Nigel Harris


The Mandate of Heaven


Part II
The People’s Republic


4. The Great Leap Forward
and After

China’s economy is backward and China is materially weak. This is why we have been unable to take much initiative; we are spiritually restricted. We are not yet liberated in this sense. We must make a spurt [forward in production]. We may have more initiative in five years and more still in ten. After fifteen years, when our foodstuffs and iron and steel become plentiful, we shall take a much greater initiative. [24]


(i) The Great Leap Forward

The Great Leap Forward of 1958 was a spectacular attempt to break through the limitations of backwardness, to ward off the pressing demands of the mass of the population for some improvement in their living standards, and to accelerate vastly the growth of all sectors of industry. It was 1929-31 in the Soviet Union all over again; except in a much more backward country that could not tolerate the extremities of forced growth. Intensive agriculture and the albeit modest incentives of millions of peasant households provided no long-term basis for a “War Communist” supply system, with all subordinated to serving the State. As a result, whereas the Russian régime was able to persist in the acceleration, China was forced very rapidly to retreat.

Up to mid-1957, the régime was officially committed to a temporary relaxation in the final phase of the first five year plan, and to the commencement of the second, which would carry the country through to 1963. By September, however, there was a certain reorientation. The demands, that the supply of consumer goods be increased and living standards improved, continued. The 8th party Congress (1958) noted the “need to increase consumption, otherwise there would be a serious contradiction between the Party and the masses which would lead to unforgivable errors”. [25] But at the same time, Mao was preparing a complete reversal of any such trend. He dismissed the complaints of the rural party cadres with: “What kind of people were these cadres? They are well-to-do peasants, or formerly poor and lower middle peasants who had become well-to-do.” [26]

He attacked the politburo of the party itself for conservatism and lack of boldness, complaining that his orders were diluted and the committee just a voting machine; as a result, he was on strike: “For two years, I have not read your documents and I do not expect to read them this year either.” [27]

What alternative was Mao proposing? It is not clear that he had any coherent plan, only the belief that the campaigning spirit could break through bottlenecks and beat back the demands for increased consumption. Nor is it clear how he managed to sweep away the anxieties of the party leadership. Certainly, they must have agreed when he formulated the slogan, “Catch up and surpass Britain in the output of major industrial goods within fifteen years.” Shortly afterwards, he reckoned this slogan had itself become conservative- “It looks as if in three more years we can overtake and surpass Great Britain.” As the cadres strained their muscles – or rather, strained the population’s muscles – the ambitions soared: “With eleven million tons of steel next year, and seventeen million the year after, the world will be shaken. If we can reach forty million tons in five years, we may possibly catch up with Great Britain in seven years.” [28]

That was in May, but by December he was speaking of fifty to sixty million tons of steel by 1962. He later confessed that he had hoped for 100 to 120 million tons. [29] By the mid-1970s, China’s steel output had reached the very creditable level of some 25 million tons.

The party Congress in February 1958 was persuaded to demand a “Great Leap Forward”. The targets were all to be raised – steel by nineteen per cent, to 6.2 million tons; and in August, to 10.7 million tons (or double the 1957 level); electricity generation by eighteen per cent. The cadres were instructed to ensure that workers surpassed all previous records. The provincial party secretaries competed to outdo each other. Some promised to meet 1967’s targets in 1958. The 14.6 per cent target for overall industrial output ratified at the February Congress was in March raised to thirty-three per cent. By the end of 1958, some half million “small factories and workshops” had been set up in Hopei province. By October, 600,000 small blast furnaces, many in rural areas, were at work.

To achieve the expansion, all rules had to be scrapped. Management in urban industry was pushed into the background in order that cadres could press workers to “exceed all records”. The safety, rest and recreation of workers were inevitable casualties. Quality collapsed as output rose – the mines met their impossible targets by loading rubble.

