Yiyang County, Jiangxi, China
|Died||August 21, 2015 (aged 99)
|Political party||Communist Party of China|
Wang Dongxing (January 1916 – 21 August 2015) was a Chinese politician who was Vice Chairman of the Communist Party of China from 1977 to 1980 after being Mao Zedong's principal bodyguard during the Cultural Revolution.
Early life and military service
Wang was born in Yiyang County, Jiangxi on January 1, 1916 and joined the Communist Youth League of China in 1932 in his youth. He was commander of the 8341 Special Regiment, Mao's personal elite bodyguard force, but was dismissed by Chairman Mao for excessive protection, and sent to a labor reform camp. He later was reinstated. Wang was instrumental in the coup d'état against the Gang of Four immediately after Mao's death. He was prominent under Chairman Hua Guofeng, being Party Vice Chairman and one of the five members of the Politburo Standing Committee, a committee whose membership varies between 5 and 11 and includes the top leadership of the Communist Party of China.
He lost power as Deng Xiaoping rose to supreme power and was deprived of all his posts in the early 1980s. As a gesture both to his role in the coup d’etat and to signal that political foes would no longer be persecuted, Wang was elected to the very last alternate position of the CPC Central Committee at the 12th National Congress in 1982.
Wang died on 21 August 2015 in Beijing at the age of 99 (100 according to Chinese tradition).
- The Private Life of Chairman Mao, by Li Zhisui, Arrow Books 1996
- Mao's Last Revolution, by Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals, Harvard University Press 2006.
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