TOP MILITARY MEN IN COMMUNIST CHINA

Created: 12/11/1964

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MEN IN COMMUNIST CHINA

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TOE TOP MILITARY KEN IN COMMUNIST CHINA

Peiplng has completely revamped Its Militaryduring tne past five years, replacing advocates of professionalism with party stalwarts blindly loyal to Mao Tse-tung. Thebutvltb tbe dismissal9 of Htnlster ofenee Marshal Psng Te-hual. Although the reasons for Peng's downfall are not fully known, evidence thatavailable as thedispute worsened leaves little doubt that he was removed mainly forKao'a decision to challenge ihe Soviets. Iong undoubtedly argued In favor of making politicalto ensure the continuation of Soviet allitary aid, which was vital to the Chinese program of rapidmodernization.

The three top military men today were all appointed after Peng's dismissal. They are Marshal Hn piao,of national defense, who apparently is one of the few senior military men fully trusted by Mao; Senior General Loormer security officer whochief of staff; and Colonel General Hsiao Hua, head of the General Political Department, tbe central committee department responsible for ensuringcontrol over the army.

Tbe military qualifications of the upper echelon of military officers are not Impressive. They areparty watchdogs, and few played an Important role In the Korean war, Communist China's single major experience with modern warfare. They are getting old, and Lin Piaohronic invalid, but, even so, therearked reluctance to promote younger men Into the top rank.

urge

Tbe Chinese Communists have never officially admittedurge took place. In fact, bow-ever, Peiplng was very seriously concerned over allitary attempts to challenge party leadershiphis concern was clearly reflected tn secret military docu-meats capturedhichthat Peng Te-hual and his

cblef of staff, Huang Ko-cheng, had been formally charged with

having led an *'antipsrty"

It is not clear whet her Peng ever seriously worked to overthrow Mao, as some of the documents seemed to Imply, or whether he merely went too far

in his efforts to persuade Mao to moderate his policies,those jeopardizingmilitary commitments to China. The Chinese Communists revealed3 that8 bad sought tocontrol over military equipment being supplied to China Peng Te-huai undoubtedly urged Maoke at least temporary concessions on this issue, but the Soviet cancellation of aweapons aid agreement Inlso revealedndicates that Peng was unsuccessful. The fact that Peng was right in predicting that continued Chinese adanancy would lead to major Soviet sanctions did not save him. Reportedly he was denounced for "antlpartyat closed sessionsentral committee plenuminnde was officially dismissed as minister of national defense.

Many other senior military officers' were dismissed orat about the same time, and lt is assumed that most were either implicated with Peng or at leajst suspected of sharing his misgivings over Maoist policies. Besides Peng's co-conspirator Huang Ko-cheng, they included the array's top political officer, Tan Cheng, as well as two vice ministers of national defense, tbe political officer in the air force, and the head of the Rear Services Department.

Peiping has tried hard to maintain the official fiction that no breakdown In rapporttbe military and the party occurred. It has never announcec the dismissal of Tan Cheng, which is known only from the captured secret documents. Peng Te-huai himself officiallyhis polltburo standing. Neither Tan Cheng nor Huang Ko-cheng was officially dropped from the party secretariatthe tenth central committee plenum innd, like Peng, both retain their membership on the central

Not surprisingly,for the purged men have been selected on tbe basis of political, rather than military, criteria. Probably the chief requirements are that they be personally acceptable to Kao and share bis convictions about the correctness of "go it alone" policies and the need for strong party domination over tho Inew team, the party leadership avoided men who had close associations with Peng Te-huai. Thisagainst men who had served in the Korean war, when Peng commanded tbe Chinese forces. The appointment of theLin Piao to replace Pengthat poor health was no bar. This was also shown by the appointment of Marshal Lo Jung-hasormer head of thePolitical department who.

despite his long record ofwas brought out ofto replace Tan Cheng. Lo died

Tha New Team

Marshal Lin Piao, theof national defense, is much closer to Mao than Peng Xe-oual over vas. Linighly respected military officer, whose chief role apparently is to lend the prestige of his name to the effort to strengthen Uao'sand authority la tho armed forces. His writings on such subjects as the importance ofsoldiers overare said to be 'creativeof Uao's ownand are used forpurposes.

lic life since world war II, be-becausehronic tubercular condition. Reportedly he has spent years Ineriod for treatment In tbe USSK shortlyis health may have improved somewhat Early9 his public appearances became more frequent, and tbe party leadership apparently felt he was well enough to replace Pent-later that year. Since then, however, he hasurmese general who interviewed him In0 reported that be did not look at all well. Lin admitted then that he could workhort time daily. This Is the last time Lin was seen at close handon-Communist observer. He has appeared in public only twice sincebrief ceremonial appearances at funerals of fellow marshals.

