Hua Guofeng

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Su Zhu, better known by the nom de guerre Hua Guofeng (16 February 1921 – 20 August 2008), was Mao Zedong's designated successor as the paramount leader of the Communist Party of China and the People's Republic of China. Upon Zhou Enlai's death in 1976, he succeeded him as the second Premier of the People's Republic of China. Months later, Mao died, and Hua succeeded Mao as the Chairman of the Communist Party of China, to the surprise and dismay of Jiang Qing and the rest of the Gang of Four. He brought the Cultural Revolution to an end and ousted the Gang of Four from political power, but because of his insistence on continuing the Maoist line, he was himself outmaneuvered a few years later by Deng Xiaoping, who forced Hua into early retirement. Hua, as Hunan Party Secretary, was credited for his 1968 use of the PLA to quell the red guards and restore order, though at the cost of many deaths[citation needed].

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Early life

Born in Jiaocheng, Shanxi province, Hua joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1938 as a part of counter-Japanese resistance, after having joined the Long March in 1936.[1] Like many Communists of the era who took on revolutionary names, he changed his name to Hua Guofeng as an abbreviation of "Zhonghua kangri jiuguo xianfengdui" (中華抗日救國先鋒隊, Chinese Resistance against Japan Nation-saving Vanguard). After having served in the 8th Route Army during 12 years under General Zhu De's command,[1] he became propaganda chief for the county Party committee in 1947.

Hua moved with the PLA to Hunan in 1949 and remained there as a local official until 1971. In 1952, he was appointed secretary of Xiang-tan Special District, which included Mao's hometown, Shaoshan. In this role, he built a memorial hall dedicated to Mao. When Mao visited the site, in June 1959, he was favorably impressed.[2]

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