-Biographical Database-

People's Republic of China- (1949- Present)

The People's Republic of China part of the Biographical Database provides short biographies of individuals involved in the progress of Chinese and relative East Asian history after the People's Republic of China was declared, October 1, 1949.

Chinese names will be alphabetically sorted according to Pinyin romanization of the Chinese name (they will appear without the pinyin accent marks). Older pronunciations, former romanizations, other translations and variations will be present next to the pinyin translation. There may be more than a few exceptions to this general rule, depending on the names most commonly associated with the person, independent of romanization issues, such as Chiang Kai-shek.

Where possible, names will include Chinese character references in either traditional (BIG5) or simplified (GB) characters or both.

Please follow this primer which defines the transliteration type and/or name type for entries:

Western names will be alphabetically sorted according to western biographical standards, or by surname.  If there is a Chinese equivalent, it will be present next to the western name.

Dates reflecting a time period before the year '0' in western terms, are categorized as BCE (Before the Common Era). This is equivalent to the widely used BC (Before Christ) and a.C.n. (Ante Christum Natum "before the birth of Christ"). Dates reflecting a time period after the year '0' are categorized as CE (in the Common Era). This is equivalent to the widely used AD (Anno Domini "In the Year of the Lord"). As the Chinese culture in the majority do not subscribe to the practice of Christianity as a religion, it seemed appropriate to signify these dates in a neutral manner.

Dates before October 1582 are given in the Julian calendar, not in the proleptic Gregorian calendar. Dates after October 1582 are given in the Gregorian calendar, not in the Julian calendar that remained in use in England until 1752.

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An index to all terms in this database is located after the database entries.

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Bo Gu
SEE Qin Bangxian

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Bo Yibo
B5: 薄一波; PY: Bó Yībō (1908- )-
Chinese politician, one of the Eight Immortals of Communist China.
He was alternate member and then member of the Politburo, deputy prime minister, chairman of State Economic Commission and vice-chairman of Central Advisory Commission of the Communist Party.
Joining the Communist Party of China when he was seventeen, Bo is now the most senior member of the Party and the only surviving member of the Eight Immortals.
During the Second World War, Bo set up the 'Shanxi Suicide Squad for the Liberation of China', which was widely acclaimed not only as one of the most courageous sections of the Chinese Red Army against the Japanese invaders, but it also became the mainstream force in the struggle against the Fascist regime. Bo has been responsible for incorporating the warlord Yan Xishan into the Red Army, who provided more than 200,000 troops.
During the Cultural Revolution, Bo was imprisoned as a political prisoner by Jiang Qing, Chairman Mao's wife, for his pro-democratic activities and for advocating freedom of trade with western countries. He was held in one of the worst conditioned prisons for fifteen years, during which time his wife was beaten to death. His sons and daughters were either imprisoned (e.g. Bo Xiyon, Bo Xilai and Bo Xicheng, at the ages of sixteen, seventeen and seventeen respectively) or sent to some of the poorest places in China (e.g. Bo Xining, at the age of fourteen).
His son Bo Xilai is called one of "Crown Prince Party" and is currently serving as the Chinese Minister of Commerce.

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Chen Duxiu
B5: 陳獨秀; GB: 陈独秀; PY: Chén Dúxiù; WG: Ch`en Tu-hsiu (October 8, 1879- May 27, 1942)-
Co- founder of the Communist Party of China, with Li Dazhao, in 1921.  He was its first Chairman, first General Secretary and an educator, philosopher, and politician. His ancestral home was in Anqing (安慶), Anhui, where he established the vernacular Chinese newspaper New Youth.


Chronological Life

Oct 1879 to Oct 1901: Early life and education.
Oct 1910 to Sep 1915: Planned the 1911 Revolution.
Sep 1915 to Apr 1920: Became an influential figure in the May Fourth Movement.
Apr 1920 to Jan 1924: Established the Communist Party of China.
Jan 1924 to Jul 1927: Worked for the revolution and reformation in China.
Jul 1927 to Oct 1932: Dismissed from leadership of party, Changed from supporting Liquidationism to Trotskyism.
October 15, 1932: Arrested by the Kuomintang; in 1933 sentenced to thirteen years in prison.
August 23, 1937: Released from prison
Aug 1937 to May 1942: Years of silence.
May 27, 1942: Dies of heart disease.

Early Life

Chen Duxiu was born in the city of Anqing (安慶) in Anhui (安徽) province. His father died when Chen was very young, and Chen was primarily raised by his grandfather and later by his older brother.
Chen had almost no formal education, but his grandfather tutored him in classical Chinese literature, especially the Four Books (四書) and the Five Classics (五經). A thorough knowledge of these literary and philosophical works were the pre-requisites for civil service in Imperial China. Chen was an exceptional student, but this lack of formal education resulted in a lifelong tendency to advocate unconventional beliefs and criticize traditional ideas.
Chen took and passed the county-level imperial examination (鄉試) in 1896, but he failed the provincial-level examination (省試) the following year. He moved to Shanghai in 1900 and Japan in 1901. It was in Japan where Chen became influenced by western socialism and the growing Chinese dissident movement.

The Founding of the Chinese Communist Party

At the turn of the century, the Qing Dynasty (清朝) had suffered a series of humiliating military defeats against the colonial foreign powers, namely the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) and the war against the Alliance of Eight Nations in 1901. At the same time, widespread corruption within the Qing bureacracy had left the empire in a state of total economic paralysis. During this time, Chen became an increasingly influential activist in the revolutionary movement against both foreign imperialism and the Qing government itself.
Chen founded the Anhui Patriotic Association (安徽愛國會) in 1903 and the Yuewang Hui (岳王會) in 1905. Chen was an outspoken writer and political leader by the time of the Wuchang Uprising (武昌起義) of 1911, which led to the abdication of Qing emperor and the collapse of the Qing Dynasty. Chen fled to Japan again in 1913 following the short-lived "Second Revolution" of Yuan Shikai (袁世凱), but he returned to China in time to take part in the May Fourth Movement of 1919.
In 1921, Chen Duxiu, Li Dazhao, and other prominent revolutionary leaders founded the Communist Party of China (中国共产党, 中國共産黨). Because of more or less biased Chinese historiography and lack of knowledge elsewhere, it has been generally assumed that Chen, Li and the other Chinese radicals of the time (including future chairman Mao Zedong) just formed the CPC out of diligent study of Marxist theories before and inspired by the Russian Revolution of 1917. However, it has been found out later that the road to Marxism was a long one, a number of the radicals being more or less anarcho-socialist or anarcho-communist even at the time the party was created, and several of the prominent members at that time didn't understand even the fundamental premises of Marxist theory. Because of heavy persecution and failed attempts at a more anarchistic social revolution, the prominent Chinese revolutionaries finally turned to communism, apparently more or less through the influence of a Comintern advisor by the name of Grigori Voitinsky, who made a tour of China during 1920-21.
At the First Congress of the Communist Party in Shanghai, Chen was elected (in absentia) as the party's first general-secretary, and with the assistance of Li, he developed what would become an important relationship with the international communist movement, the Comintern. However, co-operation with the Comintern would be a problem for the fledgling CCP for the next ten years, as aggressive Comintern advisors would try to force policy according to the wishes of Moscow.

A Party in Turmoil

At the direction of the Comintern, Chen and the Chinese Communists formed an alliance with Sun Yat-sen and the Nationalist Party (中國國民黨, the Guómíndǎng, or the Kuomingtang) in 1922; almost every prominent member of the CCP was against this decision. China had disintegrated into several warring states following the Wuchang Uprising, and the Nationalists were attempting to re-unify the nation under a Republican government. However, Chen became increasingly disillusioned with the Nationalists, which he perceived as rivaling the Qing dynasty in corruption. He also resented the foreign influence of the Comintern over the Chinese Communists. Chen was forced to resign as secretary-general in 1927 for his opposition to the Comintern.
Afterwards, Chen became associated with the International Left Opposition of Leon Trotsky. Like Chen, Trotsky opposed many of the policies of the Comintern. Trotsky publicly criticized the Comintern's effort to collaborate with the Nationalists. Chen eventually became the voice of the Trotskyists in China, which caused him to be forced out of the pro-Comintern CPC entirely in 1929.
In 1932, Chen was arrested by the Nationalist-controlled government during the anti-marxist purges of President Chiang Kai-shek (Jiǎng Jièshí, 蔣介石, or 蔣中正). Chen was released in 1937, but his political organization had been shattered in the aftermath. The CPC had been almost completely destroyed in the purges. Both the supporters of Chen and the pro-Comintern leaders who opposed him had been either killed or fallen out of favor with the Communist membership. The Chinese Communist Party only managed to survive the purges by fleeing to the northern frontier in the Long March of 1934, under the leadership of a new party chairman, Mao Zedong. Mao and this new generation of communists would lead the party in China for the next fifty years.
Chen was one of the few early leaders of the Communist party to survive the turmoil of the 1930's, but he was never able to regain any influence within the party he had founded. For the last two decades of his life, he faded into obscurity. Chen Duxiu died in 1942 at the age of 62 in Sichuan province, and is today buried at his birthplace of Anqing.

Literary Work

Chen felt his articles reflected the needs of society. He believed that the progress of society cannot be achieved without those who accurately report social weaknesses and sicknesses.
Chen‘s articles were always expressive. He criticized the traditional Chinese officials as corrupt and guilty of other wrongdoing. He was always being attacked and persecuted by the conservatives and had to flee to Japan for four times.
Chen’s articles strove to attract publicity, and often arouse discussion by using hyperbole. For instance, he emphasized his sadness about the backwardness and corruption in China, so that people suffering would be wiling to send him their opinions. In the New Youth, he even wrote different articles by using different nicknames to form a ‘discussion’, so that the public could be aroused.
Chen’s newspapers emphasized the responses from the audience. For instance, there were forums and citizens columns in New Youth. On average, there were 6 letters from the public in each publications. Whether praise or strong opposition, Chen encouraged all to write. Chen thought that teamwork was very important in journalism. So he asked help from many talented authors and journalists, including Hu Shih and Lu Xun.

Media Experience

On March 31, 1904, Chen founded Anhui Suhua Bao (安徽俗話報) which was the a newspaper that he established with Fang Zhiwu (房秩五) and Wu Shou (吴守) in Tokyo to promote revolutionary ideas using vernacular Chinese, a language which was simpler and easier to read for the general public. Chen was the chief secretary of the newspaper at that time. Initially, only a thousand copies were published. However, in less than half a year, it increased to threefold and the paper was ranked at the top among other vernacular Chinese newspaper publications. During 1904 and 1905, a total of twenty-three periodicals were published. Each had 40 pages for each publication, about 15000 words. However, the paper was barred from publishing in 1905 due to political reasons.

Chen's has three main objectives in publishing Anhui Suhua Bao (安徽俗話報):

Chen found out that Chinese often ranked families at a prior position than the country. Furthermore, most of them were in his view too superstitious. Thus, Chen tried to urge Chinese people to participate in politics through the publication of Anhui Suhua Bao (安徽俗話報). After the sixteenth publication, the newspaper added extra 16 topics, including military, Chinese philosophy, hygiene, astronomy, etc. Almost all of the added topics were written by Chen. His pen-name was Sanai (三愛). At least 50 articles were published under this name.

Other Publications

The Shanghai’s local government forbade the sales of Guomin Ribao(國民日報) on December 1st, 1903. After that, Chen had twice planned to found AiGuo Xinbao (愛國新報). He failed because of great pressure from different groups. He continued to express his discontent towards the government. For instance, when Anhui Suhua Bao (安徽俗話報) was published on March 31st 1904, Chen was responsible for all editing and distribution.
On November 27th 1918, Chen started another magazine, the Weekly Review (每週評論) with Li Dazhao (李大釗) so as to criticize politics in a more direct way and to promote democracy, science and new literature (baihua). Later, he founded New Youth (新青年). This publication was known for his argumentative essays. He also edited Tokyo Jiayin Magazine (甲寅雜誌) and Science Magazine (科學雜誌). Later, he became the Editor-in chief of Minli Bao (民立報)and Shenzhou Daily (神州日報).
From 1918 to 1910, students at Beijing University, namely Deng Zhongxia (鄧中夏) and Xu Deheng (許德珩) founded the Guomin magazine (國民雜誌) and invited Li Dazhao (李大釗) as consultant. From 1912 to 1913, Chen asked for assistance from Luo Jialun (羅家倫) and Fu Sinian (傅斯年) and they founded Xinchao She (新 潮社).

Tokyo Jiayin Magazine

In early 1914, Chen went to Japan and was an editor and wrote critical articles in the Tokyo Jiayin Magazine (甲寅雜誌) for Zhang Shizhao (章士釗). Chen once wrote an article entitled "Self consciousness on patriotism" (愛國心與自覺) which conveyed a strong sense of patriotism and instigated people to fight for their freedom. It spread the idea that those who love their country would spare no pains to protect the country and strive for the rights which the people deserve. This group of people should work together towards the same goal harmoniously. The article was threatening to the central government as it tried to arouse the self-consciousness of the Chinese people. This preliminary magazine was released for 10 issues in total before it was stopped from publishing. The magazine was resumed in 1925 in Beijing with the new name "Tokyo Jiayin Weekly" (甲寅周刊).

New Youth magazine

In 1915, Chen started an influential monthly periodical in Shanghai, The Youth Magazine (青年雜誌), which was renamed New Youth (新青年) and subtitled La Jeunesse in 1916 to 1919. Chen was the chief editor of this periodical. It was published by Qunyi shushe (群益書社) and stopped in 1926. The magazine mainly advocated the use of plain language, socialism and Marxism and strongly against feudalism.
Chen in fact had became the Chinese lecturer of Chinese literature and also the president of the school of Arts in Peking University(北京大学) since 1917. Having the approval from the principal of the Peking University, Chen collected writings of Li Dazhao(李大釗), Hu Shih(胡適), Lu Xun(鲁迅) and Qian Yuan (錢沅) etc. In order to expand the editorial department, New Youth was moved to Beijing. And in February of the same year, Chen used New Youth in promoting science, democracy and new literature, as well as against paleography and old literature. They advocated the use of scientific means and rational proofs in judgment and the achievement of political, economic, social and ethical democracy as their goals.

The Development of New Youth

New Youth was divided into different phases:


In 1918, New Youth published some new poems of Hu Shih (胡適)and Liu Bannong (劉半農), which were written in vernacular Chinese in order to conform with the above advocacy. Later on, all the articles in New Youth were written in vernacular Chinese and new punctuations marked his pioneer role in vernacular Chinese magazine publication.

Crisis With Cai Yuanpei

In the second edition of New Youth, Chen published Cai Yuanpei's speech, that is the Speech of Freedom of Religion (蔡元培先生在信教自由會之演說). He at that time criticized Chen for his misinterpretation about his speech on religion. As he puts it, "The publication of my speech on New Youth committed a number of mistakes." Fortunately, Cai did not become angry with Chen and the publication was then amended before publishing.

Crisis with Hu Shih

This crisis was about the political stand of New Youth. Hu Shih insisted that New Youth should be politically neutral and the publication should be more or less concerned with Chinese philosophy. However, Chen attacked his rationale by publishing "Politics Talk" (談政治) in the 8th edition. At that time, Chen was invited by Chen Jiongming (陳炯明) to be the Education officer in Guangzhou in mid-December of 1920.
He decided to assign the publication to Mao Dun (茅盾), who belonged to the Shanghai Communist Party. Hu Shih was dissatisfied with this and their partnership then crumbled. Later, Chen wrote Hu Shih about his dissatisfaction with Hu’s intimacy with the research faculty. He mentioned, "Please note your close relationship with the research faculty".
Others feel that the faculty is advocated by Liang Qichao (梁啟超), a the supporter of the Tuan Ch'i-jui (段祺瑞) government and their anti-new wave ideology. All of this made Chen greatly dissatisfied.


Chen suggested six guiding principles in an article called "Warning the teenagers" (敬告青年) in New Youth, which aimed at removing the old beliefs of Confucianism:

  1. To be independent instead of servile
  2. To be progressive instead of conservative
  3. To be aggressive instead of retrogressive
  4. To be cosmopolitan instead of isolationist
  5. To be utilitarian instead of impractical
  6. To be scientific instead of visionary

New Youth is one of the most influential magazines in the early modern Chinese history. Chen indoctrinated many new ideas such as individualism, democracy, humanism and scientific methods which compensate the removal of Confucianism in Communism.
Seen in this light, New Youth then became in a position to provide the alternative intellectual influence for many young people. Under the banners of democracy and science, the traditional ethics represented by Confucianism became the target of attack from New Youth. In the first issue, Chen called the young generation to struggle against the Confucianism by "theories of literaturial revolution" (文學革命論), explained in details in the next section.

To Chen, Confucianism should be rooted out because:

  1. It advocated superfluous ceremonies and preached the morality of meek compliance, making the Chinese people weak and passive, unfit to struggle and compete in the modern world
  2. It recognized the familial values but not the individual as the basic unit of society
  3. It upheld the inequality of the status of individuals
  4. It stressed filial piety which made man subservient and dependent
  5. It preached orthodoxy of thought in total disregard of freedom of thinking and expression.

In a word, Chen was calling for the destruction of tradition and his attack of traditionalism open a new vista for the educated youth. This magazine became the seed of the May Fourth Movement.

Chen's Contribution to Chinese Journalism

Chen has made many contributions in the field of Chinese journalism. He insisted on telling the truth to the Chinese people and strengthening the Chinese media for later generations. By establishing the newspapers and magazines concerning political issues, Chen had provided a main channel for the general public to express their ideas or discontent towards the existing government. Chen believed that the purpose of mass media is to reveal the truth. At a young age, Chen had already established Guomin Ribao (國民日報), promoting the inefficiency of the Qing Dynasty. With a view to the things mentioned above, his contribution was said to be influential to journalism as a whole.
To sum up, Chen was a famous revolutionary advocator and journalist in the modern Chinese history. His experiences in newspapers had born profound impacts in the journalistic arena in China.

SEE Photograph (2)

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Chen Yun
B5: 陳雲; GB: 陈云; PY: Chén Yún (June 13, 1905- April 10, 1995)-
was one of the most influential leaders of the People's Republic of China.
A native of Qingpu (now part of Shanghai), he worked underground as a union organizer in the late 1920s, participated in the Long March, and served on the Central Committee from 1931 to 1987. He was also active in the field of economics, despite receiving no formal education after elementary school.
Chen Yun's position as one of the top Chinese leaders span almost to its entirety. He was one of the Big Five in Communist China along with Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai, and Zhu De. A Politburo Standing Committee member for decades, he was one of the Vice-Chairs to the Central Committee until this position was abolished, and from 1987 to 1992 headed the party's Central Advisory Committee, until it was abolished. He is noted for the concept of a "bird-cage economy".
He was considered to be one of the Eight Immortals of Communist China.

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Chiang Kai-shek
(ROC) B5: 蔣中正; PY: Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng; WG: Chiang Chung-cheng (PRC) GB: 蒋介石; PY: Jiǎng Jièshí; WG: Chiang Chieh- shih (October 31, 1887- April 5, 1975)-
Chinese military and political leader who assumed the leadership of the Kuomintang (KMT) after the death of Sun Yat-sen in 1925. He commanded the Northern Expedition to unify China against the warlords and emerged victorious in 1928 as the overall leader of the Republic of China (ROC). Chiang led China in the Second Sino-Japanese War, during which Chiang's stature within China weakened but his international prominence grew. During the Chinese Civil War (1926–1949), Chiang attempted to eradicate the Chinese Communists but ultimately failed, forcing his government to retreat to Taiwan, where he continued serving as the President of the Republic of China and Director-General of the KMT for the remainder of his life.


Early Life

Chiang Kai-shek was born in the town of Xikou, approximately 33 km (20.5 miles) southwest of downtown Ningbo, in Fenghua County, Ningbo Prefecture, Zhejiang Province. However, the ancestral home (祖籍) of Chiang Kai-shek, a concept important in Chinese society, was the town of Heqiao (和橋鎮), in Yixing County, Wuxi Prefecture, Jiangsu Province (approximately 38 km. (24 miles) southwest of downtown Wuxi, and 10 km. (6 miles) from the shores of famous Lake Taihu).
His parents were Chiang Zhaocong (蔣肇聰) and Wang Caiyu (王采玉), part of a upper-middle class family of salt merchants. His father died when he was only three and Chiang wrote of his mother as the "embodiment of Confucian virtues." In an arranged marriage, Chiang was married to fellow villager Mao Fumei (毛福梅, 1882–1939). Chiang and Mao had a son, Ching-Kuo, and a daughter, Chien-hua (建華).
Chiang grew up in an era where military defeats had left China destabilized and in debt, and he decided to join the military. He began his military education at the Paoting Military Academy in 1906. He left for the Military State Academy in Japan in 1907. There, he was influenced by his compatriots to support the revolutionary movement to overthrow the Qing Dynasty and set up a Chinese republic. He befriended fellow Zhejiang native Chen Qimei and in 1908, Chen brought Chiang to the Revolutionary Alliance. Chiang served in the Imperial Japanese Army from 1909 to 1911.

Rise to Power

With the outbreak of the Wuchang Uprising in 1911, Chiang Kai-shek returned to China to fight in the revolution as an artillery officer. He served in the revolutionary forces, leading a regiment in Shanghai under his friend and mentor Chen Qimei. The revolution was ultimately successful in overthrowing the Qing Dynasty and Chiang became a founding member of the Kuomintang.
After takeover of the Republican government by Yuan Shikai and the failed Second Revolution, Chiang, like his Kuomintang comrades, divided his time between exile in Japan and haven in Shanghai's foreign concession areas. In Shanghai, Chiang also cultivated ties with the criminal underworld dominated by the notorious Green Gang and its leader Du Yuesheng. Chiang had numerous brushes with the law during this period and the International Concession police records show an arrest warrant for him for armed robbery. On February 15, 1912, Chiang Kai-shek shot and killed Tao Chengzhang, the leader of the Restoration Society, at point-blank range as Tao lay sick in a Shanghai French Concession hospital, thus ridding Chen Qimei of his chief rival. In 1915, Chen Qimei was assassinated by agents of Yuan Shikai and Chiang succeeded him as the leader of the Chinese Revolutionary Party in Shanghai. This was during a low point in Sun Yat-sen's career, with most of his old Revolutionary Alliance comrades refusing to join him in the exiled Chinese Revolutionary Party, and Chen Qimei had been Sun's chief lieutenant in the party.
In 1917 Sun Yat-sen moved his base of operations to Guangzhou and Chiang joined him in 1918. Sun, at the time was largely sidelined and without arms or money, was soon expelled from Guangzhou in 1918 and exiled again to Shanghai, but restored again with mercenary help in 1920. However, a rift had developed between Sun, who sought to militarily unify China under the KMT, and Guangdong Governor Chen Jiongming, who wanted to implement a federalist system with Guangdong as a model province. On June 16, 1923, Chen attempted to expel Sun from Guangzhou and had his residence shelled. Sun and his wife Song Qingling narrowly escaped under heavy machine gun fire, only to be rescued by gunboats under the direction of Chiang Kai-shek. The incident earned in Chiang Kai-shek the trust of Sun Yat-sen.
Sun regained control in Guangzhou in early 1924 with the help of mercenaries from Yunnan, and accepted aid from the Comintern. He then undertook a reform of the Kuomintang and established a revolutionary government aimed at unifying China under the KMT. That same year, Sun sent Chiang Kai-shek to spend three months in Moscow studying the Soviet political and military system. Chiang left his eldest son Ching-kuo in Russia, who would not return until 1937. Chiang Kai-shek returned to Guangzhou and in 1924 was made Commandant of the Whampoa Military Academy. The early years at Whampoa allowed Chiang to cultivate a cadre of young officers loyal to him and by 1925 Chiang's proto-army was scoring victories against local rivals in Guangdong province. Here he also first met and worked with a young Zhou Enlai, who was selected to be Whampoa's Political Commissar. However, Chiang was deeply critical of the Kuomintang-Communist Party United Front, suspicious that the Communists would take over the KMT from within.
With Sun Yat-sen's death in 1925 a power vacuum developed in the KMT. A power struggle ensued between Chiang, who leaned towards the right wing of the KMT, and Sun Yat-sen's close comrade-in-arms Wang Jingwei, who leaned towards the left wing of the party. Though Chiang ranked relatively low in the civilian hierarchy, and Wang had succeeded Sun to power as Chairman of the National Government, Chiang's deft political maneuvering eventually allowed him to emerge victorious. Chiang, who became Commander-in-Chief of the National Revolutionary Forces in 1925, launched in July 1926 the Northern Expedition, a military campaign to defeat the warlords controlling northern China and unify the country under the KMT.
The National Revolutionary Army branched into three divisions—to the west, Wang Jingwei led a column to take Wuhan, to the east, Pai Ch'ung-hsi led another column to take Shanghai, while Chiang led in the middle to take Nanjing- before they were to press ahead to take Beijing. However, in January 1927, allied with the Chinese Communists and Soviet Agent Mikhail Borodin, Wang Jingwei and his KMT leftist allies (including Hu Hanmin and Song Qingling), having taken the city of Wuhan amid much popular mobilization and fanfare, declared the National Government to have moved to Wuhan. After taking Nanjing in March (and with Shanghai under the control of his close ally General Pai), Chiang momentarily halted his campaign and decided to break with the leftists. On April 12, Chiang began a swift and brutal attack on thousands of suspected Communists. He then established his own National Government in Nanjing, supported by his conservative allies. The communists were purged from the KMT and the Soviet advisers were expelled. This earned Chiang the support (and financial backing) of the Shanghai business community, and maintained him the loyalty of his Whampoa officers (many of whom hailed from Hunan elites were discontented by the land redistribution Wang Jingwei was enacting in the area), but led to the beginning of the Chinese Civil War. Wang Jingwei's National Government, though popular with the masses, was weak militarily and was soon overtaken by a local warlord, forcing Wang and his leftist government into joining him in Nanjing. Finally, the warlord capital of Beijing was taken in June 1928 and in December, the Manchurian warlord Chang Hsueh-liang pledged allegiance to Chiang's government.
Chiang made gestures to cement himself as the successor of Sun Yat-sen. In a pairing of much political significance, Chiang married on December 1, 1927 Soong May-ling, the younger sister of Soong Ching-ling (Sun Yat-sen's widow, whom he had proposed to beforehand but was swiftly rejected) in Japan and thus positioned himself as Sun Yat-sen's brother-in-law. (To please Soong's parents, Chiang had to first divorce his first wife and concubines and promise to eventually convert to Christianity. He was baptized in 1929.) Upon reaching Beijing, Chiang paid homage to Sun Yat-sen and had his body moved to the capital Nanjing to be enshrined in an grand mausoleum.

