The centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China is less than a month away. Recently, there is news that the authorities have arrested a large number of leftists who support Mao Zedong’s ideology in different parts of China. Some analysts believe that social discontent is spreading and it has become an urgent task for the regime to remove the destabilizing factors, even the Maoist leftist camp is not spared.
The first day of next month is the celebration of the centenary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. Taiwan’s Central News Agency reports that police in Jining, Shandong province, began a secret inter-provincial arrest campaign against so-called “Maoist-leftists” on the 12th of last month, and quickly expanded to Hebei, Henan, Shaanxi and other provinces.
Among those arrested, Ma Houzhi, a professor at Qufu Normal University in Shandong province who is over 70 years old, is considered a leading figure, having announced the establishment of the “Maoist Communist Party of China” in Chongqing in 2009 and elected Bo Xilai, then secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee, as “general secretary”. “He was subsequently sentenced to 10 years in prison for “subversion of state power” and was only released two years ago.
The “512” Arrests Mao Zuo was Charged with “Gang Crime”
In what the Maoist camp described as the “512 arrests,” Liu Qingfeng, Fu Mingxiang, Hu Jiahong, Nie Jubao, Wu Ronghua and others were also arrested. It is understood that some Maoist supporters have called the Jining Public Security Bureau to question the rationale for the action. The authorities explained that the arrested persons were involved in “gang crimes” and were “definitely guilty,” but “had nothing to do with the propaganda of Chairman Mao,” and accused the supporters of hype.
Wu Zorai, an independent scholar, said that the current regime has no right or left to maintain stability as the centennial of the Communist Party approaches.
Wu Zorai: “Some people who worship Mao Zedong like the way of the Cultural Revolution, the way of rebellion, will bring instability to the Chinese Communist regime, so the Communist Party will crack down on both rights defenders and democrats, but also on fundamentalist Maoists, he said ‘stability overrides everything’. When any civil organization forms a force, it may affect on social stability and make it (the current regime) feel troubled.”
For the authorities, it is crucial to nip instability in the bud, Wu says.
Wu Zorai: “The authorities think that as long as one small organization is active, every place in the country will follow the same pattern, and hundreds and thousands of the same movements and organizations will start a movement like the 1989 pro-democracy movement. Because they feel that the whole society is discontented, the disparity between the rich and the poor, and the large number of young people who have no way out, all these people have the potential to form a force. In fact, the Chinese Communist Party has a lot of data on how far the rich and poor are divided, and so on, and when they reach this state, it is the critical point of social crisis. They understood this, so they struck quickly and violently.”
Authorities use Mao’s left to affirm the Cultural Revolution but suppress its actions
Zhuang Rongwen, vice minister of the CPC Central Committee’s Propaganda Department and director of the State Network Information Office, presented the latest official account of the 10-year Cultural Revolution at the Centennial Party History Study in April this year, arguing that the 27 years between the CPC’s founding and the end of the Cultural Revolution, despite being full of twists and turns and setbacks, had made remarkable achievements, comprehensively established the basic system of socialism, and provided the new era of pioneering socialism with Chinese characteristics “valuable experience, theoretical preparation, and material foundation.”
Some commentators at the time argued that Zhuang Rongwen’s speech not only affirmed the Cultural Revolution, but also reversed the major premise of Deng Xiaoping’s reform and opening up back then, which was to learn from the lessons of the decade of the Cultural Revolution’s closed-door approach, and believed that the remarks actually conveyed Xi Jinping’s will.
Professor Song Yongyi of California State University, Los Angeles told the station that even if Xi Jinping intends to rehabilitate the Cultural Revolution, it does not mean that the Maoist left can openly cause trouble.
Song Yongyi: “Does Xi Jinping want to reopen the case of the Cultural Revolution? Of course he wants to reopen the case of the Cultural Revolution, but he wants to achieve his goal under various covers. In a way, Mao Zuo is cuter than Xi Jinping. Mao left gave out his true intentions, which in the words of the Cultural Revolution is ‘interfering with Chairman Mao’s great deployment from the left’. Should he be shot? To be shot too. I say these Maoist leftists should not rejoice too early, they are likely to be sacrificed by Xi Jinping by doing so, that is, by Xi Jinping.”
However, Song Yongyi believes that in the eyes of the authorities, the Maoist Left camp has value for use, and therefore will only suppress their actions and not punish them severely.