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As It Happened -

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(generated from captions) We suddenly became pre-war people. had given a last gasp in 1939. The era of individual liberty Peace with atomic disintegration, through an alcoholic haze even considered of August the 12th, in Balakpapan on the night and uncomfortable experience. was obviously going to be a new It's sobering to be reminded of past wars of the valour and the sufferings in the 21st century, because now,

of wars without end, we seem to be facing the prospect and combatants alike waged against innocents intelligent weaponry. with computerised SOMBRE VIOLINS MELANCHOLY CLARINET Charles Bean's grand dream, So this is of the First World War. conceived in the trenches a memorial to Australia's war dead It's a mighty edifice, raised as Byzantine churches of Constantinople. and fashioned after the great domed But this is an expression dead heroes and pays tribute of a nation's homage to its the last of the massive world wars. to what will hopefully be to celebrate in the same way It would not be possible the wars and regional skirmishes the Second World War. that have followed of the last half of the 20th century, These wars of the 21st century and the first years such lofty idealism and hope. can never be remembered with But that's our next story. Captions (c) SBS Australia 2005 Mike, how's the south? OK, people, let's wrap it up. Well done, chief. All sorted here, Russ.

Nothing to whine about here, Russ. Jen, central region? That's very good. the results now. Just sending through That's what I wanna see, people. (Softly) Yeah. Billy, you on target? or is it a YEAH!? Billy, is that a yeah YEAH! YEAH! (Gibbers) It's the boss. He gets emotional.

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Yeah! everyone's good books. and you'll be in With titles like 'The Great War' for just $39.99. STATELY MUSIC Mao receives an unusual visitor - NARRATOR: In the summer of 1961, Britain's Field Marshal Montgomery, who, like himself, a military commander huge wartime casualties. had to deal with that he's made to no one else - To Montgomery he makes an admission China is facing mass starvation. But even to Montgomery, of the tragedy that's unfolding. Mao only hints at the true extent (Newsreel narrator speaks Mandarin) 500 miles south of Beijing, The rural district of Xinyang, was chosen as a national model. from every part of the country In 1958 more than a million officials

visited the area.

extolled the district's achievements, This propaganda film from the time the commune system could bring showing the exemplary benefits

if enforced with proper zeal. (Newsreel narrator speaks Mandarin) were given the lie It's glowing images

by the reality that lay behind. (Newsreel narrator speaks Mandarin) record harvests, Officially, there are grain in abundance. NEWSREEL MUSIC the peasant's every want. Communal kitchens supply In real life there is nothing. (Newsreel narrator speaks Mandarin) No pictures of the famine exist, not even a single photograph. None was ever taken. masked by images of plenty. It remained a deathly secret, NEWSREEL MUSIC Mao knew that if the truth got out Beijing's enemies would gloat his policies had caused. over the suffering In Xinyang, the model district, one in eight of the population, a million people, starved to death. (Newsreel narrator speaks Mandarin) three senior government officials In 1960 of the population figures. made a detailed analysis TRADITIONAL CHINESE MUSIC even the head of state, Liu Shaoqi, Other Chinese leaders, were never given the full picture. how bad things really were Liu seems not to have realised his home village in Hunan till the year later when he visited and talked to the peasants there. food rationing is introduced. Soon afterwards, that better times are coming. People take this as a sign there was nothing even to ration. At the height of the famine

in China until after Mao's death. Rationing will remain enforced (Newsreel narrator speaks Mandarin) At a leadership meeting in 1962 his peasant informant - Liu Shaoqi quotes 70% man-made. the famine was 30% natural disaster, The jibe infuriates Mao, a grudging self-criticism. who delivers His power is intact whether Liu is a fit successor. but he begins to ask himself (Newsreel narrator speaks Mandarin) back on its feet In the campaign to get China of the Great Leap, after the haemorrhage on the indispensable Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi relies heavily who travels the country tirelessly. who'd angered Mao by saying, Deng Xiaoping, a pragmatist if the cat is black or white, "It doesn't matter "so long as it catches the mouse," becomes Liu's closest ally. What neither of them realise is, enough rope to hang himself, is that the Chairman is giving Liu to show that he's a revisionist who'll China on the capitalist road. he's always done at such times - While he waits, Mao does what he withdraws from the fray. more and more isolated I think he became less and less time and, actually, he spent actually at the helm. and the government He didn't run the Party

