A report on Hu Yaobang and Hua Guofeng

Hu Yaobang in 1986
Hua Guofeng during a visit to the Hôtel de Ville in Paris, 1979
Hu Yaobang at Yan'an in the 1930s
Hua Guofeng in 1935
Hu Yaobang and his wife Li Zhao
Hua Guofeng in 1941
Hu Yaobang, Zhu De, and Liao Chengzhi at the National Youth Congress in 1953 (left to right)
In July 1970, Hua Guofeng participated in the agriculture of the Dongtundu Subdistrict in the suburbs of Changsha.
(from left) Zhao Ziyang, Deng Xiaoping and Li Peng at Hu Yaobang's memorial service in the Great Hall of the People, on 22 April 1989
In 1978, the classroom of a kindergarten in Shanghai in which is displayed portraits of then-Chairman Hua Guofeng and former Chairman Mao Zedong
Hu Yaobang's Former Residence.
Hua Guofeng with Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi during a state visit in Iran, 1978
Hu's Statue in his hometown Liuyang
Hua Guofeng at Brijuni, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia, 1978.
Tomb of Hua Guofeng at Jiaocheng County

Hu opposed Hua Guofeng's "Two Whatevers" policy, and was an important supporter of Deng Xiaoping's ascent to power.

- Hu Yaobang

As early as January 1979, state media had stopped referring to him as "the wise leader" and he was replaced as Premier by Zhao Ziyang in 1980, was replaced as Party Chairman by Hu Yaobang and was replaced as chairman of the Central Military Commission by Deng himself in 1981.

- Hua Guofeng
Hu Yaobang in 1986

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Chinese Communist Party

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Founding and sole ruling party of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Founding and sole ruling party of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Site of the first CCP Congress, in the former Shanghai French Concession
Flag of the HistoryChinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army
Mao Zedong declared the establishment of the People's Republic of China on 1 October 1949.
Chinese communists celebrate Joseph Stalin's birthday, 1949.
A temporary monument displayed in Changsha, Hunan Province, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the CCP's founding
A monument dedicated to Karl Marx (left) and Friedrich Engels (right) in Shanghai
A billboard advertising Xi Jinping Thought in Shenzhen, Guangdong
The 18th National Congress, convened in November 2012
Front cover of the Constitution of the Chinese Communist Party
Xi Jinping (second from left) with Enrique Peña Nieto (second from right), the former President of Mexico and a leading member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party
Badge given to party members

Following Mao's death in 1976, a power struggle between CCP chairman Hua Guofeng and vice-chairman Deng Xiaoping erupted.

Deng, alongside Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang, spearheaded the "reform and opening-up" policies, and introduced the ideological concept of socialism with Chinese characteristics, opening China to the world's markets.

Cultural Revolution propaganda poster. It depicts Mao Zedong, above a group of soldiers from the People's Liberation Army. The caption reads, "The Chinese People's Liberation Army is the great school of Mao Zedong Thought."

Cultural Revolution

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Sociopolitical movement in the People's Republic of China launched by Mao Zedong in 1966, and lasting until his death in 1976.

Sociopolitical movement in the People's Republic of China launched by Mao Zedong in 1966, and lasting until his death in 1976.

