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[原创] Two Republics in China
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海外逸士

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文章时间: 2020-3-11 周三, 下午9:20    标题: 引用回复

In mid-March, the Chinese forces abandoned Seoul without resistance when the US troops seized the high ground on both sides of the city north of the Han River. Then US air transports, flying from Taegu to Munsan-ni, a region behind Chinese lines some 20 miles northwest of Seoul, dropped the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team and two Ranger companies—more than 3,400 men. The Fifth Air Force fighters and light bombers conquered the opposition of the Chinese army, and so the United Nations forces marched rapidly to the Imjin River, capturing 127 Chinese prisoners of war. The Eighth Army moved northward across the 38th parallel.
With the coming of spring, the Chinese launched an all-out offensive with over 330,000 troops, using their “human wave” tactics. By the end of this month, they advanced to the vicinity of Seoul again. But under the United Nations assaults on the ground and in the air, both men and supplies on the Chinese side reached their limits. So the Eighth Army successfully stopped their further progress.
In spite of the resistance of the Chinese and North Korean army, the United Nations forces broke into the Pyonggang-Chorwon-Kumhwa “Iron Triangle” fortified sanctuaries just north of the 38th parallel. Therefore, on the 23rd of June, Jacob Malik, the Soviet Ambassador to the United Nations, called for negotiations between the representatives of the United Nations forces and those of the Chinese and North Korean forces for an armistice in Korea based on the separation of the armies along the 38th parallel.
On the 10th of July, Vice Admiral Turner Joy, leading the United Nations delegation met the Chinese and North Korean delegation at Kaesong, some 30 miles northwest of Seoul on the south side of the 38th parallel, for the first conference of the armistice negotiations. Therefore, less actions on the ground and in the air was maintained. But on the 4th of August, the Chinese ground forces violated the Kaesong neutral zone, resulting in suspension of the truce talks. Then on the 10th of August the armistice negotiations resumed at Kaesong with the North Korea promise to respect the neutral zone. However, on the 22nd of August, the Chinese and North Korean delegation trumped up evidence that a United Nations aircraft bombed Kaesong (not considering the safety of their own delegation?), which resulted in the suspension of the armistice negotiations once again.
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文章时间: 2020-3-13 周五, 下午9:23    标题: 引用回复

Then actions on the ground and in the air resumed. United Nations ground forces withstood the battalion-sized attacks of the Chinese army in the “Punchbowl”, the circular valley in the eastern Korea, west of the Soyang River and rimmed by sharply rising hills. On the 25th of October, at the request of the Chinese and North Korean delegation, the peace negotiations resumed at Kaesong after a two-month suspension. By that time the United Nations ground forces in the western and central sections had gained up to six miles in some places along the frontline.
On the 12th of November, the peace negotiations moved to Panmunjom, a village less than 5 miles east of Kaesong, in a newly established demilitarized zone on the 38th parallel. The United Nations forces ceased offensive ground operations. Toward the end of 1951, the negotiators at Panmunjom argued over the arrangements for an armistice and provisions about the prisoners of war. Ground actions of both sides reduced to minimum. However, at Panmunjom, the negotiations made no progress. To prevent the further attack of the Chinese and North Korean army in the frontline, the main strategy of the United Nations was to hinder the transportation of equipment and supplies to their front positions. So the targets of the air raid concentrated on bridges on rivers, railroads, moving trains and trucks.
In April of 1952, there were two major ground engagements. The Chinese and North Korean forces attacked at night the positions held by the First Marine Division south of Panmunjom and later assaulted the First Commonwealth Division north of Korangpo-ri. The friendly units withstood these attacks. No other ground actions happened this month.
In June, US 45th Infantry Division in the central sector near Chorwon launched two attacks successfully to gain a high ground and repulsed the counterattack of the Chinese troops. But in July, in the eastern sector of Korea, near the coast and near Hill 266 in the US Second Infantry Division area, a battalion of the Chinese army attempted to seize the high ground. It changed hands several times, but remained under the friendly control at the end of the month.
In mid-August, some reinforced-battalions of the Chinese army attacked the United Nations positions in several sectors. Hills in the First Marine Division sector and in the South Korean Second Corps sector changed hands several times, but United Nations forces retained control of those sectors.
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文章时间: 2020-3-15 周日, 下午9:23    标题: 引用回复

