Communist China: Present. But Noi AII Accounted For
long-absent politburo membe'S-Kang Sheng and Hsiehresurfaced last week during Romanian party chiel Ceausescu's visit to Peking. Their absence almost certainly was due to political troubles, but it is not yet clear that either man has renamed his previous stature or that the jockeyingosition within China's uneasy ruling coalition has ended. Indeed, the press treatment accorded the brief reappearance of both men, who appear toopposite ends ot the political spectrum on the politburo. seemed an unusually contrivedby their supporters to demonstrate that neither side has permanently lost groundhe complex behind-the-scenes struggle in Pekinguitraieftists and putative moderate leaders. The actual power of both Kang and Hsieh has diminished considerably over the past year and it is possible that neither man has won full political rehabilitation. In any case, continued rumors that Chenlong-time secretary and China's fourth ranked politburobeen purged, the conspicuous absence last week of some other key figures associated with tfore conservative forces.
suggestumber of crosscurrents are roiling the waters in Peking.
Kang Sheng. who ranks fifth in the party hierarchy and whoeading figure on the extremist side during the Cultural Revolution, was presentajor reception for Ceausescuune attended by Mao Tse-tung and Lin Piao. Kang was listed- in his customary place among the regime's top leaders, indicating that he formally retains his position on the elite politburo standing committee. Nevertheless, he failed to participate in substantive talks with the Romanians and did not appear with his eolleagues at subsequent
Alsoune, but well after the report that Kang had reappeared, the Chinese pressa remarkable article featuring the call made later that day on Ihe Romanian delegation by Hsieh Fu-chih. his first recorded publicinear. The article accorded Hsieh all his usual titles, except that of public security minister, and by simply noting that othersuch as Chou En-lai and Madame Mao were also "present on the occasion" gave what amounted to extraordinary billing for Hsieh.Hsieh's visit had the appearance of having been hastily contrived and Kang's re-emergence was clearly ceremonial in nature, the wholehad the effect of projecting both men asof opposing forces within the elite rather than as powerful figures in their own right. Oespite his impressive list of party andpositions, for example. Hsieh does not appear to be actually performing any of his varied duties at present.
road sense, much of the maneuvering within the politburo since it was formed two years ago has stemmed from the efforts of ultra-leftist ideologues long close to Mao to strengthen their political positions in the face ofmoderate pressures. In recent months theseesaw in Peking has appeared to tip in favor of the moderates,oncerted effort appears to have been made to thrust one ultraleft-ist leader. Chen Po-ta. to the political sidelines. Similar efforts have been made since last fall to circumscribe the authority of his colleague Kang Sheng. but he now appears to have gained some sort of reprieve which may be intended by Mao himself to demonstrate that the political seesaw has been tipping too far and that the voices of the left in regime councils are not to be completely silenced.
In any event. Peking's failure to account for Kang's temporary eclipse ana its curious handling o' the Question o' Hsieh Fu-chih's political status attest to the fluidity within the presentIndeed, whether or not the balance of forces
is still shifting rightward orm in uneasy equilibrium may net be apparent until theagain turns out curing the celebration of Ihe Chinese Communist party's fiftieth anniversary next month.!"
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