Part Two:

(January 1951-June 1956)
The Marxist-Leninist Theory of Agricultural Cooperativisation

In the Political Report of the Central Committee to the 15th Congress of the CPSU in December 1927, Stalin pointed out the unsatisfactory rate of development of Soviet agriculture:

"The rate of development of our agriculture cannot be regarded as quite satisfactory",
(Josef V. Stalin: 'Political Report of the Central Committee to the 15th Congress of the CPSU' (December 1927), in: 'Works', Volume 10; Moscow; 1954; p. 312).
and declared that the only solution to this problem was the gradual, voluntary unification of the small peasant farms into large-scale, mechanised cooperative farms: "The way out is to unite the small and dwarf peasant farms gradually but surely, not by pressure but by example and persuasion, into large farms based on common, cooperative, collective cultivation of the land and the use of agricultural machines and tractors and scientific methods of intensive agriculture.
There is no other way out".
(Josef V. Stalin: ibid.; p. 313).
With the income of the cooperative farmers proportional to the quantity and quality of the work they performed: "The share in the surplus has to depend on the share in the work done. . . . For this the system of 'work-day units was evolved, based . . . on the work done."
(Jack Dunman: 'Agriculture: Capitalist and Socialist: Studies in the Development of Agriculture and its Contribution to Economic Development as a Whole'; London; 1975; p. 104).
In the form of cooperative farm recommended by the CPSU, the artel, "The basic means of production, . . . - labour, use of the land, machines and other implements, draught animals and farm buildings -- are socialised. In the artel, the household plots (small vegetable gardens, small orchards), the dwelling housesa, a part of the dairy cattle, small livestock, poultry, etc., are not socialised".
(Josef V. Stalin: 'Dizzy with Success: Concerning Questions of the Collective-Farm Movement' (March 1930). in: 'Works', Volume 12; Moscow; 1955; p. 202).
Marxism-Leninism calls for the cooperativisation of agriculture to be linked with an offensive against the rich, capitalist peasants -- the kulaks: However, Marxism-Leninism holds that before the cooperativisation of agriculture can be successfully embarked upon, a certain degree of industrial development must first have been achieved: "In order to start . . . mass transition to collective farms, certain preliminary conditions had to be available. . . .
It was necessary to industrialise the country, to set up a new tractor industry, to build new factories for the manufacture of agricultural machinery in order to supply tractors and machines in abundance to the collective-farm peasantry".
(Josef V. Stalin: 'Speech delivered at the 1st All-Union Congress of Collective Farm Shock Brigaders' (February 1933), in: 'Works', Volume 13; Moscow; 1955; p. 244).

The Chinese Road to Agricultural Cooperativisation

As we have seen, as a result of the land reform carried out in 1950-52: China was therefore faced with similar serious problems to those of the Soviet Union: "In China's economy, the role and importance of agriculture cannot be overstated; the agricultural sector has provided not only food for the entire population but also 90% of the raw materials for the consumer goods industries and 75% of the exports. .
Thus the lag in agricultural output has been a serious problem. . Farm production through the years has grown only slowly'.
(Parris H. Chang: 'Power and Policy in China'; University Park (USA): 1978; p. 9),
and there was general agreement within the Communist Party of China that, at least in the long run, the only solution to this situation was: In fact, certain measures of short-term cooperation had been developed in the Chinese countryside long before the establishment of the People's Republic in 1949: "Traditionally the Chinese peasants had from time to time formed mutual aid groups to assist each other at harvest tiine, at spring planting, or in the face of flood or drought".
(John & Elsie Collier: op. cit.; p. 29).
and after 1949 such mutual-aid groups came to be formed on a wider scale: "It was after the founding of the People's Republic of China that our Party led the peasants in setting up agricultural producers' mutual-aid teams more extensively".
(Mao Tse-tung (July 1955): op. cit.; p. 186).
A further step followed: the establishment of permanent mutual-aid teams: "It was soon taken a stage further. . . . Groups were set up which worked together and loaned each other tools and animals on a permanent all-the-year-round basis".
(John & Elsie Collier: op. cit.; p. 29).

The Intra-Party Struggle over Cooperativisation Policy

On the question of the further development of agricultural cooperativisation: The Marxist-Leninist Party grouping, headed by Kao Kang, representing the interests of the working class, favoured the policies of: The national bourgeois grouping of the Party, headed by Liu Shao-shi, firstly, "Argued for the postponement of collectivisation until China's industry was ready to support the creation of large-scale mechanised collective farms".
(Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 10).
Secondly, supported the principle of distributing cooperative farmers' income partly on the basis of property brought into the farm; and,
Thirdly, rejected an offensive against the rich capitalist peasants - the kulaks, with whom the national bourgeoisie had close relations. "In 1953 Liu Shao-chi argued that allowing a rich peasant economy to develop for some years would result in increased agricultural production and allow time to develop industry to the point where farming could be mechanised, and that only mechanisation could create a suitable basis for collective farmimg. This line of argument resulted in a call for the 'Four Freedoms' -- to rent land, to sell land, to hire labour and to lend money."
(John & Elsie Collier: op. cit.; p. 28).
Later, during the 'Cultural Revolution', the line that industrial development should precede cooperativisation of agriculture was denounced as: The comprador bourgeois Party grouping, headed by Mao Tse-tung, wishing to use the cooperativisation of agriculture only as a weapon to drive a wedge between the national bourgeois grouping of the Party and the peasantry, strongly opposed postponing cooperativisation of agriculture until the industrialisation of the country had been achieved, while supporting an offensive against the rich, capitalist peasants. The policy of this grouping: "Adopted on the basis of the leadership of Mao Tse-tung, was to commence to develop forms of cooperative production immediatetly after the land reform".
(John & Elsie Collier: op. cit.; p. 29).

Lower-Level Cooperative Farms (January 1951-July 1955)

From January 1951, an ideolological controversy went on between the groupings of the Party on the question of the cooperativisation of agriculture.
In July 1951: In September 1951, Mao Tse-tung: "Personally took charge of drafting the 'Resolution of the Central Committee of the CPC on Mutual Aid and Cooperation in Agricultural Production (Draft)"'.
(Note to: Mao Tse-tung: 'Selected Works', Volume 5; Peking; 1977; p. 71).
The draft resolution was intended: and was distributed as an inner-Party document in December 1951.

From January 1951, the comprador bourgeois grouping of the Party headed by Mao Tse-tung, succeeded in sstablishing a number of cooperative farms, although the national bourgeois grouping of the Party was able to ensure that these adopted a distribution sysyem which favoured the rich peasants:

"These first (so-called 'lower-level') coops paid out part of their product in the form of rent paid in proportion to the land each family had put into the coop, and rent for the use of the members' tools and animals, and the rest according to a system of work-points.
The lower-level coops favoured the old rich peasants in that it was they who in general . . . owned more land and capital for which they received rent".
(John & Elsie Collier: op. cit.; p. 29).
In spite of this enforced concession, for the most part at this time, a coalition of the Marxist-Leninist and national bourgeois groupings dominated the Party machinery, so that the Party policy towards the cooperativisation of agriculture was one of restraint: "Up to the summer of 1955, the principle of 'gradualism . prevailed". (Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 10-11).
"Until the summer of 1955, the Government had on the whole been wary in its advance towards the formation of agricultural producers' cooperatives. . . . The majority of the Central Committee was genuinely adhering to the often-proclaimed principles of tgradualness' and 'voluntariness."
('Communist China: 1955-59: Policy Documents with Analysis' (hereafter listed as 'Communist China'); Cambridge (USA); 1962; p. 3).
For example, in March 1955, the State Council: "Ordered the cadres to slow down agricultural collectivisation and reorganise and consolidate the existing Agricultural Producers' Cooperatives (APCs)".
(Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 10).
and in May 1955 Deputy Premier Teng Tsu-hui: "Retrenched and dissolved 200,000 cooperatives at a Central Committee Rural Work Conference. .
In the provinces there was a widepread feeling against rapid collectivisation. . . . The decision of the May 1955 Central Work Conference to cut back APCs probably reflected this consensus".
(Parris H. Chang: ibid.; p. 13, 14).
THE 'FIRST LEAP FORWARD' (July 1955 - June 1956)
Mao's Speech on Agricultural Cooperativisation (July 1955)

The liquidation of the Marxist-Leninist grouping of the Party in 1954 ended the coalition between this grouping and the national bourgeois grouping on the question of the cooperativisation of agriculture.

In July 1955, therefore, confronted with the strong opposition of the national bourgeois grouping of the Party, Mao Tse-tung:

"Intervened and attempted to reverse the moderate policy that was being implemented".
(Parris H. Chang: ibid.; p. 11).
Mao: and: "Against the wishes of most of his colleagues in the CP leadership, called for an acceleration of the transition to lower-level, and then to higher-level, agricultural producers' cooperatives in the countryside".
('Encyclopaedia Britannica', Volume 16; Chicago; 1994; p. 145).
Mao's intervention precipitated a new stage in intra-Party dissension: "It was in connection with Mao Tse-tung 's new policy on cooperatives that . . . opposition first became acute and obvious".
('Communist China?: op. cit.; p. 3).
In a report he delivered to this conference entitled 'On the Cooperative Transformation of Agriculture', Mao strongly criticised the slow pace of agricultural cooperativisation which had been adopted under the aegis of the national bourgeois grouping of the Party: "Some of our comrades, tottering along like a woman with bound feet, are complaining all the time: 'You're going too fast, much too fast'. Too much carping, unwarranted complaints, boundless anxiety and countless taboos. . . .
This is not the right policy."
(Mao Tse-tung (July 1955): op. cit.; p. 184).
He condemned the practice of dissolving cooperative farms, even where a majority of the members favoured this course: "No decision should be made to dissolve cooperatives unless all, or nearly all, the members are determined not to carry on. . . If the majority is firmly against carrying on, but the minority is willimg to do so, let the majority withdraw while the minority stays in and continues."
(Mao Tse-tung (July 1955): ibid.; p. 189).
In particular, Mao called for the transition from lower-level cooperative farms to higher-level cooperative farms, in which collective farmers' incomes were dependent only upon work performed: "The advanced coop farms were formed by the amalgamation of several small coops. . . . In these coops rent on land was abolished, the capital of the members was bought out by the coop, thus abolishing rent on tools and animals, and ownership of the land was vested in the coop".
(John & Elsie Collier: op. cit.; p. 29).
Mao called on the peasants to: "Organise large fully socialist agricultural producers' cooperatives".
(Mao Tse-tung (July 1955): op. cit.; p. 199).
Following Mao's intervention: "The movement to form advanced coops swept the country".
(John & Elsie Collier: op. cit.; p. 29).
But Mao's speech remained unpublished: "Until the policy 'suggested' by Mao had been ratified and formalised in the decisions of the Party's Central Committee in October 1955".
('Commmunist China': op. cit.; p. 92).
By this time: "The leap in agricultural collectivisation was already a fait accompli in many provinces."
(Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 15).
and came later to be called: The 6th Plenum of the 7th CC (October 1955) In October 1955, Mao convened the 6th Plenum of the 7th Central Commitee: "To formally endorse and legitimise the campaign that had already been launched".
(Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 15).
At the 6th Plenum of the 7th Central Committtee, in October 1955, Mao demanded a large-scale expansion of cooperative farming: and an expansion on a country-wide scale: "Expansion is possible in areas which were liberated late, in mountain areas, in backward townships and in areas affected by disasters. . It is possible in all such places."
(Mao Tse-tung (October 1955): ibid.; p. 216).
He argued against the liquidation of even poorly-run cooperative farms: "Generally, the so-called poorly-run cooperatives should not be dissolved, for they can take a turn for the better after a check-up".
(Mao Tse-tung (October 1955): ibid.; p. 217).
and reaffirmed the comprador bourgeois line that cooperative farms could be successfully established without funds or machines: "Cooperatives can be set up without funds, carts and oxen. . . Cooperatives can be set up without farm machinery".
(Mao Tse-tung (October 1955): ibid.; p. 217).
and argued again for the setting up of at least a batch of advanced-type cooperative farms in the near future: "Should we set up a number of cooperatives of the advanced type in the near future? . . . A batch of such cooperatives should be set up".
(Mao Tse-tung (October 1955): ibid.; p. 218).
The Seventeen Articles (November 1955)

It was in this situation of continuing domination of the comprador bourgeois grouping of the Party that, in November 1955, Mao wrote:

"The so-called Seventeen Articles".
(Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 19).
These formed the basis of a new pseudo-left agricultural programme for the comprador bourgeois grouping of the Party areas; they were circulated unofficially in the rural areas, where they produced a 'colossal mobilisation force': "These Seventeen Articles, apparently without approval by legitimate decision-making bodies, were transmitted to the rural areas, where they produced a 'colossal mobilisation force'.
(Parris H. Chang: ibid.; p. 19).
  Chou En-lai's Speech on Intellectuals (January 1956)
The dominance within the Party of the comprador bourgeois grouping of the Party was illustrated when Chou En-lai told a conference on intellectuals in January 1956 that the Central Committee had: "Decided to make opposition to rightist conservative ideology the central question for the 8th National Congress of the Party",
(Chou En-lai: Speech on the Question of Intellectuals (January 1956), in: 'Communist China': op. cit.; p. 129).