"Tutelage" Over China

Chiang Kai-shek gained nominal control of China, but his party was "too weak to lead and too strong to overthrow". In 1928, Chiang was named Generalissimo of all Chinese forces and Chairman of the National Government, a post he held until 1932 and later from 1943 until 1948. According to KMT political orthodoxy, this period thus began the period of "political tutelage" under the dictatorship of the Kuomintang.
The decade of 1928 to 1937 was one of consolidation and accomplishment for Chiang's government. Some of the harsh aspects of foreign concessions and privileges in China were moderated through diplomacy. The government acted energetically to modernize the legal and penal systems, stabilize prices, amortize debts, reform the banking and currency systems, build railroads and highways, improve public health facilities, legislate against traffic in narcotics, and augment industrial and agricultural production. Great strides also were made in education and, in an effort to help unify Chinese society—the New Life Movement was launched to stress Confucian moral values and personal discipline. Mandarin was promoted as a standard tongue. The widespread establishment of communications facilities further encouraged a sense of unity and pride among the people.
These successes, however, were met with constant upheavals with need of further political and military consolidation. Though much of the urban areas were now under the control of his party, the countryside still lay under the influence of severely weakened yet undefeated warlords and communists. Chiang fought with most of his warlord allies, with one northern rebellion—against the warlords Yen Hsi-shan and Feng Yuxiang—in 1930 almost bankrupting the government and costing almost 250,000 casualties. When Hu Han-min established a rival government in Guangzhou in 1931, Chiang's government was nearly toppled. A complete eradication of the Communist Party of China eluded Chiang. The Communists regrouped in Jiangxi and established the Chinese Soviet Republic. Chiang's anti-communist stance attracted the aid of German military advisers, and in Chiang's fifth campaign to defeat the Communists in 1934, he surrounded the Red Army only to see the Communists escape through the epic Long March to Yan'an.

Wartime Leader of China

With Japan's invasion of Manchuria in 1931, Chiang adopted a slogan "first internal pacification, then external resistance" which meant that the government would first defeat the Communists before challenging Japan directly. In December 1936, Chiang flew to Xi'an to coordinate the final assault on Red Army forces holed up in Yan'an. However, Chiang's allied commander Chang Hsueh-liang, whose forces were to be used in his attack and whose homeland of Manchuria had been invaded by the Japanese, had other plans. On December 12, Chang Hsueh-liang kidnapped Chiang Kai-shek for two weeks in what is known as the Xi'an Incident and forced Chiang into making an "Second United Front" with the Communists against Japan. Though he lost his chance to finish off the communists, Chiang refused to make a formal public announcement of this "United Front" as the Communists had hoped and his troops continued fighting the Communists throughout the war.
All-out war with Japan broke out in July 1937. In August of the same year, Chiang sent 500,000 of his best trained and equipped soldiers to defend Shanghai. With about 250,000 Chinese casualties, Chiang lost his political base of Whampoa-trained officers. Although Chiang lost militarily, the battle dispelled Japanese claims that it could conquer China in three months and demonstrated to the Western powers (which occupied parts of the city and invested heavily in it) that the Chinese would not surrender under intense Japanese fire. This was skillful diplomatic maneuvering on the part of Chiang, who knew the city would eventually fall, but wanted to make a strong gesture in order to secure Western military aid for China. By December, the capital city of Nanjing had fallen to the Japanese and Chiang moved the government inland to Chongqing. Devoid of economic and industrial resources, Chiang could not counter-attack and held off the rest of the war preserving whatever territory he still controlled, though his strategy succeeded in stretching Japanese supply lines and bogging down Japanese soldiers in the vast Chinese interior who would otherwise have been sent to conquer southeast Asia and the Pacific islands.
With the Attack on Pearl Harbor and the opening of the Pacific War, China became one of the Allied Powers. During and after World War II, Chiang and his American-educated wife Soong May-ling, commonly referred to as "Madame Chiang Kai-shek", held the unwavering support of the United States China Lobby which saw in them the hope of a Christian and democratic China. Chiang Kai-shek's policies were far from Christian or democratic, but this remained unknown to the U.S. public due to strong state-imposed censorship in China and self-imposed censorship in the U.S. during the war years and after. This was especially fomented by the Chiangs' close friendship with TIME magazine publisher Henry Luce.
Chiang's strategy during the War opposed the strategies of both Mao Zedong and the United States. The U.S. regarded Chiang as an important ally able to help shorten the war by engaging the Japanese occupiers in China. Chiang, in contrast, used powerful associates such as H. H. Kung in Hong Kong to build the ROC army for certain conflict with the communist forces after the end of WWII. This fact was not understood well in the United States. The U.S. liaison officer, General Joseph Stilwell, correctly deduced that Chiang's strategy was to accumulate munitions for future civil war rather than fight the Japanese, but Stilwell was unable to convince Franklin D. Roosevelt of this and precious Lend-Lease armaments continued to be allocated to the Kuomintang. Chiang was recognized as one of the "Big Four" Allied leaders along with Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin and traveled to attend the Cairo Conference in November 1943. His wife acted as his translator and adviser.

"Losing China"

Following the World War, the United States encouraged peace talks between Chiang and Communist leader Mao Zedong in Chongqing, but each side, both distrustful of each other and the United States' professed neutrality, soon resorted to all-out war. The U.S. suspended aid to Chiang Kai-shek for much of the period of 1946 to 1948, in the midst of fighting against the People's Liberation Army led by Mao Zedong. Though Chiang achieved great status internationally, his government was deteriorating with corruption and inflation. The war had severely weakened the Nationalists both in terms of resources and popularity while the Communists were strengthened by aid from Stalin, and guerrilla organizations extending throughout rural areas. The Nationalists initially had superiority in arms and men, but their lack of popularity and morale, and apparent disorganization soon allowed the Communists to gain the upper hand.
Meanwhile a new Constitution promulgated in 1947, and Chiang was elected by the National Assembly to be President. This marked the beginning of the democratic constitutional government period in KMT political orthodoxy, but the Communists refused to recognize the new Constitution and its government as legitimate.
Chiang resigned as President on January 21, 1949, as KMT forces suffered massive losses against the communists. Vice President Li Tsung-jen took over as Acting President, but his relationship with Chiang soon deteriorated, as Chiang still acted as if he were in power, and Li was forced into exile in the United States under a medical excuse (under Chiang's direction, Li was later formally impeached by the Control Yuan). In the early morning of December 10, 1949, Communist troops laid siege to Chengdu, the last KMT occupied city in mainland China, where Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo directed the defense at the Chengdu Central Military Academy. The aircraft May-ling evacuated them to Taiwan on the same day, forever removing them from the Chinese mainland.

Presidency in Taiwan

Chiang moved his government to Taipei, Taiwan, where he formally resumed his duties as president on March 1, 1950. Chiang was reelected by the National Assembly to be the President of the ROC on May 20, 1954 and later on in 1960, 1966, and 1972. In this position he continued to claim sovereignty over all of China. In the context of the Cold War, most of the Western world recognized this position and the ROC represented China in the United Nations and other international organizations until the 1970s.
Despite the democratic constitution, the government under Chiang was a repressive and authoritarian single-party state consisting almost completely of non-Taiwanese mainlanders; the "Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion" greatly enhanced executive power and the goal of "retaking the mainland" allowed the KMT to maintain its monopoly on power and to outlaw opposition parties. The government's official line for these provisions stemmed from the claim that emergency provisions were necessary, since the Communists and KMT were still technically under a state of war, without any cease-fire signed, after Chiang retreated to Taiwan. His government sought to impose Chinese nationalism and repressed the local culture, such as by forbidding the use of Taiwanese in mass media broadcasts or in schools. The government permitted free debate within the confines of the legislature, but jailed dissidents who were either labeled as supporters of Chinese communism or Taiwan independence. His son Chiang Ching-kuo and Chiang Ching-kuo's successor Lee Teng-hui would in the 1980s and 1990s increase native Taiwanese representation in the government and loosen the many authoritarian controls of the Chiang Kai-shek era.
Since new elections could not be held in their Communist-occupied constituencies, the members of the KMT-dominated National Assembly, Legislative Yuan, and Control Yuan held their posts indefinitely. It was under the Temporary Provisions that Chiang was able to bypass term limits to remain as president. He was reelected (unopposed) by the National Assembly as president four times in 1954, 1960, 1966, and 1972.
Defeated by the Communists, Chiang purged members of the KMT previously accused of corruption, and major figures in the previous mainland government such as H.H. Kung and T.V. Soong exiled themselves to the United States. Though the government was politically authoritarian and controlled key industries, it encouraged economic development, especially in the export sector. A sweeping Land Reform Act, as well as American foreign aid during the 1950's laid the foundation for Taiwan's economic success, becoming one of the East Asian Tigers. During this time Chiang received an honorary degree from Bob Jones University.

Death and Legacy

In 1975, 26 years after Chiang fled to Taiwan, he died in Taipei at the age of 87. He had suffered a major heart attack and pneumonia in the months before and died from renal failure aggravated with advanced cardiac malfunction at 11 p.m. on April 5.
A month of mourning was declared during which the Taiwanese people were asked to put on black armbands. Televisions ran in black-and-white while all banquets or celebrations were forbidden. On the mainland, however, Chiang's death was met with little apparent mourning and news papers gave the brief headline "Chiang Kai-shek has died." Chiang's corpse was put in a copper coffin and temporarily interred at his favorite residence in Cihhu, Dasi, Taoyuan County. When his son Chiang Ching-kuo died in 1988, he was also entombed in a separate mausoleum in nearby Touliao. The hope was to have both buried at their birthplace in Fenghua once the mainland was recovered. In 2004, Chiang Fang-liang, the widow of Chiang Ching-kuo, asked that both father and son be buried at Wuchih Mountain Military Cemetery in Sijhih, Taipei County. The state funeral ceremony is planned for late 2005. Chiang Fang-liang and Soong May-ling had agreed in 1997 that the former leaders be first buried but still be moved to mainland China in the event of reunification.
Chiang was succeeded as President by Vice President Yen Chia-kan and as KMT party leader by his son Chiang Ching-kuo, who retired Chiang Kai-shek's title of Director-General and instead assumed the position of Chairman. Yen Chia-kan's presidency was mainly symbolic, with real power held by Premier Chiang Ching-kuo, who became President after Yen's term ended three years later.
Though one of the major figures in Chinese history, Chiang Kai-shek failed to cultivate in the Chinese people the affection of Sun Yat-sen or the regard of Mao Zedong. As Mao's number-one nemesis, he was vilified in mainland China as "China's number one fascist": a leader who did not serve China's best national interest in not putting an all-out effort against Japan and in trying to crack down on the Communists. Although numbers are uncertain, many estimates place the number of deaths during Chiang Kai-shek's rule on the mainland at around ten million (the lowest estimates provide a figure of about four million, while higher figures suggest as many as 18 million). Many deaths were the result of war and famine, but according to the controversial historian R.J. Rummel approximately four million were killed directly. According to Rummel, even the lower figures would suggest that Chiang Kai-shek has been responsible for more deaths than all but a handful of 20th-century dictators.
Chiang Kai-shek's current popularity in Taiwan is sharply divided among political lines, enjoying greater support among KMT voters and the mainlander population. However, he is largely unpopular among DPP supporters and voters. Since the democratization of the 1990s, his picture began to be removed from public buildings and the currency, while many of his statues have been taken down; in sharp contrast to his son Ching-kuo and to Sun Yat-sen, his memory is rarely invoked by current political parties, including the Kuomintang.


Like many other Chinese historical figures, Chiang Kai-shek used several names throughout his life, and he is known under several of these names.
The name inscribed in the genealogical records of his family, is Jiang Zhoutai (蔣周泰). This "register name" (譜名) is the name under which his extended relatives of the family knew him, this is a name that was used in formal occasions, such as when he got married. Traditionally, this name was not used in intercourse with people outside of the family, and inside mainland China or Taiwan few people know that his "real" name (the concept of real or original name is not as clear-cut in China as it is in the Western world) was Jiang Zhoutai (although other historical figures such as Mao Zedong are known by their "register name").
This name, however, was not the name that he received when he was born. Traditionally, Chinese families would wait a certain number of years before officially naming their offspring. In the meantime, they used so-called "milk names" (乳名) which were given to the infant shortly after his birth, and which were known only by the close family. Thus, the actual name that Chiang Kai-shek received at birth was Jiang Ruiyuan (蔣瑞元), but again this is a fact rarely known in mainland China or Taiwan, and only his parents would have used the given name Ruiyuan when calling him.
In 1903, 16-year-old Chiang Kai-shek went to Ningbo to be a student, and he chose a so-called "school name" (學名). The "school name" was actually the formal name of a person, the name used by older people to call the person, so it was the name that the person would use the most in the first decades of his life (as the person grew older, younger generations would have to use one of the courtesy names instead). Colloquially, the "school name" is called "big name" (大名), whereas the "milk name" is known as the "small name" (小名). The "school name" that Chiang Kai-shek chose for himself was Zhiqing (志清 - meaning "purity of intentions"). For the next fifteen years or so, Chiang Kai-shek was known as Jiang Zhiqing. This is the name under which Sun Yat-sen knew him when Chiang joined the republicans in Guangzhou in the 1910s.
In 1912, when Chiang Kai-shek was in Japan, he started to use the name Jiang Jieshi (蔣介石) as a pen name for the articles that he published in a Chinese magazine he founded (Voice of the Army - 軍聲). This name Jieshi soon became his courtesy name (字). Many interpretations of this name circulate. Some think the name was chosen from the classic Chinese book the Book of Changes, other note that jie (介), the first character of his courtesy name, is also the first character of the courtesy name of his brother and other male relatives on the same generation line, while the second character of his courtesy name shi (石 - meaning "stone") reminds of the second character of his "register name" tai (泰 - the famous Mount Tai of China). Courtesy names in China often tried to bear a connection with the personal name of the person. As the courtesy name is the name used by people of the same generation to call the person, Chiang Kai-shek soon became known under this new name. (Jieshi is the pinyin romanization of the name, which is based on Mandarin, but the common romanized rendering of this name is Kai-shek which is in Cantonese romanization. As the republicans were based in Guangzhou (a Cantonese speaking area), Chiang Kai-shek became known by Westerners under the Cantonese romanization of his courtesy name, but the family name known in English seems to be the Mandarin pronunciation of his Chinese family name, transliterated in Wade-Giles; the Cantonese pronunciation of his family name is "Cheung"). In mainland China, the name Jiang Jieshi is the name under which he is commonly known today.
Sometime in 1917 or 1918, as Chiang was coming to the forefront among the republicans and became close to Sun Yat-sen, he changed his name from Jiang Zhiqing to Jiang Zhongzheng (蔣中正). By adopting the name Zhongzheng ("central uprightness"), he was choosing a name very similar to the name of Sun Yat-sen, who was (and still is) known among Chinese as Zhongshan (中山 - meaning "central mountain"), establishing a close link between the two. The meaning of uprightness, rectitude, or orthodoxy, implied by his name, also positioned him as the legitimate heir of Sun Yat-sen and his ideas. Not surprisingly, the Chinese Communists always rejected the use of this name, and the name is not very well known in mainland China. However, this name was easily accepted by members of the Nationalist Party, and this is the name under which Chiang Kai-shek is still officially known in Taiwan. Often, the name is shortened to Zhongzheng only (Chung-cheng in Wade-Giles) in the style of typical courtesy names (out of respect). Visitors who arrive at the Chiang Kai-shek International Airport in Taipei are greeted by signs in Chinese welcoming them to the "Zhongzheng International Airport." Similarly, the largest monument in Taipei, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is officially in Chinese called the "Zhongzheng Memorial Hall."
His name also used to be officially written in Taiwan as "The Late President (space) Lord Chiang" (先總統 蔣公), where the one-character-wide space showed respect; this practice lost its popularity after Taiwan's democratization in the 1990s. However, he is still known as Lord Chiang (without the title or space), along with the similarly positive name Jiang Zhongzheng, in Taiwan.
Chiang was also nicknamed "the Gimo" (short for "Generalissimo") by some English-speaking foreigners, especially by Americans during the Second World War.

To further expand the already confusing issue of Chiang Kai-shek's name, below are variations:

Known in mainland China as Jiǎng Jièshí (Chiang Chieh- shih) GB: 蒋介石
Known in Taiwan as Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng (Chiang Chung-cheng)  BIG5: 蔣中正

Register name (譜名): Zhoutai (周泰)
Milk name (乳名): Ruiyuan (瑞元)
School name (學名): Zhiqing (志清), later Zhongzheng (中正)
Courtesy name (字): Jieshi (介石)
Kai-shek in Cantonese (his native language)

SEE Photograph (3)

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Dalai Lama
Spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and formerly the ruler of Tibet. The Dalai Lama is believed to be a reincarnation of the Buddha. When he dies, his soul is thought to enter the body of a newborn boy, who, after being identified by traditional tests, becomes the new Dalai Lama.
The first to bear the title of Dalai Lama was Sonam Gyatso, grand lama of the Drepung monastery and leader of the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect, who received it in 1578 from the Mongol chief Altan Khan; it was then applied retroactively to the previous leaders of the sect. In 1642 another Mongol chief, Gushri Khan, installed the fifth Dalai Lama as Tibet's spiritual and temporal ruler. His successors governed Tibet-first as tributaries of the Mongols, but from 1720 to 1911 as vassals of the emperor of China.
When the Chinese Communists occupied Tibet in 1950, they came into increasing conflict with Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. He left the country after an unsuccessful rebellion in 1959 and thereafter lived in India. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for leading the nonviolent opposition to continued Chinese rule in Tibet. In 1995 the Dalai Lama came into conflict with Chinese authorities over the identification of a new Panchen Lama (the second most senior Tibetan religious authority). In 1996 he published Violence and Compassion, in which he and French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière consider topics of political and spiritual interest.

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Deng Xiaoping
B5: 鄧小平; GB: 邓小平; PY: Dèng Xiǎopíng; WG: Teng Hsiao-p'ing (August 22, 1904- February 19, 1997)-
Revolutionary elder in the Communist Party of China (CPC) who served as the de facto ruler of the People's Republic of China from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, forming the core of the "second generation" CPC leadership. Under his tutelage, China developed one of the fastest growing economies in the world while the Communist Party retained tight control over the country.



Deng was born Deng Xixian (鄧希賢 / 邓希贤) in Paifang Village in Xiexing township, Guang'an County, Sichuan Province. He was educated in France, where many notable Asian revolutionaries, such as Ho Chi Minh and Zhou Enlai, discovered Marxism-Leninism.
Deng married 3 times. His first wife, Zhang Xiyuan, one of his schoolmates from Moscow, died when she was 24, a few days after giving birth to Deng's first child, a baby girl, who also died. His second wife, Jin Weiying, left him after he came under political attack in 1933.
His third wife, Zhuo Lin, was the daughter of an industrialist in Yunnan Province. She became a member of the Communist Party in 1938, and a year later married Deng in front of Mao's cave dwelling in Yan'an. They had 5 children: 3 daughters (Deng Lin, Deng Nan, Deng Rong) and 2 sons (Deng Pufang, Deng Zhifang).

Early Career

In the summer of 1920, Deng Xiaoping graduated from the Chongqing Preparatory School. He and 80 schoolmates, participating in a work-study program for Chinese students, boarded a ship for France (traveling steerage) and in October arrived in Marseilles. Deng, the youngest of all the Chinese students, had just turned 16. He spent most of his time in France working, first at the Le Creusot Iron and Steel plant in central France, then later as a fitter in the Renault factory in the Paris suburb of Billancourt, as a fireman on a locomotive and as a kitchen helper in restaurants. He barely earned enough to survive. He also briefly attended middle schools in Bayeux and Chatillon.
In France, under the influence of his seniors (Zhao Shiyan, Zhou Enlai and others), Deng began to study Marxism and do political propaganda work. In 1922 he joined the Communist Party of Chinese Youth in Europe. In the second half of 1924 he joined the Chinese Communist Party and became one of the leading members of the General Branch of the Youth League in Europe. During 1926 Deng studied at Moscow in the then-USSR. He returned to China in early 1927.
In 1929 Deng led the Bose Uprising in Guangxi province against the KMT government. The uprising soon failed and Deng went to the Central Soviet Area in Jiangxi province.
He was a veteran of the Long March, during which Deng served as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. While acting as political commissar for Liu Bocheng, he organized several important military campaigns during the war with Japan and during the Civil War against the Kuomintang. In late November 1949, Deng led the final assault on KMT forces under the direct command of Chiang Kai-shek in his native Sichuan. The city of Chongqing fell to the PLA on December 1 and Deng was immediately appointed mayor and political commissar. (Chiang Kai-shek, who had moved his headquarters to Chongqing in mid-November fled to the provincial capital of Chengdu. This last mainland Chinese city to be held by the KMT fell December 10 and Chiang fled to Taiwan on the same day.)

Ascension and Purges

As an old fellow combatant and supporter of Mao Zedong, Deng was named by Mao to several important posts in the new government, including General Secretary of the Communist Party, soon after the formation of the People's Republic of China.
After officially supporting Mao Zedong in his Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957, Deng became General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and ran the country's daily affairs with then President Liu Shaoqi. Amid growing disenchantment with Mao's Great Leap Forward, Deng and Liu gained influence within the CPC. They embarked on economic reforms that bolstered their prestige among the party apparatus and the national populace. Deng and Liu followed more progressive policies, as opposed to Mao's radicalist ideas.
Mao grew apprehensive that the prestige Deng and Liu gained from these efforts could lead to himself being reduced to a mere figurehead. For this amongst other reasons, Mao launched the Cultural Revolution in 1966, during which Deng fell out of favor and was forced to retire from all his offices. He was sent to the Xinjian County Tractor Factory in rural Jiangxi province to work as a regular worker. While there Deng spent his spare time writing. He was purged nationally, but to a lesser scale than Liu Shaoqi.
When Premier Zhou Enlai fell ill from cancer, Deng became Zhou's choice for a successor, and Zhou was able to convince Mao to bring Deng Xiaoping back into politics in 1974 as First Deputy Premier, in practice running daily affairs. However, the Cultural Revolution was not yet over, and a radicalist political group known as the Gang of Four competed for power within the Communist Party. The Gang saw Deng as their greatest challenge to success. After Zhou's death in January 1976, Deng lost firm support in the party, and after delivering Zhou's official eulogy at the state funeral, was purged once again. Deng was forced to give up all posts by the Gang of Four.

Reemergence of Deng

A strong-willed and highly intelligent peasant revolutionary, the diminutive and aging Deng gradually emerged as the de-facto leader of the world's most populous nation in the few years following Mao's death in 1976. Deng was also one of only a handful of peasant revolutionaries to lead China, a group that includes Mao Zedong and the founders of the Han and Ming dynasties.
By carefully mobilizing his supporters within the Chinese Communist Party, Deng was able to outmaneuver Mao's anointed successor Hua Guofeng, who had previously pardoned him, and then oust Hua from his top leadership positions by 1980-1981. In contrast to previous leadership changes, Deng allowed Hua, who is still alive, to retain membership in the Central Committee until November 2002, to quietly retire, and helped to set a precedent that losing a high-level leadership struggle would not result in physical harm.
Deng then repudiated the Cultural Revolution and launched the "Beijing Spring," which allowed open criticism of the excesses and suffering that had occurred during the period. Meanwhile, he was the impetus for the abolishment of the class background system. Under this system, the CPC put up employment barriers to Chinese deemed to be associated with the former landlord class.
Deng gradually outmaneuvered his political opponents. By encouraging public criticism of the Cultural Revolution, he weakened the position of those who owed their political positions to that event, while strengthening the position of those like himself who had been purged during that time. Deng also received a great deal of popular support.
As Deng gradually consolidated control over the CPC, Hua was replaced by Zhao Ziyang as premier in 1980, and by Hu Yaobang as party chief in 1981. Deng remained the most influential CPC cadre, although after 1987 his only official posts were as chairman of the state and Communist Party Central Military Commissions.
Originally, the president was conceived of as a figurehead head of state, with actual state power resting in the hands of the premier and the party chief, both offices being conceived of as held by separate people in order to prevent a cult of personality from forming (as it did in the case of Mao); the party would develop policy, whereas the state would execute it. Ironically, Deng held none of these top posts.

