Reference Writers: Jiang Qing
Jiang Qing (Chiang Ch'ing, 江青) (March 19, 1914 – May 14, 1991) was a Chinese actress (under the stage name Lan Ping) and a major political figure during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. She was the fourth wife of Mao Zedong, the Chairman of the Communist Party of China, whom she married in November 1938 and served as the inaugural "first lady" of the People's Republic of China.
Jiang Qing was best known for playing a major role in the Cultural Revolution (1966–76) and for forming the radical political alliance known as the "Gang of Four".
Jiang Qing served as Mao's personal secretary in the 1940s and was head of the Film Section of the Communist Party's Propaganda Department in the 1950s. In 1966 she was appointed deputy director of the Central Cultural Revolution Group, and became closely associated with Mao’s cult of personality, serving as an important emissary for Mao in the early stages of the Cultural Revolution. At the height of the Cultural Revolution, Jiang Qing held significant influence in the affairs of state, particularly in the realm of culture and the arts. In 1969, Jiang gained a seat on the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party.
Before Mao's death, the Gang of Four maintained control of many of China's political institutions, including the media and propaganda. However, Jiang Qing, deriving most of her political legitimacy from Mao, often found herself at odds with other top leaders. Mao's death in 1976 dealt a significant blow to Jiang Qing's political fortunes. She was arrested in October 1976 by Hua Guofeng and his allies, and was subsequently condemned by party authorities. Since then, Jiang Qing has been officially branded as having been part of the "Lin Biao and Jiang Qing Counter-Revolutionary Clique" (林彪江青反革命集团).
Though initially sentenced to death, her sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 1983. After being released for medical treatment. Jiang Qing committed suicide in May 1991.
1968: Reforming the Fine Arts