his ability to promote himself as Mao's foremost disciple andand his transformation of the PLAodel of Maoist organization in the, all indicate that it wouldistake to discount Lin's political acumen and to dismiss him asonvenient instrument of Mao's will,
Who Ewninci th* Pupil Afttf Iht TeKitet Con?
63. There are indications, moreover, that Lin haa attempted to shore up his personal power base by influencing in his favor the promotional pattern in theultural Revolution leadership hierarchy. Nearly all the military men on the present politburo, for example, have had their careers advancedsince Lin took over as Minister of National Defense The fact that more officers from the 4th Field Army, which was commanded by Lin from its inceptionave been placed in keyposts than officers who served in China's other former field army systems is probably another exampleeliberate effort by Lin to offerto men who might owe him some personal loyalty.
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On the other hand, other aspects of Lin's rolearticularly during the Cultural Revolution, raise serious questions about the extent and depth of support for him in important military and civilian circles. The major turninq point in Lin's career came9 when he was charged by Mao with improving morale and tightening up laxpractices in themove that inwas part of Mao's plan toejuvenated PIA under Hn as the major instrument for combatinr the views of both the professional military leaders and the party apparatus chiefs who were opposing hin.
Lin's efforts to put "politics in command" in the army, however, exacerbated strains between officers oriented toward political action and those more concerned with professional problems involved
in modernizing the PLA. These strains have continued, and polemics against officers who insist on putting professional considerations to the fore and onarmy building from building political power" have been an important element In the mountingsince last fall of the PLA's performance of ita civil administrative tasks. Lin himself is on record as stressing the importance of professional training and of learning to deal with the growing problems created by modern weapons, but mosthis remarks on the subject have concentrated onskills, such as hand-to-hand combat, and on small-unit assault techniques. These preoccupations in the past have been derided by officers who opposed continuing the "guerrilla mentality" in PLA training and who favored developing the aophisticatedused in large-scalu field operations andair-ground defense systems.
willingness to push Maoist dogmapoint alao casts doubt on his readinessto the less doctrinaire views of somepresent colleagues on the politburo. Fordifferences in tone and content of many ofgiven by Lin and Chow during thewith Lin often supporting revolutionary
excesses and Chou seeking to limit chaosritical disparity in the fundamen-tj^hllosophiesofbcth men. There i,vidence
BaaVmrnmrnmrnmeamV- Un attempted to play down the seriousness of the "crimes" of the "Mayorps hich suggests that he was not one of Chou's most etalwsrt defendersime when the premier and his colleagues were being seriously threatened by radical elements in the leadership. There were instances in the Cultural Revolution when the responsibilities and concerns of Un and Chou more nearly converged, but tbd possibility remains that differences between the two men over policy and personal priorities in the reconstruction period could have set them at odds.
67. During thein's support ofurge of numerous senior officers and hisadmonition that the PIA leaders considerthe "targets of revolution" (as well as its prime movers) raise questions about his ability to retain the loyalty of some of the PLA officers who are today's major power-holders. Leftist attacka on powerful Lin subordinates, Lin's demonstrated propensity for purges, and his own public statements that no one can be trusted" may all be morefactors in determining the future responsiveness of Lin's colleagues than their working relations with him before the Cultural Revolution. Little in the Cultural Revolutiont tin was ever ready to riak his career to savecolleague, and this knowledge may well have prompted some of his apparent proteges to seek new aou.cea of aupport.
68. Moreover, it seems poi-rible that the rise of important regionalas7 Wuhan IncWnt waa due as much to the fact that these people hcJ been leadingror local military power-holdara who at the time were demanding that disorders curbed and that Red Cuard attacks on the PLA be hal.^o, aa it was to their past ties to Lin Plao. In any chje, some presumed proteger of both Mao and Lin, such as Liu Shao-chl and Yang Cheng-wu, hava in the past either failed
their political mentors or shifted their allegiances in crises, which suggests that in China the career identification of one leader with another is not always an accurate measuring rod of the depth of what may outwardly appear toonolithic
69. inal problem that casts doubt on the surety of Lin's political position involves his so-called stewardship of the PLA and the reliability of the PLAMaoist" political Instrument. Mao and Lin had been industriously indoctrinatingmall scale, purgingLin assumed commandut in apite of all their efforts, the coheaion of the military establishment was severely strained when it was inserted into the Cultural Revolution. And since then the PLA has exhibited some of the same divisive left-rightthat ruptured the party and government,that Lin was never the complete master in his own house. Moreover, the problems of the civil government that devolved on the provincial military commanders tended to reinforce the PLA'a natural proclivity to espouse the administrative virtues of order and rationality and to opt for an early return toposition that Hn, with his Maoist predilections and loyalties, often said had led the military establishment to commit political errors.
