77 Facts About Zhao Ziyang


Zhao Ziyang was the third premier of the People's Republic of China from 1980 to 1987, vice chairman of the Chinese Communist Party from 1981 to 1982, and CCP general secretary from 1987 to 1989.


Zhao Ziyang was in charge of the political reforms in China from 1986, but lost power in connection with the reformative neoauthoritarianism current and his support of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.


Zhao Ziyang served as Secretary of the Secretariat of the Guangdong Provincial Committee of the CCP, Second Secretary and First Secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Committee of the CCP.


Zhao Ziyang was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution and spent time in political exile.


Zhao Ziyang emerged on the national scene due to support from Deng Xiaoping after the Cultural Revolution.


Zhao Ziyang began to lose favor with Deng Xiaoping, who was the Chairman of the Central Military Commission.


Zhao Ziyang died from a stroke in Beijing in January 2005.


Zhao Ziyang was the son of a wealthy landlord in Hua County, Henan, who was later murdered by CCP officials during a "land reform movement" in the early 1940s.


Zhao Ziyang joined the Communist Youth League in 1932, and became a full member of the Party in 1938.


Zhao Ziyang served in the People's Liberation Army, which was integrated into the Republic of China's National Revolutionary Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the subsequent civil war, but his posts were largely administrative.


Zhao Ziyang's career was not especially notable before he emerged as a Party leader in Guangdong in the early 1950s.


Zhao Ziyang rose to prominence in Guangdong from 1951, initially following a ruthless ultra-leftist, Tao Zhu, who was notable for his heavy-handed efforts to force local peasants into living and working in "People's Communes".


Zhao Ziyang subsequently led a local campaign aimed at torturing peasants into revealing their food supplies, which did not exist.


Zhao Ziyang led efforts to re-introduce limited amounts of private agriculture and commerce, and dismantled the People's Communes.


Zhao Ziyang was 46 at the time that he first became Party secretary, a notably young age to hold such a prestigious position.


Zhao Ziyang was dismissed from all official positions in 1967, after which he was paraded through Guangzhou in a dunce cap and publicly denounced as "a stinking remnant of the landlord class".


Zhao Ziyang spent four years as a fitter in Hunan, at the Xianzhong Mechanics Factory.


Zhao Ziyang's rehabilitation began in April 1971, when he and his family were woken in the middle of the night by someone banging on the door.


Zhao Ziyang was driven to Changsha's airport, where a plane had been prepared to fly him to Beijing.


Still unaware of what was happening, Zhao Ziyang boarded the plane.


Zhao Ziyang was checked into the comfortable Beijing Hotel, but was unable to sleep: he later claimed that, after years of living in poverty, the mattress was too soft.


Zhao Ziyang was appointed to the Central Committee, and in Inner Mongolia became the Revolutionary Committee Secretary and vice-chairman in March 1972.


Zhao Ziyang was elevated to the 10th Central Committee in August 1973, and returned to Guangdong as 1st CCP Secretary and Revolutionary Committee Chair in April 1974.


Zhao Ziyang became Political Commissar of the Chengdu Military Region in December 1975.


Zhao Ziyang was appointed Party Secretary of Sichuan in October 1975, effectively the province's highest-ranking official.


Zhao Ziyang's reforms made him popular in Sichuan, where the local people coined the saying: ;.


Zhao Ziyang joined the CCP Politburo Standing Committee, China's highest ruling organ, in 1980.


Zhao Ziyang became the Leader of the Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs and Vice Chairman of the CCP in 1980 and 1981 separately.


Zhao Ziyang developed "preliminary stage theory", a model for transforming the socialist system via gradual economic reform.


Zhao Ziyang successfully sought to establish a series of Special economic zones in coastal provinces in order to attract foreign investment and create export hubs.


Zhao Ziyang led the 863 Program to respond to rapid global technological change.


Zhao Ziyang's reforms led to a rapid increases in both agricultural and light-industrial production throughout the 1980s, but his economic reforms were criticized for causing inflation.


Zhao Ziyang promoted an open foreign policy, improving China's relations with Western nations in order to support China's economic development.


Zhao Ziyang was a solid believer in the Party, but he defined socialism very differently from Party conservatives.


Zhao Ziyang was a fan of golf, and is credited with popularizing the game's reintroduction to the mainland in the 1980s.


The political reforms of Hu and Zhao Ziyang included proposals to have candidates directly elected to the Politburo, more elections with more than one candidate, more government transparency, more consultation with the public on policy, and increased personal responsibility directed to officials for their mistakes.


At the 13th National Party Congress in 1987, Zhao Ziyang declared that China was in "a primary stage of socialism" that could last 100 years.


Under this premise, Zhao Ziyang believed that China needed to experiment with a variety of economic reforms in order to stimulate production.


Zhao Ziyang proposed to separate the roles of the Party and state, a proposal that has since become taboo.