Cultural Revolution propaganda poster. It depicts Mao Zedong, above a group of soldiers from the People's Liberation Army. The caption reads, "The Chinese People's Liberation Army is the great school of Mao Zedong Thought."
People in the countryside working at night to produce steel during the Great Leap Forward
The purge of General Luo Ruiqing solidified the Army's loyalty to Mao.
Mao waved to the "revolutionary masses" on the riverside before his "swim across the Yangtze"
A struggle session of Wang Guangmei, the wife of Liu Shaoqi.
Mao Zedong and Lin Biao surrounded by rallying Red Guards in Beijing. Source: China Pictorial
Tiananmen Square on September 15, 1966, the occasion of Chairman Mao's third of eight mass rallies with Red Guards in 1966. Source: China Pictorial
The remains of Ming Dynasty Wanli Emperor at the Ming tombs. Red Guards dragged the remains of the Wanli Emperor and Empresses to the front of the tomb, where they were posthumously "denounced" and burned.
The Cemetery of Confucius was attacked by Red Guards in November 1966.
Anti-Liu Shaoqi rally
Propaganda oil painting of Mao during the Cultural Revolution (1967)
Marshal Lin Biao was constitutionally confirmed as Mao's successor in 1969.
Graffiti with Lin Biao's foreword to Mao's Little Red Book, Lin's name (lower right) was later scratched out, presumably after his death.
Jiang Qing (left), who was the wife of Mao Zedong and a member of the Gang of Four, received the Red Guards in Beijing with Premier Zhou Enlai (center) and Kang Sheng. They were all holding the Little Red Book (Quotations from Mao) in their hands.
Jiang Qing
Deng Xiaoping became the paramount leader of China in 1978. He started "Boluan Fanzheng" that brought the country back to order, and initiated China's historic Reforms and Opening up.
A struggle session of Xi Zhongxun, the father of Xi Jinping (September 1967). Xi Zhongxun was labelled as an "anti-Party element". However, since late 2012, Xi Jinping and his allies have attempted to play down the disaster of the Cultural Revolution and reversed many reforms since the Boluan Fanzheng period, sparking concerns of a new Cultural Revolution.
Quotations of Mao Zedong on a street wall of Wuxuan County, one of the centers of Guangxi massacre and cannibalism during the Cultural Revolution.
The Cultural Revolution Cemetery in Chongqing, China. At least 1,700 people were killed during the violent faction clash, with 400 to 500 of them buried in this cemetery.
The Tibetan Panchen Lama during a struggle session.
Struggle session of Sampho Tsewang Rigzin and his wife during the Cultural Revolution.
A 1968 map of Beijing showing streets and landmarks renamed during the Cultural Revolution. Andingmen Inner Street became "Great Leap Forward Road", Taijichang Street became the "Road for Eternal Revolution", Dongjiaominxiang was renamed "Anti-Imperialist Road", Beihai Park was renamed "Worker-Peasant-Soldier Park" and Jingshan Park became "Red Guard Park." Most of the Cultural Revolution-era name changes were later reversed.
Yao Tongbin, one of China's foremost missile scientists, was beaten to death by a mob in Beijing during the Cultural Revolution (1968). This caused Zhou Enlai to order special protection for key technical experts.
Remnants of a banner containing slogans from the Cultural Revolution in Anhui.
The ballet The Red Detachment of Women, one of the Model Dramas promoted during the Cultural Revolution.
Posters from the Cultural Revolution period
Buddhist statues defaced during the Cultural Revolution.
The central section of this wall shows the faint remnant marks of a propaganda slogan that was added during the Cultural Revolution, but has since been removed. The slogan read "Boundless faith that in Chairman Mao."

In December 1978, Deng Xiaoping became the new paramount leader of China, replacing Chairman Hua Guofeng, and started the "Boluan Fanzheng" program which gradually dismantled the Maoist policies associated with the Cultural Revolution, and brought the country back to order.

In May 1978, Deng seized the opportunity to elevate his protégé Hu Yaobang to power.

Deng Xiaoping at age 16, studying in France (1921)

Deng Xiaoping

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Chinese revolutionary leader, military commander and statesman who served as the paramount leader of the People's Republic of China (PRC) from December 1978 to 1992.

Chinese revolutionary leader, military commander and statesman who served as the paramount leader of the People's Republic of China (PRC) from December 1978 to 1992.

Deng Xiaoping at age 16, studying in France (1921)
Deng's name is spelled Teng Hi Hien on this employment card from the Hutchinson shoe factory in Châlette-sur-Loing, France, where he worked on two occasions as seen from the dates, eight months in 1922 and again in 1923 when he was fired after one month, with the bottom annotation reading "refused to work, do not take him back"
Deng Xiaoping in NRA uniform, 1937
Deng with Liu Bocheng (right)
Deng Xiaoping with He Long (middle) and Zhu De (right) (1949)
Deng Xiaoping (left) met with the 14th Dalai Lama (right) in 1954
Deng Xiaoping (left) with future president Li Xiannian (center) and Premier Zhou Enlai in 1963
Deng Xiaoping (centre) with U.S. president Gerald Ford (left), 1975
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Deng Xiaoping (left) and his wife Zhuo Lin (right) are briefed by Johnson Space Center director Christopher C. Kraft (extreme right)
Deng Xiaoping billboard in Lizhi Park, Shenzhen, one of China's first special economic zones and is regarded as China's Silicon Valley
A model reconstruction of Deng Xiaoping's 1984 meeting with UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Shenzhen
A patrol boat in use during Deng Xiaoping's southern tour of 1992
Deng Xiaoping's ashes lie in state in Beijing whose banner reads "Memorial Service of Comrade Deng Xiaoping", February 1997
Statue of Deng Xiaoping in Shenzhen
Deng Xiaoping billboard in Shenzhen, Guangdong
Deng Xiaoping billboard in Qingdao, Shandong
Deng Xiaoping billboard in Dujiangyan, Sichuan
Deng Xiaoping billboard in Lijiang, Yunnan

Following Mao's death in September 1976, Deng outmaneuvered the late chairman's chosen successor Hua Guofeng and became the de facto leader of China in December 1978 at the 3rd Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee.

As Deng gradually consolidated control over the CCP, Hua was replaced by Zhao Ziyang as premier in 1980, and by Hu Yaobang as party chief in 1981, despite the fact that Hua was Mao Zedong's designated successor as the "paramount leader" of the Chinese Communist Party and the People's Republic of China.

Zhao (top left) pictured with Mao Zedong in Wuhan, January 1966

Zhao Ziyang

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Chinese politician.