The 1956-67 Draft Programme for Agricultural Development (January 1956)

In January 1956, after more discussions with provincial Party officials in Peking: "Mao expanded the Seventeen Articles into Forty Articles and produced the first version".
(Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 19).
of the 1956-67 Draft National Programme for Agricultural Development, which was launched in January 1956: "At a Supreme State Conference".
(Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 17).
Thus, it was: "In the context of the inner-Party disputes over the tempo of collectivisation and Mao's victory leading to the speed-up of collectivisation that the draft 'Forty Article 1956-1967 National Programme for Agricultural Development was launched".
(Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 17).
The draft programme: ". . . called for a continuation of the fairly radical line pushed by Mao since the previous summer."
(Parris H. Chang: ibid.; p. 17-18).
It set: "The goal of getting about 85% of all peasant households into APCs in 1956".
(Parris H. Chang: ibid.; p. 17).
and that of completing the transition to higher-level cooperative farms ('collective farms'): Whereas in fact this programme was exceeded, since: "63% of all farm households were in collectives by June 1956, and 88% by December of that year."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid.; p. 18).
Following the announcement of the draft programme: "An intensive publicity campaign was launched to publicise it and to arouse the enthusiasm of the masses as well as that of the cadres. . . . .
With great fanfare, various provinces began to map out plans in accordance with the spirit of the draft programme. .
Unprecedently large numbers of peasants were mobilised".
(Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 20, 21).
The voluntary principle was discarded: ''The cadres, spurred on by their superiors . . ., often ignored the principles of 'voluntarism and mutual benefit as prescribed by tbe central authorities".
(Parris H. Chang: ibid.; p. 21-22).
and all but the most extreme counter-revolutionary elements were admitted into membership, since Article 5 of the new draft programme: "Provided for the admission to collectives of all but the worst counter-revolutionaries."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): op. cit.; p. 78).
The Crisis in Agriculture (June 1956-September 1956) The pseudo-left character of the draft Agricultural Programme, and especially its coercive aspects, quickly aroused mass discontent among the peasantry: "The peasants . . . were dissatisfied and resentful. . . . The peasants slaughtered livestock and draught animals intead of surrendering them to the APCs. . .
Cadres' lack of experience in managing the APCs and the resulting mismanagement further exacerbated the difficulties of the APCs. . .
Food crops and cotton were overemphasised (because they were targets in the draft programme) at the expense of other economic crops; agriculture was overstressed, and subsidiary occupations were neglected. . . .
· . . Sideline production generally represented 30-40% of the peasants' total income, and the falling output in economic crops and sideline occupations greatly affected the peasants' cash income and increased the difficulties in their daily life".
(Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 22-23).
As a consequence of all this, by April 1956: "The national economy was encountering some serious problems. . . . .
Both the problems afflicting national economy and the difficulties in the countryside resulted largely from the rapid collectivisation drive and poor management of the APCs, as well as from the attempts to achieve the goals of the draft programme ahead of time".
(Parris H. Chang: ibid.; p. 23-24).
Thus, the economic crisis of spring 1956: "Served to vindicate the position of those Party officials who advocated gradualism".
(Parris H. Chang: ibid.; p. 24).
"Clearly those Party members who in the winter of 1955-56 had been accused of conservatism for opposing Mao's new line on cooperatives must have felt themselves amply justified by events."
(Communist China'; op. cit.; p. 9).
As a result of the unscientific nature of the draft Agricultural Programme, by June 1956: "The economic situation . . . was now so serious that a top-level conference at Peitaiho . . . decided that the production drive should be slowed down".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): op. cit.; p. 86).
The Campaign 'against Reckless Advance' (April 1956-September 1956)

Thus, by April 1956 the political representatives of the national bourgeoisie, headed by Liu Shao-chi, had succeeded in winning a majority of the leading cadres of the Party to the view that the 'First Leap Forward' initiated by the comprador bourgeoisie headed by Mao Tse-tung had been economically harmful.

In consequence, the policy of the CPC was changed.

In April/May 1956, a joint meeting of the Politburo of the CC of the CPC and of the State Council:

"Issued an important joint directive to stop the tendencies of 'reckless advance'.
(Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 23).
At the NPC in June 1956, Minister of Finance Li Hsien-nien amended Mao's slogan of 'opposing right conservativism' to that of 'simultaneously opposing impetuosity and adventurism', saying in his budget report: "While opposing conservatism, one must at the same time oppose the tendency towards impetuosity and adventurism."
(Li Hsien-nien: Budget Speech (June 1956), in: Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): op. cit.; p. 86, citing 'People's Daily' (16 June 1956).
A few days later, an editorial in the 'People's Daily': "Made it clear that while conservatism would still be criticised, opposition to impetuosity would be the more important task. Its real aim was to oppose blind advance".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid.; p. 87, 88).
The text of this editorial was approved by Liu Shao-chi and sent for commemt to Mao, who wrote on the draft: "I won't read this".
(Mao Tse-tung: Comment on Draft of 'People's Daily' Editorial of 20 June 1956, in: Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid.; p. 87).
Eighteen months later, in 1969, Mao explained: In September 1956, on the eve of the 8th National Congress of the CPC, a joint CC/State Council directive on agricultural production made a: Thus: "Eight months after its emergence in January 1956, the draft programme had fallen into oblivion". (Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 31).

(Summer 1955-September 1956)
Socialism in Agriculture

In September 1956, Liu Shao-chi told the 8th National Congress of the CPC that, in spite of opposition, agriculture in China had been fundamentally reorganised on the basis of higher-level cooperatives:

Since Marxist-Leninists agree that cooperative farm property is socialist property: One must agree with Liu Shao-chi's assessment that: "We have been able to accomplish in the main the socialist transformation of agriculture".
(Liu Shao-chi (1956): op. cit.; p. 18).
Socialism in Handicrafts

At the same time, in September 1956, Liu Shao-chi told the 8th National Congress of the CPC that handicrafts had been fundamentally reorganised on the basis of cooperatives, the property of which, as in agriculture, could correctly be regarded as socialist property:

Thus: "We have now achieved a decisive victory in the socialist transformation of . . . handicrafts . . in our country".
(Liu Shao-chi (1956): op. cit.; p. 11).
Pseudo-Socialism in Industry and Commerce In the summer of 1955, a programme began: "For the 'socialist transformation' of industry and commerce".
('New Encyclopaedia Britannica', Volume 16; 1994; p. 145).
In the case of industry and commerce, however, this 'socialist transformation' followed the pseudo-socialist lines already described (pages 43-46). "Capitalist industry and commerce in the country has, by and large, come under joint state-private operation."
(Liu Shao-chi (1956): op. cit.; p. 12)
The new-democratic state maintained the 'unreasonably high' salaries which were being received by the capitalists involved: "Even the unreasonably high salaries enjoyed by many of the capitalists and agents in these enterprises were continued after the changeover."
(Kuan Ta-tung: op. cit.; p. 87).
and paid the capitalists a guaranteed rate of interest on their investments, thus maintaining exploitation of the workers: "A fixed rate of interest was paid by the state for the total investment of the capitalists in the joint state-private enterprises. Irrespective of locality and trade, the interest was fixed at a rate of 5% per annum . thus maintaining exploitation."
(Kuan Ta-tung: ibid.; p. 86-87, 91).
Indeed, the amount of profit being made increased significantly: "Statistics of 64 factories in various parts of China which had gone over to joint operation earlier than others revealed that their profits were increasing. Taking their profit in 1950 as 100, it was 113 in 1951, 228 in 1952, and 306 in 1953". .
(Kuan Ta-tung: ibid.; p. 78, 91).
Not unnaturally, the capitalists welcomed this spurious socialism: 'Our bourgeoisie has heralded its acceptance of socialist transformation with a fanfare of gongs and drums.'
(Liu Shao-chi (1956): op. cit.; p. 59).
and were happy to be 'remoulded' by 'educational measures' into 'working people': "While the enterprises are being transformed, educational measures are adopted to remould the capitalists gradually . . . into working people". (Liu Shao~hi (1956): op. cit.; p. 25). Thus, Liu Shao-chi was able to tell the 8th National Congress of the SPC in September 1956 truthfully that "Capitalist industry and commerce in the country has, by and large, come under joint state-private operation."
(Liu Shao-chi (1956): op. cit.; p. 12).
and untruthfully that: "We have now achieved a decisive victory in the socialist transformation of . . . capitalist industry and commerce."
(Liu Shao-chi (1956): op. cit.; p. 11.

(February 1956 - December 1958)


 As we have seen (page 41),

 On  the  other  hand,

The  intra-Party struggle over this question was fought out on the  issue of centralised economic planning.

 Since a planned economy is one of the foundations of a socialist society, the  political  representatives of the comprador bourgeoisie did not  campaign openly for the abolition of economic  planning,  only for its decentralisation-- omitting  to point out that centralisation,  the binding nature of planning on every peripheral organisation, is one of the essential features of economic planning.

 In  the  absence  of centralised economic planning  in  a  new-democratic society,  production  can  be  regulated only by  profitability.  Under  these conditions:

"The  law of value regulates the  'proportions'  of  labour distributed among the various branches of production."
(Josef V.  Stalin: 'Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR' (February 1952) (hereafter listed as 'Josef V.  Stalin (1952)', in: 'Works', Volume 16; London; 1986; p. 315).
 In these conditions: "Light industries, which are the most profitable".
(Josef V. Stalin (1952): ibid.; p. 315),
would developed to the full, in contrast to:   The 20th Congress of the CPSU (February 1956) In February 1956,  Nikita KHRUSHCHEV, the revisionist First Secretary of the  CPSU,  launched in his secret speech at the 20th Congress of the CPSU,  his attack upon Stalin.

The speech was,  in reality,  an attack upon Marxism-Leninism and it  had the   important  effect  of  making  revisionism  'respectable'   within   the international communist movement.

Khrushchev also utilised the Congress to call for the decentralisation of economic planning, that is, for the abolition of centralised economic planning:

"In the past, practically all enterprises in certain Republics had been managed through Union Ministries, but this system requires revision."

(Nikita S. Khruschhev: 'Report of the Central Committee to the 20th Congress of the CPSU' (February 1956), in: 'Keesing '5 Contemporary Archives', Volume 10; p. 14,747).

