Zhang Chunqiao (1917-2005)

The Cultural Revolution in Images -- Caricature-Posters from Guangzhou 1966-1977

Zhang Chunqiao 張春橋 (1917-2005) became his political career as member of the CCP in Yan’an. In 1949, he became chief editor of Liberation Daily (Jiefang Ribao, 解放日报), a position which he employed to broadcast his political ideas. For instance, in 1958 his article “Smash the Idea of Bourgeoisie Right” attracted the attention of Mao Zedong, who ordered it to be re-published in People’s Daily (Renmin Ribao, 人民日报) (Hua, 2014: 292). After holding several key-positions in the Propaganda Department and in the CCP Committee in Shanghai, in Zhang Chunqiao became deputy director of the Central Cultural Revolution Group, and in 1969 he was elected to the Politburo. When he was arrested in 1976, he was the chairman of the Shanghai Revolutionary Committee and the vice premier of the State Council (MacFarquhar and Schoehals, 2006: 476). He and Jiang Qing were the only members of the Gang of Four to received death sentence (later commuted to life in prison) during the Trial which took place against them in 1981 (Cook, 2016: 177, 188). In the images of this collection, Zhang Chunqiao is accused of employing sophisticated theoretical essays to cover up his plans to slow down socialism and to take over the leadership of the CCP. Artists created denigrating caricatures of Zhang Chunqiao as a dog, underlying his low moral stature and addressing him as a traitor.


Cook, Alexander C. The Cultural Revolution on Trial: Mao and the Gang of Four. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
Hua, Shiping. “Zhang Chunqiao and the Politics of the 1975 People’s Republic of China Constitution.East Asia, no. 31, (2014): 289-303.
MacFarquhar Roderik and Michael Schoenhals. Mao’s Last Revolution. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006.