The Wisdom of Mao’s Former Number Two Man Lin Biao

Today I happened across some intriguing quotations from Chairman Mao’s former second in command and close comrade in arms Lin Biao on Wikiquote. Lin Biao was accused of betraying Mao and died in a mysterious plane crash in Öndörkhaan, Mongolia on September 13, 1971.

These quotes may  have some relevance today.


On Handling Work Responsibilites

The Three No’s: (1961 – 1964)

Don’t speak out (avoid taking responsibility and avoid getting into a fight with the leader)
Don’t criticize
Don’t report bad news (so that you won’t be suspected of casting aspersions)三要:要响应、要表


The Three Shoulds: You should be responsive, You should give praise, and you should report good news. (1961 – 64)
Don’t speak the truth, stress fitting in.
Someone who won’t lie will never achieve anything important.
Whoever refuses to lie is doomed to fail. (1961 – 64)
Agree even with bad decisions — that is what is most important. Otherwise you are just a bookworm.
闭目养神 照上面办 面带三分笑(1961—1964)
Close your eyes, build your strength, and obey orders and you will win awards (1961 – 64)
Prevent you opponent from exceeding the set limits or they will destroy unity.  (1961 – 1964)
I just can’t stand dealing with foreigners! (In October 1968 Lin Biao was warmly embraced by the visiting Albanian Defense Minister Beqir Balluku. This is what Lin Biao exclaimed when he got home afterwards.)

Source: Wikiquotes at




About 高大伟 David Cowhig

Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
This entry was posted in History 历史, Military 军事, Society 社会 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.