The September 13 Incident
and the "Trough"
Waving the flag of the "model dramas," Jiang Qing used literature and the arts to expand her influence. However, she remained inferior to Lin Biao in political position. Although she had her special status, she needed Lin Biao to "give her a hand." A subtle relationship existed between the groups of Jiang Qing and Lin Biao. On one hand, the two groups had a common goal; on the other, they had their respective interests. They were cooperating but, at the same time, dragging each other down. Just before the Party's Ninth Congress, their struggles for their respective interests increased. To the onlooker's eye, the two groups exchanged flattery and favors; in fact, they did have a "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" arrangement to enhance their political credentials. In March 1968, Lin Biao decided to adjust Jiang Qing's administrative rank from level nine all the way up to level five. 1 In October, at a meeting to modify the Party's constitution, Jiang Qing tried everything to play up Lin Biao's position and insisted that the Party's new constitution designate Lin Biao as successor to the Party's leader, saying, "We won't let it pass without this clause." In 1969, on the eve of the Ninth Congress, Jiang Qing said again at a meeting that "Deputy Chairman Lin Biao's name must be written (into the Party's new constitution) to still the actions of those who covet this position." After that, Lin and Jiang frequently called each other; by September 1971, they had made more than four hundred telephone calls. 2
In 1971, upon Lin Biao's decision to "open a new path of his own," Jiang Qing went to visit and take a photograph of him on June 9. In this picture, Lin postured as he was studying Chairman Mao's works. Jiang then had the photograph carried on the covers of the July and August issues of People's Pictorial and Liberation Army Pictorial, with the caption "Studying diligently." Jiang Qing signed the photographs with the name "Jun Ling." On