The World: The Ping Heard Round the World

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Peking back to reality was Russia's invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and the fear that the Brezhnev Doctrine — that the Soviet Union has the right to intervene in any socialist state deviating from its brand of Communism — might be applied to China. War hysteria swept the country after border fighting broke out with the Soviets at the Ussuri River and in Sinkiang in 1969.

After the Revolution

The political turn-around was for malized on the national level in the spring of 1969 at the Ninth Party Congress. Almost half of the Central Committee seats and more than half of the Politburo seats were taken by army men. Mao's wife Chiang Ching and her radical leftist allies were heavily out numbered. Subsequently, at least three of the more radical Politburo members were also shunted aside. In the provinces, where the party is still being rebuilt, army men joined forces with old party cadres to squeeze out the young radicals. The result: 15 of 19 first secretaries of existing provincial Communist Party committees are army commanders or army political commissars, including those in the strategically important cities of Nanking, Wuhan, Tsi-nan and Mukden.

While China's propaganda machine worked to turn Mao into a living deity, the nation returned to work. Millions of Red Guards were sent to labor in remote areas where they could make less trouble. Agriculture was given priority, and thousands of small fertilizer plants, repair shops and power stations were built in the countryside. The result was a significant upsurge in the 1970 grain harvest, claimed to be 240 million tons, as well as in industrial output, which Pe king claims amounts to $90 billion. Some analysts guess that China's economic growth rate reached 10% last year, and all are agreed that the economy has now fully recovered from the ravages of the Cultural Revolution and that the average Chinese citizen's stan dard of living is marginally improved.

China today is in the hands of a coalition of military men and relatively moderate administrators led by Chou Enlai. While the army deals with the giant task of repairing the domestic fabric, Chou runs the central government and foreign policy, free for the first time in years from internal politics and the supercharged atmosphere of Maoist hysteria. No outsider knows Mao's personal role, but Western analysts generally assume that he is probably overseeing the army's domestic reorganization program and that his trust in Chou is almost total. At any rate, both the army and Mao seem willing to give the suave patrician a free hand in the game at which he is an acknowledged master: diplomacy.

Chou En-lai is the guiding influence behind China's re-entry into the world scene. Unlike most other Chinese Communist leaders, Chou is sophisticated and widely traveled. He comes from a family of feudal gentry, was raised in Shanghai, had studied in Tokyo, Kyoto, Tientsin and Paris, and speaks French, fair English and some German. As Premier (since 1949) and Foreign Minister (from 1949 to 1958), he visited at least 29 different countries and maintained a constant dialogue with high-level foreign visitors to Peking. With a personality far more cosmopolitan than Mao's, Chou won the grudging admiration of most professional diplomats who met him.

Under Chou's direction, China once more turned outward. Ambassadors

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