Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution

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

Chapter 28

Deng Xiaoping's
Overall Rectification

Deng Xiaoping's Resumption of Duties

The September 13 Incident of 1971 caused people to reflect deeply on the Cultural Revolution.

Not long thereafter, on January 6, 1972, Marshal Chen Yi, a victim of the Cultural Revolution, died. On January 10 a solemn memorial ceremony was held. Mao Zedong participated; in meeting with Zhang Qian, Chen's widow, Mao assured her that Chen Yi was a "good person" and a "good comrade." He explained that Lin Biao had wanted to push out all the senior leaders like himself. He also mentioned that the mistake committed by Deng Xiaoping was in the nature of internal contradictions of the people, which differed from Liu Shaoqi's mistake [of opposition to the people]. Zhou Enlai, anxious to redress the errors of the Cultural Revolution, indicated that Chen Yi's children should pass on Mao's remarks about Deng Xiaoping. With Zhou's effort, a number of Central leaders were rehabilitated one after another and resumed office.

On October 20, 1969, after two years of isolation, Deng Xiaoping, China's "number two major capitalist-roader," his wife Zhuo Lin, and his aged stepmother had been sent from Beijing to Jiangxi Province by plane. They lived under surveillance in an old, small red-brick two-story building. Not long afterward, Deng was asked to do half-day labor at Xinjian Tractor Manufacture Factory, primarily as a bench worker, after which he returned home and cultivated his own vegetable garden in the afternoons. He usually took a walk within the premises in the evenings and read until midnight. In 1971, at Deng's request, their son Deng Pufang, a paraplegic, arrived and lived with them. After that, taking care of Pufang, helping him bathe and turn over became an addition to Deng Xiaoping's daily routine. Deng led the life of an ordinary Chinese, observing from afar the volatile situations of the Cultural

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