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China's Communist Revolution - A Glossary
Gang of Four
Gang of Four
Four leading radical figures played a dominant political role during the later years of the Cultural Revolution. Hardliners Jiang Qing (Mao Zedong's fourth wife), Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan, and Wang Hongwen appeared likely to seize power. But several weeks after Mao's death in September 1976, they were instead arrested and blamed for the excesses of the Cultural Revolution. Sentences for their "anti-party" deeds ranged from death (later commuted to life in prison) to 20 years in prison.