CPC Reaction to the 20th Congress (April 1956)

That there were from the outset differences within the CPC on the question of the 20th Congress of the CPSU: "Is suggested by the fact that, from February to April 1956,  Chinese Communist media virtually ignored the question of  destalinisation".
(Donald S. Zagoria: 'The Sino-Soviet Conflict: 1956-1961'; Princeton (USA); 1962; p. 43).
However, at the beginning of April 1956, the 'People's Daily' published a long article entitled 'On the Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat', stated to be: "Based on discussions at an enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau of the CC of the CPC."
(Donald S. Zagoria: ibid.; p. 43).
The Chinese article endorsed the main points made in Khrushchev's secret speech. It declared: "Stalin failed to draw lessons from isolated, local and temporary mistakes on certain issues and so failed to prevent them from becoming serious mistakes of a nationwide or prolonged nature. · . . Stalin took more and more pleasure in this cult of the individual, and violated the Party's system of democratic centralism. . . . As a result he made some serious mistakes, such as the following: . . · he lacked the necessary vigilance on the eve of the anti-fascist war; he failed to pay proper attention to the further development of agriculture and the material welfare of the peasantry; he gave certain wrong advice on the international communist movement and, in particular, made a wrong decision on the question of Yugoslavia. On these issues, Stalin fell victim to subjectivism and one-sidedness, and divorced himself from objective reality and from the masses. .
The Chinese Communist Party congratulates the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on its great achievements in this historic struggle against the cult of the individual".
('People's Daily': 'On the Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat' (April 1956), in: John Gittings: 'Survey of the Sino-Soviet Dispute: A Commentary and Extracts from the Recent Polemics: 1963-1967'; London; 1968; p. 291-92, 293).
Mao's 'On the Ten Major Relationships (April 1956) According to Marxist-Leninist principles, priority in economic planning has to be given to heavy industry, to the production of means of production: "The national economy . . . cannot be continuously expanded without giving primacy to the production of means of production."
(Josef V. Stalin (1952): op. cit.; 'Works', Volume 16; London; 1986; p. 316).
In a speech entitled 'On the Ten Major Relationships', delivered to an enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPC in April 1956, Mao Tse-tung paid lip-service to the Marxist-Leninist principle that priority in economic planning should be given to the production of means of production: "The production of means of production must be given priority. That's settled".
(Mao Tse-tung: 'On the Ten ~Iajor Relationships' (April 1956) (hereafter listed as 'Mao Tse-tung (April 1956), in: 'Selected Works', Volume 5; Peking; 1977; p. 285).
However, he criticised Soviet planning policy for its alleged: "Lop-sided stress on heavy industry to the neglect of agriculture and light industry".
(Mao Tse-tung (April 1956): ibid.; p. 285).
and demanded that the proportion of investment devoted to light industry and agriculture be increased: "The proportion (of investment -- Ed.) for agriculture and light industry must be somewhat increased".
(Mao Tse-tung (April 1956): ibid.; p. 286).
Mao also demanded a reduction in centralised economic planning, that is, greater autonomy in the control of production for individual enterprises: "It's not right, I'm afraid, to place everything in the hands of the central or the provincial and municipal authorities, without leaving the factories any power of their own, any room for independent action.

Every unit of production must enjoy independence as the correlative of centralisation if it is to develop more vigorously".

(Mao Tse-tung (April 1956): ibid.; p. 290).

The Foundation of the State Economic Commission (May 1956)

In May 1956, on Mao's initiative, a State Economic Commission was established, charged with charting over-ambitious annual targets in a bid to outflank the more cautious State Planning Commission and secure the adoption of pseudo-left economic plans: "Mao hoped to outflank the State Planning Commission on both sides. Very long-term plans, like the Twelve-Year Agricultural Programme, would set high goals; the State Economic Commission would set high annual targets in an attempt to reach these goals. . . . The intermediate targets of the FYP (Five-Year Plan -- Ed.) could thus be by-passed. . .
The first head of the State Economic Commission was . . . P0 I-po*". (Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): op. cit.; p 58).
The 8th National Congress of the CPC (September 1956) Following the failure of the 'First Leap Forward', at the 8th National Congress of the CPC in September 1956, the national bourgeois faction of the Party, headed by Liu Shao-chi, was dominant: "Mao played a minor public role at the 8th Congress. He gave only a short opening address.. . .
The real blow to Mao 5 prestige at the 8th Congress was the omission from the new Party constitution of both references to 'the Thought of Mao Tse-tung' that had been included in the 1945 constitution. .
Maoists felt that the Chairman's prestige received a blow at the 8th Congress."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): op. cit.; p. 100, 107).
while Liu Shao-chi's Political Report to the Congress on behalf of the CC: Indeed: "Liu Shao-chi played an active and important role in securing agreement to drop Mao's Thought."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid.; p. 102).
and, during the 'Cultural Revolution', PENG Teh-huai* declared: "In 1956, at the 8th Party Congress, when the 8th Congress was held, it was I who proposed to cross out (from the Party constitution) Mao Tse-Tung's Thought. As soon as I made this proposal, Liu Shao-chi gave me his approval".
(Peng Teh-huai: 'Record of Interrogation in Custody' (December 1966-January 1967), in: 'The Case of Peng Teh-huai'; Hong Kong; 1968; p. 119-20).
Later, in October 1966, Mao revealed that at the time of the 8th Congress: "We set up a first and second line. I have been in the second line".
(Mao Tse-tung: Talk at Central Work Conference (October 1966), in: Stuart Schram (Ed.) (1975): op. cit.; p. 270).
The dominance of the national bourgeois grouping within the Party was further reflected in the resolutions adopted by the Congress. In contrast to Mao's formulation that the contradiction between the working class and the national bourgeoisie was now the principal contradiction in China, i. e.: "The contradiction between the working class and the national bourgeoisie has become the principal contradiction in China".
(Mao Tse-tung: 'The Contradiction between the Working Class and the Bourgeoisie is the Principal Contradiction in China' (June 1952), in:  'Selected Works', Volume 5; Peking; 1977; p. 77).
the 8th Congress 'Resolution on the Political Report' declared: "The contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in our country has been basically resolved. .
The major contradiction in our country . . . is already that between the advanced socialist system and the backward productive forces of society".
(Resolution on the Political Report of the CC (September 1956), in: 'Eighth Congress of the Communist Party of China', Volume 1; Peking; 1956; p. 115, 116).
that is: "The political resolution effectively stated that the main task of the CPC was now economic development. . · . This in turn implied that the CPC was not in need of rectification. Mao disagreed sharply. .
The political resolution seemed designed to head off any demand by Mao for rectification of the CPC".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): op. cit.; p. 120, 121).
In the field of economic planning, the 8th Congress of the CPC reaffirmed the national bourgeois view that priority in economic planning should be accorded to heavy industry, and explicitly repudiated Mao's view that the rate of development of heavy industry should be lowered: "We must continue to carry through the policy of giving priority to the development of heavy industry. Some comrades want to lower the rate of development of heavy industry. This line of thinking is wrong."
(Liu Shao-chi (1956): op. cit.; p. 39-40).
  Decentralisation of Economic Planning in the USSR (March 1957)
In March 1957, Khrushchev put forward 20,000-word theses amplifying his 20th Congress proposals for 'decentralisation' of economic planning: "Mr. Khrushchev proposed that the Central Ministries for particular branches of industry, and the similar Ministries in the Union Republics, should be abolished and replaced by 'Economic Councils', each of which would be responsible for a particular region."
('Keesing's Contemporary Archives', Volume 11; p. 15,575).
The adoption of revisionist deviations from Marxism-Leninism by the CPSU greatly assisted the political representatives of the comprador bourgeoisie, headed by Mao Tse-tung, in ditching the correct planning principles applied during the period of the 1st Five-Year Plan: The 3rd Plenum of the 8th CC of the CPC (September/October 1957) Before the 3rd Plenum of the 8th CC, which was held in September/October 1957, Mao Tse-tung: ". . travelled extensively in the provinces."
(Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 39).
attempting, in the new situation following the 20th Congress of the CPSU. which had made revisionism , respectable' in the international communist movement, to recruit Thus, at the Plenum, Mao: " . . suddenly turned the tables, as he had in 1955 on the issue of collectivisation, when he was assured of new support, and challenged the opponents among his colleagues by presenting his own policy".
(Parris II. Chang: ibid.; p. 39).
As a result:  "The balance of power among the Party leaders changed".
(Parris H. Chang: ibid.; p. 37).
putting the political representatives of the comprador bourgeoisie:  "Including Mao himself, in a very strong position."
(Parris H. Chang: ibid.; p. 37).
Thus, at the Plenum: "Decentralisation was one of the major topics discussed".
(Franz Schurmann: op. cit.; p. 195).
and gave rise to heated argument: "The unusual length of the meeting indicated that the CC engaged in hot and serious arguments".
(Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 39).
What came out of the 3rd Plenum: "Was a clear-cut decision for decentralisation II",
(Franz Schurmann: op. cit.; p. 197).
that is, powers were: "Put into the hands of . . . lower-echelon administrative units".
(Franz Schurmann: ibid.; p. 197).
Furthermore, reflecting the dominant position of the comprador bourgeoisie Party grouping at the Plenum: "The draft twelve-year National Programme for Agricultural Development . . . was unexpectedly resurrected. . . . It became one of the major items on the agenda of the Plenum".
(Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 38-39).
Despite some modifications made at the Plenum, the document: "Was still a very ambitious and unrealistic programme. Its revival represented a radical departure from the niore moderate economic line which the regime had pursued since the second half of 1956".
(Parris H. Chang: ibid.; p. 40).
Nevertheless: "Mao's victory in the 3rd Plenum was not total, inasmuch as the revised draft programme was only 'basically' passed, implying reservations by some of the Party leaders".
(Parris H. Chang: ibid.; p. 39).
  The 1957 Decentralisation (November 1957)
In November 1957: "The State Council, acting on the decision of the last CC Plenum, promulgated reforms in the system of industrial, commercial and financial administration. In the field of industry, . . . the power of provincial authorities was increased by transferring to their control many enterprises previously managed by the ministries of the central government. .
By the decree of November 1957, enterprises in consumer goods industries (most of which were then controlled by the Ministry of Light Industry), non-strategic heavy industry, and 'all other factories suitable for decentralisation' were to be 'transferred downward' to the local (primarily provincial) authorities. .
The provincial authorities now would . . . assume operational responsibilities for a broad range of industries coming under their control".
(Parris H. Chang: ibid.; p. 55-56).
In the field of commerce: "As in industry, considerable authority devolved from Peking to the provinces and to the local authorities."
(Parris H. Chang: ibid.; p. 57).

These measures included the abolition of centralised price control:

"Provincial authorities were given the right to set some prices in their areas of jurisdiction."
(Parris H. Chang: ibid.; p. 57).

In fact, 'decentralisation' of economic planning was equivalent to the abolition of economic planning: "Decentralisation could easily be carried, as it was, to the point where even pretence of unity in national planning and national economic development was destroyed".
(Li Choh-ming: 'China's Industrial Development: 1958-63', in: Roderick MIacFarquahar (Ed.) (1972): op. cit.; p. 197).
It was followed by a call for a rapid build-up of local industry, which was almost entirely of the light type: "The decentralisation decisions called for a rapid build-up of regional industry, which was almost entirely of the light type. The industries transferred from central to provincial control were almost entirely in the light category".
(Franz Schurmann: op. cit.; p. 203).
Mao's 'Sixty Articles on Work Methods' (January 1958) In a collection of articles by Mao Tse-tung entitled 'Sixty Articles on
Work Methods', dated January 1958, Article 9: "Contained the seeds of the undermining of the basis of careful planning, the statistical system", (Roderick MacFarquahar: 'The Origins of the Cultural Revolution: 2: The Great Leap Forward: 1958-1960'; Oxford; 1983; p. 31). on the grounds that: "Imbalance is constant and absolute, while equilibrium is temporary and relative".
(Mao Tse-tung: 'Sixty Articles on Work Methods' (January 1958), in:
Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): ibid.; p. 30).
Not surprisingly: "Mao's enthusiasm for disequilibrium was not shared by the planners."
(Stuart R.Schram: 'Mao Tse-tung and the Theory of the Permanent Revolution:
1958-69' (hereafter listed as 'Stuart R. Schram (1971)', in: 'China Quarterly', No. 46 (April/June 1971); p. 233).
and an editorial in the journal 'Planned Economy', the organ of the State Planning Commission, in March 1958 declared that: "Should disequilibrium emerge, strenuous efforts should be made to overcome it ."
(Editorial: 'Planned Economy', No. 3, 1958, in: Stuart R. Schram (1971):
ibid.; p. 235).
At the end of 1958: "'Planned Economy' ceased publication."
(Stuart R. Schram (1971): ibid.; p. 235).
  The 1958 Decentralisation (early-June 1958)
In early 1958: "The State Council carried out a sweeping reorganisation",
(Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 62).
which was, in fact, a more drastic decentralisation measure than that of the previous year. As the comprador bourgeoisie's: "Grip on the policy-making machinery became tighter in the winter of 1957-58, . . . gradualism and caution were discarded. . · Thus, some 80% of the enterprises and institutions controlled in 1957 by the . . . central government had been handed over to the provincial-level authorities by the end of June 1958, and the share of the locally controlled enterprises rose from 54% of the industrial value produced in 1957 to 73% in 1958".
(Parris H. Chang: ibid.; p. 61).
"By the middle of 1958, . . . the central government controlled virtually none of the output of manufactured consumer goods".
(Edward J. Wheelwright & Bruce McFarlane: op. cit.; p. 69).

