CCAS delegation entering former cave residence in Yan’an occupied by Lin Biao, July 12, 1971

Visualizing Early 1970s China through the Lens of the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars (CCAS) Friendship Delegations

CCAS delegation entering former cave residence in Yan’an occupied by Lin Biao, July 12, 1971

Lin Biao (1907-1971) was a prominent army commander during the Sino-Japanese War and Chinese Civil War. He also served as Minister of Defense (1959-1971) and Vice Chairman of Communist Party of China (1958-1971). He died in plane crash on Sept 13, 1971 while fleeing the country with his family after his alleged plot to seize power was uncovered.

Yan’an, a remote town in Shannxi Province, embodies the spirit of the Chinese Communist revolution. Mao and his comrades made Yan'an their capital in 1936, and it served as the headquarters of the Communist army during the following eight years of fighting against the Japanese and during the civil war with Kuomintang from 1945 to 1949.

Lin was one of the Red Army commanders during 1930s. After the army arrived in Yan’an, Lin became the principal of the Chinese People’s Anti-Japanese Military and Political University in 1937 and orchestrated many important battles. While in Yan’an from the 1930s to 1940s, he and his comrades lived in the cave residence pictured here, which is known for being cool in summer and warm in winter.