The rural areas were mobilized in even more radical fashion. The logic of industrial expansion in backward rural areas (without central financial help), and the need for vast labour-intensive schemes (major irrigation, land reclamation and flood control works) already made the new co-operatives obsolete. The Honan provincial party drew the lesson in April, merging the co-operatives. Liaoning province announced in June that 9,200 co-operatives were being merged into 1,500 (each containing an average of 2,000 households). In July, Mao confessed that no one in the central leadership had foreseen this beginning of the commune movement. [30] By August, Honan claimed to be setting up “People’s Public Associations” or Communes, and by November 26,000 had been created, covering ninety-eight per cent of the farm population (each including thirty co-operatives, between forty and one hundred villages, and an average of 25,000 people).

The communes enabled the cadres to be effective over much larger areas than before. The party leadership understood this: “Why do we say that with the setting up of People’s Communes, the Party leadership will be strengthened?.., a large-scale, highly-centralized organization is naturally easier to lead than a small-scale, scattered organization.” [31]

It was possible to hunt out the hoarder, to end rural markets, to expropriate a bigger share of the equipment and animals still privately owned and to impose a much stricter rationing system. Monthly pay was reduced and controlled, and free services substituted in the form of foodstuffs, through communal canteens. Enormous labour-intensive schemes on the land were organized by the commune authorities. To run the new rural industries, men were taken off the fields – sixty millions to iron smelting and steel refining alone producing a labour shortage during the excellent harvest of 1958.

It was not enough that this vast effort to break out of backwardness should be made. An heroic ideology was required. Its flavour was captured by the party’s resolution at the end of 1958: “In 1958, a new social organization appeared, fresh as the morning sun above the broad horizon of East Asia. This was the large-scale people’s commune in the rural areas of our country which combines industry, agriculture, trade, education and military affairs ... the gradual transition from collective ownership to ownership by the whole people in agriculture, the way to the gradual transition from the socialist principle of ‘to each according to his work’ to the Communist principle of ‘to each according to his needs’, the way to the gradual diminution and final elimination of the differences between rural and urban areas, between worker and peasant and between mental and manual labour, and the way to the gradual diminution and final elimination of the domestic functions of the State.” [32]

According to the People’s Daily, China could make the transition to “property of the whole people” in three to six years, and the transition to communism a few years later. [33] Backwardness was just a bad dream. Free supply of rations instead of cash was not the introduction of a form of national military service in which the troops were fed directly, but the very goal itself, communism.



(ii) The retreat

The moment of heroism was brief. Backwardness proved a more obdurate master, no “paper tiger”. The party leadership were lulled by the harvest of 1958; Mao’s gamble had been favoured by wind and water. But by the end of the year it was clear something was wrong – a spectacular harvest coexisted with food shortages and queues in the cities. Who was to blame? The national leadership for setting such absurd targets and harrying the cadres to achieve them? No, the cadres must be blamed. The press began to criticize their arbitrary and ruthless behaviour – “commandism”. Even in the spring, Mao attacked the “very bad work style” of some cadres who used force rather than persuasion to achieve their targets, and proposed a “Big Character” poster campaign as a method of checking them. The party launched a rectification campaign, instructed the cadres not to overwork commune members, to allow them time to sleep and rest. Some restrictions were relaxed, and the right to private property reaffirmed (indicating that the cadres had been trying to meet targets by expropriations). Mao insisted: “If we ‘blow a communist wind’, and seize the property of the production brigades and work teams, helping ourselves to their fat pigs and big white cabbages, this is quite wrong.” [34] How else were the cadres to meet Mao’s targets? There was no magic method of conjuring plenty from poverty.

The targets began to be dropped. The local claims which had made up the national output total were now seen to have been designed to win praise rather than reflect performance. The figure for the 1958 harvest, originally put at 375 million tons of grain, was cut to 250 millions, and the 1959 target cut from 525 to 275 millions. [35] Severe shortages persisted however, and, in the south, there was a campaign to eke out the flour supply by mixing it with vegetable stalks and roots, and to collect wild plants for consumption.

