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Chapter XXIII: Spiraling Out of Control
The Gang of Four took power on a platform promising to continue the revolution Mao had started. Hongwen had managed to gain the support of the military and thus outmaneuvered Jiang Qing to become President of China. Qing was still put in charge of economic policy to appease her and her supporters, but that arrangement couldn't last forever.

The first order of business was consolidating Hongwen’s power. Some members of the military still feared that Hongwen and Qing would put them in chains just as they had done to the moderates who opposed them. Hongwen’s strategy to rid the military of these dissidents was to turn around and start a war with Vietnam in 1979. In addition to helping him unite the country behind him. Furthermore, the ploy would secure China’s position against the ever encroaching American, Indian, and Russian spheres of influence. The invasion of Vietnam would to the surprise of no one start under flimsy circumstances. Two miles north of the Vietnamese border a military cargo plane was shot down. The crew “miraculously” survived but the Chinese government blamed the Vietnamese army for the attack. Vietnam at the UN to the shock of no one condemned Hongwen and Qing as liars attempting to start a war.


Chinese soldiers crossing the border (1979).

Hongwen and Qing decided to prove Vietnam right. Chinese soldiers on October 14th, 1979, fired upon Vietnamese soldiers who were guarding the border against a possible Chinese incursion. The PLA started the skirmish undeniably but unlike the rest of the world the Chinese people heard a different story. From the state propaganda machine, the Chinese people were indoctrinated with a constant stream of propaganda that claimed that the Vietnamese government was orchestrating a genocide against the poor peasants of Cambodia and had butchered Chinese soldiers on the border. The next day on the 15th of October Chinese missiles ripped through the dark sky and within an hour Hanoi war burning. The sight was horrifying to American and Soviet observers. But to those who lived through the Vietnam War this was nothing new and just like before they were going to fight like hell. But despite the wishes of the world the fire of determination that burned inside of the citizens and soldiers of Vietnam could not defeat the invasion. Despite heavy fighting in the jungles of Vietnam the sheer size of the PLA was unmatched for the Vietnamese Army. Within a month Hanoi would fall to the PLA and the scene would cement the terror that was about to come.

The PLA quickly moved down South towards the new capital of Saigon where President Tôn Đức Thắng had retreated too. But his time on Earth would not be for much longer as on March 10th, 1980, he would pass away from cardiac arrest while hiding in a bomb shelter. His successor Trường Chinh wouldn’t last long as President. In fact, while the PLA was temporarily bogged down due to the guerrilla warfare the Khmer Rouge that had been overthrown in 1978 was making moves in Cambodia. On March 24th, 1979, Pol Pot, with Chinese support ordered a new offensive to regain control of Cambodia.

But first was Hongwen’s Purge of April 1st. The purge was aimed at dissidents in the military who attempted to resist the Gang of Four’s power internally by supporting the moderates led by Hu Yaobang. The Gang of Four used the temporary stalling of the PLA advance as a pretext to either imprison them or execute them. On April 1st, 1980, Hongwen gave a televised address to China that declared the dissident officers were collaborators with the Vietnam government and blamed them for the deaths of PLA soldiers in Vietnam. Soon after loyal soldiers arrested and executed 30,000 soldiers and officers in a purge that like Stalin’s four decades before faced little resistance due to its popular support amongst the People’s Militias and radical officers in the military.


Soldiers arresting an alleged collaborator (1979).

In Cambodia most Vietnamese soldiers had been taken out of the country to defend against the PLA leaving the view remaining ones easy targets for the Khmer Rouge. Combined with Chinese air support the Vietnamese Army was routed. The Khmer Rouge’s rapid advance shocked Western and Eastern observers who were shocked by the fact that one of the most insane dictatorships was about to be back in power. At this point the USSR and the US gave military aid to Vietnam in order to stop the advance of the PLA. Just five months after the UN (backed by the US and her allies) recognized the Khmer Rouge as the legitimate government of Cambodia they turned around and recognized the Vietnam backed government as the legitimate government of Cambodia. Not that it mattered as Ustinov and Jackson could only watch in horror as the madhouse known as China expanded its empire through her red imperialism.

By the end of June Saigon had fallen to the PLA and Trường Chinh officially surrendered to the Chinese government. Shortly thereafter he was found dead in his prison cell from what the Chinese government called a suicide via hanging but most international observers agreed that he was killed by the PLA. Soon after his death the Vietnam government was put under the Maoist-Wangist “Revolutionary People’s Council” which was ran by hardline radicals who were Chinese puppets. Despite suffering a stunning amount of deaths the war whipped up a nationalist frenzy in China. The 100,000 dead Chinese soldiers were heralded as soldiers who struck a blow against Russian imperialism and saved a fellow Marxist regime from revisionist tyranny. With this, Hongwen made further moves to implement his new ideology. With the war ending in a Chinese victory he began to build his personality cult.


Wang listing the enemies of the Chinese government (1985).