"In the short span of 10 months, the central government had announced that it was, in effect, giving up . . . most of the major instruments at its disposal for planning and managing the economy."
(Nicholas R. Lardy: 'Centralisation and Dececentralisation in China's Fiscal Management' in: 'China Quarterly', No. 61 (March 1975); p. 29).

The 2nd Session of the 8th National Congress of the CPC (May 1958)

In May 1958, the 2nd Session of the 8th National Congress of the CPC decided: "To approve the draft Programme in principle".
(Resolution of 2nd Session of the 8th National Congress of the CPC on the National Programme for Agricultural Development (1956-1967), in:
'Second Session of the 8th National Congress of the CPC'; Peking; 1958; p. 95).
The 2nd Five-Year Plan (1958-62)

Although a resolution adopted by the 8th National Congress of the CPC in September 1956, characterised the basic tasks of the 2nd Five-Year Plan (1958-62) as:

"Continued development of various industries, with heavy industry as the core",
(Resolution of 8th Congress of CPC: (September 1956), in: Roderick MacFarquahar (Ed.) (1972): op. cit.; p. 177).
in fact, China: "Had no 2nd Five-Year Plan (1958-72), only five ad hoc annual plans during that period".
(Li Choh-ming: 'China's Industrial Development: 1958-63', in: Roderick MacFarquahar (Ed.) (1972): ibid. p. 175).

BO Yibo = Pinyin form of P0 1-po.

KHRUSHCHEV, Nikita S., Soviet revisionist politician (1894-1971); 1st. Secretary, Moscow City and Regional Committees, CPSU (1935-38); 1st Secretary, CP Ukraine (1938-47, 1948-49); member, Political Bureau / Presidium, CC CPSU (1939-64); Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1941); lieutenant-general (1943); Order of Lenin (1944); Premier, Ukraine SSR (1944-47); Order of Suvorov, 1st Class (1945); 1st Secretary, Moscow, CPSU (1950-53); 1st Secretary, CPSU (1953-64); Premier (1958-64); retired from all posts (1964).

P0 1-po, Chinese revisionist economist and politician (1908- ); member, Central People's Government Council (1949-53); member, Government Administrative Council (1949-53); Minister of Finance (1949-53); member, State Planning Commission (1952-54); Deputy Chairman, State Planning Commission (1953-54, 1962-66); Chairman, State Economic Commission (1950-66); member, Political Bureau, CC, CPC (1951-56); Deputy Premier (1956-66, 1979-82); member, State Financial and Economic Commission (1979-81);
member, State Machine Building Industry Commission (1980-82); member, State Council (1982-83); Deputy Minister, State Commission for Restructuring the Financial System (1982-88). 

(May 1956 - September 1957)

Mao's 'Hundred Flowers' Speech (May 1956) In May 1956 Mao Tse-tung gave his: "Famous 'hundred flowers' speech, made to a closed session of the Supreme State Conference."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid.; p. 51).
The speech has: "Never become available, but its main themes were elaborated three weeks later by the director of the Central Committee's Propaganda Department, LU Ting-yi*",
(Roderick MacFarquahar et al (1989): op. cit.; p. 6).
who said: "If we want art, literature and science to flourish, we must apply a policy of letting a hundred flowers blossom, letting a hundred schools of thought contend".
(Lu Ting-yi: 'Let a Hundred Flowers Blossom, Let a Hundred Schools of Thought Contend' (May 1956), in: 'Communist China': op. cit.; p. 152).
Clearly, the speech called for 'liberalism' in the fields of art, literature and science. However, spokesmen for the national bourgeois faction of the Party professed to interpret Mao's 'Hundred Flowers' speech as merely 'an attack on dogmatism'. For example, in a speech to students at Peking University on 13 May, 1956, Liu Shao-chi asserted that the main objective of the policy was: "To oppose doctrinairism".
(Liu Shao-chi: Speech to History Students at Peking University' (May 1957), in: Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid.; p. 53).
  Mao's 'Contradictions' Speech (February 1957)
In February 1957, in his capacity as head of state, Mao Tse-tung: "Summoned a Supreme State Conference of 1,800 leading communists and non-communists",
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): op cit.; p. 184).
and addressed it in: " . . closed session".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (Ed.): 'The Hundred Flowers' (hereafter listed as 'Roderick MacFarquahar (Ed.) (1960)'; Paris; 1960; p. 17).
His speech: "Was entitled 'On the Correct Handling of Contradictions among the People"'.
(Roderick MacFarquahar (Ed.) (1960): ibid.; p. 17).
This: "Major policy initiative had apparently not been preceded by extensive discussions within the CC. In this respect it · . . resembled · . Mao's personal initiative on collectivisation policy in the summer of 1955".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): op cit.; p. 192).
Mao 's speech remained unpublished, but in 1985 a version described as: "'speaking notes' of Mao's famous speech",
(Note to: Roderick MacFarquahar et al (Eds.) (1989): op. cit.; p. 131-32).
was circulated.

According to this 1985 version of the 'Contradictions' speech, Mao defined contradictions as of two types -- antagonistic contradictions with a class enemy, and non-antagonistic contradictions 'among the people':

"One type is antagonistic contradictions: contradictions between the enemy and ourselves. . ;, . Contradictions among the people are non-antagonistic contradictions."
(Mao Tse-tung: 'On the Correct Handling of Contradictions among the People' (February 1957), (Speaking Notes) (hereafter listed as 'Mao Tse-tung (February 1957)', in: Roderick MacFarquahar et al (Eds.) (1989): op. cit.; p. 132).
According to Mao, although the contradictions between the working class and the national bourgeoisie are antagonistic: "The working class and the . . . national bourgeoisie are two antagonistic classes",
(Mao Tse-tung (February 1957): ibid.; p. 136).
the contradictions with: "The national bourgeoisie cannot be put . . . in the category of contradictions between the enemy and ourselves",
(Mao Tse-tung (February 1957): ibid.; p. 135).
but must be regarded as: "Contradictions among the people",
(Mao Tse-tung (February 1957): ibid.; p. 131).
since such: For a long time, asserted Mao, Stalin failed to differentiate between antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradictionbs: "During the period when Stalin was in charge, for a long time he confused these two types of contradictions."
(Mao Tse-tung (February 1957): ibid.; p. 136).
The bourgeoisie, admitted Mao, will have its own ideology, reflecting its class interests: "The bourgeoisie . . . must certainly reflect their ideological consciousness."
(Mao Tse-tung (February 1957): ibid.; p. 170).
and it must be free to express this ideology: "All attempts to use administrative fiat or compulsion to solve ideological problems are not only ineffective, but harmful. .
The bourgeoisie . . . must express themselves, using various methods, staunchly. . . . We cannot use coercive methods to stop them from expressing themselves; we can only debate with them".
(Mao Tse-tung (February 1957): ibid.; p. 135, 170-71).
In order to resolve contradictions among the people, Mao proceeded. criticism of the Party by the people is necessary: This encouragement of freedom to criticise the Party was expressed under the slogan 'Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools contend': "Letting a hundred flowers bloom, letting a hundred schools contend, how did these slogans come to be put forward? It was in recognition of various contradictions in society. . . ,. If you want only grain . . and absolutely don't want any weeds, that's unachievable.. . .
To ban all weeds, not allowing their growth, is that possible? In reality it is not. . . . After all, what is to be called a fragrant flower? What is to be called a poisonous weed? Stalin in the past was 100% a fragrant flower; Khrushchev in one blow turned him into a poisonous weed. . .
All these fragrant flowers and poisonous weeds that have grown up --what is there to fear from their growth? There is nothing to fear. . .
Getting sick regularly is a good thing; it can produce immunity".
(Mao Tse-tung (February 1957): ibid.; p. 164-67, 173, 174).
The national bourgeois grouping of the Party, headed by Liu Shao-chi, did not bother to conceal their objection to Mao's speech: 'Liu Shao-chi . . . ostentateously boycotted . . . the session of the Supreme State Conference at which Mao delivered his contradictions speech. When a picture of that session appeared in the 'People's Daily' on 3 March (1957-- Ed.), Liu Shao-chi was conspicuous by his absence from Mao's right-hand side.
Liu's attitude was thus made clear to the whole country. . . . 
Five other Politburo members . . were not in their rightful places on the rostrum".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): op. cit.; p. 191, 192).
  The CPC National Propaganda Conference (March 1957)
In March 1957, Mao renewed his call for 'criticism' at a National Propaganda Conference of the CPC: "We are for a policy of 'opening wide'; so far there has been too little of it rather than too much. We must, not be afraid . . . of criticism and poisonous weeds. . . . Recently a number of ghosts and monsters have been presented on the stage. Seeing this, some comrades have become very worried. In my opinion, a little of this does not matter much; within a few decades such ghosts and monsters will disappear from the stage altogether".
(Mao Tse-tung: Speech at the CPC's Conference on Propaganda Work (March 1957), in: Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid.; p. 193).
However, despite Mao's intervention, no mention of the 'hundred flowers' campaign appeared in the Party press until April 1957 - more than six weeks after it had been launched: "One sign of the persisting hostility to Mao's ideas was the failure of Party propagandists decisively to slap down opponents of the 'hundred flowers policy. .
No editorials on the subject were publicised in the 'People's Daily' until 13 April (1957 - Ed.), an extraordinary propaganda lapse";
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid.; p. 192, 193).
and Mao -- in a speech first published in September 1968 during the 'Cultural Revolution' - denounced the Party press for its silence: "It is a mistake that the conference on propaganda work has not been reported in the press. . . . Why is it that no editorial has been issued on the Supreme State Conference? Why are the Party's policies being kept secret? There is a ghost here; where is ~his ghost? . . . The papers are being run by the dead. . . . You resist, you oppose the Central Committee's policies".
(Mao Tse-tung: Speech of April 1957, in: Roderick MacFarquahar (1974):
ibid.; p. 193-94).
Finally, a majority of the Party leadership was temporarily swayed, and 'People's Daily' published an editorial: "Criticising . . · opponents of the 'hundred flowers' policy and also criticising itself for not having tackled them earlier."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid.; p. 201).
The 'Rectification Campaign' (April 1957)

In January 1957, it had been announced that:

