CHINA: Second Thoughts on the Chairman

Not even Mao was perfect, it turns out

Propped up by two solicitous aides, Ye Jianying, 81, the venerable chairman of the National People's Congress, tottered up to the rostrum last week to deliver the keynote speech for China's 30th anniversary celebration. As it was meant to, his appearance before an audience of 11,000 packed into Peking's Great Hall of the People emotionally evoked the most sacred day in the calendar of Chinese Communism: Oct. 1, 1949, when Ye and other victorious revolutionary leaders stood at the side of Mao Tse-tung as the Great Helmsman proclaimed the People's Republic of China,...

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