OK gang (of more than 4). Its a race. We have many hurdles to overcome. But we can do it. Put your heads down. Get the senioritis vaccine and give me one more moth. ONE MORE MONTH. That’s all I need, its all you need, to close up this grand game and make us all as proud as a Bucky Badger fan.
In re-opening the doors we have four significant subsections. There is the US and the Nixon visit, attacking Confucius and Lin-Biao, defining the economy and finally the death of the old guard, Zhou and Mao. You might expect a quiz question from each one and you might be right.
The US Nixon visit is of course hugely important and we have read about it before. Whats new here is no the invitation of the US ping pong team, or the secret arrival of HK in July 1971 but rather that this began with negotiations under JFK, stopped by his assassination, was renewed in LBJ’s time, but then crushed by the Cultural Revolution and finally begun again by the US, by the opposing political party, of JFK’s even. In other words all the credit going to Nixon and HK is as misguided as all of the fault levied at their feet for the US role in the war in Vietnam.
The attack on Confucius and Lin-Biao is so convoluted as to be very hard to understand. Its enough to know that it was a thing, a thing that had become a mass campaign across China by 1974 and was promulgated by those who will become known as the “gang of four”. Its enough to know thats its an atack on old ways exemplified by the actions of two students who I’m sure you loved, Zhang and Zhong. In protest over the return to University entrance by examination, Zhang handed in a blank exam. In protest over the nepotism or corruption of his influential Long March veteran Father making a discrete call to guarantee admission, Zhong resigned from the University. Cool stuff. I wonder if each of you would do the same?
In terms of redefining the economy this is super important for understanding subsequent chapters. Zhou En Lai, though discreetly, Deng Xiaoping and others recognize the need to reach out for foreign (US) technological support. Others, the “gang of four” vehemently deny this. Hua Guofang, who will succeed Mao, strikes a bit of a middle-ground. Deng Xiaoping will eventually win and go on to dominate China in the 1980s with his economic reforms and this is very likely to be the subject of your Documents exam, paper #1.
Finally the death of of the old guard, Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong. Hua Guofang will replace Mao, the gang of four are arrested and the future of China hangs in the balance.