The peasants themselves were going on strike. Mao tried to reassure them by proposing a rate of rural accumulation which would guard against the arbitrary depredations of the cadres (but which made no allowance for the enormous differences between rural communes). By May 1959, he had decided the government could not persist in the expansion of heavy industry without some improvement in consumption, the conclusion of 1957. The retreat had begun: “We have to restore the primary market in rural areas.” [36]

The supposed “communist achievements” of the Great Leap Forward now came under attack. The party inspection teams despatched in 1959 to implement the rectification campaign were instructed to combat egalitarianism; as Mao put it: “it would be unreasonable to use equalization on the poor and rich brigades and the poor and rich villages; it would be banditry, piracy.” [37] Authority must be centralized once more, removed from the commune leadership, for: “there is now semi-anarchism. We have granted too much of the ‘four powers’ and too soon, causing the present confusion. We should now emphasize unified leadership and centralization of powers. Powers granted should be properly retracted. There should be proper control over the lower level.” [38]

The communes in their original form were scrapped. The name continued to disguise the defeat but now referred to little more than the lowest level of the administrative structure, covering a much reduced area and with drastically curtailed powers. Mao indicated the failure was not unexpected: “We were prepared for the collapse of half of them, and if seventy per cent collapse, there would still be thirty per cent left. If they must collapse, let them.” [39] Henceforth, the production brigades – and in some cases, the production teams – corresponding to the old cooperatives, became the basic accounting unit, the locus of rural power and economy; as Mao summarized the change, the commune became no more than a federation of brigades, far from the old “sprouts of communism”. [40]

There was a similar retreat in industry. Vast increases in production were claimed – at the end of 1958, a sixty-five per cent increase in total industrial output over 1957. But severe disproportions between sectors had arisen – the stream of capital goods could not be used because of the lack of complementary inputs. The growth of local metal refining led to a lack of transport throughout the economy, curbing the modern industries. Mao put it vividly: “Coal and iron cannot walk by themselves; they need vehicles to transport them. This I did not foresee. I and XX and the Premier did not concern ourselves with this point ... I am a complete outsider when it comes to economic construction.” [41]

Quality had suffered severely. In August 1959, it was officially admitted that the three million tons of iron output from “backyard furnaces” – a quarter of national production – was too poor in quality to be refined further. [42] The lack of investment in the small plants, of proper engineering design and skilled metallurgical workers could not be made up simply by cadre enthusiasm. The 1959 steel target was successively dropped from thirty to thirteen million tons. By the end of the year, the government was rationalizing all “backyard furnaces” – from 600,000 claimed at the height of the Great Leap Forward to 1,300 by April 1960.

Central control, managerial authority (as opposed to the cadres), the restoration of 1957 incentive payment systems, and the restoration of factory rules, were now at a premium. Instead of stressing the potential of enthusiasm, the party leadership now complained: “It is intolerable to find in production and basic construction that no one takes up any responsibility, and that all necessary rules and regulations are being violated.” [43] Up to 1961, these changes slowly restored financial control to managers and the restriction of party factory committees to education and welfare matters. The stress now was not on a production offensive, but on protecting what there was, on economies, profits, costs, labour productivity.

The disagreements in the party leadership over these two sharp turns must have been severe. Did the disagreements lead to the removal of Mao as head of State in 1959? It does not seem so, since Mao himself raised the question before the Great Leap Forward developed. He wanted, he said, to “step down” to “save a great deal of time in order to meet the demands of the Party”. In December, he said he was already working only half-time, without responsibility for daily work, and he would soon resign. It seems that, although there were inevitably disagreements, they were not with Mao personally nor sufficient to enforce his removal. Indeed, it would be difficult to see how the Great Leap Forward could have been implemented in the face of the opposition of the central leadership who were responsible for the day-to-day work and the actual implementation of policy. Those who did disagree with it – Defence Minister P’eng Te-huai and Chief of Staff General Huang K’o-ch’ing – were not promoted as a result of its failure; they were dropped from the leadership. [44]

Mao volunteered – or was induced to volunteer – to be the scapegoat for the disasters, perhaps because he was already resigning or his prestige was so great, it could engulf any opposition. At the Lushan Plenum in July 1959 he made his confession of errors: “I understand nothing about industrial planning ... But comrades, in 1958 and 1959, the main responsibility was mine, and you should take me to task ... Who was responsible for the idea of the mass smelting of steel? I say it was me ... With this, we rushed into a great catastrophe, and ninety million people went into battle ... The chaos caused was on a grand scale, and I take responsibility. Comrades, you must all analyse your own responsibility. If you have to shit, shit! If you have to fart, fart! You will all feel much better for it.” [45]