from day to day anymore. travelling round the country, He spent most of his time staying in various guesthouses, interviewing local people in the countryside and sometimes going out

and so on. and talking with the peasants his colleagues and leadership. But distanced very much from he developed the practice And then a little later to drive the car, so to speak, of letting them alone they did something wrong. and then pouncing when to stick a Gift Card in a pouch Well, it's much easier Save a tree. (Laughs) No wrapping. No wasted paper. Block and bowl water fountain, $199. Lowest prices are just the beginning. With Mao keeping firmly in the background, Liu Shaoqi becomes the official face of China in its dealings with the outside world. He travels extensively, invariably accompanied by his elegant, mission-educated wife, Wang Guangmei. (Woman speaks Mandarin) Men like Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam regard him as Mao's closest comrade and eventual successor. Neither they nor Liu himself has the slightest inkling of the political firestorm that Mao is preparing. Yet, with hindsight, the warning signs are there. (People cheer) In 1965 Mao returns for the first time to Jinggangshan we he fought in the 1920s. To those around him, the Chairman seems nostalgic. They could hardly be more wrong. As Mao gazes out at the mountain vastness where he served his revolutionary apprenticeship, he's contemplating what lies ahead. We didn't understand it at the time but in retrospect, he said, "We have to train a new re... a new generation of revolutionaries "to take over from us. "And the only way they can learn to be revolutionary leaders "is to make revolution." Well, he didn't spell it out but, if you think about it, who were they to revolt against? His own government and party,

they were the only candidates. And that's what he had them do. MARCHING MUSIC It begins as a protest movement by middle-school students who denounce the academic establishment and above all, the Party bureaucracy. In May a young philosophy lecturer puts up a wall poster attacking the university authorities as reactionary. Mao takes up the cudgels on her behalf, and the woman, Nie Yuanzi, is catapulted to national prominence. MARCHING MUSIC

Nie Yuanzi put up her poster here, on a wall at the university that's been set aside ever since the 1950s for student debates. It marked the opening salvo of what would become known as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution - Mao's last doomed attempt to ensure that his ideas of revolution continued in China after his death. Within days the movement caught fire like a trail of gunpowder. FOGHORN HONKS Six weeks later Mao intervenes again, this time physically. (All clap) The 72-year-old Chairman lowers his imposing girth into the Yangtze River... ..and proceeds to wallow and float for almost two hours, drifting with the current. In China, symbols speak more loudly than words. It's a demonstration of vigour and power. After waiting on the sidelines for four years, Mao is back. The exploit prompts a wave of emulation that becomes steadily more fanatical and outlandish. (Newsreel narrator speaks Mandarin) The army, where the personality cult around Mao developed earliest, leads the way. Nothing, it seems, is too extravagant when it comes to showing loyalty to the Chairman. NEWSREEL NARRATION CONTINUES Back in Beijing in the beginning of August, Mao criticises Liu and Deng for failing to address the students' concerns and appoints the defence minister Lin Biao, a retiring, introverted man, as China's new number two. Other familiar faces remain, but the dauphin Liu Shaoqi is noticeably absent. To Mao's delight, the political centre of gravity in China is shifting. It no longer resides in the Central Committee - it's moved out onto the streets.

