In a single stroke, Peking has trimmed away the Maoist symbols of worker-peasant leadership of the country and left a hard core of professional bureaucrats and soldiers in their place, an analysis of the membership of the new Communist Party Central Committee reveals.
A little more than half of the 64 people dropped from full membership in the committee elected Aug. 18 and two-thirds of the 150 people dropped from alternate membership, are farm and factory activists, the political innocents brought into the central leadership in the late 1960s as proof of Chairman Mao Tse-tung's committment to China's massess.
They have been replaced in most cases by more veteran administrators from Peking's vast, largely hidden central bureaucracy, particularly those officials who have managed China's economy over the last several years. Veteran civilian bureaucrats now comprise more than half of the 200 Central Committee members, compared to only about 40 per cent of the members of the previous Central Committee elected in 1973.
The shift neatly disposes of a decade of political headaches and frequent forced retirements for China's managerial elite. The sort of bureaucrats now in command were also in charge in 1965 when Mao began to attack them for being too fond of good annual production statistics and personal privileges. Mao wanted workers and peasants to participate activiely in policy decisions at all levels, even if it slowed progress while everyone haggled over how to do things.
The conomy limped along, and practical-minded bureaucrats like Premier Chou En-lai survived by doing their best to compromise their desire for efficiency with their loyalty to Mao and their concern for the feelings of the workers and peasants.
But the bureaucrats perferred to work without their elbows being jostled by labor heroes who were not good managers, and they suspected that many worker-peasant representatives were simply trying to further the political ambitious of close Mao disciples such as his wife, Chiang Ching. After Mao's death Sept. 8, Chiang and her closest associates were quickly removed from power and Peking rediscovered its 1950s love of firm production targets, such as overtaking the West by the year 2000.
"They have no more time for symbols now," said one analyst.
Both because of their ties to Chiang Ching's "Gang of Four" and their inexperience as mangers, the labor heroes who swelled the ranks of the Central Committees elected in 1969 and 1973 have disappeared.
Worker-peasant representative - about 28 per cent of the outgoing Central Committee - make up only 17 per cent ofthe new number have been dropped, compared to 23 soldiers and seven bureaucrats who lost memberships.
Of about 91 new members of the Central Committee, about 53 are veteran bureaucrats.
Peking rarely provides biographic data on its Central Committee members. Their approximate ages and backgrounds must in some cases be deduced from dates and places of public appearances reported by the offical Chinese press. It seems likely, nonetheless that the new committee members are, on the average, older than the worker-peasant representatives they replace. This is a sign that China is moving back to its traditional distrust of youthful leaders.
The Chinese identify the Central Committee members by sex, so the decline in the political influence of women can be plotted exactly. Twently women held full membership in the outgoing Central Committee. The new Committee has only 14, a possible indication of what Chiang's eclipse did for the position of women in the party.
Army officers have picked up some more influence in the provinces in the past few months, but their numbers appear to have dropped slightly in the new Central Committee compared to three years ago. About 29 per cent of the new committee's members have largely military responsibilities, compared to about 32 per cent four years ago.
Many military figures who lost their committee membership seem to have had close ties to Chian Ching and her associates. These digures include the former deputy director of the army general poltical department, Tien Wei-hsin, and former air force commander Ma Ning. They have been replaced on the committee by veteran officers returning from forced retirement in the late 1960s.
Military officers continue to change jobs as Party Chairman Hua Kuo-feng's administration seeks an arrangement that will bring lasting political stability and full efficiency for a planned military modernization.
Yang Yung, until now the Sinkiang army commander, was listed as a delegate from Kwangtung to the funeral service for a new Central Committee member, Lin Li-ming, who died the day after his election. Some analysts here think this means Yang will replace powerful Kwangtung region army commander Hsu Shih-yu, who would then take an important post in Peking.
The new Central Committee completed its transformation with a new party constitution that is strikingly similar to the constitution produced by the last party congress. That it would so little reflect the political shifts over the last several years indicates how much China, as usual, is governed by men an unwritten tradition, noy by law.
The new constitution emphasizes careful review of applications for party membership, an expected reform from bureaucreats who distrust the many young people brought in by program announced by the late Premier Chou for rapid modernization of the country's science and industry.
In a typically Maoist juxtaposition of opposittes, it calls finally for both staunch party discipline and the right of party members to appeal disagreements all the way to Chairman Hua.