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Sung in Chinese and Sanskrit, Buddha Passion opens up unprecedented vistas for art and humanity, masterfully melding different cultures into an all-embracing unity. Zhu Huiling as Little Prince — Buddha in his teens. Tan Weiwei as Nina the Persian songstress. Batubagen as Minstrel Monk Kongxian.

Chen Yining. About the Artists. Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus. Extension Reading. Tan Dun, arguably the most famous Asian composer since the turn of the millennium because of his film soundtracks, won an award in for his string quartet Feng-Ya-Song. In addition to his achievements in film music, Tan Dun is also very responsive to technology and the times. He not only works with Google, creating Internet Symphony: Eroica for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, but also incorporates multimedia into works such as The Map , as well as combining the visual and tactile with landscape and environment in Water Heavens.

Tan Dun is from Changsha, Hunan, China. Growing up, he was exposed to and deeply affected by traditional funeral rituals. He manifested his talent in music under the guidance of his father Tan Xiang. He finally had the opportunity to enter a Beijing opera troupe, where he could perform and be exposed to traditional opera. Very little of this work is extant: one count finds only four films remaining out of over produced in Hong Kong before World War II Fonoroff, Detailed accounts of this period therefore have inherent limitations and uncertainties.

As in most of China, the development of early films was tightly bound to Chinese opera , for centuries the dominant form of dramatic entertainment. Opera scenes were the source for what are generally credited as the first movies made in Hong Kong, two short comedies entitled Stealing a Roasted Duck and Right a Wrong with Earthenware Dish. The director was stage actor and director Liang Shaobo. The producer was an American, Benjamin Brodsky sometimes transliterated 'Polaski' , one of a number of Westerners who helped jumpstart Chinese film through their efforts to crack China's vast potential market.

Credit for the first Hong Kong feature film is usually given to Zhuangzi Tests His Wife , which also took its story from the opera stage, was helmed by a stage director and featured Brodsky's involvement. In another borrowing from opera, Lai played the role of wife himself. His brother played the role of husband, and his wife a supporting role as a maid, making her the first Chinese woman to act in a Chinese film, a milestone delayed by longstanding taboos regarding female performers Leyda, Zhuangzhi was the only film made by Chinese American Film, founded by Lai and Brodsky as the first movie studio in Hong Kong, and was never actually shown in the territory Stokes and Hoover, The following year, the outbreak of World War I put a large crimp in the development of cinema in Hong Kong, as Germany was the source of the colony's film stock Yang, It was not until that Lai, his brother and their cousin joined with Liang Shaobo to form Hong Kong's first entirely Chinese-owned-and-operated production company, the China Sun Motion Picture Company.

In , they moved their operation to the Mainland after government red tape blocked their plans to build a studio. Teo, With the popularity of talkies in the early s, the problem of China's various spoken dialects had to be grappled with. Hong Kong was a major center for Cantonese , one of the most widely spoken, and political factors on the Mainland provided other opportunities. This film proved to be very successful, and in , they established a branch of the Tianyi Studio in Kowloon to make Cantonese films.

It also banned the wildly popular wuxia genre of martial arts swordplay and fantasy, accusing it of promoting superstition and violent anarchy. Cantonese film and wuxia film remained popular despite government hostility, and the British colony of Hong Kong became a place where both of these trends could be freely served. Filmed Cantonese operas proved even more successful than wuxia and constituted the leading genre of the s. Major studios that thrived in this period were Grandview, Universal, and Nanyang which later became the Shaw Brothers Studio that would have an enduring influence on Chinese film.

Another important factor in the s, was the second Sino-Japanese War. The genre and the film industry were further boosted by emigre film artists and companies when Shanghai was taken by the Japanese in This of course came to an end when Hong Kong itself fell to the Japanese in December But unlike on the Mainland, the occupiers were not able to put together a collaborationist film industry.

They managed to complete just one propaganda movie, The Attack on Hong Kong ; a. A more important move by the Japanese may have been to melt down many of Hong Kong's pre-war films to extract their silver nitrate for military use Fonoroff, Postwar Hong Kong cinema, like postwar Hong Kong industries in general, was catalysed by the continuing influx of capital and talents from Mainland China. The Hong Kong population in was around 1 million [16] and rose to around 3. This became a flood with the resumption of the Chinese Civil War which had been on hold during the fight against Japan and then the Communist victory.

