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February Countercurrent
The February Countercurrent (), also known as the February Adverse Current, refers to the joint efforts by a group of conservative Communist Party veterans to oppose the ultra-leftist radicalism at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution. Overview The events refer mainly to a series of stormy meetings of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China and the top military brass which took place between January and February, 1967, which pitted Communist revolutionary generals Tan Zhenlin, Chen Yi, Xu Xiangqian, Nie Rongzhen, and others against Maoist radicals led by Lin Biao, Kang Sheng, Jiang Qing, and Zhang Chunqiao. The veterans asserted that the Cultural Revolution was throwing the country into chaos and that its real aim was to purge the top leadership of the party and the military. An account detailed one of the confrontations, which involved the Marshal Ye Jianying. As one of the leaders of the Weberian-oriented PLA military commanders in the discussion panel, he accused the ...
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Communist Party Of China
The Communist Party of China (CPC), commonly known as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is the founding and sole governing political party of the People's Republic of China (PRC). The CCP leads eight other legally permitted subordinate minor parties together as the United Front. The CCP was founded in 1921, with the help of the Far Eastern Bureau of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Far Eastern Secretariat of the Communist International under Lenin. The party grew quickly, and by 1949 it had driven the Kuomintang (KMT)'s Nationalist Government from mainland China to Taiwan after the Chinese Civil War, leading to the establishment of the People's Republic of China on 1 October 1949. It controls the country's armed forces, the People's Liberation Army (PLA). It is also one of the two major historical contemporary parties in Chinese history, the other being the Kuomintang. The CCP is officially organized on the basis of democratic centralism, a principle conceived by Rus ...
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Cultural Revolution
The Cultural Revolution, formally the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was a violent sociopolitical purge movement in China from 1966 until 1976. Launched by Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Communist Party of China (CPC), its stated goal was to preserve Chinese communism by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society, and to re-impose Mao Zedong Thought (known outside China as ''Maoism'') as the dominant ideology in the CPC. The Revolution marked Mao's return to the central position of power in China after a period of less radical leadership to recover from the failures of the Great Leap Forward, which contributed to the Great Chinese Famine only five years prior. Launching the movement in May 1966 with the help of the Cultural Revolution Group, Mao soon called on young people to "bombard the headquarters", and proclaimed that "to rebel is justified". In order to eliminate his rivals within the CPC and in schools, factories, and government ins ...
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Politburo Of The Communist Party Of China
The Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party, formally known as the Central Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China and known as the Central Bureau before 1927, is the decision-making body of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Currently, it is a group of 25 top officials who oversee the CCP. Unlike politburos (political bureaus) of other Communist parties, power within the politburo is further centralized in the Politburo Standing Committee, a smaller group of Politburo members. The Politburo is nominally elected by the Central Committee. In practice, however, scholars of Chinese elite politics believe that the Politburo is a self-perpetuating body, with new members of both the Politburo and its Standing Committee chosen through a series of deliberations by current Politburo members and retired Politburo Standing Committee members. The current and former Politburo members conduct a series of informal straw polls to determine the group's level of support for each new cand ...
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Tan Zhenlin
Tan Zhenlin (; 24 April 1902 – 30 September 1983) was a political commissar in the People's Liberation Army during the Chinese Civil War, and a politician after the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Tan Zhenlin was born in You County, Hunan. He joined the Chinese Communist Party in 1926, and participated in the Chinese Civil War since the Jinggang Mountains rebellion in the early days of the war. By 1949 he rose to the first deputy political commissar of the Third Field Army of the PLA. After the founding of the People's Republic in 1949, Tan became the Party Secretary and Governor of Zhejiang. He served as the Third Secretary of the Communist Party's East China Bureau, then Governor of Jiangsu. In December 1954 Tan became the party's deputy Secretary-General (not to be confused with General Secretary), and later Vice-Premier. During the Great Leap Forward, Tan became a Secretary of the Secretariat, in charge of agriculture. He supported Mao's policies during the ...
