Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Hua Kuo-feng Is Successor To Chairman Mao’s Great Cause

First Published: The Call, Vol. 5, No. 32, December 13, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The appointment of Hua Kuo-feng to succeed Mao Tsetung as Chairman of the Communist Party has been welcomed enthusiastically by millions of workers and peasants across China. Contrary to bourgeois news reports which have characterized him as an “unknown,” Chairman Hua is in fact well-known and loved among the masses of Chinese people as a dedicated and experienced revolutionary leader. His wise and decisive guidance since becoming party chairman, especially his role in smashing the “gang of four,” has only confirmed and deepened the respect which the Chinese people already felt for him.

Hua Kuo-feng was suggested by Mao Tsetung himself to be his successor. Chairman Mao attached great importance to the question of leadership and to the need to train revolutionary successors. He described the attributes of good leaders, pointing out that they are “tempered in the great storms of revolution” and “are generally acknowledged by the masses in the course of struggle and practice, and are not self-appointed.”

Hua Kuo-feng, who was educated by Chairman Mao himself, is just such a proletarian leader. No “newcomer” to the revolutionary ranks, Hua proved himself many times in the heat of battle to be a staunch upholder of Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line and to be firmly committed to building a socialist society in China.

As the secretary of a regional party committee in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Hua Kuo-feng played an important role in criticizing the revisionist lines of Liu Shao-chi, who was promoting the extension of capitalist relations of production as the way to develop China.

During the years of the Cultural Revolution, Hua Kuo-feng was recognized by the masses and party cadres for his strong proletarian stand in criticizing revisionism. As a result of his leading role in this period, he was elected to membership on the Party Central Committee at the Ninth Party Congress in April 1969.

As a further expression of their confidence in comrade Hua Kuo-feng, party leaders elected him to membership on the Political Bureau of the Central Committee at the Tenth Party Congress in August 1973, and later appointed him to be Premier of the State Council and Minister of Public Security at the Fourth National People’s Congress in January 1975.

A year later, on the death of Chou En-lai, Chairman Mao himself proposed that Hua Kuo-feng become Acting Premier, and in April, he was given the important responsibilities of First Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee and Premier of the State Council.

In these posts, and especially in the recent struggle against the “gang of four”–Wang Hung-wen, Chang Chun-Chiao, Chiang Ching, and Yao Wen-yuan–Hua Kuo-feng has further demonstrated his excellent grasp of Marxist theory and practice.

For example, Hua Kuo-feng distinguished himself in upholding the movement to learn from Tachai, a model agricultural commune, while it was under attack by the “gang of four.” The “gang” slandered the Tachai commune members and leaders as politically “backward,” saying that they put production, rather than revolution, in command. In an important report to a national conference on Tachai last year, Hua Kuo-feng refuted this line, calling on the country to “build up Tachai-type counties everywhere.”

In the campaign to criticize Teng Hsiao-ping and beat back the right-deviationist wind, Hua Kuo-feng correctly distinguished the revolutionary line from the revisionist line of the “gang of four.”

The “gang” tried to take advantage of the campaign against the capitalist-roader Teng to further their own ambitions of seizing party and state power. They attempted to overthrow good, leading cadres by calling them “Teng’s agents” and by claiming that anyone who fought to increase production was putting forward the theory of the productive forces.

Hua Kuo-feng, however, correctly pointed out that the revisionist theory of the productive forces means promoting production instead of revolution and not combining the two correctly by taking class struggle as the key link. The “gang” tried to overthrow anyone who combined the two, thereby attacking Chairman Mao’s teaching of “grasping revolution, promoting production.”

Chairman Hua’s revolutionary line also stood in sharp contrast to the line of the “gang of four” on earthquake relief work. During the period following China’s devastating earthquake this year, Hua Kuo-feng traveled to the areas which had been hit in order to express the party’s concern for the well-being of the people and to ensure that plans for rebuilding were being carried out as well as possible.

The “gang of four,” on the other hand, showed complete contempt for the lives of the masses. They said the work of rebuilding and relief was of “minor importance.”

The people’s love and respect for Chairman Hua also stands in sharp contrast to the massive outpouring of hatred against the “gang of four.” The masses have praised Chairman Hua for leading a simple life, for being loyal to the party, selfless, open and straight-forward, and for maintaining close ties with the people.

At the same time, the masses have criticized the “gang” for attempting to “split the party,” for being self-seeking and underhanded, for leading a life of bourgeois decadence, and for their disdain for the working people.

With revolutionary vision and boldness, Chairman Hua led the party and united the whole country in smashing these capitalist-roaders who sowed dissension and attempted to seize party and state power. The Chinese people have pointed out that this decisive act, more than any. other, is proof that their confidence in Hua Kuo-feng’s ability to implement Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line and lead the country in building socialism is well placed.

It is also proof that Chairman Mao was correct in choosing Hua Kuo-feng as his successor and why he told him before passing away: “With you in charge, I’m at ease”.