He was supposed to be the forgotten hero of the Chinese Communist Party.
Hua Guofeng, Mao Zedong’s designated successor, at one point held all of the important titles: party chairman, Central Military Commission chairman and premier.
But he stepped down from the posts and spent the latter part of his life in obscurity. He quietly passed away during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and his name has rarely been in the news since then.
That changed on Saturday when a high-profile symposium to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth was held in Beijing, causing a stir in Chinese political circles.
“Hua was an outstanding member of the Communist Party of China, a long-tested and loyal communist fighter, and a proletarian revolutionary who once held important leading posts in the Party and the government,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported.