The home province of the late Communist Party chairman Mao Tse-tung has launched a series of what analysts here call "incredible" attacks on central government policies, indicating still serious divisions in the Chinese leadership.
The critical broadcasts from Hunan Province, on China's south-central plains, appear to challenge the Peking leadership of Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping on issues as sensitive as relations with the Soviet Union and concessions to China's 750 million peasants.
Analysts say the attacks, which bear the stamp of party leader who think Deng has strayed too far from Mao's more rigid ideals, could add to difficulties in working out a new economic plan for the countryside and affect the still uncertain course of Peking's relations with Moscow.
"We have seen nothing like this from any other provinces, but it seems strongly supported by some people in Peking," said one analyst after a lengthy examination of recent provincial propaganda. Analysts said they were startled to see the attacks from Hunan continue even after what appeared to be a recent effort by Deng to shake up the province's leadership.
Hunan occupies a particularly strong, and politically sensitive, place in Chinese politics. It is not only the birthplace of Mao, but also the political base of the man Mao selected as his successor, Communist Party Chairman and Premier Hua Guofeng. Hua has appeared to defer to the more experienced Deng in most policy matters, but he has allowed attacks on Deng policy to continue from the province where he served as party chief until he became chairman, protecting the current Hunan party chief, Mao Zhiyong.
A key article in a late April edition of the Hunan Daily, broadcast over Hunan radio, called for continued "class struggle" in China, a term the Deng leadership has tried to soft-pedal in order to encourage nationwide efforts to build the economy.
The article also appeared to analysts here to cast doubt on Peking's favorable response to recent Soviet requests for talks on improving Sino-Soviet relations.
"We urgently need a peaceful international environment and a stable border," the article said. But "we cannot beg for this kind of external condition. We can only get it through the strong power of the proletariat."
One leading Chinese Foreign Ministry official said in early May he was "not optimistic" about the outcome of any talks with Moscow, but the Chinese appear to have refrained this time from insisting on Soviet territorial concessions before opening discussions. Deng remains vehemently critical of Moscow, but his economic policies in some ways resemble those of the Soviet Union. They include putting heavy emphasis on training a technical elite and deemphasizing insistence on rule by the "dictatorship of the proletariat."
In Mid-May, Hunan radio appeared to hit at the core of Dent's agricultural policies with a broadcast warmly praising Mao's favorite model production brigade, the Shanxi (Shansi) village of Dazhai (Tachai). Deng's propagandists have criticized Dazhai for taking away peasants' private plots and failing sufficiently to reward individual effort.
Analysts here said the Hunan broadcast represented the first official praise of Dazhai noted in weeks.
"As a result of carrying out the movement of learning from Dazhai, the revolutionary surging enthusiasm of the cadres and peasants has become unprecedented," the broadcast said. "The facts have fully proven that Chairman Mao's call on learning from Dazhai in agriculture is correct."
The decision in Peking to turn away from the Dazhai model had appeared to be a direct slap at Hua, who developed a reputation in Hunan as an agricultural expert and who organized two major national conferences to study Dazhai's experience. Economists allied with Deng have argued that farm production cannot increase substantially unless peasants are allowed the right to income from private garden plots and private pig-raising, both banned at Dazhai.
Recent promotions given to an apparent Deng ally in Hunan, party secretary Zhou Li, seemed designed to weaken Hua's influence in the province. It was announced that Mao Zhiyong, Hua's protege as provincial party chief, had relinquished a secondary post as chairman of the province's political consultative conference committee to Zhou.
"The attacks on Deng's policy have continued afterwards, and even increased, however," an analyst said. CAPTION: Picture, DENG XIAOPING . . . challenged from a province