Zhou in 1972
Hua Guofeng during a visit to the Hôtel de Ville in Paris, 1979
Zhou Enlai (1912)
Hua Guofeng in 1935
Zhou Enlai as a student in Nankai Middle School
Hua Guofeng in 1941
A young Zhou Enlai (1919)
In July 1970, Hua Guofeng participated in the agriculture of the Dongtundu Subdistrict in the suburbs of Changsha.
Zhou during his time in France (1920s)
In 1978, the classroom of a kindergarten in Shanghai in which is displayed portraits of then-Chairman Hua Guofeng and former Chairman Mao Zedong
Zhou Enlai as the director of the Political Department at Whampoa Military Academy (1924)
Hua Guofeng with Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi during a state visit in Iran, 1978
Chiang Kai-shek (center) and Zhou Enlai (left) with cadets at Whampoa Military Academy (1924)
Hua Guofeng at Brijuni, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia, 1978.
Zhou Enlai (1927)
Tomb of Hua Guofeng at Jiaocheng County
Zhou Enlai (1930s)
Zhou (far left) with Mao Zedong (center-left) in Yan'an (1935)
Zhou with Communist general Ye Jianying (left) and Kuomintang official Zhang Zhong (center) in Xi'an 1937, illustrating the alliance between the two parties which was the outcome of the Xi'an Incident
Zhou (left) with his wife Deng Yingchao (center) and Sun Weishi
Zhou Enlai and Sun Weishi in Moscow, 1939.
The Marshall Mission (1946), left to right: Zhang Qun, George C. Marshall, Zhou Enlai
A portrait of Zhou Enlai
Zhou with Kim Il-sung at the signing of the Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty in 1961
Zhou Enlai and Sanusi Hardjadinata, the chairman of the Bandung Conference.
Zhou and his wife Deng at the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China (1955)
Zhou, shown here with Henry Kissinger and Mao Zedong.
Zhou shakes hands with President Richard Nixon upon Nixon's arrival in China in February 1972.
Zhou at the outset of the Cultural Revolution (with Lin Liheng, daughter of Lin Biao)
Statue of Zhou and Deng in the Memorial to Zhou Enlai and Deng Yingchao in Tianjin.
Zhou with his niece Zhou Bingde
A bronze statue of Zhou in Nanjing, wearing a Western suit (something he never wore after his youth)

The designated successor of Mao Zedong, Hua held the top offices of the government, party, and the military after the deaths of Mao and Premier Zhou Enlai, but was gradually forced out of supreme power by a coalition of party leaders between December 1978 and June 1981, and subsequently retreated from the political limelight, though still remaining a member of the Central Committee until 2002.

- Hua Guofeng

Although Zhou was succeeded by Hua Guofeng as First Vice Chairman and designated successor, Zhou's ally Deng Xiaoping was able to outmaneuver the Gang of Four politically and took Hua's place as paramount leader by 1978.

- Zhou Enlai
Zhou in 1972

11 related topics

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

Deng Xiaoping

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.

In La Garenne-Colombes Deng met future CCP leaders Zhou Enlai, Chen Yi, Nie Rongzhen, Li Fuchun, Li Lisan and Li Weihan.

"Decisively Throw Out the Wang-Zhang-Jiang-Yao Anti-Party Clique!"

Gang of Four

Maoist political faction composed of four Chinese Communist Party officials.

Maoist political faction composed of four Chinese Communist Party officials.

"Decisively Throw Out the Wang-Zhang-Jiang-Yao Anti-Party Clique!"
The Gang of Four at their trial in 1981

Their fall did not amount to a rejection of the Cultural Revolution as such, but it was organized by the new leader, Premier Hua Guofeng, and others who had risen during that period.

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.

Mao in 1959

Mao Zedong

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 )

Although he was proclaimed Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, Mao's power was diminished, as his control of the Red Army was allocated to Zhou Enlai.

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.

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

Sociopolitical movement in China from 1966 until Mao Zedong's death in 1976, launched by Mao, the Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party and founder of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Sociopolitical movement in China from 1966 until Mao Zedong's death in 1976, launched by Mao, the Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party and founder of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

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.

