China in the 1960’s and 1970’s Part III

By | January 12, 2022

Also in 1969, China Popolare detonates its first atomic bomb, while stating that it will never be the first to use this weapon. It is a great achievement of Chinese science and industry, which, the following year, will be able to put the first Chinese artificial satellite into orbit.

Chinese foreign policy has some interesting developments, thanks, above all, to the work of Chou En-lai, the main architect of the new China’s international politics. China, after the break with the Soviet Union and with the socialist countries, has only one socialist country faithful to it, Albania; in Eastern Europe only Romania, in its policy which does not recognize the so-called “Brezhnev theory”, has greater autonomy than the other socialist countries in relations with the Beijing government.

In October 1971, after long years in which the majority of the countries adhering to the United Nations Organization had been denied participation and the seat due to China in this international forum, a vote of the assembly decided to admit China with the consequent withdrawal of the representative of the nationalist China of Formosa. Almost all the states adhering to the United Nations, including Italy, break their relations with Formosa and tie them up with the government of the China Popolare.

According to animalerts, the United States does not recognize China, but a cautious rapprochement begins between China and the USA; for years, periodically, the diplomatic representatives of the two countries had officially met in Warsaw, without apparent progress. In 1971, Secretary of State Kissinger visits the China and, in February 1972, Nixon will be the first president of the United States to visit the great Far Eastern country. The anti-US campaign is attenuated in China, while the attacks on the bipolarity of the two superpowers continued, which China wants to overcome while rejecting the appellation of superpower for itself. The so-called “third world”, in particular the Afro-Asian countries, are the ones that seem to most interest the China which grants them economic and technical aid.

In domestic politics the struggle between the “two lines” continues; eliminated from the political scene Liu Shao-chi ‘and his group with the proletarian cultural revolution, his line seems to catalyze around the figure of Lin Piao, who suddenly disappears from official life, just as his preface to the famous red book. The cult of the leader’s personality is greatly attenuatedMao Tse-tung, who at certain moments of the proletarian cultural revolution had seemed to receive an authentic secular cult. Only on the occasion of the 10th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (1973) will official news be given of an attempted coup by the “anti-party clique of Lin Piao”, of the victory over this group and the death of Lin Piao himself, an expert in a plane crash in 1971, during a mysterious attempt to escape from China.

In 1973 one of the recurring criticism and revision campaigns began in China this campaign too takes its name from a slogan: “Criticize Lin Piao and criticize Confucius” (p’i Lin p’i K’ung). This movement, which will last for the whole of the following year, will see the masses and Chinese leaders engaged in the fight against one of the fundamental components of the Chinese tradition, such as Confucianism, linked to the posthumous criticism of what is defined as the last epigone of Confucius., Lin Piao. Apparently there is nothing in common between Confucius and Lin Piao; the fight against Confucian ideology must be understood as the opposition to a multi-thousand-year political system, which saw in China the dominance of a political class, such as that of Confucian-trained officials, to the detriment of the uncultivated masses; Lin Piao “restorer” of Confucius means, for the Chinese, a “revisionist” attempt to re-propose an anti-socialist state structure,

In January 1975 the IV National People’s Assembly met in Beijing, which led to the approval of a new constitution, replacing that of 1954. The new constitution gives greater constitutional importance to the Chinese Communist Party; definitively abolishes the office of President of the Republic, which has remained vacant since 1968, after the dismissal of Liu Shao-ch’i; acknowledges the transfer of all means of production to the state and popular communes; it defines China no longer a “people’s democratic” state but a “dictatorship of the proletariat” state.

In September 1976, Mao Tse-tung died in Beijing at almost 83 years of age. A month after his disappearance, all of his positions are entrusted to Hua Kuo-feng. A new campaign begins, during which the struggle between the “two lines” is re-proposed, the one considered by foreign observers to be “moderate” and the so-called “radical” one. The radical group of the “Shanghai Four”, including the widow of Mao Tse-tung, is accused and imprisoned. The new leadership team, led by Hua Kuo-feng and Teng Hsiao-P’ing says they want to continue the work undertaken by Mao Tse-tung.

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