"The Central Committee of the Party recently decided that as from 1958 there will commence a rectification of work style throughout the Party".
(Article: 'China Youth' (16 January 1957), in: R. L. MacFarquahar.: 'Mao Tse-tung and the Chinese Communists' "Rectification" Movement', in: 'World Today', Volume 13, No. 8 (August 1957); p. 340),
'Rectification of work style': "Was a well-tried method pioneered by Mao in the early 1940s as he sought to impose his leadership".
(Roderick MacFarquahar et al (Eds.) (1989): op. cit.; p. 9).
In March 1957, Mao told a meeting of Party cadres in Shanghai that: "The Centre has not yet made a formal decision on rectification. We plan to do it in this way: making preparations this year, getting the movement under way in the following years."
(Mao Tse-tung: Talk at Meeting of Party Cadres in Shanghai (March 1957), in: Roderick MacFarquahar et al. (Eds.): (1989): op. cit.; p. 359).
However, in April 1957 the 'rectification campaign' was brought forward so as to begin immediately: "In April it was announced that a nation-wide campaign to rectify Party members . . . was to be launched immediately",
(Merle Goldman: 'Literary Dissent in Communist China'; Cambridge (USA); 1967; p. 189).
and it was launched at the end of April 1957: "In the teeth of strenuous opposition from Liu Shao-chi, PENG Chen* and other Party officials",
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): op. cit.; p. 10).
taking: "The principles outlined by Mao as its guide",
(Roderick MacFarquahar (Ed.) (1960): op. cit.; p.10.
that is, along the lines of Mao's proposal at the National Propaganda Conference in March that: "Non-Party people may take part in it."
(Mao Tse-tung: Speech at National Propaganda Conference (March 1957), in: in: Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): op. cit.; p. 10).
'Blooming and Contending'
In May 1957 a series of forums: "For a brief six weeks in the early summer of 1957, Mao Tse-tung invited his country's academic, artistic and managerial intelligentsia to criticise his regime. . . The intelligentsia responded enthusiastically".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (Ed.) (1960): op. cit.; p. 3).
During the 'rectification campaign', Mao: "Urged the intellectuals to criticise officials and show them how they had misused their power."
(Merle Goldman: op. cit.; p. 188).
In May 1957, a mass movement to criticise the Party: "Started at Peking University (Pei-ta), the nation's premier university, . . . spread to other universities, and was snowballing rapidly. . . . Hundreds of posters were stuck up every day expanding the targets of the movement and attacking the policy of the Party towards the intellectuals".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): op. cit.; p. 220).

"The students of Pei-ta were looked upon by others as leaders, not only because of their school's revolutionary traditions . . ., but also because of their location in the capital . .
Another form of voicing criticism was the open-air meeting. One small plaza on the campus . . . became the centre of political life: it was called the 'Democratic Plaza'."
(Rene Goldman: op. cit.; p. 258).

On 25 May 1957, Liu Shao-chi warned the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress that the position was critical: "If the worker masses, the teachers from the middle and primary schools and other mass organisations also start mobilising, then we won't be able to stand our ground. . . . If we don' t control things, then in a jiffy millions of people will be on the move and then we won't be able to do anything".
(Liu Shao-chi: Speech to Standing Committee, NPC (May 1957), in: Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): op. cit.; p. 221).
and it was in this situation that on 25 May the opening of the NPC, which had been scheduled for 3 June, was: "Postponed until 20 June",
(Roderick MacFarwahar (1974): ibid.; p. 274).
and on 19 June postponed again, "This time till 26 June".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid.; p. 274).

The End of the 'Hundred Flowers' Affair (June 1957)

It was in these circumstances that, on 8 June 1957, the national bourgeois faction of the CPC was able to convince a majority of the leadership to stop the 'Rectification Campaign': "The shocking events of the late spring and early sumnmer during the 'hundred flowers period finally led to a political realignment. . The balance of power among the Party leaders changed".
(Parris H. Chang: op. cit.; p. 37).
and so bring the 'Hundred Flowers' affair to an end. Thus, "In mid-June (1957-- Ed.) . . . the 'blooming and contending' period . . . came to an abrupt halt. The period of a 'hundred flowers --Mao's phrase -- had lasted but a scant six weeks".
(Donald S. Zagoria: op. cit.; p. 66).

"Mao had to abandon the rectification campaign when the situation began to get out of hand on the campuses in late May and early June".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid.; p. 249).

"The blossoming of the Hundred Flowers, launched by Mao, . . was violently interrupted. . . . The Party discreetly sealed Mao's lips".
(Philippe Devillers: 'Mao'; London; 1967; p. 193).

The Publication of Mao's 'Contradictions' Speech (June 1957)
Mao's 'Contradictions' speech of February 1957 remained unpublished in China until 18 June.
However, on 13 June 1957: "A summary of his speech with extended quotations",
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid.; p. 267).
was published in the 'New York Times', to which it had been leaked via Warsaw.

In these circumstances, the adherents of the national bourgeois faction of the Party used the history of Khrushchev's 'secret speech' to press the view

"That without the publication of an official text, no amount of official denials would discredit the leaked version".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid.; p. 267).
Accordingly, an officially approved version of the speech was: issued by the 'New China News Agency' on 18 June and published in the 'People's Daily' the following day".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid.; p. 267-68).
The principal differences between the leaked version and the officially approved version were a number of insertions -- principal among which were six criteria for criticism which, had they been included in the original 'Contradictions' speech, would effectively have discouraged any real 'blooming and contending': "'What should be criteria today for distinguishing fragrant flowers from poisonous weeds? . . Broadly speaking, the criteria should be as follows: 1) Words and deeds should help to unite, and not divide, the people of all our nationalities;
2) They should be beneficial, and not harmful, to socialist transformation and socialist construction;
3) They should help to consolidate, and not undermine or weaken, the people's democratic dictatorship;
4) They should help to consolidate, and not undermine or weaken, democratic centralism;
5) They should help to strengthen, and not shake off or weaken, the leadership of the Communist Party.
6) They should be beneficial, and not harmful, to international socialist unity and the unity of the peace-loving people of the world".
(Mao Tse-tung: 'On the Correct Handling of Contradictions among the People' (Official Version) (June 1957), in: 'Selected Works', Volume 5; Peking; 1977; p. 412).
The Anti-Rightist Campaign (1957) However, although ended in substance, the 'Rectification Campaign' was not ended in name. In fact it was transformed into an anti-Rightist campaign which was directed, in fact, at the comprador bourgeois grouping within the Party headed by Mao Tse-tung.
The Anti-Rightist campaign was a: upon the political representatives of the comprador bourgeoisie, headed by Mao Tse-tung, "Led by a five-man group under Peking 1st Secretary PENG Chen* -- which cowed the intellectuals".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 1).

"Rightists continued to be condemned for advocating propositions which clearly stemmed from Mao".
(Rodcerick MacFarquahar (1974): op. cit.; ; p. 275).

In this situation, Mao was: "Forced by circumstances to disavow his original intention and concur in the anti-rightist campaign."
(Rodcerick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid.; p. 280).
claiming in an editorial in 'People's Daily' on 12 July 1957 that the 'Hundred Flowers' affair had been 'a mere manoeuvre to get rightists to reveal themselves', that is: "A deliberate lure to flush out the enemy".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): op. cit.; p. 279).
In Mao's own words: "The objective was to let hobgoblins and demons 'contend and bloom greatly', to allow the weeds to grow particularly long and let the people see them".
(Mao Tse-tung: Editorial, 'People's Daily' (1 July 1957), in: Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid.; p. 279).
All that Mao could do was to plead that the rightists were so small in number that they need not be punished: "The bourgeois rightists . . . are . . . a handful of people. .
They are extremely small in number. . . . Should they be punished or not? As it looks at present, this does not seem necessary."
(Mao Tse-tung: Editorial, 'People's Daily' (1 July 1957), in: Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid.; p. 280).
Under the 'Anti-Rightist' campaign, many: "Rightists were removed from influential positions."
(Douwe W. Fokkema: 'Literary Doctrine in China and the Soviet Influence: 1956-1960'; The Hague; 1965; p, 151).
and:  "By the end of the year, over 300,000 intellectuals had been branded 'rightists'. . . . Many were sent to labour camps or to jail, others to the countryside".
(Jonathan D. Spence: 'The Search for Modern China'; New York; 1991; p. 572).
In July 1957: "The 'People's Daily' began to print direct attacks on Mao."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): op. cit.; p. 283).
Clearly: "The Anti-Rightist campaign was a major defeat for Mao".
(Roderick MacFarquahar et al (Eds.) (1989): op. cit.; p. 13),
At the 2nd Session of the 8th Congress of the Party in May 1958, Liu Shao-chi said: "The anti-rightist struggle has . . . been of profound significance within our Party. We expelled a number of rightists from the Party, They were alien class elements who had sneaked into the Party. . . . In league with the rightists outside the Party, they attacked the Party".
(Liu Shao-chi: 'Report on the Work of the Central Committee' (May 1958), in: 'Second Session of the 8th National Congress'; Peking; 1958; p. 22).
The Compromise (September 1957)

The 'Hundred Flowers' campaign was ended on the basis of a compromise agreement between the political representatives of the national bourgeoisie and those of the comprador bourgeoisie.

The main features of this compromise agreement were embodied in an editorial in 'People's Daily' on 5 September 1957:

"Relying on the strength of the masses and solving problems by means of mass debate does not mean that we can abdicate leadership. . . . On the contrary , the object of debate is precisely to strengthen leadership and the necessary centralism and discipline and not to weaken them'. (Editorial: 'Resolutely trust the Majority of the Masses', in: 'People's Daily' (5 September 1957), in: Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid; p. 303).

2) the former (ie the nationla bourgeoisie) agreed to end the anti-rightist campaign by merging it into the rectification movement:

"The Party's rectification movement and the mass struggle against bourgeois rightists, . is now just expanding into an all-people rectification movement."
(Editorial: 'Resolutely trust the Majority of the Masses', in: 'People's Daily' (5 September 1957), in: Roderick MacFarquahar (1974): ibid,; p. 303).
LU Dingyi = Pinyin form of LU Ting-yi.

LU Ting-yi, Chinese revisionist politician (1906- ); Director, Propaganda Department, CPC (1945-66); member, NPC Standing Committee (1954-59); Deputy Premier (1959-66); Secretary, CC, CPC (1962-66); Minister of Culture (1965-66).

PENG Chen, Chinese revisionist politician (1902- ); member, Political Bureau, CC, CPC (1945-66, 1979-87); member, Central Government Administrative Council (1949-66); 1st Secretary, Peking Municipality CPC (1949-66); Mayor, Peking (1951-66); Deputy Chairman and Secretary-General, Standing Committee, NPC (1954-66); Secretary, CC, CPC (1956-66); Acting Secretary-General, NPC (1979-81); Chairman, Legal Commission, NPC Standing Committee (1979-80).

PENG Zhen = Pinyin form of PENG Chen.

