Cultural Revolution 1966-69




Mao held rallies in Beijing with Red Guards. The travel of these was supported by the PLA therefore Lin Biao was a key supporter (head of PLA).

Chaos and Violence


Spread across China and schools and uni's were closed. Red guards were free to do whatever- targets were intellectuals, teachers and 'five black' categories. They dressed in green and aim was to eradicate the Four olds and all western influence. Historic sites were damaged.

Cultural revolution began


16 points- Lin Biao became new Politburo leader and also vice-chairman so 2nd inline after Mao. Therefore Liu was denoted.

Central committee Work Conference


Mao, Lin etc. stepped up even more against Liu and Deng accusing them of being behind CPC's resistance to revolution. Posters issued denouncing of these so new radicalisation.

Militant Factory and Office Workers


Form own red guard units. In Shanghai Worker's Revolutionary General Headquarters (WRGH) set up- got blessing of Mao and CRG. The CPC tried to obstruct them but mao again forced them to make self-criticism. They then supported Shanghai red detatchment rival of the WRGH.

Street Battles

12/1966 - 1/1967

between rival red Guard factions in Shanghai beginning of 'January Storm'. These strikes paralysed Shanghai. 3rd Jan rebels seized main newspapers- Mao intervened and sent allies Zhang and Yao to establish new political authority as party leadership collapsed. WRGH announced overthrow of them and PLA supported them- overtook everything. Rebel groups done the same in seven other provinces (including Beijing).

People's commune


Zhang in Shanghai. officials chosen in free elections- thought he had support from Mao but he didn't and instructed others not to follow this example. 23rd was replaced by the Revolutionary Committee made up of three elements consisting of rebeles, CPC and PLA representatives.

February adverse current


political backlash. Where members of the politburo who had doubts anyway of the Cultural revolution began to voice their opinions. They said the red guards were overstepping the 16 points. Mao ordered red guards to return home and withdraw from government.

Radicalisation again

2/1967 - 8/1967

Pitched battles between rival groups (Wuhan july- 600 people killed clash between WRGH and the million heroes a conservative worker group). Mao and party sided with the radicalsand the military commander who put radicals in prison was purged. Arm seizures taking chinese weapons to North Vietnam- Mao and Jiang began arming radicals. Radicals in Beijing seized foreign ministry, attacks on british, indiann legations in the capital.

Crackdown of red guards


Mao had a change of heart realising PLA may be undermined. Statement saying crackdown on radicals and the chaos was blamed on a tiny radical group called May 16 Group (scapegoat) four msot radical members of CRG was purged.Order forbade Red Guards getting weapons and PLA could open fire on radicals.

New politial structure

8/1967 - 7/1968

Mao ordered groups to unite and form grand alliances. New revolutionary committees was set up in Beijing and Shanghai. Elsewhere it took longer as rivalries continued but by July it was set up in 18 provinces.

Purging of Red Guards

8/1967 - 7/1968

10 million came under suspicion, 3 mil was questioned. At one of PRC's industries 2000 officials were purged. cleansing of ranks led to 1.8 mil arrested and loads were killed or committed suicide. In July Mao sent 30,000 workers and PLA troops to disarm Red Guards at beijing uni. Young people sent to work in the country side, work-study between peasants (5 mil).

Central committee meeting


only 40 members with full voting rights were present- two thirds had been purged. Mao added 10 members and 80 of his supporters from PLA and new revolutionary committees. Liu was finally expelled from the party as a scapegoat.

Party congress


decisions of the central committee and declared end of cultural revolution. importance of continuing class struggle in the party's ideology. Mao was officially the red emperor. In November Liu got pnuemonia and was refused hospital treatment so died on the 12th November.