China’s former leader Hua Guofeng died at the age of 87 on Aug. 20, 2008. A salesman rolls up a poster of former Chinese leader Hua Guofeng in a store in Beijing (Reuters)
The Communist Party held a memorial symposium for the late Central Committee Chairman Hua Guofeng in Beijing last week, and officials in Hua’s hometown of Shanxi province held their first commemorative event a few days later. The official commemoration of the former chairman, who was a loser in the past under the line battle with Deng Xiaoping and was barely known to young people, has raised concerns from all walks of Life.
The Chinese Communist Party‘s high-profile commemoration of Hua Guofeng
Observers believe that the Chinese Communist Party, in the centennial year of its founding, has promoted Hua Guofeng as a model benchmark to reform the minds of the people and weaken the political legacy of Deng Xiaoping, thereby linking Mao Zedong and Xi Jinping, positioning Xi Jinping as the “direct line” of authentic rule, and thus establishing the legitimacy of Xi Jinping to continue his rule in the 20th Congress.
The Chinese Communist Party recently held a symposium in Beijing to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late Chinese leader Hua Guofeng. The late leader, who was allegedly forced out of power by Deng Xiaoping and deliberately forgotten by the CPC, was attended by two members of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee’s Politburo, Wang Huning and Han Zheng, as well as Mao Zedong’s grandson Mao Xinyu and Liu Shaoqi’s son Liu Yuan, at the recent commemorative meeting, drawing attention from all walks of life.
In contrast, in 2011, Hua Guofeng’s 90th birthday was organized by private enterprises in Shanxi, and a commemorative forum was held at the Jiaocheng Mountain Hotel in Beijing, attended only by relatives and some scholars of literature and history; this Time, the centennial forum was organized by the CPC Central Committee, and the attendees, in addition to relatives, also attended by people from the party, government and military, such as Chen Xi, head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, and Sun Chunlan, Vice Premier of the State Council, can be said to be the first time such a high
On the same day, Xi Jinping attended the mobilization meeting of Party history study and Education, asking for “correct understanding and scientific evaluation of the major events, meetings and figures in Party history”. The Xinhua News Agency analyzed that Xi Jinping first proposed “establishing a correct view of Party history” at the critical moment of “two hundred years”, which has deep meaning.
In the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping attended a party history conference and asked to re-evaluate the important figures in the history of the party, why the first one is Hua Guofeng?
Analysis: Establishing Xi’s dominance
In an interview with the Voice of America, Lin Yu-fang, convenor of the National Security Group of the National Policy Research Foundation, a Taiwan-based think tank, said that Hua Guofeng was the designated successor of Mao Zedong, and that the Chinese Communist authorities’ high-profile commemoration of Hua Guofeng was intended to link Xi Jinping with Mao Zedong, the “founding father” of the Chinese Communist Party, and to let the people know that Xi Jinping is the authentic ruler of the Chinese Communist Party since Mao Zedong. The “direct” ruler of the CCP since Mao Zedong, and to pave the way for his smooth continuation in power at the 20th Congress.
The link between Mao Zedong and Hua Guofeng is that Mao represents the orthodoxy of the Communist Party, so if you support Mao, you should support Xi Jinping, and if you support Xi Jinping, you should support Hua Guofeng, but there is no link between Xi Jinping and Mao Zedong. The first time I saw him, I was in the middle of the world.
Hua Guofeng was appointed by Mao Zedong to the State Council to assist Zhou Enlai and attend the Politburo meetings of the CPC Central Committee in 1971 during his tenure as secretary of the CPC Hunan Provincial Committee, and he became Premier of the State Council after Zhou Enlai’s death and Chairman of the CPC Central Committee and Chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission after Mao Zedong’s death.
Hua Guofeng was also the person who arrested the Gang of Four and ended the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. He was the designated successor of Mao Zedong and served briefly as China’s leader for more than three years, and is considered the last transitional leader of Mao Zedong. He is best known for his “two-fan-yes”, i.e., “We firmly uphold all decisions made by Chairman Mao; we consistently follow all his instructions”, but this later became the charge for Deng Xiaoping to step down. The company’s main business is to provide a wide range of products and services to the public.
Observers say it’s unprecedented for the CPC Central Committee to hold a high-profile commemorative forum for the “invisible man” in the CCP political arena, but what’s more surprising is that the CPC Central Committee has also given Hua Guofeng a very high historical evaluation. According to the Chinese official media “Xinhua News Agency”, in the 100th anniversary of Hua Guofeng’s birth, Wang Huning said Hua Guofeng was an excellent member of the CPC, a tried and tested loyal communist fighter; “saved the Party and the cause of Chinese socialism”, “the Party and the people will never forget him The Party and the people will never forget the important contribution he made.
In fact, Hua Guofeng is a rather sad figure in the eyes of experts who really do the history of the Communist Party of China, he was a victim of political struggle, but after he was fought by Deng Xiaoping, he stopped fighting with him for the greater good and kept the 1980s in China. The government’s policy is to “take care of the big picture.”
The intention is to draw in sympathetic Huaguofeng forces
In an interview with the Voice of America, Lin Baohua, who taught Chinese Communist Party history at East China Normal University in Shanghai, pointed out that Deng Xiaoping once wrote two “loyalty letters” to Hua Guofeng, saying he would follow his leadership, but later used various means to strip him of his power bit by bit, making many people feel sympathy for him.
