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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 08, 1966

CABLE FROM THE YANBIAN MILITARY DISTRICT PARTY COMMITTEE, 'IMPLEMENTING THE SHENYANG MILITARY DISTRICT'S OPINION “GUIDANCE ON THE ACTIVITIES OF RED GUARDS IN THE BORDER AREA”'

This document was made possible with support from the Henry Luce Foundation

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    With Red Guards stirring up trouble on the Sino-Korean bounder, authorities in Yanbian consider how to handle the situation.
    "Cable from the Yanbian Military District Party Committee, 'Implementing the Shenyang Military District's Opinion “Guidance on the Activities of Red Guards in the Border Area”'," September 08, 1966, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Jilin Provincial Archives, 77-12-3, 10-13. Translated by David Cowhig. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/198179
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Jilin Province Military District Headquarters Telegram (376)

September 8, 1966 Jilin Military

Month No. 0395

Organization: Yanbian Military District Party Committee

[crossed out] Jilin Province Foreign Affairs Office No. 20

Priority: Very Urgent File 12/12-No. 154

Addressee: Commander, Military District 7 (including one copy for Political Commissar), Political Department

Distribution: Jilin Province Committee, General Logistics Department, Jilin Province Foreign Affairs Office

Telegram Forwarding: Shenyang Military District

Total of 12 copies

Commander's Instructions:

66.09.08

Implementing the Shenyang Military District's Opinion “Guidance on the Activities of Red Guards in the Border Area”

Report to the Jilin Province Military District Communist Party Committee; forwarded to the Shenyang Military District:

I. Overview:

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in our Prefecture, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and of Chairman Mao and the leadership of all higher levels of Party Committees got off to a good start and is now flourishing. The situation is excellent. We have already grabbed several “authority faction” capitalist roaders. Every organization and in the “Five Circles” the Cultural Revolution has already won great victories. Currently, the movement is growing deeper and wider, propelled forward by the Red Guards, and under the leadership of the Prefectural Party Committee and of the various levels of party committees.

However, from the perspective of border management and border defense, some problems remain:

(1) Over two hundred students from outside Yanbian have come in traveling revolutionary contact groups and done much good work. Most of them are good but none of them have identity papers. We have already detected several who are the children and younger brothers of wealthy people. Some have unclear political backgrounds. Some say reactionary things. For example, in the big character poster of one “contact group” from Tsinghua University, after the “Four Ideas to Always Remember” was written “Always remember never to make political breakthroughs; always remember never to look up at the Great Red Banner of Mao Zedong Thought.” 

(2) Local students also went to other areas, mostly to carry out the contact work struggle in agricultural villages. It has been reported that over 1500 people have been struggled against in the entire prefecture (in the Dunhua struggle sessions alone, more than 500 people were struggled against, including over twenty who were killed.) If this continues, we will certainly see a big increase in the number of people fleeing across the border.

(3) Some Red Guards have already arrived in People‘s Communes in the border areas to carry out contact struggle sessions in the production brigades. For example, Red Guards in the agricultural organization of the Yangbao People's Commune in Hunchun County, in the Songlin Production Brigade, they held struggle sessions for ordinary people who had had sexual relations or had gambled.

(4) Some incidents involving foreigners have already occurred. For example, the Changchun University student Lin Wuyan, during activities in Tumen, crossed the border to [North] Korea and was sent back by Korea. Some students raced into Hunchun County to do link up [chuanlian] with one another. Another example are the searches and struggle sessions with some Korean residents of China [Chao qiao] during the movement. The Korean residents protested to the Foreign Affairs Office.

(5) Some nationalities issues have sprouted during the movement. Students from the outside (the Tsinghua University “contact group”) put up reactionary big character posters, angering local students and the broad masses who considered it a counter-revolutionary act and immediately surrounded the students from outside. During the debate, the outside students debated in standard Chinese and so the local Han nationality students and masses supported them; however the local students spoke in Korean, and so most of the Korean nationality local students and masses supported them. The argument is ongoing. If it continues, there is some risk that it could develop into a dispute between ethnic nationalities.

II. Accordingly, we are implementing the following guidance from the Shenyang Military District:

(1) Under the integrated leadership and organization of the prefecture party committee, with the participation of districts and public security offices, call a meeting of the contact students arrived from other areas at three schools in Yanbian, in order to explain to them that the Central Committee has issued an instruction that Red Guards are not to carry out activities in the border region and to persuade them to return home. The Cultural Revolution manager for the three Yanbian schools was also active in education work, exhorting the contract groups, going out to the villages, calling for the Red Guards there to return home and saying that Red Guards should no longer be sent to the villages there. They are to be persuaded in the spirit of the September 7, 1966 People's Daily commentary.

(2) All county and city party committees, armed forces departments, public security, and border posts are jointly responsible for this work. They should persuade the students of the county and city schools not to go to the countryside to do contact work and to send back the ones who have already been sent there.

(3) Suggest that the local authorities, while giving cordial treatment to the people at the Red Guard Reception Stations at Yanji and Tumen, should persuade them to return home. According to the district, the public security departments could also assist in this persuasion work.

(4) The border counties and city armed forces departments have already taken measures along these lines according to the principle of “Be strict with our own but lenient with outsiders” and have dispatched (unarmed) People's Militia to maintain order on the border.

(5) With regards to Red Guards who have gone to the villages to do contact work and carry out struggled sessions, they should be courteously persuaded, through work organized by (unarmed) People's Militia, to depart in the spirit of the September 9 People's Daily commentary. They are not to be permitted to remain in the villages, and especially not allowed to do contact work or to carry out struggle sessions in people's communes or in production brigades along the border.

(6) We suggest that higher level units pass (and report back by telephone) these instructions on to schools which have sent contact groups to Yanbian, persuade them to call them back, and to no longer send people to do contact work in the border area.

Please advise if the above report is suitable. Please provide immediate guidance.  

Yanbian Military District Party Committee

September 8, 1966