So in the thread about Robert Mugabe, someone brought up Chen Yun's quote about Mao. “Had Mao died in 1956, his achievements would have been immortal. Had he died in 1966, he would still have been a great man but flawed. But he died in 1976. Alas, what can one say?” This makes me curious what would be the effects on China had Mao died in 1956 instead of in 1976. This would be not long after he launched the 100 flowers campaign but before he cracked down upon it. This was also when the Sino-Soviet Split began. What would happen to the 100 flowers campaign that Mao started before his death? What about the Sino-Soviet Split? Obviously these two questions depend on how would succeed the great helmsman. So thus who would be the most likely person to succeed Mao in 1956?