Opening Up

Under Deng's direction, relations with the West improved markedly. Deng traveled abroad and had a series of amicable meetings with western leaders, traveling to the United States in 1979 to meet President Carter at the White House shortly after the U.S. broke diplomatic relations with the Republic of China and established them with the PRC. Sino-Japanese relations also improved significantly. Deng used Japan as an example of a rapidly progressing economic power that sets a good example for China's future economic directions.
Another achievement was the agreement signed by Britain and China on December 19, 1984 (Sino-British Joint Declaration) under which Hong Kong was to be handed over to the PRC in 1997. With the end of the 99-year lease on the New Territories expiring, Deng agreed that the PRC would not interfere with Hong Kong's capitalist system for 50 years. A similar agreement was signed with Portugal for the return of colony Macau. Dubbed "one country-two systems," this approach has been touted by the PRC as potential framework within which Taiwan could be reunited with the Mainland in more recent years.
Deng, however, did little to improve relations with the Soviet Union, continuing to adhere to the Maoist line of the Sino-Soviet Split era that the Soviet Union was a superpower equally as "hegemonic" as the United States, but even more threatening to China because of its geographical proximity.

"Socialism With Chinese Characteristics"

The goals of Deng's reforms were summed up by the Four Modernizations, those of agriculture, industry, science and technology and the military. The strategy for achieving these aims of becoming a modern, industrial nation was the socialist market economy.
Deng argued that China was in the primary stage of socialism and that the duty of the party was to perfect "socialism with Chinese characteristics." This interpretation of Chinese Marxism reduced the role of ideology in economic decision-making and deciding policies of proven effectiveness. Downgrading communitarian values but not necessarily Marxism-Leninism, Deng emphasized that socialism does not mean shared poverty.
Unlike Hua Guofeng, Deng believed that no policy should be rejected out of hand simply for not having been associated with Mao, and unlike more conservative leaders such as Chen Yun, Deng did not object to policies on the grounds that they were similar to ones which were found in capitalist nations.
Although Deng provided the theoretical background and the political support to allow economic reform to occur, few of the economic reforms that Deng introduced were originated by Deng himself. Typically a reform would be introduced by local leaders, often in violation of central government directives. If successful and promising, these reforms would be adopted by larger and larger areas and ultimately introduced nationally. Many other reforms were influenced by the experiences of the East Asian Tigers.
This is in sharp contrast to the pattern in the perestroika undertaken by Mikhail Gorbachev in which most of the major reforms were originated by Gorbachev himself. The bottom-up approach of the Deng reforms, in contrast to the top-down approach of perestroika, was likely a key factor in the success of the former.
Deng's reforms actually included the introduction of planned, centralized management of the macro-economy by technically proficient bureaucrats, abandoning Mao's mass campaign style of economic construction. However, unlike the Soviet model, management was indirect through market mechanisms.
Deng sustained Mao's legacy to the extent that he stressed the primacy of agricultural output and encouraged a significant decentralization of decision making in the rural economy teams and individual peasant households. At the local level, material incentives, rather than political appeals, were to be used to motivate the labor force, including allowing peasants to earn extra income by selling the produce of their private plots at free market.
In the main move toward market allocation, local municipalities and provinces were allowed to invest in industries that they considered most profitable, which encouraged investment in light manufacturing. Thus, Deng's reforms shifted China's development strategy to an emphasis on light industry and export-led growth.
Light industrial output was vital for a developing country coming from a low capital base. With the short gestation period, low capital requirements, and high foreign-exchange export earnings, revenues generated by light manufacturing were able to be reinvested in more technologically-advanced production and further capital expenditures and investments.
However, in sharp contrast to the similar but much less successful reforms in Yugoslavia and Hungary, these investments were not government mandated. The capital invested in heavy industry largely came from the banking system, and most of that capital came from consumer deposits. One of the first items of the Deng reforms was to prevent reallocation of profits except through taxation or through the banking system; hence, the reallocation in state-owned industries was somewhat indirect, thus making them more or less independent from government interference. In short, Deng's reforms sparked an industrial revolution in China.
These reforms were a reversal of the Maoist policy of economic self-reliance. China decided to accelerate the modernization process by stepping up the volume of foreign trade, especially the purchase of machinery from Japan and the West. By participating in such export-led growth, China was able to step up the Four Modernizations by attaining certain foreign funds, market, advanced technologies and management experiences, thus accelerating its economic development.
Deng attracted foreign companies to a series of Special Economic Zones, where foreign investment and market liberalization were encouraged.
The reforms centered on improving labor productivity as well. New material incentives and bonus systems were introduced. Rural markets selling peasants' homegrown products and the surplus products of communes were revived. Not only did rural markets increase agricultural output, they stimulated industrial development as well. With peasants able to sell surplus agricultural yields on the open market, domestic consumption stimulated industrialization as well and also created political support for more difficult economic reforms.
There are some parallels between Deng's market socialism especially in the early stages, and Lenin's New Economic Policy as well as those of Bukharin's economic policies, in that both foresaw a role for private entrepreneurs and markets based on trade and pricing rather than central planning.
An interesting anecdote on this note is the first meeting between Deng and Armand Hammer. Deng pressed the industrialist and former investor in Lenin's Soviet Union for as much information on the NEP as possible.

Crackdown of the Tiananmen Square Protests

The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 started from the middle of April 1989, triggered by the death of Hu Yaobang, the stepped down party general secretary. Hu was widely seen as a liberal-minded person and was forced to resign from his position by Deng Xiaoping, an unfair treatment in many people's view, especially among intellectuals.
Although the government declared martial law on May 20, the demonstrations continued. After deliberating among Communist party leaders, the use of military force to resolve the crisis was ordered, and Zhao Ziyang was ousted from political leadership. Soldiers and tanks from the 27th and 38th Armies of the People's Liberation Army were sent to take control of the city. These forces were confronted by Chinese workers and students in the streets of Beijing and the ensuing violence resulted in both civilian and army deaths. The Chinese government acknowledged that a few hundred people died.
Estimates of civilian deaths which resulted vary: 400-800 (New York Times), 1,000 (NSA), and 2,600 (Chinese Red Cross). Student protesters maintained that over 7,000 were killed. Following the violence, the government conducted widespread arrests to suppress the remaining supporters of the movement, limited access for the foreign press and controlled coverage of the events in the mainland Chinese press. The violent suppression of the Tiananmen Square protest caused widespread international condemnation of the PRC government.

After Resignation

Officially, Deng decided to retire from top positions when he stepped down as Chairman of the Central Military Commission in 1989, and retired from the political scene in 1992. China, however, was still in the era of Deng Xiaoping. He continued to be widely regarded as the "paramount leader" of the country, believed to have backroom control. Hu Jintao, Deng's hand-picked man, is now the leader of the fourth generation of the PRC leadership. Deng was recognized officially as "The architect of China's economic reforms and China's socialist modernization". To the Communist Party, he was believed to have set a good example for communist cadres who refused to retire at old age. He broke earlier conventions of holding offices for life. He was often referred to as simply Comrade Xiaoping, with no title attached.
In the spring of 1992, Deng went on a southern tour of China, visiting Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shanghai, making various speeches. He stressed the importance of economic construction in China, and criticized those who were against the reforms and opening up. He stated that "leftist" elements of Chinese society were much more dangerous than "rightist" ones. He maintained that the economic reforms was a policy unchangeable in China, and essential to China's further development. His southern tour was followed closely by Chinese media, and was taken very seriously by local officials. Many people recognized the southern tour as a new achievement, making up for the mistake of the Tiananmen crackdown.

Death and Reaction

Deng Xiaoping died on February 19, 1997, at age 92, but his influence continued. At 1.5 meters (4 feet 11 inches), Chinese often called him "The Short Giant" (矮巨人) as Deng was short yet powerful. Even though Jiang Zemin was in firm control, government policies still followed Deng's ideas, thoughts, methods, and direction. The Central Government called Deng the "Great Marxist, Great Proletarian Revolutionary, politician, militarist, diplomat; one of the main leaders of the Communist Party of China, the People's Liberation Army of China, and the People's Republic of China; The great architect of China's socialist opening-up and modernized construction; the founder of Deng Xiaoping theory".
There was a significant amount of international reaction to Deng's death. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Deng was to be remembered "in the international community at large as a primary architect of China's modernization and dramatic economic development". French President Jacques Chirac said "In the course of this century, few men have, as much as Deng Xiaoping, led a vast human community through such profound and determining changes"; British Prime Minister John Major commented about Deng's key role in the return of Hong Kong to Chinese control. The Taiwan presidential office also sent its condolences, saying it longed for peace, cooperation, and prosperity. The Dalai Lama voiced regret.
In the year that followed, songs like "Story of the Spring" by Dong Wenhua, which were created in Deng's honor shortly after Deng's Southern Tour in 1992, once again were widely played. The CCTV-1 network ran a lengthy documentary series on Deng's life.

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Deng Yingchao
B5: 鄧穎超; GB: 邓颖超; PY: Dèng Yĭngchāo (February 4, 1904 - July 11, 1992)-
Chairwoman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference from 1983 to 1988 and a member of the Communist Party of China.
With ancestry in Guangshan County (光山縣), Henan, she was born Deng Wenshu (邓文淑) in Nanning (南寧), Guangxi. Growing up in the poverty-stricken family, her father died when she was at a young age and her single mother taught and practiced medicine. Deng participated as a team leader in the May Fourth Movement, where she met Zhou Enlai. They married on August 8, 1925 in Tianjin.
Deng and Zhou had no children of their own. However, they adopted several orphans of "revolutionary martyrs", including Li Peng, later a Premier of the People's Republic of China. She was instrumental in the abolition of foot binding imposed on women.
She died in Beijing of illness at the age of 88.
There is a memorial hall dedicated to her and her husband in Tianjin (天津周恩来邓颖超纪念馆).
Sometimes considered one of the Eight Immortals of Communist China, Deng Yingchao is not related to Deng Xiaoping (who is from Sichuan).

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Eight Immortals Of Communist China, The - Group of elderly members of the Communist Party of China who held substantial power during the 1980s and 1990s. In Chinese, however, they are called instead the Eight Great Eminent Officials (八大元老 in pinyin: bā dà yuán lǎo), abbreviated as the Eight Elders (八老 bā lǎo). By 2000 most of the Immortals had died.
The name originated in the 1990s and is an allusion to the Taoist deities by the same name.

The identities of seven of the Immortals are clear:

There is less certainty about the identity of the eighth Immortal:

As of 2005, Wan Li and Bo Yibo are the only immortals still alive.
Some descendants of the Immortals constitute a group now known as the "Crown Prince Party".

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Gang of Four, The
B5: 四人幫, GB: 四人帮; PY: sì rén bāng-
Group of Communist Party leaders in the People's Republic of China who were arrested and removed from their positions in 1976, following the death of Mao Zedong, and were blamed for the events of the Cultural Revolution. The group included Mao's widow Jiang Qing and three of her close associates, Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan, and Wang Hongwen. Two other men who were already dead in 1976, Kang Sheng and Xie Fuzhi, were named as having been part of the "gang."
The removal of this group from power marked the end of the Cultural Revolution, which had been launched by Mao in 1966 as part of his power struggle with leaders such as Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping and Peng Zhen. Mao placed Jiang, who before 1966 had not taken a public political role, in charge of the country’s cultural apparatus. Zhang, Yao and Wang were party leaders in Shanghai who had played leading roles in securing that city for Mao during the Cultural Revolution. The military leader, Lin Biao, was also part of this group until his death in a plane crash in 1971.
Around Lin's death, the Cultural Revolution began to lose impetus. The new commanders of the People's Liberation Army demanded that order be restored in light of the dangerous situation along the border with the Soviet Union. The Premier, Zhou Enlai, who had accepted the Cultural Revolution but never fully supported it, regained his authority, and used it to bring Deng Xiaoping back into the Party leadership at the 10th Party Congress in 1973. Liu Shaoqi had meanwhile died in prison in 1969.
It is now officially claimed by Chinese propaganda agencies that Mao in his last year turned against Jiang and her associates, and that after his death on 9 September 1976 they attempted to seize power (the same allegation made against Lin Biao in 1971). Even 26 years later, it is impossible to know the full truth of these events. It does appear that their influence was in decline before Mao's death: when Zhou Enlai died in January 1976, he was succeeded not by one of the radicals but by the unknown Hua Guofeng.
In any event, upon Mao's death Hua was named Communist Party leader as well as Premier. The "Gang" had arranged for Deng Xiaoping, Zhou Enlai's protege, to be purged in April 1976, but by early 1978, he was to become the real power of the Party. The radicals hoped that the key Army leaders Wang Dongxing and Chen Xilian would support them, but Hua seems to have won the Army over to his side. On 6 October 1976, Hua staged what amounted to a coup within the regime, arresting the four leading radicals and a number of their lesser associates. A massive media campaign was then launched against them, dubbing them the Gang of Four and blaming them for all the excesses of the Cultural Revolution.
In 1981, the four deposed leaders were subjected to a show trial and convicted of anti-party activities. During the trial, Jiang Qing in particular was extremely defiant, protesting loudly and bursting into tears at some points. Zhang Chunqiao refused to admit any wrong as well. Yao Wenyan and Wang Hongwen expressed repentance and confessed their crimes. Jiang Qing and Zhang Chunqiao received death sentences that were later commuted to life imprisonment, while Yao Wenyuan and Wang Hongwen were given twenty years imprisonment. They were all released later. Jiang Qing died soon after her release, though some allege she committed suicide.

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Hu Jintao
B5: 胡錦濤; GB: 胡锦涛; PY: Hú Jǐntāo; WG: Hu Chin-t'ao (December 21, 1942- )-
Fourth and current President of the People's Republic of China and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China.



Hu Jintao was born in Jiangyan, Jiangsu province. His ancestors lived in Jixi, the southeastern part of Anhui province. Since his grandfather this branch of his family immigrated to Jiangyan and lived there ever since. Hu was a talented student in high school, excelling in such activities as singing and dancing. He was also active in the Communist Youth Group. Hu joined the Communist Party prior to the Cultural Revolution in 1964 while still a student at Beijing's Tsinghua University. He graduated with a degree in hydraulics engineering in 1964. After graduation Hu became an assistant of the university and worked from 1965-1968. During the Cultural Revolution, Hu's father was tortured and died in Jiangyan. Deng Pufang, the eldest son of Deng Xiaoping and also a student of Tsinghua University, was also persecuted during the Cultural Revolution by insurrectionists, with the intent of inflicting collateral damage. Deng was kept in custody in a room full of radioactive materials. Deng knew that these might kill him, and decided to jump out of a window. As a result, Deng was paralyzed and lay on the ground helpless, but nobody dared to give him a hand. Hu passed by and saw the scene; he already knew about the situation and decided to escort Deng to the hospital, which saved Deng's life (although he was permanently paralyzed). This incident greatly impressed Deng Xiaoping, who later lent a hand in Hu's promotion.
In 1965 Hu was transferred to Gansu and worked for a hydro power station under Mao Zedong's policy of Youth Going To The Mountains and Rural Areas. From 1969-1974 Hu worked for Sinohydro Engineering Bureau No 4, as an engineer. In 1974 Hu was transferred to the Construction Department of Gansu as a secretary. The next year he was promoted to vice senior chief. During this period, Hu met his first mentor, Song Ping, the first secretary of CCP Gansu Division. Song appreciated Hu's talent and with Song's assistance, Hu was promoted to vice director of Construction Department in 1980.Another protege of Song, Wen Jiabao became prominent at that time. In 1981 Hu was trained in the Central Party School in Beijing, and Deng's daughter Deng Nan and Hu Yaobang's son Hu Deping were in the same class. Hu made a good impression on junior Deng, which was reported to Deng himself. Junior Hu even invited Hu Jintao to his home and met with Hu Yaobang, who was standing member of politburo at that time, and Hu's being modest and able gave Senior Hu deep impact. In 1982, Hu was promoted to secretary of CY Gansu Division.
With his mentor Song transferred to Beijing as Minister of Organization of CCP who was in charge of senior cadres' recommendation, candidacy and promotion, together with Hu Yaobang and Deng's support, a bright future was lying ahead of Hu. In 1982, Hu was transferred to Beijing and appointed as secretariat of Central CY. Two years later Hu was promoted to First Secretary of Central CY. During his term in CY, Hu escorted Hu Yaobang, who was General Secretary of CCP then, to travel around the country. Hu Yaobang himself was a veteran coming from CY, from Hu he could see the youth of himself. The profound feeling between Hu Yaobang and Hu led to Hu's insistence of rehabilitation of Hu Yaobang in Later years.
Hu Jintao accompanied Hu Yaobang in his year of CY
In 1985, Hu was transferred to Guizhou as secretary of CCP Guizhou Division,which began his era as a viceroy governing a province. In contrast to the members of the "Shanghai clique", Hu spent most of his career in China's poorer hinterland rather than in the economically prosperous coastal regions. Partly because of this, he was little known by Western analysts before his ascent to power. In 1987 Hu handled the students protest carefully, which in Beijing resulted in Hu Yaobang's stepdown.
As Party Secretary of the Tibetan Autonomous Region from 1988 to 1992, Hu was responsible for a political crackdown in early 1989 that lead to the deaths of several Tibetan activists. He also worked towards some liberalization of cultural activities. When Jiang Zemin was picked up by Deng to succeed Zhao Ziyang in 1989, he was regarded as a transitional figure. Thus, before the opening of 14th National Congress of CCP, the paramount leaders of CCP such as Deng and Chen Yun made decision on the list of candidates for standing members of the politburo, which to ensure the transition of power from the so-called second generation CCP leaders such as Deng to third generation CCP leaders such as Jiang and Li Peng. Deng proposed they consider some guy for the further future transition. Song, as Minister of Organization, recommended Hu as an ideal candidate to Deng. As a result, in his 50's, Hu was by far the youngest member of the then seven-member Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, and it was quite obvious Hu would succeed Jiang as the core of 4th generation CCP leaders. From 1993, Hu took the position of secretariat of CCP Center which took daily run of CCP center, president of Central Party School, which was convenient for him to bring up his own proteges among senior CCP cadres. Hu was in charge of the ideology work of CCP too. Although Hu was destined to succeed Jiang, he shed spotlights on Jiang carefully and never tried to steal Jiang's show. When the transition finally took place in the 16th National Congress of CCP in 2002, Jiang was reluctant to leave the power center. He stuffed the politburo with his Shanghai Clique such as Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Zeng Qinghong, Huang Ju and Li Changchun, which could ensure Jiang's control behind the stage.


Since taking over as Party General Secretary at the Sixteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Hu Jintao has appeared to have a more egalitarian style than his predecessor. Hu and his premier Wen had proposed to set up a Harmony Society which aims at lessening the inequality and changing the style of GDP first and Welfare Second. They had focused on sectors of the Chinese population that have been left behind by the economic reform, and has taken a number of high profile trips to the poorer areas of China with the stated goal of understanding these areas better. Hu and Wen Jiabao have also attempted to move China away from a policy of favoring economic growth at all costs and toward a more balanced view of growth that includes factors in social inequality and environmental damage, including the use of the green gross domestic product in personnel decisions. But with Jiang and his clique still controlled most developing areas, Hu and Wen's measures of macroeconomic regulation faced great resistance.
The major early crisis of Hu's leadership was the outbreak of SARS in 2003. Following strong criticism of China by the World Health Organization and others for initially covering up and responding slowly to the crisis, he sacked several party and government officials, including the health minister, who was Jiang's protégé and the mayor of Beijing, who was Hu's protégé for Hu having to sacrifice him for compromise. Hu and Wen took steps to increase the transparency of China's reporting to international health organizations.
Another test of Hu's leadership was Beijing's low key response to protests against the implementation of Article 23 of the Basic Law in Hong Kong in 2003. In an unprecedented move, the legislation to implement the Article was withdrawn by the Hong Kong government, after a large popular protest on July 1, 2003. At the same time, Hu gave a public show of support to Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-Hwa after gauging public mood in Hong Kong. Many observers see the Central Government's handling of the situation as characteristic of Hu's quiet style, and unlike Tung Chee-Hwa, Hu remains a popular figure in Hong Kong.
Although Jiang Zemin, then 76, stepped down from the powerful Politburo Standing Committee to make way for a younger "fourth generation" of leadership led by Hu, there was speculation that Jiang Zemin would retain significant power because Hu is not associated with Jiang's "Shanghai clique", to which six out of the nine new members of the all-powerful Standing Committee are linked. The 22-member Politburo is elected by the Party's central committee. Real power in Communist China lies with this committee, which works like an inner cabinet and groups together the country's most influential leaders. At the 2002 16th Party Congress, the Standing Committee was expanded to include nine members. In addition, Jiang was reelected to the post of Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China, a post from which Deng Xiaoping was able to wield power from behind the scenes as "paramount leader."
China has a history of fallen heirs-apparent, which many observers believe explains the caution with which outside observers have long associated Hu Jintao. The PRC has been plagued with succession problems, with elder cadres, such as Deng Xiaoping, wielding behind the scenes power through younger protégés. Deng was able to anoint three party secretaries, and was instrumental in the ousting of two of them, Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang. His third and final selection, Jiang Zemin, won Deng's continued backing and was the only party secretary in Communist Chinese history to voluntarily leave his post when his term ended. Even Deng himself fell from grace as party general secretary (not the top communist post during that time) in the 1950s due to his indifferent support for Maoist economic policies.
At the same time, attempts to draw historical parallels need to be carefully considered. Since the early-1980s, the People's Republic of China has been marked by increasing institutionalization and rule has been de-personalized. In reaction to the anarchy of the Cultural Revolution, the Communist Party of China has had as one of its major goals, the creation of an orderly system of succession and mechanism to prevent informal rule and a cult of personality.
However, speculations around the political rivalry between Jiang and Hu largely subsided when Jiang resigned as Chairman of the Central Military Commission in September 2004, his last official post. Hu succeeded Jiang as the Chairman of CMC and thus gaining effective control over the state, the party, as well as the army.
One of the biggest challenges Hu faces is the big inequality between Chinese rich and poor, for which discontent and anger mounted to a degree wreaking havoc on CCP's reign. Furthermore, the cronyism and corruption plaguing China can drag China into deep crisis too. Also it remains to be seen if Hu is capable of managing the continued peaceful development of China while avoiding international incidents, at the same time presiding over a unprecedented increase in Chinese nationalist sentiment.


Observers indicate that Hu distinguishes himself from his predecessor in both domestic and foreign policy. In domestic policy, he seems to want more openness to the public on governmental functions and meetings. Recently, China's news agency published many Politburo Standing Committee meeting details. He also cancelled many spendthrift events that are traditionally seen as communist extravagances, such as the lavish send-off and welcoming-back ceremonies of Chinese leaders when visiting foreign lands. Furthermore the Chinese leadership under Hu has also focused on such problems as the gap between rich and poor and uneven development between the interior and coastal regions. Both party and state seem to have moved away from a definition of development that focuses solely on GDP growth and toward a more balanced definition which includes social equality and environment effects.
In 2004, Hu ordered all cadres from the five major power functions to stop going to the Beidaihe retreat for their annual summer meeting which, before, was commonly seen as a gathering of ruling elites from both current and elder cadres to decide China's destiny. In foreign policy, he has differed from his predecessor by actively engaging in the current North Korea nuclear crisis. He has also assured neighbors in the region with the concept of China's peaceful rise.
At the same time, Hu has contradicted some initial expectations that he was a closet liberal. Hu was a pragmatist and hard-liner as far as any effort of political reform is concerned. Observers have noted that under Hu, censorship of the news media and harassment of dissidents has increased and turned severer and more frequent than his predecessor. Although his son-in-law, Mao Daolin used to be CEO of Sina.com, a famous portal of China, Hu obviously has no taste for the free flow of information on internet. Blocking of websites takes place more frequently, among which include websites such as Nytimes.com, Washingtonpost.com and Wikipedia. Furthermore, while Hu has attempted to make decision making more transparent and to increase rule of law he has also explicitly stated that his goal is to strengthen and make the party more efficient rather than weaken the party or move toward a pluralistic political system. In December 2004, the Hong Kong magazine Open quoted an alleged instruction by Hu to propaganda officials from September in which he wrote that, when managing ideology, China had to learn from Cuba and North Korea. Although North Korea had encountered temporary economic problems, its political policies were consistently correct. Open also quoted Hu as calling Mikhail Gorbachev a "betrayer of socialism".
While Hu Jintao has given some signs of being more flexible with regard to political relationships with Taiwan as in his May 17 Statement, he appears to be unwilling to reconsider Chinese reunification as an ultimate goal or to renounce the use of force if Taiwan were to declare independence. The combination of both soft and hard approaches were apparent in the Anti-Secession Law which was passed in March 2005 and in the unprecedented meeting between Hu and Kuomintang leader Lien Chan in April 2005.

