Created: 9/20/1968

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Mao Tse-tung and His Associates; Uneasy Alliance

Special Report

8 SC


SPECIAL REPORTS are supplement to the CurrentWeeklies issued by the Office of Current Intelligence. The Special Reports arc published separately to permit more comprehensive treatmentubject. They are prepared by the Office of Current Intelligence, the Office of Economicthe Office of Slrategic Research, and the Directorate of Science and Technology. Special Reports are coordinated as appropriate among the Directorates of ClA but, except for the normal substantive exchange with other agencies at the working level, have not been coordinated outside CIA unless specifically indicated.

The SPECIAL REPORT contains^WfiTcd informationthe national dcfenscoL-HlTf"Unitcd Stales, within theof Title. of the US Code, asransmission or revelation of its contents to or re-an unauthorized person is prohibited by law.


THE SPECIALNOT BE RELEASED TO FOREIGN GOVEE^WlENTS and must be handled within the specific dissemination control provisions of


For IS months, the top of China's power structure-an inner circleirtually unchanging public face. This outwardhas persisted despite violent social upheaval, bloody factional fighting, several reversals of national policy, and the political destruction ofozen men in the second echelon of the leadership. The official voices of the regime have consciously portrayed the sevennified team. They have appeared on the same platforms, mouthed many of the same propaganda cliches, and have been careful in public to take consonant actions ever since

Appearances, nevertheless, are misleading. The current inner circle is not lhe loyal phalanx of Mao's lieutenants that was projected to the outside world in the regime's firstears. The members of today's power centerisparate group, not natural or congenial allies.

Given the severe internal strains that have developed in China, it docs not appear probable thai the top leadership will be able to maintain its facade ofew purge may bc near, and this time it might reach into the inner ciictc.



The present group of leaders developed during the purge ofeng Hsiao-ping, Peng Chen, and Tao Chu--which shook the previous politburo standing coacnittee to its foundations Besides Mao, the inner circle nowDefense Minister Lin Piao, the durable Premier Chouarty theoretician Chen Po-ta, secret police specialist Karig Sheng, economic planner LI Fu-chun, and Mao's wife, Chiang Ching.

Chou and Lin, the onlyof thetanding committee besides Hao, had for

years been part of Mao's inner councils, which had changed but little5 Li Fu-chun was promoted to the standing committee from the rank of full member of the politburo ath plenum Chen Po-ta and Kang Sheng had been onlypolitburo members before then. Chiang Ching was brought out of almost total obscurity torominent position at her husband's side.

It has frequently beento judge where each of these individual leaders has stood and to discover the degree to which each has concurred or dissented with regard to the main thrusts


Tbe fint int* torninner circle, wWS Vai not varied line Januaryhe neat ma anumed their preaent itatui after ihe Lutnid Wen wai added inhfiefficial! appear with (he inner circle at all important public functioni and preiumably alto carry considerable influence in the inner council).



of parry and Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) Vke Chairman, PBSC; Minuter of National Defenie; Fiat Vice Chairman. Military Affairi Coromiur* [MAC) Member. PBSC; Premier

Member. PBSC; Chairman, Cultural Resolution Group (CRG) Member. PBSC; Advbet. CRG Member; Vire Premier *


Fine Viet Oumii. CRG Vice Chair nun, CRG Member, CRC







MAC; Miniate, of Public Security; Chairman.jiio<iary Committee

Member. MAC; Chief of Staff

Member. MAC; Deputy Chief of Staff; Commander of Airthe CRG in the People'j Liberation Army; wife of LinMiniate* of Public

Deputy Chief of Staff; Commander. Peking garruon


the Cultural Revolution. It is apparent from an abundance ofevidence, however,undamental division exists at the ultimate center of power. This seven-headed team is, inolatile combination ofconflicting personal ambitions and difforing policycan be expected to disintegrace if the strains of the Cultural Revolution becomepowerful.

Although the officialmedia have been fairly opaque regarding divergentamong the protagonists, the loss-restrained Red Guard press has reprinted speeches and pronouncements that tenderontiate the individuals and their basic orientations. In somo cases, animosities have shown through.

