• Short Summary

    The twelfth congress of China's Communist Party -- opening on September 1 -- crowns five years of struggle by Vice Chairman Deng Ziaoping to make sure his successors avoid Maoist excesses and get on with modernising the country.

  • Description

    BEIJING, AUGUST, 1982: SVs and GVs Delegates to congress descend from aircraft SVs other delegates arrive by train and greeted (8 shots)

    (MUTE) BEIJING: GV & SV Deng Ziaoping with former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale at banquet in the Great Hall (2 shots)

    (MONO) (MUTE) 1949: GV & SV Column of Chinese workers marching to Beijing (2 shots)

    (SOUND) GVs 1950 - Beijing parade and doves released (3 shots)

    (COLOUR) WASHINGTON, 1979: SV President Carter and Deng shaking hands and signing agreement (3 shots)

    (MUTE) GV & SVs Portrait of Mao - Mao's body lying in state - people bowing before body (4 shots)

    (MUTE) SV PULL OUT TO GV Hu Yaobang speaking to others including Deng and Madame Chou En-Lai listening (2 shots)

    BEIJING, 1980: GV INTERIOR Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang holding discussions with Rumanian delegation (2 shots)

    (SOUND) BEIJING, 1976: Arrested leaders of "Gang of Four" walking forward at Mao memorial ceremony: SV & SCUs Chiang Ch'ing, Yao Weng-Yuan, Wang Hong-Wen, Zhang Chunqiao (5 shots)

    (MUTE) BEIJING, November, 1980: SV & GV ZOOM TO CU Chairman Hua meeting Spanish Communist leader Santiago Carrillo and seated for talks (2 shots)

    (SOUND) 1982: GVs & SVs China's People's Liberation Army in military and naval exercises (20 shots)

    AERIAL VIEW Oil rig at sea - Chinese workers on platform with bore (5 shots)

    SV & GV Wheat being harvested by hand and small mechanical harvester (2 shots)

    BEIJING, August 1982: GV Preparatory meeting of Chinese 12th congress listening to Hu Yaobang speaking and applauding (3 shots)

    Initials PC/PM

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The twelfth congress of China's Communist Party -- opening on September 1 -- crowns five years of struggle by Vice Chairman Deng Ziaoping to make sure his successors avoid Maoist excesses and get on with modernising the country. It is expected the congress will see many old revolutionaries replaced by younger, more able, administrators.

    SYNOPSIS: Delegates from all over China have been arriving for the meeting in Beijing's Great Hall. The congress will set up a new council of advisors to which many ageing and respected officials will withdraw. A Chinese spokesman said their places in the hierarchy will be taken by men in the prime of life, wit ability and political integrity.

    Deng Ziaoping returned to power in 1977 after years in the political wilderness. Since then he has worked single-mindedly to eliminate the radical leftists who hounded him and thousands of other technocrats during the Cultural Revolution. Deng himself will be the most prominent veteran to relinquish power at the congress.

    He was on the original long march in 1934. In 1949, communist troops led by Mao Tse-tung entered Beijing and took control of the world's largest nation of 400 million people. Deng was on that march, too.

    Exchange agreements signed with President Carter in 1979 were part of Deng Ziaoping's practical method of steering China on a course of modernisation. Now the stage is set for his triumph. The congress is due to endorse his reorganisation plans, aimed at ensuring that no one man can ever dominate the party the way Chairman Mao did. Now, six years after Mao's death, the congress is expected to ban personality cults around national leaders.

    The posts of chairman and vice-chairman are expected to be abolished. The party's chief executive will in future be the general secretary. Present Party Chairman Hu Yaobang, a close supporter of Mr. Deng, has indicated he will fill this role.

    Premier Zha Ziyang will join him in heading a newly-created general secretariat which will act as the politburo's central organ.

    Chinese officials say the congress will also discuss the victory for the present moderate leadership in crushing the disgraced "Gang of Four", led by Mao Tse-tung's widow Chiang Ch'ing. But newspapers say there is no room for complacency -- extremists continue to pose a threat.

    One of comparatively young man, former Chairman and Prime Minister Hua Guofeng, has little to hope for from this congress. After Mao's death, he ruled for four years. But, after the re-emergence of Deng Ziaoping, he fell from power.

    A powerful military commission controls China's four-million strong People's Liberation Army (PLA). Deng has, until now, held on to the post of chairman of this commission. Many of the PLA's leaders, in their seventies and eighties, have strongly resisted all suggestions they should retire and make way for younger men. But it is believed that Deng will abolish the military commission and encourage the old soldiers to join the new council of advisors.

    It was announced recently that, since 1979, China's exports had increased in value each year by almost 29 per cent. The country is said to have corrected the imbalance in production caused by excessive ideological emphasis on heavy industry at the expense of light industry and agriculture. It is therefore suggested that congress will vote for a continuation of Deng's successful economic strategy.

    A top-level preparatory meeting to approve the agenda of the congress was addressed on August 30 by Chairman Yaobang, a man with a new modest style of leadership. He prefers to rule as part of a team of equals. No new ideological campaign was expected at the congress - Deng Ziaoping is said to have attained his goal of seriously weakening extreme left-wing influence in the party.

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