The excellent harvest of 1958 had blinded the leadership to the dangers. But the harvest in 1959 was poor, and in the two following years, disastrous. In 1960, the government still persisted in trying to keep up the growth of industrial output despite the evidence of famine in some parts of the country. But industry’s efforts disintegrated before the shortage of raw materials and foodstuffs. The value of 1960’s agricultural output was considerably less than 1957’s. [46] In the middle of the year, the sudden withdrawal of Soviet assistance – including the technicians manning Soviet-sponsored projects – exacerbated the downturn in the heavy industrial sector. Retreat became a rout, recession a slump. At long last, four years too late, the government curbed the expansion of heavy industry, and increased its assistance to light industry, handicrafts, family sidelines and suburban agriculture in a general policy of “readjustment, reinforcement and improvement”. Without special permission, all basic construction work was suspended, loss-making industrial units closed and managers forbidden to hire rural labour for three years. In March, 1962, Chou En-lai urged a further contraction in basic construction work and a cut of 20 millions in the size of the urban population. [47] Private handicrafts would, it was now said, continue for a long time to come; private markets and private cultivation were fully restored. The party duly produced an obscure phrase to suggest that the changes were all part of the plan, “agriculture as the foundation of the national economy, with industry as the leading factor”, and “walking on two legs”, as if walking on one leg had ever had much sense! Stalin was never obliged to formulate such obscure phrases; once collectivization was launched, although the pace might be varied, there was no reversal. The Russian peasantry never had such power to oblige the general secretary to retrace his steps, to use “both legs”.

Reality had caught up. Now, instead of breaking the grain bottleneck, China was compelled to import grain in massive quantities from Canada and Australia – sixteen million tons between 1960 and 1963. The time horizons lengthened dramatically. In 1955, Mao had proposed that ten years would be required to “build socialism”, and fifty to seventy years “to catch up with, or overtake the United States”. [48] But by 1962, the prospects were less sanguine: “As for the construction of a strong socialist economy in China, fifty years won’t be enough; it may take one hundred years or even longer ... China has a large population, resources are meagre, and our economy backward, so that in my opinion it will be impossible to develop our productive powers so rapidly as to catch up with and overtake the most advanced capitalist countries in less than one hundred years.” [49] No more was said of making the “transition to communism” only “a few years” after the communes had established “property of the whole people”. Even by the spring of 1959, Mao was advising the cadres: “At the moment, too much activity should be avoided.”

The “three hard years” tested the party severely. There was rebellion on the western border province. [50] Peasant grievances in 1960-61 spread into armed rebellion in at least two provinces, Honan and Shantung (and possibly a third, Kansu), involving mutinous members of the rural militia. [51] In 1962, there was a massive flight of refugees from China to Hong Kong, encouraged or tolerated by the desperate local authorities of neighbouring Kwantung province.

The drop in farm production paralysed the whole economy. A foreign estimate put the cost high; the Great Leap Forward “may have cost a decade of economic growth, for the gross national product in 1965 does not seem to have been above the 1958 level”. [52] Yet party control survived intact and the strategy remained the same, even if pursuing it now demanded a diversion. Mao described what the strategy was: “Our method is, on condition that priority is given to the development of heavy industry, to enforce the simultaneous development of industry and agriculture... If agriculture does not turn up, many problems cannot be solved ... If we want heavy industry to develop rapidly, we must make everybody happy and enthusiastic in his work. And if we want this to happen, we must promote industry and agriculture, and light and heavy industry simultaneously.” [53]



(iii) The Socialist Education Campaign

Material backwardness and intensive patterns of cultivation in national isolation are constantly tending to recreate the social formations of a small producer economy. In China, the process was variously described in the 1950s as the revival of a “rich peasant economy” on the one hand, and the corruption and decay of the rural party on the other (it was often the same process since the cadres behaved as, or in close collaboration with, rich peasants). Campaigns and the high rate of expansion in the first plan did something to curb both trends, and the Great Leap Forward was a sustained assault on the imperatives of peasant agriculture. But the forced retreat of 1959-62 either permitted the open expression of what had existed covertly before or created a situation in which the power of the party in the rural areas appeared threatened.