On the 29th of August, at the request of the US Department of State, US Far East Air Force launched the largest air attack against Pyongyang to serve as a dramatic military action during the visit of China’s premier, Zhou Enlai, to the Soviet Union. The State Department hoped that the attack might lead the Soviets to urge the Chinese to accept an armistice in the peace negotiations at Panmunjom.
In September, the heaviest ground activity centered in the sector of the Second Corps of South Korean army with intense seesaw fighting, but effected little change in the frontlines.
Between the 6th day and the 15th of October, the Chinese ground forces assaulted chiefly in the western IX Corps area northwest of Chorwon in a vain attempt to improve their position before the onslaught of winter. In mid-October, the Eighth Army launched an offensive to seize critical high ground in eastern IX Corps area northeast of Kumhwa. But it became a seesaw contest to retain domination terrain.
On the 8th of October, truce talks at Panmunjom recessed over the issue of forced repatriation of the prisoners of war. The United Nations delegates proposed allowing the prisoners of war from opposite sides to choose repatriation or not, but the Chinese and North Korean delegates insisted that all prisoners of war be repatriated.
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文章时间: 2020-3-16 周一, 下午8:59    标题: 引用回复

On the 16th of October, 1952, North Korea sent a strongly worded protest to the Far East Command concerning the recess in armistice negotiations, but they continued to insist on total repatriation of both Chinese and North Korean prisoners of war. At the end of this month they presented a new prisoners-of-war camp list. In Geneva, the League of Red Cross Societies recommended that the combatants exchange sick and wounded prisoners of war before the cease-fire.
On the 22nd of January in 1953, Beijing radio announced the capture of Colonel Arnold, pilot of a B-29 who was shot down on January 13. But the Chinese government refused to release him even during the repatriation of war prisoners. He was released in 1956.
On the 22nd of February, in a letter to Kim Il Sung, Premier of North Korea government and Marshal Peng Dehuai, Chinese commander in North Korea, the United Nations command stated its readiness to immediately repatriate those seriously ill and wounded prisoners of war who were fit to travel, and asked whether the North Korea and Chinese leaders were prepared to do the same.
During the first half of March, the Chinese army attacked in company-sized waves in several areas, particularly along the central front in the Kumhwa and Kumsong regions. Later, sometimes, they attacked by the regiment in the central and western sectors. Then US Intelligence found the military strength of the Chinese army growing, with from one to three Chinese divisions en route to or entering the Korean peninsula. The buildup indicated a possible offensive to seize as much territory as possible before the armistice.
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文章时间: 2020-3-18 周三, 下午8:27    标题: 引用回复

On March 21, North Korean truce negotiators expressed their willingness to observe the provisions of the Geneva Convention and exchange sick and wounded prisoners. At the same time they hinted that the exchange might lead to a resolution of other issues that had hindered the armistice so far.
On March 30, Zhou Enlai, the foreign minister of China, suggested that prisoners of war not desiring repatriation might be placed in the temporary custody of a neutral nation until negotiations determined their final status. Before his proposal, they had insisted on repatriating all the prisoners of war. Their new flexibility on this issue provided an opportunity to resume truce negotiations.
On the 26th of April, after suspension for six months, armistice negotiations between the Chinese and North Korean delegation and the United Nations delegation reconvened in Panmunjom. Representatives of both sides negotiated details of the repatriation of prisoners of war. Then there followed the exchange of the seriously wounded and sick prisoners—6670 Chinese and North Koreans for 471 South Koreans, 149 Americans, and 64 other United Nations personnel, the count at that time.
US aircraft spread leaflets in North Korea, announcing that anyone who delivered a MiG or other jet aircraft to the United Nations forces in South Korea would receive political asylum, resettlement in a noncommunist country, anonymity, and $50,000. An additional $50,000 bounty would go to the first person to take advantage of this offer. In September 1953, after the cease-fire, a North Korean MiG-15 pilot flew his aircraft safely to Kimpo air base in South Korea.
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文章时间: 2020-3-20 周五, 下午9:04    标题: 引用回复

