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Zhao Ziyang was a Chinese politician and prime minister best known for introducing radical and successful market-oriented rural reforms during his service.
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Chinese politician and prime minister (1980??7), born in Henan, C China on October 17, 1919. He joined the Communist Youth League in 1932, rose to prominence implementing land reform in Guangdong (1951??62), and became provincial first party secretary in 1964. He was dismissed during the Cultural Revolution (1966??9), rehabilitated in 1973, and appointed first party secretary of China's largest province, Sichuan, in 1975. Here he introduced radical and successful market-orientated rural reforms, which led to his induction into the Politburo as a full member in 1979 and his appointment as prime minister a year later.
As premier, he oversaw the implementation of a radical new "market socialist" and "open door" economic program, and in 1987 replaced the disgraced Hu Yaobang as Communist Party general secretary (until 1989). He was controversially dismissed for his allegedly over-liberal handling of student pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing. In May 2009, his memoirs were released to the public. The book, entitled Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang, is thought to be derived from secret recordings during the 15 years when Zhao was under house arrest. He died on January 17, 2005.
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