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With you in charge, I'm at ease

With you in charge, I'm at ease

Designers: Chen Beixin (谌北心); Huang Naiyuan (黄乃源); Qin Dajian (秦大健); Liu Wenxi (刘文西)
1977, April
With you in charge, I'm at ease
Ni ban shi, wo fang xin (你办事我放心)
Publisher: Shanghai renmin chubanshe (上海人民出版社), print no. 7171.965
Call number: BG E15/121 (Landsberger collection)

All this only had been possible because power had shifted. Mao was dead and no longer in command, and neither were his policies. Instead, a relatively young and inexperienced leader took over: Hua Guofeng. Hua was able to produce something of a 'testament' in Mao's handwriting. This testament consisted of three notes that Mao had written in late April 1976, the most famous one being, "With you in charge, I'm at ease" (Ni ban shi, wo fang xin). Once Mao died, a struggle broke out between Hua and Mao's widow, Jiang Qing, over the contents of Mao's 'Last Will'. Jiang forged another Mao note and with this forgery in hand, she announced publicly that she and her followers were Mao's true successors. Jiang's hopes were dashed when various old Party cadres and Army men assisted Hua in arresting her and the Gang of Four. Given the heat with which Mao's succession was contested, it should be no surprise that the official version, the scene in which Mao handed over his testament to Hua, situated in Mao's office-cum-library, was replayed endlessly - but with minor variations - in propaganda posters. This official view of events moreover gave the people the opportunity to see that Mao's reading matter had not been limited to the narrow scope of publications that the masses had to make do with.

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