Wang Guangmei, China’s Former First Lady, Dies

Wang Guangmei, wife of Liu Shaoqi, former president of People’s Republic of China, died in Beijing on Oct. 13, Singtaonet said. Wang’s death has still not been publicized in China.

The legendary former first lady was jailed and tortured for 12 years after her husband was removed from power by Mao Zedong in the Cultural Revolution. Liu was once considered as the successor of Mao, but his moderate economic policies and rising political position displeased Mao, who remove Liu and expelled him from the Communist Party. Liu died tragically, humiliated as a “traitor”, a “scab”, and “the biggest capitalist roader in the Party.”

Graduated from Fu Ren University (Âåó‰∫¨ËæÖ‰ªÅ§ßÂ≠¶), Wang was named as “Queen of Math” and “the first master of atom physics.” Wang spoke French, English and Russian. Her brother, Wang Guangying, was the vice chairman of National People’s Congress and the founder of China Everbright Group, one of the biggest state-owned conglomerates.

Wang Guangmei’s death came at a particularly sensitive time as this year is the 30th anniversary of Mao Zengdong’s death. To commemorate the anniversary, the central government just held a nation-wide memorial.

– Also read report from China Times (Chinese)

– Taiwan’s United Daily published two stories (Chinese), one about Mao Zedong and Liu Shaoqi, one about Wang Guangmei and Jiang Qing, Mao’s infamous wife.

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