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China's Communist Revolution - A Glossary
Red Guard
Red Guard
Red Guards or hong wei bing militants were people in their teens and 20s who supported the shake-ups within the Communist Party in the Cultural Revolution. Clutching the Little Red Book of quotations from Chairman Mao, they terrorised "closet capitalists". As Mao urged workers to turn on their managers, he also encouraged students to turn against their teachers. Anyone who held a position of authority was at risk - from CCP figures to influential university professors accused of putting "technical expertise" ahead of "correct political thinking". Entire schools were closed by units of Red Guard students, and the movement soon spread from the classroom out onto the streets. Chinese people who were between the ages of 15 and 25 during the period of the Cultural Revolution are now referred to as the "lost generation", having missed out on a proper education.