The power of the party leadership to curb, let alone eliminate, the trends was limited, which is why it so frequently relied on moral exhortation. Too severe a threat to the rural cadres could destroy or demoralize party authority in the rural areas altogether, thus endangering the supply of foodstuffs and raw materials to the cities, and raising the possibility of peasant rebellion. Alternatively, the cadres might unite with the rich peasantry to defend local autonomy, a situation which, when matched by the resistance of provincial leaders to central control, raised the hydra of what were attacked during the Cultural Revolution as “independent kingdoms”, warlordism in the party itself. On the other hand, toleration of rural decay would sooner or later threaten the national power of the party and the strategic aim of State accumulation.

A set of party documents from a county in Fukien province [54] gives some idea of the problem. The commune was densely populated (in two brigades there was only one mou – about a sixth of an acre – of land per head), and employment in the public sector yielded an inadequate income. As a result, there was much absenteeism among the peasants, many turning to private work during the day and making up on public work at night. The range of private jobs was wide – sewing, knitting, bee-keeping, peddling, odd labouring jobs, stone mason work, money-lending. Legally, peasants were entitled to cultivate privately between five and seven per cent of the total cultivated acreage, but the average was nearer 9.5 per cent. Reclaimed land and the area for fodder growing were excluded from these calculations and were wholly in private hands. In all, some thirty per cent of the total crop area was privately cultivated, and for some teams, over fifty per cent. Other sources make even larger claims – for example, that in 1962 Yunnan’s private grain harvest was larger than the collectives’, and privately cultivated land in the province was half the total; that as late as 1964, in Kweichow and Szechuan provinces there was more private than collective cultivated acreage. [55]

The income received from these activities was put at RMB 88 (just over 18 sterling) per year per head for the peasants, and RMB 130-53 for party cadres. However, cadre real income was increased by a number of malpractices: the usurpation of public property (cutting down State woodlands – 500 cedar trees are mentioned – for private building work or sale), use of public funds and foodstuffs for private celebrations (e.g. weddings, births), participation in, or favouring, private enterprise, speculation, peddling, gambling, illicit brewing, and slaughter of livestock. In sum, traditional practices of Chinese rural clan rule were threatening to re-establish themselves, complete with appropriate ideological forms among the cadres – religious festivals, paying bride prices, spiritualism and witchcraft.

The socialist education movement, launched in September 1962, included a number of elements – a propaganda campaign, a rectification movement among rural cadres, and a purge. The propaganda repeated familiar themes, attacking cadres who “indulge in idleness and hate work, eat too much and own too much, strive for status, act like officials, put on bureaucratic airs, pay no heed to the plight of the people, care nothing about the interests of the State”. [56]

From the beginning, Mao assessed the threat as affecting the balance of power. Contrary to the decision Mao formulated in 1957 – that the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie had been fundamentally resolved – there was now a danger that the dictatorship of the proletariat could be turned into “a bourgeois dictatorship, into a reactionary fascist type of dictatorship”. [57] “In our state at present, approximately one-third of the power is in the hands of the enemy, or the enemy’s sympathizers. We have been going fifteen years, and we now control two-thirds of its realm. At present, you can buy a Party secretary for a few packs of cigarettes, not to mention marrying a daughter to him.” [58] And again: “Middle and low-ranking Kuomintang officers, secretaries of hsien [county] party offices etc., have all crept in. No matter what guise they have been transformed into, we must now clean them all out. Everywhere there is class struggle, everywhere there are counter-revolutionary elements. [59]

It will be recalled that it was party policy in 1949 to “absorb” the former Kuomintang officials. The statistics were wrong, for now it could not be taken for granted that the social classification of the rural population had been reliable: “In the past, there have been instances in which some upper-middle peasants, petty merchants, and even landlords and rich peasants were mistakenly classified as poor or lower middle peasants.” [60]

Given this assessment, the reaction of the party leadership was strangely mild. Liu Shao-ch’i favoured a thorough purge of the rural party. But Mao was for moderation – as he explained: “I am somewhat on the right. There are so many.., that they might constitute twenty per cent of the people.” [61] The cadres should be treated leniently, even in cases of large-scale corruption (“several thousand yuan”, or thirty to forty times the average annual income of the peasants in Lieng-chiang county). The money should in part or whole be repaid, but “We need not talk about ‘thoroughness’.” [62] There were large sums at stake – a Central Work Conference in 1964 recorded that in one area in two months, RMB 20,000 of illicit cash and 100,000 catties of grain were recovered.