In his address to over a million people in Beijing he outlined his ideology that would have consequences he wasn’t expecting or prepared for. His ideology could best be described as “Communist Nationalism.” During his speech he decried those opposed to Chinese culture, particularly Buddhism, Tibetans, and Muslims in the Xinjiang region, moderates who wished to “crush the Maoist revolution,” imperialists, and the international bourgeoise that he alleged was out to destroy China. Furthermore, he outlined the state as the main force of society. In his Communist Nationalism the state government was society’s savior and therefore had to be obeyed unconditionally. To Hongwen the individual had no place in China and the only concern was the future, not the present. The example Hongwen and the propaganda apparatus always used was ‘if you build a factory in the woods there’s short term environmental destruction but the peasants have jobs, they have food in their bellies, and China is made stronger.’

Furthermore, Hongwen infused Maoism with a moderate form of North Korean Juche, in which he built himself up as an angelic figure who unlike Deng and Guofeng sought to free China and fellow revolutionary republics from capitalists and revisionist leaders. Hongwen announced that China would only trade with who he claimed to be anti-imperialist powers. These included Iraq, Albania, North Korea, Yugoslavia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the IRS. Of course, Yugoslavia and the IRS knew that trading with China would be the best way to destroy their international relations. Both nations refused and promptly went to other non-insane nations to trade with. Hussein would later pull out his support for China soon after the Treaty of Vienna was signed and instead aligned with Israel, South Africa, the Kingdom of Egypt, and India who offered much more diplomatically and military. The announcement only crippled the fragile Chinese economy as foreign investments, already very few and mainly from non-aligned countries who saw industrial potential in China decided to pull out. Furthermore, foreign aid grinded to a halt as the government decided to inspect and eventually reject large quantities of foreign aid due to the possibility of “capitalist subversion.”

With Hongwen’s vision of communism set in stone next was his grand economic plan. His first great project was to begin the construction of several megaprojects. The most notable was the Qinling Bunker Complex in the province of Shaanxi. Over 30,000 Chinese workers built the massive complex, that was in the mountains of Qinling. The goal of the Qinling Bunker Complex was to provide a base of operations in case of a war with either the US or USSR who the military agreed were the only powers that could successfully capture Beijing. The complex was supposed to survive bunker buster bombs and served as the main base of operations for the military. Over the next three years workers dug and blowed through thousands of tons of rock and soil to dig out the labyrinth of tunnels that were at minimum forty feet underground. In some cases, some reached even four hundred-forty feet underground. The workers worked all day and all night to complete it in the demanded three years as poorly trained workers were only afforded five hours of sleep, three hours of free time, and only one day off. Needless to say, but the construction was accident prone as falls, accidents with heavy machines, cave ins, accidental explosions, and falls were very common. So much that an estimated seven hundred people would die during the construction. But when it was all said and done the Qinling Bunker Complex was frankly stunning. Not just in what it stood for propaganda wise or even construction wise. But for what it stood for internationally.


The now abandoned Qinling Bunker Complex (2011)

To nearly every nation it stood as a symbol of Chinese insanity. The complex did a comprehensive job of destroying any village within a thirty-mile radius, with thousands of villagers being forced to leave at gun point to prevent any spies from gaining intel on the complex. Of course, this didn’t prevent spies as the US and USSR still managed to find soldiers who were willing to talk. And the information was too good not to share with the news. For all of 1983 the US and USSR media mocked the complex as a testament to the failures and irrationality of Maoism. The specific story in question was the numerous electrical failures the plagued the complex. Thanks to the government poorly training the workers in charge of the electrical grid. In the end it would cost another $100 million to properly electrify the complex over the next decade. Furthermore, Wang Dongxing while giving a tour to the press would become one of the many victims of the faulty construction when while showing the media crew an elevator it’s wire suddenly came loose and fell two hundred feet where Dongxing’s remains were found. The newsreel became one of the most famous pieces of lost media not in just China but the world. Indian media oligarch Gulshan Kumar who bought up hundreds of old newsreels and archives from the Gang of Four era found the video and while soon enough it found its way onto and instantly went viral in not only China and India but anywhere with an internet connection.

It was from the Qinling Bunker Complex that one of the most important yet forgotten crisis took place. In India the Maoist Naxalites had been engaging in a rebellion against the Indian government since 1967 in the Red Corridor of India, a hotbed of communist rebellion. Under the Gang of Four the situation only worsened as Hongwen increased funding for the Naxalites by 70%. Hundreds of millions of dollars in guns and explosives flowed from the Himalayas to the Red Corridor as the civilian death toll mounted. Indira Gandhi, who after the instability of the unity government that was united not on policy, but their hatred of Gandi authoritarianism was elected in 1980 on a platform of returning order to India and standing up to the Gang of Four.


The Naxalite Insurgency would remain a headache for India until the early 2010s.

As thousands were killed in what was India’s equivalent of the Years of Led tensions grew as Gandi ordered 70,000 soldiers to guard the Himalaya Mountains to prevent the smuggling of weapons from China. In retaliation the Chinese government accused the Indian government of funding pro-Tibetan rebels in Tibet, a charge not exactly untrue in the future but for now it was untrue. As the Indian Army began their offensive into Naxalite territory the more weapons, they found that were responsible for the deaths of so many valiant young soldiers. Tensions increased dramatically when a group of Naxalite smugglers were caught by Indian soldiers and immediately killed. The problem was that they were in Chinese territory when they were fired upon. Soon after Hongwen ordered 200,000 soldiers to the Chinese-Indian border in a show of force. Gandhi in response promised if a single Indian unit was attacked that the Chinese government would pay in equal blood, a statement that exacerbated the situation. Of course, that was nothing compared to what happened next. On November 14th, 1984 Indira Gandhi was leaving the Lok Sabha when three Naxalite terrorists fired upon her with AK-47s. Her security detail retaliate but by the time they were killed Gandhi had suffered three gunshot wounds to the abdomen. She would survive but her near assassination would nearly spark the deadliest war in Asian history.

