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Hua Guofeng (1920–)

Subject History

Place Eastern Asia » China

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631209379.1999.x


Prime Minister of the People's Republic of China (1976–80). Little is known about his life before the Chinese civil war (1946–9) ended, when he was a local Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Secretary in Hunan, mao Zedong's home province. Vice-Governor of the province in 1958, he was an enthusiastic supporter of the great leap forward (1958–60). He did not play a large part in the cultural revolution (1966–76) but benefited from it, as many leading officials were dismissed and he was able to obtain promotion. He was head of the CCP in Hunan by 1972, a member of the Politburo a year later and Vice-Premier and Minister of Public Security in 1975. He was surprisingly chosen by Mao for the highest offices as the only person who could be relied on to carry on Mao's policies after his death: the gang of four was too unpopular to survive long, while the moderates led by deng Xiaoping were likely to reverse his policies. On zhou enlai's death in 1976 Hua therefore became Prime Minister and when Mao died later the same year he succeeded him as Chairman of the Central Committee of the CCP and of the Military Affairs Committee (MAC), while retaining the post of Prime Minister. He thus combined the leading positions in both state and party and seemed in an impregnable position, particularly after the arrest of the Gang of Four, who were plotting against him. However, he was not able to dominate ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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