The Last Days of Liu Shaoqi
QI BENYU'S ARTICLE querying patriotism and betrayal laid the foundation for bringing down Liu Shaoqi. But to erase Liu's influence in the minds of the Chinese people required other actions.
Violence had broken out in such provinces and cities as Qinghai, Wuhan, Hunan, Henan, Inner Mongolia, Chengdu, Fujian, Xinjiang, Tibet, and the Northeast. Cliques and contradictions abounded. Although there were admonitions to engage only in civil struggle (wendou), not in martial struggle (wudou), and stern prohibition against beating, robbery, confiscation, and summary arrest, none was enough to stem the tide of feelings among the people. The only rationality at this time was to stand firmly on the revolutionary line of Mao Zedong. For this reason and for the new mobilization, the Central Small Group made use of the reputation of Mao Zedong.
On June 1, 1967, Red Flag and People's Daily issued a joint editorial entitled "A Great Strategic Measure" to celebrate the first anniversary of Mao Zedong's decision to publish Beijing University's first big-character poster. In bold type the publications reprinted the entire big-character poster of Mao Zedong's later order, "Bombarding the Command Post," reminding people once again that the main target of the movement was to topple Liu Shaoqi.
On July 1, 1967, in celebration of the forty-sixth year of the Chinese Communist Party, Red Flag published an editorial entitled "Mao Zedong Thought Illuminates the Road of Our Party's Victorious Progress," which underscored that "the only way to prevent our country and our Party from changing their hue is to initiate the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, to defeat the biggest handful of capitalist-roaders wielding power, and to establish for the entire Party the absolute authority of Mao Zedong Thought." The editorial