Startseite The Wind Will Not Subside: Years in Revolutionary China—1964-1969

The Wind Will Not Subside: Years in Revolutionary China—1964-1969

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Jahr: 1976
Edition: paperback
Verlag: Pantheon Books
Sprache: english
Seiten: 397 / 428
ISBN 10: 0394709365
ISBN 13: 9780394709369
Series: The Pantheon Asia Library
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^9
Da\id Milton and Nancv Dall ^lilton

tiii;wlyi>

WILL NOT
SUBSIDE
Yem^inRevdutionary China—

1964-1W
THE PANTHEON ASIA LIBRARY

This is quite simply the best book yet published
v
on the Cultural Revolution
(continued on back cover)

i

^

The Wind Will Not Subside

The Pantheon Asia Library

New Approaches to the New Asia
No

part of the world has changed so

much

in recent years as Asia, or

But much of our scholarship, like much of our public understanding, is based on a previous
era. The Asia Library has been launched to provide the needed
information on the new Asia, and in so doing to develop both the
new methods and the new sympathies needed to understand it.
Our purpose is not only to publish new work but to experiment
with a wide variety of approaches which will reflect these new
realities and their perception by those in Asia and the West.

awakened such

American

intense

interest.

Our books aim at different levels and audiences, from the popular
more scholarly, from high schools to the universities, from

to the

pictorial to

documentary presentations. All books

will

be available

in paperback.

Suggestions for additions to the Asia Library are welcome.

Other Asia Library
The Japan Reader,

Titles

edited

by Jon Livingston, Joe Moore, and

Felicia

Oldfather

Volume 1 Imperial Japan: 1800-1945
Volume 2 Postwar Japan: 1945 to the

A

Present

Chinese View of China, by John Gittings

Remaking

Mark

Asia: Essays on the

American Uses of Power, edited by

Selden

Without Parallel: The American-Korean Relationship Since 1945, edited
by Frank Baldwin

Chairman Mao Talks
by Stuart Schram

A

to the People: Talks

Political History of Japanese Capitalism,

Modern Japanese State:
Norman, edited by John Dower

Origins of the
E. H.

China's

Uninterrupted Revolution:

by Victor Nee and James Peck

and

Letters,

1956-1971. edited

by Jon Halliday

Selected Writings of

From 1840

to

the

Present,

edited

The Wind
Will Not Subside
— 1964-1969

Years in Revolutionary China

by

David Milt; on and Nancy Dall Milton

IfflHH

PANTHEON BOOKS
A Division of Random House
New York

©

Copyright
Milton

1976 by David Milton and Nancy Dall

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American
Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by
Pantheon Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New
York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of
Canada Limited, Toronto.

Grateful acknowledgment is made to Oxford University
Press for permission to reprint 25 lines from the poem
"Changsha" (p. 355) and 9 lines from the poem "Return

Shaoshan" (pp. 356-7) by Mao Tse-Tung, translated by
Michael Bullock and Jerome Ch'en. Reprinted from Mao
and the Chinese Revolution by Jerome Ch'en. Copyright
1965 by Oxford University Press.
to

©

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Milton, David, 1923The Wind Will Not Subside.

(The Pantheon Asia Library)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
1.

L

—

China

Politics

— 1949-

and government

Milton, Nancy, 1929-

joint author.

DS777.55.M536 1976 320.9'51'05
ISBN 0-394-48555-6
ISBN 0-394-70936-5 pbk.

H.

Manufactured in the United States of America
First Edition

Title.

75-10370

—

To our
to those

behind.

families

—

parents, sons, brother, and sisters

who went

along and to those

who remained

"The

tree

may

wind

prefer calm, but the

will not

subside"

A favorite old Chinese saying of Chairman Mao

1

Contents

List of Illustrations

ix

Foreword

xi

Introduction

xiii

Chapter

1

The East Wind

Chapter

II

Two Roads

Chapter

III

The Successors

Chapter IV

Chapter

V

3

Prevails

—Two Lines

2

46

Mao Talks
Foreign Friends

Chairman

To Some
80

Demons, Monsters, And

Revisionists

109

Chapter VI

Make Trouble To The End

1

Chapter VII

The Best Of Times, The Worst
Of Times

177

Chapter VIII Factions Foreign
Chapter IX

Chapter

X

Chapter XI

The Three Kingdoms:

207

Left, Right,

And Middle

236

"One Cultural Revolution May
Not Be Enough"

275

Consolidation At

One
Chapter XII

And Domestic

37

Splits Into

The Top: Again

Two

The New World View: Great Disorder
Under Heaven

330
3 60

Notes

381

Index

388

About The Authors

398

i

)

.

List

Of Illustrations

(between pages 190 and 191

Nancy Milton

at the

Temple

of

Heaven

park, Peking, 1968.

David Milton, Peking, 1968.
Two sons, Grant and Mark Lupher, on the Great Wall, 1966.

Nancy Milton's second-year English

May

Peking,

David Milton's

students at Pei

Hai Park,

1966.

fifth-year

Students of the Peking

newspaper-reading

First Foreign

1965.

class,

Languages

Institute

work-

ing on canal construction, Western Suburbs, Peking, 1965.

Basketball

game between Chinese and
summer 1966.

foreign high school stu-

dents, Peitaiho,

Nancy Milton addressing meeting

to support the

War

American Peo-

Vietnam, Workers'
Stadium, Peking, March 1966 (Photograph courtesy of National Liberation Front of South Vietnam
Peking Mission).
Workers' Stadium Meeting: Chu Teh, Nancy Milton, Kuo Mo-jo
ple's

Struggle

Against

the

in

—

(Photograph courtesy of National Liberation Front of South
Peking Mission).

Vietnam

Mao

—

Tse-tung and Chiang Ch'ing receive

Anna

and friends on her eightieth birthday,
(Photograph courtesy of China Pictorial)

Anna Louise

Strong greets Red Guards,
(Photograph courtesy of China Pictorial).

Christopher Milton with

Red Guards,

T'ien

Louise Strong

Shanghai,

May

Day,

An Men

1965
1967.

Square,

from 1,000-mile march, winter 1967.
Red Guards from all over the country await Chairman Mao's
after return

arrival at T'ien

Army men
tober

1,

An Men rally,

singing at National

1967.

fall

Day

1966.

Parade, T'ien

An Men,

Oc-

x

List

Of

Illustrations

Cadres of the First Foreign Languages Institute and the Foreign
Experts' Bureau, parade reviewing stand, T'ien An Men,
National Day, 1967.

Revolutionary

committee,

transistor

radio

plant,

Shanghai,

August 1967.
Shanghai dock revolutionary committee, Shanghai, 1967.

Foreword

In this book based on what

from 1964 to 1969, our
friends

—

we

first

learned and saw in China

thanks go to our Chinese

teaching colleagues, students, and cadres

Peking First Foreign Languages

Institute,

much about China and its Cultural
been for them, we could easily have
those

momentous

five years

who

—

at the

taught us so

Revolution.

Had

it

not

lived in Peking through

and learned

little.

However, our

analyses are our own, and our friends should not feel re-

sponsible for any conclusions with which they

do not

agree.

We

have been helped in the writing of this book by the
knowledgeable and perceptive advice and criticism of good
friends
of three in particular. Our editor in San Francisco was Tom Engelhardt, who, in a labor of love, brought

—

his editorial expertise to a stern

review of the entire manu-

it. The ongoing seminar
we have had with Franz Schurmann, growing out of our

script,

strengthening and simplifying

work together on People's China, has illuminated our insights into China, and his reading of the manuscript produced helpful suggestions. Jack Service was the meticulous
scholar

who

standardized into Wade-Giles our diverse styles

of Chinese romanization

and whose eagle eye caught more

than a few other problems in the process.
all of them.

We

are indebted to

We would also like to mention our gratitude for an exchange of ideas to Hong Yung Lee, who we feel has done
some of the finest scholarship we have seen on the Red
Guard movement.
Because so much of this book is based upon our own
experience in China, we have attempted to keep documenta-

minimum. The Chinese are understandably sensiabout the use of unofficial documents because of prob-

tion to a
tive

V

xii

Foreword

lems of accuracy and interpretation. However,

all

of the

and speeches used in this book
are ones with which we were familiar in China. Undoubtedly
some of them are, and were then, inaccurate, but they were
leaflets, ta-tzu-pao, editorials,

the materials that influenced millions of people

who

read

We have
found that the English translations available in libraries and
centers of Chinese studies in this country correspond in general to materials with which we were acquainted in Peking.
We are grateful to the Louis M. Rabinowitz Foundation,
whose grant made it possible for us to spend several uninterrupted months working full-time on the manuscript.
them, in whatever form, and acted upon them.

Introduction

Standing aloof and secure in their separate world
ancient

Rome and China

states,

coexisted for several centuries;

they traded through intermediaries but never intersected. In
the totality of their respective political

and philosophical

seemed, had need of the other.

systems, neither,

it

there developed

from the two great

And

civilization states,

so

an

East and a West whose differing thought systems would
diverge over the centuries to mutual exclusion.

For more

than 1,000 years, the two developed independently, until
China's enforced collision with a Western world propelled

forward not only by

by

its

technological

its

aggressive search for markets, but

dynamism,

produced

shock

waves

throughout the entire Chinese social organism. The history
of that violent encounter has shaped not only the dynamics

modern Chinese development, but has altered the course
of the West as well. Because of the forcible nature of the
long delayed interaction between the two world systems, it
of

is

perhaps ironic but not

illogical that the

Chinese of the

twentieth century should seek the answer to the crisis of their
ancient civilization in the rebel branch of Western thought,

Marxism-Leninism. In a sense, when the West at last conit was confronting itself.
For the Chinese themselves, the assimilation of an ideology of Western stock has not been painless. There is indeed
fronted China,

a close analogy to the long and complex process by which
they transformed Indian Buddhism into a form congenial to
their

own

culture.

The Great

Proletarian Cultural Revolu-

was a great historic convulsion of Chinese society coming at the end of a half-century of struggle, led and articulated most specifically by Mao Tse-tung, to extract from
Soviet Marxism-Leninism those elements most appropriate
for China and to reshape them into a Chinese whole.
tion

xiv

Introduction

Marxism had given

China a tenet quite alien to traditional Chinese views of harmony. It was the concept of
class struggle, which provided the key to the overturning of
the old oppressive class order and the creation of a new
social unity. However, along with the classical Marxist concept of class, the Chinese found that they had also imported
a new system of class division based on twentieth-century
Russian social and political development. The new system
turned out to be startlingly congenial with the overthrown
Confucian bureaucratic state. The vanguard party, the centralization of state power, and the Soviet reliance upon an
intellectual and technological elite for achieving the industo

trialization they believed to
all fit

be the prerequisite for socialism,

entirely too neatly into the long Chinese experience

with a society of ordered inequality. The ancient scholar
literati

and the new technocratic

elite

have

much

in

common.

