China: Defying Death

Mao's widow is spared

She was found guilty of "towering and heinous" crimes and unceremoniously hustled out of court, defiantly screaming, "Down with revisionism!" Jiang Qing, now 69, Chairman Mao's headstrong widow and imperious ringleader of the leftist Gang of Four, was sentenced to death, but given two years in prison to repent.

Jiang is rumored to have spent those years making dolls, then rendering them unusable by embroidering her name on them. Party Chief Hu Yaobang told journalists last August that "she persists in behaving as a political and ideological enemy of...

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