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Chen Yi (general)
Chen Yi (; August 26, 1901 – January 6, 1972) was a Chinese communist military commander and politician. He served as Mayor of Shanghai from 1949 to 1958 and as Foreign Minister of China from 1958 to 1972. Biography Chen was born in Lezhi County near Chengdu, Sichuan, into a moderately wealthy magistrate's family. A comrade of Lin Biao from their guerrilla days, Chen was a commander of the New Fourth Army during the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), spearheaded the Shandong counter-offensive during the Chinese Civil War, and later commanded the Communist armies that defeated the KMT forces during the Huaihai Campaign and conquered the lower Yangtze region in 1948–49. He was made a Marshal of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in 1955. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Chen became mayor of Shanghai. He also served as vice premier from 1954 to 1972 and foreign minister from 1958 to 1972 and president of the China Foreign Affairs University from 1961 to 19 ...
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Xu Xiangqian
Xu Xiangqian (November 8, 1901 – September 21, 1990) was a Chinese Communist military leader and one of the Ten Marshals of the People's Liberation Army. He was the son of a wealthy landowner, but joined Chiang Kai-shek's National Revolutionary Army, against his parents' wishes, in 1924. When the Kuomintang began to fight the Communists in 1927, Xu left Chiang's forces and led a Communist army based in Sichuan under the political authority of Zhang Guotao. After Zhang was purged in the early 1930s, Xu survived politically and rejoined the Red Army, in a less senior position, under the leadership of Mao Zedong. During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) Xu served in several military units in Communist-controlled areas across North China, and directed the construction of several bases areas. When the Chinese Civil War resumed, in 1947, Xu was active in North China. Forces under his command were responsible for the capture of the heavily fortified city of Taiyuan in the late ...
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Nie Rongzhen
Nie Rongzhen (; December 29, 1899 – May 14, 1992) was a prominent Chinese Communist military leader, and one of ten Marshals in the People's Liberation Army of China. He was the last surviving PLA officer with the rank of Marshal. Biography Nie was born in Jiangjin County in Sichuan (now part of Chongqing municipality), the cosmopolitan and well-educated son of a wealthy family. In his 20s, Nie applied to the ''Université du Travail'' (University of Labour) in Charleroi, Belgium, with a scholarship from the Socialist Party, and was thus able to study science in Charleroi. Political leanings Zhou Enlai spent a night in Charleroi and met with Nie. Nie agreed to join the group of Chinese students in France on a work-study program, where he studied engineering and became a protégé of Zhou Enlai. He joined the Communist Party of China in 1923. A graduate of the Soviet Red Army Military College and Whampoa Academy, Nie spent his early career first as a political officer in Wh ...
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Lin Biao
Lin Biao (December 5, 1907 – September 13, 1971) was a Marshal of the People's Republic of China who was pivotal in the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War, especially in Northeast China. Lin was the general who commanded the decisive Liaoshen and Pingjin Campaigns, in which he co-led the Manchurian Field Army to victory and led the People's Liberation Army into Beijing. He crossed the Yangtze River in 1949, decisively defeated the Kuomintang and took control of the coastal provinces in Southeast China. He ranked third among the Ten Marshals. Zhu De and Peng Dehuai were considered senior to Lin, and Lin ranked directly ahead of He Long and Liu Bocheng. Lin abstained from taking an active role in politics after the civil war ceased in 1949. He led a section of the government's civil bureaucracy as one of the co-serving Vice Premiers of the People's Republic of China from 1954 onwards, becoming First Vice Premier from 1964. Lin became more active in politics when named ...
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Kang Sheng
Kang Sheng (; 1898 – 16 December 1975) was a Communist Party of China (CPC) official best known for having overseen the work of the CPC's internal security and intelligence apparatus during the early 1940s and again at the height of the Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A member of the CPC from the early 1920s, he spent time in Moscow during the early 1930s, where he learned the methods of the NKVD and became a supporter of Wang Ming for leadership of the CPC. After returning to China in the late 1930s, Kang Sheng switched his allegiance to Mao Zedong and became a close associate of Mao during the Anti-Japanese War, the Chinese Civil War and after. He remained at or near the pinnacle of power in the People's Republic of China from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1975. After the death of Chairman Mao and the subsequent arrest of the Gang of Four, Kang Sheng was accused of sharing responsibility with the Gang for the excesses of the Cultural Re ...
