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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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The Final Struggle

The Final Struggle

(p.156) 8 The Final Struggle
A Decade of Upheaval

Dong Guoqiang

Andrew G. Walder

Princeton University Press

This chapter illustrates how the local standoff was broken in the last three months of 1974. At a central party work conference in mid-October, Wang Hongwen and Zhang Chunqiao, ranking central leaders associated with the radical group that had supported Mao Zedong in launching the Cultural Revolution, harshly criticized the crackdown against May 16 elements in Jiangsu Province. This was part of their drive to push military officers out of revolutionary committees in the wake of Lin Biao's purge. It was also due to their perception that the crackdowns were part of a military effort to persecute genuine rebel groups who had spearheaded the mass movements that they had sponsored back in 1967. The veteran cadres who now headed Jiangsu immediately relayed these instructions to party committees across the province, because it helped them push out lingering army control over civilian administration. In December of 1974, Shao Wen was transferred far away from Feng County. However, the new county leaders seemed indifferent to Paolian's grievances against Liansi. This is the primary reason why, after these leaders were later attacked by Liansi at the end of 1975 and early 1976, Paolian did not actively defend them. The chapter then looks at the death of Mao and considers the final major campaign to rid leading bodies across China of individuals who had risen into positions as a result of their earlier factional activity.

Keywords:   Mao Zedong, Cultural Revolution, Jiangsu Province, rebel groups, army control, Shao Wen, Feng County, Paolian, Liansi, China

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