70. Even though the army has emerged as the most potent power system in China and seems heavily staffed by men who might be termed Lin protegua, it la still beiag continuously criticized for Ideological andfailings. The criticisms probably emanate in part from tha remaining CRG leaders. But they say alao be associated with Lin since they includeof lapaea within the army on the acope of loyalty to Mao's thought, stress the need forideological revolution!ration, and urgepolitics inpanaceas that Lin has trumpeted repeatedly If there ere those in the army who are still "arrogant ands their critics charge, then it seems almost certain that Lin may continue to feel some elements in the
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PLA are now, or art potentially, disloyal to him. Thui, it appears that Lin Piao'a preatige andstrength derive aaMao's confidence in him asecure power bale in the military establishment.
71. Nevertheleaa, Lin's position as head of the military establishmentital one. while it is certainly true that politburo members, such aa Chen Hal-lien, Hsu Shih-yu, and particularly Huang Yung-aheng--all of whom have roota in tha regionalpowerful figures in their own right, they could hardly have risen to their present eminence without at least the acquiescence ofand of Mao. Lin's rslations to these and otherfigures who not only command troops but alsoajor voice in local governmentare likely to be crucial once Mao departs from the scene. For this reason ic behooves Lin toa working relationship with these men, whose political views are almostood deal more "conservative" and pragmatic than hisso much out of ideological conviction but out ofnecessity. Indeed, something of this sort may already have occurred. The criticisms of the PLA that have surfaced in the peat months were probably inapired not by Lin, but by the CRG ideologuese. rear-guard action against the steady eroaion of their power. Such attacks may help cement an alliance not only between the military satraps and Chou En-lal and the civilian bureaucrata, but also between the regional military figures and Lin. In any event there were enough cross-currents in the Cultural Revolution to suggest that Lin and theradicals did not always see eye to eye. But in forging any alliance with more conservative forces in the military, Lin must constantly look over hia shoulder at theultimate source of power. This in turn closely limits his freedom of action.
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Outlook for the Post-Mao Era
72. Prior to the Cultural Revolution, Itthat the comparative stability of theleadership and the unifying influence of Mao Tse-tung wouldrotracted power struggle until Mao's departure from the scene. Theof the Cultural Revolution proved, however, that for some time past Mao had not been undisputed leader of the party, that his own power interesta andpredilections couldisunifying factor, and that the struggle among his heirs was already under way. This struggle continues to be complicated by major questions concerning the limits of Mao's authority, the capabilities of hissuccessor, the persistence of deep-seated quarrels over the proper mix of pragmatic andprescriptions in policy-making, and the heating up of volatile personal rivalries within the politburo. The succession problem is furtherbecause the probabilities are high that death or ill health might soon strike down any or all of China's top three leaders. Mao ateems to be in good health, but how much longer he will be around is doubtful. Lin Piao,ong history of debilitating ailments and might not even last as long as Mao. Chou En-lai ateems full of vigor, but the magnitude of his official burdens may shorten the time he will be able to function with the prodigious energy for which he is renowned.
73. The recent draft state constitutionunderscored the difficulties facing the Chinese leadership in coping with the nation's short and longer term succession problems. Presumably because itroduct of compromise among the competing forces, the new draft in many respectseries of loosely worded general apparently almost deliberately designed to be subject to varying interpretations. By designating Mao and Lin as the nation's personal rulers and noting specifically that they are supreme commander and deputy commander, respectively of all the nation and all the army, the constitution attests
to Mao's determination to avert any possibleto him or to Lin from other powerful figures in the army, party or government apparatua. The fact he felt the nsed for these designations,seems to reflect considerable internal tensionealization that the succession could prove difficult. Finally, the highly personalizedof the constitution renderseak and irrelevant instrument for coping with China'sproblem should both Mao and Lin die or should Lin predecease Mao.
74. Because of all the uncertaintiesthe Chinese succession question, there can be no definitive assessment of how the present leader-ahip la going to cope with the problem. At thethe influence of the comparative moderates in the military administrator group on the politburo seems stronger than that of the radical Maoists. In assessing the political future of China's leadership, however, the problem is not simply to determine which leader is up or downiven moment but also to understand tha manner in which compromises are made between ideological and pragmatic considerations. Will the leadership, for example, continue tothe politically unpalatable but economically essential institution of private plota and material incentives? Will it recognize the limited appeal of abstract revolutionary theory in motivating humanand instead emphaeize nationalistic andgoala, both of which are better understood and generally supported by the people? These are the questions at the root of the conflict at the top in China today. At present, time seems to be on the side of those leaders who ara generally morewith political, social, and economicthan with the pursuit of pure revolution.
75. There will continue to be major unanswerable questions aa to how far Mao is willing to go inhis principles and as to whether he will attempt to reverse trends that he feels are contrary to his revolutionary vision. There seems little doubt,that those who succeed Mao will have to accommodate
to changing conditionsanner that substantially modifies his ideological precepts. China will atillarah and disciplined society, but itwill be run by men who, even while elevating Mao to the pantheon of China's heroes,choice ordiluting his thoughts.Original document.