Mao Tse-tung, the philosopher and theoretician of the
Chinese Revolution, while standing as the firmest advocate
of class struggle, understood this concept in

Marxian context of

equality.

classical

its

Mao's conception of the

gle for equality includes not only the battle

strug-

against the

bureaucracy, deeply institutionalized into the traditional Chinese system of hierarchy, but also those Marxist commit-

ments to lessening the differences between mental and manual labor, city and countryside, and leaders and led. In this
battle, Mao has indeed taken on some of the most tenacious
elements of China's cultural and political inheritance. China
has never had a democratic system. Thus Mao's attack on
the new elitism and bureaucracy accompanying Soviet-style

Marxism has

also

been an attack on the very roots of the old

Chinese social structure.
However, Mao wished to combine the concepts of equality that he took from the Western world with one of the
positive
tivity.

aspects of Chinese historical experience

The

Western

—

concept of equality, so precious a part of

political thought, has

collec-

modern

long been linked, at least in

the philosophical abstraction, to individual freedom. It

not illogical that current Western visitors

is

to China should

xv

Introduction
find

it

difficult to

comprehend how the Chinese can believe

so passionately in the one while rejecting the other. Nevertheless, there

was a consistency

Mao's formula defining

to

the targets of the Cultural Revolution which would provide

a symbolic framework for what he saw as China's philosophy

Those who would be regarded as enemies of
the people were "Those in the Party in power [bureaucracy]
of the future.

taking the capitalist road [individualism]."

The opposition

to both elitism and individualism would be encapsulated in

the

slogan "Serve the People," the central principle

China's

new

Mao

also

of

ethical system of socialism.

had little use for the determinism of Western
it was that determinism, according to the Russian argument, which gave legitimacy to the reassertive
elitism spawned by the productive forces of society. It has
always been the Chinese view that good people, ethical
citizens, are created not so much by the external forces of
society as by conscious thought and moral education.
Their commitment to a leadership embodying the ethical
values of the society indicates why the Chinese saw the
Marxism, for

Cultural Revolution

some

of

its

a rebellion of the people against

leaders, as being entirely within the

political legitimacy.

had come

itself,

The people were

told

bounds of
by the man who

be considered the personalization of the revolution that they had the mandate to overthrow evil leadership. Such revolutions have the blessing of morality, based
to

not upon law, as

upon a

we

heirs of

Rome

understand morality, but

central social principle. It

is for this reason that
questions of equality were fought out in China in a popular

mandate.

The Chinese Cultural Revolution of the 1960's was a comovement devoted to questions of power and

lossal social

Those Westerners who have written about this hishave taken basically two approaches. Writers
sympathetic to the Chinese Revolution have emphasized the
struggle over values; those less sympathetic or hostile have
concentrated their attention on the struggle for power. We
values.

toric event

who

consider ourselves friends of the Chinese Revolution

xvi

Introduction

believe that only by a description
aspects, the struggle for a

power by

gle for political

and

analysis

new world view and

of both

the real strug-

can one arany depth of understanding of what the Cultural
Revolution was all about. We had gone to China to teach
English, to learn about the country, not to write about it.
We had already spent two years in a peaceful and wellorganized China before the outbreak of the impassioned
struggle, when we found ourselves in the rare position of
live political actors,

rive at

foreign participant-observers at the

making of Chinese hisfrom the fact that our
Chinese colleagues and students had become accustomed to
our being sometime sharers of their lives and activities, and
because they, like we, sensed from the very beginning of the
Cultural Revolution that the remaking of i thought system
tory.

Our

role as participants derived

in the international intimacy of the

twer

Ah century could

not be a matter of Chinese history alone.

As we look back on

those remarkable few years, we realwhich we read editorials, interpreted big-

ize the extent to

character posters,

mood and

felt

political

friends. Yet, at the

the passions of factional loyalties in a

framework shared with our Chinese
same time, as twentieth-century Ameri-

Roman

world center, we could not but see
own Western spectacles
as well. Increasingly, we were struck by the range of historically and culturally different meanings that we brought

can heirs to the

the Chinese experience through our

to

common

terms and expressions, used with assurance by

both Chinese and Westerners.

anew

—

We

to generations of pilgrims

learned the lesson taught

and scholars

in other lands

that the translation of the experience of another people

defies the confines of language. For it is not just the problem of the accurate equivalent of the word, but the equivalent concept which often simply does not exist. One feels the
"existential shock" which Paul Mus says the Western mind
experiences upon contact with Chinese civilization. For us,
it was necessary to experience, to study, and to attempt to un-

derstand the Chinese political struggles within their
context before

it

was

possible to interpret them.

We

own

became

Introduction

xvii

increasingly aware of the difficulty of understanding Chinese
interpretations without

Perhaps no people

an insight into

is

their roots.

quite satisfied with the

outsiders interpret their

"own"

way

in

which

system. Certainly the Rus-

way in which the Chinese inwould be doubtful that the Chinese
dissatisfaction in any foreign explanation of

sians are displeased with the
terpret Leninism,

would not

find

and

it

their Cultural Revolution. In a sense, of course,

No

right.

outsider,

no matter how

ever feels the politics of a country in the same

own

both are

close his involvement,

way

that

its

people does, nor can the conclusions of transient po-

litical

participants be quite the

same

as those of the people

who must live with the consequences. Any transference

of one

thought system into the terminology of another culture init. However, that is the history of the movement of human ideas since the beginning of civilization.
Even science now agrees that all knowledge is made imperfect by the presence of the experimenter. Like almost everyone else in China, we saw the Cultural Revolution from the
perspective of the one place in which we happened to be,
but, like the rest of the inhabitants of Peking, we had the
good fortune to be at the political center of the nation. Almost everything of consequence which we learned about
China can be traced to those extraordinary years when a
whole society opened up and exposed light and dark aspects
alike to the inspection and criticism of its people.

evitably alters

The Wind Will Not Subside

Chapter

I

The East Wind
Prevails

IN

THAT BRIEF INTERLUDE

ness of the

between the oppressive-

the onset of North China's

monsoon summer and

long gripping winter, Peking enjoys an atmosphere of singular exhilaration. It is but a few weeks' respite from the un-

from the time of
man's beginnings, have determined the necessities and pos-

relenting cycle of natural forces which,

From

of Chinese civilization.

sibilities

late

May

to early

September, the fierce heat which covers the continent

is

tempered by the damp masses of air coming from the sea.
By mid-October, the cold of the Siberian winter is already
sweeping across the unprotected North China Plain, bringing the dry and dusty winter monsoon from that great barren land, the Gobi Desert. Because of the might and the du-

two major seasons,

ration of the

it is

not surprising that the

poignancy of spring has figured so prominently in Chinese
painting and poetry. But for the inhabitants of Peking,

whose spring

is

the briefest of moments, their

tumn is the time of holiday,
The skies, cloudless and

of renewal,

clarity,

make

and

their

Western

of au-

and celebration.

blue, are tinted with the faint

yellow North China dust, as
the old Imperial Palace.

month

if

The

reflecting the tiled roofs of
air

has an almost tangible

in these crystalline days, the people of

Peking

annual pilgrimages to see the red leaves of the

Hills

and the beloved chrysanthemums of the

centuried parks.

Banners and

The gray

flags fly

city is

city's

suddenly splashed with red.

everywhere.

The Imperial

Palace, long

The Wind Will Not Subside

4

the symbolic center of China,

is

covered with scaffolding and

painted yet again with the color the world has

come

to call

Chinese red. The faceless gray walls that hide from public
view the old courtyard homes of central Peking display

newly painted red doors. Red, which for China has always
symbolized that which is life-giving marriage, birth, victory

—now

—

incorporates

all

bolism of revolution. For
tion

past associations into the sym-

it is

the celebration of the revolu-

around which the autumn holiday atmosphere now
was with that great traditional regard for harmo-

centers. It

nizing the affairs of

men

with the authority of nature that the

leaders of the Chinese Revolution chose October

day on which

Mao

1

as the

Tse-tung would appear on the rostrum

of the red palace of emperors

now

vanished to

state:

"The

Chinese people have stood up."

We

arrived in Peking just a few days before National

Day, October I, 1964, the fifteenth anniversary of the PeoRepublic of China. The decade-and-a-half anniversary
would have been an important one to the Chinese under
any circumstances, but the events of the preceding year
found particular focus in the holiday ceremonies.

ple's

China in the fall of 1964 was a nation under the gun. The
American Seventh Fleet lay in wait off the coast as the
United States actively engaged in the aerial and naval bombardment of China's neighbor and socialist ally, North
Vietnam. To the southwest, India was once again building

up her shattered forces with the help of the United States
and the Soviet Union. From the summer of 1963 until a
few months before our arrival, the Chinese were engaged in
an increasingly fierce polemical struggle with the Soviet
Union, the closing stage of a relationship turned bitter with
disappointment and distrust. Observing also the re-emergence of a powerful and hostile Japan, and fending off the
armed emigres from Taiwan, the Chinese people, like the
French in 1793, understood that they were surrounded by
the threat of

A

armed counterrevolution.

few weeks before we arrived, Ch'en Yi, China's For-

The East Wind

Prevails

5

an audience of foreign experts workwere prepared for an attack
Chinese
ing in Peking that the
by the United States from the south, the Russians from the
north, and the Japanese from the east. "Let them all come,"

eign Minister,

he

had

told

said. "If necessary,

we

up some of our cities,
a hundred years." His wry

will give

and fight for
was turning white as he impatiently
remark
awaited these developments was taken by his countrymen
not so much as an expression of their foreign minister's
toughness as of their own cool defiance under pressure.
The extent to which China felt herself, and was, in fact,
besieged was as yet only dimly realized by Americans in
those early days of the Vietnam War. It was no more than a
time of portents, of early and ominous suggestions of what
would follow. For America, the remainder of the decade
would be a period of great domestic turbulence, a turbulence resulting directly from the intensification of the war in
Asia. For China, there would be a prolonged period of internal struggle of an intensity that astonished the world.
The seeds of that struggle were already deeply rooted in the
retreat to the hills,

that his hair

structure of Chinese society, in China's relationship with

the outside world, and in past struggles to establish her na-

and international position, but none of this
was apparent in October 1964.
We found instead a mood marvelously in harmony with
Peking's bright and tranquil weather. In 1964, this seasonal
mood was heightened by the symbolization of China's early

tional identity

successes in breaking out of her encirclement. The several
thousand foreigners who swept through the hotels and streets

of the city in those few days preceding National

sented China's intensive efforts to consolidate
ships

and

Day reprenew friend-

alliances able to turn the encirclement against the

For the first time since 1919, a socialist country
was challenging the Soviet Union's "right" to eternal guardianship over world revolution. China was welcoming to
her revolutionary celebrations a heterogeneous group of nations and individuals, allied in no formal way, sharing,
however, the elusive but compelling interest in standing up
encirclers.

