The People's Republic of China shall suppress all counter-revolutionary activities, severely punish all Kuomintang counter-revolutionary war criminals and other leading incorrigible counter-revolutionary elements who collaborate with imperialism, commit treason against the fatherland and oppose the cause of people's democracy.
Feudal landlords, bureaucratic capitalists and reactionary elements in general, after they have been disarmed and have had their special powers abolished, shall, in addition, be deprived of their political rights in accordance with law for a necessary period.
But, at the same time, they shall be given some means of livelihood and shall be compelled to reform themselves through labour so as to become new men. If they continue their counter-revolutionary activities they will be severely punished.
See Timeline Article 7 of the Common Program clearly states the actions the new regime
will make against its staunch opponents. Determining the class status is a useful instrument to decide who is an enemy or a potential enemy.
The CCP has set a system to define the class background and the class status of any person. The economic background of a family before 1949 determines the class background.
Even the background of parents and/or grandparents is taken in consideration, because this experience can still influence a person.
"…what Mao appeared to be espousing was class as a state of mind."
The present social position determines the class status. The class status is theoretically subject to change, but in practice it is almost unchangeable. Class origin labels are hereditary only in the patriline, and the sons of the bad-class sons but not the children of
bad-class daughters bore the stigma in turn.
"Individuals were often officially differentiated by their own class labels (jieji chengfen), or the class-origin labels of their parents (jiating chengfen, or family class origin, (jiating chushen), and children from “bad” class origins should officially have been treated differently from their parents. Nevertheless, children of unfavorable family class origins faced discriminatory treatment, which impacted their life opportunities and paths,…" The class status of every person is documented in a dossier.
"These official dossiers (instituted by the socialist government in 1949) usually covered an individual's complete political history. They included data on a person’s family members; their age, class background, rewards and allegiances. In addition, each dossier contained an individual’s self-reports, evaluations by peers and supervisors or teachers, and any official warnings and punishments. The dossier was retained throughout a person’s life and was consulted by superiors whenever a review was required for job application and assignment, college admission, punishment, promotion, or reward of a variety of benefits."
In 1933 a set of documents was issued with regard to determination of class status. The main criterion is based on whether the man and his family are engaged in manual labour and not on the amount of money that is earned. The 1933 documents are in the 1950’s only meant as reference. The determination of class status was delegated to the masses and local cadres. This resulted in confusion and chaos.
"Even many of the cadres did not fully understand the 1933 documents. The popular perception includes many simplified criterias. For example, in
a party instruction it chastise the mistakes in assigning class statues based solely on whether the person involved used to be youmianzi 有面子(influential)180...As for the “poor peasant” class, the main criteria was whether this certain people suffered much. "
The people are classified into 3 origins:
I)Good-class origins: (a) Politically red inheritances (the families headed by preliberation Party members,
plus the orphans of men who died in the revolutionary wars): (1) Revolutionary cadres (2) Revolutionary army men (3) Revolutionary martyrs
(b) Working class: (Enterprise worker, Transport worker, Handicraft worker, Sailor and Pedicab worker) (4) Preliberation industrial workers and their families (5) Former poor and lower-middle peasant families. (slightly less than 1 percent of the population)
(II)Middle-class origins: (a) Non-intelligentsia middle class: (1) Families of preliberation peddlers and store clerks, etc. (2) Former middle-peasant families
(b) Intelligentsia middle class: families of pre-liberation clerks, teachers, professionals, etc.
(c) The petty bourgeoisie: small shop owner, small factory owner, peddler (three categories – capitalists, white
collar employees, and independent professionals made up 1.4 percent of the country’s population.)
(III)Bad-class origins: (a) Families of former capitalists (b) Preliberation rich peasant families
(c) Families of “bad elements” (a label denoting criminal offenders) (d) Pre-liberation landlord families (Two categories – landlords and rich peasants made up 4.3 percent of the population) (e)
Families of counter-revolutionaries (those who served in the Nationalist government or army).
Fig. 7.1: Features of the Early PRC Discourse of the Petty Bourgeoisie.
Source: U (2015).
