The last of Mao's sons, 84-year-old Anqing, dies in Beijing

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 March, 2007, 12:00am

Mao Zedong's only surviving son Mao Anqing has died in Beijing, aged 84.

The second son of Mao by his first wife Yang Kaihui, died on Friday, the China News Service said yesterday, without giving the cause of death.

It said his body was being kept in Xishan Service Centre - a hall where memorial services are held for senior officials or People's Liberation Army officers.

Mao Anqing is survived by his wife Shao Hua and their only son Mao Xinyu . Mao Anqing also is survived by his two younger half-sisters Li Min , by Mao Zedong's second wife He Zi- zhen, and Li Na by Mao Zedong's third wife Jiang Qing .

Mao Anqing was born on November 2, 1923, in Changsha , Hunan .

His life was filled with frustration even though he was a son of China's leading revolutionary.

Mao Anqing was left brain damaged from an attack by a Shanghai policeman when he was 10 years old. The incident happened in 1933, when Anqing and his elder brother Anying were left roaming the streets in Shanghai after their mother was killed by a Hunan warlord, He Jian, the same year.

In 1936, the brothers were sent to Paris by Mao's aide, and later lived in a children's home in Moscow. He returned home in 1947 and convalesced in Dailian , Liaoning , to treat his mental problems. However, he did not quite recover and was dealt a further blow with news of his brother Anying's death in the Korean war in 1950.

Under the Communist Party's special arrangement, he worked at the Academy of Military Sciences as a researcher with the title of lieutenant-colonel after he joined the PLA.

Anqing married Shao Hua, a PLA officer in 1960 and their son Xinyu was born in 1970. The couple spent 11 years in the former Soviet Union, after which Ms Shao said they were more at ease speaking Russian than Chinese.

Compared with her husband, Ms Shao is a more high-profile person. She was promoted to major-general in 1995 and is a committee member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.