Hua Guo Feng, 1921 – 2008

Hua Guofeng was the first Chinese name I ever learned, about 32 years ago, when TV only showed black and white news-related photos next to the newsreaders (even though the era of color tv had already started). If I remember it right (I was a child then), Hua Guofeng was much more frequently on the German news then, than Hu Jintao is now.
After Mao Zedong’s death, Hua became chairman (a post which he kept until 1981), but he lost actual power in 1978 already.

Some of the media probably had had their obituaries ready for a decade or so – it seems to be no unusual practice that correspondents and editorial staff write obituaries on likely hits ahead of schedule during slack seasons and only need to update them when its time to publish.

Hua will probably be remembered most for two things. One is his continued Maoism (which didn’t die when Mao did – this led to conflict with Deng Xiaoping’s reformist agenda and led to Hua’s fall from power). Another is his “coup” against the Gang of Four.

Now it’s time for TV stations to choose another array of black-and-white photos.

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