Hu Yaobang

Biography of Hu Yaobang

Hu yaobang was a political leader of Chinese nationality who carried out reforms in the course of the 80s. His death, which occurred in April 1989, triggered the so-called Tiananmen Square revolt.

He was born under the shelter of a poor peasant family on November 20, 1915, in the city known as Liuyang. At just 14 years old, he left his mother’s home and became interested in learning about communist ideology and joining those who shared that way of thinking.

He did so in 1933, when he joined the ranks of the Communist Party of China, CCP. Next, he participated in an important event known as the Long March (1934-1935). It was a trip to the interior of China led by Mao Zedong, to reach the new base of the Communist Party in Yang.

After this event, it became part of the Organization Department of the Communist Youth League; a year later he was a member of the central committee of that same constituency. In 1948 he served as political commissar in the Second Army Corps, during the civil war against Jiang Jieshi.

Positions held by Hu Jaobang in the Communist Party

Hu Jaobang held numerous positions within the Communist Party. Here are some of them:

  • 1949: Vice Chairman of the Taiyuan Military Control Commission.
  • 1949-1957: Member of the Central Committee and First Secretary of the Youth League of the Communist Party.
  • 1949-1954: Member of the Executive Council of the Sino-Soviet Friendship Association.
  • 1953-1959: Vice-president of the International Federation of Youth of the Communist party.
  • 1953-1957: Member of the Executive Committee of the Federation of Chinese Trade Unions.
  • 1954: Member of the Permanent Committee of the National People’s Congress.
  • 1956: Member of the Central Committee of the Party.
  • 1982-1987: General Secretary of the Communist Party.
  • 1981-1982: Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

Despite his long history of service in the Party, during the period known as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966), Ho Yaobag was one of the purged members of the bureau. The cause adduced was “bourgeois deviationism”. His expulsion and rehabilitation in the game occurred on two occasions.

Shortly after his second rehabilitation, he assumes the position of Director of the Party Organization Department to later be appointed member of the Political Bureau Y Head of Propaganda.

Hu Yaobang: the reformer

In the 1980s Hu Yaobang held two high-level positions within the Chinese Communist Party. He first had the responsibility of serving as the General Secretary of the CCP. Then, in June of that same year, he was promoted to the party presidency, replacing Hua Guofeng.

The appointment of Hu yaobang It was orchestrated by his mentor, Deng Xiaoping, who at the time had good leadership in China.

Managing Hu yaobang
Faced with the communist party, it was characterized by providing greater flexibility to some party structures, proposals and policies:

  • He proposed making the Maoist ideology more flexible and replacing it with pragmatic policies. Seeking the truth of the facts would be the new premise.
  • To help eradicate the cult of personality imposed by Mao, he pushed for the suppression of the Presidency within the party. This occurred at the XII Congress of political grouping, held in September 1982.
  • Corrupt, incompetent and inflexible Maoists were expelled from the party. He replaced them with more educated youth.
  • He showed flexibility in rehabilitation of those persecuted during the Cultural Revolution.
  • He showed an openness to dialogue demonstrated in his trips to Japan and Central Europe.

Hu Yaobang’s resignation

Hu yaobang resigned the presidency of the party on January 16, 1987. In a self-critical way, he pointed out that his resignation was due to errors in important political criteria. However, the context of the resignation was the energetic demonstrations led by students.

Young people were on the streets for several weeks and demanded the establishment of Western-style freedoms. In addition, they requested greater transparency in the election of provincial candidates.

These events stained his image in the eyes of his mentor, who questioned his non-repressive attitude. Hu yaobang before the student demonstrations.

Hu Yaobang’s passing

Although Hu yaobang he left his post, continued to serve on the political bureau of the Communist Party of China. As such, he attended the National People’s Assembly until his last days of life.

The death occurred due to natural causes, a myocardial infarction, while a party meeting was taking place on April 15, 1989. After the event, the announcement of his death was made through a statement in which he was described as a “staunch communist warrior”; who made mistakes.

Motivated by public pressure, the funerals of Hu jaobang they had the characteristics of a state funeral. The presence of the party leaders and the issuance of a statement highlighting the work carried out by the politician was required; especially the progress made by him in promoting economic development and renewing political norms.

The mourning spread throughout Beijing and the rest of the country. People concentrated on the Monument to the People’s Heroes in Tiananmen Square. Soon, the mournful feeling turned into something else.

The events of Tiananmen Square

The mourning caused by the death of Hu yaobang it triggered a series of protests carried out, in large numbers, by students. In the spirit of Hu yaobang, young people expressed their dissatisfaction with the slowness with which the reforms are materializing in the country.

The demonstrations lasted several days and were replicated in other areas of the Chinese territory. But the events that occurred on June 3 and 4 in the Tiananmen square from Beijing. There, the repression of the protesters was expressed harshly.

The application of brute force left a regrettable death toll. Until today these facts are a taboo subject in China.

You may also be interested in reading: The biography of Liu Xiaobo

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