This figure summarizes the features of the discourse:
"Though thematically distinct, the accounts are interwoven, as elements of each are brought to bear on the others. In the regime’s eyes, socialist development requires the participation of the petty bourgeoisie as well as the exposure of their objectionable political behavior stemming from specific yet rectifiable habits and dispositions....The petty bourgeoisie emerges as an essential instrument of nation-building, a fetter on revolutionary change, and a population of morally inferior persons."
U (2015) delineates the position of petty bourgeoisie in the eyes of the CCP.
"The regime considered the petty bourgeoisie an intermediate population between exploiting and exploited classes, with its members living mainly on their own physical and/or mental labor rather than off those of others. With physical labor identified as the locus of exploitation, white-collar workers were depicted as the backbone of the petty bourgeoisie. ...(they) were locatable everywhere—cities, towns, and villages."
Fig. 7.2: People's Daily Editorials on Class and Occupational groups
A Number indicates the subject was a major theme in the editorial. A number indicates a minor theme in the editorial.
Source: Oksenberg (1982).
Figure 2 shows the emphasis of the CCP on the position of workers and peasants and the relation between workers and peasants, for example: RMRB 07-02-1952: "Repulse Bourgeois Attack, Consolidate Leadership Right of Working Class", RMRB 27-02-1953: "False Peasant Models Must Not Be Tolerated" and RMRB 25-11-1953: "Consolidate the Workers' and Peasants' Alliance to Ensure the Realization of the General Line"
Fig.7.3 The class system in rural China for and after Land reform
Source: Unger (2010). Page 123
In villages, people were divided into four strata as “landlords, rich peasants, middle peasants, and poor peasants”. (See figure 7.3) In cities,
"The process of class labeling was never completely systematic, but in a series of political campaigns, families gradually began to be identified with a label as capitalist, merchant, peddler, worker, or poor peasant”.23 Class labels were inherited by a person’s family without any change in about 30 years till 1978."
This was in contrast to the promise the CCP had made that landlords and rich farmers would have their class status changed after 3 years. Mao Zedong states
"Since it is the same old person who has been here all along, his old ways of thinking will have not died."
Even poor peasants could lose their status, if they committed serious felonies or political errors.
All counterrevolutionary persons are deprived of their civil rights and punished. At the same time, they get the opportunity to reform themselves and to provide for their livelihood. If they persevere in their counterrevolutionary thoughts and actions, they will be severely punished.
Besides this classification, other divisions exist, for example, in agriculture versus non-agriculture (hukou See Article 5), Han versus ethnic minority (ethnicity Chapter 6), male versus female (gender Article 6).
"It is often argued that class was the most important category in Maoist China, but in terms of the distribution of basic goods and services such as food, clothing, housing or health care, class was actually less important than the urban/rural divide. The urban supply system ensured that a “ capitalist” in Beijing would eat better than a “poor peasant” in central China, despite the latter’ s far more favorable class status."
Start of campaign Suppression of Counter-Revolutionary Activities...
On March 18, 1950, two directives are published ‘‘Directive on elimination of bandits and establishment of revolutionary new order’’ and Directive on suppression of counterrevolutionary activities.
"All former GMD members have to register themselves included those who worked for security organizations (特務) or held high positions in vanquished Guomindang military, as well as in district branches of the party, or the Youth Corps and enjoined such people to register with local authorities. Although time consuming, classifying these individuals was a relatively straightforward matter of bureaucracy and record keeping, in that clear rules existed as did confirming paper trails of evidence. But “counterrevolutionaries” in 1950-53 also included large numbers of people whose status was much less clear and amenable to bureaucratic rules. Determining who belonged in the other counterrevolutionary categories of bullies (惡霸), hardened bandits (拐匪), the leaders of counterrevolutionary sects (反動會悶頭) and traitors (漢奸) was a much more subjective process, particularly so in the absence of standards by which
'counterrevolutionary crime' ought to be separated from straight up 'serious crime'."