The Wind Will Not Subside

6

to one of the two superpowers. There came together in
Peking the fraternal parties of Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and

drawn together in their varying degrees of antirevisionism by the American superpower's Southeast Asian
war; Romania and Albania, the small resistors to the Eastern European policies of the other superpower, and the tiny
pro-Chinese splinter parties which had appeared in Ceylon,
Belgium, Australia, and New Zealand. These were the
fragile links in China's 1963-64 alternate socialist camp.
In addition, the Chinese had established a modest conIndonesia,

stellation of relationships outside the socialist sphere. Prince

Sihanouk,

still

successful in his long struggle to maintain

Cambodia's tenuous neutrality, turned comfortably and confidently toward his giant neighbor. Later, his Peking welcome would be as consistent in defeat as it was in success;
but in 1964, his presence was a triumphant component of
China's policy of uniting all those threatened by US imperialism. So, too, was the presence of the brilliantly robed
representatives from the hopeful nations of Africa. Chou Enlai's trip to fourteen African nations earlier in the year had
carried with it the hope for a second Bandung Conference,
and increasing Sino-African solidarity seemed a not unreasonable expectation.

—

In the area termed by the Chinese the intermediate zone
those countries allied with neither of the two major powers

but subject to their pressure, particularly that of the

US

China's most dramatic diplomatic achievement of the year
had been the opening of relations with France. Accompanied
in France by a vogue in chinoiserie, the new diplomacy
opened trading possibilities for both nations, a Paris-Shanghai route for Air France, and a large and permanent embassy in Paris, China's first major diplomatic outpost in
Western Europe. The long and brilliant tradition of Chinese
studies in France; the delight with which the eighteenthcentury French elite had imbibed the elixir of Chinese civilization; both nations' assumption of their respective superiority
in language, culture,

and food gave

through

historical

a

pleasant

this

diplomatic break-

consistency.

By

October,

France had settled into diplomatic status in Peking.

The East Wind

The 2,600 National Day

1

Prevails

guests,

whom

the

Chinese

were not impressive by the standards
counted
of other capitals. For the Chinese, however, their significance went beyond their numbers. Each one was regarded in
a highly symbolic way as representative of his people and
so precisely,

country. The Chinese press listed with great solemnity not
only the princes and ministers honoring China's revolutionary holiday with their presence, but also individuals such as

American black leader Robert Williams and his
Today, Robert Williams' early advocacy of armed

the

wife.
self-

defense for Blacks seems a distant chapter in contemporary

America's instant history; but for the Chinese then, Robert
Williams was, in fact as well as symbol, a leader of yet another rebellious people.

Thus, National

Day 1964 was

the triumphant celebration

not only of a decade and a half of the People's Republic,
but of the growing success of an audacious foreign policy.

With the new policy came a plethora of needs that had not
existed during the period when China had leaned on the expertise of the Soviet

new

links of

Union. In order to develop the tenuous

diplomacy and friendship, the Chinese would

quickly need to train a corps of young professionals with
proficiency

first

of

all

more important than

in a variety of languages,

and perhaps

the languages themselves, the ability to

analyze and interpret the politics, the journalism, the diplo-

macy, in fact, the culture of the world from which they had
been so long separated. China's isolation after 1949 had not
been of her choosing, but it had been a reality. Although we
went to China in a technical capacity to teach language, in
a symbolic sense

we were

shut the experience of the Chinese Revolution off

much

of the world.

Many

had
from so

crossing the barriers which

of those

who came

as

we

did

brought with them languages and relationships unknown to
modern China. The teaching of Urdu, of Swahili, Bengali,
Persian,

and Arabic represented a remarkable breakthrough

in China's contact with unfamiliar societies, but so indeed

did the teaching of Spanish and Portuguese. By and large,
the teachers and editorial workers found themselves, as we
did, regarded as representative of their people.

Many

were

The Wind Will Not Subside

8

learners

more than

teachers,

coming

to

China

and
hoping to

to witness

study the accomplishments of the revolution,

few lessons which could be applied at home.
Whether or not China intended seriously to organize a
learn

new

a

center,

the reiteration in speeches and editorials of

her position as "the base of world revolution" could have
only one meaning to those

who

was

anywhere

historically not possible

realized that such a center
else.

Peking's American
of each period

community contained representatives
when America had faced two choices in its

relationship with the Chinese Revolution. Just as a few early
friends of the Chinese Revolution,

Strong and George

Hatem (Ma

such as

Hai-teh), had

in China, so several victims of the

McCarthy

Anna Louise
come

to live

holocaust,

men

Frank Coe and Sol Adler, once among the US Treasury
Department's brilliant young staff members, had done the
same. So it was when we arrived during the Vietnam War.
We found ourselves heirs to a thirty-year-old tradition established by our fellow countrymen and women. Yet the
People's Republic of China on its fifteenth anniversary was,
of course, quite different from the legendary government in
the caves of Yenan. The Chinese found it quite natural that
like

we should arrive
many of the new

as a family with three children.

A

great

foreign community of 1964 did the same,

and just as the Chinese were expecting us to teach their
young people our languages, so they had already established
a school to teach our children Chinese.

In January 1964,

Mao

Tse-tung had issued two of his rare

statements concerning the revolutionary struggles of the
world's peoples. Both touched with great immediacy

US

imperialism. In the

Panama and

its

first,

Mao

upon

spoke in support of tiny

people's just struggle for national sovereignty

and control over the Canal Zone. The second challenged another aspect of American world domination, its stationing in
Japan of F-105D nuclear armed aircraft and submarines,
its maintenance of troops and military bases in Japan, its
Security Treaty with Japan, and its control of Okinawa. The
Panamanian struggle was a classic battle of a third world

The East Wind

9

Prevails

weakened by colonialism and imperialism.
Japan was one of the growing economic powers of the world
threatened by America's military force in Asia. Not coincidentally, the struggles in the two countries to which Mao
threw China's support were two of the disparate components
of the world united front against US imperialism which the
leader of earlier and brilliantly successful united fronts was
now formulating. The closing summations of both statements
were close to identical:
country, long

"The people

of the countries in the socialist

camp

should unite, the people of the countries in Asia, Africa,

and Latin America should unite, the people of the conworld should unite, all peace-loving countries and all countries that are subject to US aggression,
control, interference, and bullying should unite and
should form the broadest united front to oppose the US
imperialist policies of aggression and war and to safeguard world peace." 1
tinents of the

It

was the seductive

new and

logic of a

new popular

alliance led

by a

which brought that
and revolutionaries, to-

pristine revolutionary center

diverse group of guests, of kings

gether in Peking that October.

So China, ancient center of civilization, now radiating the
new, was once again discovered
by the world. The shock of recognition, transmitted through
time from Marco Polo to the Nixon press corps, was experienced by "outside country" people from every continent.
irresistible attraction of the

They, like travelers before them, found a remarkable people
living in a society extraordinary for

its order and harmony
and now characterized by an egalitarianism generated by the

closeness of their revolution. This revolution, like

human

events,

ceremonies.

had created

Among

its

own

all

distinctive rituals

great

and

the 2,600 guests attending the pre-

Day banquet in the Great Hall of the People, we
were to encounter for the first time the culture of post-'49

National
China.

Built in 1959 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the
People's Republic, the Great Hall of the People in T'ien An

The Wind Will Not Subside

10

Men
and

Square

monument

a

is

political. It

was

of symbolism, both numerical

built in ten

holds 10,000 people.

As

is

months.

Its

main auditorium

known. Chou

well

En-lai's visits

with honored guests have often taken place in rooms dedicated to each of China's provinces, and the formidable corridors through

which they are reached contain marbles from

every part of the country. But the popular character of the
hall

is

not determined merely by such ceremonial reminders

of the regional individuality of China. Rather,
in the building itself.

we were

Many

it is

to hear stories of the participation of the

citizenry in the construction of the Great Hall,
eral occasions, as

sengers pointed to

—

see

contained

times during our stay in Peking
citv's

and on

sev-

our bus passed the square, fellow pas-

some

that's the part

part of the building and said.

our group built." Like

Chinese, the Hall of the People

is

rhetoric

much

become

"You

that

is

reality

a hall created by the people.
It is difficult to

know what

synthesis of the old and

new

new China, but rituals
modern yet timeless and a

created the diplomatic rituals of the

they are, with a protocol that

is

style singularly definable as post-revolution ary Chinese.

In

which separated the National Day
banquet of 1964 from the one honoring Richard Nixon in
the
1972, there was little to distinguish them in form
combined pomp and jollity of a military band; the flawless
food served with dignified informality by white jacketed
spite of the gulf in policy

—

young men and women; the self-conscious enthusiasm with
which hundreds of guests imitated the Chinese custom of
circulating from table to table to exchange toasts.
There is, no doubt, something about the unexpected scale
of things Chinese which proves exhilarating to those encountering them for the first time, and so it was with a
banquet for 2,600. It was an exhilaration tempered, however, by order, personified in a way which did not seem
strikingly relevant until a few years later. The main speaker
at the banquet was the Chairman of the People's Republic
of China,

Liu Shao-ch'i, white-haired, austere, uncharis-

matic. In accordance with the custom which was soon to

The East Wind

become

Prevails

1

familiar to us, he read his speech while

we

at

our

ta-

bles followed the text word by word. His voice was startlingly
high-pitched, his Hunan accent almost unintelligible to
speakers of Mandarin. The procedure was emotionless, im-

was not. After welcoming the guests
and briefly reviewing the
classifications
proper
in
years, Liu's speech
fifteen
accomplishments of the previous

personal, but the speech
all

their

consisted primarily of specific affirmations of support for
struggling people in all parts of the world. He began with the

the
people of Vietnam and ended with support for ".
working class and broad masses in Western Europe, North
.

.

America, and Oceania in their struggle against monopoly
capital and for democratic rights, the improvement of their

and social progress!" In the spirit of Chairman Mao's recommendation to "turn a bad thing into a
good thing" Liu inverted the encirclement of China into the

living conditions,

bold contention that
circled

".

.

.

