In summer 1959, a political storm arose in the leadership that shook the foundations of both the party and the PLA. From 2 July to 16 August, the top CCP elites gathered on Mount Lushan for a series of meetings of the Politburo and Central Committee. The original agenda of the enlarged Politburo session was to discuss how to correct leftist mistakes in implementing the party's economic policies of the Great Leap Forward. It was supposed to be a conference of "immortals" (shenxianhui), in which problems would be resolved in a relaxing and spontaneous way (Nie 1986:859). However, when the criticism of his "Three Red Banner" policies escalated, Mao lashed back, condemning the "right opportunism" of Defense Minister Peng Dehuai and his associates. 1 The Eighth Plenum of the Eighth Central Committee, which directly followed this encounter, became a rally against the "antiparty conspirators" who had dared to question the wisdom of Mao's economic policies. Defense Minister Peng Dehuai, Chief of the General Staff Huang Kecheng, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Wentian, Hunan Party Secretary Zhou Xiaozhou, and a number of other, lower-ranking cadres came under severe attack. A resolution was passed in the end, accusing them of opposing the party's general line and trying to split the party. 2 One month later, Peng Dehuai and Huang Kecheng were officially dismissed from their posts. 3 Lin Biao and Luo Ruiqing replaced them as the leaders of the PLA high command.