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After the war, Lin was key in creating Mao Zedong's personality cult. He wrote the introduction to The Little Red Book. Lin was rewarded for his service to Mao by being named Mao's successor in the Ninth Party Congress, 1966. This he remained until his death in 1971.
Lin died in September 1971 when his aeroplane crashed in Mongolia. He was attempting to flee China with his son after what appeared to be a failed military coup. After Lin Biao's death, he was branded a traitor by the Communist Party of China. He, along with Jiang Qing (Mao's forth wife) and the Shanghai Radicals are still officially blamed for the excesses of the Cultural Revolution.