US

imperialism

by the people of the whole world."

is

increasingly en-

2

The National Day parade of the following day was yet another embodiment of the reversal of assumptions. Great numbers of people, perhaps a million, participated, while a small

number, perhaps a few thousands, watched. It was as if the
China of 700 million were displaying representative parts
of her society to the watchers, who, for their part, personified
the rest of the world. The parade marchers practiced for
weeks before the event. Every schoolyard and neighborhood
lane echoed with loudly amplified music, the shuffling of
cloth-shod feet, and the abrupt directions for which the curt
consonants of Peking dialect seem so well suited. The area
surrounding T'ien An Men Square was marked off like a
giant chessboard, and each of the hundreds of marching
groups gathered at

its

assigned starting place in the chilly

October dawn. The guests began arriving

many

Day

early, since veter-

was possible to set one's watch by the beginning and end of the
parade, so precise was the organization of this mammoth
event. To arrive at the back entrances of the Imperial Palace
in the crisp morning, walk through the timeless courtyards,
ans of

National

parades told us that

it

1

The Wind Will Not Subside

2

down

the ancient carved marble steps and across

worn pavnow embellished with gray pots of autumn asters
and chrysanthemums, was to feel for a few moments the

ing stones

weight of China's centuries.

We

parade watchers, a strange
new breed of foreign envoys in the Forbidden City, were
present to bear witness to the re-emergence of that center of
influence which

had disappeared

into chaos only to rise

again.

The parade that day was in the style
had seen several National Days, but

familiar to those

who

to the first-time ob-

was a marvel of enormous numbers and perfect
order millions of paper flowers, their oranges, reds and
pinks so unexpectedly harmonious, hundreds of doves and
balloons released into the clear skies, and marchers by the
server

it

—

hundreds of thousands, their long rows impeccably straight,
their animation and seriousness contagious to the viewers in
business suits, saris, military uniforms, African robes, and
the "native costumes" of the world.

As

athletes, workers,

schoolchildren, peasants, militiamen, and national minorities

swept past the reviewing stand, their numbers, their organization, their purposefulness

stamped upon the celebration

the authority of a people cognizant of their destiny. P'eng

Chen, Peking's mayor, spoke as had Liu Shao-ch'i the previous evening of domestic accomplishments and the positive
trend of the revolutionary struggle in the world. He spoke of
the need for modesty in the face of accomplishments, of the
necessity for strengthening one's weaknesses, and of the obligation of a large party to practice the principles of equality

with "all parties, whatever their size," of reaching unanimity

and not imposing one's views on
others. It was a speech characterized not only by optimism
and a sense of success, but with the caution of a young world
power seeking to lead but not control. It represented a high
through consultation,
3

point in China's policy of creating a base for a third world
force.

The optimism

of National

Day

On

did not diminish through-

October 14, Khrushchev was
removed as Chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers. His
out the month of October.

The East Wind

13

Prevails

end of a particularly strong series of attacks
by the Chinese, who saw his political demise as at least a
fall

came

at the

partial verification of their

prolonged criticisms of his policy.

Two days later, with the pointed poetic logic so congenial to
Chinese political culture, China exploded her first nuclear
Moscow's termination of all
nuclear, military, and economic aid. China's remarkable scientific and industrial achievement was entirely her own, an
achievement reached years earlier than even the most optidevice, developed in spite of

mistic outside estimate. Militarily

weak China, having

al-

ready dared to break out of the domination of the Soviet
bloc,

had now taken the

circle of nuclear

On

first

step into the small

and jealous

powers.

was announced to the
Chinese people, we were awakened at midnight by the clashing of drums and cymbals outside our windows. (No matter
what time important events occur in China, they are nearly
always announced and celebrated in the middle of the night.
It is, no doubt, a custom arising out of both China's ancient
history, when the court of the Emperor convened at sunup,
and of her revolutionary history, during which, for reasons
of exigency, meetings and announcements often had to come
at night. ) There was an air of gaiety quite bizarre to recent
arrivals from America, where announcements of nuclear explosions had long been greeted with solemnity and despair.
People piled into trucks and buses, unfurled red flags and
sang songs as they converged on T'ien An Men Square from
all

the night that the explosion

parts of the city. Special editions of the People's Daily

printed the Chinese

Government statement, and a

press

communique was read everywhere over Peking's ubiquitous
loudspeakers. But the gaiety of the people was not bizarre,

nor was

macabre, for they accepted China's

first

nuclear

explosion in the spirit of the government statement.

It said:

it

"To defend
state

.

.

.

oneself

is

the inalienable right of every sovereign

China cannot remain

idle

and do nothing

in the

face of the ever increasing nuclear threat posed by the

United

States.

China

is

forced to conduct nuclear tests and

develop nuclear weapons." In the few weeks that followed,

The Wind Will Not Subside

14

we were

interested to observe in the general exchange of con-

gratulations a conspicuous absence of hawkish sentiments.

The people of China took very literally the further statement that "The Chinese Government hereby solemnly declares that

China

cumstances be the

Mao

will
first

never at any time and under any
to use nuclear

weapons."

cir-

4

himself had spoken about nuclear weapons to Dr.

W. E. B. Du Bois, the eminent black American
when he visited China in 1958. During the course
long conversation,

Du

scholar,

of their

Bois observed that the American

atomic arsenal posed a fearful threat to the people of the
world. Mao responded that it was a good thing that people

America had become pacifistic and were afraid of the
bomb. Since the threat of nuclear war came from the West,
it was useful in Mao's view for Western peoples to fear the
bomb, but since the Chinese themselves were the target and
potential victim of the bomb, it was not useful for the Chinese to be afraid of nuclear weapons. If it would do any
good for him to be frightened, Mao said, he might become
the most frightened man in the world, but he didn't think his
adopting that attitude would serve any useful purpose. 5
in

In the

five years that

we

spent in China, there were to be

other nuclear explosions and other celebrations which be-

came

and in the intensity of public
But the attitude generated by the first one never
changed. Through the remarkable shifts of policy and world
relationships which we were to see, the bomb remained for
the Chinese as it had been from the beginning
a necessary
successively lower in key

interest.

—

evil in the face of aggressive

So we

enemies.

saw China at a kind of pinnacle of national
confidence and optimism. There was a freshness in the application of the new policy which extended also to ourselves.
We were anxious to start work either before or soon after
National Day. But to the Chinese, our eagerness to throw
ourselves into whatever work awaited us, although demonstrating an admirable attitude, was clearly a bit shortsighted.
How was it possible, they wondered, to travel so far, to a
country so different, and not take some time to observe the
new country, to feel it? They thought we should first become
first

The East Wind

15

Prevails

acquainted with each other in order to determine the most
suitable situation in which we should work. The Chinese
sense of pace was impossible to

resist. It is not, as is

some-

times suggested, simply a slower pace, but one with very

rhythms from our own. Some things take great, to
us even dangerous, amounts of time in China. Experiments,
whether as gigantic as the Cultural Revolution or as limited
different

as teaching

methods, are stretched far beyond a point that

seems either

efficient

or psychologically feasible. But there

must be done with breathtaking speed
and intensity. China is moving very rapidly into industrial
time. One feels it immediately in Shanghai, the most industrially advanced of China's cities and the most "Western." In most of China, however, the century-weighted patare other things which

terns

of

agricultural

time

are

still

pervasive

—

the

long

periods of the somnolence of the earth, and the rush to plant

and harvest. Peking, an ancient
still

modern

as well as

capital, is

deeply rooted in this agricultural society. In no part of

from the green commune fields which
vegetables or from the sound of the
donkey-pulled carts on which pipe-smoking peasants ride
winter and summer to deliver produce to the seventh largest
the city

is

grow the

one

far

city's fresh

city in the world.

We slid gently into Chinese time. We spent our first two
months visiting China's monuments, old and new, the parks
and lakes, so formal in conception and so informally enjoyed
by the hard-working, simply-dressed population; the factories, the new and modern ones, the small neighborhood ones,
all functioning with a casual pride; and the communes, the
backbone of all the rest. They were the kinds of sights now
familiar to Americans through the accounts of hundreds of
recent visitors, virtually

all

of

whom

report similar impres-

and purposefulness. But this
was a world only dimly glimpsed in the America of 1964,
sions of energy, confidence,

even to those

who

attempted to study

it.

We

wrote glowing

home, who no doubt thought us bedaza China experience repeated a thousand

letters to friends at

zled, but that

times since
It is

is

Marco

Polo.

probably not possible for

visitors

from the outside

The Wind Will Not Subside

16

ever to absorb the totality of China

—

the area

is

too vast and

varied, the regions of the country too differentiated, the his-

tory too extensive, the culture too intricate.

As

in all civili-

and consciousness; the
penetration of one inevitably reveals yet another, and China
has accumulated thousands of years of such layers of experience. Yet there are in contemporary China certain essential
qualities of life and spirit which are powerfully communicated, and which, whatever the complexities and subtleties
that created them, must be seen as those which most sharply
characterize what modern China is. It was those qualities of
a powerful unity, optimism, and collective purpose which
we felt in our first few months.
The first months of our first winter in Peking flew by
rapidly, consumed not only by the dramatic events of the
world but also by the domestic requirements of winter clothes
and bicycles for the whole family, and a new teaching and
studying life. We had scarcely become settled in our teaching
jobs at the Peking First Foreign Languages Institute, "our"
school for the remainder of our stay in China, and our
children in school to study Chinese, when it was time for the
several weeks of winter vacation which coincide with the
traditional Chinese New Year around the first of February.
zations, there are strata of experience

It is

a time for visiting, for seeing old friends or one's dis-

tant family,

the same.

and

We

seemed an appropriate time for us to do
joined the throngs at the Peking Railroad
it

Station departing for the far reaches of the country. Every-

one seemed to be carrying a plastic handbag or string bag
with Peking delicacies, cold buns of steamed bread to
eat on the train, and the bright enamel cup owned by every
traveler. We went, our family of five, quite alone, on the
comfortable, old-fashioned train that would take us to visit
an American friend living with her daughter and Chinese

filled

grandchildren in Kaifeng,

Honan

Province, center of China's

earliest civilization.

From

the earliest

memory

of

carried huge accretions of fine

man, the Yellow River has
from the lands in the far

silt

west and deposited them in the Central Plain, creating an
alluvial soil of great fertility. It

was

this

phenomenon

of

The East Wind

17

Prevails

nature which stimulated China's early development of an
agricultural civilization in

cretions of the Nile gave

much

rise to

the

same way

that the ac-

What

now Honan

Egypt.

is

first home, and the
was the foundation of the prosperous
dynasties which rose, fell, and rose again in or around
Kaifeng. But the great deposits of the Yellow River, source
of the Central Plain's fertility, were also the source of its
disasters, for with the years and the centuries, the mud has
unceasingly raised the bed of the great river until it has come
to rise high above the level of the plain. This terrifying
phenomenon is the reason for the gigantic floods which have
again and again swept over the plain, claiming lives in the
millions and ruining land and crops uncountable. The
Yellow River became "China's Sorrow," and the history of
the Yellow River Plain has been determined by men's ability
or inability to deal with this marvel and terror of nature.
One does not forget the first view of "The Lord of the
Rivers." The climb to the top of the bank is steep, and
breathing is difficult in the sharp dry cold. There is no sight of
the river until one clambers onto the summit of the incline,
and then the view is endless, like an ocean, not a river, wide
without end, and indeed yellow, yellow-brown like a serpent of mud. This is the central fact in the lives of the tough
and wiry peasants of Honan, and there is little in their daily
farming existence which is not somehow influenced by the

Province was the area of Chinese man's
fertility

of

its

soil

reality of the great river.

