- Author: AriesStar
- Picture: Awakener
- Translator: Ranting
The victory of the “Lushan Conference” established Mao’s absolute personal authority in the Party. And taking out Peng Dehuai must have been a long time in Mao’s mind. Readers familiar with history will no doubt know that Mao sent his son Mao Anying to be the “supervisor” in the Korean War, which was fought shortly after the founding of the country to “defend the country”. He wanted to be “gold-plated” in the battlefield, but because of “a bowl of fried rice”, the “prince” died in the American bombing, and the commander-in-chief of the volunteer army at that time was Peng Dehuai. Although Mao didn’t say anything, he must have been holding a grudge on the matter.
Also, before the Lushan Conference, Peng had just completed a three-week goodwill visit to Eastern Europe as defense minister. During this period, Peng met with Soviet Communist Party leader Nikita Khrushchev. Khrushchev encouraged him to oppose Mao and terminated the “nuclear technology agreement” with China a week after Peng’s return, perhaps in an attempt to strengthen Peng’s position against Mao. (By this time, “Sino-Soviet relations” were already deteriorating)
The “ambiguity” between Peng and Khrushchev was obviously intolerable to Mao, so the label of “traitor” and “spreading discord at the instigation of foreign countries” was also placed on Peng’s head. In particular, Peng is the Minister of National Defense, Vice Chairman of the Military Commission, he holds the military power, and is a man of integrity, but also a disobedient “big mouth”. Mao, who has always believed that “power comes from the barrel of a gun”, naturally wanted to keep the “military power” firmly in his hands, and in the face of what the “Minister of War” had done, Mao was bound to get rid of Peng.
Mao’s “total transformation of the entire army”
In the face of the country’s long-term mass starvation situation, Mao also very clear in his mind is not possible. So after the “Lushan Conference,” Mao let Liu Shaoqi go to clean up the mess, and he “retreated to the second line” in party and government work. (This “retreat to the second line” was initiated by Mao. However, in 1962, Liu Shaoqi, who was “insensitive”, took Mao seriously and made him a “second-line leader”.) With Mao’s obsession with power, it is certainly not true that he “retired to the second line” this time. The first priority he had to attend to during this period was to “reorganize the army”. The army has been reorganized, with guns in hand, are you afraid that those involved in the party and government will not obey?
Although in the Korean War, Mao turned the entire army into his “direct line” through a series of transfers. But Lin Biao, who replaced Peng Dehuai as Minister of National Defense, was a million times more secretive than Peng Dehuai. Mao, who could not be assured of Peng, naturally had to take more precautions against Lin.
Mao then replaced Huang Kecheng with his confidant Luo Ruiqing to take over as Chief of General Staff to check Lin Biao. (It is a pity that Luo Ruiqing failed to “understand the wishes of his superiors”, grabbed the military power, and finally ended up jumping to his death) After that, Mao made a “total shift” of the whole army, and all the direct line generals, at least All the leading military personnel outside the staff and logistics have been replaced. If he can’t replace all of them, he should replace most of them to achieve the effect of mutual control.
The second step of Mao’s military restructuring is to engage in the “general not dedicated to the army”, all military officers can only lead the army “by decree”, private individuals are not allowed to own a soldier. In this, Mao, with the assistance of Zhou Enlai, did a very successful job. Because Zhou had supreme prestige within the PLA system and no private system, his advice was convincing within the army.
From then on, when the CCP’s military regions were reorganized and commanders changed shifts, they could only “go alone” and were not allowed to take over en masse with their personal guards and large staffs. And the Secretary of Defense and the Chief of General Staff became officials dedicated to military administration, unable to get their hands on military orders and chains of command. Even Lin Biao, as Minister of National Defense, could only command his own personal guard and could not mobilize any regiment of PLA troops.
He has a hundred warships and a thousand aircraft under his rule, except for one or two unarmed ones used for transportation, and he has no authority to command even the opening and closing of airports or the opening and closing of ports. Just like his family’s last “voyage” in the air, he could fly up into the sky, but not down to the ground. Eventually buried abroad and fractured. In this way, Mao completed the transformation of the army in such a way that “the general does not specialize in soldiers” and he can “generalize the general”, so that the country’s millions of troops are only Mao, who is the chairman of the military commission and the party chairman, can speak alone.
Liu’s “Seven Thousand People Conference”
When Mao “retired to the second line”, in the close cooperation of Premier Zhou, unobtrusively engaged in “the whole army replacement”. Liu Shaoqi, chairman of the newly ascended to the throne, is also busy. Liu’s first priority is undoubtedly to “stop the damage” and slowly bring back Mao’s ultra-leftist policies.
Liu has gradually restored the rural system to the “golden age” of the “post-communization land reform”. In order to avoid Mao’s taboo, he dared not use the old term “household based fixing output quotas” because it had been characterized by Mao as “retreat-promoting”, “counter-revolutionary” and “anti-socialist”.
Liu took the new name “responsibility field” system, which in essence is also the “household based fixing output quotas” system. This system of Liu’s was successful, and the constant starvation in the countryside was basically stopped by 1962, and prosperity gradually returned to the countryside.
In the midst of his efforts to revive the countryside, Liu inevitably had thoughts about Mao’s haphazard actions since the founding of the country. In his mind, it was only right that he and Mao should be equal in presiding over the party and state, and that the presidency should “rotate” in accordance with the Constitution.
When the country has been in power for a long time, it should be “retired by burnout”. Therefore, as early as 1958, in the “8th National Congress of the CCP”, at Liu’s motion, there was a provision that the Party Chairman would be appointed as “Honorary Chairman” by the Party Central Committee after his retirement. Now that Mao has “retired to the second line”, the next step back to “honorary chairman” should be a natural thing.
In January and February 1962, Liu chaired an “expanded working meeting” of the Central Political Bureau in Beijing. (That is, the unprecedented “Seven Thousand People Conference” of the Party, Government, Military and Finance “all mixed together” since the founding of the country.) In the meeting, Liu’s report apparently complimented “Mao Zedong Thought” to the sky, but in essence, it put the 1958 “communization” campaign of pompous, wasteful, “communist wind” and other evil policies. The report criticized the harm and losses brought to the country and the people, and it was even worse than Peng Dehuai’s “Ten Thousand Words Book”.
In his capacity as head of state and party vice chairman, Liu even called on the entire party of the country to make sure to follow the principles of democratic centralism and collective leadership in the future in order to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of cadres and people who were persecuted during the “anti-rightist movement” were rehabilitated, and assigned jobs. It caused a wave of praise from all over the country.
The “Seven Thousand Conference” was the peak of Liu’s prestige and power after his reign, and the nadir of Mao’s prestige and power after the founding of the country. Mao had also “sincerely” made “self-criticism” in the congress, admitting that he had “made mistakes”. He also changed the old tune of “anti-corruption” and eradication of “right-leaning opportunism” in the Party three years ago, and followed Liu Shaoqi in singing “seeking truth from facts”. And Liu, in the leftist atmosphere of the “Seven Thousand People Conference”, actually divided the Standing Committee into first and second lines, putting Mao in the “second line of leadership”.
The nature of fighting is deeply rooted in his bones, and how can Mao, who uses all his power in the pursuit of power, not give up? He swallowed his voice and echoed at the “Seven Thousand People Conference”, in fact, he hated this meeting a long time ago. And naturally, Mao hates Liu Shaoqi for what he has done. Mao, who had finished reorganizing his army, began to “take action”.