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He initially pursued these goals through a massive mobilization of the country’s urban youths.They were organized into groups called the Zhou Enlai played an essential role in keeping the country running, even during periods of extraordinary chaos.Premier Zhou Enlai, left, and the defense minister, Lin Biao, right, with Chairman Mao Zedong, waving copies of the “Little Red Book” of Mao’s sayings as they reviewed troops in Beijing in October 1967.
On May 16, 1966, the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee issued a circular that outlined Mao’s ideas on the Cultural Revolution.
Students who answered Mao’s call for continuing revolution, Red Guards formed large groups that targeted political enemies for abuse and public humiliation. Under a campaign to wipe out the “Four Olds” — ideas, customs, culture, habits — they carried out widespread destruction of historical sites and cultural relics.
As the Red Guards grew more extreme, the People’s Liberation Army was sent in to control them.
In the early years of the People’s Republic, educated young people from the cities were sent to the countryside to work on farms.
The movement accelerated during the Cultural Revolution, partly as a way to disperse the Red Guards.