China's Cultural Revolution, 1966-1969: Not a Dinner Party

By Michael Schoenhals | Go to book overview

6
Regulations Forbidding the Use of Military Force to Suppress the Revolutionary Student Movement
PLA General Staff and General Political Department

Source: These regulations ("Guanyu juedui buxu dongyong budui wuzhuang zhenya geming xuesheng yundong de guiding") were ratified and circulated by the CCP Center on 21 August 1966 in the form of Central Document Zhongfa [ 1966] 416 (classified "crucially secret"). Our translation is based on the text reproduced in People's Liberation Army National Defense University Research Institute for Party Party Building and Political Work History , ed., Wenhua dageming" yanjiu ziliao ( Great Cultural Revolution" Research Materials) ( Beijing , 1988), Vol. 1, pp. 90-91.

When students recently took to the streets to demonstrate in Guilin, Xi'an, Lanzhou, Baotou, and other places, local Party and government organs asked for contingents of armed soldiers to be mobilized to protect their premises. In Guilin, an entire armed battalion has apparently been mobilized for contingency use. In other places, demands have been made for carloads of soldiers to be sent to factories and schools to talk to and dissuade the students from demonstrating. As a result, the relationship between the army and the students has become quite tense, and some students and masses have engaged the soldiers in arguments and put up big-character posters. Teachers and students in some schools have sent a stream of telegrams to the Central Military Commission claiming that revolutionary teachers and students are being surrounded by the army. The situation has already pitted the army against the revolutionary students, and we must regard it with the utmost seriousness. Consequently, we have drawn up the following regulations:
1. No part of the armed forces may under any circumstance Suppress the revolutionary student movement by force, much less open fire at the students. Even to fire blanks at the students is a serious political error against which serious disciplinary action will be taken.
2. If the local Party and government authorities invite the army to join the National Day celebrations, the army may with permission from the Party Committee of the Military Region allow a limited number of

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