Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 18, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
32 THE IETH8RIOGE HERALD Wednesday, April! 8, 1973 riCK-1'KEMlKR KL-Al'l'EAKS Purged Chinese official 'rehabilitated' Bv IOHX Bl'UN'S Spi'i'ial to The Herald PEKING The rehabilitation C'f senior officials purged during the Cultural olution reached its lushest k-.cl yet recently with the ledppcjrancc of Tcng foimcr secretary- cf the Communist Party and a clo'-c associate of the dis- graced head of Liu Shao- chi Diplomats attending a state banquet in honor of Cambodia's Prince Xwodom Sihanouk were astonished ti- see the- party veteran. and unsmil- ing. Balking into the grand ban- quet chamber of the Great Hall of the People with other top party and government figures. Mr. Teng, denounced in 19G6 as one of a handful of Commu- nist Party leaders who had the capitalist road.'1 was listed as a vice-premier on the protocol list for the banquet. This was the off'cc he held he last seen publicly six years ago. By far the most important figure rehabilitated so far. Mr. Teng Mas accused, with Liu, of suppressing Red Guard agita- tion during the early stages of the Cultural Revolution. Later the Red Guards accussd him of other offences such as trans- porting his card-playing cronies around the country in govern- ment aircraft to make up four- somes, and he is said to have marie an abortive attempt to commit suicide. The former top party bureau- crat, once touted a possible successor to Chairman Mao Tse-fung. went almost unnoticed before the banquet as Premier Chou En-lai led a group of lead- ership figures around a display of of Prince Siha- nouk's secret visit last month to Communist-controlled areas of Cambodia. However, his relative anonymity disappeared the mo- ment he stepped into the ban- quet chamber with the lead- ership group. he hesitated at the door, protocol officials ushered him over the join Pre- mier Chou and the gtn'ern- rnent leaders as they shook bends with a lineup of ranking Chinese officials and diplomats. There was no sign of surprise among the officials as the short, grey-hmiced veteran stepped forward, but several of them broke into broad smiles, shook his hand vigorously and spoke a words of welcome. In re- turn, he broke into a smile for the first time. At the time of his downfall he rarked fourth in the party hier- archy, behind Chairman Mao, Premier Chou and the ousted president Mr. Liu. At the ban- quet the protocol list placed j him 16th, behind all the active members of the party's ruling politburo but ahead cf such fig- ures as Chi Peng-fei, the for- eign minister, and Keng Piao, an increasingly important fig- ure who is in charge of the party's department of liaison with foreign Communist parties. Chinese officials emphasized, however, that Mr. Teng was ap- pearing in his capacity as a vice-premier and not as a party functionary. They noted that he had been stripped of his formal ranking in the party by the last party congress in April, and said that nothing had occurred since then to change his party standing. A senior official said his re- habilitation was in line with Chairman Mao's instruction that the party should make "an over-all assessment of the mer- its and mistakes of a man in history'' before deciding whether to restore him to a measure of responsibility or to condemn him to permanent dis- grace. The official also quoted the Chairman's aphorism on (he importance of "curing the sick- ness to save the and directed correspondents' atten- tion to the Chairman's essay on the correct handling of con- tradictions among the people, in 1957, which draws a clear distinction between con- tradictions, or disputes, be- tween "ourselves and the enemy" and those "among the people themselves.'' The essay stipulates that the two types of contradictions should be handled in different ways. Contradictions arncng the people should be resolved "by the method of discussion, of criticism of persuasion acd ed- ucation, and not by the method cf coercion or while contradictions with the enemv should be hand'ed less charitably. In practical terms, what this seems to mean is that officials who were branded as traitors (the enemy) during the Cultural Revolution will not be rehabili- tated, while those charged with less-serious deviations, such as taking the capitalist road, can be restored to positions of re- sponsibility once they have ac- knowledged the error of their ways and undergone a period of re-education. This analysis seemed to be borne out by the officials" re- sponses to inquiries about the possibility of rehabilitation for Mr. Liu. the former president, and a group of associates wlto were also purged during the Cultural Revolution, including Peng Chen, the former mayor of Peking, Tao Chu, head of the party's propaganda department, and Po Yi-po, a vice-premier uhu served, along with the itihei as a member of the ruling politburo. The officials said flatly that Mr. Liu was "a tenegade and a traitor." the phrase that has been used to describe him since be u-as formally removed from his party positions in October, 1968. They said the other three were also "traitors" and. as such, ineligible for rehabilita- tion. 1 The officials said they were i not at liberty to disclose what Mr. Teng had been doing in re- cent years but they believed he had been in Peking. They de- cimed to make any comment on the staUn of Mr. Liu. even to the point of refusing to say whether he is alive or dead. Although dozens of officials purged during the Cultural Rev- olution have reappeared during the past year, none have ap- proached the importance of Mr. Teng. v.'ho is set apart both by his seniority in the party and his close association with Mr. Liu. who has been pictured since his downfall as the em- bodiment of all evil. The two men. closely linked throughout their careers, were i denounced jointly in December. i 19S6. Red Guard posters pasted j i on walls in Peking accused I i them of addiction to the "reac- tionary bourgeois thought" of former Soviet premier Nikita 1 Khrushchev. Although evidence was dug up i to show that the two men had been encouraging the return of capitalism, for example by the i expansion of private plots in ag-1 riculture and the use of mate- j rial incentives in industry, the Red Guards' main complaint' against them seemed to stem from their handling of student! disturbances on the Peking Uni-' versity campus in the spring and summer of 19iXJ. Assigned by the party with the responsibility of in- vestigating the disturbances, Mr. Liu and Mr. Teng dis- patched woik team? to the campus to restore order Later this was condemned as a reac- tionary attempt to suppress the revolutionary fervor of the stu- dents. Like numerous other targets of the Red Guards, Mr. Teng was also accused of bourgeois habits. One poster claimed that he was so enamored ot bridge that he commandeered private railway cars and special air- craft to transport his cronies to other parts of the country for foursomes. His rehabilitation at this point appears to mark a new stage in China's return to a businesslike conduct ot its domestic and for- eign affairs. As a party mem- ber from its earliest beginnings and a veteran cf the Long March, he is likely !o wield great influence. if his party positions are not restored. To fly across Atlantic J. C. Turcan 37-year-old pilot, and Gore, 36, a navigate as they stand in front of their Cessna 210 Centurion. 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