Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

DEBATE

Clone of Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

  • UN backs inquiry of IS group’s alleged crimes in Iraq

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • US military targets Shabaab extremists in Somalia

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao set for Man Utd loan on transfer deadline day

    Read more

  • Spain orders custody for parents of ill British boy

    Read more

Mao Zedong's successor dies at 87

Latest update : 2008-08-20

Hua Guofeng, chosen by an ailing Mao Zedong as his successor in 1976, died in Beijing at the age of 87 on Wednesday.

BEIJING - Hua Guofeng, handpicked by a dying Mao Zedong in 1976 to succeed him as Chinese Communist Party chairman but later toppled by reformist leader Deng Xiaoping, died in Beijing on Wednesday.
 

"Because of an illness that could not be cured, Hua died on Aug. 20 at 12:50 p.m. in Beijing, at the age of 87," the official Xinhua said in a brief report.
 

Hua, once fondly referred to by state media as the "Wise Leader", became Party chairman in September 1976 after Mao was quoted as saying on his death bed: "With you in charge my heart is at ease".
 

Weeks later, Hua approved a military plot to arrest Mao's widow, Jiang Qing, and other members of her reviled Gang of Four who were blamed for Mao's excesses during the chaotic decade-long Cultural Revolution.
 

A young and inexperienced county-level Party boss, Hua caught Mao's eye in 1954 as an effective yet idealistic agriculture expert. The next year Mao, in an unheard-of show of confidence in a low-ranking cadre, asked Hua to give a speech before the country's most senior leaders at a key Central Committee meeting.
 

Shortly thereafter, Mao made him head of the Party office in the prefecture in Hunan province which has jurisdiction over Mao's birthplace, Shaoshan.
 

From there, Hua rose through the ranks. In 1959 he was made provincial Party chief. In the mid-1960s he weathered the early Cultural Revolution and was further elevated.
 

Finally, after Mao's second heir apparent, Lin Biao, died in a mysterious plane crash in 1971, Mao lined up Hua as a potential successor. As the Cultural Revolution spun out of control, the relatively obscure Hua steered a middle course.
 

Hua was forced to step down as premier in 1980 and Party chairman the following year, as Deng took the helm.

Date created : 2008-08-20

COMMENT(S)