Former party chairman Hua Guofeng has come under sharp, renewed public criticism by the People's organ of the Communist Party. For the first time, Mr. Hua has been identified as the originator of the "two whatevers" policy -- that "we firmly uphold whatever policy decisions Chairman Mao made, and we unswervingly adhere to whatever instructions Chairman Mao gave."
In so doing, the People's Daily lifts a corner of the veil surrounding the acute struggle that went on between the "two whatevers" faction and adherents of the Deng Xiaoping line that "practice is the sole criterion of truth."
The struggle began soon after the arrest of the "gang of four" headed by Mao's widow, Jiang Qing, in October 1976, when Mr. Deng's supporters began their efforts to bring him back into the central leadership.
These efforts were strenously resisted by Mr. Hua and his friends. Mr. Deng returned to the central leadership of party and government in the summer 1977, but his decisive triumph did not come until the Central Committee's third plenum in December 1978.
After the third plenum, Mr. Hua's power ebbed gradually but surely. Some of his closest supporters lost their Politburo and government positions at the fifth plenum in February 1979. In September of the same year, Mr. Hua resigned as premier, ostensibly on the grounds that one person should not occupy high post simultaneously in the party and in the government.
Finally in June this year, Mr. Hua was forced to step down from the chairmanship of the Communist Party, which he had inherited on the death of Mao Tse-tung in September 1976 and justified with words ascribed to Mao: "With you in charge, I am at ease."
Today Mr. Hua retains a precarious toe- hold in the party leadership as the juniormost of six party vice-chairmen. Deng's protege Hu Yaobang in Chairman, and Deng himself is the senior vice-chairman.
As one well-informed source put it, "Comrade Deng is the core of the party leadership. He could have any position he wanted."
But this position of preeminence has been won only after a long, patient, persistent struggle. Some analysts here believe that the new attack on Mr. Hua may be intended as a warning to remaining opponents of the Deng line that further humiliations may await them unless they fall enthusiastically into step with his program to streamline party and government and carry out economic modernization.
The People's Daily article July 21 is the sixth in a series on the resolution evaluating Chairman Mao and the Cultural Revolution produced by the sixth plenum in late June.
It says the "two whatevers" first appeared in the draft of a speech by Mr. Hua in January 1977 and that Hua held to it stubbornly until the policy was decisively defeated at the third plenum in December 1978.
Until the Central Committee's work conference in March 1977, the article says , Mr. Hua insisted that the criticism of Mr. Deng the previous year (his ouster from power and the mass movements against him whipped up by the gang of four) had been correct. On the anniversary of the Tian An Men incident of April 5, 1976, when demonstrators honoring the memory of Premier Chou En-lai clashed with police and many were arrested, Mr. Hua made further arrests of those attempting to commemorate the incident.
Mr. Hua opposed the delayed the rehabilitation of old cadres framed and persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. Because of his wrong line of the "two whatevers," a correct reevaluation of the Cultural Revolution is said to have been long delayed.
Not only did Mr. hua obstruct the rehabilitation of old cadres, he allowed new frameups and persecutions to occur. Not only did he continue the personality cult of Chairman Mao, he cultivated a new personality cult around himself. Such are the principal accusations the People's Daily article makes against Mr. Hua.
According to the Article, Mr. Deng and Mr. Hu are the heroes of the struggle against the "two whatevers." Mr. Deng wrote a letter to the Central Committee dated April 10, 1977, before his return to the leadership, upholding "Mao Tse-tung thought" but insisting that the party could not cling to mistaken things or to things upheld by the gang of four.
In May the following year, Mr. Hu had published in an internal party journal an article entitled "practice is the sole criterion of truth." The struggle between the Deng and Hua factions went on with increasing acuteness, Hua doing his best to obstruct and suppress the Dengist line, until the December plenum.
The article in the People's Daily July 21 leaves a number of mysteries uncleared. It nowhere mentions the role of Marshal Ye Jianying, who helped Hua overthrow the gang of four, then strongly supported Deng's return to power, but who more recently seems to have opposed too sharp a criticism of Mao and too brutal an ouster of Mr. Hua.