Up to May 1966 the Marxist-Leninists had been able to win a majority of members of the Central Committee to oppose the demands of the counter-revolutionary, faction headed by Mao Tse-tung that the “cultural revolution against bourgeois ideas” should be transformed into an offensive against certain leading Party members.
But when the Central Committee met in May 1966, the propaganda campaign of the counter-revolutionary faction against the Peking Party leadership was at its height. In these circumstances some Comrades who had previously stood firm with the Marxist-Leninists were confused when Mao Tse-tung and his partners opened an attack upon the “Group of Five in Charge of the Cultural Revolution”, which was led by Peng Chen, First Secretary of the Peking Party, Mayor of Peking, and a Marxist-Leninist who had played a leading role in the exposure of modern revisionism.
The leading figures in the “Group of Five” were accused of seeking to protect
those representatives of the bourgeoisie who have sneaked into the Party, the government, the army, and various cultural circles. (“Circular of Central Committee of Chinese Communist Party”, May 16th, 1966; in: “Peking Review”, No. 21, 1967; p. 9).
And, since the leading figures in the “Group of Five” had spoken of the necessity that the growing mass movement (incited by the counter-revolutionary faction headed by Mao) should be under the leadership of the Party organs at all levels, they were accused of trying
to place restrictions on the proletarian Left, to impose taboos and commandments in order to tie their hands, and to place all sorts of obstacles in the way of the proletarian cultural revolution. (Circular...etc. ; op. cit.; p. 9).
By a majority decision, the Central Committee approved a resolution along these lines, together with the dissolution of the “Group of Five”.
The same meeting of the Central Committee set up a new “Cultural Revolution Group” directly under the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau. In July Chen Po-ta, Mao’s former secretary and editor of “Hongqi ” (Red Flag) since 1958, was appointed leader of the “Cultural Revolution Group”.