Born in November 1915, Hu Yaobang joined the Communist Party of China at the age of 18 and became a close ally of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. He became leader of the Communist Youth League in 1952 and Party chairman in 1981. He worked as General Secretary of the Communist Party from 1982 to 1987, when he was forced to resign after clashes with Deng and other party elders over emergent student protests. His death on April 15, 1989, triggered the Tiananmen Square protests.
Low-key farewell planned for Chen
By JASPER BECKER in Beijing
CHINA plans a low-key ceremony to mark the cremation of senior leader Chen Yun who died on Monday in Beijing at the age of 90.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Chen Jian said that in accordance with Chen's wishes and in terms of regulations, there would be no state funeral or major farewell ceremony.
It is likely that Chen will be given the same send-off as other senior leaders such as veterans Li Xiannian and Wang Zhen, where on the day of his cremation flags will fly at half mast in Tiananmen Square and his family and leaders will file past his body before it is taken to Babaoshan crematorium.
China issued new regulations in 1990 after the death of Hu Yaobang, the deposed general secretary of the Communist Party, the previous year triggered student uprisings against the authorities.
Chen and other veterans had insisted that Hu step down after accusing him of being too sympathetic to student democracy protesters in 1986.
In April 1989, students gathered in Tiananmen Square to mourn his death. In the Great Hall of the People leaders paid their respects at a grand ceremony.
The gatherings turned into the huge anti-government protests that were crushed by the army.