Mao and Lin criticise leaders of the Red Guards (1968)

In a meeting held on July 28th 1968, Mao Zedong, Lin Biao and other Cultural Revolution leaders summoned representatives of the Red Guards, lecturing them and criticising them for failing to follow orders. The Red Guard leaders present included the radical student leaders Nie Yuanzi [Beijing University] and Kuai Dafu [Qinghua University]:

Lin Biao: You have divorced yourselves from the workers, peasants, and soldiers.

Chairman Mao Zedong: Someone once said that a notice in Guangxi only applies to Guangxi…They don’t apply here. So now I think I will issue another national notice. If there is anyone who continues to violate the notice, i.e. assaults the Liberation Army, destroys communications, kills people, or commits arson, he will be committing a crime. If a few people don’t take the advice and insist on their line, they will be considered to be bandits, Guomindang members, and will be encircled. If they continue to resist stubbornly, we shall annihilate them.

Lin Biao: Nowadays there are many real rebels. Some are bandits and Guomindang members who are rebelling under the aegis of our banners. In Guangxi, some one thousand houses were burned down.

Chairman: We shall write clearly in the notice and tell the students clearly that if they insist on their line we shall arrest them. This would be only a light punishment. For heavy punishment, we shall encircle and suppress them.

Lin Biao: In Guangxi, while the one thousand houses were being burned, people were not allowed to fight the fire…

Kuai Dafu begins to cry as soon as he comes in. Chairman Mao stands up, goes forward and shakes his hand while Comrade Jiang Qing [Mao’s wife and a leader of the Cultural Revolution] smiles.