In 1962 Mao was firm that violence was ruled out: “It isn’t good to kill people. We should arrest and execute as few people as possible. If we arrest and execute people at the drop of a hat, the end result would be that everybody would fear for themselves and nobody dare to speak.” [63] But by 1964 he is less sure: “It is impossible for us not to kill, but we must not kill too many. Kill a few to shock them ... the one killed by mistake won’t resurrect.” [64]

The work teams sent to investigate were apparently not effective. The poor and middle peasant associations that had been set up to supervise the cadres were selected by the cadres themselves.

Liu Shao-ch’i and his wife, Wang Kuang-mei, stepped up the disciplinary element in the campaign. In mid-1964, Wang addressed 3,000 cadres in Shanghai on her “Taiyuan experience” after staying six months in a Hopei production brigade. [65] She concluded that forty of the forty-seven brigade and team leaders were corrupt and needed to be replaced by handpicked cadres through a process of mass struggle rallies, public accusation meetings and forced confessions. In July, Liu and Wang travelled in the south-central region, and concluded that possibly a third of the cadres were corrupt, and a much longer period of reform was required (five to six, rather than two to three, years). Unless the central work team returned to an area to check its earlier recommendations had been implemented, the peasants would remain intimidated; higher level cadres would ignore them in order to protect the lower cadres upon whom the administration depended. The purge began in September, and one estimate suggests seventy to eighty per cent of sub-village level cadres were removed – a powerful source of hatred towards Liu and Wang.

The revelations of corruption, bribery and extortion mounted. [66] There were cases of physical assault by the peasants on the cadres, and of cadre suicide. Wang’s work teams had disturbed a hornet’s nest. They discovered, for example, that Ch’en Hua, party secretary in Shengshi, Kwantung, a “five good” cadre and national labour hero who had been received by Mao, was a brutal petty dictator; he was caught attempting to escape to Hong Kong in his launch (a remarkable symbol of wealth) and killed. In October, the work teams collided with another “national model Party secretary”, Ch’en Yung-kuei of the famous Tachai production brigade. But Ch’en was shrewd and had powerful friends. He gained an audience with Mao, and was nominated, perhaps as a result, to the praesidium of the third National People’s Congress. Tachai was praised publicly in Chou’s report to the Congress; Ch’en was permitted to make a speech, and a photograph of him with Mao appeared on the front page of the People’s Daily. [67]

In late 1964, Mao endeavoured to restrain the movement, but without criticizing Liu and Wang. Now the cadres needed to be educated, and more importantly, at the level of the province rather than the village; it was here that there were “powerholders within the Party who take the capitalist road”. By contrast with his earlier assessment, the “normal good and relatively good” cadres constituted “the absolute majority”, and the work teams should rely on them rather than attack them. The mood was mild and conciliatory; as usual, Liu was praised as Mao’s “closest comrade in arms”.




24. Sixty Points on Working Methods, 19 February 1958, No. 21, in Mao Papers, p.63

25. Cited Jan Deleyne, The Chinese Economy, London, 1973, pp.185-6

26. Speech, 8th Party Congress, 2nd session, 17 May 1958, in Miscellany I, p.102

27. Talks, Nanning Conference, 11-12 January 1958, in Miscellany I, p.80

28. Speech, 8th Party Congress, 2nd session, 18 May 1958, Miscellany I, p.122

29. Sixth Plenum, 8th Central Committee, 19 December. 1958, Miscellany I, p.144

30. Ibid., pp.138-9

31. Che Hsueh Yen Chiu, Philosophical Studies, No.5, 10 September 1958, ECMM, 149

32. Central Committee resolution, 10 December 1958, NCNA Peking, 18 December 1958, in CB542, pp.7-22, and SCMM 138, p.16

33. People’s Communes in China, Peking, 1958, p.8, and JMJP, 3 October 1958

34. 23 July 1959, Lushan Plenum, in Mao Unrehearsed, p.135; see also 21 February 1959, Miscellany I, p.162

