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March 8, 2014
Table of Contents
1 Introduction
Kang Sheng


Image:ac.kangsheng.jpg|thumb|225px|right|Kang Sheng

Kang Sheng (Chinese language|Chinese: 康生) (1898–December 16, 1975), Communist Party of China official, was head of the People's Republic of China's security apparatus until his death, and was subsequently accused along with the Gang of Four (China)|Gang of Four of being responsible for persecutions during the Cultural Revolution.

Kang was born as Zhang Zongke into a wealthy landlord family in Jiaonan, Shandong province. He joined the Communist Party in 1925 in Shanghai, where he worked as a labor organizer and took part in the unsuccessful Communist uprising in 1927. He escaped from Shanghai and joined the surviving Communist cadres in the rural areas. He was sent to Moscow in 1933 to study Soviet security and intelligence techniques. In 1935, under the name Kang Sheng, he returned to Mao Zedong's base at Yan'an (Yenan) and took charge of the so-called Social Affairs Department, the Party's chief security service, which he headed until 1949.

At Yan'an, Kang became a close friend, and possibly a lover, of Jiang Qing, then a young actress and newly-converted Communist. He introduced her to Mao Zedong, who later married her. This, along with his role in the security aparatus, made Kang one of the most influential figures in the Party when it came to power in 1949. He also made many enemies through ideological purges such as the "Rectification Movement" of 1942.

Kang played no visible public role in the early years of the PRC: it is said that the enmity of Liu Shaoqi and Premier Zhou Enlai kept his role to a minimum. He resurfaced in the mid 1950s, and apparently resumed control of the security apparatus. He became Mao's personal agent in the inner-Party struggles which began with the "anti-Rightist campaign" of 1959 and culminated in the Cultural Revolution. As a close associate of Jiang Qing, he became a member of the Party Secretariat under Deng Xiaoping in 1962. By 1966, he was an "advisor" to the Cultural Revolution Group under the Central Committee, and a member of the Politburo's Standing Committee.

Kang was closely involved in the Cultural Revolution purges which saw the downfall of Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping and many others. His last service to Mao was the 1976 campaign was to criticise "rightist deviationism," which was aimed against Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping, although Kang died in late 1975 before it was launched.

Had Kang not died, he would certainly have been removed from power along with the Gang of Four (China)|Gang of Four (Jiang Qing and her associates) after Mao's death. In a secret speech delivered in 1978, Hu Yaobang (who became Communist Party General Secretary in 1981) compared Kang to Soviet Union|Soviet secret police chiefs Felix Dzerzhinsky and Lavrenty Beria. He was posthumously expelled from the Party in 1980.

Category:1898 births
Category:1975 deaths
Category:Chinese people

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kang Sheng".

Last Modified:   2005-04-13

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