This message uses a October 31st People’s Daily editorial to discuss the continuing antagonism between the military officer corps and the CRSG (Cultural Revolution Small Group) left after the fall of Lin Bao. An antagonism which began with the opposition of the PLA to power seizures and the Paris Commune model in the first months of 1967 and continued with the PLA purges of leftist mass organizations from the Revolutionary Committees in the late 60s. This formed the context for the push by the surviving leftists in national leadership (the so called “Gang of Four”) to build up worker’s militias as a form of anti-revisionist mass militarization against the reactionary “people’s war” national defense concept of the PLA.-Editor
Summary. A Recent People’s Daily Article May Be Signaling New Leftist Encouragement For Moves To Subordinate Further China’s Military Region Commanders To Central Authority. Two Of The Commanders Are Politburo Members. End Summary.
1. There Are Continued Signs That A Center Push Against Regionalism Is Figuring In Current PRC Political Controversy (REFTEL). An October 31 People’s Daily Article Seems To Refer Hopefully To A Time When “Officials At All Levels” Are Forced To “Implement The Directives Of The Central Leadership.” By Implication, Certain Regional Officials Are Falling Short Of That Ideal Today.
2. The Criticism Comes In One Of A Series Of Articles On Emperor Chin Shih, The Ruthless Unifier Of China Often Likened To Mao (REFTEL). In This Latest, The Author Writes Of The Relationship Between “Chin,” Described In Mao-Like Terms As “Despising The Past,” And “Lu Pu-Wei,” Who–As Did Lin Piao– Praised “Wise Men In Order To Realize His Ambition Of Usurping Supreme Authority.”
3. The Article Portrays Lu As Using The Position Given Him By Chin Shih To Make “Every Effort To Restore The System Of Dividing Authority.” Assuming Lu Is Really An Allegory For Lin Piao, The Passage Seems A Reference To Lin’s Role In The Cultural Revolution, When Great Power Passed From The Center Into The Hands Of Regional Military Figures.
4. But “Through Vigorous Struggle,” The Article Continues, Chin Shih “Completely Crushed The Lu Pu-Wei Clique.” These Words Echo The Party’s Recent Smashing Of “The Lin Piao Clique” And Unmistakably Refer To The Present. In An Apparent Mao Prescription For The Future, The Story Concludes With Chin Shih Making “Political Preparations” For “A United Country” Where Regional Officials “Had To Implement” His “Directives.”
5. The Article, In Its Broadest Perspective, Seems Part Of The Present Leftist Polemical Campaign. Regional Military Figures Are Probably Resisting The Campaign In Some Areas. Regional Military Foot-Dragging On Mao’s Call For Militia-Building Recently Occasioned A Peking Radio Outburst Against The Continuing “Pernicious” Influence Of Lin (WR 45). And Earlier, Proponents Of The Rusticated Youth Program Had To Enlist Chou’s Influence To Get A Previously-Ignored Mao Directive On The Subject Enforced In The Provinces.
6. Such Developments Suggest Real Limits To The Influence That Leftists Presently Enjoy Outside Peking, And Thus A Reason For Their Moving Against The Regional Military Figures. Wang Hung- Wen’s Tenth Congress Attack On “Mountain Stronghold Sectionalism” Had Earlier Hinted That The Left Might Enthusiastically Welcome The Regional Bosses Being Further Disciplined. However, Any Direct Leftist Attack On The Military Region Commanders’ Political Role Would Be Provocative, Even If It Were Solidly Backed By Moderate Civilians And Military Figures In Peking (And We Thus Far Have No Reason To Believe That It Is). Two Of The Regional Strongmen Are Full Politburo Members.