Hua Guofeng

Hua Guofeng

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Su Zhu, better known by the nom de guerre
Pseudonym
A pseudonym is a name that a person assumes for a particular purpose and that differs from his or her original orthonym...

Hua Guofeng (16 February 1921 – 20 August 2008), was Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

's designated successor as the Paramount Leader
Paramount leader
Paramount leader literally "the highest leader of the party and the state ", in modern Chinese political science, unofficially refers to the political leader of the People's Republic of China....

 of the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 and the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

. Upon Zhou Enlai
Zhou Enlai
Zhou Enlai was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China, serving from October 1949 until his death in January 1976...

's death in 1976, he succeeded Zhou as the second Premier of the People's Republic of China
Premier of the People's Republic of China
The Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China , sometimes also referred to as the "Prime Minister" informally, is the Leader of the State Council of the People's Republic of China , who is the head of government and holds the highest-ranking of the Civil service of the...

. Months later, Mao died, and Hua succeeded Mao as the Chairman of the Communist Party of China
Chairman of the Communist Party of China
The Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was the head of the Communist Party of China . In 1982, it was succeeded by the General Secretary of the Central Committee.-History and functions:...

 and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission
Chairman of the Central Military Commission
The Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China has overall responsibility for the Central Military Commission. According to Chapter 3, Section 4 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, "The Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of...

, to the surprise and dismay of Jiang Qing
Jiang Qing
Jiang Qing was the pseudonym that was used by Chinese leader Mao Zedong's last wife and major Communist Party of China power figure. She went by the stage name Lan Ping during her acting career, and was known by various other names during her life...

 and the rest of the Gang of Four. He brought the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

 to an end and ousted the Gang of Four
Gang of Four
The Gang of Four was the name given to a political faction composed of four Chinese Communist Party officials. They came to prominence during the Cultural Revolution and were subsequently charged with a series of treasonous crimes...

 from political power; but, because of his insistence on continuing the Maoist line, he was himself outmaneuvered a few years later by Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

, who forced Hua into early retirement. Hua, as Hunan Party Secretary, was credited for his 1968 use of the PLA
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

 to quell the Red guards and restore order, though at the cost of many lives. He is the only Chinese leader to have simultaneously held the three highest offices of the PRC.

Early life


Born in Jiaocheng, Shanxi
Shanxi
' is a province in Northern China. Its one-character abbreviation is "晋" , after the state of Jin that existed here during the Spring and Autumn Period....

 province, Hua joined the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 (CPC) in 1938 as a part of counter-Japanese resistance, after having joined the Long March
Long March
The Long March was a massive military retreat undertaken by the Red Army of the Communist Party of China, the forerunner of the People's Liberation Army, to evade the pursuit of the Kuomintang army. There was not one Long March, but a series of marches, as various Communist armies in the south...

 in 1936. Like many Communists of the era who took on revolutionary names, he changed his name to Hua Guofeng as an abbreviation of "Zhonghua Kangri Jiuguo Xianfengdui" (中華抗日救國先鋒隊, Chinese Resistance against Japan Nation-saving Vanguard). After having served in the 8th Route Army
Eighth Route Army
The Eighth Route Army was the larger of the two major Chinese communist forces that formed a unit of the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China which fought the Japanese from 1937 to 1945. In contrast to most of the National Revolutionary Army, it was controlled by the Communist...

 during 12 years under General Zhu De
Zhu De
Zhu De was a Chinese militarist, politician, revolutionary, and one of the pioneers of the Chinese Communist Party. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, in 1955 Zhu became one of the Ten Marshals of the People's Liberation Army, of which he is regarded as the founder.-Early...

's command, he became propaganda chief for the county Party committee in 1947.
Hua moved with the PLA to Hunan
Hunan
' is a province of South-Central China, located to the south of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and south of Lake Dongting...

 in 1949, where he married Han Zhijun in January
January
January is the first month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and one of seven months with the length of 31 days. The first day of the month is known as New Year's Day...

, and remained there as a local official until 1971. He was appointed Party secretary for Xiangyin County
Xiangyin County
Xiangyin County is a county of Hunan, China. It is under the administration of Yueyang city.-References:*...

 in August
August
August is the eighth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and one of seven months with a length of 31 days.This month was originally named Sextilis in Latin, because it was the sixth month in the original ten-month Roman calendar under Romulus in 753 BC, when March was the first...

, just before the establishment of the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

. In 1952, he was appointed secretary of Xiangtan Special District, which included Mao's hometown, Shaoshan
Shaoshan
Shaoshan is a county-level city in Xiangtan, Hunan Province, noted as the birthplace of Mao Zedong, founder of the People's Republic of China. Shaoshan was an important base during the Chinese Communist Revolution....

