Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

China Rallies Behind Party After Tien An Men Reactionary Incident

First Published: The Call, Vol. 5, No. 1, May 1, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Peking, People’s Republic of China–Millions of Chinese workers, peasants, and soldiers have mobilized in a massive display of support for the recent decisions of the Chinese Communist Party in the current struggle against that country’s counter-revolutionary elements. They have sent messages of support and have held large demonstrations backing the actions taken by the party against Teng Hsiao-ping and a small group of his followers.

This handful of reactionaries provoked a counter-revolutionary incident April 5 in Tien An Men Square in the center of the capital. The incident followed a six-month long struggle on the part of the Chinese people against the line and policies of Teng, who was acting as China’s Vice-Premier. The struggle, initiated and led by the party and Chairman Mao Tsetung, exposed attempts by Teng and his followers to restore capitalism through a reversal of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution which occurred 10 years ago.

The reactionary incident in Tien An Men Square was planned to support Teng Hsiao-ping. It was marked by physical attacks against members of a holiday crowd, including unarmed soldiers and youth, in a vain attempt to whip up political support for the small group of capitalist roaders.

After investigating the disturbance, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the party unanimously adopted a resolution by Chairman Mao Tsetung to dismiss Teng Hsiao-ping from all posts both inside and outside the party and to appoint Hua Kuo-feng to the position of First Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee and Premier of the State Council. The resolution said that “the nature of the Teng Hsiao-ping problem has turned into one of antagonistic contradiction.”

The incident took place at a time when thousands of people were in the square to pay tribute to the dead on the Ching Ming holiday. The small handful of reactionaries who instigated the incident especially tried to use the deep-felt grief of the people for their beloved Premier Chou En-lai, who died in January, to cause confusion and to try to split the leadership of the party. Using rumors and demagogy, they provoked a part of the crowd into a fight with another part, caused damage to some buildings and set fire to some cars.

The incident followed the routine removal by officials of wreaths from the square; the wreaths honored the late Chou En-lai. The troublemakers tried to make it appear as if the removal was an act against the former premier. The ridiculous charge tried to portray. Chou in opposition to Chairman Mao, a charge that the whole history of the Chinese revolution refutes.

Following this arrogant display on the part of Teng and the capitalist roaders, the party leadership took decisive action. At the initiative of Chairman Mao, the whole country mobilized against the rightists. Millions marched in demonstrations in support of the party leadership and have demanded severe punishment for the provacateurs. It is now clear that this test of strength by Teng has ended in failure. The exposure further showed Teng’s reactionary nature to millions of people. The struggle was a great victory for the party and Chairman Mao’s line.

In a statement issued by the party following the incident, the leadership called on the people of China to “Firmly keep to the general orientation of the struggle.”

The statement said: “It is imperative to exercise the dictatorship of the proletariat over the handful of class enemies who fabricate political rumors in an attempt to confuse and poison people’s minds and attack and split the party Central Committee headed by Chairman Mao, track them down sternly and deal resolute blows at them.” The statement pointed out that the struggle was being carried out under the unified leadership of the party and that inter-unit ties should not be established, nor should fighting groups be formed.

The statement added: “We should have faith in the masses and rely on them. We should educate the few people who are misled and duped by rumors and do ideological work well among them.” Messages sent from units of the People’s Liberation Army from different areas of China give their complete backing to the decisions of the Central Committee. The messages summed up the Tien An Men incident saying; “All this fully shows that class struggle during the historical period of socialism is protracted, complex and acute, and that the current struggle initiated and led by Chairman Mao against the right-deviationist attempt is entirely correct and necessary.” The messages pledge to carry the struggle through to the end.