Hu Yao Bang: A Chinese Biography

Hu Yao Bang: A Chinese Biography

Hu Yao Bang: A Chinese Biography

Hu Yao Bang: A Chinese Biography


Compares IT parks within the Asian Pacific in search of strategies that policy makers can adopt to: reduce the global digital divide; advance distributional equity; and soften some of the negative effects of economic globalization. "Best practices" are suggested based on these cases.


Rudolf G. Wagner

Hu Yaobang is perhaps the most important and certainly the most controversial animator of the Chinese reforms of the last decade. Yang Zhongmei's biography of this man presents a well-documented record of Hu Yaobang's life and thus greatly enhances our knowledge and understanding of the personalities in the Chinese leadership who were willing, skillful, and powerful enough to opt for this course of radical change although all of them had long records of supporting or initiating orthodox policies along Leninist and Maoist lines.

At the same time, Yang Zhongmei's study presents us with a particular way of writing history and biography, which goes back to older Chinese and to more recent Communist traditions, both of which make for some difference with writings by Western-trained scholars on similar topics.

Yang Zhongmei comes from a well-to-do ("capitalist") family in Shanghai. He was born before the founding of the People's Republic, and his parents at the time expressed their hopes for China's future through their son's given name Zhong-mei, which means "Sino-American." Such a background, and such a name, would have excluded him in other cities from the potential ranks of Red Guards when the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution started in 1966; not so in Shanghai, where there was a sizable group of people with such "difficult" backgrounds in the schools. Many of them played an active part in this upheaval. Yang Zhongmei had good writing skills and was recruited, as had been many other intellectuals during this period, to become a writer of speeches, articles, and pamphlets for a powerful Shanghai political faction. He worked for a while under Wang Hongwen, the young worker from Shanghai who later rose to become the single "proletarian" member of the much denounced "Gang of Four" around Mao Zedong's wife Jiang Qing. Yang eventually left China for Japan; he now works at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, where he completed his Ph.D. dissertation.

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