A report on Zhao Ziyang and Hua Guofeng

Zhao (top left) pictured with Mao Zedong in Wuhan, January 1966
Hua Guofeng during a visit to the Hôtel de Ville in Paris, 1979
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.
Hua Guofeng in 1935
No. 6 Fuqiang Hutong, where Zhao lived
Hua Guofeng in 1941
Zhao Ziyang's final burial site in 2019, with his son on the right.
In July 1970, Hua Guofeng participated in the agriculture of the Dongtundu Subdistrict in the suburbs of Changsha.
In 1978, the classroom of a kindergarten in Shanghai in which is displayed portraits of then-Chairman Hua Guofeng and former Chairman Mao Zedong
Hua Guofeng with Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi during a state visit in Iran, 1978
Hua Guofeng at Brijuni, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia, 1978.
Tomb of Hua Guofeng at Jiaocheng County

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

- Zhao Ziyang

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

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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 September, Hua Guofeng resigned and Zhao Ziyang, another Deng ally, was named Premier of China.

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.

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.

However, he remained as the chairman of the State and Party's Central Military Commission and still being seen as the Paramount Leader of China rather than the then General Secretary Zhao Ziyang and then President Li Xiannian and Yang Shangkun.

Hu Yaobang in 1986

Hu Yaobang

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High-ranking official of the People's Republic of China.

High-ranking official of the People's Republic of China.

Hu Yaobang in 1986
Hu Yaobang at Yan'an in the 1930s
Hu Yaobang and his wife Li Zhao
Hu Yaobang, Zhu De, and Liao Chengzhi at the National Youth Congress in 1953 (left to right)
(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
Hu Yaobang's Former Residence.
Hu's Statue in his hometown Liuyang

Hu's position as Party general secretary was taken by Zhao Ziyang, who continued many of Hu's economic and political reforms.

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

Li in 1954

Li Xiannian

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Chinese Communist military and political leader, President of the People's Republic of China (de jure head of state) from 1983 to 1988 under Paramount Leader Deng Xiaoping and then Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference from 1988 until his death.

Chinese Communist military and political leader, President of the People's Republic of China (de jure head of state) from 1983 to 1988 under Paramount Leader Deng Xiaoping and then Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference from 1988 until his death.

Li in 1954
Li in 1985
Li in the People's Liberation Army during the Civil War (1946)
Li as Vice Premier in August 1974, visiting Nicolae Ceaușescu in Romania
Li with his wife Lin Jiamei and Ronald Reagan (1985)

He supported Mao Zedong's designated successor, Hua Guofeng, and was named Vice Chairman of the Party (1977–1982).

Li played a key role in blocking privatizations and maintaining state control in many sectors of the economy, promoted classical Communist political and cultural values through his patronage of theorists such as Hu Qiaomu and Deng Liqun, and was instrumental in purging liberals Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang.

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.

In 1992, a market in Xinjiang put up slogans of "Insist reform and opening-up", an alternative rendering of insist Chinese economic reform.

Chinese economic reform

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Program of economic reforms termed "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" and "socialist market economy" in the People's Republic of China .

Program of economic reforms termed "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" and "socialist market economy" in the People's Republic of China .

In 1992, a market in Xinjiang put up slogans of "Insist reform and opening-up", an alternative rendering of insist Chinese economic reform.
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Hu Yaobang, then General Secretary of CCP, played an important role in implementing the reforms together with Zhao Ziyang, then Premier of China.
Shenzhen, one of the first special economic zones of China and the "Silicon Valley of China". Notable high-tech companies such as Huawei, ZTE and Konka were all founded in Shenzhen in the 1980s.
The slogan "Time is money, Efficiency is life" from Shekou, Shenzhen, representing the "Shenzhen speed".
The Lujiazui financial district of Pudong, Shanghai, the financial and commercial hub of modern China
China's nominal GDP trend from 1952 to 2015. Note the rapid increase since reform in the late 1970s.
Gini-coefficient of national income distribution around the world (dark green: <0.25, red: >0.60)
Production of wheat from 1961 to 2004. Data from FAO, year 2005. Y-axis: Production in metric ton.
Global distribution of Chinese exports in 2006 as a percentage of the top market
Shanghai Stock Exchange
Shenzhen Stock Exchange
Discussion of "China's Next Global Agenda" during the World Economic Forum (2013).
Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of WTO, met with China's Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng in Qingdao (2014).
Development trends of Chinese and Indian GDP (1950–2010)
Air pollution has become a major environmental issue in China resulting from the economic development. (The picture shows thick haze in Lujiazui of Shanghai)
Global CO2 gas emissions by country (2015).

In September 1976, Mao Zedong died, and in October, Hua Guofeng together with Ye Jianying and Wang Dongxing arrested the Gang of Four, putting an end to the Cultural Revolution.

Besides Deng Xiaoping himself, important high-ranking reformists who helped carry out the reforms include Hu Yaobang, then General Secretary of Chinese Communist Party, and Zhao Ziyang, then Premier of the People's Republic of China.