The bandit forces are mainly the remnants of the GMD troops that stayed behind after the runaway of Jiang Jieshi to Taiwan. Traditional bandits and local militias raised by landlords to protect their belongings also form a threat for the new regime. Ownby (2002) remarks:
"As the task of the Party shifted from popular mobilization to consolidation of power and regime-building, the bandits who had had “revolutionary potential” now became “counterrevolutionaries.”"
Skinner (1951) describes the danger CCP cadres had to deal with in Chengdu shortly after the taking of the city and its surroundings in December 1949.
"In many market towns in which Communist troops were not stationed, local people sniped by night at the political workers. One rural worker stated in February 1950 that more than fifty of his colleagues had been killed in the immediate vicinity of Chengtu during the preceding month. In many of the hsiang, especially those rimming the Plain, the chronic malcontents organized themselves into resistance forces. Leadership was provided by the reckless, courageous or desperate among secret-society leaders, wealthy landlords and their followers, and ex-Kuomintang petty army officers. At the peak of the rural disturbances, in March, the number of guerrilla-bandits harassing the PLA and transportation routes was said to have approached 200,000 for the whole province."
Until October 1950, the CCP and gangs (HuiMen (會門) and DaoMen (道門)) had a long-term cooperation experience. The CCP benefited from the neutrality or uprising of the gang forces when entering Shanghai, Chengdu, and other places. Already in 1922, the CCP used gangs to launch strikes in several cities and at the works of the Beijing-Hangzhou railway. The peasant uprising in Hunan under the guidance of Mao Zedong made also full use of the power of local gangs. During the war against Japan, the PLA and several gangs supported each other.
As long as the new regime was unstable, it needed the support of the local gangs. In his speech on 6 June 1950, Mao Zedong states
"In short, we must not strike out in all directions. It is undesirable to hit out in all directions and cause nation-wide tension. We must definitely not make too many enemies; we must make concessions and relax the tension a little in some quarters and concentrate our attack in one direction. We must do our work well so that all workers, peasants and small handicraftsmen will support us and the overwhelming majority of the national bourgeoisie and intellectuals will not oppose us."
However, the situation changed with the outbreak of the Korean War. The CCP saw this as a good opportunity to suppress all counterrevolutionaries, including gang members. The movement was divided into 3 stages. The first stage is concentrated in the old liberate areas in conjunction with land reform, and this stage ended in October 1951. The second stage is nationwide; its focus lies on elimination of counter-revolutionaries within the regime. In the newly liberated areas, the elimination of Daoist leaders has the priority. In October 1952 the main task was to completely ban the reactionary sects and eliminate the social soil where counter-revolutionary forces breed.
"Through exhortation from above and reporting from below, former members of these organizations were forced to identify themselves to authorities and promised lenience if they complied. The CCP was thereby able to determine ‘‘hostile elements’’ in cities and begin the process of categorization." The ministry of public Security executes with increasing stringency the hukou system (See Article 5 )
to register members of secret organizations. Particularly in south China, where these sects remain unaltered popular. Yuan (1995) remarks:
"The continuing existence of secret societies in South China under communist rule suggests the spiritual and religious needs of the southern peasants were not met by the Communist Party's dogmas. In this sense, continuity represents a defensive gesture through which the southern peasants were in defiance of the state's imposed authority."
In his speech at the 3rd plenum of the CCP on June 6, 1950, Mao Zedong gives further instructions on how to deal with the counter-revolutionaries.
"Bandits, secret agents, local tyrants and other counter-revolutionaries, all of whom are menaces to the people, must be resolutely rooted out. On this question it is necessary to follow a policy of combining suppression with leniency without stressing one to the neglect of the other, that is, a policy of certain punishment for the main culprits, no punishment for those accomplices who act under duress and rewards for those who render positive services. The whole Party and nation must heighten their vigilance against the conspiratorial activities of counter-revolutionaries."
