||Ninth Congress (April, 1969)|
In October 1968, Mao was already thinking of how he could close "the Cultural Revolution" on condition that rebels could claim victory. He wished to convene the Ninth Congress, and successfully claim authority for the best organisation of the CCP, the reconstruction of the organisations of each of the categories of the Party, taking advantage of the power of the Party and calming the confusion of the Cultural Revolution. The Ninth Congress was held under these conditions. But the fire that had been kindled during the Cultural Revolution could not be extinguished so easily. The two groups under Lin Biao and Jiang Qing, which had assumed enormous powers during the Cultural Revolution, didn't wish for the end of the Cultural Revolution. And new battles appeared again.
The establishment of Revolutionary Committees everywhere somehow calmed down the confusion in society, and led to a relatively steady atmosphere.
But the international outlook before the Ninth Congress was dramatic. The United States military intervention in South Vietnam had increased since 1965, and North Vietnam had come under bomb attacks, enflaming the South Gate of China. A peace negotiation was held after the victory of North Vietnam, and the flames burned lower, but had not been completely put out yet. The South Gate was not peaceful.
In addition, the relationship between China and the Soviet Union grew tense and border incidents occurred that sometimes led to bloodshed. In March 1969 just before the Ninth Congress, there were some serious, bloody, military skirmishes. They were the worst incidents ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Many top ranking government leaders and the CCP were shocked by these incidents, and were concerned about the consequences. These incidents brought fears of the inevitability World War closer. So preparing for the war was an important subject for discussion at the Ninth Congress, but it also had an influence on policy, and had a great influence on various aspects of life in China.
From April 1 until 24 in 1969, the CCP held the Ninth Congress in Beijing. 1512 representatives of 22 million communists attended the congress. Those delegates were mainly the leaders of Revolutionary Committees and "rebels" and PLA supporting leftists. Some rebels entered the CCP hastily and some became delegates not through a democratic procedure. And the way of holding the congress was far from that of the Eighth Congress. Delegates were not informed in advance of the date of the congress, guests from foreign countries were not invited and reporters were not allowed to report freely. After arriving in Beijing, delegates were not allowed to go out, and telephone. When the congress was held, the delegates entered the place of meeting silently. This kind of behaviour had never been seen in the CCP's history in any country.
At the beginning of the congress, Mao was elected Chairman, and Lin Biao gave the political report as the vice-Chairman. This report described the preparation and progress of the Cultural Revolution, and discussed how the Socialist Revolution should benefit from the experience of the Cultural Revolution. The reports covered a great number of pages, added the false comments on the history of the CCP, inventing reasons to explain the need for carrying out the Cultural Revolution. Despite a lot of reforms the CCP was undergoing, the reports did not tell the truth. And the reports ignored the development of production that is a fundamental role in Socialism, not considering the economical poverty of many people and the unstable politics. They demanded that "going through battle, criticism and reform" should be the core of the CCP's work as well as "learning Maoism and making the most of it in activities". Apart from such an armchair policy, there was nothing in the reports mentioning how production should be developed, nor were there any decisions made about the strategy and plan of economic development at all. This was against the demands and wishes of all the people and Party.
The congress adopted the "Chinese Communist Party Rule". This ruling agreed that "the Cultural Revolution" was "a political revolution in which Proletarians resist Bourgeois and the other exploiting classes". This rule described Maoism in the following way: "Maoism is Marxist-Leninism of the time when imperialism is going to be destroyed and Socialism will be victorious in the world". This was clearly a subjective exaggeration of Maoism. This rule regarded the formation and development of Maoism as the achievement of Mao, and negated the role of the Party and the excellent progress achieved like mass instruction. And the rule withdrew Party members' rights, and made a decision that most party members have just duty but no rights. At the same time, a rule that only a few members could have rights was passed. During the congress, the members of the party's central committee were elected. It was composed of "the Cultural Revolution Authorities" which included Mao as the core member, Lin, Jiang, Kang and so on, and "Old government" typified by Zhou. The contrast was clear.
The Ninth Congress was carried out in the enthusiastic atmosphere of the cult of Mao from start to finish. And the political direction and party rule adopted in the congress justified the Cultural Revolution, and strengthened the position of the group of Lin and Jiang. The ambitions of the groups of Lin and Jiang were partly realised, but not completely satisfied. The Cultural Revolution didn't turn toward the end as Mao had expected. The two groups under Lin and Jiang grasped as much power as possible on the civic and local level, and the battle between the groups grew harsher, which made matters worse. And consequently much more people were caught up in the disaster by that.