By the early 1960s, many of the Great Leap's economic policies were reversed by initiatives spearheaded by Liu, Deng, and Premier Zhou Enlai.

Jiang on 19 October 1976

Jiang Qing

Chinese communist revolutionary, actress, and major political figure during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976).

Chinese communist revolutionary, actress, and major political figure during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976).

Jiang on 19 October 1976
Jiang Qing on the cover of a film magazine
Jiang in a 1935 film poster
Mao and Jiang writing together in Yan'an, 1938
Li Na, Jiang and Mao in Yan'an in 1943
Mao and Jiang in 1946
Jiang during the Cultural Revolution
Poster showing Jiang promoting the fine arts during the Cultural Revolution while holding Mao's Little Red Book. The slogan reads: "The invincible thoughts of Mao Zedong illuminate the stages of revolutionary art!"
Jiang at her trial in 1980

She was arrested in October 1976 by Hua Guofeng and his allies, and was subsequently condemned by party authorities.

Jiang's rivalry with, and personal dislike of, Zhou Enlai led Jiang to hurt Zhou where he was most vulnerable.

Chinese Communist Party

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

By 1935 Mao had become a member of Politburo Standing Committee of the CCP and the party's informal military leader, with Zhou Enlai and Zhang Wentian, the formal head of the party, serving as his informal deputies.

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

A Hawker Siddeley Trident, similar to the aircraft involved.

Lin Biao

Chinese politician and Marshal of the People's Republic of China who was pivotal in the Communist victory during the Chinese Civil War, especially in Northeast China from 1946 to 1949.

Chinese politician and Marshal of the People's Republic of China who was pivotal in the Communist victory during the Chinese Civil War, especially in Northeast China from 1946 to 1949.

A Hawker Siddeley Trident, similar to the aircraft involved.
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Lin Biao with wife Ye Qun and their children
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Lin as commander-in-chief of the Manchurian Field Army (~1947–1948)
Lin Biao and Ye Qun
On 1 October 1959, Lin Biao, as defense minister, surveyed the honor guards at the military parade celebrating the 10th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Lin Biao's calligraphy in the Summer Palace, 1966
Lin Biao (right), Mao Zedong (center) and Zhou Enlai, waving copies of the Little Red Book, at Tiananmen, during the Cultural Revolution (1967)
Lin Biao with Mao Zedong
Lin Biao reading the Little Red Book. This is the last photo of him ever taken (1971)
Project 571 Outline
Lin Liguo with Ye Qun
Qinhuangdao Shanhaiguan Airport, provenance of the aircraft
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.

At Whampoa, Lin also studied under Zhou Enlai, who was eight years older than Lin.

Many of the original government records relevant to Lin's death were secretly and intentionally destroyed, with the approval of the Politburo, during the brief period of Hua Guofeng's interregnum in the late 1970s.

Ye Jianying

Chinese communist revolutionary leader and politician, one of the founding Ten Marshals of the People's Liberation Army.

Chinese communist revolutionary leader and politician, one of the founding Ten Marshals of the People's Liberation Army.

He was the top military leader in the 1976 coup that overthrew the Gang of Four and ended the Cultural Revolution, and was the key supporter of Deng Xiaoping in his power struggle with Hua Guofeng.

That year, he participated in the failed Nanchang Uprising and was forced to flee to Hong Kong with two other uprising leaders, Zhou Enlai and Ye Ting (no relation), with only a pair of handguns to share between them.

Crowds of mourners gathering in Tiananmen Square on April 5, 1976.

1976 Tiananmen Incident

Mass gathering and protest that took place on 4–5 April 1976, at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China.

Mass gathering and protest that took place on 4–5 April 1976, at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China.

Crowds of mourners gathering in Tiananmen Square on April 5, 1976.

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.

Party elders such as Hua Guofeng and Wu De, who were not close allies of the Gang of Four, expressed criticism at the protesters and some of their slogans which were critical of the Gang of Four and party leadership.

Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party

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".