CHINA HERITAGE QUARTERLY China Heritage Project, The Australian National University ISSN 1833-8461
No. 29, March 2012


Mao Zedong at West Lake, Part II | China Heritage Quarterly

Mao Zedong at West Lake: a Chronology
Part II: 1960-76

Based on material compiled by Wang Huai 汪槐
Translated with modification by Geremie R. Barmé

The following account, based on a 2005 volume titled simply Mao Zedong and West Lake is the second part of a chronology that provides an overview of the Party Chairman's activities during his frequent sojourns in Hangzhou. Even this elliptical account offers some insight into the complex interplay between formal and informal politics as pursued at West Lake in Hangzhou during the Maoist era. We get a sense of Mao's literary and cultural pursuits, his interest in swimming and climbing hills, as well as diplomatic endeavours and careful plots, In this sketchy chronology—a more substantial study must await archival access—we see how even in China's most revolutionary and radical era, from the 1950s to the late 1970s, West Lake was a place where, as we have argued elsewhere in the December 2011 issue of China Heritage Quarterly, politics and power, representation and imagination, discrete leisure and overt display commingle.

This material will be updated and expanded. For the first part of this Chronology, see here.—The Editor


18-24 January: in residence; on 23-24 January, Zhou Enlai makes a work report.

13-19 April: in residence

14 April: visits a nearby PLA unit.

15 April: visits villages on the Hangzhou-Yong train line in the company of Tan Zenlin and other Party Secretaries of East China. The group arrives in Shaoxing that afternoon and hold a meeting on Mao's train to discuss agricultural issues.

16 April: day-trip to Ningbo. He returns to Hangzhou that evening.

18 April: Mao receives the king of Nepal and his delegation at the Hangzhou Hotel. He also meets with a group of Nepalese journalists. That same day he views an opera performance at the Hangzhou Hotel and praises the reworked opera as it reflects the fact that the young are superior to the old, normal humans superior to supernatural beings and that people can overcome all natural obstacles.

21-25 May: in residence, during which time the Chairman holds a meeting with Central leaders.

21 May: meets with a delegation led by Kim Il Sung. Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai, Chen Yun and Deng Xiaoping are also in attendance.

22 May: Mao meets with Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun, Lu Dingyi, Yang Shangkun and Ke Qingshi to discuss the international situation.

30 May-7 June: in residence

7 June: receives an Albanian parliamentary delegation, attended also by Xi Zhongxun, Saifudin, Yang Shangkun and Ji Pengfei.


1-9 February: in residence 21-28 April: in residence 10-17 July: in residence 14-21 August: in residence 3-8 December: in residence


23-27 February: in residence During this time Mao called Jiang Hua, Lin Hujia and Huo Shilian to Hangzhou for discussions.
30 May-8 June: in residence
In early June, Mao held a meeting to discuss strategies for the protection of China's south-eastern littoral at his lakeside residence. This led soon after to Party Central issuing orders on repelling KMT attacks on China's costal regions. The PLA navy and local citizenry prepared for armed conflict.


2-10 January: in residence 15 April-24 May: in residence 29 October-9 November: in residence 1-6 November: in residence


23 April-2 May: in residence 9-15 September: in residence Writes out a poem by Wang Changling poem


1-16 June: in residence 19-30 September: in residence 22-23 December: in residence. On 22 Mao spoke about the need for educational reform.


27 February-3 May: in residence
17-20 March: At an enlarged meeting of the Politburo Mao discusses industrial policy. 28-30 March: Mao holds discussions with Jiang Qing and Kang Sheng.
16-24 April: during an enlarged meeting of the Politburo over this period (known simply as the 'April Meeting, Siyue huiyi 四月會議), Mao agreed with Deng Xiaoping's recommendation that the Cultural Revolution should only last six months. Other attendees included Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai, Ye Jianying, Nie Rongzhen and Peng Zhen. Many would soon fall victim to the political maelstrom. Also during this month Mao received a report presented to him by Wang Renzhong recommending building a major dam at the Three Gorges on the Yangtze River. He called for an opposing view.

15 May-14 July: in residence


16 September: revolutionary link-ups


29 June-18 September: in residence


14-24 April: in residence

24 July-14 August: in residence


3-10 September: in the environs of Hangzhou around the time of the Lin Biao incident. During this period of crisis Mao spent most of his time in his train on the move


8 February-13 April: medical treatment in Hangzhou Spring Festival 21 March: reads poem


9 September: Mao dies in Beijing


Wang Huai 汪槐, 'An Account of Mao Zedong and Hangzhou' 毛泽东与西湖纪事, in Ye Jianxin 叶建新, Mao Zedong and West Lake 毛泽东与西湖, Hangzhou: Hangzhou Chubanshe, 2005, pp.181-90.