The land through which we passed on
barren and harsh, like

all

rows of post- 1949

forestation seen throughout the country.

centration of hydraulic projects

back

into

its

was

of the north central plains area,

virtually treeless except for the neat

giant

the train

is

An

af-

enormous con-

gradually forcing the great

original course, but there are

anomalous

remains of the past. In 1938, Chiang Kai-shek, in a reckless
attempt to stop the Japanese advance on the town of
Chengchow, cut the dykes of the Yellow River and diverted
it

south.

cities

The Japanese were stopped

and 4,000

homeless. This

is

at a cost of eleven

submerged, and 2 million peasants
a chapter of history long past, but a bitter

villages

18

The Wind Will Not Subside

residue remains.

The

soil of the

area suffers from either ex-

and the struggle to
still. There is not, in China,
which Americans accepted from the very

cessive salinity or excessive alkalinity,

deal with the problem continues
the possibility

beginning of their agricultural development, of simply leav-

The

ing behind that land which was unsuitable for crops.

population
so there

is

is

too large for that and the arable land too

no answer but

to

"move mountains,"

little,

to create

terraces out of rocky ravines or tidelands out of the sea,
to use the soil in the intensive

way

and

traditional to Chinese

Honan, which the Chinese frankly speak of
poor province, one is brought to an abrupt realization of
the drama of the Chinese peasant to survive which is at the
root and the heart of the Chinese Revolution. It is a drama
agriculture. In
as a

now much

mitigated by the ending of the landlord system

which, even in

fertile

areas of the country, squeezed the

drama which
movements
since 1949, the establishment of the communes, and even
China's profound disagreements with the Soviet Union must

peasants into famine and destitution; but
is

The

not yet finished.

be seen

We

it is

a

history of the political

in relationship to this question.

had arrived

in

China

at the

end of the period the

hard years (1959-62). In July 1960, the
Chinese had been informed that all economic aid and the
10,000 Russian technicians in China were being withdrawn.
Chinese

call the

By August,
prints

the Russian technicians

had departed with blue-

under arm, and major construction projects through-

out China ground to a halt. China, confronted with the

worst droughts and floods in a century, and attempting to
recover from the dislocations caused by faulty planning in

Leap Forward, faced a serious economic crisis.
The Chinese did suffer from malnutrition in those years,
but there was no famine. Seven hundred million Chinese, in

the Great

an unprecedented

effort of collective will,

shared out each

grain of rice, and bent their backs to repair the damage. City

people and intellectuals took to their beds for a few hours
each day in order to conserve body energy, while those doing
physical

work were

allotted

more

food. People

showed us

snapshots of themselves, looking very thin indeed, and asked

The East Wind
with amusement

if

we

19

Prevails

did not think there was a great dif-

ference from the present "fat" selves. There was.
the grain crop
it

was

was

sufficient; in

1964,

it

By 1963,

was good; by 1965,

excellent.

In February 1965, the psychology of the

Honan

peasants

who had just come through a famine,
who had emerged victorious from a battle. We
were to hear in Kaifeng first what we later heard throughout
the country
that without the communes "we would not
was not

that of people

but of ones

—

have survived." Contrary to the near-unanimous view of
Western experts that the communes had been the cause of
the food shortages, it was the firm view of the peasants that
this new form of extensive farming they could never
have dealt with the exigencies of the natural disasters.

without

The

creation of large-scale agricultural

porating

more than 500

communes

incor-

million peasants stands as one of

the greatest innovations of the Chinese Revolution.

Yet they

did not spring from a vacuum, but from the uninterrupted
revolution

on the land unleashed by China's peasant war.

After the victory of the revolution in 1949, the peasants,
lacking draft animals and farm implements, had moved
rapidly to set

up mutual aid teams which pooled resources

while retaining private ownership of land, animals, and tools.

These teams, encouraged by Party leaders and aided by state
which each
contributor was repaid for his contribution out of joint

loans, soon evolved into farming cooperatives in

funds.

By

the winter of 1956,

much

of the countryside

had

been organized into cooperatives, most of which, by the
spring of 1958, had paid off their debts incurred in the purchase of land animals and farm implements. At this point,
the

movement

to establish

communes began. This remark-

able stage-by-stage revolution in the world's largest peasant

country, although a tumultuous and stormy process, appears,

when

contrasted with the agony of the Russian peasant

under

Stalin's policy of collectivization, as a relatively

smooth

transition to the creation of a stable, socialized agriculture

By merging 740,000 agricultural cooperatives into
some 74,000 communes, a new social institution emerged
which combined farming, industry, commerce, education,
system.

The Wind Will Not Subside

20

and defense. The communes continue to run their own
schools and banks. They perform governmental functions,
much like an American county seat, and handle military
affairs

through the establishment of local militia

Thus, very early in our stay in China,

units.

we encountered

good and viable
500 million peasants and in her own way.
was an awareness that would remain with us in the coming

the nation's stern imperative to create a

—

existence for her
It

period of great complexities.

summer

We

traveled

the

following

China and
visited communes, fragrant with tea and flowers, where the
peasants lived in two-story lath and stucco homes of an
Elizabethan elegance. But it is on the harsh northern plains,
where the peasants, no longer lashed by landlords, are still
lashed by nature, that one begins to understand why, to Mao,
the question of the Chinese peasant has always been central
to the lush countryside of south central

to China's revolution.

As we adapted

ourselves to the currents of

life

generated

by a people making up one-fourth of humanity, we found
that the Chinese lived and thought on two planes. One was
the lively workaday existence of ordinary people concerned
with practical economic, political, and personal problems.
The other involved an almost cosmic consciousness of
China's place in the global scheme of things
an awareness

—

of the historic past, the present as the product of that past,

and the emerging future. We were often struck by the timeframe thinking of our friends, who, when we discussed the
student, worker, or minority movements in our country,
wished to know in what stage we thought that movement
was. Stages were important to them, because they felt what
was appropriate at the beginning of any historical or political process might not be appropriate in a subsequent stage.
And so we, too, gradually began to think in the Chinese way
of a beginning, a middle, and an end to each historical
process, slowly absorbing the knowledge of China's past
political and historical development in order to understand
the present.

Chapter

Two Roads

ON THE HOLIDAYS
tion six giant portraits

The
same

II

—Two Lines

Communist Revolulook out on Peking's Tien An Men
of the Chinese

Square.

portraits are always the same,

in the

place. Centered

the yellow-tiled
portrait of

the

Mao

shadow

on the red wall directly under
roof of the Gate of Heavenly Peace is the

To the left of the great square, in
Museum of the Revolution, are pic-

Tse-tung.

of the vast

tures of Karl

and each appears

Marx and

Friedrich Engels.

On

the right, in

front of the Hall of the People, are portraits of Lenin
Stalin,

T'ien

and

and

directly across the multi-acred plaza opposite

An Men,

situated at the base of the

Monument

Revolution, rests the portrait of Sun Yat-sen.

Mao

to the

and Sun

thus face each other under the broad expanse of the northern

Peking sky, while Marx and Engels, Lenin and Stalin, stand
guard on the flanks of the revolution. The precise symbolism
of these prophets

of revolution reflects

the

synthesis

of

Chinese and European idea systems attempted by the Chinese people in the twentieth century.

Not long after our arrival, we were taken across the immense square to look at the Monument to the People's
Revolutionary Martyrs. Inscribed on its towering granite face
were the names of patriots who, from the middle of the nineteenth century up to China's liberation in 1949, had fought for
Chinese national independence. What struck us was this
official recognition that the Chinese Revolution encompassed a century-long process of struggle and that the Chi-

The Wind Will Not Subside

22
nese
It

Communist Party had appeared only

was soon apparent

to us that the

see themselves as actors in a 100-year

To

in the last act.

Chinese people of today

drama

of revolution.

them, the four volumes of Chairman Mao's works repre-

own lives and that of their parents
and grandparents. The dynamic quality of life in China that
we were to share for a time stems from the belief of its people
that they are both living and making history.
It would become clearer to us as time passed that the Chinese people were engaged in one of those climactic periods
of their long history which involved the struggle to transform
an appropriated foreign doctrine into a new cultural synsent a history of their

thesis uniquely Chinese. Just as, in the distant past,

China

had reshaped Buddhism imported from India into a system
fit for Chinese use, the Chinese have found in Marxism an
affinity with Chinese collective life patterns and dialectical
philosophic traditions. China's remolding of Marxism has
been a stormy and revolutionary process. Yet the remarkable
harmony achieved by Chinese civilization throughout the
centuries has often arisen out of chaotic struggles not so
different

from

from

this.

Unity, as

Mao

asserts,

can emerge only

struggle.

As we were
leaders over

to learn, a bitter conflict

which road

Communist Party from

to follow

between Chinese

had existed within the
Even

the beginning of the revolution.

seventeen years after the victory of the Chinese Revolution,
the dispute remained unresolved.

We

had come

to

China

at

the decisive stage of that massive effort to appropriate, translate,

and then break loose from the Russian revolutionary
many non-Chinese observers in the fall of

experience. Like

1964,

we

believed that the Chinese

Communist

leadership

constituted a monolithic, veteran group, united in policy and
direction. Despite periodic

arguments

at the top

and the

occasional replacement of individual national leaders, the

Chinese Communist Party was noted for possessing the most

group of leaders of any political organization in the
world. Within two years, not only would that "stable" leadership divide into hostile camps, but the nation would move to
stable

the brink of civil war. Believing that the debate with the

— Two Lines

Two Roads

23

we found that among the
had just begun. Along with millions
of ordinary Chinese, we were drawn into a political struggle
over the meaning of a half century of Chinese history. The
Chinese political war of the mid-Sixties was, in fact, a conflict over the two models of revolutionary development produced by the fundamentally different experiences of the
Russian and Chinese revolutions. Which model should
China choose? Which would be more relevant to its future
development? It was a political struggle rooted not only in
theory, but in the historical experiences of the two great
revolutions of the twentieth century. Labeled by the Chinese
as "the struggle between the two lines," it was a contest among
leaders influenced by the model of revolution developed by
Mao Tse-tung in his guerrilla capital of Yenan and those
determined to follow the classic Moscow formula for modRussians was just about over,

Chinese themselves

it

ernization.

