The Critique of Ultra-Leftism in China, 1958-1981

The Critique of Ultra-Leftism in China, 1958-1981

The Critique of Ultra-Leftism in China, 1958-1981

The Critique of Ultra-Leftism in China, 1958-1981

Excerpt

Now, if you'll only attend, Kitty, and not talk so much, I'll tell you all my ideas about Looking-glass House. First, there's the room you can see through the glass--that's just the same as our drawing room, only the things go the other way. Through the Looking Glass

On January 25, 1981, a special tribunal of China's Supreme People's Court pronounced final judgment on Mao's widow, Jiang Qing, and nine codefendants who had been charged with an assortment of counterrevolutionary crimes committed during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of 1966-76. The written judgment summarizing the case and imposing the sentences found the defendants guilty of carrying out "conspiratorial activities for the purpose of seizing supreme power of the Party and the state." These activities, which included the political and physical persecution of veteran cadres and intellectuals as well as attempts to foment armed rebellion and stage a coup d'état, were said to constitute "criminal offenses" under the laws of the People's Republic of China. The document further stated that the duty of the Court had been to consider only the crimes of the accused and not "other problems of the defendants that do not fall into the category of criminal offenses."

The "other problems" mentioned in passing in the Court's judgment referred to political errors committed by Jiang Qing and her close associates, known as the Gang of Four, and the followers of Lin Biao, China's one-time defense minister who had perished in a plane crash in Outer Mongolia in 1971 after allegedly masterminding a plot to assassinate Mao Zedong. The propaganda surrounding the two-month long trial of the so-called "Jiang Qing and Lin Biao counterrevolutionary cliques" frequently stressed that the radical socio-economic policies and the ultra-Left political line espoused by the defendants during the Cultural Revolution, however erroneous and harmful to China's development, were not matters of . . .

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