Deng Liqun, a former conservative propaganda chief known for his criticism of China’s economic reforms, died on Tuesday in Beijing of illnesses, according to Xinhua News Agency. He was 99.
Xinhua did not specify the illnesses.
Unrelated to Deng Xiaoping, the former leader who championed economic reforms after decades of class struggle, Deng Liqun was an orthodox Marxist theoretician who criticised Deng Xiaoping’s more liberal reform policies.
Born in Hunan province, Deng attended middle school in Beijing and later enrolled at Peking University. He joined the Communist Party of China in 1936, and worked extensively in the ethnic region of Xinjiang, where he was the local propaganda chief, after Beijing took control of the region.
He took over several national leadership positions after 1975, including the party’s propaganda chief.
The official obituary praises Deng Liqun as a "times-tested, loyal Communist soldier," a "proletariat revolutionary" and an "outstanding leader" in the propaganda frontline for the ruling Communist Party's ideologies and theories.
In the years following the crackdown on the 1989 pro-democracy protests, Deng warned repeatedly that economic reforms would lead China away from its socialist path.