Sautin (2020) observes
"…prior to the suppression campaign …, the CCP indeed faced palpable threats to its rule from underground elements. Arson by KMT agents or sympathizers was allegedly common in cities, while remote areas witnessed full-scale insurrections.25 After mass arrests during the suppression campaign, arson and assassinations of CCP cadres became almost nonexistent.26 The campaign had managed to break the back of residual resistance that persisted after the Nationalist defeat in 1949…. , it is unclear if the alleged “KMT agents” were truly taking orders from the Nationalists in Taiwan or were just locals disgruntled with communist rule. Judging from recent research on the Nationalists during the early Cold War, the KMT was in such a state of disarray in the immediate years after its retreat from Mainland China that it is highly unlikely that it had the means to coordinate any serious guerilla campaigns in the distant Northeast.27 In China’s Southwest, anti-communist rebels did indeed receive limited support from remnant Nationalist units that fled to Burma and Thailand in 1949."
Westernized, Anglophone people were often regarded as counter-revolutionaries, and they were demeaned, executed, or committed suicide. Howlett (2016) gives an example. In April 1951, a sub manager of the British textile firm Patons & Baldwins was executed along with his family in front of a crowd of 15.000 spectators.
The punishments vary from death penalty, imprisonment, suspended sentence and to be put under the supervision of the masses. The repression intensifies during the year 1950. See also Article 17.
"The Minister of Public Security, Luo Ruiqing, criticised the techniques of ‘summonsing for education’, ‘short-term detention’, and ‘detention in trade schools’ as ineffective and called for severe punishment to be imposed, including the death sentence for serious and repeat offenders. As the policy of leniency fell into disfavour, surveillance of the politically suspect by community leaders and groups, schools and work units was stepped up."
Starting in July 1950, the opponents of the new government get high hopes because they expect an American invasion caused by the beginning of the Korean War.
"...the Korean War had emboldened former landlords and old rich peasants who were now openly intimidating peasants by telling
them to “to take good care of their old equipment and work harder, because you will have to give it back soon because the Communist government will fall.”32 As a result, peasants had resumed contacts with “feudal” village associations, religious groups, fraternal and brotherly unions. ...all of these organizations had been semi-underground since liberation and were semi-criminal in nature.33"
The regime considers this potential threat as an omen to harden their attack on the counterrevolutionary forces.
"Whatever the realities of sabotage, spies, and counterrevolutionary activities and however genuine the fear of counterrevolutionaries might have been in 1950-1951, there is no question that the ensuing campaign was deliberately used for domestic political purposes to rally popular support behind the regime, extend the coercive instruments of the revolutionary state, and vertically integrate the bureaucracy. In addition to the presumed counterrevolutionaries themselves and their sympathizers, the campaign had three other, less
immediately obvious domestic “audiences": (1) wavering urbanites and "middle elements” whose commitment to New China was uncertain; (2) hard core activists and lower level “regular cadres” (yiban ganhu) baffled by the lenience and inclusiveness extended by the new' government in its first year in power: and (3) leading local cadres and Party committees in a large number of urban areas who had faithfully implemented these earlier policies of lenience to restabilize China's cities in New China’s first year of existence."
In June 1951, the GAC issued the Regulations on the Confiscation of Personal Properties of Counter-revolutionaries. This decree regulated the confiscation of properties of convicted counter-revolutionaries. Family members who cooperated with the CCP were allowed to maintain necessary properties. Families with low income might be allowed to keep all
On October 10, 1950, (the double ten instructions) new measurements are announced to repress any counterrevolutionary activity. The Double-Ten
Directive was intended 'to correct' the mistakes made by local governments of what several senior CCP members had characterized as the government’s 'excessive lenience'.
These instructions are the follow-up of directives made on July 23, 1950. These were no longer considered severe and adequate. This campaign converges with the campaign to Resist America and Aid Korea.
The double ten instructions provide guidelines who belong to the counterrevolutionaries and how to punish them. The instructions are vague. The local cadres have difficulties to distinct between ‘leaders’, who are to be treated harshly, and ‘followers’’, who are to be treated with leniency.
