Hu Yaobang (hōˈ youˈbängˈ) [key], 1915–89, Chinese Communist political leader, b. Hunan prov. A protegé of Deng Xiaoping, Hu became general secretary of the Communist party in 1980 and party chairman in 1981, effectively replacing Hua Guofeng as leader of the Communist party. In the wake of student demonstrations for greater democracy, to which he was thought to be sympathetic, he was forced to resign as party secretary in 1987. In 1989, upon his death, students renewed their protests in Tiananmen Square.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.