The INC, Janata, and BJS parties were all calling for blood and in the streets of Delhi, Calcutta, and Bombay Indian civilians burned flags and effigies of the Gang of Four. In China Hongwen had gone to sleep thirty minutes earlier but Jiang Qing had not. With her being the de facto leader of China, it was a miracle from God himself that war did not break out. Qing decided that the best course of action was to show zero sympathy and tell the Indian ambassador that Gandhi was getting what she deserved.

At this point acting Prime Minister Sanjay Gandhi, who much like Qing was completely, inept, sadistic, evil, and incapable of leading a country properly decided to demand China end their support for the Naxalites or face “the wrath of a thousand Gods.” A comment that spooked Qing into mobilizing the air force in case of a nuclear strike, which she claimed that Hongwen had ordered her to do. At this point both the Indian and Chinese militaries began to fear a possible war. In India the military attempted to convince Gandhi not to escalate the situation and prayed that he’d listen. In China the rational elements of the PLA began to plot a coup if Qing decided to order an attack on India. At 3:00 AM their worst fears nearly came true when a small skirmish occurred on the border of the Arunachal Pradesh province. Both sides claim the other side shot first but no matter who shot first thirty Chinese soldiers and twenty-two Indian soldiers were killed. Qing had her excuse. Qing now began to prepare the PLA for war and the military panicked. Chen Xilian was not excited about a possible war with India.

Before the coup was enacted Xilian decided to try one last time to convince Hongwen to pull out of a war with India. When Hongwen picked up he was unaware of the events that had unfolded.

Xilian, after recovering from the shock and horror of Hongwen not even being in charge of the nation at the time told Hongwen Qing was about to start a war with India, which Hongwen immediately became angry about. Sure, he didn’t like Gandhi or her son but he knew that unlike Vietnam bullying India was the definition of a bad idea. Hongwen ordered the military to stop mobilizing and called for peace with India. The air force was grounded and the standoff fizzled out when Hongwen pulled the PLA from the Indian border, instead positioning them fifty miles away. Sanjay Gandhi was soon replaced by his mother who commanded the nation from her hospital bed.

In the aftermath of the Himalaya Crisis Hongwen had two groups that he needed to keep in line. Qing’s faction and the Naxalites. The latter was easy, all he had to do was threaten to cut off their funding if they kept targeting high level government officials, which the Naxalites agreed not to with the exception of one man. Qing was harder though. She had been extraordinarily lucky that Xilian hadn’t launched a coup and started a civil war and that war with India was averted. At this point Hongwen knew that Qing had to go. He had already been angry about her slow and bloody progress on the Great Mao Dam on the Brahmaputra River and her refusal to play ball with the military. Those could be remedied but with Qing purposely keeping Hongwen in the dark, going as far as to tell the military that Hongwen was giving her direct orders from Manchuria.

Qing had outlived her usefulness and Xilian and Hongwen planned to get her out of his way. On December 5th, 1984, Hongwen ordered a purge of Qing and her supporters from the military and state apparatus. Using the propaganda machine Qing’s disobedience was revealed to the public and she was instantly decried as a traitor to the Chinese government and an enemy of the PLA. By the time the broadcast was aired Qing had already been killed. A PLA death squad was sent to her home in Beijing and almost immediately her security detail fired at the intruders. In retaliation the entire house was massacred, and her death was framed as a suicide. The Red Guards and the PLA cleaned the Politburo of the Qingists who refused to swear loyalty to the Hongwen regime. At first there was talks of resistance to the purge amongst Qing’s allies but when Hongwen promised amnesty for anyone who denounced Qing and turned to his side the Qingist resistance collapsed. Qing’s allies that did resist were easily captured and sent to forced labor camps.

With Hongwen’s greatest threat removed he had finally consolidated his power. Qing was replaced with Mao Yuanxin, the nephew of Mao Zedong. Yuanxin was loyal to Hongwen out of convenience as he wanted to continue the legacy of his uncle and knew that being loyal to Hongwen was the best path to power.

Shortly after the purge Hongwen decided to initiate his “Glorious Revolution” which would see the unpatriotic, the reactionaries, the “blind" (those who followed Islam or the Dalai Lama), and those opposed the glory of China destroyed once and for all. The kickoff of the Glorious Revolution was ordered by Hongwen on January 20tht, 1985. Coinciding with Cianci’s second inauguration Yuanxin ordered the Naxalites to take out one of the leading critics of China. The Dalai Lama. The day before Hongwen decried the Dalai Lama as a reactionary slave trader whose only goal was to destroy the revolution that had made China “great.”

While on a walk in McLeod Ganj, where the Dalai Lama was residing in two men asked him for help as one of their wagon wheels broke. The Dalai Lama accepted without hesitation and as he picked up vegetables that had fallen from the wagon two men came from an ally way and fired at the Dalai Lama and his bodyguards. The two men that asked for help ran for cover behind the wagon and pulled out their own guns, shooting at the Dalai Lama until they ran out of bullets. A minute later they fled into the mountains as seven men laid dead in the street including the 14th Dalai Lama. The Glorious Revolution had the spark that it needed to begin, and the world could only watch.
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Thoughts? Any predictions?

