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Li (Rui) papers
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Correspondence, diaries, other writings, printed matter and photographs relating to government policy in the People's Republic of China.
Li Rui was born in Hunan Province, China in 1917. He joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1937, when he was a mechanical engineering student at Wuhan University. Between 1937 and 1940, he held several positions in the CCP. In 1940, Li Rui went to Yan'an and worked for the Liberation Daily. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, Li served as secretary for Gao Gang and Chen Yun. Between 1949 and 1952 he was appointed propaganda minister of the CCP Hunan Provincial Headquarters. He also served in the Ministry of Water Conservation beginning in 1955. In 1958, he became Mao Zedong's personal aide and was also the youngest deputy minister in the People's Republic of China. One year later, Li was expelled from the inner circle after he severely criticized Mao's Great Leap Forward, a policy that resulted in widespread famine across the country. Between 1967 and 1975 he was imprisoned in Beijing. After Deng Xiaoping came to power in 1978, Li was rehabilitated and allowed back into the party, where he served as Vice Minister of Water Conservation (1979-1982) and then Deputy Head of the Central Organization Department (1982-1984), one of the most powerful and secretive organs of the Communist Party and responsible for controlling personnel assignments and keeping detailed data on potential future party leaders. In his later years, Li became a keen advocate for political reform and a strong critic of the party and its top leaders. He died on February 16, 2019, at the age of 101.
40 manuscript boxes, digital files (16.7 Linear Feet)
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.
Boxes 25-40 closed; there is digitized content from this collection available. The remainder of the collection is open for research. Materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.