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 Always a Fighting Force

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Always a Fighting Force

—Outstanding P.LA company awarded the title of "10th Company of Engineering Corps in Snow-Bound Highlands Boundlessly Loyal to Chairman Mao"

Source: Peking Review, No.4, January 24, 1969


    OUR great leader Chairman Mao and his close comrade-in-arms Vice-Chairman Lin Piao recently gave their personal approval to the order issued by the Military Commission of the Party's Central Committee conferring the title of honour of "10th Company of the Engineering Corps in the Snow-Bound Highlands Boundlessly Loyal to Chairman Mao" on the 10th company of a P.L.A. unit. In northwestern China a grand meeting was held not long ago to confer the title on the company and award it a silk banner.
   The 10th company is an outstanding example in carrying out Chairman Mao's revolutionary line and in preserving and developing the good style of hard struggle in the period of socialist revolution and socialist construction. It is a highly militant and highly revolutionized heroic collective armed with Mao Tse-tung's thought.
   Directed by our great supreme commander Chairman Mao, in the years of the Liberation War, the 10th company fought south and north and worked hard opening up roads and building bridges, thus making immortal contributions to our motherland and our people.
   After countrywide victory, the cadres and fighters in this company, following Chairman Mao's great teaching "To win country-wide victory is only the first step in a long march of ten thousand li. . . . The Chinese revolution is great, but the road after the revolution will be longer, the work greater and more arduous. This must be made clear now in the Party. The comrades must be helped to remain modest, prudent and free from arrogance and rashness in their style of work. The comrades must be helped to preserve the style of plain living and hard struggle," have overcome the erroneous idea existing among certain comrades that one can relax after victory in the revolution. They have firmly established the idea of continuing the revolution under the conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat. They have said: After victory in the democratic revolution, we must advance towards socialism. Unless we continue to work hard, we cannot carry the revolution through to the end, nor can we liberate all our class brothers who are still suffering oppression and exploitation, consolidate our new state power and build up a new China. We will unswervingly take the road indicated by Chairman Mao.
   In 1950, our great supreme commander Chairman Mao issued the order to build the Sikang-Tibet Highway and liberate the one million Tibetan 'serfs. The 10th company, which had fought heroically during the war years, marched from the battlefields to the Sikang-Tibet Plateau.
   The Sikang-Tibet Highway was a great project rare in the world's history of road building. The Sikang-Tibet Plateau has many snow-capped peaks and criss-crossing streams, and the weather is treacherous, all of which presented many difficulties. But no difficulty can deter the 10th company, which closely follows Chairman Mao in continuing the revolution. Working in the snow-bound mountains, many fighters became snow-blind. Bearing in mind Chairman Mao's leaching "Defy difficulties and work hard to build the highway in order to help our fraternal nationalities," they stuck to their fighting posts despite their aching eyes.
   In July 1953, the 10th company was ordered to move to the upper reaches of the Nuchiang River within five days and lay a steel cable suspension bridge across the river. This would enable the tens of thousands of road builders to cross so as to ensure the implementation of Chairman Mao's instruction that the road to Tibet's Lhasa must be completed in 1954.
   "Chairman Mao's instruction means the most urgent order," the fighters said. Marching single file, the fighters carried sections of steel cable on their shoulders, each bearing a weight of some 50 kilogrammes. Braving driving wind and rain, they took only three and a half days to cross two big mountains more than 4,000 metres above sea level, cover 170 kilometres and get the five steel cables to the river bank.
   The task was carried out during the high water season when the Nuchiang River rushed down at a speed of six to seven metres per second. Confronted by the roaring river, the 10th company fighters unswervingly pledged to cross the turbulent waters.

