Peking has ordered a major shakeup in the leadership of the strategic southwestern province of Yunnan and indicated that factional troubles in the area have continued in defiance of instructions from Communist Party Chairman Hua Kuo-feng.
The shakeup is viewed here as important because the military has apparently taken a strong role in the new leadership of the province, the country's third largest.
An official broadcast from Kunming, the provincial capital, monitored here Saturday said provincial party leader Chia Chi-yun had been replaced by the party chief of the neighboring Kwangsi Chuang autonomous region, An Ping-sheng.
The broadcast said Hua and other central party leaders met in Peking with leaders from the province recently, a sign of the seriousness of what the broadcast called "the problem of Yunnan."
About 500,000 Yunnan party members and citizens were called to their radio loudspeakers Thursday to hear the Peking decision, read by Kunming military region commander Wang Pi-cheng, an indication of the importance of the military in the new leadership lineup.
"Yunnan is situated at the border. The class struggle is very acute and complicated," said Wang, whose troops patrol China's borders with Burma, Laos and Vietnam. The province's 28 million people include many non-Chinese minorities.
Yunnan has for years been the scene of severe political struggles, some of them personal feuds difficult to resolve. Wang indicated that quarrels were still continuing, warning that "Communist Party members are absolutely not allowed to form cliques for private purposes and organize factions and secret cliques within the party."
That Chia, who was made provincial party leader in 1975, should be removed now is something of a surprise. Analysts here are waiting to see if he might be given an important assignment elsewhere in the country.
Chia is a veteran party official who seemed in solid favor with the Peking leadership that in October ousted Mao Tse-tung's widow, Chiang Ching. Before her fall she appeared to be encouraging resistance to Chia among young radicals in Yunnan. Rehabilitated after being purged during the Cultural Revolution, Chia was apparently placed in his job by former Vice Premier Teng Hsiao-ping, who has many friends in the current Peking leadership.
Little is known of the background of the new provincial chief, An Ping-sheng. He appears to be a protege of an important Politburo member, Kwangtung party chief Wei Kuo-ching.
The broadcast said An had been made provincial party committee first secretatry, revolutionary commitee chairman, first commissar of the provincial military district and first commissar and first party secretary of the Kunming military region, which includes yunnan and Kweichow provinces. His appointment was part of an effort to "readjust and strenghten" the provincial leadership, the broadcast said.
The other important outsider added to the Yunnan leadership in the shakeup was Chen Pei-Hsien, 66, another veteran official who was the party chief in Shanghai before being purged during the Cultural Revolution. His return to influence is another slap in the face of Chiang and her radical colleagues from Shanghai, who had disposed of Chen in 1967 to take over the city as their principal base.
The broadcast said Chen had been made a secretary of the provincial party committee and a vice chairman of the revolutionary committee. Analysts here said the appointments seem to give new influence to the army and to Politburo members Wei and Canton army commander Hsu Shih-yu.
The broadcast indicated that even some parts of the army hierarchy in the province had been affected by the activities of Chiang and the Shanghai radicals.