These events definitively shifted the center of Chinese-language cinema to Hong Kong. The colony also did big business exporting films to Southeast Asian countries especially but not exclusively due to their large Chinese expatriate communities and to Chinatowns in Western countries Bordwell, The postwar era also cemented the bifurcation of the industry into two parallel cinemas, one in Mandarin, the dominant dialect of the Mainland emigres, and one in Cantonese , the dialect of most Hong Kong natives.

The distinction between the two languages is in sound Kei, During the silent film age the written language was Chinese and was known to all, no matter the language spoken Kei, Subtitles allow both markets access to films Kei, Reasons included their enormous export market; the expertise and capital of the Shanghai filmmakers. For decades to come, Cantonese films, though sometimes more numerous, were relegated to second-tier status Leyda, Another language-related milestone occurred in the British authorities passed a law requiring the subtitling of all films in English, supposedly to enable a watch on political content.

Making a virtue of necessity, studios included Chinese subtitles as well, enabling easier access to their movies for speakers of other dialects. Yang, Subtitling later had the unintended consequence of facilitating the movies' popularity in the West. During this period, Cantonese opera on film dominated.

Yam specialised in male scholar roles to Pak's female leads. They made over fifty films together, The Purple Hairpin being one of the most enduringly popular Teo, Low-budget martial arts films were also popular. Fantasy wuxia swordplay serials with special effects drawn on the film by hand, such as The Six-Fingered Lord of the Lute starring teen idol Connie Chan Po-chu in the lead male role, were also popular Chute and Lim, , 3 , as were contemporary melodramas of home and family life, including the dramatisation of sibling rivalries in Our Sister Hedy starring Julie Yeh Feng.

The renamed Cathay faltered, ceasing film production in Yang, Both of the above examples were directed by Shaw's star director, Li Han Hsiang. In s, the Motion Picture and General Investments Limited produced a special set of romantic movies which was called Southern and Northern. In this set of movies, they showed some differences between Northern and Southern, except the Languages, the movies also showed some kind of cultures, such as the wedding culture and the food culture. The main idea of this set of movies was a kind of cultural integration between Northern and Southern.

In the second half of the s, the Shaws inaugurated a new generation of more intense, less fantastical wuxia films with glossier production values, acrobatic moves and stronger violence. The trend was inspired by the popularity of imported samurai movies from Japan Chute and Lim, , 8 , as well as by the loss of movie audiences to television. This marked the crucial turn of the industry from a female-centric genre system to an action movie orientation see also the Hong Kong action cinema article. Mandarin-dialect film in general and the Shaw Brothers studio in particular began the s in apparent positions of unassailable strength.

Cantonese cinema virtually vanished in the face of Mandarin studios and Cantonese television, which became available to the general population in ; in no films in the local dialect were made Bordwell, The Shaws saw their longtime rival Cathay ceasing film production, leaving themselves the only megastudio. The martial arts subgenre of the kung fu movie exploded into popularity internationally, with the Shaws driving and dominating the wave. But changes were beginning that would greatly alter the industry by the end of the decade. Paradoxically, television would soon contribute to the revival of Cantonese in a movement towards more down-to-earth movies about modern Hong Kong life and average people.

The first spark was the ensemble comedy The House of 72 Tenants , the only Cantonese film made in , but a resounding hit. It was based on a well-known play and produced by the Shaws as a showcase for performers from their pioneering television station TVB Yang, The rationale behind the move to Cantonese was clear in the trailer for the brothers' Games Gamblers Play : "Films by devoted young people with you in mind.

The Hui movies also broke ground by satirising the modern reality of an ascendant middle class, whose long work hours and dreams of material success were transforming the colony into a modern industrial and corporate giant Teo, Cantonese comedy thrived and Cantonese production skyrocketed; Mandarin hung on into the early s, but has been relatively rare onscreen since.

The upstart's more flexible and less tightfisted approach to the business outmaneuvered the Shaws' old-style studio. Chow and Ho landed contracts with rising young performers who had fresh ideas for the industry, like Bruce Lee and the Hui Brothers, and allowed them greater creative latitude than was traditional. California-born, Bruce Lee only found minor roles in U. Bruce expressed that the true orientals are not shown especially in Hollywood and most of audience still thinks of Asian people with stereotype e. Moreover, the directors usually get him to do something just to be exotic.

