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Jiang Qing also known in the Western world as Chiang Ching or Madame Mao , (Chinese: 江青 & nbsp ;; Pinyin: Jiāng Qīng Wade-Giles: Chiang Ch’ing), born as Lǐ Shúméng (李淑 蒙), (March 19, 1914 – May 14, 1991) was a Chinese policy, which in 1939 became the fourth wife of Mao Zedong. He directed the Cultural Revolution on the artistic plane and was part of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China since 1969. On the death of Mao, he became part of the so-called Band of Four. However, she was arrested a month after Mao died (1976) for her radical tendencies. He was the most powerful person during the last years of the Maoist regime.
She was born in Zhucheng, in the Chinese province of Shandong, the daughter of a carpenter, and was an actress under the pseudonym of Lan Ping , gaining relative fame in the Chinese film industry during the early days of 1930s. In 1933 together with her then husband, Yu Qiwei, she joined the Communist Party of China, working as an actress in the city of Shanghai. After divorcing Yu Qiwei, he flees from Shanghai on the news of the Japanese invasion in July 1937, leaving with other actors towards Yan’an to join the communist resistance against the invasion. Two years later, in 1939, she was introduced to Mao, with whom she would end up marrying and with whom she had a daughter.
In 1949 she became Minister of Culture of the first government of the People’s Republic of China. In 1966, she was elected as director of the Cultural Revolution, which began that same year, and from which she would hold positions of great influence and importance in the government of China, promoting much of the policies of the Cultural Revolution and sponsoring the activities of the Red Guards during this period. However, Jiang Qing projects and executes massive acts of political repression against artists and intellectuals who do not follow the postulates of the regime, but also accusing of “enemies of the State” former rivals and competitors of the cultural world. The use of police repression extended to Jiang Qing’s personal lawsuits when he ordered the arrest of a woman who had married her first husband.
In 1969 Jiang Qing enters the Political Bureau of the Party. At this point, he associates himself with the famous gang of the Four, in charge of defending the principles of Maoism and exercising various abuses of power against officials and ordinary citizens.In this regard he highlighted Jiang Qing’s personal insanity against Zhou Enlai, whose children ordered first arrest (and then murder in prison) without accusation. Such situations, and Mao’s refusal to limit the Gang of Four, increased the fear and hatred of the government elite towards Jiang Qing.
On September 5, 1976, Mao’s ill health became critical when he suffered a heart attack, much more serious than his previous two earlier in the year. Jiang Qing returned from his trip to the camp and spent only a few minutes in the 202th building of the hospital, where Mao was being treated. He later returned to his own residence in the Lotus Spring Chamber.
On the afternoon of September 7, Mao’s situation worsened. Mao had just fallen asleep and needed to rest, but Jiang Qing insisted on rubbing his back and moving his limbs, and she sprayed the white powder on his body. The medical team protested that the dust was not good for her lungs, but she ordered the nurses on duty to follow her example later.
The next morning, September 8, he went into Mao’s room to visit him again. This time he wanted the medical staff to change Mao’s sleeping position, claiming that he had been lying too long on the left side. Li Zhisui, the main service doctor objected, explaining that Mao could only breathe in his left lung. Jiang ordered Li to move Mao though. As a result, Mao’s breathing stopped and his face turned blue. Jiang Qing left the room while Dr. Li and the rest of the medical staff put Mao on a respirator and performed emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Finally, Mao was reanimated and Hua Guofeng urged Jiang Qing not to interfere more with the work of the doctors. However, almost all of Mao’s organs failed and he fell into a coma at the end of that day. With Mao beyond recovery and unwilling to prolong his suffering further, Jiang and other members of the Chinese government decided to disconnect the livelihood apparatus from Mao’s life.
Mao’s death occurred just after midnight at 00:10 hours on September 9, 1976. Mao’s chosen successor, Hua Guofeng, became the chairman of his funeral committee. It was believed that Hua was a compromise candidate between free marketeers and the orthodox party. Some argue that this may have been due to their ambivalence and their discreet profile, particularly compared to Deng Xiaoping, the preferred candidate of market-oriented factions. The party apparatus, under orders from Jiang Qing and Zhang Chunqiao, wrote a commendation that affirms Mao’s achievements to justify his demands to power.
At that time the state media was effectively under the control of the Gang of Four. State newspapers continued to denounce Deng shortly after Mao’s death. Jiang Qing was little concerned about the weak Hua Guofeng, but she was very afraid of Deng Xiaoping. Numerous documents published in the 1980s claimed that Jiang Qing conspired to become the new Communist Party President.
The four members of the group were expelled from the Communist Party of China and arrested, accused of plotting a coup d’etat to seize power, and in 1980, the four were put on public trial, accused of various crimes committed in the Cultural Revolution, being that in the courts the defense of Jiang Qing was based on the fact that she always carried out orders from her husband. For this, she stated: I was Mao’s angry dog. Whoever he said he had to bite, I bit him.
Jiang Qing was sentenced to death, although she was finally punished to life imprisonment in 1983. In 1991 she was released, because of serious health problems due to throat cancer. He died shortly after his release from prison. Later, the Chinese government would say that he committed suicide ten days after his release, leaving an accusatory note against Deng Xiaoping’s policies.
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