ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Unfinished Business

Unfinished Business G P Deshpande THE new year has brought little comfort to China-watchers. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) is slowly drawing to a close, but the end still seems far off. All that the Chinese official press has told us (just in case somebody did not know) is that China's Khrushchev happens to be "the Renegade, Traitor and Scab, Liu Shao-chi". The Twelfth Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China met from October 13 to 31, 1968 and "ratified the Report on the Examination of the Crimes . . . of Liu Shao-chi submitted by the special group under the Central Committee for the examination of his case". The Plenary Session "unanimously adopted a resolution to expel Liu Shao- chi from the Party once and for all, to dismiss him from all posts both inside and outside the Party". This report, however, was not published; so the document which claims to advance overwhelming evidence of Liu's treachery will remain classified for some time. The second major decision of the Plenary Session was contained in the declaration that "through the storms of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, ample ideological, political and organisational conditions have been prepared for convening the Ninth National Congress of the Party. The Plenary Session decided that the Ninth Congress will be held at an appropriate time." Here again no specific dates are given; nor is a time-limit set. However, it might be a safe guess that Mao is working for a Congress this year. Over the year 1968 Revolutionary Committees were established in all the provinces of China (except, of course, Taiwan, as People's Daily hastened to point out). The last Revolutionary Committee was established in Tibet. One should not be surprised to find these Revolutionary Committees ultimately replacing the Party Committees. The delegates attending the proposed Congress will call themselves Party Delegates, but the Party itself will be a tempered Party if not an altogether new one. Throughout 1968 several articles appeared in the Chinese Press extolling once again the central role of the Party. This might indicate that Mao feels confident that he now has a chastened Party.

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