WI: Lin Biao assasinates Mao

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Realpolitik, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. Realpolitik Banned

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    In September of 1971, let's say Mao never changes his train route and he is killed. What then? How will Lin Biao's coup go about? How will this change relations with the US and the Soviet Union(where Biao attempted to defect to)? Would Jiang Qing attempt to fight him? From my understanding, they strongly disliked each other in spite of both being radicals.

    What will become of China? Of Zhou and Deng and the rest? The US and USSR would probably be really scared...

    Anybody who is Chinese or an expert on China especially welcome.
     
  2. zeppelinair これ以上の詳細は略する

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    이렇게 된 이상 청와대로 간다
    there was a close call? never heard of this, interesting. :p
     
  3. SeanPdineen Professor and Historical nut

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    hi

    Lin wanted to heal, the sino split with the Russians.
    That would eliminate the triangle diplomacy.
    It would probably lead to consolidation with the Roc, and greater effort in nam.
     
  4. Green Painting Ship of Theseus

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    It's not clear whether Lin really wanted to kill Mao, or was it's just trumped up charges thrown at him by opponents after his fall from favour.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
  5. LeX Well-Known Member

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    I think I remember reading that while Lin Biao was definitely an intelligent but timid man pushed into politics and then victimized as a convenient scapegoat, his son did want to kill Mao (with good reason!).

    The People's Liberation Army would probably follow Lin rather than break up into anarchy. For one thing, the Cultural Revolution was so horrifying to most people involved, but because it was associated with Mao and communist authority, no one dared directly oppose it. Without Mao, the CR runs out of steam in a very short period of time. Jiang Qing, who truly believed in the ideals of the CR, would soon find herself running into a brick wall without her husband's support. Something like the destruction of the Gang of Four is certain to play out by 1972.

    One big difference could be that Lin Biao decides to completely repudiate Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution; assuming that it becomes known that the Chairman was assassinated, it would be the only feasible course of action for him to take responsibility and justify his actions. Something even more radical than de-Stalinization is in order.
     
  6. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

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    Agreed. From what I have read, I believe the coup was a creation of Mao's own paranoia and fear of Lin Biao's influence and standing in China.
     
  7. RousseauX Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand the idea that Lin Biao himself was going to launch a coup and kill Mao is almost certainly a fabrication.

    His son did have a plan to launch a coup, but it never got close to getting off the ground.
     
  8. Octosteel Disciple of Ye

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    What were Lin's actual political views? He obviously didn't follow the party line since he got killed.
     
  9. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

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    He didn't follow party flight paths either.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcYppAs6ZdI

    Honestly, I don't know what views he really had. I believe he was pro-Soviet, which would make things interesting.
     
  10. RousseauX Well-Known Member

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    People's actual political views didn't matter all that much once you get to the late cultural revolution era because anyone with "rightist" tendencies got purged already (and then got brought back as Mao started to die) and it was basically just a contest of who Mao thought was going to be loyal to himself and his legacy at any given moment.
     
  11. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

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    I will bring up my pet-topic, which the Lin Biao purge ended, which is the 60s/70s Chinese space program. It would have been glorious, to quote Commander Kor.

    WI: Chinese Men to Space...by the 1970's
    AHC: Chinese to the Moon in the 70s/80s


     
  12. Octosteel Disciple of Ye

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    Perhaps increased reliance on the Soviet Union would lead to a collapse of China also when the USSR collapsed? It could also mean no Deng reforms depending on how close they would be to the Russians. So maybe Lin dying was actually good for the Chinese? It does seem to me like China's modern success was largely due to a series of incredibly unlikely events and any deviation would have made it far weaker.

    Also, can anyone tell me anything about Liu Shaoqi and what leadership under him would have been like? Also, how did all these other Chinese leaders close to Mao got killed or thrown in prison yet Zhou Enlai somehow made it through largely unscathed?
     
  13. RousseauX Well-Known Member

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    Lin was most likely going to be purged before Mao's death in any case.

    Basically the cultural revolution is a rough analogue to Stalin's purges, anyone who shows too much resistance to or independence to Mao was targeted for purges. The most dangerous spot was to be named Mao's successor on the Politburo (Liu Shaoqi and Lin Biao were when they got purged).

    Zhou never showed enough independence nor inclination to challenge Mao. Never ever challenging any of Mao's policies directly (even when they are pretty stupid) is a pretty good idea. But like Liu and Lin before him, he was eventually named #2 on the Politburo and was subjected to intense criticism for being to "soft" during negotiations with Kissinger/Nixon in 1973. But at that point purging him made no sense since he accepted those criticism and was going to die soon anyway.
     
  14. Octosteel Disciple of Ye

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    So sounds like Deng was really smart by not being close to Mao at all?
     
  15. SeanPdineen Professor and Historical nut

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    idea

    Deng was close, but not too close. Zhou made himself indefensible knew where all the bodies were buried. Even the kmt wanted him back.
    Lin might have gone in a pro soviet direction.