Easy targets are the old GMD secret servicemen, bandits, local tyrants, and leaders of secret societies and sects."The timing of this decision was carefully thought out. Mao clearly explained to Luo Ruiqing, then the minister of public security, "Before, it was not the ideal time to launch a major crackdown against counterrevolutionaries because at that time we had not yet settled our financial problems and our relationship with some capitalists was still too tense. Now the situation is quite different. Our financial problem is under control and the war in Korea has just broken out. This is an opportunity not to be missed. It may be the only opportunity for us to suppress counterrevolutionaries. It is valuable for us. You must take this opportunity not only to eliminate the counterrevolutionaries, but above all to mobilize the masses"
It is obvious there are no objective criteria.
"Overall, those classified as counterrevolutionaries were either former government power holders (tewu who could be seen as potential political competitors) or current local social power holders (religious leaders, secret societies, and local notables who could be seen as an ongoing source of social organization and competition to the Party-state)."
Much depends on the subjective opinion of the cadres, who regularly receive contradicting decrees. One month the party top condemns the local leaders to be too lenient, the other month the party top reproaches the local leaders for not been able to distinguish between ‘normal’ crimes and counterrevolutionary crimes. Sometimes Mao Zedong instructs cadres in detail:
"In a big city like Shanghai, probably it will take one to two thousand executions during this year to solve the problem. In the spring, three to five hundred executions will be needed to suppress the enemy’s arrogance and enhance the people’s morale. In Nanjing, the East China Bureau should direct the party’s municipality committee … and strive to execute one to two hundred of the most important reactionaries in the spring."
Fig. 7.4 Counterrevolutionaries arrested
Source: Wen (2015). Page 99
Numbers of Shanghai are of two different periods: Arrested: from Jan to Apr 1951. Death sentenced: from Feb to Dec 1951
Those accusation meetings and executions take place at a public place, following a more or less strict script. The accusers are fully coached to gain the sympathy of the audience and condemnation of the accused. Wen (2015) gives an example:
"More than six million people, 58.66 % of the rural population of South Jiangsu, participated in mass accusation meetings, 151,412 people standing on the accusation stage and telling their own experience of being abused by counterrevolutionaries "
2 months later, Mao Zedong states:
"In some localities in Shandong there is a tendency toward insufficient fervour, and in some localities there is a tendency toward doing things carelessly. These are two kinds of tendencies that generally exist in all the provinces and municipalities in the country, and attention ought to be given to correcting them in all cases. In particular, the tendency toward doing things carelessly is the most dangerous one. [This is so] because where there is insufficient fervour, it can always be brought up to a sufficient level through
education and persuasion, and whether the counterrevolutionaries are executed a few days sooner or a few days later, it does not make much difference. But if things are done carelessly, and people are arrested and executed by mistake there will be very bad repercussions. Please exercise strict control in your work of suppressing counterrevolutionaries; it is imperative for you to be cautious in doing things and to correct any tendency toward doing things carelessly. We absolutely must suppress all counterrevolutionaries, but we also must absolutely not make arrests or carry out executions by mistake."
February 1951, Peng Zhen reports to the government that the persecution of the counterrevolutionary elements is magnanimous and
"…thus aroused the dissatisfaction of various classes of people with the People's Government."
The regulations of February 1951 are more severe. Of the 17 counterrevolutionary crimes defined, 13 were subject to death penalty, including high treason, incitement to defection, armed rebellion, espionage, spreading of counterrevolutionary ideas, illegal border crossing, organization or use of superstitious sects and secret societies for counterrevolutionary purposes, and other more common crimes, such as arson and looting. Death or life imprisonment is stipulated for over 95 per cent of the expected and specified crimes and the instructions have even "… retroactive force. This means that even those people who committed any of the stipulated crimes before the Communists came to power, or even before the Communist Party was founded in 1921, are liable to be punished."Luo Ruiqingobserves, during an inspection tour in south China,
"… that provincial and local party committees were still overly cautious, hesitant about forging 'links with the masses,' and insufficiently thorough in their projected implementation of the campaign. Guangdong didn’t have “enough fire power, enough suppression, enough setting to the job at hand, or enough spirit."
April 2, 1951, Mao Zedong once again instructs who are to persecuted.