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Hua Guofeng
B5: 華國鋒; GB: 华国锋; PY: Huà Guófēng; WG: Hua Kuo-feng (February 16, 1921- )-
Mao Zedong's designated successor as the paramount leader of the Communist Party of China and the People's Republic of China. Upon Zhou Enlai's death in 1976, he succeeded him as Premier of the People's Republic of China. Months later, Mao died, and Hua succeeded Mao as the Chairman of the Communist Party of China, to the surprise and dismay of Jiang Qing and the rest of the Gang of Four. He brought the Cultural Revolution to an end, ousted the Gang of Four from political power, but was himself outmaneuvered a couple years later by Deng Xiaoping, who forced Hua into early retirement.
Born in Jiaocheng, Shanxi province as Liu Zhengrong (刘苏铸), Hua joined the Communist Party of China in 1938 as a part of counter-Japanese resistance. During the mid-1940's he became propaganda chief for the county Party committee.
Hua was elected to the Politburo in 1973 and was minister of public security in 1975. He became acting Premier of the People's Republic of China following Zhou Enlai's death, in January 1976, full Premier and party vice chairman in April 1976, and Chairman of the Communist Party of China when Mao died, in September 1976 (although this was not announced to the world until October 12).
During his relatively short leadership, Hua was credited for quickly ousting the Gang of Four from political power and thus became the leader whose emergence marked the end of the Cultural Revolution as currently dated. Hua's economic and political program involved the restoration of Soviet-style industrial planning and party control similar to that followed by China before the Great Leap Forward. However, this model was rejected by supporters of Deng Xiaoping who argued for a more market based economic system. This argument was decisively resolved in Deng's favor in 1978, which is generally taken as the start of the era of Chinese economic reform.
As Deng Xiaoping gradually regained control over the CPC, Hua was denounced for promoting the Two Whatevers policy and replaced by Zhao Ziyang as Premier in 1980, and by Hu Yaobang as Party Chairman in 1981. Both Zhao and Hu were protégés of Deng who were dedicated to Chinese economic reform. Hua Guofeng was demoted to junior Vice Chairman, and when this post was abolished in 1982 he remained as an ordinary member of the Central Committee, a position which he held until the 16th Party Congress of November 2002 despite having passed the designated retirement age of seventy. The ousting of Hua was significant in at least two respects. First it demonstrated the unimportance of official titles in the Chinese Communist Party during the late-1970's and early-1980's. Despite being the official leader of the party, the state, and the army, Hua was unable to defeat a leadership challenge by Deng Xiaoping. Second, Hua's ousting helped establish a norm within the PRC that political leaders who lost a power struggle would not be physically harmed or jailed, in contrast to the situations both during the Cultural Revolution and afterwards with the Gang of Four.
It was reported that Hua Guofeng quit the Chinese Communist Party in October 2001 for "health reasons". This report has not been confirmed by the Communist Party.

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Jiang Jieshi
SEE Chiang Kai-shek

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Jiang Qing
GB: 江青; PY: Jiāng Qīng; WG: Chiang Ch'ing (stage name Lan Ping) (1914- May 14, 1991)-
Fourth wife of Mao Zedong, and also known as Mme Mao was a Chinese political leader most famous for forming the Gang of Four.
She was born as Lǐ Shúméng (李淑蒙) in Zhucheng (诸城), Shandong Province. She is also known as Lǐ Jìn (李进) and Lǐ Yúnhè (李云鹤), and was an actress under the stage name of Lán Píng (蓝苹). Joined the Communist Party of China in 1933 and worked as an actress in Shanghai from 1933 to 1937. In 1939, Kang Sheng introduced her to Mao Zedong in Yan'an, and she and Mao were later married. After 1949, she worked in the Ministry of Culture.
She became a member of the Politburo in 1969. She was appointed as the deputy director of the Cultural Revolution in 1966, and formed the famous Gang of Four with Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan and Wang Hongwen. From that point on, she was the most powerful figure in China during Mao's last years, and became the most hated figure of Mao's totalitarian regime.
Jiang incited radical youths organized as Red Guards against other senior political leaders and government officials, including Liu Shaoqi, the President of the PRC at that time, and Deng Xiaoping, deputy Premier. Internally divided into factions both to the "left" and "right" of Jiang Qing and Mao, not all Red Guards were friendly to Jiang Qing.
Jiang also directed revolutionary operas and ballets as part of an effort to transform China's culture. The Eight model plays were allegedly created under her guidance. Critics say her influence on art was too restrictive. At the same time during the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese public began to detest Madame Mao. She was known to be extremely petty, executing old enemies such as directors and actresses she knew from her days in Shanghai. Although she championed the Communist ideals of obedience and equality, Qing longed to wear the feminine fashions and sophisticated hairstyles of the West. When the Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos visited in the '70s Qing was said to be extremely jealous of her clothes and makeup.
According to Jung Chang's and Jon Halliday's biography of Mao Zedong, Jiang's favorite hobbies included photography, playing cards, and watching foreign movies, especially Gone with the Wind. She hated noise and would force her servants to wear clothes made from sheepskin so as to minimise noise in her Beijing Palace.
Jiang first collaborated with then 2nd-in-charge Lin Biao, but after Lin's death in a plane crash in 1971, she turned against him publicly in the Anti-Lin, Anti-Confucius Campaign. She also spearheaded the campaign against Deng Xiaoping when he fell out of favor in the mid '70s (later saying that this was under Mao's orders). When an earthquake in Northern China killed 165,000 she was reputed to remark; "Merely thousands have died. Let us not stop the People's campaign to imprison the bourgeois elements of the Communist Party (referring to Xiaoping.)" The Chinese public became intensely unhappy at this time and, rather than blaming Mao, chose to blame the more accessible and easy target Jiang Qing. After the death of Mao, the infamous Gang of Four quickly fell from power and were blamed for the destruction of the Cultural revolution. She was arrested after the death of Mao and the end of the Cultural Revolution (1976).
At her trial in 1981 she was the only member of the Gang of Four who bothered to argue on her behalf. The Defense's Argument was that she was obeying the orders of her husband at all times, which to be fair was probably true. It was at this trial that Qing made the famous quote "I was Mao's mad dog. Whoever he asked me to bite, I bit." She was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve in 1981, and the sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. She was released for medical reasons in 1991. She died soon after. Later the government claimed that she killed herself in her apartment, ten days after her release.

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Jiang Zemin
B5: 江澤民; GB: 江泽民; PY: Jiāng Zémín (August 17, 1926- )-
The "core of the third generation" of Communist Party of China leaders, serving as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002, as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003, and as Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 2004. His theory of the Three Represents has been written into the party and state constitutions. Under his tutelage, China experienced meteoric economic growth with reforms and improved its relations with the outside world while the Communist Party maintained its tight control over the government.


Background & Ascendancy

A native of Yangzhou, Jiangsu, Jiang grew up during the years of Japanese occupation. His uncle died fighting the Japanese, and he was given by his father to his uncle's family to become their male heir. In 1946 he transferred to Jiaotong University and graduated there in 1947. A mechanical engineer, Jiang received his training at the Stalin Automobile Works in Moscow in the 1950s. He worked for Changchun's First Automobile Plant. He eventually got transferred to government services, where he began rising in rank, becoming the Minister of Electronic Industries in 1983. In 1985 he became the Mayor of Shanghai, and subsequently the Shanghai Party boss.
Jiang received mixed reviews as mayor. Many of his critics dismissed him as a "flower vase", a Chinese term used to describe a decorative but useless person. Many credited Shanghai's growth during the period to Zhu Rongji.
Jiang, fluent in Romanian and Russian, and somewhat capable of engaging foreign dignitaries with his grounding in Japanese, French, and English language and literature, had served as Ambassador to Romania.
Jiang was elevated to national politics in 1987, becoming a member of the CPC Central Committee. In 1989, China was in crisis over the Tiananmen Square protest, and the Central Government was in conflict on how to handle the anti-opening policy protesters. (The opening policy, brought out by Deng Xiaoping, has been proved as a crucial and brilliant turning point in China's modern history, causing the economy boost in a world astonishing rate during the past decades.) In June, Deng Xiaoping dismissed liberal Zhao Ziyang, who was considered too conciliatory to student protestors. Jiang was chosen as a compromise candidate over Tianjin's Li Ruihuan by Deng Xiaoping, Premier Li Peng, Chen Yun, and the retired elders following the Tiananmen crisis. Although not directly involved with the crackdown, he was elevated to the Politburo Standing Committee, and finally General Secretary, after the protests in Beijing had ended, for his role in averting similar protests in Shanghai.


Unlike Deng, Jiang was believed to be neo-conservative in ideology, and halted some progress from Dengist reforms. Deng died in early 1997, and China was not fully out of the Deng era. Jiang had inherited a China with rampant government corruption, and regional economies growing too fast for stability of the entire country. Deng's ideas that "some areas can get rich before others" gave rise to an opening wealth gap between coastal regions and the hinterlands. The unprecedented economic growth had inevitably led to the closing of many State-owned Entreprises (SOE's), and a staggering unemployment rate, which led to complaints about the government becoming common household talk. Jiang's biggest aim in the economy was stability and equality, and he believed that a stable government with highly centralized power would be a prerequisite.
Jiang is believed to be the first Chinese leader to truly manipulate the media to his advantage, and using many ways at that. Beginning in 1996, Jiang began a series of reforms in the state-controlled media aimed at promoting the "core of leadership", and at the same time crushing his opponents. The People's Daily and CCTV-1's 7PM News all had Jiang-related events as the front-page or top stories. He appeared casual in front of Western media, and would often use foreign languages in front of the camera. Since 1999, the media had played an integral role in the campaign against the Falun Gong movement. Jiang had also began arresting leaders and breaking up demonstrations, despite protests by human rights groups. He has also been criticized by human rights groups for not continuing political reform.
In 2001, Jiang spent 4.2 billion RMB (approx. US$500 million) to build labor camps, mostly for Falun Gong practitioners and others labeled as dissidents. Hundreds of thousands remain in forced labor camps, including US citizen Charles Lee. The persecution of Falun Gong and other groups goes unabated, despite Jiang's apparent fall from power.
Jiang did not specialize in economics, and in 1997 handed a big chunk of the economic governance of the country to Zhu Rongji, who became Premier. Under their joint leadership, Mainland China has sustained an average of 8% GDP growth annually, achieving the highest rate of per capita economic growth in major world economies. This was mostly achieved by continuing the process of a transition to a market economy. Strong Party control over economic affairs, however, remained. The achievements during Jiang's presidency are cemented by the PRC's successful bids to join the World Trade Organization and host the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Before he transferred power to a younger generation of leaders, Jiang had his theory of Three Represents written into the Party's constitution, alongside Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, and Deng Xiaoping Theory at the 16th CPC Congress in 2002. Critics believe this is just another piece added to Jiang's cult of personality, others have seen practical applications of the theory as a guiding ideology in the future direction of the CPC.

16th Party Congress and Retirement

In 2002, Jiang stepped down from the powerful Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China to make way for a younger "fourth generation" of leadership led by Hu Jintao. Hu assumed Jiang's title as party chief, becoming the new General Secretary of the Communist Party. Hu succeeded Jiang as President of the People's Republic of China on March 15, 2003. Jiang remained chairman of the Central Military Commission, and six out of the nine new members of Standing Committee, Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Zeng Qinghong, Huang Ju, Wu Guanzheng, and Li Changchun are linked to Jiang's so-called "Shanghai Clique." The 22-member Politburo is elected by the Party's central committee.
After the Sixteenth Party Congress, Jiang has maintained a low profile and refrained from making public statements. He was conspicuously silent during the SARS crisis especially when compared to the very public profile of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao. Although many expected Jiang to maintain continuing influence, his influence on Chinese policy has not been apparent. It has been argued that the institutional arrangements left by the Sixteenth Congress have actually left Jiang in a position where he cannot exercise much influence.
Although many of the members of the Politburo Standing Committee are associated with him, the Standing Committee does not have command authority over the civilian bureaucracy. Furthermore, his position as Chairman of the Central Military Commission was limited by the fact that most of the members of the CMC were professional military, and there was an extraordinary article in the Liberation Daily which argued against forming "two centers" and was taken as a sign that the military did not want Jiang to exercise policies independent from those of his successors. Finally, while Deng Xiaoping was only one of several leaders of his generation who attempted to influence political affairs after their retirement, others within the third generation of Chinese leadership, most notably Zhu Rongji pointedly refused to become involved in current political issues.
On September 19, 2004, after a four-day meeting of the 198-member Central Committee, Jiang resigned as Chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission, his last party post. This followed weeks of speculation that Hu Jintao's supporters in the Communist Party leadership were pressuring Jiang to step aside. Signs of a widening split between Jiang and Hu had appeared weeks before, including a published photograph of President Hu with the late leader Deng Xiaoping, with the image of Jiang Zemin washed out. The term was supposed to have lasted until 2007. As expected, Jiang was also succeeded by Hu Jintao as the CMC Chairman, but in an apparent political defeat for Jiang, Xu Caihou and not Zeng Qinghong was appointed to succeed Hu as Vice Chairman. This power transition officially marks the end of Jiang's era in China, and is the first time that a power transfer was completed in peace since the formation of the People's Republic in 1949.
In the March 2005 meeting of the National People's Congress, Jiang gave up his last official post, Chairman of the State's Central Military Commission, to Hu Jintao.

Jiang's Legacy

Many have disputed what can be accounted into "Jiang Zemin's legacy". Jiang has come under quiet criticism from within the Communist Party of China for focusing on economic growth at all costs while ignoring the resulting environmental damage of the growth, the widening gap between rich and poor in China and the social costs absorbed by those who economic reform has left behind. Many of the policies of this successors, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao have widely been seen as efforts to address these imbalances and move away from a sole focus on economic growth toward a broader view of development which incorporates non-economic factors such as health and the environment.
Jiang is known for his Theory of Three Represents, which justifies the incorporation of the new capitalist business class into the party. Conservative critics within the party have quietly denounced this as betrayal of the communist ideology, while reformers have praised Jiang as a visionary. Some have suggested that this is the part of Jiang's legacy that will last, at least in name, as long as the communists remain in power.

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Li Dazhao
B5: 李大釗; GB: 李大钊; PY: Lĭ  Dàzhāo; WG: Li Ta-chao (October 29, 1888- April 28, 1927)-
Chinese intellectual who co founded the Communist Party of China with Chen Duxiu in 1921.
Li was born in Hebei province to a peasant family. From 1913 to 1917 Li studied political economy at Waseda University in Japan before returning to China in 1918.
As head librarian at the Peking University Library, he was among the first of the Chinese intellectuals who supported the Bolshevik government in the Soviet Union. Mao Zedong was an assistant librarian during Li's tenure at the library, and Li was one of Mao's earliest and most prominent influences. By many accounts, Li was a nationalist and believed that the peasantry in China were to play an important role in China's revolution. As with many intellectuals of his time, the roots of Li's revolutionary thinking were actually mostly in Kropotkin's communist anarchism, but after the events of the May Fourth Movement and the failures of the anarchistic experiments of many intellectuals, like his compatriots, he turned more towards Marxism.
Under the leadership of Li and Chen, the CPC developed a close relationship with the Comintern. At the direction of the Comintern, Li and Chen were inducted into the Kuomintang in 1922. Li was elected to the KMT's Central Executive Committee in 1924.
Tensions between the Comintern, the KMT, and the CPC presented opportunities for political intrigue and opportunism. With the outbreak of the Chinese Civil War, Li was captured during a raid on the Soviet embassy in Peking (Beijing) and, with nineteen others, he was executed on the orders of the warlord of Fengtien Chang Tso-lin on April 28, 1927.

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Li Xiannian
BIG5; 李先唸; GB: 李先念; PY: Lǐ Xiānniàn; WG: Li Hsien-nien (1902- June 21, 1992)-
President of the People's Republic of China between 1983 and 1988 and then president of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference until his death.
Li joined the Chinese Communist Party in 1927, and served as an army captain and political commissar for the Chinese Red Army during the Long March.
He was an influential political figure throughout the PRC, having been a member of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party since 1956. He fell from favour after the Cultural Revolution but was made finance minister in 1973 by Zhou Enlai, and started early moves to a market-based economy. For some years he was a deputy prime minister.
He is considered as one of the Eight Immortals of Communist China.

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Lin Biao
B5: 林彪; PY: Lín Biāo; WG: Lin Piao (December 5, 1907- September 13, 1971)-
Chinese Communist military and political leader, once known as Mao Zedong's comrade-in-arms and likely successor, but later discredited as a traitor.



The son of a small landlord and a native of Wuhan, Hubei province, Lin joined the Socialist Youth League (1925) and matriculated at Whampoa Military Academy when he was 18. While at Whampoa he became the protégé of both Zhou Enlai and the Soviet General Vasily Blyukher. Less than a year later, he was ordered to participate in the Northern Expedition, rising from deputy platoon leader to battalion commander in the National Revolutionary Army within a few months. Lin graduated from Whampoa in 1925 and by 1927 was a colonel.
After the KMT-CPC split, Lin escaped to the remote Communist base areas and joined Mao Zedong and Zhu De in Jiangxi in 1928. Lin proved to be a brilliant guerrilla commander and during the 1934 breakout he commanded the First Corps of the Red Army, which fought a two-year running battle with the Kuomintang, which culminated in the occupation of Yan'an in December 1936 (see Long March). As commander of the 115th Division of the Communist 8th Route Army, Lin orchestrated the ambush at Pingxingguan in September 1937, which was one of the few battlefield successes for the Chinese in WWII. Lin was seriously injured in 1938 and was given the post of commandant of the Communist Military Academy at Yan'an. He spent the next three years (1939-1942) in Moscow. After returning to Yan'an, Lin was involved in troop training and indoctrination assignments.
With the resumption of Civil War after World War II, Lin was made Secretary of the Northeast China Bureau and commanded the Red Army forces that conquered the Manchurian provinces and then swept into North China. In achieving victory, he abandoned the cities and employed Mao's strategy of guerrilla warfare and winning peasant support in the countryside.


In 1950, Lin was one of the many prominent generals against Mao's plans for the Korean War. Despite Lin's opposition, however, the war still went on.
Due to periods of ill health and physical rehabilitation in the USSR, Lin was slow in his rise to power. In 1955 he was made a marshal. In 1958 he was named to the Politburo Standing Committee, becoming one of the architects of the Cultural Revolution. He worked closely with Mao, creating a cult of personality for him. Lin compiled some of Chairman Mao's writings into handbook, the Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong, which became known simply as "the Little Red Book."
After the purging of Liu Shaoqi, on April 1, 1969, at the CCP's Ninth Congress, Lin Biao emerged with as primary military power and second in ranking behind Mao Zedong in the party. Even the party constitution was later modified to put Lin as Mao's special successor.
As the Cultural Revolution spun out of control, the People's Liberation Army, under Lin's command, effectively took over the country from the party.


Lin disappeared in 1971. The circumstances surrounding Lin's death remain clouded. Some historians believe Mao had become uncomfortable with Lin's power and had planned to purge him and Lin planned a pre-emptive coup. The Chinese government explanation was that Lin, with the help of his son Lin Liguo, had planned to assassinate Mao sometime between September 8 and 10, 1971. Lin's own daughter, Lin Liheng (Doudou), exposed her father's plot. As his plans failed, Lin and his family (his wife Ye Qun and his sons) and several personal aides attempted to escape to the Soviet Union. They were chase to the airport by Red Guards and their prearranged plane did not take onboard enough fuel before taking off. Their plane is said to have crashed in Mongolia on September 13, 1971 after running out of fuel.
Most of the high military command was purged within a few weeks of Lin's disappearance. The National Day celebrations on October 1, 1971 were cancelled. The news of Lin Biao's plot and disappearance was withheld for nearly a year. When it did break, the people felt betrayed by Mao's "best student."
In the years after Lin's death, Jiang Qing, Mao's fourth wife and a former political ally of Lin's, started the Criticize Confucius, Criticize Lin Biao campaign, aimed at using Lin's scarred image to rid her own political enemies, notably Zhou Enlai. Like many major proponents of the Cultural Revolution, Lin's image was manipulated after the movement. For many formal publications, negative aspects of the Cultural Revolution were blamed on Lin and the so-called Gang of Four. Lin was never politically rehabilitated.

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Liu Shaoqi
B5: 劉少奇; GB: 刘少奇; PY: Liú Shàoqí; WG: Liu Shao-ch'i (November 24, 1898- November 12, 1969)-
was a leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the People's Republic of China.
Born into a rich peasant family in Yinshan, Hunan province, Liu attended the same school as Mao Zedong in Changsha, and then went to the Soviet Union and received his university education at the University of the Toilers of the East in Moscow. In 1921 he joined the newly formed CPC. He went back to China in 1922, and led several railway workers' strikes. During the period of 1925 to 1926, he led many political campaigns and strikes in Hubei and Shanghai. In 1927 he was elected to the Party's Central Committee.
In 1932 Liu became the Party Secretary in Fujian Province. Two years later he joined the Long March and was one of the supporters of Mao Zedong during the Zunyi Conference. In 1936 he was Party Secretary in North China, leading the anti-Japanese movements in that area. He was elected as the CPC General Secretary in 1943 (this was a secondary position under the Party Chairman, Mao Zedong). During the Civil War, Liu was the Deputy Chairman of the Party.
After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Liu worked mainly in economic areas. An orthodox Soviet-style Communist, he favored state planning and the development of heavy industry. He was therefore skeptical about Mao's Great Leap Forward movement which began in 1958. Alerted by his sister to the developing famine in rural areas in 1960, he became a determined opponent of Mao's policies. In the wake of the Great Leap Forward's catastrophic failure he replaced Mao as Chairman of the People's Republic, and began to be seen as Mao's likely successor.
In the 1960s, however, Mao rebuilt his position in the Party and in 1966 he launched the Cultural Revolution as a means of destroying his enemies in the Party: Liu and Deng Xiaoping, along with many others, were denounced as "capitalist roaders." Liu was labeled as a "traitor", "scab", "Chinese Khrushchev", "the biggest capitalist roader in the Party". In July 1966 he was displaced as Party Deputy Chairman by Lin Biao. By 1967 Liu and his wife Wang Guangmei were under house arrest in Beijing.
Liu was removed from all his positions and expelled from the Party in October 1968 and disappeared from view. Only after Mao's death in 1976 was it revealed Liu had been confined under terrible conditions in an isolated cell in Kaifeng, which led to his death from "medical neglect" (untreated diabetes and pneumonia) in 1969.
After Deng Xiaoping came to power in 1978, Liu was politically rehabilitated, with a belated state funeral over a decade after his death.
Liu's best known writings include How to be a Good Communist (1939), On the Party (1945), and Internationalism and Nationalism (1952).

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Mao Zedong
B5: 毛澤東; GB: 毛泽东; PY: Máo Zédōng; WG: Mao Tse-tung (December 26, 1893- September 9, 1976)-
Chairman of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China from 1943 and the chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China from 1945 until his death. Under his leadership, the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) became the ruling party of Mainland China as the result of its victory over Chinese Nationalists, the KMT, in the Chinese Civil War. On October 1, 1949, Mao declared the formation of the People's Republic of China at Tiananmen Square.
Mao is widely credited for creating a mostly unified China free of foreign domination for the first time since the Opium Wars. However, critics point out that Mao's ineffective economic policies in conjunction with the Three Years of Natural Disasters caused the massive famine of 1959–1961. Mao has also been criticized for his contribution to the Sino-Soviet Split, his establishment of a one-party dictatorship, and initiating the disastrous Cultural Revolution.
Mao Zedong is sometimes referred to as Chairman Mao. At the height of his personality cult, Mao was commonly known in China as the "Four Greats": "Great Teacher, Great Leader, Great Supreme Commander, Great Helmsman".


Early Life

The eldest son of four children of a moderately prosperous peasant farmer and money lender, Mao Zedong was born in the village of Shaoshan in Xiangtan county (湘潭縣), Hunan province. His ancestors had migrated from Jiangxi province during the Ming Dynasty and had pursued farming for generations.
During the 1911 Revolution he served in the Hunan provincial army. In the 1910s, Mao returned to school, where he became an advocate of physical fitness and collective action.
After graduation from Hunan First Normal University in 1918, Mao traveled with his high-school teacher and future father-in-law, Professor Yang Changji (杨昌济), to Beijing during the May Fourth Movement, when Yang held a faculty position at Peking University. Due to Yang's recommendation, he worked as an assistant in the university library (which was headed by Li Dazhao). At the same time, Mao registered as a part-time student at Peking University and sat in lectures of many leading scholars, such as Chen Duxiu, Hu Shih, and Qian Xuantong. As he was working, he read a lot, which brought him a life-long influence. Also in Beijing, he married his first wife, Yang Kaihui, a Peking University student and Yang Changji’s daughter. When Mao was 14, his father had arranged a marriage for him with a fellow villager, Luo, but Mao never recognized this marriage.
Instead of going abroad which was the path of many of his radical compatriots, Mao spent the early 1920s traveling in China, and finally returned to Hunan, where he took the lead in promoting collective action and labor rights.
At age 27, Mao attended the First Congress of the Communist Party of China in Shanghai on July 23, 1921. Two years later he was elected to the Central Committee of the party at the Third Congress. He worked for a while in Shanghai, where the CCP was based at the time, but after the party suffered major setbacks in organizing the labor union movement and problems abounded with the alliance with the Nationalist Party, Kuomintang, he became disillusioned with the revolutionary movement and moved back to his home village of Shaoshan, apparently retired from politics. During this time he also developed neurasthenia, a form of depression, which plagued him occasionally for the rest of his life. However, he gained back his interest in the revolution after the violent uprisings in Shanghai and Canton in 1925, which triggered the "Avenge the Shame"-movement in all of China, and moved back into active politics, moving to Canton where the KMT had its strongest base.
During the Chinese Civil War’s first KMT- CCP united front, Mao served as the director of the Peasant Training Institute of the Kuomintang. In early 1927, he was dispatched to Hunan province to report on the recent peasant uprisings in the wake of the Northern Expedition. The report that Mao produced from this investigation is considered the first important work of Maoist theory.  During this time, Mao developed many of his political theories. These ideas have had a monumental impact on generations of Chinese and have significantly affected the rest of the world.

