Levers of Power: Careers 1949–66
The Red Guards’ assessment of the tremendous power wielded by three of the most prominent of the sixty-one prison cadres was not inaccurate. However their conclusions about how, and for what purposes, this power was exercised are far more questionable. Bo Yibo, An Ziwen, Yang Xianzhen and Liu Lantao, plus a significant number of their 1930s Caolanzi colleagues, occupied the highest echelons of some of the major functional systems of the party and government apparatus, covering the spheres of economics, organization and personnel, theory and propaganda.2 The 1956 Eighth Central Committee saw Bo’s rise to alternate membership status on the Politburo and Liu Lantao’s to alternate membership of the party’s Secretariat. An Ziwen and Yang Xianzhen were Central Committee members (Yang was first appointed alternate member, then promoted to full member in 1958).
KeywordsChinese Communist Party Cultural Revolution Central Committee Party Member Great Leap
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