Also, Cambodia will be covered in its own chapter, which I planned to cover them here, but I figured the chapter would be way too long if I did.
Wow, this isn't looking good. Hope some semblance of sanity is restored to China. Total China screws are kind of common and are often built on some... ah... rather orientalist tropes.

Also the Khmer Rouge getting back in power. Fucking yikes.
Well with gang of four and the lesser Mao continue their march to crush so called reactionaries, PRC is going to be the much worse place to lived than OTL, Total collapse isn't out of realm if they are stupid enough to start a war with stronger foreign nations.
Well with gang of four and the lesser Mao continue their march to crush so called reactionaries, PRC is going to be the much worse place to lived than OTL, Total collapse isn't out of realm if they are stupid enough to start a war with stronger foreign nations.
Total collapse is not happening as Hongwen is smart enough to not start a war with India, America, or the USSR. There’ll be a lot of social unrest in the Xinjiang and Tibet along with the military who are sick of having to share power with the Red Guards. Needless to say but the Gang of Four fucks up badly and the military and people are running out of patience.
Furthermore, Wang Dongxing while giving a tour to the press would become one of the many victims of the faulty construction when while showing the media crew an elevator it’s wire suddenly came loose and fell two hundred feet where Dongxing’s remains were found. The newsreel became one of the most famous pieces of lost media not in just China but the world
So is this a very public accident or a "accident"?
I apologize for the lack of a new chapter. I'm aiming for finishing it this weekend due to the ridiculous amount of tests I have (a total of six, including an AP exam). Again, sorry but unfortunately I don't have a lot of time.
There’ll be a new chapter today or tomorrow. Today I have my AP exam for US History so I won’t have time to write until after school and then work. So, expect tomorrow where I don’t have a lot to do.
Mao's Legacy Part I: An Inglorious Revolution
In the immediate aftermath of the Dalai Lama’s assassination the world was enraged. The murder of such a respected religious figure disgusted even the USSR. In India anti-Chinese riots claimed thousands of lives before the military put an end to them a week later. In Tibet though was the greatest reaction. For the past four decades they had been oppressed by the Chinese government and now they killed their leader. Despite knowing the dire consequences of merely protesting the Tibetan people decided now was the time. On January 23rd, 1985, thousands of Tibetans took to the streets to protest the murder of the Dalai Lama. Immediately the Chinese military police responded with tear gas and bullets, murdering over a hundred people in the first day. At that point the Tibetan people had enough and snapped. Peaceful protests were only going to bring brutality so why bother? Instead, they decided to do what Poland did. Rebel.

Chinese soldiers and the Red Guards expected light resistance, but they didn’t expect armed resistance. The first sign of trouble was when a car bomb exploded outside the police headquarters in Lhasa, killing twenty-six people. The next day riots rocked every major city in Tibet as the police and Red Guards were overwhelmed. Government buildings were stormed or burned down as the police faced a storm of bullets and fires that Hongwen was expecting. Soon after the rioting started Hongwen moved to declare martial law in Tibet. He accompanied this by giving a speech that would become infamous around the world. The Glorious Revolution Speech.

“Today I have ordered the PLA and Red Guards to pacify the reactionary rebellion in Tibet. The forces of reaction in Tibet, who instead of peacefully assembling to list out their disagreements have instead decided to kill the brave patriots who aimed to maintain peace. Make no mistake that the people of Tibet are human shields for those who choose to follow the spell of the Dollar Lama. In order to liberate the people of Tibet from the forces of reaction and capitalism we must implement a final glorious revolution that will centralize the patriot's power and bring hellfire on the traitors. The next view weeks will see the beginning of the most glorious revolution in world history, one that’ll see China destroy reactionaries once and for all and set in motion the worldwide revolution that’ll destroy the tyranny of reaction!”

In Tibet the riots continued as the police and Red Guards retreated to the outskirts of Lhasa. On January 28th 2,000 paratroopers landed in Lhasa’s international airport, securing it. Over the next five days 20,000 soldiers arrived in Lhasa in preparation for the military operation. On February 4th, 1985, the attack begun. Soldiers stormed Lhasa and rioters were either shot or beaten by the Red Guards and the PLA. Overall, the crackdown took only a day before the gunfire stopped. But in the aftermath of the crackdown was when the atrocities started. Red Guards took Hongwen’s speech to heart and as the monks cowered in fear the Red Guards marched through the streets of Lhasa and other major cities with guns and torches. Buildings that were capsules of Tibetan culture were burned to the ground for being symbols of “reaction.”


Riots gripped Lhasa for nearly a week, killing over a hundred people.

The most notable example was the Potala Palace which was ransacked by the Red Guards and hundreds of thousands of priceless artifacts were destroyed or stolen. Afterwards the Red Guards lit fire to the Potala Palace as the military stood by. Despite protests from monks and Tibetans there was nothing they could do. Further destruction was initiated by the Red Guards, this time at the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. This time monks and Tibetans tried to defend the Temple from the Red Guards. Over two thousand people stood in front of the Temple, and they were politely asked to move. They calmly refused and a minute later the Red Guards fired upon them. Over five hundred were killed and 90% of the survivors were injured. Once they cut down the crowd they looted and burned the Temple.