The Fists of Fury , came into theatres. This jump-started Lee's career into stardom and made martial arts and kung fu a global trend. Like Valley of the Hanged is describing a triple murder in Hong Kong, about a story of the unfaithful wife and having shame to her husband [28] The cinema style of the Shaw Brothers in the s liked adding some nude scenes in the films and 'The Criminal 1' attract audiences in strange true stories with showing off erotic and bloody scenes.

But other than this, there is lots of scenes showed the significant life of Hong Kong people, like playing mahjong in gossiping loudly over the noise of the mahjong pieces and gambling. By the end of the s, Golden Harvest was the top studio, signing up Jackie Chan, the kung fu comedy actor-filmmaker who would spend the next 20 years as Asia's biggest box office draw Chan and Yang, , pp. Raymond Chow built upon Lee's success with Big Boss a. Fists of Fury , , Fist of Fury a. The Return of the Dragon , , each of which broke Hong Kong box office records. Nie attacked the university's party administration and its leader Lu Ping.

Mao promptly endorsed Nie's dazibao as "the first Marxist big-character poster in China. Students everywhere began to revolt against their respective schools' party establishment. Classes were promptly cancelled in Beijing primary and secondary schools, followed by a decision on June 13 to expand the class suspension nationwide. When the dismissal of Peng Zhen and the municipal party leadership became public in early June, widespread confusion ensued. The public and foreign missions were kept in the dark on the reason for Peng Zhen's ousting.

The work teams were hastily dispatched and had a poor understanding of student sentiment. Unlike the political movement of the s that squarely targeted intellectuals, the new movement was focused on established party cadres, many of whom were part of the work teams. As a result, the work teams came under increasing suspicion for being yet another group aimed at thwarting revolutionary fervour. Liu Shaoqi insisted on continuing work-team involvement and suppressing the movement's most radical elements, fearing that the movement would spin out of control.

29. ENRIQUE OLVERA, SEASON 2, EPISODE 4

On July 16, the year-old Chairman Mao took to the Yangtze River in Wuhan , with the press in tow, in what became an iconic "swim across the Yangtze" to demonstrate his battle-readiness. He subsequently returned to Beijing on a mission to criticize the party leadership for its handling of the work-teams issue. Mao accused the work teams of undermining the student movement, calling for their full withdrawal on July Several days later a rally was held at the Great Hall of the People to announce the decision and set the new tone of the movement to university and high school teachers and students.

At the rally, Party leaders told the masses assembled to 'not be afraid' and bravely take charge of the movement themselves, free of Party interference. The work-teams issue marked a decisive defeat for President Liu Shaoqi politically; it also signaled that disagreement over how to handle the unfolding events of the Cultural Revolution would break Mao from the established party leadership irreversibly. At the plenum, Mao showed outright disdain for Liu, repeatedly interrupting Liu as he delivered his opening day speech. Mao's line of thinking received a lukewarm reception from the conference attendees.

Sensing that the largely obstructive party elite was unwilling to fully embrace his revolutionary ideology, Mao went on the offensive. On July 28, Red Guard representatives wrote to Mao, calling for rebellion and upheaval to safeguard the revolution. Mao then responded to the letters by writing his own big-character poster entitled Bombard the Headquarters , rallying people to target the "command centre i. Mao wrote that despite having undergone a Communist revolution, a "bourgeois" elite was still thriving in "positions of authority" in the government and Communist Party.

Although no names were mentioned, this provocative statement by Mao has been interpreted as a direct indictment of the party establishment under Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping—the purported "bourgeois headquarters" of China. The personnel changes at the Plenum reflected a radical re-design of the party's hierarchy to suit this new ideological landscape.

Liu and Deng kept their seats on the Politburo Standing Committee but were in fact sidelined from day-to-day party affairs. Lin Biao was elevated to become the Party's number-two figure; Liu Shaoqi's rank went from second to eighth, and was no longer Mao's heir apparent. Coinciding with the top leadership being thrown out of positions of power was the thorough undoing of the entire national bureaucracy of the Communist Party. The extensive Organization Department , in charge of party personnel, essentially ceased to exist.

The top officials in the Propaganda Department were sacked, with many of its functions folding into the CRG. Although the bourgeoisie has been overthrown, it is still trying to use the old ideas, culture, customs, and habits of the exploiting classes to corrupt the masses, capture their minds, and stage a comeback.

