As China prepared for its National Day, celebrating the 18th anniversary this week of Mao Tse-tung's proclamation of a Chinese Communist state, Correspondent John Cantwell crossed into Mao's stricken land for TIME. An Australian who speaks both Cantonese and Mandarin, Cantwell spent several days in the big South China city of Canton, the scene of recent anti-Maoist riots and disorders. He found the city of 2,500,000 relatively quiet on the surface but seething underneath with barely repressed violence. His report:

CANTON'S railway station is an armed camp, guarded by scores of People's Liberation...

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