Gu Mu

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Gu Mu
Gu Mu 1940.jpg
Gu Mu in 1940
Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China
In office
PremierZhou Enlai
Hua Guofeng
Zhao Ziyang
Personal details
BornSeptember 1914
Rongcheng, Shandong
DiedNovember 6, 2009 (aged 95)
Political partyCommunist Party of China
Children4 sons, 1 daughter

Gu Mu (Chinese: 谷牧; Wade–Giles: Ku Mu; September 1914 – November 6, 2009) was a Chinese revolutionary figure and politician, who served as the Vice-Premier of the People's Republic of China between 1975 and 1982. As one of Deng Xiaoping's main aides in charge of economic management, he played a major role in implementing Deng's economic reform policies of the 1980s. He was a key figure in the creation of Shenzhen, China's first Special Economic Zone.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Gu Mu was born in September 1914 in a village in Rongcheng, Shandong. His birth name was Liu Jiayu (Chinese: 刘家语). Although his parents were poor peasants, he received a good education at the insistence of his grandfather.[2]

He joined the Communist Party in July 1932 and became involved in revolutionary activities in Wendeng County, where he was attending school. He changed his name to "Gu Mu" to avoid implicating his family. In 1934, Gu went to Beijing (then known as Beiping) and became a leader of the Beiping branch of the League of Left-Wing Writers.[2]

In 1936, Gu Mu worked in military logistics under the warlord Zhang Xueliang, and participated in the Xi'an Incident.[2] In September 1940, Gu went back to Shandong to take on a series of progressively senior leadership positions, including Deputy Political Commissar of the First Military Region.[1][2]

People's Republic of China[edit]

After the founding of the People's Republic in 1949, Gu became the Party Secretary and Mayor of Jinan, the capital of Shandong, as well as Political Commissar of the Jinan Military Region. In February 1952 he was named Deputy Party Secretary and propaganda chief of Shanghai.[1][2]

He was then transferred to work in Beijing, leading a number of commissions on economic development. In 1965 he became Director of the State Construction Commission. After the Cultural Revolution erupted in 1966, Gu was removed from his positions and suffered political persecution like many other leaders. He returned to work in 1973 as head of the State Development and Planning Commission. In 1975, he was appointed a Vice-Premier under Zhou Enlai, and led the State Construction Commission and the Import and Export Commission of the State Council.[1]

Between 1978 and 1988 Gu was a major part of the new reformist government under Deng Xiaoping, specializing in external relations and economic development. Gu, as Vice-Premier, led the PRC's first formal delegation to Western Europe following the Cultural Revolution. On the trip Gu visited France, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, and West Germany.[3] He became a member of the Central Secretariat in 1980, and State Councilor in May 1982. As one of Deng Xiaoping's chief aides in charge of economic management, he played a major role in implementing Deng's economic reform policies and China's opening to the world. He was a key figure in the creation of Shenzhen, China's first Special Economic Zone.[1]

In 1988, Gu became a Vice-Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a mostly ceremonial post. He retired in 1993, and left public life.[1]

Gu Mu died on November 6, 2009, at the age of 95. He was officially eulogized as a "long-tested and loyal warrior of the Communist cause, a proletariat revolutionary, an outstanding leader in the field of economic development". Top Chinese leaders, including Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin attended his funeral.[2]


Gu Mu had four sons: Liu Nianyuan (刘念远), Liu Huiyuan (刘会远), Liu Liyuan (刘历远), Liu Xianyuan (刘宪远), and a daughter, Liu Yanyuan (刘燕远). They are all surnamed "Liu" in accordance with Gu's real surname. Liu Nianyuan has retired as a major general of the People's Liberation Army. Liu Liyuan was imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution for two years, together with Ye Jianying's son Ye Xuanping and son-in-law Zou Jiahua, Bo Yibo's three sons including Bo Xilai, and the sons of He Long.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Yuwu Song (8 July 2013). Biographical Dictionary of the People's Republic of China. McFarland. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-7864-3582-1.
  2. ^ a b c d e f 谷牧生平:原名刘家语. People's Daily (in Chinese). 2009-11-07. Retrieved 2014-09-17.
  3. ^ "谷牧:中国改革开放的操盘者". Sina.
  4. ^ 谷牧的儿女们 [The Children of Gu Mu]. People's Daily (in Chinese). 2009-12-21.