"We cannot include petty thieves, drug addicts, common landlords, ordinary Kuomintang members and members of the [ Sanmin Zhuyi Youth] League, and common officers in the Kuomintang army. Death sentences must be for those who have committed serious crimes only."
At the end of April, he sets quotas
"For example, Peking has a population of two million. Ten thousand people have been or will be arrested. Seven hundred have been killed, and another 700 should still be killed, altogether around 1,400, and that is enough."
Figure 7.5 shows the statistics of Mianyang District in Sichuan, it displays the executions carried out and the planned executions.
Fig. 7.5 Mianyang District Counter-revolutionary Death Penalties Plan (March 17, 1951)
Source: Zuo 2020). Page 63
*Should be executed before April 15
** Actual percentage of the total population
*** Percentage of the total population to be executed
In four counties, the number of people to be executed before April 15 exceeded the number of the previous two and a half months, and the number of executions in each county accounted for the total number of executions.
The names of executed "counter-revolutionaries" were published daily in the newspapers. No fewer than 135,000 were executed in the first half of 1951. Those not executed were broken down in harsh labour camps.
On May 15, 1951, Mao Zedong states:
"The large number of prisoners who are to be sentenced to prison terms constitutes a considerable labor force. In order to reform them, to solve the difficulties of prisons, and in order not to let the counterrevolutionaries serving prison terms be fed without working for it, we must immediately take steps to organize the work of reforming people through labor."
In the same instructions is written:
"In order to guard against ‘leftist’ deviations that are developing within the movement of repression, we have decided that, starting on June 1st, nationwide, . . . the power of arrest will be restored to the exclusive authority of the Party committee and at the level
of the prefecture. And the power to kill will be restored to the exclusive authority of the provincial government. The provincial government must send representatives to places faraway from the capital of a province. No place is exempt from this decision."
Mao Zedong is not afraid of comments as long as the verdicts are justifiable.
"To strike surely means to pay attention to tactics. To strike accurately means to avoid wrong executions. To strike relentlessly means resolutely to kill all such reactionary elements as deserve the death penalty (of course, those who don't will not be executed). So long as we avoid wrong executions, we don't have to worry even if the bourgeoisie raises an outcry."
On June 27, 1952, the Government adopts the temporary regulations for the surveillance of counterrevolutionary elements. Article 4 of this regulation states
"Persons placed under surveillance are subject to deprivation of the following political rights: a. The right to vote and to be elected, b. The right to accept an administrative post in a state institution, c. The right to enter the people's armed forces and the people's organizations, d. Freedom of speech, publication, assembly, unions, correspondence, choice of dwelling place, moving to other places, street processions and demonstrations, e. The right to enjoy the people's honors."
Article 6 states the term of surveillance up to 3 years, but this can be prolonged. This surveillance applies only to the given person not to members of his family and friends (article 9) The following article states:
"...everyone has the right to check on persons placed under surveillance and to report their illegal actions."
There are persons who benefit from the denouncement of others.
"The right to register for labor insurance was not automatic. Those accused of being counterrevolutionaries were, naturally enough, among the excluded. Conversely, those at the forefront of suppressing counterrevolutionaries were most likely to be in the first cohort of the regime’s emerging labor elite eligible for the new labor insurance. Once the link between a concrete benefit (social insurance), political activism, and the accusation of others was made, a much larger number of other workers, eventually classified by outside authorities as “backward in political thinking but not counterrevolutionary,” were by group consensus also among those excluded and/or put on severely reduced salaries. It was in the interests of the politically “safe” majority to exclude as many of the politically vulnerable as possible from participating in the newly emerging entitlement regime—there would be that much more for the virtuous and deserving. This resulted in an inevitable drift towards “leftist sentiment—so that [the masses] wanted even backward elements to be arrested and suppressed."