Much more revealing of the antagonisms at the center,have been the key policy Shifts and the related fortunes of different sets of individuals in the second echelon of the Although not in the same profusion as during6 purges, the Cultural Revolution has continued to spew lesserinto political oblivion. These new victims have been closely identified with one or another faction in the hierarchy, and their respective fortunes have reflected the inner tensions andeasure of the shifting political influence of these.

The ups and downs of theforces ln the Culturalover tho lastonths throw some light on the semicon-cealed struggle! at tho center. Although most of the action on stage necessarily revolves around secondary figures, it tends to show what the principals were up to behind the scenes.

To Western observers, there have been four clearly demarcated phases in the Cultural Revolution since the Red Guard convulsions6 dismantled the party he radical attack on the bureaucratic establishment in the government and arny, March to the moderate ascendancy,o the radical resurgence, March to and the turn to the right,8 to the present. Each of these was ushered inhift in the propaganda line, and each but the most recent involved political attacksarticular group of secondary officials.

The Radical

During the first of these periods, the radicals in the leadershipajoragainst officials inprimarily in government and the military, who wereor stalling theof the Cultural Revolution outasic interest instability, the status quo, and their own political survival. Ultimately, this radical campaign aborted, but only after it had caused enormous damago to the country's economic, social, and political fabric, and had caused



i hacrmiti Mao Tse-turtg ii Ihe aging, ailing god-figure of Chinese Communism whose retreat into sophomoric Marxism and paranoid suspicion is the key to China's nihilist drama-ihe Cultural Revolution. Tha ostensible source ol most if not all of lhe vaguely stated policies which have spurred the turbulent movements of the last two years-both leftward and riohtwafd-Mao has clearly been the dominant figure in the Chinese Communist movement for three decades. Now halfway throughh year, Maoistory of cardiovascular disease and It in doubtful health. He has notentence in public for years, but brief, delphlc "Instructions" art issued periodically In his name which are often used to their own advantage by opposing political forces. Alone of all important leaders, Mao, despite his declining abilities, has retained his charisma and has remained immune from direct public criticism throughout the Cultural Revolution.

Vice Chairman Lin Piao. who has led China's army sinceas catapulted into Ihe role of crown prince io Mao when the previous heir-designate Liu Shao-chi was toppled in disgraceropelled to the seat of authority by his command of the major instrument of political power in China, Lin may have lost lhe allegiance of many old-line military commanders by espousing the disruptive extremes of Mao's Cultural Revolution. The political disgrace in8 of his protege-acting chief of staff Yang-cannot fail to have tarnished his own image, and there were some tentative indications during thi summer that his position might be weakening.

Premier Chou En-lai has been the chief proponent of social order, stability, national security,roductive economy, striving desperately at times to holdarge enough coalition of vested pressure groups to challenge or modify the more extreme drives ol the Cultural Revolution. This role has come naturally for iha man who has been responsible for so many years for administering China's vast governmental bureaucracy. Chou's Instinet for self-preservation and poliiical compromise, however, has kepi him silent ai critical points during Ihe Cultural Revolution.




King Sheng, the linlner, xenophobic former chiel ol thi ncrtt police, hat been "edviw" to the Cultural Revolution group from its inception. Thi title end nil ntremt public and private statements paint Kang ai on* o( the prime movtn behind the otstnatwe radical impulm a| the Cultural Revolution

The shadowy Chen Poia. longtime ghostwriter, propagandist, and ideologue loi Mao, frn been chief ol the Cultural Revolution Group since ill lormition In the latleriving hit political nature toWy *'em close esocialion with Mao, Chen hatrtn found on the radical side ol ictrcrniei at the eenter.


The sixth member ol the Politburo Standing Committee, Li Fu-chun. hat playedimited role in the Cultural Revolution, he hat appeared to bt mainly symbolic ol the buri*:ra:ic adminutratoa whoseeen given vow by.

Lestot lean, Mao'l wile Chiang China, thoughormal member ol tha Politburo Standing Committee (and nottr-tral committee mtmbetj, hu exercised the intbenci ol that rarkeader ol the CRG and the most vecal spokesmen (or the miliuits.


to doubt the reliability of the amy.