In addition, since the reform and opening up of the Chinese Communist Party, some officials have been corrupt or private enterprises have grown so large as to endanger the rule of the Communist Party, so Xi Jinping vigorously cracked down on them, Alibaba founder Jack Ma is an example, naturally caused many red generation discontent. With the Communist Party in dire straits, it needed something “uplifting” to support the legitimacy of Xi Jinping’s rule, so it showed that Xi was right to crack down on these people by commemorating Hua Guofeng, who could not have existed in Mao’s time.
Lin Baohua’s interpretation is: “First, in the past, Deng Xiaoping’s denial of Hua Guofeng was tantamount to denying Mao, and now commemorating Hua Guofeng is tantamount to saying that what Mao did was right, including the Cultural Revolution was right. The second, is the use of this way, the political situation sympathetic to Hua Guofeng’s group of people pulled to their side, with these two purposes.”
He said it was the same reasoning to arrange for Mao Zedong’s grandson Mao Xinyu to attend the memorial, using Mao Xinyu to symbolize affirmation of Mao and to combat anti-Xi forces.
Some media analysts say Beijing’s high-profile commemoration of Hua Guofeng, along with its call for all Party members to learn from him, is a highly symbolic repudiation of Deng Xiaoping’s line. But some observers do not see it that way.
Denial of Deng Xiaoping may spark controversy
Cai Wenxuan, a researcher at the Institute of Political Science of the Academia Sinica, said that if Xi Jinping rejects Deng Xiaoping’s line, it may cause more controversy. After all, China’s current pattern is still reform and opening up, although the economy seems to be a bit backwards in the past few years, such as the suppression of Ma Yun and some private entrepreneurs, are not conducive to the development of the economy, but Xi Jinping will not go to deny the reform and opening up, just some adjustments in approach may be.
Lin Yu-fang also believes that the CCP is not deliberately trying to oppose Deng Xiaoping, but to demand loyalty and obedience to the party through commemorating Hua Guofeng. The Chinese government is not deliberately opposed to Deng Xiaoping, but rather to demand loyalty and obedience to the party by commemorating him, because Deng Xiaoping is still influential in China, Xi Jinping just skipped Deng Xiaoping and took Hua Guofeng out as a benchmark, bridging Mao Zedong and letting everyone know who is the orthodoxy since Mao.
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He said that after Xi Jinping came to power and Deng Xiaoping’s approach is not quite the same, Deng stressed reform and opening up, diplomacy emphasizes hiding behind the light, economic affairs emphasizes the free market economy, hope to be bold, fast pace, with the spirit of innovation and progress, which is not quite consistent with Xi Jinping emphasis on control and stability maintenance. Therefore, for Xi Jinping, how to position Deng Xiaoping’s political legacy has been a big problem.
Weakening Deng Xiaoping’s political legacy?
The government’s response to the crisis has been to make it more difficult for the government to take action. The second, he went to promote the so-called spirit of the overall situation of Hua Guofeng, which is the same as saying that everything should not be contested, to the harmony of the party and the overall situation.”
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He said, “It is like skipping the period of Deng Xiaoping and directly aligning part of the CCP’s line during the ruling period to the period before 1976, which has this meaning. When it comes to re-evaluating the Party’s history, including re-evaluating the Cultural Revolution, which used to be called the decade of turmoil of the Cultural Revolution, now it is called the decade of exploration, so it can be seen that he (Xi Jinping) is in fact somewhat gradually turning it into a positive evaluation of the Mao (Zedong) period, which is certainly related to the current ruling ideology of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Lin Yu-fang, convenor of the National Security Group of Taiwan’s National Policy Research Foundation, makes another observation, suggesting that the CPC’s election of Hua Guofeng on the centennial of the party’s founding may be related to the emerging crisis facing China today and the need to find a “model figure” to reform the people’s thinking.
From establishing a model figure to absolute obedience to Xi
Lin Yu-fang said that the emerging crisis in China comes from overseas students and tourists who travel around the world, they will make comparisons after returning to China, although the government does not allow them to read Facebook or Western Internet data, but they can still communicate with the outside world through travel and wall-climbing technology. The result of the people’s comparison makes it more difficult for the Chinese government to restrain the people’s minds. The Chinese leadership must feel that modern people are becoming more and more difficult to control, so they need to reintroduce something into their minds and carry out ideological transformation.
So this is a time when the Communist Party orthodoxy is facing a big challenge. I think they (the CCP) are now creating a model figure, a model figure they can be assured that this person can’t still be alive, and this person obviously should not be Zhao Ziyang, nor Hu Yaobang, nor Hu Jintao, nor Jiang Zemin. These people in the front except Mao Zedong, probably left Hua Guofeng.”
At the centenary of Hua Guofeng’s birth, Wang Huning asked party members and cadres to learn from Hua Guofeng to be “honest”. Lin Yu-fang said that the Chinese Communist Party has turned Hua Guofeng into a benchmark by praising him to link Xi Jinping and Mao Zedong, and by using his most famous “two mortals” imagery to shift to absolute obedience to Xi Jinping and the Party, including the disgruntled political opponents of Xi Jinping who broke Deng Xiaoping’s rules and dismantled the national tenure system. Even if Xi breaks Deng Xiaoping’s rules and dismantles the state’s tenure system, some political challengers and the general public must still obey.
The government’s policy is to accept, obey and implement the orders of the Communist Party,” said Lin Yufang. So the future is that whatever Xi Jinping says everyone has to support, whatever policies the Communist Party makes everyone has to accept, everyone has to obey, everyone has to support, everyone has to promote.”
Some media have criticized Xi Jinping for agreeing with the “all-good school” rather than “practice is the only criterion for testing the truth”, which means that China will once again enter the anti-intellectual era of “seeking foolish loyalty, not truth! This also means that China will once again enter the anti-intellectual era of “seeking loyalty, not truth”!