The CCP introduced the death penalty "In 1934, the Regulations of the Chinese Soviet Republic on Punishing Counterrevolutionaries was enacted to carry out purges within the party itself and legitimize a considerable number of executions. Out of 28 counterrevolutionary crimes stipulated in these regulations, 27 were subject to the death penalty." Zhang (2016) Pages 63-64 [↩][Cite]
“Thus, at the outset, official class labels in urban China were not closely tied to an individual's actual occupational position but were instead grounded in CCP interpretations of pre-1949 history and contemporary politics. For example, the head accountant of a large textile mill and his children could officially have the class status of worker if his father had been a manual laborer before 1949. By contrast, the chief economist in this same mill and his children could officially be members of the "petty bourgeoisie" if his father had been a shopkeeper. And an engineer who was branded a "rightist" passed on the rightest class status to his children.”Davis (2000). Page 254 [↩][Cite]
Weatherley (2006). Page 24.[Cite] See also Graminius (2017). Page 4 "The boxes on the hukou forms (profession, life history, education, and so forth) served the purpose of determining exactly which of the nine classes applied to a given individual, and, by extension, of separating suspicious persons from “good” persons. 61 Categorization efforts were complicated by the existence of people who might have belonged to the “right” class but whose opinions, actions or life histories gave them enemy potential, in the eyes of the communists. The investigation of someone’s life history and social relations thereby helped to clarify his or her status."[↩][Cite]
Zhang (2013). Page 440.[Cite] "...individuals continued to inherit class designations from their fathers, and women from their husbands upon marriage. Thus, women's dependence on men for economic resources and social status diminished only marginally from the pre-revolution era." Song (2014). Page 499 [↩][Cite]
Guo (2015). Page 109. He remarks the 1933 documents were as guideline not detailed enough to cover the complicated reality
all across the country.[Cite] Xin (1990) notices "...being identified as a member of the proletarian class brought more than just the status of a first class citizen (the term 'proletariat' in Chinese means a class without any property). The way to identify a person's status was to see if he or she was poor, and liked being poor. The logic of this equated being poor with being of the proletarian class, and being or desiring to be rich with a capitalistic tendency. Therefore, someone earning an above average income (with the exception of old revolutionary cadres) was officially viewed as the target of the socialist revolution offensive. For a long period of time, the official mentality was that the poorer you were, the better person you were." Page 150 [↩][Cite]
Treiman (2019). "People who joined the Party or the Red Army before their victory were considered “revolutionary,” even if they had come from the educated professional class or prosperous “exploiter” households. The Communist Party of China attracted many patriotic students during the anti-Japanese war, a period when high school and university education was largely limited to individuals from prosperous households....The reverse relationship also held: no matter how humble one’s origins, to have joined the Nationalist Party or army would have erased one’s “proletarian” origins and would make one a class enemy." Pages 1127-1128[↩][Cite]
Percentages are from Guo (2016). Page 30 [↩][Cite]
Wu (2013). Page 79.[Cite] "In the cities, class division was carried out through the “urban democratic reform”, “democratic government”, and some other work. From 1949 to 1953, the “urban democratic reform” was carried out in the factories, institutions, schools, shops, streets of the cities. all the urban people were investigated “thoroughly” of their class origin, focusing on carefully investigating the old staff (their family background, their occupation before 1949, and their experience), including the investigation of historical experience, social relations, and life.6" Gao (2018). Page 23.[Cite]
" “religious professional” (zongjiao zhiyezhe), “practitioner of superstition” (mixin zhiyezhe), “craftsman” (xiao shougongyezhe), “peddler or vendor” (xiao shangfan), independent professional” (ziyou zhiyezhe), and “businessman” or “merchant” (shangye zibenjia or shangren). It did not include small landowner (xiao tudi), overseas Chinese
(huaqiao), or usurer (zhaili)." Zhang (2004). Page 11. [Cite]04-08-1950 The decision of the GAC on the classification of rural classes [↩]
Cited in Hu (2012). The thought remolding campaign of the Chinese communist party-state. Page 19 [↩]
Ownby (2002). Page 240. He continues "During the period leading up to the revolution, bandits were linked to peasants and soldiers (as well as to prostitutes and robbers); the revolution accomplished, bandits took their places with landlords (the archetypal evil element under the new regime), criminals, and hoodlums." [↩][Cite]