In the last week of May, the Chinese and North Korean troops made a major ground offensive against the United Nations positions on ridges dominating the US I Corps sector, about 10 miles northeast of Panmunjom. Meanwhile, the armistice negotiations faltered over disagreements regarding the repatriation of the prisoners of war. The Chinese and North Korean delegates wanted North Korean prisoners unwilling to return to their homelands to be detained indefinitely, in effect punishing them for their decision. The United Nations delegates wanted to release all prisoners to civilian status on the day the armistice became effective. To let the Chinese and North Koreans know that the continuance of the war would incur additional political and economic costs, the US Air Force attacked targets in North Korea that had been untouched previously. They bombed irrigation dams, whose destruction would, besides interrupting food production, disrupt further preparations for a ground offensive on the part of the Chinese and North Korean army by flooding the rails and road networks.
By mid-June, both sides had agreed to establish a Neutral Nations Repatriation committee. The final session of armistice negotiations at Panmunjom convened. After meeting for one day, the top negotiators agreed to adjourn while technical experts worked out the cease-fire details.
At 10:00AM on July 27, 1953, the armistice agreement was signed to produce the cease-fire in the Korean War between the United Nations forces, South Korea, and the Chinese People’s Volunteers, North Korea. In accordance with the armistice agreement, in August, the prisoners of war were exchanged in Operation Big Switch—77,000 Chinese and North Korean army prisoners of war, for 12,700 prisoners from the United Nations and South Korean army, including 3,597 Americans, the final count. (The above data was taken from the US government booklet entitled “The USAF in Korea”.)
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文章时间: 2020-3-22 周日, 下午9:02    标题: 引用回复

Chapter 10. The 3 Anti-’s and 5 Anti-’s Movements

The 3 Anti-’s Movement

In November 1951, two party secretaries in Tianjin were caught embezzling funds. Therefore, on December 1, 1951, the Central Committee of the Communist Party launched the cost-saving movement which was literally called “Three Anti-’s”: anti-embezzlement, anti-waste, and anti-bureaucratism. This movement was targeted at cadres of the government and government-run enterprises; the ones who had power. Mao wanted to clip their wings. At that time, there were 3,830,000 government cadres. They would be examined through this movement.
The cadres could be divided into three categories. The first were those who had gone through the Sino–Japanese War and the second civil war, who should be dependable. The second category included those newly employed after the establishment of the new republic. The third group were those having worked in the former government, who were undependable, of course. Those who were guilty of the crime of embezzlement were called “tigers.” Through this movement, the Communist Party wanted to “catch big tigers” so that there would not be any embezzlement in the government any more. Anyone who embezzled 10,000 yuan was defined as a big tiger and would be executed. In China, political movements were often carried out with violence. So many targeted persons committed suicide, even though they were cadres.
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文章时间: 2020-3-23 周一, 下午8:57    标题: 引用回复

