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A Decade of UpheavalThe Cultural Revolution in Rural China$
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Andrew G. Walder and Dong Guoqiang

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780691213217

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691213217.001.0001

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Enter the Army

Enter the Army

(p.41) 3 Enter the Army
A Decade of Upheaval

Dong Guoqiang

Andrew G. Walder

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how, when the People's Armed Department (PAD) took control of Feng County, factional rivalries in the county were still ill defined, and rebels competed to be the loudest and most militant in denouncing the party secretary and other top county leaders. After the PAD deposed the county's civilian leaders, local rebels began to align themselves for and against the PAD, sharpening the tensions between Paolian and the PAD. The intervention of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops dispatched from Xuzhou sharpened and broadened the emerging factional divisions, making them even more difficult to resolve. The PLA's growing support for Paolian and formation of a “great alliance committee” brought two rebel groups of junior county cadres into an alliance while excluding the vociferously anti-Paolian cadre rebels. This drove a wedge between the two groups of county-level cadres, one that deepened when Paolian later merged with supportive cadre rebels in a large new rebel alliance under PLA protection. Senior county officials also split, with most of them forming an affiliation with either Paolian or Liansi. Whatever the personal motives for their choice of factions, it clearly had the effect of offering protection from attacks by the other mass factions. Cadres in rural communes, however, almost uniformly stood on the side of Liansi.

Keywords:   People's Armed Department, Feng County, factional divisions, Paolian, People's Liberation Army, military intervention, rebel groups, county-level cadres, rebel alliance, Liansi

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