onto the great square that lies before the Forbidden City. Today, this is one of the most tightly guarded public spaces in the world. The centre of Chinese power has been here for most of the last 600 years. It's here that people come to protest. In 1979 and 1989, the students came here to vent their grievances against the government. In the 1960s, the dissident was Mao and his weapon of choice, the Red Guards. Dawn, August 18, 1966. Mao emerges in person to review his young supporters, a million or more shock troops who've responded to his call to uphold the purity of the Chinese Revolution. The Red Guards, who will soon separate into violent factions, all pledge to give their lives to defend the Chairman's cause. PATRIOTIC SINGING Lin Biao's instruction to smash all old things is relayed at Red Guard meetings throughout China. PATRIOTIC SINGING CONTINUES Shop signs, which the Red Guards consider bourgeois, like that of this Peking duck restaurant, are pulled down and destroyed. Street names are changed - the old ones hammered flat as though the decadence could be beaten out of them. The road running past the Russian Embassy is renamed Anti-Revisionist Street. And what is done to things is also done to people. This unique black-and-white footage has lain hidden for almost 40 years, most of it never seen before, except by the Chinese police and a handful of top leaders. It provides an authentic picture of the ideological witch-hunt that the Cultural Revolution was becoming, directed against former landlords, capitalists and anyone else with the wrong class background. Zhou Enlai's implicit distinction between smashing bourgeois ideas and smashing bourgeois individuals is quickly forgotten. Over the next few weeks, tens of thousands of people in Beijing are harangued and severely beaten. Many hundreds die. SIDNEY RITTENBERG: This was the spirit that was encouraged the first year of the Cultural Revolution. The army was told, "Hands off." The police were told, "Hands off." And Mao said "Let the young champions "make their own mistakes, "learn from their own mistakes, "and correct themselves. "We can't stand behind them and point and criticise." So it was a great free-for-all. PATRIOTIC SINGING As the celebration reaches its climax, Mao and Lin Biao are presented with Red Guard armbands. Zhou Enlai - always quick to accommodate the Chairman's moods -

looks in his element. Mao's veteran generals do not. China is undergoing a slow descent into hell. The highest ranking victims are brought out for public humiliation

before mass struggle meetings in a football stadium. They wear placards around their necks with their names crossed out,

like common criminals awaiting execution. Wu Han was a playwright - one of whose works angered Mao. The Chairman used it as a pretext to overthrow Wu's patron - the mayor of Beijing, Peng Zhen.

The infernal machine Mao set in motion will eventually claim other victims still higher in the chain of command. But, for now, the Chairman leaves Peng and his colleagues to twist in the wind. (Man speaks indistinctly) One man who was treated particularly harshly was Deng Xiaoping's son, Deng Pufang. Today, he's president of

the Chinese national association for the handicapped. In 1966 he was a student at Beijing University in the final year of a physics degree. The Cultural Revolution was, above all, an attempt to change people's minds, to wash them clean of old thinking and the behaviour that went with it. Former landlords and capitalists with the words "bourgeois element" inked on their shirts were re-educated by militant youths. One of the quotations from Mao that was most popular on the part of the rebels, was that "Without destruction, there's no construction." First destroy, and on the basis of the destruction will arise something new. So it was destroy and then see, and then it has to become a better world. And of course it didn't. It became a much worse world. The physical destruction wrought by the Red Guards was unparalleled even in China's long history. Monasteries all over the country, as far away as distant Tibet, were ransacked and razed to the ground. The most important sites like the Forbidden City, were protected on the orders of Zhou Enlai, but elsewhere, Mao's storm troops had free rein. Thousands of rare books - some of them unique editions - were consigned to the flames.

If you happen to find a cheaper price on a stocked item, Lowest prices are just the beginning. However radical they may be, all revolutions build in the image of what they destroy. As the old Confucian orthodoxy was damned, new Maoist rituals took its place. Telephone operators in the Cultural Revolution, instead of saying "Hello", greeted callers with the words "Long live Chairman Mao".