Throughout the whole protracted course of the Chinese
Revolution, the effort to synthesize the experience of the

Russian Revolution produced strains and tensions within the
ranks of the Chinese Communist Party.

Mao's writings

clearly reflect the search of generations of Chinese thinkers

for a formula to revive a collapsing civilization.

described

how he had

"From
of

1

.

my

once

himself engaged in that search:

the time of China's defeat in the

Opium War

840, Chinese progressives went through untold hard-

ships in their quest for truth
[.

Mao

.]

every effort was

youth,

made

to

from Western countries
learn from the West. In

engaged in such studies. They represented the culture of Western bourgeois democracy, including social theories and natural sciences of that
period, and they were called the 'new learning' in contrast to Chinese feudal culture, which was called the 'old
I,

too,

learning.'

"Imperialist aggression shattered the fond

dreams of
from the West. It was very
odd why were the teachers always committing aggression against their pupil? The Chinese learned a good
deal from the West, but they could not make it work and
were never able to realize their ideals." 6
the Chinese about learning

—

The Wind Will Not Subside

24

According to Mao, the Chinese finally discovered a universally applicable truth from the Russian October Revolution
of 1917
"The salvoes of the October Revolution brought

—

us Marxism-Leninism."
If the salvoes of the October Revolution brought the
Chinese Marxism-Leninism, then the history and traditions
of peasant revolt that had existed for centuries provided the
social forces and indigenous form for China's revolutionary

transformation.

Hunan had been

the center of Chinese revo-

lutionary thought for over half a century prior to the 1911

Revolution. Moreover, Hunan, unlike Peking, was influenced

by the concepts of peasant revolt, specifically the
It was in Hunan that Mao
developed intellectually and where he spent more than eight
years of his youth as a student and teacher at the Hunan
Normal School in Changsha. It required a peasant intellecdirectly

Taiping rebellion of the 1860's.

tual to lead China's peasant revolution.

The

scholars of

Hunan,

isolated

from the main currents

of Chinese history and thought during the eighteenth and

own pragmatic

early nineteenth centuries, developed their

and interpretative approach to the Confucian classics. These
writings, stressing economic and political aspects of Confucianism, challenged the scholasticism predominant in the
rest of the country. It

Manchu

was

Wang Fu-chih ( 1619-92) the antiwho first developed an
,

philosopher of Hengyang,

evolutionary approach to Chinese political institutions asserting that each historical period produced its own unique
form of political organization. He therefore argued that it
was futile to attempt to revive ancient institutions. This
notion was, of course, an attack on a fundamental tenet of
Confucian philosophy. For Wang, political and social systems, as well as human nature, and social customs were all

subject to change:

"What

is

not yet complete can be completed; what

already completed can be reformed. There
part of

human

modified." 7

is

is

not a single

nature already shaped that can not be

Two Roads

Wang

— Two Lines

25

known

The

ideas of

own

province during his lifetime, but by the second half of

Fu-chih were not well

outside his

whole generation of
scholars and officials in Hunan, and during Mao's youth
these ideas were widespread in the progressive school system
with which Mao became associated.
Wang Fu-chih had stated, "Action can reap the result of
knowledge, whereas knowledge might not lead to action."
His theory of knowledge, while embracing a theory of observation and deduction, placed the weight on action. In
1937, Mao Tse-tung wrote in his famous essay "On Practhe nineteenth century they influenced a

tice":

you want knowledge, you must take part in the
you want to know the
taste of a pear, you must change the pear by eating it
yourself [.
.] If you want to know the theory and methods of revolution, you must take part in revolution." 8
"If

practice of changing reality. If

.

Did

this

come from Wang Fu-chih or Marx and Engels, from
Un-

the Chinese dialectical system or the dialectics of Hegel?

Mao

was influenced by both Western and Chinese
them compatible. What he
could not digest from the West he discarded, and as he and
other Chinese Communists gained experience, they discarded
more and more of the theory which did not fit their own
doubtedly

schools of thought and found

environment.
In the late summer of 1965, Andre Malraux, then French
Minister of Culture, asked Mao when he had formulated the
idea that the peasants were the

Mao

Revolution.

"My

main force of the Chinese

replied:

conviction did not take shape;

But there

is

a rational answer

Kai-shek's coup in Shanghai,

all

we

I

always

felt

it.

the same. After Chiang
scattered.

As you know,

decided to go back to my village. Long ago, I had experienced the great famine of Changsha, when the severed heads of rebels were stuck on poles, but I had forI

gotten

it.

Two

miles outside

stripped of their bark

ing people

had eaten

up
it.

my

village there

were

trees

to a height of twelve feet; starv-

We

could

make

better fighters

The Wind Will Not Subside

26
out of

men who were

forced to eat bark than out of the

stokers of Shanghai, or even the coolies. But Borodin

understood nothing about peasants." 9

Nor, he added, did

However, a number of young

Stalin.

Chinese Communists took a different road than Mao's. In
the early days of the revolution, they made the pilgrimage to

Moscow,

studied at the Lenin School, and returned to China

to apply the urban-oriented Russian formula of revolution.

They brought with them a

blueprint for revolution and a

charter of leadership issued in
to these early

Moscow. Mao was

referring

Chinese Communist leaders and others

who

would follow them when he told Malraux that "there is no
such thing as abstract Marxism, but only concrete Marxism,
adapted to the concrete

naked

realities of

China, to the trees as

busy eating

as the people because the people are

them."

Mao

undersood, as had

all

great revolutionary leaders be-

fore him, that revolutions are created by

monumental

which sweep aside everything standing

forces

in their

"Everything arose out of a specific situation:

we

social

We

way:

or-

Revolution is a drama of passion; we did not win the people
over by appealing to reason, but by developing hope,
ganized peasant revolt,

trust,

and

did not instigate

it.

fraternity. In the face of famine, the will to

on a religious force. Then in the struggle
and the rights brought by agrarian reform,
the peasants had the conviction that they were fighting
for their lives and their children."
equality takes

for rice, land,

What Mao was describing was the reality of a massive social
movement which characterizes revolution from below. "You
must realize," he told Malraux, "that before us, among the
masses,

young.

no one addressed themselves

Nor

of course to the peasants.

their lives, every

one of them

felt

to

women

For the

first

or the

time in

involved."

Mao and a few others
beginning
to elaborate upon,
were
had fully understood, and
the differences between the Russian and Chinese models of
By

the time of our arrival in China,

Two Roads
revolution.

— Two Lines

The Chairman reminded

"When Westerners

his

27

French guest:

talk about revolutionary sentiments, they

nearly always attribute to us a propaganda akin to Russian

propaganda. Well,

if

there

propaganda,

is

it

that of your revolution [French Revolution

more

is

like

1789-93].

propaganda means training militiamen and guerrillas,

we

If

did

a lot of propaganda." In the late 1920's, the battered rem-

nants of China's revolutionary leadership retreated to the
countryside after the disastrous defeat of the revolutionary
uprisings in Shanghai
soil

which had

and Canton. There they sank roots

for transferring political

The

in

traditionally sprouted the social instrument

power

in

China

—peasant

rebellion.

ancient Chinese theory of revolution, as developed by

Mencius, was meant solely for removing tyrants. The "Mandate of Heaven" stood as a religious sanction and after-thefact legitimation of a

new

ruler.

Such new emperors, often
power on the back of
has been argued that every

of peasant origin, frequently rode to

massive armed peasant revolt.

It

Chinese dynasty has arisen from a period of war involving
peasant rebellion, a time of troubles

when

"the great fight

each other for power and the poor turn against all government." 10 There is enough truth in this simplified concept of
Chinese history to suggest how Mao and the Chinese Communists were able to transform peasant rebellion, a traditional

Chinese political form, through Western Marxist-

Leninist theories of class struggle and revolutionary seizure
of state power.

The

first

great revolutionary manifesto of the Chinese

Revolution, written by the young

Mao

the seeds of the unique Chinese view of

in 1927, contained

modern

revolution:

"The present upsurge of the peasant movement is a
colossal event. In a very short time, in China's central,
southern, and northern provinces, several hundred million peasants will rise like a

ricane, a force so swift

mighty storm, like a hurand violent that no power, how-

ever great, will be able to hold
all
»

it back. They will smash
them and rush forward along
They will sweep all the imperial-

the trammels that bind

the road to liberation.

The Wind Will Not Subside

28

warlords and corrupt

officials, local tyrants and evil
Every revolutionary party and
every revolutionary comrade will be put to the test, to be
accepted or rejected as they decide [.
.] Every Chinese
is free to choose, but events will force you to choose
ists,

gentry, into their graves.

.

quickly." 11

Mao

put the revolution before the Party; the Party was to
be tested by the revolution. Thirty years later, Mao would
use the same concept to test the Party once more in the fires
of revolution from below, and

we

as foreign teachers

would

urban population
submerged in a mass politics involving millions of activists.
This was hardly the concept of the role of the vanguard
party developed by the Russians.
Concepts of revolution from below were further elaborated and developed by the Chinese communists when they
sank roots once again in the peasantry after their epic Long
March to secure Northw est China base areas. For more than
a decade, Mao and other Chinese leaders learned the rudiments of popular rule in the vast Liberated Areas the Chifind ourselves with the rest of the Chinese

7

r

Communist armies carved out for themselves. The new
political system worked out by Mao and his followers from
the caves of their capital town in the dry plateau region of
nese

Shensi Province included:

an anti-bureaucractic

simplified administration, reliance
tion,

on

style

of

local-level organiza-

the dispatch of intellectuals to the countryside, co-

operative forms of production, mandatory cadre labor at the

point of production, and the systematic spread of popular
education. 12 All these were to

new Maoist

become

the hallmarks of the

revolutionary theory and practice, very different

indeed from the Russian bureaucratic system of top-down
rule. The new popular forms of Chinese communist government grew naturally in the decentralized environment of

protracted revolutionary guerrilla war.

After decades of successful organization and popular rule
in

the

Liberated Areas of the Chinese countryside,

the

Chinese peasant revolutionary armies conquered the major
coastal

cities

by storm

in

1949. There, they confronted

— Two Lines

Two Roads
entirely

vided
to

new problems

little

make

guidance.

for

Mao

29

which their past experience proand his followers had learned how

revolution, but they

knew

little

about building a

modern economy. Naturally, the Chinese Communists, including Mao, turned to the Russians for guidance in constructing a modern socialist economy and administration.
The art of revolution has always been a cumulative endeavor, and Mao, like Lenin before him, looked to history

new

Although the
power
of the Chinese Communists, Russian backing was needed to
counter the American military threat and economic boycott

for models in constructing a

Russians had done

new
Mao made
of the

little

social order.

to support the final surge to

revolutionary regime. In these circumstances,

was necessary for Chinese
one side."
There were a number of factors which accounted for the
tenacious hold of the Russian version of Marxism-Leninism
on the Chinese Communist Party. For one thing, the Russian
concept of the vanguard party was directly exported and
transplanted in Chinese revolutionary soil by representatives
the decision that

it

survival in a hostile world to "lean to

of the

Communist

International in the 1920's.