35. JMJP, 27 August 1959

36. May 1959, Miscellany I, p.183

37. 21 February 1959, Miscellany I, p.159

38. Mao, Miscellany I, p.184

39. Lushan Plenum, 23 July 1959, in Mao Unrehearsed, p.142

40. 21 February 1959, in Miscellany I, p.160

41. Lushan Plenum, 23 July 1959, in Mao Unrehearsed, pp.42-3. XX is not identified in the text available

42. JMJP, 27 August 1959

43. JMJP, 19 April 1959; see also: Tsai T’i-chiu, Mass movement and centralized leadership in industry, JMJP, 24 October 1959; see also Hsu Hsin-hsueh, in Hung-ch’i, 16 October 1961

44. 19 September 1959; cf. Mao’s warm reply to P’eng’s acknowledgement of error: “We should take this two-sided attitude to help an old comrade who has been with us for thirty-one years.” Miscellany I, p.187

45. Lushan, in Mao Unrehearsed, pp.142-3, 146

46. Snow, Red China Today, op.cit., p.188

47. Po I-po, to Anna Louise Strong, Letter from China, op. cit.

48. Sixth Plenum, Seventh Central Committee, September 1955, in Miscellany I, p.25

49. Mao, Enlarged Work Conference, 30 January 1962, in Mao Unrehearsed, pp.174-5

50. “In 1962, under the instigation and direction of external forces, a group of the most reactionary protagonists of local nationalism staged a traitorious counter-revolutionary armed rebellion in Ining, Sinkiang, and incited and organized the flight to foreign territory of a large number of people near the frontier.” – Chou En-lai, Third NPC, 21-2 December 1964, cited by William Maiden, A new class structure emerging in China?, CQ22, April-June 1960, pp.84-5; an edited version of his report is translated and published, ibid, pp.70-74

51. Bulletin of Activities (Kung-tso T’ung-hsun), PLA confidential documents, No.1, 1 January 1961, pp.29-32, and No.5, 17 January 1961, pp.5-15, cited by John Wilson Lewis in discussion of these papers, CQ18, April-June 1964, p.76; Mao refers to serious problems’ in three provinces due to food shortages and errors of leadership, in speech, Ninth Plenum, Eighth Central Committee, 18 January 1961, in Miscellany II, p.240

52. Alexander Eckstein, in Alexander Eckstein, Walter Gaienson and Tachung Liu (eds.); Economic Trends in Communist China, Chicago, 1968, p.7

53. Notes on Soviet Union’s “Political Economy”, 1961-2, in Miscellany II, p.277: stress added

54. Rural communes in Lien-chiang, documents concerning communes in Lienchiang county Fukien province, 1962-3, translated and edited by C.S. Chen, Stanford, 1969

55. E. L. Wheelwright and Bruce McFarlane, The Chinese Road to Socialism, London, 1973, p.70, citing R. Wilson, The China after next, Far Eastern Economic Review, 1 February 1968, p.193

56. Hung-ch’i, Nos.13-14, 1963, p.11

57. Enlarged Work Conference, 30 January 1962, in Mao Unrehearsed, p.167

58. 18 August 1964, in Mao Unrehearsed, p.217

59. 5 July 1964, in Mao Unrehearsed, p.244

60. Revised Second Ten Points, Article IV, translated by Richard Baum and F.C. Tiewes, Ssü-Ch’ing: The Socialist Education Movement of 1962-66, Center for Chinese Studies Research Monograph, Berkeley, 1968, Appendix E

61. Talks on the four clean-ups movement, 3 January 1965, Miscellany II, p.414

62. December 1964, Miscellany II, p.416

63. Enlarged Work Conference, 30 January 1962, Mao Unrehearsed, p.185

64. 20 December 1964, in Misellany II, p.426

65. This account is derived from Richard Baum, Prelude to revolution: Mao, the Party and the Peasant Question, 1962-66, New York, 1975, for which see Chinese sources, p.84 passim

66. For example, Nan-fang JP, Canton, 11 October 1964

67. cf. SCMM, 578, p.28 and CB 824, and Baum, op.cit.


Last updated on 9.7.2001