. In this role, he built a memorial hall dedicated to Mao. When Mao visited the site, in June
June
June is the sixth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and one of the four months with a length of 30 days. Ovid provides two etymologies for June's name in his poem concerning the months entitled the Fasti...

 1959, he was favorably impressed. Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 first met Hua in 1955, and apparently was impressed by his simplicity.

Hua participated in the 1959 Lushan Conference (an enlarged plenary session of the CPC Central Committee
Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is the highest authority within the Communist Party of China. Its approximately 350 members and alternates are selected once every five years by the National Party Congress....

) as a member of the Hunan Provincial Party delegation, and wrote two investigative reports defending communes
People's commune
The people's commune was the highest of three administrative levels in rural areas of the People's Republic of China during the period of 1958 to 1982-85 until they were replaced by townships. Communes, the largest collective units, were divided in turn into production brigades and production teams...

 and the Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward
The Great Leap Forward of the People's Republic of China was an economic and social campaign of the Communist Party of China , reflected in planning decisions from 1958 to 1961, which aimed to use China's vast population to rapidly transform the country from an agrarian economy into a modern...

.

Hua's influence increased with the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

, as he supported it and led the movement in Hunan. He organized the preparation for the establishment of the local Revolutionary Committee
Revolutionary Committee (PRC)
Revolutionary committees were tripartite bodies established during China's Cultural Revolution to facilitate government by the three mass organisations in China- the people, the PLA and the Party...

 in 1967, of which he was a deputy chairman, and gained wide attention for suppressing a hard-line extremist faction. In December
December
December is the 12th and last month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and one of seven months with the length of 31 days.December starts on the same day as September every year and ends on the same day as April every year.-Etymology:...

 1970 he was elected new chairman of the Revolutionary Committee as well as first secretary of the CPC Hunan Committee.

He was elected a full member of the 9th Central Committee
9th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
The 9th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was in session from 1969 to 1973. It held two plenary sessions in the 4-year period.It elected the 9th Politburo of the Communist Party of China in 1969....

 in 1969.

Rise to power



Hua was called to Beijing to direct Zhou Enlai
Zhou Enlai
Zhou Enlai was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China, serving from October 1949 until his death in January 1976...

's State Council staff office in 1971, but only stayed for a few months before returning to his previous post in Hunan. Later that year, he was appointed as the junior-most person of the seven-member committee investigating the Lin Biao
Lin Biao
Lin Biao was a major Chinese Communist military leader who was pivotal in the communist victory in the Chinese Civil War, especially in Northeastern China...

 Affair. Hua was re-elected to the 10th Central Committee
10th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
The 10th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was in session from 1973 to 1977. It held three plenary sessions in the 4-year period.It elected the 10th Politburo of the Communist Party of China in 1973.*Chairman: Mao Zedong...

 in 1973 and elevated to membership in the Politburo
Politburo of the Communist Party of China
The Central Politburo of the Communist Party of China or Political bureau of the CPC Central Committee , formerly as Central Bureau before 1927, is a group of 24 people who oversee the Communist Party of China...

; in the same year, he was put in charge by Zhou Enlai of agricultural development. He became minister of public security and vice-premier in 1975, but his duties were far broader, as he was also chosen to deliver a speech on modernizing agriculture in October of that year which echoed the views of Zhou Enlai.

Zhou Enlai died on 8 January 1976, at a time when Deng Xiaoping's moderate alliance was not yet strong enough to stand up to both the ailing Mao Zedong and his Cultural Revolution allies, the Gang of Four
Gang of Four
The Gang of Four was the name given to a political faction composed of four Chinese Communist Party officials. They came to prominence during the Cultural Revolution and were subsequently charged with a series of treasonous crimes...

 (Jiang Qing
Jiang Qing
Jiang Qing was the pseudonym that was used by Chinese leader Mao Zedong's last wife and major Communist Party of China power figure. She went by the stage name Lan Ping during her acting career, and was known by various other names during her life...

, Zhang Chunqiao, Wang Hongwen, and Yao Wenyuan). After reading the late premier's eulogy a week later, Deng left Beijing along with several close allies for the relative safety of Guangzhou.

As a compromise, Hua Guofeng was named as Acting Premier on February 8th. At the same time, the leftist-controlled media began denouncing Deng once again (he had been purged during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, and was only returned to power in 1973). Popular affection for Zhou was underestimated, however, leading to a confrontation between the radicals' militia allies and Beijing citizens seeking to honor Zhou during the traditional Qingming
Qingming
Traditional East Asian lunisolar calendars divide a year into 24 solar terms . Qīngmíng or Chīngmíng or Seimei is the 5th solar term. It begins when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 15° and ends when it reaches the longitude of 30°...

 festival. At the same time, Hua delivered speeches on the "official line for criticizing Deng Xiaoping", which were approved by Mao and the Party Central Committee.

