The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) gave public access to the tomb of Jiang Qing, a former member of Gang 4 and the widow of the late Supreme Leader Mao Zedong, 100 years prior. July 1.
“This was sent to me by a friend in mainland China, and I am forwarding it here,” former CCP School professor Cai Xia, who now lives in the United States, said via his Twitter account. . April 5Traditional tomb festival, where people make long trips to pay homage to the dead.
She said the move contrasts with details of state security police guarding the grave of ousted former prime minister Zhao Ziyang, who resigned after protesting the use of military force against the people. usually unarmed in 1989.
“People are not allowed to pay their respects to Zhao Ziyang’s grave, but Jiang Qing’s grave is still open to the public,” Cai wrote. “The CCP is afraid of the person the public can admire the most.”
For decades after the late Supreme Leader Mao Zedong ushered in 10 years of chaos and bloodshed with his Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the CCP banned any activities to celebrate characters or events. Their importance and the public debates about the era are confined to the formal domain only.
Jiang, along with the rest of the “Gang of Four”, was responsible for the violence and chaos of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). At the end of 2015, security guards were placed at her grave in the Futian Cemetery in Beijing to prevent people from leaving offerings and memorials.
But since CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping embarks on a second term that is not limited to China’s top job, no such restrictions apply.
Chinese historian and author Gao Falin also tweeted on April 4: “Strange things are happening in the capital: a lot of people are paying homage to Jiang Thanh’s grave, and the government is allowing that to happen.”
“At Zhao Ziyang’s grave, there are several classes [police] Gao writes.
Jiangsu-based human rights activist Zhang Jianping said most of the visitors are “leftists”, advocates for the command economy, collective property rights and state support for individuals.
“There are a lot of leftists in Li Yunhe’s tomb in this Qingming period,” Zhang said. “This is an expression of a divided society, not an open and pluralistic society.”
However, Beijing-based dissident Zha Jianguo said the majority of Chinese people do not want to go back to the Mao era.
“Most people will be against going back to the Mao era, including private entrepreneurs, freelance workers and household rental farmers,” said Mr. Zha.
“Most intellectuals and bureaucrats will also be against it, because many officials will be accused of being capitalists, and for all of Deng Xiaoping’s supporters. [pro-economic reform] cohorts will have to be removed [from public life], “he said.
Mr. Zha said there are three major political lines of opinion in China: the Maoist, the Deng faction, and the Liberals.
He said: “The Deng is against both Maoists and liberals, but is more tolerant of Maoists because they are all on the same page when it comes to sovereignty. of the leadership of the party.
“Zhao Ziyang’s performance in the later period put him in the free category [with the potential to accept political reform], “he said.
But he says the most powerful families in China’s political and financial elite are more likely to side with Mao than liberals. today.
“The superiors are a bit more tolerant of Maoists, and there is no tolerance for liberals,” said Mr. Zha.
A decade of violence
What began as a campaign against “capitalist paved” officials in 1966 expanded to a decade of violence and persecution, as students and workers formed radical Red Guards, who were has killed hundreds of thousands in purges and street wars.
Qualified professionals such as teachers and doctors were locked in “barns,” while schools and universities were closed and medical services fell into disarray under the supervision of ” revolutionary ”.
Jiang Qing was responsible for initiating “revolutionary opera”, the only form of entertainment available to the Chinese people from 1966 until Mao’s death and the fall of Gang 4 in 1976.
They are available as theatrical performances, recordings and movies, and their songs have been picked and sung by ordinary people across China.
The CCP – marks one hundred years of its founding July 1 – recently ordered a mandatory screening of some model operas in cinematic form, along with patriotic war films and other propaganda works across China starting in April, starting during the period. the rest of the year.
Movie theaters were required to show the films several times a week, while the CCP organizations and government agencies were asked to “mobilize” people to attend.
“You cannot deploy government resources for propaganda purposes in one country,” Zhang Jianping said. “This will allow some extreme ideas to emerge and people will lose the ability to think clearly.”
“We should step up reform and open the door to more and more people to be exposed to more pluralistic societies,” he said. “That way, there will be less social conflict and less hate speech.”
In 1981, the arrest and trial of the Gang of Four for counterrevolutionary charges sent people to the streets to celebrate in Beijing, opening a wave of trials and appeals against injustices and denunciations. summaries from the Cultural Revolution.
An elite private conference in 2011 titled “Remembering the gang smash of four people, 35 years passed” was convened by Hu Deping, the son of disgraced former prime minister Hu Yaobang, who was the political force behind many of the reforms after the Cultural Revolution. Whose cases, and funerals, aroused the student movement of 1989.
Sources said at the time, Maoists at the conference used it to suggest a return to the Cultural Revolution as a way to purge the ruling party’s corruption, which could form the basis for Xi Jinping’s extensive anti-corruption campaigns and follow-up moves to wipe out censorship and control everyday life.
Xi was the vice president of the country at the time, and assumed the post of party chairman November 2012. The National People’s Congress (NPC) removed the two-term limit for presidents and vice presidents in 2018, paving the way for Xi to rule indefinitely.
Qiao Long’s Report to RFA’s Mandarin Service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.