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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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Beijing Intervenes

Beijing Intervenes

(p.81) 5 Beijing Intervenes
A Decade of Upheaval

Dong Guoqiang

Andrew G. Walder

Princeton University Press

This chapter assesses how, by the late spring of 1968, the Xuhai region stood out as particularly problematic. Uncontrolled factional warfare continued despite redoubled efforts by the Xuzhou military authorities to reconcile the warring parties. Eventually, the Xuhai problem came to the attention of central authorities, who were engaged in a concerted effort to re-establish some form of stable political order by the end of the year. They would directly intervene in the region in late May of 1968, ordering all of the principals involved to attend a Xuhai Study Class (Xuhai xuexi ban) in Beijing. The top faction leaders and military officers from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and People's Armed Department (PAD) in Xuzhou, Lianyungang, and the eight counties in Xuzhou Prefecture were summoned to the capital. However, the Beijing authorities proved especially uninterested in delving into the complicated cross-accusations of the two sides in an insignificant place like Feng County. The strategies of the two sides suggested from the outset that the Xuhai Study Class would be unlikely to resolve anything and might even have the adverse effect of stimulating a new round of factional violence. This is in fact what happened, remarkably, after a year of fruitless negotiations in the nation's capital.

Keywords:   Xuhai region, factional warfare, political order, Xuhai Study Class, Beijing, People's Liberation Army, People's Armed Department, Feng County, factional violence, Xuzhou Prefecture

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