The Gang of Four (simplified Chinese: 四人帮; traditional Chinese: 四人幫; pinyin: Sìrén bāng) was the name given to a political group of four Chinese Communist Party officials. The leader of the group was Jiang Qing, Mao Zedong's last wife. The other three were Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan and Wang Hongwen. They became powerful during China's Cultural Revolution. After the death of Mao Zedong, Jiang Quing was plotting a coup d'état to take over power. She and her close associates in the Gang of four were arrested, put on trial.
Jiang Qing and Zhang Chunqiao received death sentences that were later changed to life imprisonment. Wang Hongwen and Yao Wenyuan were given life and twenty years in prison, respectively. All members of the Gang of Four have since died. Jiang Qing committed suicide in 1991, Wang Hongwen died in 1992. Yao Wenyuan and Zhang Chunqiao died in 2005: they had been released from prison in 1996 and 1998 respectively.
References[change | change source]
- Evolution of Power: China's struggle, survival, and success, eds. Xiaobing Li, Xiansheng Tian (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014), p. 54
- Han Suyin 1994. Eldest son: Zhou Enlai and the making of modern China, page 413.