In April 1969 Lin Biao gave a report to the 9th CCP Congress, much of which focused on the progress of the Cultural Revolution. Here Lin calls for restraint when dealing with suspected counter-revolutionaries:
“In the struggle against the enemy, we must carry out the policy ‘make use of contradictions, win over the many, oppose the few and crush our enemies one by one’ which Chairman Mao has always advocated. ‘Stress should be laid on the weight of evidence and on investigation and study, and it is strictly forbidden to obtain confessions by compulsion and to give them credence’.
We must implement Chairman Mao’s policies of ‘leniency towards those who confess their crimes and severe punishment of those who refuse to do so’ and of ‘giving a way out’. We rely mainly on the broad masses of the people in exercising dictatorship over the enemy.
As for bad people or suspects ferreted out through investigation in the movement for purifying the class ranks, the policy of ‘killing none and not arresting most’ should be applied to all except the active counter-revolutionaries against whom there is conclusive evidence of crimes such as murder, arson or poisoning, and who should be dealt with in accordance with the law.
As for the bourgeois reactionary academic authorities, we should either criticise them and see, or criticise them and give them work to do, or criticise them and provide them with a proper livelihood. In short, we should criticise their ideology and at the same time give them a way out.
To handle this part of the contradictions between ourselves and the enemy in the manner of handling contradictions among the people is beneficial to the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat and to the disintegration of the enemy ranks.”