Liu Shaoqi observes at the National conference on propaganda work on May 7, 1951: "What has allowed us to organize the repression against counterrevolutionaries on a large scale? It is the war in Korea! This war has been very beneficial to us and has allowed us to successfully conduct a lot of business (for example, the extension of agrarian reform, the conclusion of the Sino-Soviet Pact, the launching of campaigns to increase production and to repress counterrevolutionaries). The response to this war has been so strong that agrarian reform and the repression of counterrevolutionaries make little noise. This has made it easier for us. Without the commotion surrounding this war, these actions would have been severely criticized. Here and there landowners have been put to death: these actions could have aroused opposition everywhere, which could have prevented us from successfully carrying out our operations." Cited in Zhang (2016). Page 66 [↩][Cite]
Strauss (2002). Page 84. [Cite] Perry delineates such an attempt of a revolt. "In August 1950, in the midst of a serious drought in the Hunan- Jiangxi border Region, the Pingxiang Public Security Bureau caught wind of an uprising planned by a group calling itself the Central China Anti-Communist Revolutionary National Salvation Army. According to informants, members of this self-declared “revolutionary” group were spreading frightening rumors that “World War Three has begun; the U.S. has already used an atom bomb to defeat North Korea and has occupied Manchuria,” that “the U.S., France and Japan are invading China and soon the Nationalists will return,” and — more accurately — that “soon there will be a land reform in which all those who served in the former government and military as well as petty gangsters will be arrested.” Leaders of the incipient insurgency, several of whom were local Red Gang chieftains, had prepared for the uprising by swearing a Triad-style secret oath of brotherhood, which was sealed with a canonical ritual of wine and rooster blood....Although the revolt of the Central China Anti-Communist Revolutionary National Salvation Army was foiled before it even began, the incident unnerved the local authorities " Perry (2012). Pages 157-158. Yang () [↩][Cite]
Ning (2015) states "Supreme authority resided in Party regulations and directives. Formally speaking, this ﬁrst political campaign aimed at consolidating the new regime, started on 18 March 1950: at that time, the Central Committee of the Party presided by Liu Shaoqi at the moment issued a ‘Directive concerning the Repression of the Activities of Counter-revolutionaries’. But this movement was not effectively launched until 10 October 1950 when Mao personally issued again the same
Directive after several months of hesitation, out of a shrewd political calculation." Page 121 18-03-1950 Instructions on Suppressing Counter-Revolutionary Activities[↩][Cite]
Li describes the "...the Suppression of Counterrevolutionaries campaign adhered almost completely to the following pattern for mass movements: entry of a work team into the village; checking of class conditions in the village; mobilization of the masses through individual interviews and collective meetings; search for and cultivation of activists; identification of the targets of attack and undertaking speak-bitterness against them; partial or full-scale redistribution of resources; reorganization of the village Party branch and reformation of village governance; and departure of the work team from the village. Determining the ratio of landlords and rich peasants in a village, which was done during Land Reform, was continued in the Suppression of Counterrevolutionaries movement. “Quotas” were assigned for tyrants, bandits, spies, reactionary political groups, and reactionary secret agents."Li (2013). Page 175 [↩][Cite]
Cited in Zhang (2015). No Page numbers.[Cite] Lu (2016) notices "According to Mao, ‘without seeing some of these local tyrants executed at the beginning [of the campaign], the masses will not dare to stand up.’119 Determining exactly who would be identified as counter-revolutionaries and who would be executed are far from straightforward. After Mao required new targets to be included in the campaign, the concept of counter-revolutionaries have been further expanded
in practice." Page 131 [Cite][↩]
Ning (2015). "We see that this model comprised three stages: a struggle session organized with thousands of urban residents; a collective exhibition of the condemned prisoners in the streets; and, ﬁnally, the execution on grounds outside the city. Moreover, this model illustrated an essential characteristic: the expeditious procedure did not make it possible to distinguish an ordinary penal trial from a military trial. From this date on, executions of condemned criminals under Mao continued to be carried out in this grosso modo manner until the 1980s." Page 125 [↩][Cite]
Wen (2015). Page 99. [Cite] See Reactions to Executions in Beijing (1951) [↩][Cite]