Hua Guofeng (1921—2008) was a Chinese Communist leader, and in 1976 succeeded Mao Zedong as party chairman. He instituted the policy of the Four Modernizations (of agriculture, industry, science & technology, and national defense) which were intended to transform China into a powerful modern state. Based on his statement that, "We will resolutely uphold whatever policy decisions Chairman Mao made, and unswervingly follow whatever instructions Chairman Mao made," wags referred to his program as "the Two Whatevers."
Hua was a little-known bureaucrat until Prime Minister Zhou Enlai died in January 1976. Mao appointed Hua to replace Zhou, making him China's No. 2 leader. At this time, China's top leaders were engaged in a deadly factional struggle as a result of the Cultural Revolution. Hua had the advantage of not being identified with either of the major factions. Hua succeeded Mao as top leader when Mao died in October. Beginning in 1978, Hua was eased out of power by Deng Xiaoping. In 1980, he was replaced as prime minister by Zhao Ziyang and was replaced as head of the armed forces a year later by Hu Yaobang. He was retained some honorific, if powerless posts, and remained a member of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party up to his death.