The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution: Hua in Hunan (1966–70)
The Cultural Revolution, like the Great Leap Forward before it, was another stepping stone in the political career of Hua Guofeng. As the Hunan party-state collapsed in early 1967 under the weight of Red Guard radicalism, many of Hua’s colleagues were purged from office. But Hua survived, and in September 1967 he was appointed as a senior member of the Hunan Preparatory Revolutionary Committee, a temporary body designed to replace the shattered organs of local authority. A more permanent and authoritative body was set up in April 1968 in the form of the Hunan Revolutionary Committee and Hua was appointed as its Vice-Chairman and shortly thereafter its Chairman. From this followed a number of other high-profile appointments which culminated in Hua’s rise to the position of Hunan First Secretary in late 1970. Hua’s ascendancy during this period marked him out as a clear beneficiary of the Cultural Revolution, although as we shall see, Hua benefited not from the campaign itself but from the de-radicalisation of the campaign.
KeywordsCultural Revolution Senior Official Great Leap Political Career Rebel Group
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