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Jiang Qing
Jiang Qing (19 March 191414 May 1991), also known as Madame Mao, was a Chinese Communist Revolutionary, actress, and major political figure during the Cultural Revolution (1966–76). She was the fourth wife of Mao Zedong, the Chairman of the Communist Party and Paramount leader of China. She used the stage name Lan Ping () during her acting career (which ended in 1938), and was known by many other names. She married Mao in Yan'an in November 1938 and served as the inaugural "First Lady" of the People's Republic of China. Jiang Qing was best known for playing a major role in the Cultural Revolution and for forming the radical political alliance known as the "Gang of Four". Jiang Qing served as Mao's personal secretary in the 1940s and was head of the Film Section of the Communist Party's Propaganda Department in the 1950s. She served as an important emissary for Mao in the early stages of the Cultural Revolution. In 1966, she was appointed deputy director of the Central Cultura ...
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Zhang Chunqiao
Zhang Chunqiao (; 1 February 1917 – 21 April 2005) was a prominent Chinese political theorist, writer, and politician. He came to the national spotlight during the late stages of the Cultural Revolution, and was a member of the ultra-Maoist group dubbed the "Gang of Four". Biography Born in Juye County, Shandong, Zhang worked as a writer in Shanghai in the 1930s and became closely associated with the city. After the Yan'an conference in 1938, he joined the Communist Party of China. With the creation of the People's Republic of China, he became a prominent journalist in Shanghai in charge of the ''Liberation Daily'' newspaper. He met Jiang Qing in Shanghai and helped to launch the Cultural Revolution. Zhang first came to prominence as the result of his October 1958 ''Jiefang'' ("Liberation") magazine entitled “Destroy the Ideology of Bourgeois Right.” Mao Zedong ordered the reproduction of the article in ''People’s Daily'', and personally wrote an accompanying “Editor’s ...
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Ye Jianying
Ye Jianying (; 28 April 1897 – 22 October 1986) was a Chinese communist revolutionary leader and politician, one of the founding Ten Marshals of the People's Liberation Army. He was the top military leader in the 1976 coup that overthrew the Gang of Four and ended the Cultural Revolution, and was the key supporter of Deng Xiaoping in his power struggle with Hua Guofeng. After Deng ascended power, Ye served as China's head of state as Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress from 1978 to 1983. Life Born Ye Yiwei () into a wealthy Christian Hakka merchant family in Jiaying county (modern-day renamed as Meixian District), Guangdong, his courtesy name was Cangbai (). After graduation from the Yunnan Military Academy in 1919, he joined Sun Yat-sen and the Kuomintang (KMT). He taught at the Whampoa Military Academy, and in 1927 joined the Communist Party. That year, he participated in the failed Nanchang Uprising and was forced to flee to Hong Kong with ...
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Max Weber
Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German sociologist, historian, jurist, and political economist, who is regarded among the most important theorists on the development of modern Western society. His ideas would profoundly influence social theory and social research. Despite being recognized as one of the fathers of sociology, along with Auguste Comte and Émile Durkheim, Weber never saw himself as a sociologist, but as a historian. Unlike Émile Durkheim, Weber did not believe in monocausal explanations, proposing instead that for any outcome there can be multiple causes. As such, he was a key proponent of methodological anti-positivism, arguing for the study of social action through interpretive (rather than empiricist) methods, based on understanding the purpose and meanings that individuals attach to their own actions. Weber's main intellectual concern was in understanding the processes of rationalisation, secularisation, and "disenchantment", w ...
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People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the regular armed forces of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the armed wing of the PRC's founding and ruling political party, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Besides the Central Military Commission (CMC) and several minor units directly under it, the PLA has five major service branches: the Ground Force, Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, and the Strategic Support Force. A majority of military units around the country are assigned to one of five theater commands by geographical location. The PLA is the world's largest military force and constitutes the second largest defense budget in the world. It is also one of the fastest modernizing militaries in the world, and has been termed as a potential military superpower, with significant regional defense and rising global power projection capabilities. Per Credit Suisse in 2015, the PLA is the world's third-most powerful military. PRC law explicitly affirms the leadership of the party ov ...
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