Political Ideas

Mao's thought transformed traditional Marxism into a political ideology that could work to win a revolution and consolidate power in China. Marxism-Leninism could only exist in concrete manifestations, meaning that it could only work if it was applied to certain situations. Mao hypothesized that peasants could form the basis of a communist revolution, but only if the party elites took the message of revolution to the grass roots and make it comprehensible to the peasant population. This meant a process of getting party cadres to understand local realities and trying to integrate the concerns of peasants with party policy, something called Mass Line.
Mao also built on the theories of Hegel and Marx to create a new theory of dialectical materialism. By applying the theory of the dialectic to real-world conflicts, then by asserting that only the empirical reality of the conflict mattered, Mao developed a type of dialectic theory that was studied for decades. It is difficult to determine the true validity of this theory, however, since so many analyses of it have been heavily influenced by political biases.
During this time, Mao also developed more practical ideas, such as a three-stage theory of guerrilla warfare and the concept of the people's democratic dictatorship.

War and Revolution

Mao escaped the white terror in the spring and summer of 1927 and led the ill-fated Autumn Harvest Uprising at Changsha, Hunan, that autumn. Mao barely survived this mishap (he escaped his guards on the way to his execution). He and his rag-tag band of loyal guerillas found refuge in the Jinggang Mountains in southeastern China. There, from 1931 to 1934, Mao helped establish the Chinese Soviet Republic and was elected chairman. It was during this period that Mao married He Zizhen, after Yang Kaihui had been killed by KMT forces.
Mao, with the help of Zhu De, built a modest but effective guerilla army, undertook experiments in rural reform and government, and provided refuge for Communists fleeing the rightist purges in the cities. Under increasing pressure from the KMT encirclement campaigns, there was a struggle for power within the Communist leadership. Mao was removed from his important positions and replaced by individuals (including Zhou Enlai) who appeared loyal to the orthodox line advocated by Moscow and represented within the CPC by a group known as the 28 Bolsheviks.
Chiang Kai-shek, who had earlier assumed nominal control of China due in part to the Northern Expedition, was determined to eliminate the Communists. By October, 1934, he had them surrounded, prompting them to engage in the "Long March", a retreat from Jiangxi in the southeast to Shaanxi in the northwest of China. It was during this 9600-km, year-long journey that Mao emerged as the top Communist leader, aided by the Zunyi Conference and the defection of Zhou Enlai to Mao's side. At this Conference, Mao entered the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China.
From his base in Yan'an, Mao led the Communist resistance against the Japanese in the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). Mao further consolidated power over the Communist Party in 1942 by launching the Cheng Feng, or "Rectification" campaign against rival CPC members such as Wang Ming, Wang Shiwei, and Ding Ling. Also while in Yan'an, Mao divorced He Zizhen and married the actress Lan Ping, who would become known as Jiang Qing.
During the Sino-Japanese War, Mao Zedong's strategies were opposed by both Chiang Kai-shek and the United States. The US regarded Chiang as an important ally, able to help shorten the war by engaging the Japanese occupiers in China. Chiang, in contrast, sought to build the ROC army for the certain conflict with Mao's communist forces after the end of World War II. This fact was not understood well in the US, and precious lend-lease armaments continued to be allocated to the Kuomintang. In turn, Mao spent some of the war fighting the Kuomintang for control of certain parts of China. Both the Communists and Nationalists have been criticized by academics for fighting amongst themselves rather than ally against the Imperial Japanese Army.
However, Americans sent a special diplomatic envoy, called the Dixie mission, to the Communists by 1944. According to Edwin Moise, in Modern China: A History 2nd Edition,
Most of the Americans were favorably impressed. The CCP seemed less corrupt, more unified, and more vigorous in its resistance to Japan than the Kuomintang. United States fliers shot down over North China...confirmed to their superiors that the CCP was both strong and popular over a broad area. In the end, the contacts with the USA developed with the CCP led to very little.
After the end of World War II, the US continued to support Chiang Kai-shek, now openly against the Communist Red Army, led by Mao Zedong, in the civil war for control of China as part of its view to contain and defeat "world communism". Likewise, the Soviet Union gave quasi-covert support to Mao (acting as a concerned neighbor more than a military ally, to avoid open conflict with the US) and gave large supplies of arms to the Chinese Communists, although newer Chinese records indicate the Soviet "supplies" were not as large as previously believed, and consistently fell short of the promised amount of aid.
On January 21, 1949, Kuomintang forces suffered massive losses against Mao's Red Army. In the early morning of December 10, 1949, Red Army troops laid siege to Chengdu, the last KMT-occupied city in mainland China, and Chiang Kai-shek evacuated from the mainland to Taiwan that same day.

Leadership of China

The People's Republic of China was established on October 1, 1949. It was the culmination of over two decades of popular struggle led by the Communist Party. From 1954 to 1959, Mao was the Chairman of the PRC. He took up residence in Zhongnanhai, a compound next to the Forbidden City in Beijing, and there he decreed the construction of an indoor swimming pool and other buildings. Mao often did his work either in bed or by the side of the pool during his chairmanship, according to Dr. Li Zhisui, who claimed to be his physician. (Li's book, The Private Life of Chairman Mao, has been subject to controversy.)
Following the consolidation of power, Mao launched a phase of rapid collectivization, lasting until around 1958. The CPC introduced price controls largely successful at breaking the inflationary spiral of the preceding ROC as well as a Chinese character simplification aimed at increasing literacy. Land was redistributed from landowners to poor peasants and large-scale industrialization projects were undertaken, contributing to the construction of a modern national infrastructure. During this period, China sustained yearly increases in GDP of about 4- 9% as well as dramatic improvements in quality-of-life indicators such as life expectancy and literacy.
Programs pursued during this time include the Hundred Flowers Campaign, in which Mao indicated his supposed willingness to consider different opinions about how China should be governed. Given the freedom to express themselves, liberal and intellectual Chinese began opposing the Communist Party and questioning its leadership. This was initially tolerated and even encouraged. However, after a few months, Mao's government reversed its policy and rounded up those who criticized, and were merely alleged to have criticized, the Party in what is called the Anti-Rightist Movement. Author Jung Chang alleges that the Hundred Flowers Campaign was merely a ruse to root out "dangerous" thinking.
In 1958, Mao launched the Great Leap Forward, a plan intended as an alternative model for economic growth which contradicted the Soviet model of heavy industry that was advocated by others in the party. Under this economic program, Chinese agriculture was to be collectivized and rural small-scale industry was to be promoted.
At first, the Great Leap began with tremendous success, with agricultural and steel production running very high. However, instead of maintaining the steady growth, Mao and other party leaders believed they could achieve unrealistically high quotas. A damaging number of agricultural peasants were moved to steel production. Numbers were inflated, although "they were not just lies intended for public consumption, they were actually believed."
By 1959, the Great Leap Forward had become a disaster for Red China. Although the steel quotas were reached, critics point out much of the steel produced was useless, as it had been made from scrap metal. According to Zhang Rongmei, a Geometry teacher in rural Shanghai during the Great Leap Forward, "We took all the furniture, pots, and pans we had in our house, and all our neighbors did likewise. We put all everything in a big fire and melted down all the metal."
Khrushchev cancelled Soviet technical support because of worsening Sino-Soviet relations. Severe droughts also occurred, further reducing agricultural output. Unrealistic grain demands by the government, Soviet withdrawal of support, natural disasters, and an economy that had spent ten years recovering from decades of war and chaos caused largest famine in history across the nation.
There is a great deal of controversy over the number of deaths by starvation during the Great Leap Forward. A mainstream figure is that some thirty million people died during the famine that followed. In 1957, before the Great Leap, about 7–10 million people died. Due to the tremendous crop failure in 1959 caused by incompetent policies from the Great Leap Forward, around 9 to 12 million people died. According to Edwin Moise:
Probably there was no year when China was under Guomingdang control when the death rate was as low as 1.46 percent. The number of excess deaths...was about 2,500,000 (in 1959).
However, the policies of the Great Leap coincided with another round of natural disasters in 1960. According to Sun Yefang, the death rate was around 2.54 percent in 1960 and around 9 million "excess deaths" occurred that year. During the so-called Three Years of Natural Disasters, the excess number of deaths "reached 16 million and other sources give higher figures." (Moise 142) Finally, the Great Leap ended in 1960, as a tremendous economic failure.
The withdrawal of Soviet aid, border disputes, disputes over the control and direction of world communism, whether it should be revolutionary or status quo, and other disputes pertaining to foreign policy contributed to the Sino-Soviet split in the 1960s. Most of the problems, regarding communist unity, resulted from the death of Stalin and his replacement by Khrushchev. Stalin had established himself as the fount of correct Marxist thought well before Mao controlled the CCP, and therefore Mao never challenged the suitability of any Stalinist doctrine (at least while Stalin was alive). Upon the death of Stalin, Mao believed (perhaps because of seniority) leadership of "correct" Marxist doctrine would fall to him. The resulting tension between Khrushchev (at the head of a politically/militarily superior government), and Mao (believing he had a superior understanding of Marxist ideology) eroded the previous patron-client relationship between the USSR and CCP.
Following these events, other members of the Communist Party, including Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping, decided that Mao should be removed from actual power and only remain in a largely ceremonial and symbolic role. They attempted to marginalize Mao, and by 1959, Liu Shaoqi became State President, but Mao remained Chairman. Liu and others began to look at the situation much more realistically, somewhat abandoning the idealism Mao wished for.
Facing the prospect of losing his place on the political stage, Mao responded to Liu and Deng's movements by launching the Cultural Revolution in 1966. This allowed Mao to circumvent the Communist hierarchy by giving power directly to the Red Guards, groups of young people, often teenagers, who set up their own tribunals. The Revolution led to the destruction of much of China's cultural heritage and the imprisonment of a huge number of Chinese intellectuals, as well as creating general economic and social chaos in the country. Millions of lives were ruined during this period, which is best depicted by such Chinese films as To Live and Farewell My Concubine.
It was during this period that Mao chose Lin Biao to become his successor. Subsequently it is unclear whether Lin was planning a military coup or an assassination attempt; he died trying to flee China, probably anticipating his arrest, in a suspicious plane crash over Mongolia. It was declared that Lin was planning to depose Mao, and he was posthumously expelled from the CCP. At this time, Mao lost trust in many of the top CCP figures.
In 1969, Mao declared the Cultural Revolution to be over, although the official history of the People's Republic of China marks the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976 with Mao's death. In the last years of his life, Mao was faced with declining health due to either Parkinson's disease or, according to Li Zhisui, motor neuron disease, as well as lung ailments due to smoking and heart trouble. Mao remained passive as various factions within the Communist Party mobilized for the power struggle anticipated after his death. When Mao could not swim any longer, the indoor swimming pool he had at Zhongnanhai was converted into a giant reception hall, according to Li Zhisui.
As anticipated after Mao’s death on September 9, 1976 at the age of 82, there was a power struggle for control of China. On one side were the leftists led by the Gang of Four, who wanted to continue the policy of revolutionary mass mobilization. On the other side were the rightists, which consisted of two groups. One was the restorationists led by Hua Guofeng who advocated a return to central planning along the Soviet model. The other was the reformers, led by Deng Xiaoping, who wanted to overhaul the Chinese economy based on pragmatic policies and to de-emphasize the role of ideology in determining economic and political policy.
Eventually, the moderates won control of the government. Deng Xiaoping defeated Hua Guofeng in a bloodless power struggle shortly afterwards.


Mao Zedong died at the age of 82, on September 9, 1976 at 10 minutes past midnight in Beijing. Mao had been in poor health for several years and had declined visibly for some months prior to his death. His body laid in state at the Great Hall of the People. A memorial service was held in Tiananmen Square on September 18, 1976. There was a three minute silence observed during this service.

Cult of Mao

One of the reasons Mao is most remembered is the Cult of Mao, the personality cult that was created around him. Mao presented himself as an enemy of landowners, businessmen and Western and American imperialism, as well as an ally of impoverished peasants, farmers and workers. Some people argue that personality cults go against the basic ideas of Marxism, but the propaganda that was inherent with most Communist regimes contradicted this, as can be seen by the Cult of Stalin.
Mao said the following about cults at the 1958 Party congress in Chengdu, where he expressed support for the idea of personality cults - even ones like Stalin's:
"There are two kinds of personality cults. One is a healthy personality cult, that is, to worship men like Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin. Because they hold the truth in their hands. The other is a false personality cult, i.e. not analysed and blind worship."
In 1962, Mao proposed the Socialist Education Movement (SEM), in an attempt to 'protect' the peasants against the temptations of feudalism and the sprouts of capitalism that he saw re-emerging in the countryside (thanks to Liu's economic reforms). Large quantities of politicised art were produced and circulated - with Mao at the centre. Numerous posters and musical compositions referred to Mao as "A red sun in the centre of our hearts" (我们心 中的红太阳) and a "Savior of the people" (人民的大救星).
The Cult of Mao proved vital in starting the Cultural Revolution. China's youth had mostly been brought up during the Communist era, and they had been told to love Mao. Thus they were his greatest supporters. Their feelings for him were so strong that many followed his urge to challenge all established authority.
In October 1966, Mao's Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (also known as the "Little Red Book") was published. Party members were encouraged to carry a copy with them and possession was almost mandatory in order for membership. Over the years, Mao's image became displayed everywhere, in every home, office and shop. His quotations were included in boldface or red type in even the most mundane writings.


Mao's legacy has produced a large amount of controversy. Some Chinese mainlanders continue to regard Mao Zedong as a great revolutionary leader, although they also recognize that he made serious mistakes in his later life. According to Deng Xiaoping, Mao was "seven parts right and three parts wrong", and his "contributions are primary and his mistakes secondary." Some, including members of the Communist Party of China, hold Mao responsible for pulling China away from its biggest ally, the USSR, in the Sino-Soviet Split. The Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution were also considered to be major disasters in his policy. Other critics of Mao fault him for not encouraging birth control and for creating a demographic bump which later Chinese leaders responded to with the one child policy.
Supporters of Mao point out that before 1949, for instance, the illiteracy rate in Mainland China was 80 percent, and life expectancy was a meager 35 years. At his death, they claim illiteracy had declined to less than seven percent, and average life expectancy had increased to more than 70 years (alternative statistics also quote improvements, though not nearly as dramatic). In addition to these increases, the total population of China increased 57% to 700 million, from the constant 400 million mark during the span between the Opium War and the Chinese Civil War. Supporters also state that under Mao's regime, China ended its "Century of Humiliation" from Western imperialism and regained its status as a major world power. They also state their belief that Mao also industrialized China to a considerable extent and ensured China's sovereignty during his rule. Some of Mao's supporters view the Kuomintang as having been corrupt and credit Mao with driving them off the Chinese mainland to Taiwan.
They also argue that the Maoist era improved women's rights by abolishing prostitution, a phenomenon that was to return after Deng Xiaoping and post-Maoist CCP leaders increased liberalization of the economy. Indeed, Mao once famously remarked that "Women hold up half the heavens".
Skeptics observe that similar gains in literacy and life expectancy occurred after 1949 in neighboring countries such as Taiwan, which was ruled by Mao's opponents, namely Chiang Kai-Shek and the Kuomintang. Some of the gains may have simply been the result of a country no longer at war, so perhaps any regime could achieve such improvements. The regime that took over in Taiwan was composed of the same people ruling the Mainland for over 20 years when life expectancy was so low, yet life expectancy there also increased.
Mao believed that "socialism is the only way out for China," because the United States and other Western countries would not allow China to join the ranks of advanced capitalism. As if to support this theory, the United States placed a trade embargo on China that lasted until Richard Nixon decided Mao had made himself a force to be reckoned with in dealing with the Soviet Union. While the Tigers obtained favorable trade terms from the United States, most Third World capitalist countries did not, and they saw nothing like the social gains in China or the economic growth of the Tigers.
There is more consensus on Mao's role as a military strategist and tactician during the Chinese Civil War and the Korean War. Even among those who find Mao's ideology to be either unworkable or abhorrent, many acknowledge that Mao was a brilliant political and military strategist - Mao's military writings continue to have a large amount of influence both among those who seek to create an insurgency and those who seek to crush one.
The ideology of Maoism has influenced many communists around the world, including third world revolutionary movements such as Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, Peru's Shining Path, the revolutionary movement in Nepal, and also the Revolutionary Communist Party in the United States. China has moved sharply away from Maoism since Mao's death, and most people outside of China who describe themselves as Maoist regard the Deng Xiaoping reforms to be a betrayal of Mao's legacy.
In mainland China, there are those people that still consider Mao a hero in the first half of his life, but hold that he was too corrupt after gaining power. However, most Chinese liberals eschew Mao's totalitarian tactics.
Contemporary views about him in the PRC are affected by bans on some works that harshly criticize Mao. The controversial Mao: the Unknown Story, by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, provides a far less flattering picture of Mao than previous historical works do. Chang's book claims that Mao fabricated many myths about his background and youth, to enhance his image as a true "people's hero". It likewise suggests that details relevant to key events in the Long March, in particular the 1935 Battle of Luding Bridge, were falsified. Open academic discussion of Mao's life is restricted by the official "70% good, 30% bad" verdict.
In the mid-1990s, Mao Zedong's picture began to appear on all new renminbi currency from the People’s Republic of China. This is intended primarily as an anti-counterfeiting measure as Mao's face is widely recognized in contrast to the generic figures that appear in older currency.
Mao was also a poet- and his work appears to have some lasting value that may outlive his political reputation.



Yang Kaihui (杨开慧, 1901-1930) of Changsha: married 1921 to 1927, executed by the Kuomintang in 1930
He Zizhen (贺子珍, 1910-1984) of Jiangxi: married May 1928 to 1939
Jiang Qing: (江青), married 1939 to Mao's death


 Wen Qimei (文七妹, 1867-1919), mother
 Mao Yichang (毛贻昌, 1870-1920), father, courtesy name Mao Shunsheng (毛顺生)
 Mao Enpu (毛恩普), paternal grandfather


Mao Zemin (毛泽民, 1895-1943), younger brother
Mao Zetan (毛泽覃, 1905-1935), younger brother
Mao Zehong, sister (executed by the Kuomintang in 1930)

Mao Zedong's parents altogether had six sons and two daughters. Two of the sons and both daughters died young, leaving the three brothers Mao Zedong, Mao Zemin, and Mao Zetan. Like all three of Mao Zedong's wives, Mao Zemin and Mao Zetan were communists. Like Yang Kaihui, both Zemin and Zetan were killed in warfare during Mao Zedong's lifetime.

Note that the character ze (泽) appears in all of the siblings' given names. This is a common Chinese naming convention.


Mao Anying (毛岸英): son to Yang, married to Liu Siqi (刘思齐), who was born Liu Songlin (刘松林), killed in action during the Korean War
Mao Anqing (毛岸青): son to Yang, married to Shao Hua (邵华), son Mao Xinyu (毛新宇)
Li Min (李敏): daughter to He, married to Kong Linghua (孔令华), son Kong Ji'ning (孔继宁), daughter Kong Dongmei (孔冬梅)
Li Na (李讷): daughter to Jiang (whose birth given name was Li), married to Wang Jingqing (王景清), son Wang Xiaozhi (王效芝)

Sources suggest that Mao did have other children during his revolutionary days; in most of these cases the children were left with peasant families because it was difficult to take care of the children while focusing on revolution. Two English researchers, Ed Jocelyn and Andrew McEwen, retraced the entire Long March route in 2002-2003 and located a woman who they believe might well be a missing child abandoned by Mao and He to peasants in 1935.  hope a member of the Mao family will respond to requests for a DNA test.


Mao is the attributed author of Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, known in the West as the "Little Red Book": this is a collection of extracts from his speeches and articles. He wrote several other philosophical treatises, both before and after he assumed power. These include:

On Practice; 1937
On Contradiction; 1937
On New Democracy; 1940
On Literature and Art; 1942
On the Correct Handling of the Contradictions Among the People; 1957
On Guerilla Warfare.
"In Memory of Doctor Bethune"
"The Foolish Man Who Removed A Mountain"
"Serve the People"

Mao also wrote poetry, mainly in the ci and shi forms.

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Peng Zhen
B5: 彭真; PY: Péng Zhēn; WG: P'eng Chen (October 12, 1902- April 26, 1997)-
Leading member of the Communist Party of China. He joined the Chinese Communist Party in 1923 as a founding member of the Shanxi Province CP. Arrested in 1929, he continued underground political activities while imprisoned. He was released from prison in 1935 and began organizing a resistance movement against the invading Japanese forces. Around the same time, he was appointed the Organization Department Director of the North Bureau of CPC. He is credited with substantial efforts towards the 1948 capture of Beijing by Communist forces in the Chinese Civil War.
Peng was a member of multiple Central Committees and the Secretariat of the Central Committee. He also held the positions of First Secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee, and Mayor of Beijing (1951).
Peng fell out of favor with Mao Zedong in the April of 1966 when he attacked Mao's belief that all literature should support the state, but survived to be rehabilitated under Deng Xiaoping. He subsequently became Secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission CPC Central Committee (1980). As Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Sixth National People's Congress (1983), he sought to increase the NPC's power. Peng retired from his leading political positions in 1988.
He is considered one of the Eight Immortals of Communist China.

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Qin Bangxian
B5: 秦邦憲; GB: 秦邦宪; PY: Qín Bāngxiàn or Bo Gu; B5: 博古; PY: Bó Gŭ (May 14, 1907- April 8, 1946)-
Senior leader of Communist Party of China in early stage, and well known for being a member of the famous group 28 Bolsheviks.
A native of Wuxi Jiangsu, Qing was born in 1907. He studied in the Suzhou Industrial School in his early years, and took an active role in the activities against imperialism and warlords tyrannizing China at that time. In 1925 Qing entered the Shanghai University, which was famous for its great impacts on young revolutionists for early stage CPC leaders such as Qu Qiubai and Deng Zhongxia being its teachers and introducing Marxism and Leninism to youths. It was there Qing showed great interests in Marxism and Leninism .In the same year, Qing joined the May 30th Movement for protest and boycott against imperialism. For his performance and contribution ,he joined the CPC before long.
In 1926 Qing was sent to Moscow to study Marxism and Leninism in Moscow Sun Yat-sen University, a university established under Kuomintang founder Sun Yat-sen 's policy of alliance with Soviet Union and CPC, with the aim to train young revolutionists for Chinese revolution by Russian way. By using the alias Bo Gu, which means familiar with histories in Chinese, was much more well-known for others, Qing began to learn Marxism and Leninism in a systematic way. Moreover, he began to acquaint with Wang Ming, who came to this university a year earlier. Wang and Qing ,with other prominent figures in Chinese students such as Zhang Mintian, Wang Jiaxiang and Yang Shangkun found a group known for 28 Bolsheviks .They regarded them as orthodox Marxists and destined to take charge of Chinese revolution. Furthermore, with Wang's appealing to Paul Mif, who was vice president of Sun Yat-sen University and then vice minister of Eastern Department of Comintern then, 28 Bolsheviks did have more and more influence. One example was they were missionaries and interpreters for the 6th National Congress of CPC held in Moscow and had chances to comment on Chinese affairs.
With Mif succeeding Radek as president, his protégés were sent back to take charge of CPC. But for their poor record for Chinese revolution compared with old CPC members such as Zhou Enlai and Zhang Guotao, Wang and his associates including Bo Gu were assigned insignificant jobs first. Then with the direct support from Mif, who came to China as envoy of Comintern, in the 4th Plenary Meeting of 6th National Congress of CPC in 1931 Wang and his associates won the battle with Li Lisan, who was incumbent paramount leader of CPC at that time, and Li's opponents of old CPC members such as Labor activists He Mengxiong and Lin Yuying. Wang was appointed as member of politburo of CPC, with Mif took charge of CPC headquarter ,Wang became the No1 in practice. As a reward, Bo Gu was appointed to in charge of CY .When Wang returned Moscow for medical treatment, Qing was promoted to member of Central Bureau of CPC, and then the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China in charge of daily work of CPC. under the policy of extremism and leftism of Li and Wang, CPC suffered great loss in their power struggle with KMT in cities. In 1933 Bo Gu and other members of Central Bureau such as Zhou Enlai had to evacuate to Soviet Territory , power base set up by CPC in the countryside, in Jiangxi. Bo Gu, Zhou and Otto Braun or Li De , the military advisor from Comintern, found a military command team to replace Mao Zedong's control over military, who was chairman of Soviet Government at that time. Under the team's dogmatism and subjectivism command ,CPC Red Army suffered great loss in Chiang Kai-shek's 5th Suppression against them. Bo Gu and his team had to launch a strategic diversion. Although it was called Long March later, it would rather been called a big escape in disorder for its having no destination and plan at first.
During the Long March, Red Army suffered heavy casualties from time to time due to no plan and incompetent command of the three-men team. Especially when the Red Army crossed the Xiang River, Red Army was near a rattrap and half of its elites were annihilated by KMT army. Discontent and fury over three-men team piled up. Under this circumstance, Mao used his diplomatic skills to communicate with Wang Jiaxiang, General Commissar of Red Army at that time, and got support from most of the generals used to be loyal to him.
Then in Jan 1935 came the convening of Zunyi Conference, and with the defection of 28 Bolsheviks member Zhang Mintian, Wang Jiaxiang and Yang Shangkun to Mao's camp, three-men team's command over military was discharged, Mao, Wang and lucky Zhou Enlai composed a new three-men team to replace them; and Bo Gu's title of General Secretary was replaced by his former associate Zhang, but still a member of politburo.
When Bo Gu reached Yanan with Red Army, he was still a young man longing for a bright future of Chinese revolution. In order to make a clear distinction from his past, Bo Gu preferred others called him by his real name Qing instead of his alias. Mao still need him and other 28 Bolsheviks such as Zhang, Wang Jiaxiang for their support in Mao's later power struggle with Wang Ming and Zhang Guotao. So some important assignments were given to them from time to time. During which, Qing was appointed as representative of CPC with Zhou Enlai, Ye Jianying and went to Xi'an to handle the Xi'an Incident in 1936,and made contribution for the establishment of United Front against Japan. In 1937 Qing was appointed as Minister of Organization Department of CPC, which was in charge of CPC cadres' promotion and nomination. In 1938 he was the Minister of Organization Department of Yangtze River and then Southern China Division of CPC.In 1941 he was appointed as boss of Jie Fang Daily and Xinhua News Agency. Qing showed great enthusiasm in promoting the newspaper and exercised best endeavor to make it an mouthpiece of CPC. Qing pledged his allegiance to Mao in Mao's struggle with Zhang Guotao, and in Cheng Feng he criticized his former close friend Wang Ming ruthless. But Qing still could not get favor from Mao and had suffered from great stress and humiliation, especially for his kindness and leniency in the Cheng Feng movement of newspaper under his direction ,which received heavy criticism from Mao and his secret police boss Kang Sheng, who regarded Qing's action being inefficient and too mercy. As a result, although Qing was elected as Commissioner of Central Committee of CPC in the 7th National Congress of CPC in 1945, he was listed as the last one.
After the end of China anti-Japan war in 1945, Mao was invited by Chiang to Chongqing for peace negotiation in order to avoid civil war between CPC and KMT. Qing was one of the delegate of CPC with Mao, which indicated his appealing to Mao and prominence in CPC. Qing attended the following Political Consulting Congress held in Chongqing as delegate of CPC in Feb 1946. When Qing was on his way to Yanan for reporting his work to CPC, he was unfortunate to experience an air crash in Shanxi and died, among the victims were several senior CPC leaders such as General Ye Ting, notorious secret police boss Deng Fa, and old CPC member Wang Luofei besides Qing.