The proletariat must do just the opposite: It must meet head-on every challenge of the bourgeoisie [ Currently, our objective is to struggle against and crush those people in authority who are taking the capitalist road, to criticize and repudiate the reactionary bourgeois academic "authorities" and the ideology of the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes and to transform education, literature and art, and all other parts of the superstructure that do not correspond to the socialist economic base, so as to facilitate the consolidation and development of the socialist system.

The implications of the Sixteen Points were far-reaching. It elevated what was previously a student movement to a nationwide mass campaign that would galvanize workers, farmers, soldiers and lower-level party functionaries to rise up, challenge authority, and re-shape the "superstructure" of society. On August 18, , over a million Red Guards from all over the country gathered in and around Tiananmen Square in Beijing for a personal audience with the Chairman. Mao personally mingled with Red Guards and threw his weight behind their cause, donning a Red Guard armband himself.

At the Red Guard rallies, Lin Biao also called for the destruction of the "Four Olds" ; namely, old customs, culture, habits, and ideas. Some changes associated with the "Four Olds" campaign were largely benign, such as assigning new names to city streets, places, and even people; millions of babies were born with "revolutionary"-sounding names during this period. Various historical sites throughout the country were destroyed. The damage was particularly pronounced in the capital, Beijing. Red Guards also laid siege to the Temple of Confucius in Shandong province, [40] and numerous other historically significant tombs and artifacts.

Libraries full of historical and foreign texts were destroyed; books were burned. Temples, churches, mosques, monasteries, and cemeteries were closed down and sometimes converted to other uses, looted, and destroyed. One of many quotations in the Little Red Book Mao's Quotations that the Red Guards would later follow as a guide, provided by Mao, was "The world is yours, as well as ours, but in the last analysis, it is yours. You young people, full of vigor and vitality, are in the bloom of life, like the sun at eight or nine in the morning. Our hope is placed on you The world belongs to you.

China's future belongs to you. These quotes directly from Mao led to other actions by the Red Guards in the views of other Maoist leaders. On August 22, , a central directive was issued to stop police intervention in Red Guard activities, and those in the police force who defied this notice were labeled counter-revolutionaries. The number injured exceeded that. The most violent aspects of the campaign included incidents of torture, murder, and public humiliation. Many people who were indicted as counter-revolutionaries died by suicide.

In August and September , there were 1, people murdered in Beijing alone. In Shanghai there were suicides and deaths related to the Cultural Revolution in September. In Wuhan there were 62 suicides and 32 murders during the same period.

Culture of Hong Kong - Wikipedia

In October, Mao convened a "Central Work Conference", essentially to convince those in the party leadership who had not yet adopted revolutionary ideology. Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping were prosecuted as part of a bourgeois reactionary line zichanjieji fandong luxian and begrudgingly gave self-criticisms. Deng Xiaoping was sent away for a period of re-education three times, and was eventually sent to work in a Jiangxi engine factory. Mass organisations in China coalesced into two hostile factions, the radicals who backed Mao's purge of the Communist party, and the conservatives who backed the moderate party establishment.

At his birthday party on 26 December , Mao declared an "All-round civil war" to resolve the standoff, and asked the military forces of People's Liberation Army to support "the Left", which was however not clearly defined. As the PLA commanders had developed close working relations with the party establishment, many military units worked instead to repress Mao's radicals. A total of Spurred by the events in Beijing, "power seizure" duoquan groups formed all over the country and began expanding into factories and the countryside.

In Shanghai, a young factory worker named Wang Hongwen organized a far-reaching revolutionary coalition, one that galvanized and displaced existing Red Guard groups. The events in Shanghai were praised by Mao, who encouraged similar activities across China. Provincial governments and many parts of the state and party bureaucracy were affected, with power seizures taking place in remarkably varied fashion.

For example, in Beijing, three separate revolutionary groups declared power seizures on the same day, while in Heilongjiang, the local party secretary Pan Fusheng managed to "seize power" from the party organization under his own leadership. Some leaders even wrote the CRG asking to be overthrown. The power-seizure movement was rearing its head in the military as well.

Cultural Revolution

In February, prominent generals Ye Jianying and Chen Yi as well as Vice-Premier Tan Zhenlin vocally asserted their opposition to the more extreme aspects of the movement, with some party elders insinuating that the CRG's real motives were to remove the revolutionary old guard.

