Chairman Hua and the Return of Deng
Following the arrest of the ‘Gang of Four’, Hua moved swiftly to establish his claims to be top leader, and did so with such vigour that by the spring of 1977 a personality cult of considerable dimensions had developed. In the early stages there was much public repetition of Mao’s ‘with you in charge’ note of 30 April 1976. This, however, was reinforced by reference to Hua’s appointment as First Vice-Chairman on 7 April. It was emphasised that this was the first time in the Party’s history that the post had existed and that, in creating it, Mao had ‘explicitly designated’ Hua as his successor. Moreover, it was claimed that Mao had produced an appropriate instruction to accompany Hua’s appointment: ‘It is necessary to do propaganda and give publicity to Comrade Hua Guofeng to make him known to the people of the whole country step by step.’1
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Notes and References
- 20.P. H. Chang, ‘The Rise of Wang Tunghsing: Head of China’s Security Apparatus’, CQ, March 1978, pp. 122–37.Google Scholar
- 23.D. S. G. Goodman, ‘Changes in Leadership Personnel After September 1976’, in J. Domes, (ed.), Chinese Politics After Mao, (Cardiff: University College Cardiff Press, 1979), pp. 37–69.Google Scholar