And in the countryside, pigs had the character 'loyal' branded on their flanks to show that even brute beasts appreciated the Chairman's genius. In private and in public,

loyalty dances were performed to show devotion to Mao's cause. PATRIOTIC MUSIC (People chant indistinctly) These National Day celebrations in October 1966 are the first since the Cultural Revolution began. The head of state, Liu Shaoqi, is relegated to the third car in the parade. PATRIOTIC MUSIC (People chant indistinctly) This is the time the 'Little Red Book' becomes the indispensable fashion accessory

for every right-thinking Chinese, for the Red Guards and for their leaders, with the sole exception of the Chairman himself. Complied by Lin Biao from Mao's writings as a set of moral maxims for the army, it quickly became a breviary of revolutionary virtue for the country at large. (Newsreel narrator speaks Mandarin) (People chant indistinctly) (People chant passionately) For the fortunate few, the 'nec plus ultra' is a little red book signed by Mao himself. (Newsreel narrator speaks Mandarin) For everyone else, it's a talisman, an emblem of ideological zeal. PATRIOTIC MUSIC PLAYS All ideas contrary to Mao's thinking and the objects that represent them have to be destroyed. Not just Confucianism and Buddhism, but even more so, foreign faiths like Christianity. Throughout the country, churches are closed, clergy unfrocked, religious symbols smashed. The statue of the Virgin Mary is replaced by a portrait of Mao. One form of worship succeeds another. This is not simply the cult of a leader. It's a full-blown religion. A religion in its most naive and primitive stage of development, complete with miracle plays and feudal superstitions. JOYOUS MUSIC PLAYS

(Man speaks inaudibly) Each day, all Chinese - even the blind and deaf mutes - must seek guidance from Mao's works. The ceremony is called 'Seeking instruction in the morning 'and reporting in the evening'. (People sing patriotic song) From the humblest railway employee to the highest in the land, every Chinese has to show at each moment that they're imbued with love for Mao. The cult - bizarre though it may have been with its succession of Maoist icons - did release energies that had been bottled up for years. It had become very bureaucratic, very stale and stagnant. And Mao felt that himself. And he used to say the worst thing in the world is to have a stagnant pond. If there hadn't have been things that needed tackling, you couldn't imagine having that avalanche of popular energy and passion that suddenly burst out... Unexpected, even by Mao. Unanticipated. And he kept saying over and over, "Who would've thought it? Who would've thought it?!" For Mao, the National Day rally was a consecration. For Liu Shaoqi, it was his last official appearance before his disgrace. (People bustle, talk indistinctly) CROWD CHEERS ROUSING MUSIC PLAYS (Newsreel narrator speaks Mandarin) GENERAL COMMOTION CROWD CHANTS EXCITEDLY SIDNEY RITTENBERG: It was the first massive exercise in democracy that the Chinese people had ever had, in the sense that they were free to write up whatever they liked, post it on the wall. They were free to form political organisations with like-minded people. ROUSING MUSIC PLAYS (Newsreel narrator speaks Mandarin) From the beginning of 1967, new organs of power in China's cities and provinces replaced the former Party administrations now denounced as nests of revisionism. These 'revolutionary committees' as they're called are made up of soldiers, workers and Party veterans whose Maoist credentials are beyond reproach. The formation of the Beijing Committee in April, hailed as one of the Cultural Revolution's most important 'newborn things', is marked by grandiose celebrations. PATRIOTIC SINGING More than 100,000 people gather for a rally in the city's biggest stadium. (Newsreel narrator speaks Mandarin) (All read in unison) To mark the occasion, Zhou Enlai himself presides, accompanied by Mao's wife Jiang Qing and the fourth-ranking leader Chen Boda. Did Zhou really believe that his former colleagues were traitors? Probably not. But he was ready to do almost anything to retain Mao's trust, if it would allow him to prevent the Chinese state from collapsing. Some in China have criticised Zhou for compromising too much. Others say if he hadn't, it would all have been far worse. But keeping China afloat in such extraordinary times taxed even Zhou's powers. Zhou Enlai and Jiang Qing were close throughout this period. Mao had appointed his wife deputy head of the Cultural Revolution Group - an ultra radical kitchen cabinet which effectively ran China for the three years the great upheaval lasted. She relished her new power and notoriety and Mao knew that he could rely on her totally because he was her only support. Throughout 1967 the massive purge that Mao had set in motion focussed on the topmost echelons of the Party leadership.