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Song Renqiong
B5; 宋任窮; GB: 宋任穷; PY: Sòng Rènqióng (1909- January 8, 2005)-
Vice-chairman of the Central Advisory Committee of the People's Republic of China.  He may possibly be the eighth of the Eight Immortals of Communist China.
He died in Beijing at 96 of an illness.

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Tung Chee Hwa
B5: 董建華; GB: 董建华; PY: Dǒng Jiànhuá; WG: Tung Chien Hua (July 7, 1937- )-
was the first elected Chief Executive (July 1, 1997- March 12, 2005) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (PRC). He took office on July 1, 1997 after the handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China and was elected again to a second five-year term in 2002.Contents


His first term was hampered by the Asian financial crisis and criticism of his style of governance. As a result he was frequently subject to attack and ridicule by pro-democracy activists and legislators, the media and academics. Foreign news outlets such as Time Magazine, The Economist and wired news services portrayed him as being (deeply) unpopular, singularly ineffective and of being a loser eager to please his mainland masters. Dissatisfaction among the public towards Tung grew consistently throughout his tenure and culminated in huge protests in 2003 after the outbreak of SARS and the Article 23 controversies, when sloganeers demanded that Tung step down. As a result of this increasing criticism within Hong Kong and, almost certainly because he had lost the confidence of the Central Government, Tung announced his resignation due to "health reasons" on March 10, 2005, just three years into his second term as Chief Executive. On the following day he became vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
Before the handover Tung was known as a conservative businessman with traditional Chinese values and strong connections to the People's Republic of China.

Early Life

Born in Shanghai, Tung's family moved to Hong Kong when he was 10 and his father, Tung Chao Yung, went on to become a successful entrepreneur in the shipping sector. After the death of his father, Tung, as the elder son, took over his father's business.
However, with the decline of the shipping industry and Tung's failure to diversify, the business floundered. According to some accounts, the then PRC government, through Tung's friend Henry Fok, bailed Tung out by handing his company contracts for arms shipments. These were in addition to a hefty loan from HSBC. Some have further speculated that Tung, whose family was once pro-Kuomintang, became loyal to the PRC government in return for this assistance or, more cynically, that thereafter the communist authorities had Tung exactly where they wanted him, and where better than as Hong Kong's Chief Executive, despite the lack of political experience.

Election to the Office of Chief Executive

In early 1997, Tung won a landslide victory over four other candidates in the election for the post of Hong Kong's first Chief Executive. The election was conducted by an electoral college of 400 voters, almost all of whom were anxious to curry favour with Beijing by supporting the anointed candidate of the Central Government - leading some to perceived as rigged from the start. [citation needed] It should be noted that Hong Kong has never had a leader elected by universal suffrage - Tung's British predecessors were all appointed by the British Crown. Tung subsequently took office as Chief Executive designate, with the assistance of a newly formed cabinet (Executive Council) and a few officers seconded from the then Hong Kong government to help in the preparation of the HKSAR government.
The government designate pledged to focus on three policy areas: housing, the elderly, and education. Measures on housing included a pledge to provide 85,000 housing flats each year so as to resolve the problems of soaring property prices. The Asian financial crisis that hit Hong Kong in months after Tung took office made this objective almost immediately redundant and, in fact, it was a collapse in property prices that became a far more pressing problem in the years between 1998 and 2002.

First Term

Tung formally took office on July 1, 1997, with a high initial popularity among the public. Nevertheless, a few months after, the regional economy deteriorated rapidly after the Asian financial crisis. With job losses and plummeting values in the stock and property markets, people started to lose faith in Tung and the HKSAR government. Some commentators attributed the plunge in the property market to his counter-indicated home-building initiative.
During Tung's first term the government came up with a number of reform proposals, and plenty of grand infrastructure projects were proposed, including a technology park, a science park, a Chinese medicine centre and a Disney theme park. But too often his administration was seen as bungling, particularly during the confusion of the first days of the new airport, the mis-handling of the avian flu epidemic, education reforms (including teaching in the "mother tongue" (Cantonese) and mandatory English examination for teachers), the Right of abode issue, and the disagreement of his political views with the popular then Chief Secretary, Anson Chan. Tung's popularity plummeted with the economy.

Second Term

Tung Chee Hwa, with nominations from more than 700 members of the electoral college, was uncontested in the election for a second term. According to the Chief Executive Election Ordinance, nominations from at least 100 members of the 800-strong electoral college is required to be a candidate. Nevertheless, Tung could not erase from the public's mind the perception that he is a simpleton guiding a rudderless ship.

Accountability System

In an attempt to resolve the difficulties in governance, Tung reformed the structure of government substantially starting from his second term in 2002. In a system popularly called the Principal Officials Accountability system, all principal officials, including the Chief Secretary, Financial Secretary, Secretary for Justice and head of government bureau would no longer be politically neutral career civil servants. Instead, they would all be political appointees chosen by the Chief Executive. The system was portrayed as the key to solve previous administrative problems, notably the cooperation of high ranking civil servants with the Chief Executive. Under the new system, all heads of bureau became members of the Executive Council, and came directly under the Chief Executive instead of the Chief Secretary or the Financial Secretary. The heads of the Liberal Party and Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, two pro-government parties in the Legislative Council, were also appointed into the Executive Council to form a "ruling alliance," a de facto coalition. This practically shut out the pro-democratic parties and individuals.

Crisis of Governance in 2003

The first major move of Tung in his second term was to push for legislation to implement Article 23 of the Hong Kong Basic Law in September 2002. However, the initiative drew a hostile response from the pro-democratic camp, lawyers, journalists and human rights organizations. This stoked public concerns that the freedoms they enjoyed would deteriorate. The sentiment, together with other factors such as the SARS epidemic in early 2003, when the government was criticized for its slow response, strained hospital services and the unexpected death toll, resulted in the largest mass demonstration since the establishment of HKSAR, with an estimated 350,000 - 500,000 people marching on 1 July 2003. Many demanded Tung to step down.
In response to the protests, the leader of the Liberal Party, James Tien, resigned from the Executive Council on evening July 6, signifying the withdrawal of the party's support for the bill implementing Article 23. As a result, the government had to postpone and later withdraw the bill from the legislative agenda. In late August, Regina Ip, the then Secretary for Security who was responsible for implementing Article 23, resigned for personal reasons. Another Principal Official, Finance Secretary Antony Leung, who earlier suffered from a scandal over his purchase of a luxury vehicle weeks prior to his introduction of a car sales tax, which was dubbed as the Lexusgate scandal, resigned on the same day.
It was the most serious crisis of Tung's administration and some considered it a break-up of the short-lived ruling alliance. The events also boosted civil awareness among the public and the popularity of the pro-democratic camp. Tung's government subsequently encountered difficulties in implementing many of its policies due to opposition from the so-called pro-democratic camp.

Subsequent Developments

Tung Chee Hwa shaking hands with Paul Martin, the Prime Minister of Canada at the Government House on 22 January 2005.
During the debate over Hong Kong's constitutional development, Tung was criticized as not reflecting effectively the views of the pro-democratic camp to push for 2007/08 universal suffrage to the PRC government. Although the primary target of popular opposition was the PRC government, Tung's lack of support for the pro-democratic camp resulted in his low approval ratings.
Tung's cabinet suffered another blow in July 2004 when another Principal Official, the Secretary for Health, Welfare & Food, Dr. Yeoh Eng Kiong, resigned on July 7 to take political responsibility over the public outcry towards the government's handling of the SARS outbreak in 2003, after the release of the investigation report of LegCo over the issue.
In late-2004, the Tung administration was rocked by another embarrassment as the large planned sale of government-owned real estate, The Link REIT, was cancelled at the last moment by a lawsuit by a tenant from an affected estate. This incident furthered popular perceptions that the Tung administration was inept. Given that Tung had already been chief executive for over seven years at this point, Tung could no longer demonstrate control over his political agenda.
With the subsequent improvement in the economy over 2004, unemployment fell and the long period of deflation ended. This resulted in a decrease in public discontent as the government's popularity improved, and popular support for the democratic movement dwindled with a protest in January attracting a mere few thousand protesters compared to an estimated 500,000 people in the July 1st protests of 2003 and 2004. However, the popularity of Tung himself remained low compared to his deputies including Donald Tsang and Henry Tang.


Tung's reputation suffered further damage when he was openly criticized by Hu Jintao in December 2004 for poor governance, though Tung himself insisted that he retained the President's support, and that he and the rest of the government were asked to reflect on the past.
Hu's words, however, while not directly criticizing, had effectively expressed his opinion. Nevertheless, in his January 2005 Policy Address, he gave a rather critical verdict on his own performance. He subsequently resigned from his office in March 2005 citing poor health (leg, according to him), but many speculated that he was forced to step down by the Chinese central government. After his resignation, he was elected the post of vice-president of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Again, many people speculated this move was to save his face. His resignation has sparkled a constitutional debate of whether his successor should fill his remaining term of two years or start a new term of five years.

Grand Bauhinia Medal

Tung was awarded a Grand Bauhinia Medal in 2006.Official press release:

"Mr TUNG is awarded the GBM in recognition of his selfless dedication to Hong Kong. Throughout his service as the Chief Executive, Mr TUNG has devoted himself wholeheartedly to the job of governing Hong Kong, with an enormous sense of commitment and responsibility. He ensured Hong Kong's stability during his term of office, successfully implemented the "One Country, Two Systems" model, led Hong Kong to overcome the Asian financial crisis and promoted the economic synergy between the Mainland and Hong Kong."

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Wan Li
B5: 萬里; GB:万里; PY: Wàn Lĭ (b. 1916)-
Chairman of the National People's Congress before his retirement in 1993, and was generally considered to be a moderate. He was born in Dongping, Shandong province of China.
Wan Li joined the Communist Party of China in 1935. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, he had taken many high rank positions. In 1979, Wan Li became governor of Anhui (the official title is First Secretary of the Anhui Provincial Party Committee). He was responsible for the institution of contract responsibility system in agriculture - one of the earliest initiatives of economic reform under Deng Xiaoping. The system began with the conspiracy of farmers in Anhui to divide communal lands and assign them to individual farmers. After their initiative was supported by Wan Li, and later in Sichuan province by Zhao Ziyang, it became national policy. The Anhui agricultural reforms were heralded as brilliant innovations by the central government. Wan Li was immortalized in the folk saying "If you want to eat rice, look for Wan Li." (要吃米, 找万里)
Wan Li became the Vice Premier in 1984 and the Chairman of the National People's Congress in 1988. Because Wan Li was sympathetic to the student movement the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, he was temporarily put under house arrest but was soon able to retain his job. Another supporter of the student movement, General Party Secretary Zhao Ziyang, had been under house arrest until his death on January 17, 2005.
Wan Li retired in 1993. In 2004, he called for more democratic decision-making procedures in China to improve the country's "imperfect" Socialist system and boost economic development.
Wan Li is considered, to a lesser degree, to be the eighth member of The Eight Immortals Of Communist China.

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Wang Hongwen
B5: 王洪文; PY: Wáng Hóngwén; WG: Wang Hung-wen (1933/1935- August 3, 1992)-
Youngest member of the Gang of Four.
He took part in the Korean War in the early 1950s. After the war he was sent to Shanghai to work in a factory, where he met Zhang Chunqiao and became involved in a Red Guards group. He organized the Shanghai Commune in January 1967, and in 1969 he was elected to the Central Committee. He joined the Permanent Committee and became deputy-president of the Party in 1973.
He was arrested in October 1976 and received the death sentence, but had it commuted to life imprisonment. He died of liver cancer in a Beijing hospital in 1992.

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Wang Ming
B5: 王明; PY: Wáng Míng (May 23, 1904- March 27, 1974)-
Senior leader of the early Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as well as the mastermind of the famous 28 Bolsheviks group. Wang was also a major political rival of Mao Zedong during the 1930s, opposing Mao's nationalist deviation from the Comintern and orthodox Marxism and Leninism line. Wang epitomized the intellectualism and foreign dogmatism Mao criticized in his essays "On Practice" and "On Contradiction". The competition between Wang and Mao was a reflection of the power struggle between the Soviet Union, the Comintern and the CCP to control both the direction and future of the Chinese revolution.

Early Life

On May 23, 1904, Wang was born in Jinzhai, Anhui, as Chen Shaoyu (陈绍禹) to a poor peasant family. In 1920, he entered the Zhicheng Elementary School in Gushi County. Wang then entered the Third Agricultural School of the Anhui Province, which was founded by the revolutionary Zhu Yunshan. Zhu had a strong influence on the school's students, introducing many progressive journals and books such as New Youth and Communism ABC. In the school, Wang would encounter another strong influential figure in his life, A Ying (Qian Xinchun), his teacher. A Ying would teach Wang about Lenin and Chen Duxiu.
During his school years, Wang was also active in the political movement. He led boycotts of Japanese products and corrupt elections. After his graduation in 1924, Wang enrolled in the Wuchang Business School, where he studied for a year. There he published several articles on revolution and communism. That same year he joined the May 30th Movement, which involved strikes and protests against imperialism during the Northern Expedition in Wuchang. In the summer of 1924, Wang joined the CCP.

From Moscow to Shanghai

In November of 1925, the CCP sent Wang to Moscow Sun Yat-sen University, founded by the Chinese nationalist Sun Yat-sen. During this time, Wang mastered both the Russian language and Marxist-Leninist theory. It was also during this time that Wang encountered his first major political adversary, Ren Zhuoxuan. Ren was appointed as the secretary of the University's student CCP branch. Eventually Wang's eloquence won over Ren's authoritarian style in various debates. Consequently, in April 1926, Wang was elected as chairman of the University's CCP branch. After the election, Pavel Mif, the University's vice president, became fond of Wang. In January 1927, when Mif came to China as the head of a Soviet delegation, Wang was his interpreter.
After CCP's split with the KMT in 1927, Wang and Mif attended the CCP's 5th National Congress in Wuhan, after which Wang became Secretary for the CCP's Propaganda Department for two months. Wang was also a part-time editor of the Guidance journal where he published a few articles. After the July 15 Coup in Wuhan, Wang returned to Moscow with Mif.
After the purge of Karl Radek by Stalin, Mif was appointed as President of Moscow Sun Yat-sen University, and then Vice Minister of the Eastern Department of Comintern. For his service and loyalty, Wang became Mif's protégé. Along with other activists such as Zhang Mintian, Bo Gu and Wang Jiaxiang, Wang Ming founded the 28 Bolsheviks group. They labeled themselves as orthodox communists.
In 1929, Wang, along with the rest of the 28 Bolsheviks, was sent back to China with the goal of taking leadership of the CCP. However, they met strong resistance in the CCP from members such as Zhang Guotao and Zhou Enlai. Not surprisingly, they were assigned insignificant positions. Meanwhile, Wang found comfort in dating a member of the 28 Bolsheviks, Meng Qingshu, who later became his wife. Wang was then transferred to the Propaganda Department of CCP, where Li Lisan was the incumbent minister and actual "Big Brother" of CCP at that time. During a half year from 1929 to 1930, Wang published many articles in the party newspaper Red Flag and magazine Bolshevik, which supported the leftism embraced by Li. In 1930, when Wang attended a secret meeting in Shanghai, he was promptly arrested. But Wang was lucky enough to be ignored by the KMT secret police, who had no idea what value this young man might be to them. Wang was soon released after bribing the guard.
Wang was transferred to CCP's Central Labor Union after his release. Although Wang was a leftist and abided by the Communism dogma strictly in essence, his beliefs were different from those of Li. Wang was more strict about and constrained by the dogmas of Marxism textbooks and the policies of Comintern. He quickly found a temporary alliance with old CCP members, labor activists such as He Mengxiong (何孟雄), Lin Yunan (林育南, a relative of Lin Biao) against Li. In a meeting, Wang argued with Li and offended Li. As a price for his being impulsive and immature, Wang was discharged from his position and demoted to the Jiangsu division of CCP.
In August 1930, Zhou Enlai and Qu Qiubai were sent back to China by the Comintern to correct the leftism of Li, and Li was called to Moscow for repentance and lost his power. In December of the same year, Mif came to China as an envoy of the Comintern. With his mentor's strong support, Wang and his 28 Bolshevik associates entered the power center of the CCP in the 4th Plenary Meeting of 6th National Congress of CCP, by way of labeling both Li and old CCP members such as He and Luo Zhanglong (罗章龙) as dissidents.
Wang was elected member of the CCP politburo, although he was not a Commissioner of the Central Committee of CCP yet, this being a prerequisite for being a politburo member under the system proposed by Wang himself. With Mif staying in China for almost a year, the CCP was under his control, and Wang played an important role as his consultant. Although Xiang Zhongfa was the incumbent General Secretary, he was manipulated by Mif and Wang. While He and Luo were still acting to set up another group to divorce from this center, they suffered a deadly loss: He and more than 30 senior associates were arrested by the KMT in a secret meeting. He and 24 others were later executed. There was a rumor that it was Wang who sold them out to purge the dissidents, but it was baseless and without strong evidence. The only certainty was that Wang did benefit from this mysterious incident.
Before long, with the arrest of Gu Shunzhang (顾顺章), who was in charge of security for the CCP, many senior leaders such as Xiang and Yun Daiying (恽 代英) were arrested and executed. Wang returned to Moscow with his wife with a medical excuse. After Wang's departure, under the direction of Zhou Enlai, an acting politburo was set up in Shanghai. Zhou, Zhang Mintian, Bo Gu, Kang Sheng, Chen Yun, and Lu Futan (卢福坦), Li Zhusheng (李竹声) were selected to be in charge of the daily work of the CCP. Among these people, Zhang, Bo Gu and Li were members of the 28 Bolsheviks and close associates of Wang, so Wang could still keep remote control over CCP through his associates. Furthermore, Kang and Chen met him and became his supporters in Moscow several years later. Both Lu and Li would later defect to the KMT.

From Moscow to Yanan

From November 1931 to November 1937, Wang worked and lived in Moscow as Director of the CCP's delegation to the Comintern. During that period, he was elected as Executive Commissioner, member of the Presidium, and Alternate General of the Comintern. This indicated his prominence and popularity in the Comintern.
It was also during this time, under the direction of Bo Gu, that the CCP suffered greatly at the hands of the KMT, both in the cities and the countryside. This led to a general retreat of the CCP to the distant countryside, called the Long March. In the Zunyi Conference, the 28 Bolsheviks dissolved. Key members of the group — Zhang Mintian, Wang Jiaxiang, and Yang Shangkun — defected to Mao Zedong's camp. Moreover, Mao had replaced Bo Gu as head of the military, which was unknown to Wang and Comintern. As Mao consolidated his power, he became the actual paramount leader of CCP, even though Zhang Wentian was officially appointed as General Secretary of the CCP in Zunyi Conference.
In 1931, Imperial Japan successfully invaded China's Manchuria province. Wang made his contribution to China by lecturing on the united front against imperialism in the 7th Congress of Comintern in 1935. In August 1935, the CCP delegation to the Comintern issued the August 1 Manifesto, which called upon the Chinese to unite against Japan. In the same month, a CCP delegation to the Comintern held meetings to discuss the united front against imperialism. In the meeting, Wang pointed out that the archenemy of China was Japan, not Chiang Kai-shek, and that it was possible for Chinese revolutionaries to set up an alliance with Chiang.
After that, the delegation sent Zhang Hao (张浩), whose real name was Lin Yuying (林育英), also a relative of Lin Biao and a senior worker activist of CCP, back to Yanan to announce the decision of this meeting. In the CCP politburo meeting (Wa Yaobo Meeting 瓦窑堡会议) in December, CCP made a decision to set up a united front against Japanese action, but still held out by labeling Chiang as the archenemy of the revolution, as much as Japan. In 1936 the Secretariat of the Comintern issued a telegram to the Secretariat of CCP to point out the error of listing Chiang with Japan as the archenemies of Chinese revolution, and that it was necessary to include Chiang's army in the war against Japan.
With the occurrence of the Xi'an Incident in 1936, the Marco Polo Bridge Incident and the Shanghai Hongqiao Airport Incident in 1937, a general war between China and Japan was unavoidable. Wang's blueprint for a united front against Japan was under construction, with the Red Army of the CCP transferred into the Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army fighting against Japan.
For the further direction of United Front, Wang was sent back to Yanan with Kang Sheng and Chen Yun after being absent from China for 6 years. After the return of Wang, Mao expressed his respect for Wang as an envoy of the Comintern and for his great influence for putting forward the concept of United Front against Japan. Possibly Mao wanted to appeal to the Comintern and Soviet Union behind Wang, from whom Mao desperately needed support both in money and weaponry. So when Wang brought forward a new list of leaders of CCP, Mao showed his humility by putting Wang in the first place. Wang demoted his former ally Zhang Wentian from the number 1 place to the number 7 place, which weakened his own camp and created new opponents by driving Zhang to Mao's group.
Wang, Kang and Chen were elected into the new politburo, with Wang as Secretary for the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the CCP which was in charge of the daily operation of CCP headquarters. Chen was in charge of organization and Kang in charge of security, but oddly enough, Chen and Kang turned to Mao's camp, and as a result, Wang lost two important potential supporters. Moreover, when Wang passed by Xingjiang during his trip to China, he ordered Deng Fa, the notorious security boss for CCP, to arrest senior leaders of CCP Yu Xiusong, Huang Cao Li Te and two others, who were his former opponents now working for the warlord Sheng Shicai under the direction of CCP. Five of them were tortured and executed in the prison of Sheng in the name of Trotsky. When Wang boasted about his dirty work to Zhang Guotao, Zhang, who was regarded as dissident himself, was greatly irritated, for he had known these old CCP members quite well and worried about being persecuted himself. After this incident, Zhang despised Wang and would never support him.
When Wang returned to Yanan, he was admired by most of the CCP members as a talent of Marxism for his erudition and deep insight of Marxism and Leninism. Some senior CCP leaders, including Zhou Enlai and Peng Dehuai, showed their respect and favor to Wang, which made Mao jealous and irritated.
Furthermore, Wang began to disagree with Mao over major issues on the United Front. Wang believed all CCP's work should be carried out under the direction of United Front; Mao insisted CCP should maintain its independence from the United Front instead. In order to enforce his policy, Wang made the mistake of leaving the position of Secretary of the CCP in charge of the daily operations of the CCP headquarters, and went for the position of General Secretary of the Yangtze Division of CCP to handle United Front issues with the KMT in Wuhan, which meant Wang had left the power base in Yanan, with Mao now able to use all means to strengthen his power grip without any interference.