During the Tiananmen Incident
Tiananmen Incident
The Tiananmen Incident took place on April 5, 1976 at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The incident occurred on the traditional day of mourning, the Qingming Festival, after the Nanjing Incident, and was triggered by the death of Premier Zhou Enlai earlier that year...

 of 1976, thousands of people protested at the militia's removal of wreaths honoring Zhou in front of the Monument to the People's Heroes
Monument to the People's Heroes
The Monument to the People's Heroes is a ten-story obelisk that was erected as a national monument of the People's Republic of China.The Monument was built in memory of the martyrs who laid down their lives for the revolutionary struggles of the Chinese people during the 19th and 20th centuries...

. Vehicles were burned, offices ransacked and there were reports of many injuries but no deaths. In the aftermath, Deng Xiaoping was blamed for inciting the protests and stripped of all his party and government posts, albeit his party membership was retained at Mao's behest. Shortly thereafter, Hua was elevated to First Vice Chairman of the CPC Central Committee and Premier of the State Council.

On October 6, less than a month after Mao's death, anti-Gang of Four leaders with Hua at its core executed the arrest of Jiang Qing and her followers, as word came out that the Gang of Four was to soon wage a military coup against the Hua leadership of the CPC. On the same day, shortly after the death of Mao Zedong, Hua Guofeng assumed the posts of Chairman of the CPC Central Committee
Chairman of the Communist Party of China
The Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was the head of the Communist Party of China . In 1982, it was succeeded by the General Secretary of the Central Committee.-History and functions:...

 and the Military Affairs Commission.

Party Chairman


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
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

. Hua's economic and political programs involved the restoration of Soviet-style industrial planning and party control similar to that followed by China before the Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward
The Great Leap Forward of the People's Republic of China was an economic and social campaign of the Communist Party of China , reflected in planning decisions from 1958 to 1961, which aimed to use China's vast population to rapidly transform the country from an agrarian economy into a modern...

. However, this model was rejected by supporters of Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

, who argued for a more market-based economic system. This argument was decisively resolved in Deng's favor in late 1978, which is generally taken as the start of the era of Chinese economic reform
Chinese economic reform
The Chinese economic reform refers to the program of economic reforms called "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" in the People's Republic of China that were started in December 1978 by reformists within the Communist Party of China led by Deng Xiaoping.China had one of the world's largest...

. Hua also attempted reforming state protocol as a method of elevating his prestige. In 1977 and 1978 all party meetings were to hang portraits of Mao and Hua side-by-side, including at the National People's Congress and CPC Party Congress meetings. All schools were required to hang Hua's picture next to Mao's. Hua also changed the Chinese national anthem
March of the Volunteers
March of the Volunteers is the national anthem of the People's Republic of China , written by the noted poet and playwright Tian Han with music composed by Nie Er. This composition is a musical march...

 to incorporate Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 and the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

, switching the tone from being war-rallying to purely Communist propaganda. These lyrics were eventually rejected.

Despite all of this, Hua Guofeng himself criticized certain aspects of the Cultural Revolution, including the education reform, the revolutionary committees' activity and other excesses, blaming the Gang of Four.

On October 1979, Hua went on a European tour, the first of its kind for a Chinese leader after 1949. He travelled to West Germany and France. On 28 October Hua visited Great Britain and met with British prime minister Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

. The two engaged in friendly talks and discussed the future of Hong Kong. Hua also went to a farm in Oxfordshire and visited Oxford University.

Hua was one of the last foreigners to visit The Shah of Iran before he was overthrown in 1979
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

.

His interpretation of the Three Worlds Theory
Three Worlds Theory
The Three Worlds Theory , developed by Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong , posited that international relations comprise three politico–economic worlds: the First World, the superpowers, the Second World, the superpowers' allies, and the Third World, the nations of the Non-Aligned...

, leading to a general re-approachment with Western powers, divided Maoist parties throughout the world. Many of them, including Shining Path
Shining Path
Shining Path is a Maoist guerrilla terrorist organization in Peru. The group never refers to itself as "Shining Path", and as several other Peruvian groups, prefers to be called the "Communist Party of Peru" or "PCP-SL" in short...

, criticized him for this and accused him of being a traitor for ousting Jiang Qing.

At the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee
Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee
The Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee was a meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China held in Beijing from December 18 to 22, 1978...

