OPINION

October 15, 1958

LIN PIAO, MAO TSE TUNG’S HEIR: Hong Kong – Communist China’s Chairman Mao Tse Tung [Editor’s note: Today known as Chairman Mao Zedong according to the Pinyin transliteration system], who is at present 65 years old, has chosen the relatively young soldier Lin Piao [Lin Biao] as his heir presumptive, according to reports from Chinese refugees once closely associated with the Communist hierarchy. These and other observers in Hong Kong had until recently assumed that Liu Shao Chi [Liu Shaoqi], an old party cadre, was the most likely successor to Mao, and had a greater chance of succeeding him than Prime Minister Chou En Lai [Zhou Enlai]. However interpretations of the most recent events are that both Liu and Chou have been sidelined by the «people’s field marshal» Lin, who last May was made vice chairman of the all-powerful Chinese Communist Party – a post he shares with Liu, Chou, Peng Chen, the mayor of Peking, and the old fighter Chu Peh. Lin Piao, who is 50 years old, is believed to be the driving force in the party’s Central Committee’s Military Affairs Committee, which is higher than the Defense Ministry and the General Chiefs of Staff.