Starting today Signalfire will begin to feature a chronologically organized series of US diplomatic reports (extracted from material archived by Wikileaks) on various aspects of the political struggle over the legacy of the Cultural Revolution between the end of 1973 and the beginning of 1977.-Editor
Summary. Heilungkiang Has Matched Shanghai’s Activism On The Militia Question. This Development Is Possibly Related To Last June’s Reappearance Of Province Leader Wang Chia-Tao, Once Associated With “Ultra-Leftism.” End Summary.
1.In Heilungkiang’s Capital City Of Harbin, “Several Thousand” Militiamen Are Now “Patrolling The Streets” To Maintain Local Order (November 14 Broadcast). The Militia Is Composed Of Workers Armed With “Rifles And Guns.” Harbin’s Actions Are Modeled On The “new Experiences Accumulated By Shanghai And Peking,” Where Workers Are Similarly Armed And Performing Internal Security Functions(Ref A). There Are No Indications That These Three Cities Are Suffering From Disorder, Instead, The Workers’ Militia Seems Designed To Substitute For The PLA In Internal Security.
2. Harbin’s Broadcast Report Vaults That City Into A Position Alongside Militant Shanghai, Which Has Been Out Front In The Militia Controversy (ref B). Like Shanghai, Harbin Has Apparently Placed Its “Municipal Militia General Command” Directly Under The Party Committee, And Separate From The PLA’s Garrison Command. Harbin Even Seems To Go Beyond Shanghai When It Identifies The Workers’ Militia As One Of The “new Things”– The Sacred Cultural Revolution Fruits. Also, A November 8 Heilungkiang Broadcast Said Harbin’s Workers Are Now Working Out With “Artillery.”
3.Heilungkiang’s Present Militancy Harks Back To Cultural Revolution Days, When The Province–The First To Form A Revolutionary Committee–Was Characterized By Its Leftism. Its Revolutionary Committee Chairman, Pan Fu-Shung, Fell In 1971, Denounced For Having Supported The “ultra-leftist” (and The Anti- Chou) “516 Group” (oir 2723/027/72). Pan’s Deputy, Wang Chia-Tao, Was Out Of Sight Throughout 1972, As The Attack On “Ultra- Leftism” Peddled By Lin Piao’s “Agents In Heilungkiang” Continued To Be Hammered Home In Local Broadcasts.
4.In November 1972, Harbin Became One Of The Last Cities To Form Its Municipal Party Committee, A Sign That Order Was Returning To A Province That Had Long Been Marked By Turmoil. Then In A Further Step Back To Normality, Four Veteran Heilungkiang Cadre Dropped Early In The Cultural Revolution Were Named Provincial Party Secretaries This May.
5.A Month Later, However, Wang Chia-Tao Suddenly Reappeared In Heilungkiang. He Was Accompanied By A New CCP Secretary, Yu Hung-Liang, Who Has Subsequently Been Identified As A Worker And A Trade Union Figure. When Wang And Yu Were Named To The Tenth Central Committee, While None Of The Four Rehabilitated Secretaries Were, Heilungkiang’s Reformed Image Came Under Question. Now The Province Is Once Again Following Militant Shanghai’s Lead. It Seems Possible That Wang Is Still A Leftist, And His Return To Heilungkiang Last June Related To Increased Leftist Assertiveness In Peking.