Mao, initially ambivalent, took to the Politburo floor on February 18 to denounce the opposition directly, giving a full throated endorsement to the radicals' activities. This short-lived resistance was branded the " February Countercurrent " [57] - effectively silencing critics of the movement within the party in the years to come. While revolutionaries dismantled ruling government and party organizations all over the country, because power seizures lacked centralized leadership, it was no longer clear who truly believed in Mao's revolutionary vision and who was opportunistically exploiting the chaos for their own gain.

The formation of rival revolutionary groups, some manifestations of long-established local feuds, led to factional violence across the country. Tension grew between mass organizations and the military as well.

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In response, Lin Biao issued a directive for the army to aid the radicals. At the same time, the army took control of some provinces and locales that were deemed incapable of sorting out their own power transitions. In the central city of Wuhan , like in many other cities, two major revolutionary organizations emerged, one supporting the conservative establishment and the other opposed to it.

The groups fought over the control of the city. Chen Zaidao , the Army general in charge of the area, forcibly repressed the anti-establishment demonstrators who were backed by Mao. However, in the midst of the commotion, Mao himself flew to Wuhan with a large entourage of central officials in an attempt to secure military loyalty in the area. In response, local agitators kidnapped Mao's emissary Wang Li in what became known as the Wuhan Incident. Subsequently, Gen. Chen's resistance was the last major open display of opposition to the movement within the army.

In the spring of , a massive campaign began, aimed at enhancing Mao's reputation. On July 27, , the Red Guards' power over the Army was officially ended, and the establishment government sent in units to besiege areas that remained untouched by the Guards. A year later, the Red Guard factions were dismantled entirely; Mao predicted that the chaos might begin running its own agenda and be tempted to turn against revolutionary ideology. Their purpose had been largely fulfilled; Mao and his radical colleagues had largely overturned establishment power. In early October, Mao began a campaign to purge ruling officials.

Many were sent to the countryside to work in reeducation camps. Liu was expelled from the Communist Party at the 12th Plenum of the Eighth Central Committee in September , and labelled the "headquarters of the bourgeoisie", seemingly alluding to Mao's Bombard the Headquarters dazibao written two years earlier. During this movement, which lasted for the next decade, young bourgeoisie living in cities were ordered to go to the countryside to experience working life. The term "young intellectuals" was used to refer to recently graduated college students.

In the late s, these students returned to their home cities. Many students who were previously Red Guard members supported the movement and Mao's vision. This movement was thus in part a means of moving Red Guards from the cities to the countryside, where they would cause less social disruption. It also served to spread revolutionary ideology across China geographically. The Ninth Party Congress was held in April , and served as a means to "revitalize" the party with fresh thinking and new cadres after much of the old guard had been destroyed in the struggles of preceding years.

Lin Biao was officially elevated to become the Party's number-two figure, with his name written into the Communist Party's Constitution as Mao's "closest comrade-in-arms" and "universally recognized successor". The Congress solidified the central role of Maoism within the party psyche, re-introducing Maoism as an official guiding ideology of the party in the party constitution.

Lin, Chen, and Kang were all beneficiaries of the Cultural Revolution. Zhou, who was demoted in rank, voiced his unequivocal support for Lin at the Congress. Mao's efforts at re-organizing party and state institutions generated mixed results. Many far-flung provinces remained volatile as the political situation in Beijing stabilized. Factional struggles, many of which were violent, continued at the local level despite the declaration that the Ninth Congress marked a temporary "victory" for the Cultural Revolution. Indeed, a personal dislike of Jiang Qing drew many civilian leaders, including prominent theoretician Chen Boda , closer to Lin Biao.

Between and , China was isolated internationally, having declared its enmity towards both the Soviet Union and the United States. The friction with the Soviet Union intensified after border clashes on the Ussuri River in March as the Chinese leadership prepared for all-out war. This drew the ire of the Chairman, who saw it as evidence that his authority was prematurely usurped by his declared successor. The prospect of war elevated the PLA to greater prominence in domestic politics, increasing the stature of Lin Biao at the expense of Mao.

President Richard Nixon in , Mao hinted that Lin had opposed seeking better relations with the U. After Lin was confirmed as Mao's successor, his supporters focused on the restoration of the position of State Chairman President , [76] which had been abolished by Mao after the purge of Liu Shaoqi. They hoped that by allowing Lin to ease into a constitutionally sanctioned role, whether Chairman or Vice-Chairman, Lin's succession would be institutionalized.

