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Cultural Revolution

(3,866 words)

Author(s): Schoenhals, Michael
Mao Zedong, who launched the Cultural Revolution in 1966, never produced an extended systematic and credible explanation of what this political super-movement was meant to achieve. All he left behind were scattered and often conflicting remarks indicating a general sense of purpose. The Cultural Revolution was to prevent the emergence, in China, of what he called Soviet-style revisionism; it was to ensure that China remained forever "red"; it was to empower the "people", and purge the governmen…

People's Armed Police

(831 words)

Author(s): Schoenhals, Michael
Organized and run along military lines, the People's Armed Police (PAP, renmin wuzhuang jingcha budui) emerged in the post-Mao era as an increasingly important safeguard of party rule. Its birth may be traced to the CCP Politburo's decision, in April 1950, to abolish the four so-called "field armies" which had brought the Communists to power, and to re-organize the People's Liberation Army (PLA) into a regular army of national defense and a domestic public security force. Two years later, the PLA Public Security Force (Zhongguo renmin jiefangjun gong'an budui), as it was first call…