Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution

By Yan Jiaqi; Gao Gao et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 12

Eliminating Opponents of
the Peak Theory

Luo Ruiqing the Person

In Lin Biao's inexorable climb to the peak of power, his extreme practice of the personality cult and parading of the "Peak Theory" (dingfenglun) slogan earned him the disapprobation of the chief of the General Staff, Luo Ruiqing, 1 who in turn became the first victim among those of similar views.

Luo Ruiqing came from Nanchong, Sichuan Province. During the early days of the First Revolutionary War, 2 he had joined the student movement. In 1926, he joined the Communist Youth Corps as well as enrolled at the Wuhan Branch of the Huangpu Military Academy. In 1928, he became a member of the Communist Party. The next year he was sent to the Soviet area, joining the Chinese Workers and Peasants Red Army. During the Long March, he was chief of the Security Bureau of the First Army, director of the Political Department of the Third Army, and chief of the Security Bureau of the Red First Front Army. 3 In 1936, he was dean of studies and deputy president of Red Army University (later the Resist Japan Military and Political University). He was tall of build, and the university students referred to him fondly as "Tall Luo." After Liberation, he served variously as minister of Public Security of the Central People's Government and commanding officer cum political commissar of the Public Security Forces. From 1959 on, he was deputy premier of the State Council, deputy minister of defense, secretary-general of the Military Commission, and chief of General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army. In 1955, he was awarded the title of grand general.

Luo was very much esteemed by Mao Zedong. The close relationship between them had begun during the Long March. Mao moved with the First Army, of which Luo was the chief of security. Luo was by Mao's side at all times, affording him protection, marching or fighting.

When Luo was minister of Public Security, he always took personal respon

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