Hua Guofeng or Hua Kuo-feng (both: hwä gwôfŭng), 1920–2008, Chinese Communist leader. He was relatively unknown until he became minister of public security and deputy premier in 1975. As Mao Zedong's designated heir, he became premier following Zhou Enlai's death (Jan., 1976) and chairman of the Chinese Communist party when Mao died (Sept., 1976). Responsible for the arrest (Oct., 1976) of the Gang of Four, which was led by Jiang Qing, Mao's wife, Hua was nonetheless a transitional leader and was soon eased out of power by Deng Xiaoping. He was replaced by Zhao Ziyang as premier in 1980, and by Hu Yaobang as party chairman in 1981. Hua resigned from the Politburo in 1982 but remained a member of the party's Central Committee until 1997.