January 19, 1966, Peng Zhen defends Luo Ruiqing and the People’s Daily publishes essays evaluating Wu Han.

On the morning of January 19, Mayor Peng Zhen attended a meeting of the central party’s public security bureau, and said “while Luo Ruiqing served as minister of the bureau, he was still implementing the policies of the center and of the chairman, and that this was the real source of individual problems. This can serve as the basic estimation. Your public security bureau documents not only were handled by me, many were altered by the chairman’s own pen,  and many were seen by the chairman.

Also on January 19, the People’s Daily published two essays criticizing Wu Han, as well as five letters. Of these 7 documents, 4 criticized Wu Han, and 3 supported him. Those 3 which supported him were titled, “Doesn’t ‘Hai Rui Dismissed from Office’ have significant merit,” “Hai Rui Dismissed from Office has a revolutionary character,” and “‘Hai Rui Dismissed from Office’ is not a poisonous weed.” However, the essay that attracted the most attention was “The turning upside-down of history within ‘Hai Rui Dismissed from Office’”

Source: 出处:《彭真传》编写组,《彭真传》第3卷,中央文献出版社,2012年. Cited in http://50nianqian.blogspot.ca/2016/01/1966119.html

At Play at the time:

General Luo Ruiqing was part of Peng Zhen’s political circle. His criticism the previous month by Mao was attributed by some as a necessary move to prevent a rush into overt intervention in Vietnam by conservative generals, provoking a war response similar to the Korean War which would have stalled internal debate over the future of Chinese socialism. Peng’s attempt to intervene on his behalf at the time reflects the teetering of the Beijing power elite following increased pressure to expand the criticism of vice-mayor Wu Han. 

Deng Xiaping and Peng Zhen share a happy moment

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