Strategies of Conflict in China During 1975-1976.

by Kenneth G. Lieberthal

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Divisions in Peking politics allow characterization of leaders as radicals, moderates, or military. The radicals have their strengths in propaganda, the moderates in executive policymaking positions of the bureaucracy. The period spring 1975 through spring 1976 is analyzed in three segments. (1) Spring 1975 until Chou En-lai's death in January 1975: The moderates tried to put their people into important posts, and to firmly establish their programs before Chou En-lai died. The radicals raised issues over which they would seek to topple Teng Hsiao-p'ing. (2) Chou's funeral until Ch'ing Ming Festival, April 4, 1976: Radicals began a political whirlwind to remove enemies and programs; moderates used their resources to keep political campaign under control. (3) April 5 to May 1976: After a full-scale riot on April 5 put down by police and military, the Central Committee dismissed Teng Hsiao-p'ing as vice-premier and Party vice-chairman and appointed Hua Kuo-feng as premier and first vice-chairman of the Party. The little that is known about Hua's political views suggests he leans toward the moderate camp. 16 pp.

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