The overt evidence of this campaign is found largely in the posters and demonstrations of militant Red Guards, whourned their ire on two groups of leaders, mostly at the secondary level, bothwith the moderate and of the spectrum. One of these groups consisted of the minister of petroleum and five vice premiers more or loss consistentlywith the pragmatic policies championed by Chou En-lai: Li Fu-chun, Foreign Minister Chen ri. Finance Minister LI Hs; nien, agricultural specialist Tan Chen-lin, and nationalchief Hsieh Fu-chih. Tha second group was primarily Hsu Hsiang-chien and Yenold army heroes and members of the Militarythe head of the state's scientific andprogram, Nieh Jung-chen, who alsoember of theAffairs Cccctitteeice premier. Fragmentary evidence from Rod Guard defectors suggests that these attacks wereand at least partially supervised by the radical loaders in the innerChing, Kang Shong, and Chen Po-ta.

Chou responded totrong public defense of the men involved, probably risking his ownstanding to some degree in the process. esult, Li Fu-chun and Hsieh Fu-chih escaped from tho ordeal unscathed, and attacks on the others abatod.-In May, they began again, those

against Foreign Minister Chen Yi and agricultural specialist Tan Chen-lin becoming particularly This thrust by the Red Guards ended abruptly early Chou was apparently nottrong enough position in the spring and early summer to be as forthright in their defense, and the Red Guards' targetsbecame less active inappearing mostly foroccasions. Some wereor suspended from their posts. Tan Chen-lin fell induring the summer. This appeared toajor blow to Chou, who was clearly on theat this time.

Propaganda of last fall and winter blamed the attacks of7 against government and army officials oh "ultraleftist"Mayorps. these leftists, led by members of the powerful Cultural Revolution Group, were accused ofong-range plan to strike at Premier chou's subordinates and allies and, ultimately, to bring down Chou himself.

Later on, at the time of the disgrace of acting chief of staff Yang Cheng-wu inropagandists in league with the Cultural Revolution Groupthe period of7 as the "third wave" of the Cultural Revolution. TheyTanonly target of the period they were able to bringthebehind the so-calledadverse current of reversing currentattempt to get earlier purge victims reinstated. Tan,

ho-cvcr. was the politburo's only total casualty from the period, and the leftist treatment of his political demise suggests that the radicals considered thecampaigna major piece ofbusiness.

The Turn to Moderation,

Tha most distinct switch in regime policies and in theof secondary officials of

the Cultural Revolution occurred during the moderate ascendancy last fall. Directives against revolutionary violence and in support of orderly economichad been publicly promoted for many months to no avail by Chou En-lai and members of his entourage such as national police chief Hsiehsuddenly reiterated and enforced. But most striking of all, three young second-line leaders of the Cultural Revolution


In ipccchu onndin Piao. Chen Po-ta. and others defined (heof (he Cultural Revolution aad their key par geemed below These "wavei"(lie pbwci identified by USut ibe lotthai Chin tie spokesmenpolitical nature of these phuci La terms not scatty differentur* (Information in . V





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Kuan Fang, and Mudisgraced in early September. All were certified radicals, and all were closely associated with Chen Po-ta, Kang Sheng, and Chiang Ching.

Charges against theuntl-Chou group of extreme leftists, the Mayorps, bo-came increasingly detailed and explicit over the next six months, naming all three as kingpins in the attempt to eradicate Chou's government bureaucrats anddarklyore important protector lurked untouchedin the hierarchy. ourth Cultural Revolution Croup member, Chi Pen-yu, was purged in January, he was immediately charged with the same crimes.

At this time, when thefaction was suffering its first important casualties of the Cultural Revolution, thotargets of the preceding half-year were gradually being reinstated. This processin the apparently fullof Foreign Minister Chen Yi in7 and the elevation of the relativelyPetroleum Minister Yu Chiu-li to the second rank of leaders in public appearances-no doubtymbol of the changed balance of forces among the top leaders of the regime.

The removal of the four young radicals has since beantermed the "fourth wave' in the Cultural Revolution. This period appears to have been one when the radical members of the inner circle were under someand Chou En-lai, his subordinates, and allied military leaders were in tho ascendancy. Like other periods of retreat, this one was given Mao's full official endorsement, and was said to be part of his "great strategic plan" for rebuilding the party. This retreat washowever, indicating that Mao viewed it with suspicion.