The 13th Congress was notable for the lack of representation by women at the highest levels of the party; Members of the All-China Women's Federation attributed this to Zhao Ziyang's rise to General-Secretary.


Zhao Ziyang had previously made comments opposing the participation of women in political processes.


Western observers generally view the year that Zhao Ziyang served as general secretary as the most open in the history of the People's Republic of China.


Zhao Ziyang introduced the stock market in China and promoted futures trading there.


Zhao Ziyang hosted a financial meeting on 2 August 1986, calling for the joint stock system to be implemented nationwide in the following year.


Zhao Ziyang played a major role in the approach to price liberalization and the question of whether China should adopt a sudden price liberalization approach akin to shock therapy or a more gradual model.


Zhao Ziyang had accepted the argument that the basic concern in economic reform was energizing enterprises.


Zhao Ziyang wrote warmly of Hu Yaobang in his memoirs, and generally agreed with Hu on the direction of China's economic reforms.


Zhao Ziyang found himself in multi-front turf battles with the Party elders, who grew increasingly dissatisfied with Zhao Ziyang's hands-off approach to ideological matters.


Zhao Ziyang was under growing pressure to combat runaway corruption by rank-and-file officials and their family members.


Zhao Ziyang attempted to mollify the protesters by engaging in dialogue with student groups.


When Zhao Ziyang advocated modifying the editorial, President Yang Shangkun proposed declaring martial law according to the decision of National People's Congress, which Zhao Ziyang refused.


The phrase "", translated "We are already old, and do not matter" and Zhao Ziyang's speech, have since become a well known part of the protests.


Party hardliners that had opposed Zhao Ziyang's reforms took the opportunity to criticize him, with elder Wang Zhen stating that Zhao Ziyang lacked ideological toughness and was bringing China closer to the West.


Zhao Ziyang likewise received no support from his political allies, who wanted forgiveness from the leadership.


Zhao Ziyang was placed under house arrest, but was allowed to maintain his party membership.


Zhao Ziyang lived for the next fifteen years under house arrest, accompanied by his wife, at the No 6 Fuqiang Hutong, in the Dongcheng District of central Beijing, near Zhongnanhai.


Zhao Ziyang's study was in the second courtyard, while the innermost courtyard housed the living quarters, where Zhao Ziyang lived with his wife and his daughter's family.


Zhao Ziyang remained under tight supervision, and was reportedly locked in his home with a bicycle lock.


Zhao Ziyang was only allowed to leave his courtyard compound or receive visitors with permission from the highest echelons of the Party.


Over that period, only a few snapshots of a gray-haired Zhao Ziyang leaked out to the media.


Zhao Ziyang remained popular among those who believed that the government was wrong in ordering the Tiananmen Massacre, and that the Party should reassess its position on the student protests.


Zhao Ziyang continued to hold China's top leadership responsible for the assault, and refused to accept the official Party line that the demonstrations had been a part of a "counter-revolutionary rebellion".


Zhao Ziyang eventually came to hold a number of beliefs that were much more radical than any positions he had ever expressed while in power.


Zhao Ziyang came to believe that China should adopt a free press, freedom of assembly, an independent judiciary, and a multiparty parliamentary democracy.


In February 2004, Zhao Ziyang had a pneumonia attack that led to a pulmonary failure, hospitalizing him for three weeks.


Zhao Ziyang was hospitalized again with pneumonia on 5 December 2004.


Zhao Ziyang was survived by his second wife, Liang Boqi, and five children.


At the time, most university students that were interviewed by The New York Times knew very little about Zhao Ziyang, which was linked to government censorship and restrictions on political speech.


Zhao Ziyang's conditions worsened recently, and he passed away Monday after failing to respond to all emergency treatment.


In New York City, a public memorial for Zhao Ziyang was organized by Human Rights in China, a New York-based non-governmental organization.


Zhao Ziyang's ashes were taken by his family to his Beijing home, since the government had denied him a place at Babaoshan.


In October 2019, Zhao Ziyang was finally laid to rest at the Tianshouyuan cemetery north of Beijing.


Outside of mainland China, Zhao Ziyang's death produced calls from the governments of Taiwan and Japan urging the PRC to move toward granting the greater political freedoms that Zhao Ziyang promoted.


However, as of December 2019 both major crowdsourced encyclopedias subject to government censorship in mainland China contain articles about the life of Zhao Ziyang, omitting references to the activities surrounding his dismissal from the party and subsequent house arrest.


Since 1989, one of the few publications that has printed a non-government-approved memorial praising Zhao Ziyang's legacy has been Yanhuang Chunqiu, a magazine which released a pro-Zhao Ziyang article in July 2010.


Zhao Ziyang's published autobiography is based on approximately thirty cassette tapes which Zhao Ziyang secretly recorded between 1999 and 2000.


Zhao Ziyang noted that the astrophysicist Fang Lizhi was out of the country in 1989 and publicly critical of Deng Xiaoping, when in fact Fang was living just outside Beijing and deliberately kept silent about politics during the 1989 protests.