Chang Chin, Chu Pao-ting, Liu Chao-lin, Lo Chao and other comrades, who had gained merit, first class, in the building of the highway, were chosen to be the first group to cross the river. Rowing a rubber raft and drawing a lead guy line, they forced their way across the river to the opposite" bank. Turning round and round like a leaf in the middle of the river their dinghy was buffeted by the waves. Despite the danger of the boat being overturned, these heroes never for a moment forgot Chairman Mao's order. They encouraged one another with the heroic deeds performed by the Red Army soldiers in forced crossings of the Chinsha River and the Luting Bridge during the Long March. After two hours of a fierce, stirring battle, they overcame many huge waves, shot past many whirlpools and successfully landed on the opposite bank.
   Although they were hungry and tired, they continued to work non-stop to pull the steel cables across the river with the aid of the lead guy line. Since the line was very thin, the great weight of the steel cables made it cut into their hands. They wound the line around their backs and hauled from the bank inch by inch. "In order to complete earlier the task entrusted to us by Chairman Mao, which is an expression of Chairman Mao's concern for our countrymen in Tibet, we will never retreat an inch even if we have to endure greater pain," they declared. The 150-metre steel cable suspension bridge was thrown across the Nuchiang River 40 metres above its turbulent waters after a vigorous battle lasting three days and nights.
   After completing the Sikang-Tibet and Chinghai-Tibet Highways along with fraternal P.L.A. units and civilian road builders, they moved northwest for still more arduous assignments.
   Bearing firmly in mind Chairman Mao's teaching on plain living and hard struggle, over the past 18 years the heroic 10th company settled in the snow-bound highlands. Living in tents for a long period, the cadres and fighters relied on the invincible thought of Mao Tse-tung and braved the scorching heat arid icy cold, opened up ways across the snowy mountains, conquered the roaring waters, filled in marsh pits and triumphed over the Gobi Desert. Wherever Chairman Mao gave the signal to go, they charged forward and won the battle.
   In response to the great clarion call sounded by our great supreme commander Chairman Mao, "The People's Liberation Army should help the broad masses of the Left," in 1967 the 10th company marched into one city to carry out the task of helping the Left, helping industry and agriculture, exercising military control and giving military and political training. This was the first time the company had been stationed in a city since it started the march to Tibet.
   Faced with this new test, the Party branch of the 10th company promptly organized its cadres and fighters to study the following great teaching of Chairman Mao's: "There may be some Communists, who were not conquered by enemies with guns and were worthy of the name of heroes for standing up to these enemies, but who cannot withstand sugar-coaled bullets; they will be defeated by sugar-coated bullets. We must guard against such a situation." They studied the advanced deeds of the "Good Eighth Company on Nanking Road" in Shanghai, whose commanders and fighters, living in such a big city, had not been corrupted in the slightest. They had many discussions on "why we should maintain and develop the style of plain living and hard struggle under the new conditions." Through these studies and discussions, the 10th company came to a deep understanding that consciously maintaining and developing the style of plain living and hard struggle is essential in continuing to make revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat and in the struggle between the two lines. The whole company pledged to learn from the "Good Eighth Company on Nanking Road," fight a successful battle in eliminating bourgeois ideology and fostering proletarian ideology, and make new contributions in defending Chairman Mao's revolutionary line. 1
   In the fierce struggles between the two classes, two roads and two lines during the great proletarian cultural revolution, the class enemies regarded the 10th company as a thorn in their side. Sometimes, they used enticement and flattery to corrupt the revolutionary will of the cadres and fighters, trying to make the company lose its political orientation in the struggle between the two lines. Sometimes, they resorted to other malicious means, such as insincerely praising the 10th company and viciously running down the other companies, vainly thinking they could split up or disintegrate the forces helping the Left. Firmly resisting invasion by bourgeois ideology, the heroic, 10th company smashed the attack by sugar-coated bullets and bravely defended Chairman Mao's revolutionary line. Conscientiously implementing Chairman Mao's series of instructions, it united closely with the broad revolutionary masses in dealing blows at the handful of class enemies, thus making new contributions to the people.
   Chairman Mao has taught us: "Without a firm and correct political orientation, it is impossible to promote a style of hard struggle." The fundamental cause for the heroic 10th company's continuous advance and always maintaining the style of hard struggle in the course of making revolution is that it has persisted in creatively studying and applying Chairman Mao's works in struggle, especially in studying Chairman Mao's teachings on continuing to make revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, and that it has armed itself with the great thought of Mao Tse-tung and continuously raised its consciousness of the struggle between the two lines.
   Before enlisting, the educated youth Hao Chen-wu was not fully prepared ideologically to undertake heavy, sustained manual labour in 30°C. below zero. This was the first severe test he faced after joining the army. Former company leader Wang Sung-hai and political instructor Wang Ching-shan often helped him study Chairman Mao's Report to the Second Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the "three constantly read articles" and educated him in the struggle between the two lines. Nurtured by Mao Tse-tung’s thought, Hao came to understand that in carrying out and defending Chairman Mao's revolutionary line, a revolutionary fighter must eliminate self-interest and foster devotion to the public interest. He criticized his own erroneous thinking and was determined to devote his whole life to carrying out Chairman Mao's revolutionary line on this snowy plateau. Hao Chen-wu was the mess squad leader on one construction project. Together with his comrades-in-arms, he cleared away snow more than one metre deep to pitch camp on a hill top. Overcoming many difficulties, including hacking away the ice to place a stove, they always made meals for their comrades-in-arms on time.
   After squad leader Chu Ming-tsang was promoted to platoon leader, his comrades gave him more room to sleep in than the fighters. He tossed about at night, feeling that this was not right. Restudying Chairman Mao's teaching on the requirements for successors to the revolutionary cause of the proletariat, he realized that, although this might be considered a trivial matter, it reflected a big problem of whether to continue to maintain the qualities of a common fighter or to ask for privileges after one had been promoted to a cadre. If this went on, a cadre would surely become divorced from the masses and depart from Chairman Mao's revolutionary line. He used these reasons to persuade his comrades and went back to using the same space as that of a common fighter. Since then, he has always used Mao Tse-tung's thought to command his actions and shared weal and woe with the fighters. He deeply felt that only when a cadre consciously fights self and repudiates revisionism, develops the spirit of hard struggle and is never for a moment divorced from the masses, can he bravely defend Chairman Mao's revolutionary line and be a staunch fighter always loyal to Chairman Mao.
   Nurtured by Mao Tse-tung's thought, the 10th company, which is a great school of Mao Tse-tung's thought, has been run better and better. Starting from 1961, the year the campaign to create four-good companies* was unfolded, it has been selected a four-good company every year. Today, bearing in mind Chairman Mao's great teaching, they continue to maintain and develop the revolutionary spirit of hard struggle and always follow our great supreme commander Chairman Mao closely in making revolution.
  


* "Four-good" companies are companies which are good in political and ideological work, in the "three-eight" working style, in military training and in arranging their everyday life.
  
  
  

 
 
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