Gang of Four
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Gang of Four,term of opprobrium given by the Chinese Communist authorities to four persons held responsible for the excesses of the Cultural RevolutionCultural Revolution,
1966–76, mass mobilization of urban Chinese youth inaugurated by Mao Zedong in an attempt to prevent the development of a bureaucratized Soviet style of Communism.
..... Click the link for more information. (1966–69). They were also accused of trying to seize power after the deaths (1976) of Mao ZedongMao Zedong
or Mao Tse-tung
, 1893–1976, founder of the People's Republic of China. Mao was one of the most prominent Communist theoreticians and his ideas on revolutionary struggle and guerrilla warfare have been extremely influential, especially among Third
..... Click the link for more information. and Zhou EnlaiZhou Enlai
or Chou En-lai
, 1898–1976, Chinese Communist leader. A member of a noted Mandarin family, he was educated at an American-supported school in China and a university in Japan. His involvement in radical movements led to several months imprisonment.
..... Click the link for more information. . The most notable of the Gang of Four was Jiang QingJiang Qing
or Chiang Ch'ing
, 1914–91, Chinese Communist political leader, wife of Mao Zedong. Born Li Jinhai or Li Shumeng, she was later known as Li Yunhe and Li He and changed her name to Lan Ping in 1938 when beginning an acting career, joining the Communist
..... Click the link for more information. , Mao's widow. The others were Wang Hongwen, Yao Wenyuan, and Zhang Chunqiao. They were imprisoned in 1976, tried in 1980, and sentenced in 1981. Their sentences ranged from death (later commuted to life in prison) to 20 years in prison.