The 5 Anti-’s Movement

Right in the wake of the three Anti-’s movement, another program was launched, which was literally called “Five Anti-’s”: anti-bribery, anti-tax-evasion, anti-jerry-rigging, anti-stealing-government-property, and anti-theft-of-government-economic-information. The target of this movement was all the national capitalists; the ones who had money. In feudal societies like Imperial China, the emperor considered that everything on the land he ruled over was his own, and everyone on this land essentially worked for him. Verbally, Mao declared himself as a Marxist-Leninist, but his actions often made him look like the “communist emperor of the Red Dynasty.” His actions showed people what he thought; he didn’t put it in plain words. And given the low level of development and widespread poverty in China, the Communists under Mao sought to cover the basic necessities of life for everyone; and that didn’t leave much extra. All excesses would be confiscated.
On the 26th of January, 1952, the Central Committee of the Communist Party issued instructions for the Five-Anti-’s movement. In early February, it started in all the big cities, aiming at businessmen. The Party defined them as capitalists. The Party divided Chinese capitalists into two types: bureaucratic capitalists like Chiang Kai-shek, Soong Tse-ven, K’ung Hsiang-hsi, and the Chen brothers, who were very wealthy and were called the four big capitalist families. All the property they left on the mainland was confiscated. All others were defined as national capitalists, and their properties remained with them for the time being. Now they were the target of the five anti-’s movement.
The local governments organized so-called work teams consisting of cadres, workers and shop assistants. Violence was part of every movement. Some capitalists were beaten or slapped in their faces. Capitalists were forced to confess what they had failed to do so far in these five categories. This was called ‘face to face fight.’ Quite a few capitalists committed suicide. Then the government changed from face-to-face fight to a back-to-back tactic. Workers or shop assistants just revealed the crimes of their bosses, behind their backs, so that no retaliation could be inflicted.
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文章时间: 2020-3-25 周三, 下午9:13    标题: 引用回复

Statistics showed that during these two movements, in the whole country, 184,270 persons were arrested, 119,355 party members expelled, and 133,760 people were killed or disabled, including those committing suicide or beaten to death, or tortured to death in jails and labor reform camps. Those who committed suicide were mostly capitalists. The means of suicide were various. In some secluded corners of public parks, people were found hanging from big trees. Then, patrols increased to prevent hangings in such places. The most popular method of suicide was to jump from high buildings. It was the easiest way, and hard to prevent. But it was dangerous for pedestrians. A person who jumped from a height could possibly fall on the head of a pedestrian and the pedestrian could be killed, while the one jumping survived. Someone actually did some research to see why people in Shanghai did not jump into the Wangpu River. The answer was that if anyone jumped into the river, he could possibly be saved; besides, if he was not saved his body would be washed out to sea. When his body was not found, the government would suspect him of escaping outside the country and his family would get into trouble. So he had to leave his body to be found. Generally a suicide would leave a note, in which he first criticized himself for whatever crime he had been accused of, then he praised the government so that his family would be treated a little better than otherwise. Poor Chinese people! Even suicide was fraught with difficulties.
Both of the “Anti” movements ended in October 1952.
At the end of the 5 Anti-’s movement, the government determined that every national capitalist had at least committed the crime of tax-evasion and would have to pay a big fine to the government. So all the capitalists had to sell personal belongings like cars, jewelry, or even houses, if they did not have enough cash in the bank. That was the first financial blow to the national capitalists. Another financial blow would soon follow.
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文章时间: 2020-3-27 周五, 下午9:19    标题: 引用回复

Mao’s Own Lifestyle

Mao wanted government officials to save money and he took money out of the pockets of the well-to-do. Thus his own spending raised a lot of questions in some people’s minds. He could spend as much as he saw fit. He ordered many villas to be built for his own use only. They were needed, apparently, to provide the best protection and comfort for him. He had over 50 villas in the country, 5 in Beijing alone. The villas were all similarly built: looking like a big cement warehouse from outside, but one that could protect him even from an atom bomb. Every villa, or bunker, was only one storey tall, but they were located in beautiful settings, some with lakes. The whole surroundings were enclosed. In the vicinity of every villa, a transportation network was built, such as a military airport, a train line, and a tunnel for cars. Wherever Mao went, the three means of transportation followed him. When he rode in his personal airplane, the airspace would be cleared while his plane flew past. When he rode in his personal train, other trains had to stop while his train went past.
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文章时间: 2020-3-29 周日, 下午8:52    标题: 引用回复