Some Chinese

Moscow, saw the new
nothing more than a replica of

leaders, particularly those educated in

Chinese Communist Party as

the Russian Bolshevik Party. While

Mao

accepted the theory

of the Leninist vanguard party, over the years he
terpret that theory differently

from some of

was

to in-

his colleagues.

A

second factor was the creation of a Chinese Communist
underground apparatus in the White Areas of the country
under the domination of Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang

government and the Japanese during the decades of revolutionary civil war. Under conditions of illegality and terror,
parallels with the Russian historical experience occurred.
Ideological and organizational patterns characteristic of the
Russian Bolshevik Party were reproduced in a Chinese environment. It was no accident that, by the 1960's, Liu Shao-ch'i,
the leader of the underground party in the White Areas,
should have become the major representative of the "revisionist" line in opposition to Mao and the indigenous Chi-

The Wind Will Not Subside

30

nese political and organizational line created in Yenan.

The

Party in the White Areas was secret, highly disciplined, centralized,

and by necessity

while the Party in

rigidly hierarchical in structure,

Yenan enjoyed an open

existence leading

popularly elected

governments enthusiastically supported
by the masses of poor peasants. Policy and command in the
underground Party in the White area flowed from the top
down. Loyalty to the Party, rather than to the revolutionary
classes, governed the outlook of the majority of the Party
members. In Yenan, the situation was almost the reverse.
Finally, and perhaps most decisively, there was the direct
influence of thousands of Russian advisors

who came

to

China during the 1950's. Looking back on those days, Mao
admitted that he lacked experience and knowledge in constructing a modern economy. He himself led the argument
that China must seek Russian aid and learn how Russia had
transformed herself from a backward country into a powerful industrial socialist state.

As

a result, the Russians laid the

foundations of China's machine tool industry, trained corps
of technicians, and established the

framework

for China's

secondary and higher educational systems.

The more than 10,000 Russian
China during

this

advisors

who came

to

period succeeded in winning over an im-

portant section of the Chinese leadership to Soviet concepts
of economic development, Party organization, and educational goals.

The Russian economic formula was

heavy industry
agricultural

first,

to build

deferring agricultural development until

machinery would become available for the

countryside. Surplus capital for investment in industrial en-

would be extracted from the peasantry
Russia. This Soviet model of development

had been

claves

as

in

called for the

it

creation of a technological elite through specialized and intensive education of the few.

The Russian concept

of Party

building was to consolidate and firmly establish the vanguard

party as a surrogate for the urban working class.
professionalized

A

highly

army divorced from politics was to be
Red Army and the rank and file

created after the Soviet
guerrilla tradition

phased out.

— Two Lines

Two Roads

31

Within two years of our arrival in Peking we were to
witness the massive denunciation of all these concepts of
modernization as "revisionist."

If

such policies were con-

tinued, the Maoists argued in the mid-Sixties,

"change color" and head

down

the restoration of capitalism.

China would

a road that could lead only to

They charged

that a

new

pressive class system similar to that of the Soviet

would be

established.

The

op-

Union

"two-line struggle" which erupted

and almost led

in the Cultural Revolution

to civil war,

counterposed the Yenan tradition to what was essentially the

Russian model of modernization. In opposition to the pro-

gram of giving

priority to

heavy industry, the Maoists pro-

mulgated an economic policy centered on agricultural development as the foundation of the national economy. The
surplus for industrial development would come from an expansion of agricultural output rather than from existing

The Maoists

peasant reserves.

refused to build the country

by exploiting the 500 million peasants who had made the
revolution in the

first

than consolidating an

As

for Party building, rather

Mao

wished to expose the van-

place.
elite,

guard party to periodic rectification by the masses. In education, the Maoists hoped to dismantle the elite school
system and substitute a program of widespread popular
schooling based on the

was

to

come

first,

Yenan

tradition. In the

technical efficiency second.

army, politics

By 1964,

this

was more than apparent to all
China's foreign guests, but the fact that the nation was on
the verge of an internal political revolution was not. We
were, of course, curious to know what the feeling of the
average Chinese was toward their former "comrades in
arms" the Russians.
criticism of the Russians

—

A Chinese friend told us his version of the evolution of the
Russian advisory program in China. The
sians

who came

first group of Rushe said, had been true
enthusiastic about China's revolution

in the early 1950's,

comrades and friends,
and sharing the ideological commitments of the Chinese.
He told of one advisor, working in drought-stricken Honan,
who, on seeing the first rain in months, jumped out of his

The Wind Will Not Subside

32
car in suit and
is

good

tie

and, standing in the deluge, shouted, "This

for the Revolution."

placed the

first

was more

The second group which reour friend told us. They

aloof,

were good technicians, competent, professional, and serious
about their work, but also determined to establish Sovietstyle regulations in a uniform manner in every possible project and factory. They lived apart in elite quarters designed

them with luxuries unknown to their Chinese
counterparts and showed little enthusiasm for China's development aside from their own technological input. The third
to provide

group came in the
interested in

late Fifties.

was data and

factory in the country.

"We

friend exclaimed, "and

we

The only

statistical

thing they were

information on every

considered that espionage," our
refused to give

them what they

wanted."
This, then, constituted the broad outline of the tensions

produced by the Chinese effort to synthesize world revolutionary experience and to construct from the ground up
revolutionary institutions capable of sustaining a

new modern
from

nation. Since 1958, the Sino-Soviet conflict developed

a Party dispute to that between the two largest socialist
states in the world.

China was now confronted by the two

superpowers, both declaring hostility to China's revolutionary system, both devoted to undermining that system and,
if

possible, to overthrowing

it.

The

triangular pattern of

world power relationships had already begun to

affect

world

history.

Changes in the Soviet Union, not China, precipitated the
growing crisis within the world system of communist states
and parties. It had all begun when Khrushchev, at the XXth
Congress of the Soviet Communist Party, without any prior
consultation with other parties,
basic line of the international

arbitrarily

movement and

jettisoned

the

substituted one

of his own. His total denunciation of Stalin, in effect, put

and
on "peaceful coexistence"
what was to become the new Russian

into question thirty years of revolutionary experience,
his revision of Lenin's position

laid the foundation for
world view which envisioned Soviet-United States cooperation for the settlement of world problems.

Two Roads
Observers of world

— Two Lines

communism

33

are fond of citing the

Chinese as the modern Protestants breaking with the Holy
doctrine established in

Moscow.

If analogies are in order,

might be more
XXth Congress in another light. Was it not as if the
Pope rather than Luther had nailed the ninety-five theses to
the door of the church at Wittenberg? Revision of fundamental doctrine by the center of world communism created
accurate to view Khrushchev's secret speech

it

at the

communist movement since
the founding of the Third International. Within a few months,
a leading saint of world communism had been proclaimed a
devil, revolution had been discarded for the doctrine of
"peaceful transition," and peaceful coexistence, by implication, became the substitute for revolution as the agency of
the greatest crisis in the world

global change. In the future, the leaders of the United States

and the Soviet Union would attempt to decide the affairs
of the rest of the world by themselves. At this historical
juncture, the Chinese

Communist

Party, standing firmly

the rock of the Chinese Revolution,

emerged

defender of a European-originated belief system

now

danger of disintegration.
Chinese Communists, and especially Mao, had few
torical reasons for revering Stalin

testing him.

—and even

The Chinese, however, were

on

as the foremost

in

his-

a few for de-

less interested in

defending Stalin as leader than they were in constructing a
defense of the Russian Revolution, out of which their own

had sprung. Acutely aware of the importance of
symbols, the Chinese understood that the Russians were
smashing more than the image of Stalin. They were not just
dispensing with an icon, but dismantling the Church itself.
In April 1956, the Chinese published the famous essay
revolution

"On

the Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the

be followed nine months later by a second
document, "More on the Historical Experience of the DicProletariat," to

These two essays established
and able defenders of
Marxist political theory in the world. It was during this
period that Mao told the Russian Ambassador to China,
"Stalin deserves to be criticized, but we do not agree with the
tatorship of the Proletariat."

the Chinese as the most consistent

The Wind Will Not Subside

34

method of criticism, and there are some other things we do
not agree with." 13 The Chinese themselves had rejected the

work style, the Stalin formula of rule by command,
and many other Stalinist precepts of Party organization, but
they were not about to trample on forty years of world revoStalinist

lutionary history.

By

1957, the Chinese Communist leadership under

Mao

had gained a great deal of experience both in agricultural
and industrial development and was confidently beginning
to assert itself as a group of mature and experienced Marxists within the international communist movement. This was
the period when Khrushchev's new line had unloosed a revolt in Eastern Europe and the United States stepped up the
pace of the international arms race. On October 15, 1957,
the Russians, desperately needing China's support, signed an

agreement to help China develop her own nuclear weapons
In the following month, representatives of the
socialist bloc nations and communist leaders throughout the
world adopted in Moscow the Declaration of World Communist Parties. This declaration appeared to reverse some of
systems.

the Soviet

XXth

old international

tough

Congress theses and reinstated
line.

line of the

United

States,

may have encouraged Khrushchev

on ideological

issues.

force through their

of the

new

and opposition within the

Soviet elite to the doctrinal revisions of the
all

much

Soviet euphoria over Sputnik, the

to

XXth

make

Congress,

concessions

In any case, the Chinese were able to

own

thesis that

center of world reaction" and

amend

"US

imperialism

is

the

the Khrushchev "peace-

theory by inserting the caveat: "Leninism
and experience confirms, that the ruling classes
never relinquish power voluntarily." This was the moment
ful transition"

teaches,

of history

Moscow

when Mao proclaimed to the Chinese students in
Wind prevails over the West Wind!"

that "the East

However, the

spirit

of Sino-Soviet unity proved to be

By the spring of 1958, Mao had renewed the
revolution at home by launching the Great Leap Forward
and the agricultural commune movement. The Yenan model
of revolution was reasserting itself. The year 1958 was a
short-lived.

— Two Lines

Two Roads

turning point in the Chinese Revolution, as

35

we were

to learn

many discussions with our Chinese friends. Whether or not
one enthusiastically supported the Great Leap and the communes became a test of loyalty to Mao's revolutionary line.
Within two years of our arrival, all Chinese had to account
for their record during the tumultuous years of the Great
in

Leap.

