Gang of Four

Gang of Four, term of opprobrium given by the Chinese Communist authorities to four persons held responsible for the excesses of the Cultural Revolution (1966–69). They were also accused of trying to seize power after the deaths (1976) of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai. The most notable of the Gang of Four was Jiang Qing, Mao's widow. The others were Wang Hongwen, Yao Wenyuan, and Zhang Chunqiao. They were imprisoned in 1976, tried in 1980, and sentenced in 1981. Their sentences ranged from death (later commuted to life in prison) to 20 years in prison.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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