The consensus within the Politburo was that Mao should assume the office with Lin becoming Vice-Chairman; but for unknown reasons, Mao had voiced his explicit opposition to the recreation of the position and his assuming it. Chen Boda , now aligned with the PLA faction loyal to Lin, galvanized support for the restoration of the office of President of China, despite Mao's wishes to the contrary.

The attacks on Zhang found favour with many attendees at the Plenum, and may have been construed by Mao as an indirect attack on the Cultural Revolution itself.


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Mao confronted Chen openly, denouncing him as a "false Marxist", [80] and removed him from the Politburo Standing Committee. In addition to the purge of Chen, Mao asked Lin's principal generals to write self-criticisms on their political positions as a warning to Lin. Mao also inducted several of his supporters to the Central Military Commission, and placed his loyalists in leadership roles of the Beijing Military Region.

By , diverging interests between the civilian and military wings of the leadership were apparent.

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Mao was troubled by the PLA's newfound prominence, and the purge of Chen Boda marked the beginning of a gradual scaling-down of the PLA's political involvement. Lin's son, Lin Liguo , and other high-ranking military conspirators formed a coup apparatus in Shanghai, and dubbed the plan to oust Mao by force Outline for Project , which sounds similar to "Military Uprising" in Mandarin.

It is disputed whether Lin Biao was involved in this process. While official sources maintain that Lin planned and executed the alleged coup attempt, scholars such as Jin Qiu portray Lin as a passive character manipulated by members of his family and his supporters. The Outline allegedly consisted mainly of plans for aerial bombardments through use of the Air Force. Were the plan to succeed, Lin would arrest his political rivals and assume power. Assassination attempts were alleged to have been made against Mao in Shanghai, from September 8 to September 10, Perceived risks to Mao's safety were allegedly relayed to the Chairman.

One internal report alleged that Lin had planned to bomb a bridge that Mao was to cross to reach Beijing; Mao reportedly avoided this bridge after receiving intelligence reports. In the official narrative, on September 13, , Lin Biao, his wife Ye Qun , Lin Liguo, and members of his staff attempted to flee to the Soviet Union ostensibly to seek asylum.

En route, Lin's plane crashed in Mongolia , killing all on board. The plane apparently ran out of fuel en route to the Soviet Union. A Soviet team investigating the incident was not able to determine the cause of the crash, but hypothesized that the pilot was flying low to evade radar and misjudged the plane's altitude. The official account has been put to question by foreign scholars, who have raised doubts over Lin's choice of the Soviet Union as a destination, the plane's route, the identity of the passengers, and whether or not a coup was actually taking place.

On September 13, the Politburo met in an emergency session to discuss Lin Biao. Only on September 30 was Lin's death confirmed in Beijing, which led to the cancellation of the National Day celebration events the following day. The Central Committee kept information under wraps, and news of Lin's death was not released to the public until two months following the incident.

The event caught the party leadership off guard: the concept that Lin could betray Mao de-legitimized a vast body of Cultural Revolution political rhetoric, as Lin was already enshrined into the Party Constitution as Mao's "closest comrade-in-arms" and "successor". For several months following the incident, the party information apparatus struggled to find a "correct way" to frame the incident for public consumption.

Mao became depressed and reclusive after the Lin Biao incident. With Lin gone, Mao had no ready answers for who would succeed him. Sensing a sudden loss of direction, Mao attempted reaching out to old comrades whom he had denounced in the past. She held tremendous influence with the radical camp.

With Mao's health on the decline, it was clear that Jiang Qing had political ambitions of her own. She allied herself with Wang Hongwen and propaganda specialists Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan , forming a political clique later pejoratively dubbed as the " Gang of Four ". By , round after round of political struggles had left many lower-level institutions, including local government, factories, and railways, short of competent staff needed to carry out basic functions.

However, the party's core became heavily dominated by Cultural Revolution beneficiaries and leftist radicals, whose focus remained upholding ideological purity over economic productivity. The economy remained largely the domain of Zhou Enlai, one of the few moderates 'left standing'. Zhou attempted to restore a viable economy, but was resented by the Gang of Four, who identified him as their main political threat in post-Mao era succession. In late , to weaken Zhou's political position and to distance themselves from Lin's apparent betrayal, the " Criticize Lin, Criticize Confucius " campaign began under Jiang Qing's leadership.