(May 1958 - January 1961)



The Chengtu Conference (March 1958)

Since the comprador bourgeois grouping within the Party made preliminary preparations for the 'Great Leap Forward' at a CPC conference held in May 1958 at Chengtu, in Szechwan Province, this must be regarded as:

"The most important of the pre-Leap Party conferences."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 36).
At the conference, Mao called for a campaign,
Firstly, "Against slavish adherence to the Soviet model",
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): ibid,; p. 36).
saying: Secondly, Mao disagreed with Stalin's view that "The training of new cadres for socialist industry, . . cadres capable of providing social and political, as well as production and technical leadership, for our enterprises, is a cardinal task. .
Unless this task is fulfilled, it will be impossible to convert the USSR from a backward into an advanced country",
(Josef V. Stalin: 'To the Graduates of the Industrial Academy' (April 1930), in: 'Works', Volume 12; Moscow; 1955; p, 235).
And Mao began calling for a campaign: His message was that: an attack upon expertise which was: "Crucial to the evolution of the great leap strategy, for by diminishing respect for expertise he laid the foundations for exclusive reliance on the mass mobilisation of labour".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): ibid.; p. 40).
Thirdly, Mao called for a new: "General Line for Socialist Construction."
(Edwin P-w. Leung: 'Historical Dictionary of Revolutionary China: 1839-1976'; New York; 1992; p. 414)
that was expressed in the slogan: "'achieve greater, faster, better and more economical results' in building socialism".
(Edwin P-w. Leung: ibid.; p. 414).
This 'general line' was the product of the compromise agreement between the political representatives of the national bourgeoisie and those of the comprador bourgeoisie. In it, "The Chinese leadership still seemed committed to relatively modest goals".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 33).
The 2nd Session of the 8th National Congress of the CPC (May 1958)

In his report to the 2nd Session of the 8th National Congress of the CPC, Liu Shao-chi ckaimed tbat there was taking place:

"The beginning of a leap forward on every front. . The current mighty leap forward in socialist construction is the product . . . of a correct implementation of the Party's general line --to achieve greater, faster, better and more economical results.
Comrade Mao Tse-tung has often said that there are two methods of carrying on socialist transformation and construction: One will result in doing the work faster and better, the other more slowly and not so well.
On this question some comrades still clung to such outmoded ideas as . . . it's better to take small steps than to to go striding forward'. The struggle between the two methods in dealing with this question was not fully decided until the launching of the rectification campaign and the anti-rightist struggle".
(Liu Shao-chi: Report on the Work of the CC of the CPC to the 2nd Session of the 8th National Congress (May 1958), in: 'Second Session of the 8th National Congress of the CPC'; Peking; 1958; p. 29, 33-34).
It is clear that Liu's report to the congress: "Was specifically designed to launch a new campaign."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 51).
So that it may be said that the 'Great Leap Forward' was launched: "In May 1958 at the 2nd Session of the 8th CPC Congress with the full panoply of a Party congress".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): ibid.; p. 51).
and by agreement (initially) between the political representatives of both the comprador and the national bourgeoisie.
Thus, the 2nd Session of the Congress: "Gave its wholehearted and unanimous support to the general line for the construction of socialism first proposed by Chairman Mao in words which today are on the lips of everybody in China -- 'to exert the utmost efforts, press ahead consistently and achieve greater, faster, better and more economical results"'.
(Report of 2nd Session of 8th Congress of CPC (May 1958), in: 'Peking Review', Volume 1, No. 14 (3 June 1958); p. 5),
It is true that the 2nd Session of the Congress: "represented the high point of the Mao-Liu alliance on development policy. Both men committed themselves to . . . an all-out economic drive."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 51).  
However, even at the Congress there were indications of different attitudes towards economic development on the part of the two allied groupings: "For Liu it was essential that the energy of the masses be harnessed and organised. Party leadership was crucial. .
In none of his (Mao's -- Ed) five known speeches to the congress does he mention it (Party leadership -- Ed.)".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): ibid,; p. 53-54).
On the contrary, Mao told the Congress: "Our method is to lift the lid . . . and let the initiative and creativity of the labouring people explode".
(Mao Tse-tung: Speech at 2nd Session of 8th Congress of CPC (May 1958), in: Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): ibid.; p. 54).
and asserted that it was not the Party which should lead the people, but the people who should lead the Party: "First of all, one should learn from the people and follow them. We follow the people first, and afterwards the people follow us".
(Mao Tse-tung: Speech at 2nd Session of 8th Congress of CPC (May 1958), in: Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): ibid.; p. 54).
And immediately after the Congress the comprador bourgeois faction of the Party leadership began to diverge to the pseudo-left from the policies which had been agreed at 2nd Session of the congress, which was: "The last major public occasion on which the Chinese leadership still seemed committed to relatively modest economic goals".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 33).
The Revival of the People's Militia (July 1958)

After the end of the civil war, the 'People's Militia' lay largely dormant, and from 1953 to the summer of 1958:

"Little was said about the militia".
(Franz Schurmann: op. cit.; p. 561).
But within a few weeks of the 2nd Session of the 8th Congress of the CPC, the political representatives of the comprador bourgeoisie, headed by Mao Tse-tung, moved to revive the militia: "Responsibility and credit for the campaign to make 'Everyone a Soldier' lies with Mao Tse-tung".
(Ralph L. Powell: 'Everyone a Soldier: The Chinese Communist Militia', in: 'Foreign Affairs', Volume 39, No. 1 (October 1960); p. 102).

"The chief advocates of the People's Militia were Mao Tse-tung and LIN Piao*. .
Mao Tse-tung must be seen as the prime mover in the campaign to implement the militia system."
(Franz Schurmann: op. cit.; p. 562, 571).

against the strong opposition of the political representatives of the national bourgeois grouping, headed by Liu Shao-chi: "Mao Tse-tung appears to have had more confidence in the basically reliable qualities of the peasants who made up the militia than Liu Shao-chi".
(Franz Schurmann: ibid.; p. 568).
and here by Minister of National Defence PENG Teh-huai*: "One of the key issues of contention between Mao Tse-tung and Peng Teh-huai was over the question of the People's Militia. . . . During the summer of 1958, Mao Tse-tung had won out: the peasants were militarised and the militia was resurrected. But the opposition to Mao must have been strong, for the decision was only made after the Military Affairs Committee of the Central Committee had met for over a month (May-July 1958)".
(Franz Schurmann: ibid.; p. 567).
In other words, the revival of the militia was: In this way, a powerful para-military force, composed mainly of peasants, was formed: "The sudden distribution of arms to the militia in the summer of 1958 created new sources of village power. . . . The militia came to constitute a competitor for local power."
(Franz Schurmann: ibid.; p. 567-68).
By January 1959, there were: "220 million men and women recruited into the militia."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 102).
But in order that this peasant power structure might be used as a counter-revolutionary weapon against the national bourgeoisie, it was first necesasary to alienate the mass of the peasantry from the political representatives of the national bourgeoisie. The Initiation of the 'People's Communes' (July 1958) In May 1958, Mao returned from: "A nation-wide trip . . ., participating in over ten provincial Party meetings."
(Byung-joon Ahn: 'Chinese Politics and the Cultural Revolution: Dynamics of Policy Processes'; Seattle; 1976; p. 23).
during which he sought and obtained: "Support from provincial leaders against the . . . attitudes of central leaders."
(Byung-joon Ahn: ibid.; p. 22-23).
The 2nd Session of the 8th Party Congress had: "Added twenty-five alternate members to the Central Committee, most of whom were provincial leaders who had actively responded to Mao's agricultural policy. Subsequently the 5th Plenum (in May 1958 -- Ed.) added Mao's other supporters to the Politburo."
(Byung-joon Ahn: ibid.; p. 24).
including: In this situation, the political representatives of the comprador bourgeoisie, headed by Mao, were able to divert the policy of the Party along pseudo-left lines from that agreed with the political represetatives of the national bourgeoisie, headed by Liu. The clearest manifestation of this pseudo-left deviation, which became known as the 'Great Leap Forward, was the initiation of 'People's Communes'.

In July 1958:

"Chen Po-ta used for the first time the term commune as the name of these collectives."
(Jurgen Domes: 'Peng Teh-huai: The Man and the Image'; London; 1985; p. 78).
The inauguration of 'People's Communes' was clearly carried out on the initiative of the comprador bourgeois grouping within the Party leadership, headed by Mao Tse-tung: "Mao Tse-tung jumped the gun, pressing for the formation of communes without prior formal endorsement even by the Politburo."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 77).

"It seems probable that Mao did not want to have the policy discussed in the Central Committee until the communes were already in being".
(Geoffrey Hudson: Introduction: 'The Chinese Communes: A Documentary Review and Analysis of the "Great Leap Forward"'; London; 1960; p. 13).

It was Mao Tse-tung who: "Began to suggest the amalgamation of a number of Agricultural Production Cooperatives (APCs) into larger production units. While the central decision-making organs of the Party were still reluctant to follow this concept, he (Mao -- Ed.) succeeded in inspiring provincial and local cadres to start experiments based on his ideas".
(Jurgen Domes: op. cit.; p. 78).
and it was Mao Tse-tung himself who in August 1958: 'People's Communes' differed from APCs in four major respects: "1) . . . The commune was much bigger both in size and scope. It was concerned with the coordination of every type of activity: agriculture, industry, education and defence. Its predecessor, the collective, was merely an agriculture unit;
2) The district government was merged with the commune administration;
3) Food consumption no longer depended entirely on the amount of work done. A percentage was freely given to each person in the commune, regardless of whether he or she worked. Commune mess halls were set up to facilitate the distibution and consumption of food. The free supply proportion, therefore, represented the application of one of the first priniples of communism, distribution according to need. The rest of a person's food consumption was still related to the work he did;
4) The private plot, land beneath houses, and all trees were ccmmunised."
(Kenneth R. Walker: 'Planning in Chinese Agriculture: Socialisation and the Private Sector: 1956-1962'; London; 1965; p. 13).
In particular, communes differed from APCs in insisting on: "A collectivisation of the peasant's whole life".
(Jurgen Domes: op. cit.; p. 78).
Under the commune system, the peasant was: "Deprived of the private plot, livestock and implements which had been left to him by the previous collectivisation".
(Geoffrey Hudson: op. cit.; p. 11).
while his work-load was greatly increased: "Under the commune system. peasants may either be required to perform non-agricultural tasks during the slack periods of the agricultural year, or they may be drafted for mining, construction and industrial work in their localities more or less permanently. . . . Since the establishment of the communes the total of work required of the peasants has been enormously increased without any corresponding increase in their real incomes; indeed, in many cases their living standards have declined".
(Geoffrey Hudson: ibid,; p. 10).
and he was placed under a military discipline: "The working people have put forward these slogans which are full of revolutionary spirit: get organised along military lines, do things the way battle duties are carried out".
('Greet the Upsurge in forming People's Communes', in: 'Peking Review', Volume 1, No. 27 (2 September 1958); p. 6).

"The militia movement facilitated the 'militarisation of labour' within the communes."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 101).

"Every commune is simultaneously a unit of a national militia, and its members are regarded as being permanently under military discipline."
(Geoffrey Hudson: op. cit.; p. 12).

Commune members were pressed to adopt a collectivist life-style: "The most spectacular feature of the Chinese communes . . . has . been . . . the drive for 'collectivisation of living'. . . . The attack on the family in the communes went far beyond what might have been claimed as necessary on economic grounds. . . . The peasant . . . had  . to surrender his home, and it was part of the idea of the commune that he should be rehoused in some kind of communal building to be constructed from materials obtained from the demolition of private family houses. In some cases the rehousing was . . . in large dormitories with families broken up. Everywhere communal mess-halls or canteens were set up and the strongest pressure was put on commune members to eat at them exclusively and give up family meals; indeed, where private kitchens were eliminated and even cooking utensils were taken by the commune, there ceased to be any alternative."
(Geoffrey Hudson: ibid.; p. 11).
"Within the communes, a collectivist life-style was to be promoted through community mess-halls, kindergartens, nurseries, tailoring teams, barber shops, public baths, 'happiness homes' for the aged".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 87).
Furthermore, some 'people's communes' began to operate a system of free provision of: "Meals, clothes, housing, schooling, medical attention, burial, haircuts, theatrical entertainment, money for heating in winter and money for weddings"
(A. V. Sherman: 'The People's Commune'; London; 1960; p. 36, citing 'People's Daily' (1 October 1958).
and this: "Rapidly became the basis of an attempted leap towards communism."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 103).
The 'Great Leap Forward':: "Began slowly everywhere. However, it quickly gained an incredible momentum."
(Stephen Andors: 'China's Industrial Revolution: Politics, Planning and Management: 1949 to the Present'; New York; 1977; p. 70).
so that by the autumn of 1959, 'People's Commnunes' had: "Been established in all rural areas throughout the country (with the exception of a few national minority areas)".
('Long live the People's Communes!', in: 'Peking Review', Volume 2, No. 36 (8 September 1959); p. 6).
The later months of 1958: and by the end of the year, the proportion of peasant households in 'People's Communes' had reached 99.1%.(Kenneth R. Walker: op. cit.; p. 14, citing: 'Ten Great Years'; Peking; 1959; p. 36). The Peitaiho Politburo Conference (August 1958) An enlarged meeting of the Politburo of the CC of the CPC, held in August 1958 at the seaside resort of Peitaiho, gave retrospective approval to the formation of 'People's Communes', which "Had already been set up over a large part of China before there was any public directive on the subject."
(Geoffrey Hudson: op. cit.; p. 13).
At Peitaiho: "The establishment of 'people's communes' was proclaimed as official Party policy and therefore mandatory for the whole country (Jurgen Domes: op. cit.; p. 78). although in many respects the 'Resolution on the Establishment of Communes' adopted by the conference still: "Fell short of what was actually being done in the villages."
(Geoffrey Hudson: op. cit.; p. 13).
The resolution endorsed the practice of transferring private plots from the peasants to the commune: "Generally speaking, reserved private plots of land may perhaps be turned over to collective management in the course of the merger of cooperatives."
(CC, CPC: 'Resolution on the Establishment of People's Communes in the Rural Areas' (August 1958), in: 'Peking Review', Volume 1, No. 29 (16 September 1958); p. 22).
but the regulations replaced the 'may perhaps' of the resolution by the more rigid 'shall': "The regulations stipulate the members shall turn over to the common ownership of the commune 'all the small plots of private holdings, privately-owned house sites and other means of production such as livestock, tree holdings. etc.
('What is a People's Commune?', in" 'Peking Review', Volume 1, No. 30 (23 September 1958); p. 13).
and also endorsed the principles of military-style organisation and collective living within the commune: "The people have taken to organising themselves along military lines and to lead a collective life".
(CC, CPC: 'Resolution on the Establishment of People's Communes in the Rural Areas' (August 1958), in: 'Peking Review', Volume 1, No. 29 (16 September 1958); p. 21).
Apart from the decisions on communes, the key decisions taken at Peitaiho were: "To raise the 1958 steel target to 10.7 million tons, double the 1957 output. . . . The major Peitaiho prediction was that grain output would reach between 300 and 350 million tons".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 85).
Theoretically, the resolution broke new ground in maintaining that the formation of communes symbolised the imminent transition to a communist society, in which distribution would be based on the principle 'to each according to his needs': "The communes . . . will develop into the basic social units in communist society. .
The attainment of Communism in China is no longer a remote future event. We should actively use the form of the people's commune to explore the practical road of transition to communism."
(CC, CPC: 'Resolution on the Establishment of Communes' (August 1958), in: 'Peking Review', Volume 1, No. 29 (16 September 1958); p. 23).
Up to that point: "The leap . . . was still basically a . . . production drive."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 82).
After Peitaiho, it became: "A launching pad for an ideological leap towards communism".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): ibid.; p. 82).