In the rest of the country the terror spread. Cardinal Ignatius Kung, who had been secretly appointed cardinal in secret by Nicholas VI in 1979. During his stay in a Shanghai prison, he was suddenly attacked by three guards. Inspired by the events in Tibet they shot him on sight nineteen times. Cardinal Kung was pronounced dead an hour later by the government, listing his death as a suicide, which was immediately rejected by the international world. But his death was painted as a good thing by the Red Guards who openly called for the destruction of religion.

Soon after the assassination of Cardinal Kung the Red Guards became more brazen. Their next target was the “moderate” factions who the Red Guards always decried but until now didn’t have a face since 1979 when moderates in the military were purged. But now with the death of Cardinal Kung and the fact that they received no punishment for such a high-profile murder meant that they didn’t have anything to fear. So, the Red Guards de facto leader, Teng Haiqing came up with a new phase in the Glorious Revolution.

Haiqing was sent to Xinjiang by Hongwen in order to get him out of the CCP’s hair. Xinjiang was considered generally an unimportant providence that served as a way to get rid of the most radical Red Guards without totally removing them, therefore appeasing the Red Guards and the PLA. Haiqing would change that and cause one of the world’s worse quagmires, only second to the Second Intifada that engulfed Israel and Palestine in 2010.


Chinese soldiers preparing to crush the First Xinjiang Rebellion (1985).

For some background Haiqing was responsible for the Inner Mongolia Incident in which he murdered thousands of people in cold blood. After the Gang of Four took power, he was dumped into Xinjiang and was placed in charge of a Red Guard militia. Soon after he arrived in Xinjiang in 1978, he started to work his way up to Premier of Xinjiang by centralizing his control over the provincial government by bribing government officials and slowly putting allies in charge of Red Guard militias. Come 1982 Hongwen appointed him as Premier of Xinjiang. Upon taking power immediately he was one of the most radical leaders of the Red Guards in all of China, openly expressing his disgust with the Muslim population and the PLA command, openly advocating for the Uyghur Muslims to “abandon their anti-revolutionary ways” and for the PLA command to be stacked with radical Red Guard leaders such as himself.

When Haiqing saw what was happening in Tibet he immediately saw a chance to prove the superiority of revolutionary Maoist-Wangism over Islam. He firmly believed that the Uyghur people, who naturally opposed the viscous hatred of religion that spewed out of the fountain of Red Guard propaganda needed to be taught a lesson and forcibly turned into revolutionaries who’d destroy the old “reactionary” ways. Haiqing first centralized his power within the Red Guards by becoming one of the loudest bootlickers for Hongwen, constantly demanding 100% loyalty in which he constantly reminded his fellow glorified criminals that loyalty to him was loyalty to Hongwen and the Revolution. Due to these eight years of centralizing his power within the Red Guard and provincial government he had built a sizable portion of loyal servants who would follow him off a cliff. On March 3rd, 1985, the Glorious Revolution invaded Xinjiang.


Anti-China protest in France in response to the Glorious Revolution (1985).

On that day Haiqing declared Islam to be an enemy of the workers of China. Naturally the ten million, mostly Muslim Uyghurs came under attack almost immediately. Red Guards started off by closing down mosques and arresting preachers. Unsurprisingly the Uyghurs were quite angry and began to riot in major cities. The Red Guards retaliate by opening fire, killing hundreds. The next day on March 6th Red Guards began to attack mosques that had defied the order to shut down, killing an estimated three hundred worshipers. The riots that night exploded into a full-on insurrection that engulfed the province. The Red Guards expected an easy fight, but the police were quickly overwhelmed and within hours the Uyghurs and those resisting the Glorious Revolution had access to guns and tear gas.

The Red Guards led by Haiqing were preparing to walk over the rebels but the overconfidence came to cost them. As they walked down the streets they came under fire and were engulfed in tear gas. The stunned Red Guards retreated towards the airport and were picked off one by one by the rebels who struck a massive blow against the Red Guards in Urumqi. Haiqing stopped the retreat halfway through and angrily ordered the 20,000 Red Guards to continue their campaign of terror. The Red Guards obeyed and were once again pounded with tear gas and bullets, choking and crying as their comrades fell besides them. By the end of the day the Red Guards lost eight hundred people and a further two thousand were injured. Haiqing still wouldn’t let up though. The next day he ordered the Red Guards to just kill anyone suspected of rebelling against the Chinese government. Besides being an atrocity, the order also sealed the fate of Haiqing as more people joined the rebellion as their friends and family were murdered in cold blood. By the end of the week Haiqing had come across a massive problem. The Red Guards, who weren’t used to massive and bloody resistance were starting to desert or rebel against his leadership.