Chinese politician.

Zhao (top left) pictured with Mao Zedong in Wuhan, January 1966
Zhao was hosted by US president Ronald Reagan at the White House on 10 January 1984 as part of a broader effort to improve China's relations with the West.
No. 6 Fuqiang Hutong, where Zhao lived
Zhao Ziyang's final burial site in 2019, with his son on the right.

Many of these views were shared by the then General Secretary Hu Yaobang.

After ousting Hua Guofeng as China's "paramount leader" in 1978, Deng Xiaoping recognized the "Sichuan Experience" as a model for Chinese economic reform.

Mao in 1959

Mao Zedong

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Chinese communist revolutionary who was the founder of the People's Republic of China (PRC), which he led as the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party from the establishment of the PRC in 1949 until his death in 1976.

Chinese communist revolutionary who was the founder of the People's Republic of China (PRC), which he led as the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party from the establishment of the PRC in 1949 until his death in 1976.

Mao in 1959
Mao Zedong's childhood home in Shaoshan, in 2010, by which time it had become a tourist destination
Mao in 1913
Students in Beijing rallying during the May Fourth Movement
Location of the first Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in July 1921, in Xintiandi, former French Concession, Shanghai
Mao Zedong around the time of his work at Guangzhou's PMTI in 1925
Third Plenum of the KMT Central Executive Committee in March 1927. Mao is third from the right in the second row.
Flag of the HistoryChinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army
Mao in 1927
Chinese Communist revolutionaries in the 1920s
Mao in Yan'an
Military parade on the occasion of the founding of a Chinese Soviet Republic in 1931
An overview map of the Long March
Zhang Guotao (left) and Mao Zedong in Yan'an, 1937
In an effort to defeat the Japanese, Mao (left) agreed to collaborate with Chiang (right).
Mao in 1938, writing On Protracted War
Mao with Kang Sheng in Yan'an, 1945
PLA troops, supported by captured M5 Stuart light tanks, attacking the Nationalist lines in 1948
Mao Zedong declares the founding of the modern People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949
Mao with his fourth wife, Jiang Qing, called "Madame Mao", 1946
Mao at Joseph Stalin's 70th birthday celebration in Moscow, December 1949
Mao and Zhou Enlai meeting with Dalai Lama (right) and Panchen Lama (left) to celebrate Tibetan New Year, Beijing, 1955
Photo of Mao Zedong sitting, published in "Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung", ca. 1955
Mao with Nikita Khrushchev, Ho Chi Minh and Soong Ching-ling during a state dinner in Beijing, 1959
Early in the Great Leap Forward, commune members were encouraged to eat their fill in communal canteens, but many canteens shut down as they ran out of food and fuel.
Mao with Henry Kissinger and Zhou Enlai, Beijing, 1972
U.S. President Gerald Ford watches as Henry Kissinger shakes hands with Mao during their visit to China, December 2, 1975
A public appearance of Chairman Mao and Lin Biao among Red Guards, in Beijing, during the Cultural Revolution (November 1966)
A large portrait of Mao at Tiananmen
Mao Zedong Square at Saoshan
Statue of young Mao in Changsha, the capital of Hunan
In 1978, the classroom of a kindergarten in Shanghai putting up portraits of then- Chairman Hua Guofeng and former Chairman Mao Zedong
Mao greets U.S. President Richard Nixon during his visit to China in 1972.
Statue of Mao in Lijiang
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Mao with Jiang Qing and daughter Li Na in the 1940s
Mao Zedong with his nephew Mao Yuanxin, and daughters Li Min (second from left) and Li Na
Mao and Zhang Yufeng in 1964
Mao's calligraphy: a bronze plaque of a poem by Li Bai. (Chinese: 白帝城毛澤東手書李白詩銅匾 )

The official statistic is 20 million deaths, as given by Hu Yaobang.

A fifth volume, which brought the timeline up to 1957, was briefly issued during the leadership of Hua Guofeng, but subsequently withdrawn from circulation for its perceived ideological errors.

Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party

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The leader of the Chinese Communist Party.

The leader of the Chinese Communist Party.

In 1976, Hua Guofeng was named First Vice-chairman of the Central Committee, a post previously held unofficially by Liu Shaoqi from 1956 to 1966; Zhou Enlai from 1973 to 1975; and Deng Xiaoping in 1975 in the capacity of "Vice-Chairman in charge of the day-to-day work of the Central Committee".

The party's last chairman, Hu Yaobang, transferred to the post of General Secretary.

Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party

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Committee consisting of the top leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Committee consisting of the top leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

By Mao's death in September 1976, the only members who still attended meetings were Hua Guofeng, Zhang Chunqiao, Wang Hongwen, and Ye Jianying, with Zhang and Wang being members of the Gang of Four.

In 1987, Deng and other party elders ousted then General Secretary Hu Yaobang from the PSC, replacing him with Zhao Ziyang.