January 9, 1967January Storm in China.
No, it's not about the weather but the winds of change.
Some compare it to the French Revolution and the liberation of the oppressed from government. Others say it was politicians using people to get rid of their opposition.
People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, began the new year with the editorial "Carry the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution Through to the End", directing all Party faithful to launch a general attack on specific people, particularly China's President, Liu Shaoqi; the next day, officials addressing a rally of 10,000 people in Beijing listed twenty charges against Liu.
On January 2, Chinese Marxist theorist Zhou Yang became the latest victim of China's Cultural Revolution and the People's Daily published its new editorial, "Criticizing the Reactionary Two-faced Zhou Yang", though the article also contained a subtle criticism of another high party official, Propaganda Minister Tao Zhu, who would become the next Revolution victim two days later.
On January 3, 1967, Lin Biao and Jiang Qing employed local media and grassroots organizations to generate the so-called "January Storm", during which the Shanghai municipal government was essentially overthrown.
This paved the way for Wang Hongwen to take charge of the city as leader of the so-called Shanghai People's Commune, later renamed the Municipal Revolutionary Committee.
In Beijing, Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping were once again the targets of criticism; others attacked Vice Premier Tao Zhu, signalling that even central government officials were now 'fair game' for attacks.
A group of at least 20 members of China's Red Guards appeared at the Zhongnanhai section of Beijing where the nation's prominent party and governmental leaders lived and invaded the residence of President Liu Shaoqi and his wife, Wang Guangmei, then ordered them to listen to a 40-minute lecture about his failures.
Cao Diqiu was deposed as Mayor of Shanghai along with most of the municipal government. The act by Shanghai's rebels was approved by China's leader, Mao Zedong, who "proposed it as an example to be emulated", leading to the Red Guards and rebels to "seize power" in their schools and workplaces.
Mao praised these actions through the party-run People's Daily, urging all local government leaders to rise in self-criticism, or the criticism of others suspected of "counterrevolutionary activity". Many local governments followed Shanghai's example, with red guards or other revolutionary groups "seizing power" from the established party and government organs.
On January 9, Radio stations across China began broadcasting the "Urgent Notice" that had originated in Shanghai, with the warning that "All those who have opposed Chairman Mao, Vice-Chairman Lin, and the Communist China Red Guards, and all those who have sabotaged the Cultural Revolution and production, will immediately be arrested by the Public Security Bureau in accordance with the law. All those who violate rules against economism will immediately be punished as saboteurs off the Cultural Revolution."
Zhang Chunqiao was able to place himself at the head of the mass movement, and encouraged the return of workers to the factories. He promised that the governing organs of Shanghai would be reconstructed along the lines of the Paris Commune, the original model of proletarian dictatorship for Marxists. With the endorsement of Mao, the Shanghai People’s Commune was proclaimed on February 5th.
It was to last less than 20 days. While the idea of the Commune as a new form of socialist organization seized the imaginations of many rebels, Chairman Mao was less confident. Viewing the Commune model as “too weak when it comes to suppressing counterrevolutionaries,” and fearing that the CCP would lose its role in the revolutionary process, Mao was attracted to the “revolutionary committees” which had taken power in Shaanxi and Harbin. Such committees, which had relied on the decisive influence of the People’s Liberation Army, were formed as “triple alliances” between the rebel Red Guards, the Party and the Army, with the latter clearly as the dominant partner and the mass organizations increasingly excluded altogether.#50yearsago #year1967