Radical Resurgence, March

The "fifth wave" wasby behind-the-scenes struggles in Peking at somendarch, when it was announced that acting Chief of Staff Yang Cheng-wu, the air force political commissar, and the Peking garrison commander had been removed. Subsequent Red Guard documents have recounted intormy meeting during the nightarch at which Lin Piao, Chiang Ching, Chen Po-ta, and Kang Sheng in particular charged that the three had attempted to arrest unnamed personnel of the Cultural Revolution Croup, toair force commander Wu Fa-hsien and Peking municipalCommittee chairman Hsieh Fu-chih, and to engineer theof several key military region commanders. Theywere frustrated mainly by the personal intervention of Chiang Ching. Leaders at the meeting lauded her action interms.

Although tho ouster of Yang and associates must have been one of the major turning points in the Cultural Revolution, at

which the fortune! of the main playersharpmuch is acknowledged by radical

ia unclear who the culprits were working for and

against. All were Lin Piaobut Lin was seemingly unhurt by their sudden fall from grace. Immediately after their political demise, however, members of Chou's Stateagain came under brief poster attack and remainod out of sight for several weeks.

Nevertheless, the two men brought in to replace the fallen military leaders, Huang Yung-sheng and Wen Yu-cheng, have even better credentials as "conservatives" than their predecessors. Chou En-lai had backed Huang, then commander of the Canton Military Region, where Hen was his subordinate, against chargesyRed Guards there that he was guilty of suppressing them.

It would appear, therefore, that while thoudden lurch to the left again in March, thesituationtalematethe two main leadership factions. Propaganda became notably moro leftist andand Red Guard violence in the provinces picked up once again. Some of the lines of moderate policy were blocked, while others were sidetracked. At the same time, however,attacks on moderatefor those on Nieh Jung-chen, the head of the state's scientific and technicaluickly died out without follow-through, and such moderate drives as the formation of provincial

revolutionary committees headed by old-line military and party figures moved aheadood pace through the end of May.

At this time, the Cultural Revolution reached still another critical juncture. In May and June, fierce factional fighting grew rapidly, especially in Fu-kion, Kwangsi, Yunnan, Tibet, and Sinkiang where new-stylehad yet to be formed. The organization of provincialcommittees in these areas was stalled. eriod of several weeks, military shipments to Vietnam through Kwangsi were disrupted by violence, which reached levels of destruction in someFukien--as bad as the worst Red Guard chaos of the summer

The Turn _tp_ the Right,o Present

In June, Chou En-laitried to intervene in the Kwangsi situation to end the fighting, but his efforts were In July, however,began issuing directives in the name of Mao Tse-tung to curb Red Guards, open the rail routes again, and authorize firm military control, not just in Kwangsi but in all provinces. These directives finally took hold.

By August, the army stopped the fighting in most areas. For the first time sincet was empowered to suppress unruly Red Guards. During July and August it arrested largeof radical Red Guard leaders, executed some, occupied their


and deputized rival conservative Red Guards to help bring order. The Red Guard rank and file were terrorized, and in several provinces Red Cuardwere forcibly Obviously, these actions severely damaged the interests of the radical leadership faction in Peking.

Moreover, progress toward reconstituting the political order has resumed. Presumably, with the strong backing offorces in Peking, Yunnan founded its provincial Revolutionary Committee onugust, and Fukien and Kwangsl followed suit within weeks. The final revolutionaryin Tibet andformed in the first week of

In major ideological "workers" wereto take the lead in "everything." In Communist"working class"uphemism for whoever is exer-citiing authority, and in this case meant the "conservative" provincial leadership that had fitfully been formed in7

vidently with the backing of the more moderateof the central leadership. Apparently, these pronouncements thus tolled the doath knell for the Red Guard movement, anpower base for leaders of the Cultural Revolution Group in Peking. Another conservativefigure, the new deputy chief of staff and Peking garrisonHen Yu-cheng, beganwith the elite listnugust.

In the face of thisswing back to law andthe inner circle continued to appear together as if nothing had changed. After two years of the turmoil, however, there can be little doubt that thisunityerocious fight for dominance. Strains of that fight have nearly split the inner circle asunder at least twice in the past year, and many koy lieutenants of both factions have fallen in the fray. There can be no security at theof power in China today, save perhaps for Mao himself, ow, ruthless purge would seem tc be near and this time it night reach^into the inner circle.

Original document.

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