Chapter 11. The So-Called Gao Gang & Rao Shushi Anti-Party Event

Mao was familiar with Chinese political history. When certain new dynasties began, the first emperors of those dynasties would find fault with some of their faithful supporters who were deemed by those emperors to be potential threats to their future as rulers. Therefore, those supporters were killed or imprisoned for whatever possible crimes could be attributed to them. So was the case with Gao Gang and Rao Shushi.
Gao (1905–1954) came from a poor peasant family in Shaanxi province. In January, 1927, he entered the Yat-sen Military Academy in XiAn and joined the Communist Party in February. In 1933, he was the political commissar of the 42nd division of the Red 26th army. In the Communist Army system, a political commissar was the representative of the Communist Party in the army, a little higher in rank than the division commander. Then he was appointed director of the political department in the Red 15th corps. But in 1935, he was imprisoned as a reactionary and was about to be executed. Just at that time, Mao and Zhou Enlai reached the northern Shaanxi province, with the central Red Army. Mao ordered Gao to be released and Gao was so grateful to Mao he became Mao’s faithful supporter ever after. So in the 7th conference of the Communist Party, he became a member of the Central Political Bureau (equivalent to the executive department of the Central Committee) and the secretary of the northwest bureau. (All over the country, the Communist Party set up six bureaus. Every bureau rules over several provinces.)
After Japan surrendered, the Communist Party intended to occupy the northeastern provinces and set up a northeast bureau. Gao was appointed the secretary to take charge of everything in that region. In 1946, Lin Biao was sent up to the northeastern provinces as the commander of the 4th field army and he worked with Gao in a cooperative relationship. Often they both had the same view. After the new republic was established, Gao was the vice chairman of the central people’s government, the vice chairman of the people’s revolutionary military committee, and also the chairman of the people’s government in the northeastern area. After the Korean War broke out, though Gao disagreed on sending the Chinese army into Korea, he still gave full support in supplying whatever the army needed there. So Marshal Peng Dehuai praised him for that. Gao was also the chairman of the national planning committee—clearly, a very capable man.
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文章时间: 2020-3-30 周一, 下午9:28    标题: 引用回复

Rao Shushi (1903–1975) was born in Jiangxi province. He joined the Communist Party in 1925. Then he was made the secretary of the party caucus of the Federation of Labor Unions of Shanghai and the secretary of the party caucus of the Chinese National General Labor Union. During the Anti-Japanese War, he was the political commissar of the new 4th army. During the second civil war, he was the political commissar of the 3rd field army and the secretary of the east China bureau of the Communist Party. When the new republic was founded, he was the chairman of the east China military and political committee, the first secretary of the east China bureau, and then the minister of the organization department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Also an intelligent, qualified leader.
Gao’s and Rao’s paths in life had never crossed each other; they were in different regions entirely. But they were both accused of the crime of being anti-Party together. Anyway, why were they not accused of being anti-Party separately? It was understood that no man could act against the Communist Party of China, only a clique could try that. And you need at least two powerful persons to form a clique (the same held true during the Cultural Revolution, when Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping were put together as the powerful men accused of following the capitalist road).
In accordance with the official statement of the Communist Party, the main accusations against Gao were: criticizing mistakes and errors in the national economic field, namely decisions concerning Liu Shaoqi and Zhou Enlai, members of the Secretariat of the CPC (Communist Party of China) Central Committee in charge of that field. From the same source, Gao was understood to have further slandered them by saying that Liu and Zhou Enlai had cliques in the Central Committee. Gao and Rao were alleged to have spread a rumor that An Ziwen, the vice minister of the organization department of the CPC Central Committee, had put up a list of the members of the CPC political bureau, at the instruction of Liu. (That meant that Liu privately let An make such a list behind the back of Mao.) Then Gao left Beijing on a vacation to see Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun and Lin Biao separately and tried to persuade them to support him. What would his purpose have been? The official statement alleged that Gao wanted to replace Liu in his higher political position. But why would Rao work with Gao? What could Rao get from it? The official statement said that Rao wanted to acquire the power to appoint and promote the cadres. But at that time Rao was already the minister of the organization department of the CPC Central Committee and already had that power.
In 1951, Gao thought of publishing an article he had written as an editorial in the Northeast Daily, but rather than take it upon himself to do so of his own accord, he handed in the article for Mao to read and give his approval first. Think of that. Historians surmise that Mao did want to get rid of Liu, which he did in the Cultural Revolution, but at that time, the conditions were not yet ripe. Conceivably Gao got the wind of it and acted earlier than Mao planned. Mao had to get rid of him lest his cat got out of the bag.
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文章时间: 2020-4-03 周五, 下午9:17    标题: 引用回复