Three weeks into the terror campaign on March 17th, 1985, Haiqing’s leadership was on the verge of collapse. The rebellion had been causing decent casualties for the inexperienced and now unenthusiastic Red Guards and police, over a thousand Red Guards deserted, and Beijing was angry that he hadn’t destroyed the rebels yet. Furthermore, in the military Haiqing was easily one of the PLA’s top enemies, mainly for the sheer incompetence and cockiness he exerted. Naturally, when Hongwen refused to sack him the PLA was pissed. Even more infuriating for the PLA, they had to clean up Haiqing’s mess in Xinjiang. Inside the PLA, several men came to realize that Hongwen was simply never going to bend to the PLA and feared that Hongwen would purge them just like he did to the moderate officers in 1979. Soon after Haiqing asked for military assistance a group of moderate generals who opposed Haiqing and Hongwen began to plot in the shadows. As the first couple thousand soldiers arrived in Xinjiang to do Haiqing’s dirty work Generals Song Shilun and Xiao Ke began to discuss the plot. At first the plot was only a topic of discussion over beer and whiskey between the two men but as the Xinjiang intervention dragged on and got bloodier by the day it started to become serious.

Scores of PLA soldiers, who unlike the Red Guards weren’t excited to bombard civilians and often times had low morale, exasperated by the fact they often times bombarded civilians, killing scores of them and causing the intervention to take a brutal turn, far from what the government promised. Over the next two weeks the rebellion was mostly subdued in the cities, but the cost was horrific. The order to indiscriminately bombard the rebels killed hundreds, if not thousands of civilians. In the countryside the conflict was still burning bright as the rebels used hit and run tactics against the PLA and the Red Guards.

But with the conflict cooling down came Haiqing’s punishment. The PLA wanted to see him imprisoned for his sadistic stupidity, but the Politburo refused to punish him as his actions were in line with the Glorious Revolution. The PLA was understandably quite pissed and Ke and Shilun’s mere discussions started to become a plan. The anger in the PLA high command was white hot and more generals, including the Commander of the Navy Ye Fei joined the plot but most importantly Yang Dezhi, who spearheaded the subjugation of Vietnam joined the plot, giving them significantly more legitimacy and resources to launch the coup.


The mastermind of the coup.

By May 1st, 1985, the “Five Against Wang” (Xiao Ke, Ye Fei, Yang Dezhi, Song Shilun, and Li Juki) had decided Hongwen, Xilian, and the radicals needed to go. But unfortunately, this plan wasn’t going to be the Gang of Four’s downfall.
By May 1st, 1985, the “Five Against Wang” (Xiao Ke, Ye Fei, Yang Dezhi, Song Shilun, and Li Juki) had decided Hongwen, Xilian, and the radicals needed to go. But unfortunately, this plan wasn’t going to be the Gang of Four’s downfall.
Well that's not good.... interesting to see how things will work out.

I will have to reiterate that I really hope this doesn't turn into yet another "Pol Pot but the entirety of China" scenarios.
Mao's Legacy Part II: The Five Against Wang.
On June 1st the sun shined and the flowers bloomed with such beauty that everyone knew that the day was going to be different from the rest. General Xilian’s wife even said so herself while talking to him while she watered her flowers that within ten minutes would turn from white to red.

Xilian went inside his mansion to answer a phone call when the Five Against Wang executed their plan. Under the command of Song Shilun, fifty PLA soldiers began their assault on his mansion with the goal of either capturing or killing Xilian. The soldiers hid in the trees that surrounded Xilian’s mansion and ten snipers set themselves up in the trees. At 9:20 AM the soldiers began their assault on the mansion. Xilian’s wife was coming outside when (after getting herself a glass of water) and was the first to notice the assault. Almost immediately she screamed and a second later she was silenced by a sniper. Xilian was on the phone with Mao Yuanxin, attempting to convince him to remove Haiqing from power but the gunshot took his attention away from Mao. He apologized and hung up. His security team was made up of only thirteen men and he figured most of them were dead already.

Xilian retreated to his basement where he locked himself in the bathroom and removed a marble tile from the floor, revealing a ladder. He climbed down into the tunnel system that was 1000 feet long and led to a private golf course. But his first stop was a phone 200 feet away and he called his son in Kunming and his daughter in Guangzhou to warn them that they could be targeted. His daughter packed her bags and headed towards Hong Kong, but his son decided to report the incident to the Politburo despite Xilian’s warning not to (as he believed the death squad was sent by Hongwen).

Without intending to Xilian blew the lid off of the coup attempt. His son first reported what his father said to him and immediately Hongwen and Mao knew something was horribly wrong. First, they decided to send a reconnaissance company to investigate the incident and sent another two hundred military police to shut down the roads surrounding the estate. By the time they arrived the attackers were still there, and a shootout ensued. As the shootout intensified the news was broke to the Red Guards and PLA, with Hongwen from the Qinling Bunker Complex ordering them on high alert. When Hongwen sent out an emergency broadcast via radio to warn the Chinese people, Beijing was attacked by Yang Dezhi. Tanks rolled into Beijing from nearby military bases as civilians either armed themselves or hid in their houses.

