Hua Guofeng, a former leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC), died on Wednesday at the age of 87.
Hua "died of illness at 12:50 p.m. on Wednesday in Beijing," said an official statement.
Hua was "an outstanding CPC member, a long-tested and loyal Communist fighter and a proletarian revolutionary who once held important leading posts in the CPC and the government", the statement said.
Born in 1921, Hua once served as the Chinese premier and chairman of the CPC Central Committee.
(Xinhua News Agency August 20, 2008)