Another surmise, which came from Khrushchev’s memoirs, was that Gao had sent information to the Soviet Union about things that were going on in the Communist Party of China and what the leaders said. The Soviet Union had provided China with old, rebuilt tanks, and some such things, and the Chinese leaders were dissatisfied. Those leaders included Liu and Zhou. Gao did not mention Mao. To secure Mao’s trust and friendship, Stalin gave Mao the information he had received from Gao. Therefore, Mao wanted to get rid of Gao (but why was Rao included?) and made arrangements with Liu and Zhou. Mao gave Gao the false impression that he wanted to rid Liu, or even hinted that Gao should do something about it. Gao, thinking that he had Mao’s support, fell into the snare Mao set up for him. Gao was then taken into custody. He attempted a suicide in April 1954, but in vain. He made another suicide attempt in August and died this time. Rao was apprehended on April 1, 1955, and sentenced to 14 years. After 10 years he was out of the jail, but was put back in again during the Cultural Revolution and died on March 2, 1975.
It was said that Rao was arrested due to his involvement in another case. During the movement to arrest and kill the reactionaries, Yang Fan, the chief of the police station of Shanghai, thought of a method to use reactionaries to reveal hidden reactionaries. In the process, he did not punish those he utilized and so he was accused of protecting reactionaries—more than 3,300 in number. This involved Rao. Moreover, Pan Hannian, a vice mayor of Shanghai in charge of police affairs, feared that since he had worked with Rao and Yang Fan, he would have to confess his side of the story to the Party so that he might ride out the crisis. He confessed that in the summer of 1943, he went to Shanghai from where the new 4th army was encamped to meet Li Shiqun, a traitor to Japan, and he was kidnapped and taken to Nanking to see Wang Jingwei. Although he did not betray the Communist Party, when he was back at the camp he did not report to the Party what had happened. Now he confessed it and was arrested. Then Rao Shushi, Pan Hannian and Yang Fan were defined as an anti-Party clique. This clique was separate from the Gao Gang clique.
After the Cultural Revolution, some cases were re-opened and examined. Pan was sent by the Party to contact the traitor Li to get information. So his case was redressed, and also the case of Yang Fan. Now what about Gao’s and Rao’s “anti-Party” activities? When Gao had sought Deng Xiaoping’s support against Liu Shaoqi, Deng reported to Mao, and Gao was imprisoned. If Gao’s case was wrong, it shows that Mao’s decision to confine Gao was wrong and Deng’s report to Mao was also wrong. After the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping was in power and he would never own that he had done anything wrong, to save face. So the case was not redressed.
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文章时间: 2020-4-03 周五, 下午9:19    标题: 引用回复

Chapter 12. China’s First Five-Year Plan (1953–57)

