Launching the Cultural Revolution
DOI link for Launching the Cultural Revolution
Launching the Cultural Revolution book
The most dramatic episodes of military involvement in politics began in late 1965, when Mao Zedong sought help from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to attack the first-line party leadership and thus started the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Many leaders were sympathetic with Marshal Peng, knowing that he was only telling the truth. However, Mao's yielding of the state chairmanship to Liu Shaoqi in late 1958 helped him to maintain support from the civilian wing of the party. The PLA's participation at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution marked an escalation in the civil-military rivalry in the regime. In the Mao-Liu contest of the post-Lushan period, Lin and his followers saw an opportunity to expand their political power at the expense of civilian leaders. The large-scale political engagement of the PLA in 1966 was thus the outcome of a gradual process of military politicization and increasing civil-military diversification in political orientation, especially since late 1960.