The outspoken old marshal Peng Dehuai - at Mao's side since 1928 until he dared to criticise the Chairman's Great Leap Forward - was dragged out and struggled against. (Speaks inaudibly) To his Red Guard accusers Peng is a Three-anti's element - wasteful, corrupt and bureaucratic - and disloyal to Chairman Mao. Zhang Wentian, Mao's predecessor as Party leader in the 1930's, is damned alongside him. Both men have devoted their lives to the Chinese Revolution. Now they have no rights. From the suburbs, the two men are taken along Beijing's main thoroughfare - the Avenue of Eternal Peace - to be shown to the populace. Then in an ultimate humiliation they're brought to Tiananmen Square, where in the days of their glory they occupied places of honour. That summer, as Mao is travelling in the provinces, Red Guards converge on the walled park of Zhongnanhai where Liu Shaoqi has his official residence. For weeks they keep up a loudspeaker barrage until finally Liu is forced to come out and confront his accusers. But offering a reasoned defence against the Red Guard's charges is not what this is about.

(Speaks inaudibly) Liu's wife was tricked into going to Qinhua by a fake phone call, claiming that one of her daughters had been injured in an accident. Jiang Qing played a key role in building the case against Liu Shaoqi. So did Mao's security chief Kang Sheng. His secret police assembled the evidence not only against Liu, but against all the senior leaders Mao purged. (Newsreel narrator speaks Mandarin) In November 1968 the Communist Party Central Committee meets in Beijing to prepare for the day when Mao will decide

that the mayhem has gone on long enough.

Lin Biao makes the keynote speech. Jiang Qing and the other leftists are unofficially marked down for future politburo posts. By a show of hands, Liu Shaoqi, now under house arrest, is expelled from the Party forever. To take his place, Mao names Lin, not only as his deputy but also his successor. The Red Guards, having served Mao's purposes, are packed off to work in the countryside, pledging loyalty as they go.


Despite the brave words, for most it's a rude awakening. By the standards of the time they've led privileged lives in the comfort of the cities. Now they find themselves transported to remote parts of inner Mongolia or other impoverished areas, where the living conditions are beyond anything they ever imagined. Six months later Mao was at last able to convene a Party congress - the first for 11 years -

to declare that the Cultural Revolution

had been brought to a successful close. PATRIOTIC MUSIC PLAYS In the new Party constitution Mao named Lin Biao his closest comrade in arms - an accolade the Chairman had never before accorded to any of his colleagues. (All chant)

As Mao declared the proceedings open he felt he'd finally put in place a stable political succession.

The new Central Committee he approved struck a balance between Lin Biao's supporters and radicals linked to his wife Jiang Qing. The army,

which had emerged from the Cultural Revolution as the country's leading political force, was rewarded with key positions. Even Lin Biao was caught up in the mood, savouring his triumph. Mao's closing address - his last known speech in public - reflected his satisfaction on the way events had turned out. APPLAUSE In 1969 Mao was at the summit of his power, revered by radicals abroad. At home he was adulated and all those who dared doubt him had been cast into outer darkness. Yet his victory was hollow and deep down perhaps he knew it. He had indeed smashed the old world, but what did he have to put in its place? (All chant) MARCHING MUSIC PLAYS (All chant) By 1969, however, the Cultural Revolution is no longer what it had been. The spontaneity is gone, the ritual choreographed with such split-second precision that it holds no more surprises. Even Mao seems bored. The leftist values he advocates are now imprinted on the daily lives of almost a billion people. The only culture is Jiang Qing's model operas - writers and artists are silenced or reduced to producing propaganda to glorify the regime. PATRIOTIC MUSIC PLAYS China has become so stultified, so shackled by Maoist orthodoxy, that it's inevitable that one day the pendulum will swing back. PATRIOTIC SINGING With hindsight, that was indeed the legacy of the Cultural Revolution, though it wouldn't become fully apparent until after Mao had died. In the meantime,