Agricultural Collectivization and Peasant Cooperatives

As the basis for their ambitious economic planning, the CPC held China’s first modern census in 1952. The mainland population was estimated at over half a billion—that’s a lot of mouths to feed. The first step toward improving efficiency and productivity involved land reforms.
During the land reform movement, first the arable land was taken from wealthy individuals and distributed to individual peasants and their families. But then the Communist Party called upon peasants to join productive cooperatives, on a “voluntary” basis but with invisible political pressure behind it. Once they joined the cooperative, peasants lost control of their land, which automatically belonged to the cooperative. The cooperative would decide what crops to grow and when harvests were sold, peasants got a certain percentage of income according to the quantity of the land a peasant put in. When a peasant had his land under his own control, he could decide what to grow and what part of the harvest he would keep for his own use, and the rest he would sell in the market.
By the end of 1952, the first 3,600 cooperatives were operating on a trial basis. On the 16th of December, 1953, the Central Committee of the CPC passed a bill to speed up the development of agricultural productive cooperatives. From 1954 to the first half of 1955, cooperatives sprang up all over the country. In spring of 1954, there were already 95,000 cooperatives, which meant that 1,700,000 families had joined them. In autumn of the same year, the cooperatives had increased to more than 225,000. On May 17, 1955, at Mao’s proposal, the Central Committee of the CPC decided to expand the cooperatives to one million in 1956. By July of 1955, the cooperatives reached the number of 650,000 and by the end of 1956, 96.3% of peasant families had joined the cooperatives.
That was the essential change of the agricultural productive style from individual to collective. This process roughly coincided with the consolidation of America’s private farms into a large-scale industrial agro business which was carried out by capitalist means involving loans and debt, price manipulation and other methods. Different means to pursue the same end, although not with the same results.
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文章时间: 2020-4-04 周六, 下午9:01    标题: 引用回复

Private Businesses Become State Property

The economical ideal of the Communist Party was that there should be no private businesses in a so-called socialist country. Private businesses were the typical symbol of the capitalist system. So at the end of 1955, Chen Yun, in charge of the national economy, declared a reform of private businesses over the next two years. Then Peng Zhen, the mayor of Beijing, proposed to finish the reform in 1956 in Beijing. In January of 1956, in just a few days, Beijing completed the reform. Mao pushed it by visiting a textile factory owned by Rong Yiren, the biggest national capitalist in China at the time, on the 10th of January. Rong offered to turn over his factories to government ownership on the 20th. Others followed suit, in all cities where there were private businesses.
The carefully-formulated process was that the private business owner must send in an application begging the communist government to take over his business. Accordingly the government would approve his application. This was like a traveler offering his belongings to an outlaw and begging him to take them. The outlaw was only willing to accept the offer for mercy’s sake, as if the belongings were so heavy they would break the traveler’s back if he carried them any longer. The outlaw was only relieving him of a burden.
Anyway, in Beijing, on the 15th of January, 1956, there was a celebration on TianAnMen Square where 200,000 people gathered to celebrate the completion of the takeover of private businesses by the government. The takeover was called a “purchasing policy,” which meant that the government bought these private businesses from the private owners and paid them a certain amount of money called “fixed interests,” which would be paid off at the annual rate of 5% of the value of these private businesses. The government decided what was the value of a factory or a store, and the owner had no right to bargain. As a rule, the government should have paid the owner for 20 years at the rate of 5%, but no, the government promised to pay only for 7 years. And at the end of the 7 years it would make a further decision to see whether it would continue to pay or not. Anyway, this sounded better than outright expropriation.
This was the second financial blow to the national capitalists, leaving them only their personal belongings like jewelry and antiques, if they had any left after paying fines. But the final financial blow was coming soon.
The payment of fixed interests might last for 3 years more, which meant the government only paid for 10 years out of the 20 years, only half of the value.
After these takeovers, the former owner would be given a position in the business (as a salesman or other worker). If he was accorded a position like manager, he was only holding the position in name, and had no say whatsoever in the decisions. The party secretary was the one to decide everything, even if he understood nothing about the business. Older owners just retired and lived on the fixed interests while the younger ones accepted their salary as well as the fixed interests.
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