From May 7 to 11, 1962, Liu Shaoqi presided over the Central Committee’s “May Conference,” the focus of which was a plan for restructuring the Chinese economy. Although Mao had requested that participants not paint a uniformly bleak picture, Liu called again for a thorough estimation of the difficulties, and observed, “The foundation is unstable, and under difficult conditions it’s possible that the political situation will take a turn for the worse.”

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