Red China: Making It Official

Mao Tse-tung's turbulent Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution had hardly begun before it boiled down to a bitter brawl for power between Mao and the more pragmatic Politburo faction led by President Liu Shao-chi. By last fall, Mao seemed to be getting the upper hand. Liu no longer attended official functions, and his name was dropped from the list of leaders of the People's Republic. Last week Mao finally made it official: Liu was out.

The announcement came in an editorial in Red Flag, the party's most authoritative voice. Though the editorial mentioned no names, its meaning was clear. "During the...

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