Red China: Toughening the Next Generation

For thousands of years Chinese society has honored age above all else, and the ruling role of the elder is one of the few ancient attitudes that Peking's modern masters have left unassailed—if only in self-defense. Party Boss Mao Tse-tung is 70 and beginning to show it. Premier Chou Enlai, 66, is ailing, as is Defense Minister Lin Piao, at 56 a mere bean sprout in the Peking Politburo, whose average age is 65. Often mentioned as Mao's successor, Party Secretary-General Teng Hsaio-ping is over 60. Beset by intimations of mortality, the...

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