In its battle against Imperial Japan, the KMT suffered great losses due to heavy internal corruption, incompetence in military command, and outdated military supply and logistics. As a strong advocate of the United Front, Wang was damaged as well by the KMT's failure in the battlefield. After KMT lost the battles of Xuzhou and Wuhan, in 1938, Wang suffered a heavy blow as the Yangtze Division was abolished and he himself was dismissed back to Yanan. Yanan was divided into the Southern China and Central Plain Divisions, led by Zhou Enlai and Liu Shaoqi respectively; this was part of Mao's plot to break up the alliance of Wang and Zhou, and to promote his associate Liu. Wang was called back to Yanan to await his fate.
Wang was reassigned to several insignificant ceremonial jobs. Moreover, Mao deprived Wang of authority by use of propaganda, preventing Wang from publishing his opinions and articles. With the dissolution of the Comintern in 1941, Wang lost all hope for saving his political life. In 1942 Mao launched the Zheng Feng or "Rectification" Movement against dogmatism and empiricism. Wang became Mao's main target as representative of dogmatism and Zhou as representative of empiricism. Although Wang experienced great humiliation, he was still fortunate to escape from similar tortures inflicted by Kang's secret police on other CCP members. Nonetheless, in his later book The CCP of 50 Years and Yanan Diary, written by a reporter from the Soviet Union, Wang accused Mao of plotting to murder him by poison. Although there are still disagreements over this accusation, Wang's health was certainly greatly damaged under this stress.
In the later stages of Zheng Feng, Wang had to announce his confession and apology in a public meeting. It was only after Mao received a telegram from Georgi Dimitrov that he stopped the persecution. As a show of leniency and a sign of appeasement to Dimitrov (and the Soviet Union standing behind him), Mao placed Wang on the CCP's Central Committee in the 7th National Congress. Eventually, as Wang's credibility and influence waned, Moscow's leaders began to acknowledge Mao's leadership. During the period of the Chinese Civil War, Wang was appointed as director of policy research of the CCP and responsible for some insignificant legislative work.

From Beijing to Moscow

It was only after the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, that Wang reappeared from the shadows on to the political stage. He was elected as Director of the Central Legal Committee of the CCP and the Central People's Government. It was an irony for him to be responsible for advising on legislation in a dictatorial regime. Before he was elected as Commissioner of Central Committee of CCP in the 8th National Congress of CCP in 1956, Wang went to Moscow for medical treatment and would never return.
Wang wrote many articles denouncing the CCP during the conflict between the CCP and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s. His memoirs did provide some useful information about the CCP history. Above all, Wang was lucky to escape the persecution of the Cultural Revolution, and lived in peace till his death in 1974 in Moscow.

Wang's Thoughts and Works

There are great controversies on the appraisal of Wang, his works and thoughts.
According to the orthodox appraisal of Wang of the CCP, the label given by Mao to Wang as a representative of dogmatism, subjectivism and sectarianism hits the nail on the head. Wang adhered to the principles he learned from Marxism textbooks. For example, in the struggle with Li Lisan, in his pamphlet Two Routes, Wang showed more leftism than Li by declaring proletariats and low level bourgeoisie as the only revolutionists in China, and claiming that there was no third party or middle camp in the revolution and that all capitalists and upper-level bourgeoisie should be overthrown. Wang advocated for a revolution of extremism in several parts of China and then spreading to the whole country, despite that the CCP was much weaker than the KMT at that time. Wang insisted that the city revolution be preferentially considered as opposed to the peasants' movement, despite the fact that China was actually an agricultural country. Furthermore, Wang advocated for the unconditional obedience to the Comintern and the Soviet Union, without regard to the Chinese reality and keeping the independence of the CCP, which (he claimed) would be harmful to Chinese national interest and pride.
Furthermore, Wang was a theorist and lecturer rather than an activist, an idealist rather than a realist, an intellectual rather than a politician. The CCP would never win the revolution only through speeches and theories. When Wang won great power, his immaturity and recklessness, with little experience of struggling under tough conditions, was uncovered. He seldom realized that his power was built on sand. Compared with Mao, who was a veteran survivor of the cruel power struggle inside and outside CCP, Wang was destined to fall once he lost the support from Moscow.
However, there is no doubt that Wang was a good Marxism learner and practitioner. The best proof of Wang's talent and deep understanding of Marxism and Leninism was the large number of articles and speeches he produced before his thirties, which most Marxists could not achieve in their whole lives. His talent in theory and propaganda won him fame and power, and he contributed to the Chinese revolution to some extent. Chief among his contributions are his theories on the Chinese revolution and the United Front, about which he wrote a pamphlet Two Routes and gave a lecture for the Comintern in 1935. Moreover, Wang did provide in his memoirs valuable information about the early stages of the CCP, especially in his book The CCP of 50 Years.
In particular, unlike Mao, who was a pragmatist and politician who learned all his tactics from the Chinese history rather than from the Marxism and Leninism classics, Wang was a zealot of Marxism and Leninism. He might have longed for power, but his ultimate goal was the realization of communism. Judging from the power struggle between Wang and Mao, Wang still preserved some kind of intellectual mercy and innocence.

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Wang Zhen
B5: 王震; PY: Wáng Zhèn (1908- 1993)-
Chinese political figure, one of the Eight Immortals of Communist China. A political supporter of Deng Xiaoping and member of his regime. As one of the architects of the extremely violent suppression of the pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989, he was quoted in the Tiananmen Papers as stating in a June 2, 1989 meeting with other Communist Party elders: "We should announce in advance to those people occupying the Square that we're coming in. They can listen or not as they choose, but then we move in. If it causes deaths, that's their own fault. We can't be soft or merciful toward anti-Party, anti-socialist elements." Another quotation from him is said to be: "The China Communist Party established our government in China at the cost of 40 million people's lives. Any attempt to steal the control of the government from the Party without exchanging with 40 million lives for it is daydreaming!"

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Xi Zhongxun
B5: 習仲勛; GB: 习仲勋; PY: Xí Zhòngxūn (1913- May 24, 2002)-
State Councilor of the People's Republic of China and one of the founders of the Communist guerilla armies of north China. When Mao and his troops fled to northwest China on the Long March in the mid-1930s, it was Xi Zhongxun who welcomed them to their new base in and around Yan'an. Xi was briefly jailed during an inner-Party factional struggle at that time, but was soon released and went on to a series of high offices in the revolutionary movement and the new Communist regime.
Born in a land owning farm family in Fuping, Shaanxi, Xi joined the communist youth club in May 1926.
He was remembered for his friendship to his colleagues, his tolerance to diverse cultures and religions, his idealism of a open market socialist country and his integrity to his beliefs. He was the only upper level leader who voted during the 80s for open reform and got persecuted afterwards for this bold move.
His famous lines include, "We need to reform China and implement this economic zone even if it means that we have to pave a bloody road ahead and I am to be responsible for it." which he uttered to Deng Xiaoping when trying to convince Deng of the necessity of market socialism in China.
Mao accused Xi Zhongxun of sponsoring publication of a novel about his old superior in the 1930s, Liu Zhidan, as a way of trying to rehabilitate the reputation of another former colleague who had been purged in the mid-1950s, Gao Gang. It was in this connection that Mao uttered one of his more famous sentences: "Using novels to carry out anti-Party activities is a great discovery."
Mao's purge of Xi in 1962 was a precursor of the Cultural Revolution, and resulted in Xi Zhongxun being  sent to work in a factory in central China, tortured during the Cultural Revolution, and then placed under house arrest in Beijing for another ten years, until 1977.
He is now considered, to a lesser degree to be the eighth member of the Eight Immortals of Communist China.
Xi Zhongxun married Qi Xin his second wife and had four children, Xi Jiaojiao, Xi Anan, Xi Jinping, and Xi Yuanping.
He retired in Shenzhen and died in Beijing at 89 of kidney cancer.
Xi Jinping (Xi Zhongxun's third child) was widely liked by a broad cross-section of the old PBSC, including Zhu Rongji, Li Peng, and Li Ruihuan. Even though Xi was one of the provincial leaders least enthusiastic about the Three Stresses campaign, Jiang Zemin supported his emergence as the most promising members of the Fifth Generation and said he would become a 'competitor for power'.

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Xiang Zhongfa
B5: 向忠髮; GB: 向忠发; PY: Xiàng Zhōngfà (1880- 1931)-
One of the senior leaders of Communist Party of China in early stage, with whom later being the only General Secretary of CPC came from a blue worker, and then arrested and defected to Kuomintang made his life quite distinct from other CPC leaders and still mysterious in the CPC history.


Early Life

Xiang was a native of Shanghai, in which he was born in a poor family in 1880. He quit the elementary school early moving back to Hubei with his parents for the place where their ancestors lived before. When he was only 14 years old, he became an apprentice for a arsenal factory in Hanyang, a county of Wuhan. When the factory was closed, Xiang had to work for a landlord in Jiangxi as a servant. Three years later he was recommended by his employer to work for a liner company in Wuhan. He got quick promotion to second mate only 4 months later, and became chief mate after 2 years. After several years’ lives in hardship, Xiang transferred to a ship of the major liner company Han Zhiping , and was elected to the labor union of that company for his literacy and being active in worker movements. In 1921 Xiang became the vice chairman of labor union of Han Zhiping of which there were more than 1,000 members, and in the same year Xiang joined the CPC.

Rise to Power

With the Northern Expedition, the army of KMT took over some parts of Hubei and marched towards Wuhan. To support this action, Xiang and another famous CPC activist Xu Baihao (许白昊) mobilized workers for strikes against local warlords and set up the labor union of Hubei province, which greatly assisted the attack of KMT army. With the CPC headquarter moved to Wuhan, Xiang was elected as member of Central Committee of CPC for his contribution. Then Xiang was among the most prominent worker activists with Su Zhaozheng (苏兆征), Wang Hebo (王荷波) and Deng Pei (邓培).
When CPC-KMT alliance was facing uncertainty when the conflicts between these two parties rose from time to time. Xiang expressed his discontent directly, which compared to the compromised attitude of Chen Duxiu who didn’t attach importance to worker leaders. The irreconcilable standpoint of Xiang had great impression on Comintern, which issued a telegram on July 14th 1927 to denounce the central organs of CPC had indicated signs of opportunism in its compromising policy on relation with KMT and all CPC members should fight against this opportunism, with the basic task of reform “should make leaders of workers and peasants have decisive influence in the CPC”.
As a result, in the August 7th Conference of CPC in 1927, under the direction of CPC sacked Chen Duxiu , and selected Su and Xiang as members of interim politburo of CPC to be consistent with the guideline of “put workers into leadership”. But the new leadership of Qu Qiubai and Li Weihan (李维汉) of CPC after August 7th Conference was still different from Cominern’s design of leadership of worker for it still being dominated by intellectuals. Comintern had to wait for an good chance and good candidate too.
In Oct 1927 Comintern asked CPC to organize a delegation to Moscow for attending the cerebration ceremony of 10th anniversary of October Revolution. While many of CPC leaders still took refuge in Guangdong and Hongkong after the failure of Nanchang Uprising, and Su, Li Weihan were still in their way from Wuhan to Shanghai, with the CPC central organs being dysfunction at that time in practice, Xiang was elected to be the director of this delegation in a plain sail.
In Oct 15th 1927, Xiang and other 8 delegates took liner to Soviet Union. When they reached Moscow in Nov, they had a warm welcome from Russian counterparts. Xiang attended the celebration ceremony, and several major conferences of Comintern and communism activities, even gave talks on the radio. His experience and understanding of workers’ movements in China earned him prominence in Comintern. Then the Eastern Department of Comintern was happy to have Xiang help them handle with China affairs, among which Xiang solved the Chinese students protest in Moscow Eastern University.
At the same time, the interim politburo of CPC had an extended meeting in Shanghai, with the new elected Zhou Enlai and Luo Yinong being intellectual too, and with Wang Hebo being executed by KMT early before and Su coming to Moscow as delegate to Comintern, there was no representative of worker in this central organ of CPC, which should be a direct violation of Comintern policy.
In Jan 1928 Xiang wrote two letters to Stalin and Bukharin, to denounce the wrong way of CPC . These letters won attention of Stalin and Bukharin for the problem pointed out by Xiang being their concerns. Then in Mar 1928 Comintern asked CPC to hold its 6th National Congress in Moscow, which should reshuffle the leadership of CPC. With the opening of this congress in June 18th, Xiang was appointed as the chairman of opening session and closing session, which implied his prominence and promotion at hand. In this congress Xiang attacked both the leftism of Qu Qiubai and the rightism of Zhang Guotao, which mean he was the only orthodox representative of Chinese revolution. The day before the closing session of this congress, Pavel Mif, the minister of Eastern Department of Comintern, also known as the president of Moscow Sun Yat-sen University and mentor of 28 Bolsheviks on behalf of Comintern brought forward of a list of candidates for Central Committee of CPC, which consist of 36 members with 22 workers of them, stressing the obedience of Comintern’s policy. Xiang was elected as member of politburo and General Secretary of CPC in no surprise. This happy ending was for sure from the beginning, for the 84 delegates attending this congress, 50 of them being proletariats, compared with the last congress two years ago 71 of the whole 82 delegates being intellectuals. So it was no wonder Zhou Enlai would express his discontent by saying there were lots of mobs in this 6ht National Congress.

Decline and Fall In Shanghai

As Xiang was elected as paramount leader of CPC, it was inappropriate for him to stay in Moscow any longer. So Xiang came back to Shanghai to run daily work of CPC headquarter in Shanghai with new member of politburo Cai Hesen and alternate member Li Lisan after he handed over his work to new delegates of CPC in Comintern Qu Qiubai, Zhang Guotao, who both were in custody for confession of their wrong routes in fact.
After Xiang officially run the headquarter of CPC from Sept 1928, there were some great events under his direction. Firstly he sacked Cai ‘s membership in politburo for his extremism way in the direction of Sunzi Division of CPC which resulted in extreme democracy and discontent over CPC center. Secondly Xiang issued the Paper of Central Committee of CPC to All CPC Members, in which he emphasized the incorrect ideas in the revolution should be corrected, and CPC should fight against danger of bourgeois. Thirdly Xiang proposed a series reform of CPC organs, such as merger of labor union with worker committee, propaganda department with peasant committee ,and establishment of military committee in politburo, and the boldest one was CPC headquarter taking over the work of Jiangsu Division of CPC, which was very near Shanghai. But this last proposal was objected by Zhou Enlai, who won supports from other leaders. Xiang had to give up this proposal at last.
During the reign of Xiang, Li Lisan played an important role gradually. When Xiang sacked Cai, he chose Li to replace Cai, who became one of the only 4 standing members of politburo and minister of Propaganda Department of CPC in Oct 1928.When the Far East Bureau of Comintern issued order for anti-rightism and blaming CPC for not being active in this way in 1929,Xiang protested against this decision and he knew Li was an appropriate candidate for doing the communication work for his being eloquent and energetic. Thus Li took the job of handling with conflicts with Comintern. When Xiang sent Zhou Enlai to Moscow for further explanation, Li took Zhou’s charge in organization too, which gave Li a large enough stage to prove his talent.
When Xiang knew the Comintern’s decision on anti-rightism, he claimed that Chinese revolution was in the peak period. Li turned this blindness into extremism, which was late known as Lisan Route, calling for armed uprising in the cities and extension of revolution to whole country. From June 1930, Lisan Route was mature under the support from Xiang. CPC gave up the daily operation from its headquarter to divisions in all provinces, setting up action committee in all provinces , and preparing for the full-scale uprising in Oct. But Comintern expressed its discontent by stating that it was working out systemic policies for Chinese revolution, CPC should concentrate on the uprising in one or several provinces instead. Xiang stood by Li to refute that it was zero hour of Chinese revolution. In several rounds of discussion, the tension between Xiang, Li and Comintern rose greatly. The suspicion and criticism of CPC towards Comintern was the same as betrayal in the eyes of Comintern.
With the extremism and blindness of Lisan Route, CPC did suffered great loss. Comintern sent Qu Qiubai and Zhou Enlai back to China to enforce its policy. And the 28 Bolsheviks sent back by their mentors to take charge of Chinese revolution took the advantage of this opportunity to denounce Li. Xiang and Li still didn’t realize the clear and present danger and criticized these young immature students heavily. Then Comintern sent a telegram to call Li to Moscow for repentance. Pavel Mif went to Shanghai as an envoy of Comintern too. Under Mif’s direction, the 4th Plenary Meeting of 6th National Congress of CPC was held, Li was replaced by Mif’s protégé Wang Ming, and his associates in28 Bolsheviks took other important jobs. Although Xiang proposed his will of resignation, Comintern and other senior leaders of CPC such as Qu and Zhou thought Xiang’s signboard of worker leader might still be helpful to the revolution, so all of them blocked the resignation.
But Xiang’s role as paramount leader was put to an end with the key work of CPC changing from cities to Soviet Territories in countryside, which Xiang was unfamiliar with and had no experience at all. Then with Wang Ming being the actual boss of CPC now, he despised those old CPC members used to work in China. The leaders of these old CPC members, labor activists He Mengxiong (何孟雄) and Luo Zhanglong (罗章龙) planned to set up another center. Although this effort fail with He and other 24 members of this group arrested and executed by KMT later, CPC’s power in Shanghai was greatly weakened. For being a puppet, Xiang lost confidence in revolution and communism. He changed his interest to women and luxurious life. Using the party expense, Xiang lived in villa with his mistress, which brought about great criticisms among CPC members and made Zhou Enlai nervous for it was tough for Zhou to fulfill his task of ensure the security of senior leaders.
Xiang’s extravagant life lasted only a short time. With the arrest and defection of one of Zhou’s senior subordinates, Gu Shunzhang (顾顺章), who was security guard boss of CPC at that time, in 1931, Gu sold Xiang out. Xiang was under arrest on June 22th. With his courage and guts being lost in enjoyment of luxury life , Xiang defected very soon. However, KMT knew Xiang was useless to them for his being a puppet, Chiang Kai-shek ordered the execution the next day, which ended the whole life of Xiang.

Xiang’s Role

With Xiang being the only one General Secretary defected to and executed by KMT, he was regarded as disgrace of CPC history. Thus his fate of being forgotten and erased in the memory of CPC was unavoidable. Some members of CPC leaders said Xiang was in decadence when he turned to extravagant life. Maybe he had been dead at that time only with his body still alive. He used to be an ambitious and active revolutionist, but the power struggle made him desperate.
During the early stage of CPC, the case of Xiang was not alone. For the Central Committee elected in the 6th National Congress, 22 members of which came from workers, 14 of them defected to KMT later. It was no surprise that after Xiang’s arrest and execution, another member of politburo Lu Futan (卢福坦), who came from worker too, expressed his will of succeeding Xiang as General Secretary. Comintern rejected the proposal and would rather choose those students such as Wang Ming and Bo Gu who used to study in Soviet Union and could be more trustworthy although they had no experience compared to those worker activists, to take the leadership of CPC.

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Yang Shangkun
B5: 楊尚昆; GB: 杨尚昆; PY: Yáng Shàngkūn (May 25, 1907- September 14, 1998)-
President of the People's Republic of China from 1988 to 1993, and was permanent Vice-chair of the Central Military Commission.
Born in Tongnan, Sichuan province, he was a veteran of the Long March. He held a senior position in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) from 1956 to 1966, but was demoted during the Cultural Revolution. He was rehabilitated in 1978 and was elected to the Politburo in 1982. As president, Yang played a key role, along with "Paramount Leader" Deng Xiaoping, in ordering the June 1989 military crackdown against student pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, Beijing. His nephew, Yang Jianhua, commanded the highly disciplined 27th Group Army, which was brought in from Hebei province to suppress the demonstrators.
Extremely influential in the People's Liberation Army, he was removed by Deng Xiaoping in 1992 for attempting to replace Jiang Zemin as party leader. It was known that Yang and his brother, Yang Baibing, had many supporters and allies in the military that their removal forced more than half of the top ranking officers into retirement.
He is considered as one of the Eight Immortals of Communist China.

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Yao Wenyuan
BIG5: 姚文元; PY: Yáo Wényuán (1931- )-
Former Chinese writer and propaganda official and a member of the Gang of Four in the People's Republic of China.
He began his career in Shanghai as a literary critic. After meeting Zhang Chunqiao, he devoted himself to critical campaigns against writers. His article on "The destitution of Hai Rui" (Chinese: 海瑞罢官; pinyin: Hăi Ruì bà guān), ordered by Mao, launched the Cultural Revolution on November 10, 1965. In April 1969 he joined the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, working on official propaganda. He was arrested on October 1976 and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.
He was released on October 5, 1996. He has been writing a book and studying Chinese history since his release on medical parole in 1994. He lives now in his hometown of Shanghai, and became the last surviving member of the Gang of Four after the death of Zhang Chunqiao in April 2005.

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Zhang Chunqiao
B5: 張春橋; GB: 张春桥; PY: Zhāng Chūnqiáo; WG: Chang Ch'un-chiao (1917- April 21, 2005)-
Member of the Gang of Four.
He worked as a writer in Shanghai in the 1930s. After the Yan'an conference in 1938, he joined the Communist Party of China. With the creation of the People's Republic of China, he became a prominent journalist in Shanghai in charge of the Liberation Daily (Jiefang Ribao). He met Jiang Qing in Shanghai and helped to launch the Cultural Revolution.
In February 1967 he organized the Shanghai Commune. In April 1969 he joined the Central Committee and in 1973 he was promoted to the Permanent Committee. In January 1975 he became second deputy Prime Minister. His attempt to promote himself higher in the party's hierarchy ended when he was arrested in October 1976. He was sentenced to death, together with Jiang Qing, in 1981, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Jiang died in 1991 in captivity.
He was released for medical reasons in August 2002 and was arranged to live in obscurity back in Shanghai.
Among those calling themselves Maoist outside China, a large perhaps majority portion still uphold the theories of Zhang Chunqiao. His most widely respected article is "On Exercising All-Round Dictatorship over the Bourgeoisie," in which he explained the bases and extent of the problem of the bourgeoisie in China and what would have to be done to prevent capitalist restoration.
In May 2005 it was announced that he had died of cancer the previous month.

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Zhang Guotao
B5: 張國燾; GB: 张国焘; PY: Zhāng Guótāo; WG: Chang Kuo-t'ao (1897- December 3, 1979)-
Founding member and leader of the Chinese Communist Party in the late 1920s and 1930s.
Born in Pingxiang County, Jiangxi Province, Zhang was involved in revolutionary activities as a youth. Zhang studied Marxist thought under Li Dazhao while attending Peking University in 1916. With his active role in the May Fourth Movement in 1919, Zhang became the most prominent student leader and later joined the early organization of CPC in Oct 1920. At the same time Mao Zedong was a librarian working in Peking University unknown to public. It was uncertain whether Zhang and Mao acquainted with each other at that time. But it was for sure that Zhang was a more prominent figure compared with Mao at that time. Zhang attended the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 1921 and elected as member of Central Bureau of CPC in charge of organization work of cadres. After the congress Zhang held the position of Director of Secretariat of China Labor Union and Chief Editor of Labor Weekly, from which he became an expert in labor union and mobilization, leadings several major strikes in railway and textile workers, which gave him great prominence and made him pioneer of labor work in China with Liu Shaoqi, Li Lisan.
In 1924 Zhang attended the First National Congress of the Kuomintang under the policy of alliance with Kuomintang and was elected as Substitute Commissioner of Central Executive Committee, although Zhang protested the alliance with Kuomintang in the Third National Congress of CPC and got a minor punishment one year before. In 1925 in the Fourth National Congress of the CPC, Zhang was elected as Commissioner of Central Committee of CPC and Director of Labor & Peasant Work Department. In 1926 Zhang was the General Secretary of Hubei Division of CPC, and in 1927 was Commissioner of Interim Central Committee of CPC after the failure of CPC uprising. Zhang with Li Lisan and Qu Qiubai were the acting leader of CPC at that time when Mao only led a small troop with riot in Jiangxi and Hunan. In 1928 Zhang was elected as a member of the politburo of the CPC in the Sixth National Congress held in Soviet Union, and then as delegate of CPC in Comintern. But with his disagreement with Soviet Union and Comintern policies on Chinese revolution in the 1920's , Zhang was actually taken in custody and punished to correct his mistakes by way of studying in university, which should thanks for his great fame and popularity in communists world, otherwise he would have been executed or exiled like other dissidents at that time.
In 1931 Zhang expressed his repentance and was sent back to China by Comintern to clean up the mess left by the power struggle between 28 Bolsheviks and Li Lisan, other old CPC members. Zhang used his fame and popularity to correct the extremism and appeased the old CPC members. But the damage done by the power struggle was so great that it was too difficult for CPC to survive in the cities governed by Kuomintang. So Zhang and other acting CPC leaders decided to move their groups to bases in the countryside. Zhang was assigned to lead the daily operation of Eryuwan Revolution Base as General Secretary and chairman of military committee of that base, and then Vice Chairman of Interim Central Government of Chinese Soviet Republic when Mao was the chairman. Maybe the life in Soviet Union gave him too much impact, Zhang carried out cruel cleanings to persecute dissidents which result in his defeat and evacuation in 1932.
In 1932 Zhang led the 4th Red Army entering Sichuan and set up another base, later turned it into a prosperous autonomy by way of land reform and ally with aboriginals. In 1935 when Zhang and his troops reunited with Mao and his troops after Long March in Sichuan . With his well-equipped troops and luxurious supply, Zhang acted like a master to host Mao. It might be his superior record and resulting arrogance to Mao sowing the seeds of conflict between them. Zhang and Mao disagreed with each other over major issues very soon. The outcome was red army splitting again. When Zhang's elite troops were annihilated by Warlord Ma Brothers cavalry during Zhang's troop's efforts to cross the Yellow River and conquer Ma's territory, Zhang lost his capital to challenge Mao and had to accept the fact of failure.
When Zhang reached Yanan, which meant his fallen from power and became a trophy of Mao. Zhang kept a symbolic position of chairman of Yanan Frontier Area and was humiliated from time to time by Mao and his confederates. Zhang was too proud to ally with Wang Ming, who recently came back from Moscow and acted as Comintern representative, with Zhang's popularity in Comintern he might have another chance of return back to power if he had allied with Wang. However once Wang boasted his order of arrest of senior CPC leaders Yu Xiusong, Huang Chao, Li Te and two others, who were all opponents of Wang and now worked for warlord Sheng Shicai in Xingjiang under the direction of CPC. All five were tortured and executed in Sheng's prison with label as Trotskyist. Zhang was greatly irritated for he knew them quite well or maybe Zhang worried about his own fate when he was regarded a dissident at that time. After that incident, Zhang despised Wang and would never support Wang.
Without any supporter, thus in 1937 in the Extended Meeting of Politburo of the Communist Party of China Zhang was purged, which resulted in his 1938 defection to the Kuomintang. But without any power resource and support, Zhang never held important position then and only did research on CPC for Dai Li. After the defeat of the Kuomintang, in 1949 he went to exile first to Hong Kong, then to Canada and died in a beadhouse in a cold winter of 1979.
Zhang had written several memoirs on CPC, which provide valuable information on CPC especially in early stage.

