Plot to kill Mao: General's daughter calls for historical reckoning

BEIJING - The daughter of a Chinese Communist military commander accused of plotting to overthrow Mao and killed in a mysterious plane wreck has called for a full accounting of history, a report said Thursday.

Mao, the founding father of Communist China, selected Lin Bao as his handpicked successor.

But he was later accused of plotting a coup during the tumultuous decade known as the Cultural Revolution, and died in September 1971 when the plane he was fleeing in crashed in Mongolia.

After the incident, Lin was quickly denounced as a "counter-revolutionary conspirator".

According to a report by the China Red Tourism Network, Lin's daughter Lin Liheng, also known as Lin Doudou, made rare public remarks at a gathering of the children of former Red Army leaders at a Beijing hotel earlier this month to commemorate the beginning of the 1934-35 Long March and other historical milestones.

"In her impromptu remarks, Lin Biao's daughter Lin Doudou called for full respect of historical facts and for intensified efforts to unearth and sort out historical incidents," the report said.

The report did not specify whether Lin was referring to the circumstances surrounding her father's death.

News of her remarks comes as China's Communist chief Xi Jinping is working to strengthen the ruling party control over the military.

At a two-day meeting last week in Gutian, a former revolutionary base in the eastern province of Fujian where Mao once held a major gathering to reinforce his authority over the Red Army, Xi reiterated: "The Party commands the gun."

He urged troops to prioritise the Communist party and "pass on to the following generations all the great traditions which were forged in blood by our ancestors".

Days later the People's Liberation Army Daily said that anyone calling for the military to be loyal to the state rather than the party had a "very black heart".

The comments came after military prosecutors said Xu Caihou, formerly the second-highest ranking officer in 2.3-million strong PLA, had confessed to bribery.