Chen Boda

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Chen Boda ( Chinese  陈伯达 , Pinyin Chén Bódá ; born July 29, 1904 in Hui'an in the Fujian Province , Chinese Empire ; † September 20, 1989 in Beijing , People's Republic of China ) was a leading politician of the Communist Party of China .

He was Mao Zedong's private secretary and one of the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party during the Cultural Revolution .

Origin and early life

Chen Boda came from a poor farming family in southeast China's Fujian Province and attended a middle school in Xiamen . Since he could not continue his studies due to lack of money, he became secretary to a warlord. In 1926/1927, Chen Boda took part in the northern expedition led by Chiang Kai-shek in order to unite China. In 1927 he became a member of the Chinese Communist Party. He then went to Moscow for four years to study sociology and history at Sun Yat-sen University. In 1930 he returned to Beijing and first taught there, then went to Yan'an , where he taught at the Communist Party School. In 1937, Chen Boda became Mao's political secretary, an activity he held until 1956. In 1945, Chen Boda became a candidate, then in 1946 a member of the CCP Central Committee .

Role in the early People's Republic

From 1949 to 1952 he was vice chairman of the Beijing Culture and Education Commission. During this same period he was also Vice President of the Academy of Sciences and Director of the Institute for Marxism-Leninism. In this function, Chen Boda wrote several writings that made him an important interpreter of Maoism . In 1956 he became a candidate for the Politburo and in November 1957 took part in the Moscow conference of the communist and workers' parties. In 1958 he was co-editor of the party magazine Hongqi ("The Red Flag"). At the Lushan Conference in July 1959, Mao Zedong used Chen Boda to criticize Peng Dehuai because Mao did not want to lose his credibility.

Role during the Cultural Revolution

Chen Boda became the head of the new Cultural Revolution group in May 1966 , which was to determine the direction and oversight of the Cultural Revolution. Over time, this group became the most important political body in China, almost more important than even the Politburo Standing Committee . This made him one of the five most important party leaders. Chen Boda also became head of the Communist Party's propaganda machine and a member of the Politburo Standing Committee in 1966, alongside Jiang Qing . In these functions he was advised by Kang Sheng , the chief of the secret police, and Jiang Qing, Yao Wenyuan , Zhang Chunqiao , Wang Li and young ideologues ( Qi Benyu , Guan Feng ...) assisted him. When the Cultural Revolution group became too powerful for its leaders in Beijing, its influence waned. This marked the end of Chen Boda's participation in the Cultural Revolution. At the 9th Congress of the CCP in the spring of 1969, the Cultural Revolution group was dissolved. Lin Biao , supported by Chen Boda, was introduced as Mao's successor at the same congress .


In August 1970, Chen Boda proposed resurrecting the post of president, which remained vacant after Liu Shaoqi's dismissal . He also proposed that the office be filled with Lin Biao. Mao Zedong was able to thwart this and achieved that the office remained vacant. Mao, who sensed Lin Biao's claim to power, gradually began to oust Lin Biao's confidants. In 1971, Chen Boda and Lin Biao were charged with plotting against Mao Zedong. Lin Biao died in a plane crash in Mongolia while Chen Boda was imprisoned. In 1980 he was sentenced to 18 years in prison for belonging to the Gang of Four and their actions during the Cultural Revolution, but was released shortly afterwards because of his poor health.

Chen Boda died on September 20, 1989 at his home in Beijing.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Munzinger archive
  2. Wang Nianyi: The turmoil ages of China.
  3. ^ J. Guillermaz: The Chinese Communist Party in Power, 1949-1976. Westview Press, 1976, p. 401.
  4. ^ R. MacFarquhar, M. Schoenhals: Mao's Last Revolution. Belknap Harvard, 2006, p. 155.
  5. A. Roux: La Chine au 20ème siècle. édition Armand Colin; collection Campus Histoire 2003, p. 109.

Web links