But the coup started to go sideways as the Red Guards built barricades out of anything they could find and fired upon the rogue PLA units. Beijing quickly became a warzone as loyal PLA soldiers began to mobilize and Red Guards inflicted heavy casualties on the putschists. In retaliation, the tanks fired at the Red Guards, destroying several city blocks. Mao Yuanxin, who was in the city at the time was rushed to the airport to fly to safety to the Qinling Bunker Complex. But, Dezhi had other plans. When he was loaded into a military plane along with several low-level bureaucrats a plane landed on the tarmac, being followed by two more. Thinking the planes were reinforcements they were allowed to park and unarmed airport workers came to greet them. The paratroopers rushed out of the planes and immediately fired upon the soldiers and guards on the tarmac and moved to secure the airport. If they could successfully secure the airport then the government would be slowed down and unable to send reinforcements to the heart of the city, hopefully allowing Dezhi to capture the city. Things went well at first, with the paratroopers managing to take the control station and push the PLA towards the airport gate. Mao Yuanxin's plane attempted to take off, only for it's left-wing to be hit by an RPG and crashing into one of the terminals. Miraciuously Yuanxin survived and managed to escape the burning wreckage along with ten other people. The paratroopers who were sent to capture any surviving soldiers were shocked to find Yuanxin amongst them. Immediately he was detained and moved to a secure location, with orders to kill him if he tried to escape. By the end of the day, the rebels managed to seize the airport in a massive blow to the government.


Rebels securing a highway near the center of Beijing.

The coup came as a shock to the Chinese people and shattered the illusion of unquestioning loyalty to the military. With the rebellion led by Dezhi, who was upheld as a true patriot by the propaganda machine, only gave legitimacy to the rebellion. This sentiment was evident in Dezhi's speech to China which was played on hijacked radio's across the nation:

“My fellow people, we are facing an unprecedented challenge to the will of the Chinese people. Wang, Haiqing, Mao Yuanxin, and Xilian have corrupted the Chinese Revolution and turned this beautiful nation into their personal madhouse. I am asking the Chinese people to reject this insanity and join us in reclaiming the Chinese Revolution for the who it was intended for, the Chinese people, not a bunch of insane radicals who have crashed the economy, lit our nation on fire, and kill tens of thousands of patriots for not following his insanity. I for one and the remaining patriots of the People’s Liberation Army refuse to follow his insanity and today we have begun an operation to destroy Wang and his fellow thugs’ power and return the nation to sanity.”

But unfortunately, Dezhi’s speech would not be the fire that destroyed the Radical’s grip on China but merely a domino. While Hongwen and Mao’s grip decreased as the economic impact of the two rebellions became evident because firstly the Chinese people still feared a second civil war. The first had killed over ten million people and many had grown up hearing the horror stories from either their parents or grandparents. Secondly, the propaganda machine of the Radicals and Red Guard did its job well and convinced millions of people to support the regime.

Without wide support from the Chinese people or the element of surprise, the Five Against Wang were bound to fail but still, the Five Against Wang fought till the bitter end. In Shanghai the city came under attack from Ye Fei’s fleet that attempted an assault against the local CCP administration, attempting to destroy Red Guard and loyal PLA resistance swiftly. The fatal mistake of Ye Fei’s assault was his lack of air support. In less than thirty minutes the initial attack failed when the Chinese Air Force assaulted the rebel’s positions. With a lack of air support, the attack suffered heavy casualties, with hundreds being incinerated or blown to pieces within ten minutes. But the assault on Shanghai still could’ve been salvaged with a little bit of luck and a competent attack by Song Shilun. Unfortunately, Shilun’s division failed to reach Shanghai. With the element of surprise blown Shilun’s division came under attack by the PLA and Red Guards once it mobilized. After being swiftly encirclement Shilun decided to surrender, only to be summarily executed on the spot.

When Ye Fei found out about this he decided to abandon the attack and announced a withdrawal from Shanghai. Knowing that without help it was suicide to stay in Shanghai Fei withdrew to China’s least favorite nation: Taiwan where he hoped to be granted asylum and eventually be allowed to return to his home country of the Philippines. At first, the rebels were skeptical that Taiwan would allow them in but a young officer reminded them that Taiwan would be more than happy to take a fleet of twenty ships. So, four hours after the assault began Ye Fei would leave the nation he fought for, for so long. But this wasn’t going to be his final time in China.

When Fei arrived in Taiwanese waters he immediately was surrounded, and the US navy was put on high alert. But, luckily Fei surrendered to Taiwan before any shots could be fired, barely averting disaster. Unsurprisingly, China threatened Taiwan but everyone knew that China couldn’t do anything as Beijing was turned into a warzone.

As Hongwen shook his fist Xiao Ke and Li Jukui caused the greatest pain for the Radicals. Both men had been shipped to Xinjiang to deal with insurgency and both were about as happy about the assignment as they were about Haiqing still being alive. But no longer would they have to wait. A minute after Dezhi’s radio broadcast Ke and Jukui began to execute their plan. The first part was securing Urumqi from the Red Guards. Luckily for the putschists, the PLA and plenty of Red Guard soldiers were more than happy to allow Ke and Jukui to walk in and take over. After months of anarchy and tens of thousands of deaths at the hands of Teng Haiqing, the people were ready for change and violence.

Those loyal to Haiqing were swiftly fired upon and crushed while Haiqing was captured by PLA forces within three hours. There, he begged for his life but the PLA was done with him. On June 2nd, 1985 Haiqing met his end when Xiao Ke took out a pistol and unloaded the ammunition into Haiqing’s skull. Then his body was dumped out onto the streets where it was mutilated, shot, pissed on, and beaten by pissed-off civilians in a scene that resembled the death of Mussolini.