, after which Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

 became the de facto leader of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 as his idea for economic reform was adopted by the Party, Hua Guofeng was implicitly criticized for serving concurrently as Chairman of the Central Committee, Chairman of the Central Military Commission and Premier of the State Council. This was reverted between 1980 and 1981, as the three posts were assigned to three different people, but this system was re-established by Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin is a former Chinese politician, who served 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 2005...

 as he became paramount leader
Paramount leader
Paramount leader literally "the highest leader of the party and the state ", in modern Chinese political science, unofficially refers to the political leader of the People's Republic of China....

 of China.

Ousting


As Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

 gradually gained control over the CPC, Hua was denounced for promoting the Two Whatevers
Two Whatevers
The Two Whatevers refers to the statement that "We will resolutely uphold whatever policy decisions Chairman Mao made, and unswervingly follow whatever instructions Chairman Mao gave" ....

 policy. He was replaced by Zhao Ziyang
Zhao Ziyang
Zhao Ziyang was a high-ranking politician in the People's Republic of China . He was the third 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 Premier in 1980, and by Hu Yaobang
Hu Yaobang
Hu Yaobang was a leader of the People's Republic of China who served as both Chairman and Party General Secretary. Hu joined the Chinese Communist Party in the 1930s, and rose to prominence as a comrade of Deng Xiaoping...

 as Party Chairman in 1981. Hua gave self-criticism
Self-criticism
Self-criticism refers to the pointing out of things critical/important to one's own beliefs, thoughts, actions, behaviour or results; it can form part of private, personal reflection or a group discussion.-Philosophy:...

 sessions and eventually renounced the Two Whatevers policy as a mistake. Both Zhao and Hu were protégés of Deng who were dedicated to Chinese economic reform
Chinese economic reform
The Chinese economic reform refers to the program of economic reforms called "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" in the People's Republic of China that were started in December 1978 by reformists within the Communist Party of China led by Deng Xiaoping.China had one of the world's largest...

. 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 mandatory retirement age of seventy in 1991.

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-1970s and early-1980s. 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 power struggles would not be physically harmed or jailed, in contrast to the situation during the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

 and afterwards, under the Gang of Four
Gang of Four
The Gang of Four was the name given to a political faction composed of four Chinese Communist Party officials. They came to prominence during the Cultural Revolution and were subsequently charged with a series of treasonous crimes...

.

In early 2002, Hua officially lost his seat on the Central Committee of the CPC. He was, however, invited to the 17th Party Congress
17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
The 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held in Beijing, China, at the Great Hall of the People from 15 to 21 October 2007. The Congress marked significant shift in the political direction of the country as CPC General Secretary Hu Jintao solidified his position of leadership...

 in 2007 as a special delegate.

Despite retaining formal party positions, Hua distanced himself from contemporary Chinese politics. His main hobby was grape cultivation, and he kept up with current affairs by subscribing to a host of newspapers. Hua's health deteriorated in 2008, and he was hospitalised three times for kidney- and heart-related complications. Hua died in Beijing on 20 August 2008. As his death occurred during the festive Beijing Olympics, it was not given much attention on state media. As Hua was a leader who had committed "political errors", he was not granted the same kind of funeral rites as other paramount leaders like Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping .

Family


Hua married wife Han Zhijun in January 1949. They had four children, all of whom are surnamed”蘇” "Su", in accordance with Hua's birth name. Their first son, Su Hua, is a retired Air Force
People's Liberation Army Air Force
The People's Liberation Army Air Force is the aviation branch of the People's Liberation Army, the military of the People's Republic of China...

 officer. Their second son, Su Bin, is a retired army officer. Their older daughter, Su Ling, is a party and union official at the Civil Aviation Administration of China
Civil Aviation Administration of China
The Civil Aviation Administration of China , formerly the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China , is the aviation authority under the Ministry of Transport of the People's Republic of China. It oversees civil aviation and investigates aviation accidents and incidents...

. Their younger daughter, Su Li, works for the State Council
State Council of the People's Republic of China
The State Council of the People's Republic of China , which is largely synonymous with the Central People's Government after 1954, is the chief administrative authority of the People's Republic of China. It is chaired by the Premier and includes the heads of each governmental department and agency...

.

See also

  • Politics of the People's Republic of China
    Politics of the People's Republic of China
    The politics of the People's Republic of China take place in a framework of a single-party socialist republic. The leadership of the Communist Party is stated in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China...

  • History of the People's Republic of China (1976-1989)
    History of the People's Republic of China (1976-1989)
    In September 1976, after Mao Zedong's death, the People's Republic of China was left with no central authority figure, either symbolically or administratively. The Gang of Four was dismantled, but Hua Guofeng continued to persist on Mao-era policies. After a bloodless power struggle, Deng Xiaoping...


External links