The World: Lin on the Boards?

Peking has never publicly revealed the fate of former Defense Minister Lin Piao, Mao's heir apparent, who mysteriously disappeared last summer. Party officials were privately told that Lin was killed aboard an aircraft that crashed in Mongolia in September. Now a fictionalized version of his possible fate seems to have been spelled out in the revolutionary opera On the Docks, as performed by a troupe of Peking opera players in Shanghai.

First performed in 1969, On the Docks originally told of the reform of a careless young dock worker, whose mistakes were compounded by a grumbling, bourgeois warehousekeeper. Now the opera has...

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