During those days when the new revolution was sweeping
over the Chinese countryside, the counterrevolution gathered
strength in the Taiwan Straits. By July 1958, Chiang Kai-

American support, had transferred approximately
one-third of his army, some 200,000 troops, to Quemoy
Island, within a stone's throw of the Chinese mainland. Engaged in a decisive stage of revolutionary mass mobilization
and threatened with outside attack, the Chinese looked for
unequivocal support from the Soviet Union. In July, Khrushchev arrived in Peking. In discussions with Mao, he made
it clear that as a quid pro quo for Russian support against
the United States, the Russians would demand that Soviet
naval and air bases be established at the principal Chinese
port cities. Mao later said that he had responded by telling
Khrushchev that if the Russians forced through this demand,
the Chinese would go up in the hills to fight the new occupiers of Chinese territory. 14 It was during this discussion
that Khrushchev remarked that guerrillas and militiamen in
an era of nuclear weaponry were nothing but a heap of flesh
and that the Chinese People's Communes were "nonsense."
Russian failure to back China in the Taiwan Straits crisis
and Russian antagonism to the Maoist concept of uninterrupted revolution strengthened Mao's conviction that the
Russians were no longer interested in revolution. Mao and
shek, with

other Chinese leaders feared that the Russians were once

again turning toward collusion with the United States for

superpower control of the world. On November 17, 1958,
Khrushchev told Hubert Humphrey in a public interview that
the Chinese communes were "old-fashioned and reactionary." For the first time, the Russians had publicly interfered
in Chinese affairs. They had aligned themselves with the

The Wind Will Not Subside

36

United States in condemning the continuing revolutionary
process in China. We were, of course, more or less familiar
with the main elements of the dispute between the Chinese

and Russians over international strategy and revolutionary
theory. What we did not know, but would soon learn, was
that internal and external pressure during the period of the
Great Leap had created serious divisions among the Chinese
national leaders which proved in the long run insoluble. In

month following Khrushchev's public criticism of the
Chinese communes, the Central Committee of the Chinese

the

Communist Party met
and errors

at

Wuchang

to criticize the disloca-

from the Great Leap Forward. It was
at this meeting that Mao resigned as Chairman of the
People's Republic so that he could devote "more time to
tions

arising

Marxist-Leninist theoretical work."

He

relinquished

the

leading position in the nation to Liu Shao-ch'i, but remained

Chairman of the Communist Party. Whether or not he
was compelled to resign, we were told during the Cultural
Revolution that Mao said, "I was most dissatisfied with that
decision, but there was nothing I could do about it."
It was in the spring of 1959 that the Chinese Revolution
as

entered a conclusive, decade-long struggle to break loose

from the influence of the Russian Revolution and
national organization.

The

first five

its

inter-

years of this process in-

volved breaking with the Soviet Party and State. The second
five years,

corresponding with our

own

years in China, in-

volved the attempt to break with the internal influence of the
Soviet political, economic, and social model of modernization.

major internal power struggles
within the Chinese Communist Party have in one way or
another been linked to leaders connected with Moscow. The
overthrow of Li Li-san in the Thirties, Wang Ming in the
Forties, Kao Kang and P'eng Teh-huai in the Fifties, and

For over

forty

years,

Liu Shao-ch'i in the

Sixties

have

all

involved the Russian

connection. At the 1959 Lushan Conference, the struggle
between the Defense Minister, Marshal P'eng Teh-huai, and

Mao

Tse-tung reflected the persistent pressure of the Soviet

Two Roads

— Two Lines

37

key factor in China's internal politics. That conference witnessed the most bitter political and personal
attack on Mao Tse-tung in the history of the Chinese Com-

Union

as a

munist Party. We, together with millions of Chinese, would
soon be reading the hitherto restricted speeches of the Lushan
meeting.

Marshal

P'eng

soldier, veteran of the

Teh-huai,

an

acerbic

peasant

Long March, and commander

of the

Chinese Volunteers in the Korean War, led the political

Leap and Mao's concept of
agricultural organization. P'eng led his attack on Mao by
criticizing the formula for "putting politics in command."
Moreover, he ridiculed the Great Leap Strategy as a program of petit bourgeois fanaticism which violated all known
economic and scientific laws. P'eng stood instead for a
strategy of planned economic development dependent upon
faction opposed to the Great

Russian

aid.

As Defense

Minister,

P'eng's

notion of

a

modern professionalized army was predicated upon Soviet
weapons aid and would have meant a return to a heavy industry economic strategy. Mao Tse-tung, in contrast, hoped
to guarantee China's independence by concentrating on the
development of atomic weapons, either with or without
aid, and by building a mass, rather than a Westernstyle, professional army. The Maoist army, backed by local
militia, would be geared to a strategy of "defense in depth."
Russian

Mao had

outlined his concept of the road to follow as early

as 1956:

"Do you want atomic bombs? If you do, you must decrease the proportion of military expenditure and increase economic construction. Or do you only pretend
to want them? In that case, you will not decrease the
proportion of military expenditure, but decrease eco-

nomic construction. Which is the
body please study this question.

better plan? Will everyIt is

a question of stra-

tegic policy." 15

was clear that the question of Chinese national independence was an unshakeable principle for Mao.
On July 23, Mao launched his counterattack against P'eng
Teh-huai and his supporters; it was the beginning of a proIt

The Wind Will Not Subside

38

tracted political war.
errors in the Great

While admitting shortcomings and

Leap and commune movements,

stood firmly by his conviction that

make

history

shal P'eng,

it

is

and not technique alone. In

Mao showed

Marhe was

his reply to

in characteristic fashion that

willing to take the risk of disorder

Mao

social forces that

and chaos

in return for

revolutionary transformation:

"The People's Communes

will

never collapse. At the

one has collapsed. I am prepared
to have one-half of them collapse. Even if seventy percent of them collapse, we will have the remaining thirty
present, not a single

per cent." 16

The

People's

Communes

subsequently withstood every

and may well be recorded

test

as the greatest social innovation

of the Chinese Revolution.

Mao

characterized the political struggle at Lushan as a

and his opponents as right opportunists who
were attempting to split the Party. After a complex and
bitter fight, including a threat by Mao to return to the hills
class struggle

to organize a

new

revolutionary

army

of peasants to fight the

leadership which had opposed his revolutionary line,

won

Mao

a decisive victory. P'eng Teh-huai was removed as

Defense Minister and replaced by Mao's close

But history would show that a

ally

Lin Piao.

substantial portion of the

Chinese leadership shared the views of the deposed Marshal
P'eng.

The
and

struggle against

Marshal P'eng over internal

policies

with the Russians over their strategy of collusion with

now merged and in a sense became inHowever, not wishing to make the conflict with
the Russian Communist Party a dispute between nations,
the Chinese hoped to argue out differences in terms of the
philosophy which both countries claimed to share. Khrushchev, on the other hand, responded to the new Chinese
theoretical broadsides with insulting attacks on Chinese
Communist leaders. At the famous Bucharest Meeting of
Representatives from Fraternal Communist Parties, he
the United States
separable.

— Two Lines

Two Roads

lashed out at the Chinese delegates, calling

who wanted

to unleash a

new world

war.

He

39

them "madmen"
labeled the Chi-

nese as pure nationalists in the Sino-Indian boundary dis-

pute and characterized the Chinese

Communist

leaders as

and sectarian." By
from the realm
of ideology to one between national states by withdrawing
the 10,000 Russian technicians from China, which in turn
17
created a crisis in the already strained Chinese economy.
Chinese society and politics of the 1960's were marked by
the intensification of the conflict engendered by Mao's attempt to extricate the Chinese Revolution from the Russian
embrace. Criticism, both veiled and open, continued against
Mao's domestic policy of uninterrupted revolution. Despite
the dismissal of P'eng Teh-huai for his opposition to Mao's
line of "self-reliance" and politics in command, and the more
veiled charge that P'eng was in "collusion" with Russian
leaders, the deposed Marshal retained much of his influence.
We, who knew something of the P'eng Teh-huai case from
the foreign press before we had come to China, had no idea
that the issue was still smoldering under the surface, nor
that the Chinese leaders were badly split, some wishing to
"reverse the verdict" on P'eng Teh-huai. Later, it was disclosed publicly that at the Party's Enlarged Work Conference
held in January 1962 the debate over the justice or injustice
of P'eng's removal from office was reopened. P'eng himself
circulated an 80,000-character document defending his criticism of the commune movement and the strategy of the
"left-adventurist, pseudo-revolutionaries,

the 1960's, the Russians escalated the conflict

Great Leap.

When

Plenum of the Eighth Central Committee
Communist Party opened in late July 1962,
Mao Tse-tung put forth a new slogan which, during the
Cultural Revolution, became a battle cry of the masses
the Tenth

of the Chinese

"Never Forget Class Struggle." On the first day of that meeting, Mao declared that it was necessary "to rename right
opportunism as revisionism in China." 18 In ancient China,
the Confucian "rectification of names" required that each

member

of society be properly classified

and publicly noted

The Wind Will Not Subside

40

carefully noted

names by Mao
by many symbol-conscious

Mao had

linked the conflict with the

new

in his correct status. This

was undoubtedly

By

Chinese.

this

move,

rectification of

Soviet revisionists to China's domestic politics and class
struggle. It

was a development which would profoundly

in-

fluence Chinese revolutionary politics for the foreseeable
future. It

was a

logical

outcome

that, within five years, the

Chief of State, Liu Shao-ch'i, would be renamed "China's
Khrushchev." By initiating the class struggle against domes-

enemies identified as representatives of Soviet style revisionism, Mao laid the foundation for establishing the Soviet
tic

Union on the level of the United States
and eventually as the principal enemy.

as a principal

enemy,

Inexorably, the Sino-Soviet conflict moved toward a final
break between the two parties and two giant states. While the

Chinese army delivered a humiliating defeat to the Indian
troops carrying out Nehru's forward policy in Tibet, the

Soviet-American duel in the Caribbean ended in a deal between the two superpowers. China accused the Soviet Union
of adventurism for introducing nuclear missiles in Cuba and
of capitulationism for taking

them

out.

The

final settlement

between Kennedy and Khrushchev was viewed by the Chinese as a new Munich. Two months after the Cuban missiles
crisis, Khrushchev announced that the Soviet government
was abandoning its long-standing opposition to a nuclear testban agreement. China had made it clear to the Russians that
she recognized the right of the Soviet government to refuse
to give technical aid in manufacturing nuclear weapons, but
that any attempt by the Russians to deprive China of her
right to produce a nuclear defense of her own would be considered a violation of China's sovereignty. Despite frequent

Chinese

official protests,

the Russians intensified their efforts

an agreement with the United States on a treaty for
the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons.
From October 1962 to April 1963, the Chinese carried on

to reach

a public debate in the international

communist movement

against revisionism. Specifically, they attack