With a fragile economy and Zhou falling ill to cancer, Deng Xiaoping returned to the political scene, taking up the post of Vice-Premier in March , in the first of a series of promotions approved by Mao. The speed of Deng's rehabilitation took the radical camp, who saw themselves as Mao's 'rightful' political and ideological heirs, by surprise. Mao wanted to use Deng as a counterweight to the military faction in government to suppress any remaining influence of those formerly loyal to Lin Biao.

In addition, Mao had also lost confidence in the ability of the Gang of Four to manage the economy and saw Deng as a competent and effective leader. Leaving the country in grinding poverty would do no favours to the positive legacy of the Cultural Revolution, which Mao worked hard to protect. Deng's return set the scene for a protracted factional struggle between the radical Gang of Four and moderates led by Zhou and Deng.

At the time, Jiang Qing and associates held effective control of mass media and the party's propaganda network, while Zhou and Deng held control of most government organs. On some decisions, Mao sought to mitigate the Gang's influence, but on others, he acquiesced to their demands.

The Gang of Four's heavy hand in political and media control did not prevent Deng from reinstating his economic policies. Deng emphatically opposed Party factionalism, and his policies aimed to promote unity as the first step to restoring economic productivity. Much like the post-Great Leap restructuring led by Liu Shaoqi, Deng streamlined the railway system, steel production, and other key areas of the economy.


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  • By late however, Mao saw that Deng's economic restructuring might negate the legacy of the Cultural Revolution, and launched a campaign to oppose "rehabilitating the case for the rightists", alluding to Deng as the country's foremost "rightist". Mao directed Deng to write self-criticisms in November , a move lauded by the Gang of Four. On January 8, , Zhou Enlai died of bladder cancer. On January 15 Deng Xiaoping delivered Zhou's official eulogy in a funeral attended by all of China's most senior leaders with the notable absence of Mao himself, who had grown increasingly critical of Zhou. The Gang of Four grew apprehensive that spontaneous, large-scale popular support for Zhou could turn the political tide against them.

    They acted through the media to impose a set of restrictions on overt public displays of mourning for Zhou. Years of resentment over the Cultural Revolution, the public persecution of Deng Xiaoping seen as Zhou's ally , and the prohibition against public mourning led to a rise in popular discontent against Mao and the Gang of Four. Official attempts to enforce the mourning restrictions included removing public memorials and tearing down posters commemorating Zhou's achievements.

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    On March 25, , Shanghai's Wen Hui Bao published an article calling Zhou "the capitalist roader inside the Party [who] wanted to help the unrepentant capitalist roader [Deng] regain his power". These propaganda efforts at smearing Zhou's image, however, only strengthened public attachment to Zhou's memory. On April 4, , on the eve of China's annual Qingming Festival , a traditional day of mourning, thousands of people gathered around the Monument to the People's Heroes in Tiananmen Square to commemorate Zhou Enlai.

    The people of Beijing honored Zhou by laying wreaths, banners, poems, placards, and flowers at the foot of the Monument. A small number of slogans left at Tiananmen even attacked Mao himself, and his Cultural Revolution. Up to two million people may have visited Tiananmen Square on April 4. Those who participated were motivated by a mixture of anger over the treatment of Zhou, revolt against the Cultural Revolution and apprehension for China's future. The event did not appear to have coordinated leadership but rather seemed to be a reflection of public sentiment.

    The Central Committee, under the leadership of Jiang Qing, labelled the event 'counter-revolutionary', and cleared the square of memorial items shortly after midnight on April 6. Attempts to suppress the mourners led to a violent riot. Police cars were set on fire and a crowd of over , people forced its way into several government buildings surrounding the square. Similar incidents occurred in other major cities. Jiang Qing and her allies pinned Deng Xiaoping as the incident's 'mastermind', and issued reports on official media to that effect.

    Deng was formally stripped of all positions "inside and outside the Party" on April 7. This marked Deng's second purge in ten years. On September 9, , Mao Zedong died. To Mao's supporters, his death symbolized the loss of the revolutionary foundation of Communist China. When his death was announced on the afternoon of September 9, in a press release entitled "A Notice from the Central Committee, the NPC, State Council, and the CMC to the whole Party, the whole Army and to the people of all nationalities throughout the country", [98] the nation descended into grief and mourning, with people weeping in the streets and public institutions closing for over a week.

    Hua Guofeng chaired the Funeral Committee.