China marked the centenary of the birth of late reformist leader Hu Yaobang on Friday with an unusually high-profile official ceremony attended by the Communist Party’s seven most powerful men, including President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang .
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.