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image of the original vintage 1976 Chinese communist propaganda poster by Xia Kehong titled Happy Party, happy army, happy people published by Sichuan People's Publishing House

Happy Party, happy army, happy people

Regular price £245.00 Sale

Artist: Xia Kehong

Year: 1976

Publisher: Sichuan People's Publishing House

Size (mm): 534x765

Condition: Excellent, light creasing to margins, some small tears to margins

The banners in the background read: relie qingzhu Hua Guofeng tongzhi ren zhong gong zhongyang zhuxi zhongyang junwei zhuxi (warmly celebrating comrade Hua Guofeng to the post of chairman of the Communist Party of China and chairman of the Military Commission) and:

relie qingzhu fensui sirenbang fandang jituan cuandang . . (warmly celebrating the crushing of the Gang of Four anti-party clique usurping the party leadership . . ).

By 1976 Mao was in very poor health and a struggle for power began between Hua Guofeng and the Gang of Four (Mao's wife Jiang Qing, with Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan and Wang Hongwen). With the army on his side Hua ultimately won the struggle and on 6 October 1976 had the four radicals arrested. The Gang of Four is generally held to be responsible for some of the worst excesses of the Cultural Revolution. Jiang Qiang and Zhang Chunqiao were sentenced to death, later commuted to life in prison; Wang Hongwen received a life sentence; Yao Wenyuan 20 years imprisonment. Jiang Qing committed suicide in 1991.

Many posters featuring Hua Guofeng were produced during this period with the aim of legitimising his leadership. Hua himself even grew his hair and adopted a similar hairstyle in an effort to appear more like Mao. In matters of policy, Hua announced that "we will resolutely uphold whatever policy decisions Chairman Mao made, and unswervingly follow whatever instructions Chairman Mao gave", a statement that became known as the 'Two Whatevers'. In 1978 Deng Xiaoping moved to win control of China's economy and by 1980 had taken control of the party leadership.