(b. 1915, d. 15 Apr. 1989).
Chinese Communist leader Born in Liuyang (Hunan province), he became active in the Communist Party Youth League at Jianxi in 1933. He took part in the Long March, and he was trained at the Anti‐Japanese Military and Political Academy in 1936. Over the next decade, he obtained a distinguished military record, and became a close ally of Deng Xiaoping. He liberated Sichuan from the National Revolutionary Army and stabilized Communist rule there until in 1952 he was appointed head of the Communist Youth League. In 1958 he joined the Communist Party's Central Committee. His ascent was stopped by the Cultural Revolution, and again by the Gang of Four in 1976. After the latter's fall he became an important ally of Deng Xiaoping in carrying out his reformist policies. His new role as Deng's most trusted lieutenant was confirmed in 1981, when he became chairperson of the Communist Party's Central Committee. In 1987 he was dismissed from his post for having gone too far in his liberal reforms, and for his failure to contain student protests. His death triggered weeks of unrest, culminating in the Tiananmen Square massacre on 4 June 1989.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).