The Backyard Steel Drive (August-October 1958)

Thus, after the Peitaiho Conference:

"All China was plunged into an all-out steel drive in the effort to reach the new national target of 10.7 million tons. .
By mid-September, over 20 million people were engaged in producing iron and steel; at the height of the steel drive the figure rose to 90 million. .
The 1.07 million ton target was achieved by mid-December (1958--Ed.)".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): ibid.; p. 113, 114, 116).

"Nowadays native-style steel-smelting furnaces -- mostly small reverbatory furnaces made of bricks -- can be seen in the backyards of government offices, along the alleys and on open grounds".
(Chu Chi-lin: 'New High in Steel Output', in: 'Peking Review', Volume 1, No. 37 (11 November 1958); p. 15).

"The policy of 'steel as the leading link' in the high tide of the Great Leap Forward produced a nation-wide fanatical mass movement having for its slogan 'The entire nation making steel'. Backyard furnaces mushroomed and millions of people all over the country took part in their construction and the production of iron and steel".
(Ronald Hsia: 'The Concept of Economic Growth', in: Werner Klatt (Ed.):
'The Chinese Model: A Political, Economic and Social Survey'; Hong Kong; 1965; p. 87-88).

By this time, the three movements of the 'General Line for Socialist Construction', the 'Great Leap Forward' and the 'People's Communes' had become known collectively as the "'Three Red Banners."
(Edwin P-w. Leung: op. cit.; p. 414).
The Agricultural Crisis (1958-1961)

Particularly as a result of the diversion of rural labour to backyard steel-making,

"In the fields, bumper harvests of grain, cotton and other crops awaited collection. A massive tragedy was in the making. . . .
Even with shock work, many areas failed to gather in all the harvest."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 116, 120).
In consequence: "Acreage sown to grain declined by 6 million hectares in 1958, and a further 11.6 million hectares in 1959, a total reduction of 13% over the two years."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): ibid.; p. 126).
In 1959: "When nature turned nasty . . ., an agricultural labour force reduced by over 0% was in no position to cope."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): ibid.; p. 328).
As a result, grain rations had to be reduced as follows during the Great Leap: 
Kilograms per head:   203.0     198.0     186.5   163.5" (Yang Jianbai & Li Xuezeng: 'The Relations between Agriculture, Light Industry and Heavy Industry in China', in: Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): ibid.; p. 329).

and there were: "'Famine' conditions prevailing in the winter of 1959".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): ibid.; p. 328).
Countrywide: "The mortality rate doubled from 1.08% in 1957 to 2.54% in 1960. In that year the population actually declined by 4.5%. Anywhere from 16.4 to 29.5 million extra people died during the leap, because of the leap".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): ibid.; p. 330).
By the autumn of 1960: "The country was in the throes of the worst agricultural disaster in a century. . . . By the end of the year . . . well over half the cultivated acreage had been devastated, sometimes repeatedly", (Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): ibid.; p. 322). and in 1961: "China began to import food on a huge scale. From December 1960, when the first shipments arrived, up to the end of 1963, about 16 million metric tons of grain have been purchased, largely from Canada and Australia".
(Li Shoh-ming: 'China's Industrial Development: 1958-63', in: Ronald MacFarquahar (Ed.) (1972): op. cit.; p. 182).
The Steel Crisis (1958-1962)

The 'Great Leap' in steel fared no better than the 'Great Leap' in agriculture:

"Of the 10.7 million tons (of steel - Ed.) produced, only 9 million were of good quality; the following autumn the figure would be reduced further to 8 million tons."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 128).

"The three million tons of steel produced in rural furnaces were largely unusable and represented a waste of resources and labour".
(A. V. Sherman: op. cit.; p. 55).

"High material cost and low quality of product gave rise to a negative contribution from the native iron-smelting sector to the GNP (Gross National Product -- Ed.) during the period of the 'Great Leap Forward'".
(Wu Yuan-li: 'The Steel Industry in Communist China'; New York; 1975; p. 236).

Thus, during 1959 and 1960: "Many of the 'native' iron and steel furnaces were either abandoned or replaced by furnaces of improved design".
(Wu Yuan-li: ibid.; p. 236).
  The 6th Plenum of the 8th CC (November/December 1958)
The developing crisis in agriculture, together with the loss of their private plots, the increased work-load and militarised life-style enforced in the communes had by October of 1958 aroused intense opposition among the peasants to the 'Three Red Banners': "Opposition of the peasantry to the new collectives . . . had not been particularly strong at the start of the campaign, but it increased rapidly and soon began to turn into open resistance.
From mid-October 1958 this open resistance took on, in many regions, the character of a general though entirely uncoordinated movement. The peasants refused to march to their work in the fields in military formation and they secretly continued cooking food at home despite orders from the cadres to the contrary. Parents took their children out of the nurseries and kindergartens in large numbers, and elderly people left their 'houses of happiness' and returned to their families, often over great distances. Grain was not delivered to the state granaries because the labour units in the villages divided it among their members. . . .
During November and December 1958 . . . these activities escalated into local rebellions which began to pose a serious threat to the structures of political and economic control".
(Jurgen Domes: op. cit.; p. 81).
These developments: "Caused most of the leaders of the civilian Party machine,led by Liu Shao-chi and TENG Hsiao-ping*, to intensify their opposition to Mao's prescriptions".
(Jurgen Domes: op. cit.; p. 107).
and at the 6th Plenum of the 8th Central Committee of the CPC, held in Wuhan in November/December 1958: "Difficulties around the Great Leap and the forming of the people's communes constituted the main problem".
(Jaap van Ginneken: op. cit.; p. 33).
As a result of the: "Disaffection within the Party itself",
(Bill Brugger: Introduction: 'The Historical Perspective', in: Bill Brugger (Ed.): 'China: The Impact of the Cultural Revolution'; London; 1978; p. 19-20).
the political representatives of the national bourgeoisie were able in late November/early December 1958 to win a majority of the Party leadership to support: "A strategic retreat from Mao's developmental concept of the Three Red Banners."
(Jurgen Domes: op. cit.; p. 81).
Firstly, the Plenum called for a return to economic planning and to 'proportionate development' of the economy: "It is necessary to endeavour to put economic planning on a completely reliable basis, and to maintain suitable proportions between the various targets in accordance with the objective law of the proportionate development of the various branches of the national economy."
(6th Plenum of 8th CC of CPC: Communique (December 1958), in: 'Peking Review', Volume 1, No. 43 (23 December 1958); p. 7).
laying down, for the immediate circumstances, a: "Policy of simultaneous development of industry and agriculture",
(6th Plenum of 8th CC: Communique (December 1958), in: 'Peking Review Volume 2, No. 3 (20 January 1959); p, 3).
symbolised as a policy of: "Walking on two legs."
(6th Plenum of 8th CC: Communique (December 1958), in: 'Peking Review', Volume 2, No. 3 (20 January 1959); p, 3).
Secondly, it asserted that the industrialisation of China would take 'twenty or more years: "It will still take a fairly long time to realise on a large scale the industrialisation of our country. . · . This whole process will take fifteen, twenty or more years to complete, counting from now".
(6th Plenum of 8th CC: 'Resolution on Some Questions concerning the People's Communes' (December 1958), in: 'Peking Review', Volume 1, No. 43 (23 December 1958); p. 11).
Thirdly, it took a stand against the free supply system, saying: "Any premature attempt to negate the principle of 'to each according to his work' . . . is undoubtedly a Utopian concept that cannot possibly succeed".
(Resolution on Some Questions concerning the People's Communes (December 1958), in' 'Peking Review', Volume 1, No. 43 (23 December 1958); p. 13).
In other words, it: "Sharply denounced the belief in the imminence of communism''.
(A. V. Sherman: op. cit.; p. 49).
Fourthly, since life in the communes had aroused:   "So much opposition from the peasants",
(Geoffrey Hudson: op. cit.; p. 11).
The Plenum: "Called a halt and ordered that families should be permitted to remain together, and even eat together if they wanted to".
(Geoffrey Hudson: ibid.; p. 11).
and decided upon: "A relaxation of the military-style discipline that had been promoted in the early days of the communes."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 136).
However, "Since the essence of the commune was military-industrial organisation, the abandonment of that type of organisation must be regarded as equivalent to the abandonment of the commune system." (Franz Schurmann: op. cit.; p. 498). In short, the Plenum: "Marked the beginning of the retreat for the communes. . Accommodating peasants by sexes, each sex in a separate barracks, was now forbidden, and the resolution guaranteed that peasants would retain the private ownership of their houses, vegetable gardens and small animals 'for all time', as well as having eight hours' sleep and four hours' leisure every day. Working time was to be restricted to eight hours. Wages should once more mostly be paid in cash. The use of nurseries, kindergartens and mess-halls would now be entirely voluntary for commune members, and it was strictly forbidden to seize and destroy household utensils".
(Jurgen Domes: op. cit.; p. 83-84).
At the Plenum, Mao made a self-criticism, admitting: "I made a mistake at the Peitaiho Conference. . . · The Peitaiho Conference resolution must now be revised. I was enthusiastic at the time, and failed to combine revolutionary fervour and the practical
(Mao Tse-tung: Statement at Wuhan Plenum (December 1958), in: Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 129).
Finally, the Plenum approved the removal of Mao from the position of State Chairman (i.e., President), but under the face-saving formula that this was at Mao's request . It: "Decided to approve this proposal of Comrade Mao Tse-tung 's, and not nominate him again as candidate for Chairman of the People's Republc of China".
('Decision approving Comrade Mao Tse-tung '5 Proposal that he will not stand as Candidate for Chairman of the People's Republic of China for the Next Term of Office' (December 1958), in: 'Communist China'; op. cit.; p. 487).
Peng's 'Letter of Opinion' (July 1959) In July 1959, just before the 8th Plenum of the 8th CC, Peng Teh-huai wrote a critical 'Letter of Opinion' to Mao. In it he : "Detailed all the disasters stemming from the great leap and the commune movement, and then implicitly but unmistakably laid the blame where it ultimately belonged, at the door of the Chairman. . . . His letter amounted to an indictment of the Chairman."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 216).
The letter said: "Some small and indigenous blast furnaces which were not necessary were built, with the consequence that some resources (material and financial) and manpower were wasted. This is, of course, a relatively big loss. .
The habit of exaggeration spread to various areas and departments, and some unbelievable miracles were also reported in the press. This has surely done tremendous harm to the prestige of the Party.
At that time, from reports sent in from various quarters, it would seem that communism was around the corner. This caused not a few comrades to become dizzy. . . . Extravagance and waste developed".
(Peng Teh-huai: 'Letter of Opinion' (July 1959), in: 'The Case of Peng Teh-huai'; op. cit.; p. 9, 11).
and: "Attributed the 'leftist' mistakes of the previous twelve months to 'petty-bourgeois fanaticism."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 216).
saying: "Petty-bourgeois fanaticism makes us liable to commit 'Left' mistakes".
(Peng Teh-huai: 'Letter of Opinion' (July 1959), in: 'The Case of Peng Teh-huai'; op. cit.; p. 11).
Peng's letter: "Was immediately printed and distributed to participants at the conference before Mao got down to reading it."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 217).
  The 8th Plenum of the 8th CC (August 1959)
The 8th Plenum of the 8th Central Committee, held in Lushan in August 1959: "Was marked by a severe intra-Party battle".
(Donald S. Zagoria: op. cit.; p. 135).
at which Peng Teh-huai: "Openly attacked the whole range of Great Leap policies."
(Stuart Schram: 'Mao Zedong: A Preliminary Reassessment'; Hong Kong; 1983; p. 51).
The Plenum: "Witnessed the most bitter political and personal attack on Mao Tse-tung in the history of the Chinese Comnmuist Party".
(David & Nancy D. Hilton: 'The Wind will not subside: Years in Revolutionary China: 1964-1969'; New York; 1976; p. 37).
At the Plenum, Mao charged: "Peng Teh-huai's letter of opinion constitutes an anti-Party outline of right opportunism".
(Mao Tse-tung: Speech at 8th Plenum of 8th CC (August 1959), in:
'Chinese Law and Government', Volume 1, No. 4 (Winter 1968-69); p. 25).
However, there was such agreement among the leaders about the erroneous character of the 'Great Leap Forward' that Mao was compelled to make a self-criticism: "I have committed two crimes, one of which involved calling for 10.7 million tons of steel. . . As for the people's communes, . . . there is also the general line for which . . . you also shared some responsibility. .
The smelting of 10.7 million tons of steel and the participation of 90 million people in it . . . was a great disaster for which I must be responsible myself".
(MaoTse-tung: Speech at 8th Plenum of 8th CC (August 1959), in: 'Chinese Law and Government', Volume 1, No. 4 (Winter 1968-69); p. 41, 42-43).
Mao excused himself by saying that Marx also been guilty of bourgeois fanaticism: "Marx also committed many errors. He hoped every day for the advent of the European revolution, but it did not come. . . Wasn't this bourgeois fanaticism? . . . We have . . . blown some communist wind', and enabled the people of the entire nation to learn a lesson."
(Mao Tse-tung: Speech at 8th Plenum of 8th CC (August 1959), in: 'Chinese Law and Government', Volume 1, No. 4 (Winter 1968-69); p. 42).
Peng made several interventions at the Plenum. He: "Questioned the value of the backyard steel campaign. . . . He criticised the launching of the communes and the free food supply system without prior experimentation."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 202-03).
Mao's reply: "Was a brilliant debating performance, designed to rally his supporters and frighten Peng Teh-huai' s sympathisers".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 218).
It included: "A threat by Mao to return to the hills and organise a new revolutionary army of peasants to fight the leadership",
(David & Nancy D. Milton: op. cit.; p. 36).
Mao saying that in the event of the CC not backing his position: "I would go to the countryside to lead the peasants to overthrow the government. If the Liberation Army won't follow me, I will find a Red Army".
(Mao Tse-tung: Speech at 8th Plenum of 8th CC (August 1959), in: 'Chinese Law and Government' Volume 1, No. 4 (Winter 1968-69); p. 35).
and: "Mao, as conference chairman, was able to ensure that Peng had no effective right of reply".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 222).
The group around Peng: "Wanted to disband the communes and to undertake a general retreat from the leap forward".
(Donald S. Zagoria: op. cit.; p. 135)."
while the comprador bourgeois grouping around Mao: "Wanted to press on with the communes and the Leap Forward more or less as originally conceived".
(Donald S. Zagoria: ibid.; p. 135).
But the main grouping representing the interests of the national bourgeoisie - the group headed by Liu Shao-chi -- were reluctant to force the issue to a showdown, especially in the face of Mao's explicit threat to lead the peasants into civil war against the government.

