Red China: The Self-Bound Gulliver

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Communist Central Committee. The Sino-Soviet split seriously hampers the air force (3,000 planes, half of them old-fashioned MIG-15 fighters), which has been dependent on Russia for aircraft, jet fuel and spare parts. The split with Moscow doubtless upset many high-ranking officers, and last May the party launched one of the biggest of its periodic cleansings of the armed forces. Nineteen new army regulations were announced. Their aim was to "place the army under absolute party leadership and to guarantee that the army will advance victoriously in line with the directives of Party Chairman Mao Tse-tung."

Peking Posters. Red China's educational system is based on promotion of the best students and work for the rest—often as "cultured peasants" to raise the intellectual level in the villages. These luckless students and their families hate the whole business, and the Communist press is campaigning to make ex-students "gladly" accept their work assignments. One paper recently heaped glory on the college students who smirked scarcely at all when one old grad came back to take a job on the campus—cleaning the toilets.

The schools have become a casualty of the Great Leap. In 1961-62, enrollment was cut 20%, and then cut another 20% the following year. This is a dangerous business, for it was student disaffection that made the Communists' task all the easier in their final big push against the Kuomintang. Communism's problem, at this moment of industrial slowdown, is that there is a shortage of technical and managerial jobs, not of educated people.

The Communist Party has viewed the students with considerable suspicion ever since the period of the Hundred Flowers, when student manifestoes and posters denouncing government excesses were slapped on every space available. Some tattered bits of these inflammatory posters still cling to the walls and ceilings at Peking University, which has an enrollment of 100,000. Among the thousands of Chinese refugees pouring into Hong Kong in the past year and a half, there has been a small trickle of engineers and intellectuals, former believers who are now disillusioned. They are not party members, and the number is not large; the significance lies in the fact that it is the first time such Communist-educated intellectuals have been fleeing Red China.

Sheaf of Secrets. The Sino-Soviet ex changes are reaching such a point of bitterness that in earlier and simpler times, both nations would have been mobilizing their armies. Yet, for all the intemperateness of its language, Peking has been notably cautious about getting deeply involved beyond Red China's own frontiers—in line with the Red Chinese axiom, "Despise the enemy strategically, but respect him tactically." The West got an inside look at Red China's perspective on great-power conflicts back in 1961, when U.S. agents obtained possession of a 40,000-word sheaf of secret bulletins that had been issued to officers by the General Political Affairs Department of Red China's army. In one bulletin, Laos was described as an imperialist cork to keep Chinese influence out of Southeast Asia.

With typical self-concern, the Chinese called Laos the "focus" of the "world wide anti-imperialist struggle," although, for the Russians, Berlin was far more vital. But Peking welcomed the

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