himself has not boon able toully active pub-

The high party and military posts Lin holds nevertheless giveeasure of power. He is on the Politburo Standingthe party's topbody. He is ranking vice chairman of the Military Affairs CommitteepecialCommittee department which formulates military policy,only to the approval of the Politburo Standing Committee. Membership on the MAC is limited to Lin I'lao, five other marshals, and possibly Mao, who may be chairman. This arrangementthe top leadership to make military decisions In the name of the Central Committeehaving to consult anybelow the Standing

Senior General Lo Jul-Chlog, despite his subordloste probably exercises greater military influence than Lin Piao. Althoughell-known figure, the tough and vigorous Lo is in some respects tbe most powerful military man tn Communist China today. As secretary general of the Military Affairs Committee heajor role inmilitary policy and in deciding appointments and With typical secrecy Peiplng has never publicised Lo'a MAC connection, which is known only from the secret documents captured Lo is also on the party secretariat, to which he was appointed

In addition to bisas the chief of staff, Lo Jui-ehlng functions as de facto commander of the armed forces. For example, it is Lo rather than the ailing Lin Piao who presides over Important military meetings, reviews troops, and lasuos major military statements.

raduate of China's foremost military academy at Whampoa, Lo apparently never commanded troops, but spent his entire career9 laand security work. Be was Peiplng's first sinister of public security, boldlng tbat post while concurrentlythe Public Security Forces9

Lo Jul-chlng, vlth his con-ilderable power In the security

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LO JUI-CHING.

apparatus as well as the armed

forces, probably wouldrucial role in any struggle for the succession. Among thecontenders, hisallegiance appears to lie with tbe militant Liu Shao-chi and Teng Hslao-plng rather than with the more moderate Chou En-lal. Bis association with Teng seems partlcuarly close. In the, as minister of public security, Lo probably worked under tbe generalof Teng, who was then deeply involved in matters of security and party purity. be may have been Teng'shoice for chief of staff.

Colonel General tlslao Hua was named in4 to the key post of director of the General Political Department (GPD), the organisation

t res

for naintalning party primacy In the armed forces. The GPDowerfuland Indoctrinationunder which politicalor commissars are assigned to all military units down to the company level. Hsiao Hua has been the leading spokesman of tbe GPD0 andits acting head when Lo Jung-huan died last December. Hsiao is also deputy secretary of the MAC, under Lo Jul-chlng. or at least he wasto secret military

ears old, Hsiao is ahis health holds out. He has been unexplalnably out of public viewissing severalmilitary functionsa GPD mooting in November presided over by Mao himself, at which Hsiao's presence would seem to have been mandatory. An unusual announcement inconfirming that Hsiao headed theb he has performed for some time, perhaps was made to forestall questions, raised by his prolonged absence, about his standing.

Prospects for Party-UUItary Frictions

There is oo current evidence of open resistance to partyin the armed forces. The

last suggestion ofeported purge2 of air force officers who were disgruntled over theobsolescence of their Earlyowever, Peiplng officially commended the air force for havingroblem ofign of party satisfaction that dissension in this branch of service had been at least temporarily stamped out.

Although any presentis silent, Peiplngsuspects that some high military officers still have about present Articles published last spring indicated that thePolitical Department was carryingeavy program of political study for officers

t ihe regimental level sod above, "to strengthen theirtf of tha ideology Of Mso Tss-tuog." They were told to study not only Marxistand the works of Mao, but also the "foolish" statements of "aiodtrnajor aim is to convince senior officers of the absolute correctness of Mao's position in the Slno-Sovlet

According to Peiping,attention ls being given to tbe political activities of officers above th* division level. These officers, mostly generals, now are required to give periodic political lectures, "to improve their workingPresumably, they are expected to use these lectures asfor reaffirming theirto Mao and tb* party line.

Military resistance to party domination probably is not serious now. Most military officers with Independent views hav* been removed or intimidated in thenddrives of the past fiveoreover, China's first nuclear test and Viet Congmight sees to vindicate two major Maoist"self-reliance" and the stress on guerrilla warfare techniquesto by "professional*.

Nevertheless, ther* Is Ions-standing discontent over party domination, especially among younger officers, and this ls expected to grow over time. Prospects for promotion are poor. The party distrusts younger men who were not staeled ln the civil war, andesult hason waiving retirementfor general officers. Party interference, excessive indoctrination, the one-aided stress on Uao's militaryand consequent downplay, ing of modern military concepts probably are disliked andby many officers. There are undoubtedly some who question the party's strategy ofboth tbe US and the USSRosition of suchweakness. The growth of resentment over such issues will be difficult to prevent, because the control methods the party relies onpartyend stepped-up thensolves major causes of resentment. (BiTllfcT

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