With Haiqing’s death, the Red Guards and loyalist PLA were swiftly crushed by the superior PLA and Red Guard defectors who had higher morale and much more popular support amongst regular people. Unlike, Dezhi’s offensive, which had turned into a bloody siege that would last two weeks and cost 70,000 lives the Xinjiang Putsch was relatively successful until the PLA launched the July Offensive. Fighting between Islamists and the PLA decreased dramatically as Jukui promised to respect their culture and re-open mosques. Of course, things changed when the Chinese government launched its offensive into Xinjiang.

Hongwen and Xilian were unsurprisingly, very angry about the Xinjiang Rebellion and both agreed that there needed to be an example made out of the rebels. But first came Dezhi in Beijing. Over five hundred thousand soldiers were sent to crush the 120,000 rebels who were now encircled and trapped by the PLA and Red Guards. Initially, the PLA was hesitant to bombard the rebels as there were a lot of civilians in rebel territory but Xilian personally intervened to make sure the bombardment was brutal, wanting to see the rebels suffer after the death of his wife. The order wasn’t approved initially as Mao Yuanxin was still being held hostage by the rebels but a successful commando raid managed to return him to safety. With that problem out of the way, Hongwen approved the brutality. For the next three days, explosions rocked the rebel positions and the rebels and civilians were brutalized, with twenty thousand being slaughtered in three days. When the offensive resumed the Red Guards and PLA tended to show no mercy, with surrendering rebels being fired upon even as they had their hands in the air and dropped their weapons. Within three days after the bombardment, the brutality ended when Yang Dezhi was captured and hauled off to prison to be tortured and later executed.

The brutality would not be without punishment as the Chinese people saw tens of thousands of innocent civilians murdered in cold blood. This act would be the beginning of a movement that would hit Mao Yuanxin and Xilian like a hurricane. But that’s a story for another time.


Propaganda film glorifying the Red Guards atrocities in East Turkmenistan and Beijing (1992).

After the crushing of Dezhi’s rebellion, Hongwen and Xilian turned their attention to Xinjiang where they planned to make another example and finalize the Glorious Revolution. The opening of the invasion would see a massive aerial assault by the airforce. Nearly a hundred bombers would fly into Xinjiang on July 3rd and unleashed hellfire on the citizens of Xinjiang. Civilians along with militiamen and rogue PLA soldiers were targeted indiscriminately (with Uyghur Muslims being treated especially harshly). Ke and Jukui mounted a brave yet suicidal defense of Xinjiang that saw heavy casualties on both sides. But a massive blow came when Jukui was killed by sniper fire in Urumqi by an anti-coup citizen. Ke saw the writing on the wall but still, nonetheless fought on. Even with Jukui’s death morale was high, with Muslims and former Red Guard members often fighting until they got a bullet to the skull. The reason for this unusually high morale was that these two groups were sick of Beijing. The Muslims were sick of being oppressed the former Red Guard members had heard the horror stories outside of Beijing and knew that Hongwen and Xilian were out for blood, so why not give them their own blood? But it was all in vain, as after three weeks Urumqi would fall to the PLA. Soon after Xiao Ke crossed the border into the USSR. He was refused asylum but was given asylum in the PRRI and was even given a private plane ride to Tehran. As Ke fled to safety the rebels were systematically destroyed by the PLA and Red Guards who as they swept Xinjiang burned and looted mosques, buildings, and monuments of religious importance. Those suspected of collaborating with the rebels were killed or tortured when they were detained in an event that has become known as the East Turkmenistan Incident in which two million dissidents and Uyghur Muslims were detained, with a further 150,000 being murdered by the Red Guards and PLA in retaliation for the rebellion. Soon after the month-long rebellion ended the Glorious Revolution was ended when Hongwen declared the "threat" of reaction over. With Hongwen believing his enemies were crushed and dissent was quashed they decided to end what they hoped was the final revolution China would see. The dust settled with a still unknown amount of people dying in cold blood (with the Kyoto Commission believing 700,000-2,000,000 people dying in the Glorious Revolution) but things were too quiet despite Hongwen's belief he had won.


Monument in Urumqi to honor those murdered in the Glorious Revolution (2025).

But if Hongwen, Mao, and Xilian thought the genocide would install a sense of fear that would command an unbreakable loyalty from the public they were wrong. In fact, the brutality of the crackdown would only anger the populace, especially young people who had grown up only seeing their parents go off to war and their friends murdered by a paranoid government that allowed unbridled terror as long as you killed a suspected “enemy.” The Glorious Revolution would unite both the moderate youth and the increasingly skeptical workers and peasants who saw unbridled terror during The Five Against Wang and combined with the upcoming Meltdown of 1986 the Radicals were going to meet their destiny but only time would tell what that'll be. But what isn't up for debate is that China is on a collusion course.


Some words are simple yet revolutionary.
Wow, China is worse than OTL (which is somehow both hard and easy to pull off)
Yeah, China is certainly worse off. Not Cambodia levels (and nor will it reach those levels) but still bad. I don't want to spoil anything though, but I can promise change is coming in the 90s and that there'll not be another Glorious Revolution.
Wow, China is worse than OTL (which is somehow both hard and easy to pull off)
Worse off in short term, with these bloodthirsty radicals instead of Deng and his clique in power it is possible that communism is thoroughly discredit, and after Wang was ousted new government decide to adopt democratic system.
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