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Zhang Wentian
B5: 張聞天; GB: 张闻天; PY: Zhāng Wéntiān (also Luo Fu) (1900- July 1, 1976)-
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) from 1935 to March 20, 1943.
A native of Pudong Shanghai, Zhang joined the CPC in 1925 and was sent to study at Moscow Sun Yat-sen University in Moscow, which was set up under Kuomintang's founder Sun Yat-sen's policy of alliance between the Soviet Union and CPC to train Chinese revolutionaries and named after him. It was there Zhang came to know Wang Ming and play an active role in the following group 28 Bolsheviks.
Around 1930 Zhang and his fellows in 28 Bolsheviks such as Wang and Bo Gu returned to China to take charge of the CPC with support from their mentors in Moscow, and they won the power struggle with Li Lisan who was in charge of the CPC at that time. Zhang was appointed as Minister of the Propaganda Department, Interim Member and then Standing Member of the politburo of the CPC. Owing to 28 Bolsheviks being immature and extremists in revolution, the CPC suffered from great losses in cities under their direction, which resulted in Zhang and other prominent figures retreating to the CPC base in Jiangxi in 1933. As they applied the same policy, defeat was inevitable and the Long March began.
Perhaps witnessing too many heavy casualties made Zhang turn over to think about the right way of revolution in China, and as a result he and Wang Jiaxiang and Yang Shangkun, other prominent figures of 28 Bolsheviks, defected to Mao Zedong's camp in Zunyi Conference during the Long March. It was at this conference that Bo Gu and military advisor from Comintern Otto Braun or Li De were discharged from their command in the military to Mao. As a compromise, Zhang was appointed as General Secretary of the CPC to replace Bo Gu although Mao received support from most senior party and military leaders.
When Zhang reached Yanan, he was in charge of ideology and propaganda work for which in 1938 he wrote a book, Youth Accomplishment (论青年修养), which greatly influenced the youth. Although most of the time he acted like a puppet, and he pledged his allegiance to Mao during Mao's power struggle with Wang Ming and Zhang Guotao, this could not change his fate of removed from the standing committee and his position taken by Mao Zedong in the 7th National Congress of the CPC in 1945.
After the end of Chinese anti-Japanese War, Zhang was sent to Manchuria with Lin Biao, Gao Gang and Chen Yun to set up a base for CPC resistance to Kuomintang.
After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, he became the Chinese Ambassador to Soviet Union and Under Secretary of the Foreign Ministry. He was disgraced in the LuShan Meeting in 1959 because he criticized Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward. Zhang and Defense Minister Peng Dehuai, Chief of Staff Huang Kecheng and CPC General Secretary of Hunan Province Zhou Xiaozhou were labeled as an anti-CPC group and stripped of CPC membership. Zhang did not survive the persecution of the Cultural Revolution and died in 1976 in exile. He was posthumously rehabilitated in 1978.
Zhang was a versatile scholar, expert in Marxism, western history and philosophy, and wrote and translated many articles in these fields.

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Zhao Ziyang
B5: 趙紫陽; GB: 赵紫阳; PY: Zhào Zǐyáng; WG: Chao Tzu-yang (October 17, 1919- January 17, 2005)-
Politician in the People's Republic of China. He was Premier of the People's Republic of China from 1980 to 1987, and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1987 to 1989. As a high-ranking government official, he was a leading reformer who implemented market reforms that greatly increased production and sought measures to streamline the bloated bureaucracy and fight corruption. Once slated as Deng Xiaoping's successor, Zhao Ziyang was purged for his support of the student demonstrators in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 and spent the last fifteen years of his life under house arrest.


Rise to Power

The son of a wealthy Hua County, Henan province landlord, he joined the Communist Youth League in 1932 and worked underground as a Communist Party official during the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and subsequent Chinese Civil War. His father was killed by party officials in the late 1940s. He rose to prominence in the party in Guangdong from 1951 and introduced numerous successful agricultural reforms. In 1962, Zhao began to disband the commune system in order to return private land to peasants while assigning production contracts to individual households. He also directed a harsh purge of cadres accused of corruption or having ties to the Kuomintang. By 1965 Zhao was the Party secretary of Guangdong province, despite not being a member of the Communist Party Central Committee.
As a supporter of the reforms of Liu Shaoqi, he was dismissed as Guangdong party leader in 1967 during the Cultural Revolution, paraded through Guangzhou in a dunce cap and denounced as "a stinking remnant of the landlord class". He spent four years in forced labor at a factory. In 1971 he was assigned to work as an official in Inner Mongolia and then returned to Guangdong in 1972.
Zhao was rehabilitated by Zhou Enlai in 1973, appointed to the Central Committee, and sent to China's largest province, Sichuan, as first party secretary in 1975. Sichuan had been economically devastated by the Great Leap Forward. Zhao turned the province around by introducing radical and successful capitalist rural reforms, which led to an increase in industrial production by 81% and agricultural output by 25% within three years. Deng Xiaoping saw the "Sichuan Experience" as the model for Chinese economic reform and had Zhao inducted into the Politburo as an alternate member in 1977 and as a full member in 1979. He joined the Politburo Standing Committee in 1982.

Reformist Leader

After six months as vice-premier, Zhao was appointed premier in 1980 to replace Hua Guofeng, Mao's designated successor, who was being pushed out of power by Deng Xiaoping. He developed "preliminary stage theory," a course for transforming the socialist system that set the stage for much of the later Chinese economic reform. As premier, he implemented many of the policies that were successful in Sichuan, including giving limited self-management to industrial enterprises and increased control over production to peasants. Zhao sought to develop coastal provinces with special economic zones that could lure foreign investment and create export hubs. This led to rapid increases in both agricultural and light-industrial production throughout the 1980s, but his economic reforms were criticized for causing inflation. Zhao also persisted in advocating an open foreign policy, fostering good relations with western nations that could aid China's economic development.
Zhao was a solid believer in the party, but he defined socialism much differently than party conservatives. Zhao called political reform "the biggest test facing socialism." He believed economic progress was inextricably linked to democratization. As early as 1986, Zhao became the first high-ranking Chinese leader to call for change, by offering a choice of election candidates from the village level all the way up to membership in the Central Committee.
In the 1980s, Zhao was branded by many as a revisionist of Marxism. He advocated government transparency and a national dialogue that included ordinary citizens in the policymaking process, which made him popular with the masses. In Sichuan, where Zhao implemented economic restructuring in the 1970s, there was a saying: "要吃粮,找紫阳 (yao chi liang, Zhao Ziyang)." The wordplay on his name, loosely translated, means "if you want to eat, seek Ziyang."
In January 1987, reformist leader Hu Yaobang was forced by Deng to resign for being too lenient to student protestors and he was replaced as CPC General Secretary by Zhao, whose vacated premiership was in turn filled by Li Peng. This put Zhao in the position to succeed Deng as paramount leader. While General Secretary Zhao favored loosening government controls over industry and creating free-enterprise zones in the coastal regions, Premier Li favored a cautious approach that relied more on central planning and guidance.
In the 1987 Communist Party Congress Zhao declared that China was in "a primary stage of socialism" that could last 100 years. Under this premise, China needed to experiment with a variety of economic systems to stimulate production. Zhao proposed to separate the roles of the party and state, a proposal that has since fallen taboo. According to western observers, the two years Zhao served as General Secretary were the most open in modern Chinese history—many limitations on freedom of speech and freedom of press were relaxed, allowing intellectuals to freely propose improvements for the country.
Zhao's proposal in May 1988 to accelerate price reform led to widespread popular complaints about rampant inflation and gave opponents of rapid reform the opening to call for greater centralization of economic controls and stricter prohibitions against Western influence. This precipitated a political debate, which grew more heated through the winter of 1988 to 1989.

Tiananmen, Purges, and House Arrest

Zhao Ziyang (accompanied by then Chief of Staff Wen Jiabao) addressed the student protestors at Tiananmen on May 19, 1989. He apologized to the students, saying "Sorry kids, I have come too late."
The death of Hu Yaobang on April 15, 1989, coupled with growing economic hardship caused by high inflation, provided the backdrop for the large scale protest movement of 1989 by students, intellectuals, and other parts of a disaffected urban population. Student demonstrators, taking advantage of the loosening political atmosphere, reacted to a variety of causes of discontent, which they attributed to the slow pace of reform. Ironically, some of the original invective was also directed against Zhao. The party hardliners increasingly came to the opposite conclusion, regretting an excessively rapid pace of change for causing the mood of confusion and frustration rife among college students. The protests called for an end to official corruption and for defense of freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution of the People's Republic of China. Protests also spread through many other cities, including Shanghai and Guangzhou. These protests were occurring at a time when Communist governments throughout Eastern Europe were collapsing. Conservative leaders were horrified at the prospect that the Tiananmen protests could topple their government.
The tragic events of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 sealed his fate and rendered impossible any further democratic movement. While Zhao paid an official visit to Pyongyang the more hard-line leaders used the opportunity to declare the protestors "counter-revolutionary." By the time Zhao returned to Beijing, China's communist leaders Deng Xiaoping, Yang Shangkun and Li Peng were finalizing their plans to declare martial law and crush the Tiananmen Square democracy protests. On the night of May 18, Zhao was summoned to Deng's home in Zhongnanhai and a hastily called Politburo Standing Committee was called to endorse martial law with Zhao casting the lone dissenting vote. Shortly before 5 A.M. on the morning of May 19, Zhao appeared in Tiananmen Square wandered among the crowd protestors. Using a blow horn, he pleaded with them to abandon their vigil saying "I have come too late. You cannot go on like this. We were once young too, and we had such bursts of energy. We also staged demonstrations, and I remember the situation then. We also did not think of the consequences." This was the last time Zhao was seen in public.
The protestors did not disperse. A day after Zhao's May 19 visit to Tiananmen Square, Premier Li Peng publicly declared martial law. In the power struggle that ensued, Zhao was stripped of all his positions. What motivated Zhao remains, even today, a topic of debate by many. Some say he went into the square hoping a conciliatory gesture would gain him leverage against hard-liners like Premier Li Peng. After the massacre, Zhao was placed under house arrest and replaced as General Secretary by Jiang Zemin, who had suppressed similar protests in Shanghai without much bloodshed. This process was illegal under the PRC's constitution, as the National People's Congress was not in session. Legally only it could dismiss him. The very fact that he was removed in this way is one major reason why he was not rehabilitated after his death, as well as why the Tiananmen protestors are still officially labeled as criminals by the PRC Government. If the CPC admitted that its handling of Tiananmen was wrong, it would have to address the unconstitutional removal of Zhao from power. One might say that as this action was illegal, the politicians who carried it out were guilty of treason - Jiang Zemin included.
Zhao remained under tight supervision and was allowed to leave his courtyard compound or receive visitors only with permission from the highest echelons of the party. There have been occasional reports of him attending the funeral of a dead comrade, visiting other parts of China or playing golf at Beijing courses, but the government rather successfully tried to keep him hidden from news reports and history books. Over that period, only a few snapshots of a gray-haired Zhao leaked out to the media. On at least two occasions Zhao wrote letters, addressed to the Chinese government, in which he put forward the case for a reassessment of the Tiananmen Massacre. One of those letters appeared on the eve of the Communist Party's 15th National Congress. The other came during a 1998 visit to China by U.S. President Bill Clinton. Neither was ever published in mainland China.

Death and Muted Response

In February 2004, Zhao had a pneumonia attack that led to a severe lung malfunctioning and was hospitalized for three weeks. Zhao was hospitalized again with pneumonia on December 5, 2004. Reports of his death were officially denied in early January 2005. Later, on January 15, he was reported to be in a coma after multiple strokes. According to activist Frank Lu, Vice President Zeng Qinghong visited Zhao in the hospital. Zhao died on January 17 in a Beijing hospital at 07:01 at the age of 85. He is survived by his second wife, Liang Boqi, and five children (a daughter and four sons).
The government's response to Zhao's death was notably muted, probably out of fear that mass mourning would spark national protests as had occurred after the deaths of Zhou Enlai and Hu Yaobang. The official Xinhua News Agency carried a four line statement on its website saying that "Comrade Zhao Ziyang" had passed away, without making any note of his official titles or legacy as a leader. Zhao's death was not mentioned on state-run television and radio programs. The newspapers carried a five line annoucement on the day following his death, leaving the main means of mass dissemination through the Internet. Internet forums, such as the Strong Nation Forum and the SINA.com Forum were flooded with messages expressing condolences for Zhao, but these messages were promptly deleted by moderators, leading to more postings attacking the moderators for deleting the postings.
In Hong Kong, 10,000–15,000 people attended the candlelight vigil in remembrance of Zhao. Mainlanders such as Chen Juoyi said that it was illegal for Hong Kong legislators to join any farewell ceremony, stating "...under the 'one country, two systems' a Hong Kong legislator cannot care anything about mainland China." The statement caused a political storm in Hong Kong that continued for three days after his speech. Szeto Wah, the chairman of The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, said that it was not right for the Communists to suppress the memorial ceremony. The twenty-four pan-democrat legislators went against the chairperson of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, insisting that security be tightened at Tiananmen Square and at Zhao's house, and that the authorities try to prevent any public displays of grief.
Similar memorials were held around the world, notably in New York City and Washington, DC where American government officials and exiled dissidents attended.
Zhao's positions would have normally entitled him to a state funeral, but he was denied one. On January 29, 2005 the government held a funeral ceremony for him at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery, a place reserved for revolutionary heroes and high government officials, that was attended by some 2,000 mourners that had been pre-approved to attend. Several dissidents, including Zhao's secretary Bao Tong and Tiananmen Mothers leader Ding Zilin, were kept under house arrest to prevent them from attending. The most senior official to attend the funeral was Jia Qinglin, fourth in the party hierarchy. Mourners were allowed five at a time to view Zhao's flag-covered body and to pay respect to his family. They were forbidden to bring flowers or to inscribe their own messages on the government-issued flowers. There was no eulogy at the ceremony because the government and Zhao's family could not agree on its content: while the government wanted to say he made mistakes, his family refused to accept he did anything wrong. On the day of his funeral, state television mentioned Zhao's death for the first time and issued a short obituary acknowledging his contribution to economic reforms, but saying he made "serious mistakes" during the 1989 protests. After the ceremony, Zhao was cremated. His ashes were taken to his Beijing home as the government denied him a place at Babaoshan.

Push For Rehabilitation

In 2005, former NPC Chairman Wan Li joined more than 20 retired Politburo members, including Tian Jiyun, former Vice Premier, in asking the Central Government to rehabilitate Zhao’s name and hold memorial services for him for his many important contributions to China. The Chinese government agreed to hold a ceremony to honor the late Communist Party chief Zhao Ziyang, but the response fell far short of satisfying the requests from both inside and outside the CCP.

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Zhou Enlai
B5: 周恩來; GB: 周恩来; PY: Zhōu Ēnlái; WG: Chou En-lai (March 5, 1898- January 8, 1976)-
Prominent Chinese Communist leader, Premier of the People's Republic of China from 1949 until his death.

Early Years and Education

Born in Huai'an, Jiangsu Province, the adopted eldest son of a well-to-do Tianjin family, Zhou was educated at Nankai High School and then in Japan at Meiji University (1915-1918). On his return to Nankai he was briefly arrested for his radical associations. After his release in 1920 he studied in France, England and Germany. He had joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1921 and Zhou returned to China in 1924 to work with Sun Yat-sen.
On August 8, 1925, he married Deng Yingchao, a student activist, in Tianjin. She later became a prominent member of the CPC. The couple remained childless, but adopted many orphaned children of "revolutionary martyrs"; one of the more famous was future Premier Li Peng.

Revolutionary Career

Zhou first came to national prominence during the May Fourth Movement of 1919 when he led a raid on a local government office during the student protests against the humiliating Versailles Treaty. In 1920 Zhou moved to France where he was active among radical Chinese students. In 1921 he became a member of the French Communist Party and spent the next two years traveling in Europe.
Upon his return to China, he served as the chairman of the political department at the Whampoa Military Academy in Guangzhou when it was founded in 1926 (Whampoa's Soviet Comintern sponsors saw this posting as a way to balance Chiang Kai-shek's right-wing nationalism).
After the Northern Expedition began, he worked as a labour agitator. In 1926 he organized a general strike in Shanghai, opening the city to the Kuomintang. When the Kuomintang broke with the Communists, Zhou was able to escape the white terror. It has been said that he had been captured and released on the orders of Chiang Kai-Shek, to repay a debt from an occasion when Zhou had saved Chiang from violent leftists in Guangzhou. Zhou eventually made his way to the Jiangxi base area and gradually began to shift his loyalty away from the more orthodox, urban-focused branch of the CPC to Mao's new brand of rural revolution, and became one of the prominent members of the CPC. This transition was completed early in the Long March, when in January 1935 Zhou threw his total support to Mao in his power struggle with the 28 Bolsheviks Faction.
In the Yan'an years Zhou was active in promoting a united anti-Japanese front. As a result he played a major role in the Xi'an Incident, helped to secure Chiang Kai-shek's release, and negotiated the Second CPC-KMT United Front, and coining the famous phrase "Chinese should not fight Chinese but a common enemy: the invader". Zhou spent the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) as CPC ambassador to Chiang's wartime government in Chongqing and took part in the failed negotiations following World War II.


Zhou Enlai with United States President Richard Nixon, Beijing, 1972
In 1949, with the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Zhou became Premier and Foreign Minister. Asked about the impact of the French Revolution of 1789 he replied, "It is too soon to say." In June 1953, he made the five declarations for peace. He headed the communist Chinese delegation to the Geneva Conference and to the Bandung Conference (1955). He also survived the murder attempt by Taiwanese agent when he went to Bandung. The Taiwanese agents had planted a bomb, an American made MK7, on a plane that was supposed to be Zhou's plane. But Zhou Enlai later changed his schedule and flew with another plane. The plot killed sixteen innocent plane passengers. In 1958, he passed the post of Foreign Minister to Chen Yi but remained Premier.
Zhou's first major domestic focus after becoming premier was China's economy, at an ill stage after decades of war. He aimed at increased agricultural production, from the even distribution of land. Industrial progress was also on his to-do list.
In 1958, Mao Zedong began the Great Leap Forward, aimed at increasing China's production levels in industry and agriculture with unrealistic targets. As a popular and practical administrator, Zhou maintained his position through the Leap. The Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) was a great blow to Zhou. At its late stages in 1975, he pushed for the "four modernizations" to undo the damage caused from the campaigns.
Zhou, shown here with Henry Kissinger and Mao Zedong.
Known as an able diplomat, Zhou was largely responsible for the re-establishment of contacts with the West in the early 1970s. He welcomed US President Richard Nixon to China in February 1972, and signed the Shanghai Communiqué.
Discovering he had cancer, he began to pass many of his responsibilities onto Deng Xiaoping. During the late stages of the Cultural Revolution, Zhou was the target of the Gang of Four's political campaigns.
Zhou is widely seen by many to have had a moderating influence on some of the worst excesses of Mao's regime, although he did not wield the power necessary to bring about major changes to policy. It has been suggested that he used his powers to protect some of China's oldest religious and royalist sites from the rampages of Mao's Red Guards. There is no doubt however that he was fundamentally a believer in the Communist ideal on which modern China was founded.

Death and Reactions

Zhou was hospitalized in 1974 for bladder cancer, but continued to conduct work from the hospital, with Deng Xiaoping as the First Deputy Premier, handling most important State Council matters. Zhou died on the morning of January 8, 1976, merely months before Mao. Zhou's death brought messages of condolences from many Non-aligned states that he affected during his tenure as an effective diplomat and negotiator on the world stage, and many states saw Zhou's death as a terrible loss.
Inside China, the infamous Gang of Four (Jiang Qing and Co.) had seen Zhou's death as an effective step forward in their political maneuvering, as the last major challenge was now gone in their plot to seize absolute power. At Zhou's funeral, Deng Xiaoping delivered the official eulogy, but was forced out of politics thereafter. Because Zhou was very popular with the people, many rose in spontaneous expressions of mourning across China, which the Gang considered to be dangerous. During the Qingming Festival in April 1976, the clamp-down on mourning for the "Beloved Premier" caused riots, largely because the Gang of Four believed people might manipulate the situation into expressing hatred towards them. The incident was popularly known as the Tiananmen Incident (天安门事件). Anti-Gang of Four poetry was found on some wreaths that were laid, and all wreaths were subsequently taken down at the Monument of People's Heroes. These actions, however, only further enraged the people.

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Zhu De
B5: 朱德; PY: Zhū Dé; WG: Chu Teh; CN: Yùjiē; B5: 玉階; GB: 玉阶 (December 1, 1886- July 6, 1976)-
Chinese Communist military leader and statesman. He is regarded as a founder of the Chinese Red Army (the forerunner of the People's Liberation Army) and the tactician who engineered the revolution from which emerged the People's Republic of China.
He was born into a large farming family in Yilong county, a hilly and isolated section of northern Sichuan province. After a secondary education funded by his clan, Zhu De traveled to Chengdu to study physical education before joining the army. In 1908 he entered the Yunnan Military Academy in Kunming and went on to teach in the academy after his graduation. Zhu joined the rebellion that overthrew the Qing dynasty in 1911. He participated in military campaigns with armies of the Yunnan warlords and commanded units along the Laos and Vietnam borders during the early years of the Chinese Republic. During this time, Zhu De developed a strong opium habit but managed to recover from the addiction in 1922 at a Shanghai hospital. Zhu De began to read Marxism and Leninism in Shanghai. In the mid-1920s he went overseas to Europe, studying at Göttingen University in Germany from 1922 to 1925. Around this time he joined the Communist Party with Zhou Enlai and others as his sponsors. After he returned to China, Zhu served in a training regiment of Sun Yat-sen's Kuomintang army and Chief of Public Security in Nanchang. He was arrested twice for his revolutionary activities in China and eventually exiled. In July 1925, he traveled to the Soviet Union to study military affairs before returning to China in 1926.
Zhu's close affiliation with Mao Zedong began after the failed revolutionary uprisings in 1927, when both men fled to the Jinggang Mountains to avoid the total annihilation of their forces. From these humble beginnings Mao and Zhu built the Red Army into a skilled guerrilla force that consolidated and expanded the base areas under Communist control. Zhu's bravery and skill in leading these men made him a figure of immense prestige, and the locals credited him with supernatural abilities.
During the Long March Zhu De and Zhang Guotao commanded the "western column" of the Red Army which barely survived the retreat through Sichuan Province. In Yenan, Zhu directed the reconstruction of the Red Army under the political guidance of Mao and during the Sino-Japanese War (1937- 1945) and the Chinese Civil War he held the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Red Army. After 1949 Zhu was named Commander-in-Chief of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and was vice-Chairman of the Communist Party. He was made a marshal in 1955. He continued to be a prominent and much respected elder statesman until his death in July 1976, at which time he was Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (since 1975).

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Below is an index of terms entered into the database.



Bo Gu

Bo Yibo


Chen Duxiu

Chen Yun

Chinag Kai-shek


Dalai Lama

Deng Xiaoping

Deng Yingchao


Eight Immortals Of Communist China, The


Gang of Four, The


Hu Jintao

Hua Guofeng


Jiang Jieshi

Jiang Qing

Jiang Zemin


Li Dazhao

Li Xiannian

Lin Biao

Liu Shaoqi


Mao Zedong


Peng Zhen


Qin Bangxian


Song Renqiong


Tung Chee Hwa


Wan Li

Wang Hongwen

Wang Ming

Wang Zhen


Xi Zhongxun

Xiang Zhongfa


Yang Shangkun

Yao Wenyuan


Zhang Chunqiao

Zhang Guotao

Zhang Wentian

Zhao Ziyang

Zhou Enlai

Zhu De





Copyright DateRichard R. Wertz Creative Commons License