Huang Hua
Huang in 1978
Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China
In office
10 September 1980 – 4 May 1982
PremierZhao Ziyang
5th Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
3 December 1976 – 19 November 1982
PremierHua Guofeng
Zhao Ziyang
Preceded byQiao Guanhua
Succeeded byWu Xueqian
Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations
In office
2 November 1971 – 29 November 1976
Preceded byLiu Chieh (representing the Republic of China)
Succeeded byChen Chu
Personal details
Wang Rumei

(1913-01-25)January 25, 1913
Ci County, Zhili, Republic of China
DiedNovember 24, 2010(2010-11-24) (aged 97)
Beijing, People's Republic of China
Political partyChinese Communist Party
SpouseHe Liliang (何理良)[1]

Huang Hua (/ˈhwæŋ ˈhwɑː/;[2] Chinese: 黄华; pinyin: Huáng Huá; January 25, 1913 – November 24, 2010) was a senior Chinese Communist revolutionary, politician, and diplomat. He served as Foreign Minister of China from 1976 to 1982, and concurrently as Vice Premier from 1980 to 1982. He was instrumental in establishing diplomatic links of the People's Republic of China with the United States and Japan, and was intensely involved in the negotiations with the United Kingdom over the status of Hong Kong.[1][3]


Huang Hua

Huang Hua was born Wang Rumei in Ci County, Hebei Province in 1913.[1] His studies were disrupted due to the Chinese Civil War, leading him to continue his studies in northeast China, which itself was invaded by Japan in 1931. In 1932, he enrolled in the Yenching University in Beijing, where he was one of the early students.[4] There, he learned excellent English and developed a close relationship with John Leighton Stuart, the American missionary who founded Yenching.[5] He also talked with left-wing professors and read Marxist books, leading him to support communism.[4]


In 1936, he joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at Yenching, and assumed the name Huang Hua. Later that year, he accompanied American journalist Edgar Snow to the revolutionary base area in Yan'an, acting as the interpreter between Snow and the Communist leaders including Mao Zedong. Snow wrote the book Red Star Over China, which introduced the Chinese Communists to the world. Huang Hua remained in Yan'an after Snow left, and worked as an assistant to Marshal Zhu De and later as secretary of Marshal Ye Jianying.[3]

During Mao's Rectification Movement which started in 1942, Huang was reported by another CCP member for using his boss's official seal without permission. Due to protection from Zhu De, Huang managed to avoid repercussions.[6] In 1944, the United States dispatched an Army Observer Group to Yan'an to assess the CCP and its military capabilities, prompting the CCP to create a Foreign Affairs Group to receive the guests. Huang was put in charge of the Group's translation affairs.[7] During US Army General George C. Marshall's peace missions to China, Huang served as the translator for the CCP side.[6]

People's Republic of China

After the CCP took over Nanjing in April 1949, Huang was sent to the city to take over the Republic of China's foreign ministry and send ministerial documents to Beijing. He was also authorized by Mao to meet John Leighton Stuart, who was by now the US Ambassador to China, though the talks ultimately failed.[8] Mao proclamated of the People's Republic of China in 1 October 1949, and Huang's English skills ensured him a position in the newly established Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[3] Initially staying in Nanjing, Huang was later transferred to handle foreign affairs in Shanghai. In 1953, he was involved in the Korean War armistice talks.[8] He was also part of the initial contacts with the United States in Warsaw, Poland in 1958.[9]

During the 1960s, Huang spent much of his time abroad serving as ambassador to Ghana and then Egypt. By summer 1967, Huang, ambassador to Egypt at this time, was China's only remaining ambassador overseas due to the Cultural Revolution.[10] When he returned home during the height of the Cultural Revolution, he was arrested along with his wife and banished to labor reform in the countryside. His exile did not last long however, as he was rehabilitated in 1970, and served as Mao's translator during an interview with Edgar Snow in August 1970.[11]

Beginning in 1971, Huang was the first Permanent Representative to the UN from the People's Republic of China after the UN seat was transferred to the mainland Chinese government.[12] Huang also signed the Sino-Japanese Peace and Friendship Treaty with Japanese Foreign Minister Sonoda on August 12, 1978.[citation needed]

After Mao Zedong's death in 1976, Foreign Minister Qiao Guanhua, an ally of the radical Gang of Four, was dismissed from his post and Huang appointed as his replacement.[13] Huang accompanied Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping during his visit to the United States in January 1979, which led to the establishing of diplomatic relations.[14] Along with Premier Zhao Ziyang, Huang participated in the 1981 North–South Summit. At the summit, Huang received instructions from Zhao to soften the PRC's anti-Soviet talking points. Huang and his deputy Pu Shoucang did not comply, which Zhao saw as a challenge to his authority.[15]

When Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev died in November 1982, a Chinese delegation headed by Huang Hua as Foreign Minister attended the funeral, where Huang praised the late Soviet leader as "an outstanding champion of world peace," and expressed his hope for normalized relations with Moscow. This was during the Sino-Soviet split, when PRC and the USSR competed for influence in the world. Huang was succeeded as Foreign Minister by Wu Xueqian after his return to China.[16] Huang nevertheless stayed active in "friendship diplomacy" after his retirement, meeting Henry Kissinger during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.[16] Huang died on 24 November 2010 at the age of 97.[3]

Personal life

In 1944 in Yan'an, Huang married He Liliang (born July 1926). They had two sons and one daughter.[17]



  1. ^ a b c Barboza, David (November 24, 2010). "Huang Hua, 97, a Diplomat Who Served China, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Huang Hua". Collins English Dictionary.
  3. ^ a b c d Brown, Kerry (November 24, 2010). "Huang Hua obituary". Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b Martin 2021, p. 42.
  5. ^ Yuwu Song (18 July 2006). Encyclopedia of Chinese-American Relations. McFarland. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-7864-4593-6.
  6. ^ a b Martin 2021, p. 51.
  7. ^ Martin 2021, p. 53.
  8. ^ a b Martin 2021, p. 56–57.
  9. ^ Martin 2021, p. 78.
  10. ^ Martin 2021, p. 114.
  11. ^ Martin 2021, p. 124.
  12. ^ Martin 2021, p. 128.
  13. ^ Martin 2021, p. 145.
  14. ^ Martin 2021, p. 148.
  15. ^ Martin 2021, p. 156.
  16. ^ a b Martin 2021, p. 157.
  17. ^ "何理良:和黄华携手走过的日子 - 亲历者口述 - 抗日战争纪念网". Archived from the original on 2018-01-22.


Government offices Preceded byQiao Guanhua Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China 1976–1982 Succeeded byWu Xueqian Diplomatic posts Preceded byLiu ChiehRepresenting the Republic of China Permanent Representative and Ambassador of China to the United Nations 1971–1976 Succeeded byChen Chu