Thus, the main national bourgeois grouping persuaded Peng, in the name of 'Party unity', to accept a compromise agreement under which the 'Great Leap Forward' and the 'People's Communes' policy would be tacitly ended but -- in deference to Mao -- without being publicly repudiated.


"Liu Shao-chi, Premier Chou (En-lai -- Ed.) and CHU Teh* exhorted him (Peng Teh-huai -- Ed.) to consider protecting the authority of Chairman Mao and protecting the unity of the Party. "
(Jurgen Domes: op. cit.; p. 98).
It was in these circumstances that, at the Plenum: "Peng was persuaded . . . to make a full, indeed exaggerated self-criticism."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 233).

Under this compromise, it was agreed:

Thus, at the Lushan Plenum: "The period of unrealistic targets and claims ended".
(Kenneth R. Walker: op. cit.; p. 81).
and, as agreed, the Central Committee at Lushan: not only made drastic reductions in the target figures, but also admitted that there had been gross exaggerations in the claims of production for 1958".
(Geoffrey Hudson: op. cit.; p. 14).
The principal production figures were adjusted downwards as follows: "The grain output figure for 1958 was reduced from 375 million tons to 250 million tons, the cotton figure from 3.35 million tons to 2.1 milion tons, the steel figure from 11.08 million tons to 8 million tons (with an estimated 3.08 million tons produced in backyard furnaces now disregarded as being below quality".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 247).
while: "These reductions, published in the 8th Plenum communique, forced corresponding reductions in the 1959 targets: grain down from 525 to 275 million tons, cotton down from 5 to 2.31 million tons, steel down from 18 to 12 million tons".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): ibid.; p. 247).
The Plenum resolved: "That the production of steel by indigenous methods for local use be decided upon by the local authorities in accordance with local conditions; it will no longer be included in the state plan".
(8th Plenum of 8th CC: Communique (August 1959), in: 'Peking Review Volume 2, No. 35 (1 September 1959); p. 6).
The Plenum adopted a 'Resolution concerning the Anti-Party Clique headed by Peng Teh-huai' (published only during the Cultural Revolution) which declared that in the period prior to the Plenum "A fierce onslaught on the Party's General Line, the great leap forward and the people's communes was made inside our Party by the Right opportunist anti-Party clique headed by Peng Teh-huai".
(8th Plenum of 8th CC of CPC: 'Resolution concerning the Anti-Party Clique headed by Peng Teh-huai' (August 1959), in: 'Peking Review Volume 10, No. 34 (16 August 1967); p. 10).
The compromise agreed upon at the 8th Plenum, in fact, favoured the comprador bourgeois grouping within the Party, since, with Peng's dismissal: "The balance of forces turned once again in the Chairman's favour."
(David & Nancy D. Milton: op. cit.; p. 110).
It: "Prepared the way for LIN Piao's* rise to power in the army, and renewed attempts to implement the militia system on a nation-wide scale".
(Franz Schurrnann: op. cit.; p. 567).
In September 1959: "Peng was removed from his post as Minister of National Defence and replaced by . . . Mao's trusted lieutenant Marshal Lin Piao. Along with Peng, HUANG Ke-cheng* was dismissed as Chief of the General Staff".
(Jurgen Domes: op. cit.; p. 99).
In fact, the victorious comprador bourgeois intra-Party grouping: "Felt it necessary not merely to replace Chief of Staff General Huang Ke-cheng (allegedly Peng' s principal co-conspirator) with someone from outside the existing military hierarchy, but also to sack a number of other generals whose ties to the departing Defence Minister might make suspect their loyalty to the incoming one."
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 247).
Immediately after the new Minister of Defence, Lin Piao, took office, "A campaign for the glorification of Mao and for widespread circulation of his writings . . . began within the armed forces."
(Jurgen Domes: op. cit.; p. 100).
Later, after the 'Cultural Revolution', Mao accused Peng of having 'attempted to carry out a military coup' as a 'foreign agent ':
The 9th Plenum of the 8th CC (January 1961)

After the Lushan Plenum of July 1959, the 'Great Leap Forward':

"Began to taper off",
(Stephen Andors: op. cit.; p. 70).
and at the 9th Plenum of the 8th CC in January 1961 a decision was formally taken: "To slow down the hectic pace of the 'Great Leap Forward'".
(Stephen Andors: op. cit.; p. 98).
In fact, at the Plenum the 'People's Communes' were so 'reorganised' .

Liu Shao-chi was attacked as a Right opprtunist, in documents made public later in the Cultural Revolution:


With the failure of the 'Great Leap Forward' and his removal from the post of State President

"Mao retreated to the second front to lick his wounds".
(Roderick MacFarquahar (1983): op. cit.; p. 336).
Thereupon, he: "Began to move steadily and relentlessly toward what was ultimately to become the greatest wave of all: . . . the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution".
(Stuart R. Schram: (1983): op. cit.; p. 51).

DENG Xiaoping = Pinyin form of TENG Hsiao-ping.

HUANG Kecheng = Pinyin form of HUANG Ke-cheng.

HUANG Ke-cheng, Chinese revisionist military officer (1902-86); political commissar, Hunan Military District (1949-50); commander, Hunan Military District (1950-52); member, State Planning Commission (1952-54); Deputy Chief of Staff, People's Revolutionary Hilitary Council (1952-54); member, National Defence Council (1954-64); Deputy Winister of National Defence (1954-59); general (1955); Secretary, CC, CPC (1956-59); Chief of Staff, PLA (1958-59).

LIN Biao = Pinyin form of LIN Piao.

LIN Piao, Chinese revisionist military officer and politician (1907-71); member, People's Revolutionary Military Council (1949); 1st Secretary, Central-South Bureau, CPC (1949-54); Deputy Chairman, People's Revolutionary Military Council (1951-54); Deputy Chairman, National Defence Council (1954-67); Deputy Premier (1954-71); member, Politburo, CC, CPC (1955-71); member, Standing Committee, Politburo, CC, CPC (1957-71); Minister of National Defence (1959-71); killed in plane crash during flight to Soviet Union (1971).

PENG Dehuai = Pinyin form of PENG Te-huai.

PENG Te-huai, Chinese revisionist military officer and politician (1898-1974); commander, Chinese People's Volunteers in Korea (1950-53); Minister of National Defence (1954-59); marshal (1955); arrested by 'Red Guards' (1966); died in prison (1974).

TENG Hsiao-ping, Chinese revisionist military officer and politician (1904-97); member, Central People's Government Council (1949-54); member, People's Revolutionary Military Council (1949-54); Deputy Premier (1952-66); member, State Planning Commission (1952-54); Minister of Finance (1953-54); Deputy Chairman, National Defence Council (1954-67); General Secretary, CPC (1954-69); member, Politburo, CC, CPC (1955-66, 1974-87); member, Standing Committee, Politburo, CC, CPC (1956-66, 1975-87); Deputy
Premier (1973-80); member, Standing Committee, CC, CPC (1975-87); Deputy Chairman, CPC (1975-82); Chief of Staff, PLA (1977-80).



Stalin and China

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