Chou En-lai : A Statement of His Political Style, with Comparisons with Mao Tse-tung and Lin Piao.

by Thomas W. Robinson

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Much has been written about Chou En-lai, but very little about his political style--the special brand of the number-three Chinese leader's appeal and his genius for making himself indispensable to the regime. This paper focuses primarily on Chou's role during and after the Cultural Revolution, which serves as a model for his political style. It probes Chou's apparent public and private ambitions, his method of maneuver, his boundless energy, and his relationships with those inside and outside the Party. To sum up: though a strong Party man and personally uncharismatic, Chou is a master of the Machiavellian, "mainland China's most adroit politician," and could eventually share power with Lin Piao, Mao's heir-apparent to Mainland Chinese leadership. 22 pp.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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