WASHINGTON, Aug. 17.
Mr. Mao Tse-tung is in deteriorating health as radical supporters and rival moderates manoeuvre for an upcoming battle over control of the Chinese Communist Party according to U.S. intelligence reports.
Mr. Mao (75), the party Chairman, is reported to be under the care of seven doctors.
Madame Chiang Ching, his wife, is leading the radicals in the fight for dominance of the new Central Committee and Politburo, which will rule the Chinese Communist Party in years ahead.
The 10th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, expected this month or in September will see a battle by Mr. Mao’s leftist supporters to stem their gradual loss of power to the moderates usually associated with the Prime Minister, Mr. Chou Enlai.
If the Maoist-leftist faction should win, the trend towards liberalisation in Chinese foreign policy, economies, science and education would be slowed or even turned around.
One of the preliminary skirmishes that reportedly is being fought involves the future of scientists who have been accused of political deviation. Mr. Chou wants to rehabilitate such scientists on the ground that political orthodoxy should not be a condition for allowing them to work since China needs all the scientific expertise it can get. Madame Chiang and her radical followers are described as strongly opposing such rehabilitation.