Gang of Four

Gang of Four

Most powerful members of a radical political elite convicted for implementing the harsh policies of Mao Zedong during the Cultural Revolution. The four were Wang Hongwen, Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan, and Mao's third wife, Jiang Qing. Manipulating the youthful Red Guards, the Gang of Four controlled four areas: intellectual education, basic theories in science and technology, teacher-student relations and school discipline, and party policies regarding intellectuals. The turmoil of the Cultural Revolution subsided after 1969, but the Gang of Four maintained their power until Mao's death in 1976, when they were imprisoned; they stood trial in 1980–81.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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