In 1949, with the establishment of the People's Republic of China at Beijing, Zhou became premier and foreign minister. He headed the Chinese Communist delegation to the Geneva Conference of 1954 and to the Bandung Conference (1955). In 1958 he relinquished the foreign ministry but retained the premiership. A practical-minded administrator, Zhou maintained his position through all of Communist China's ideological upheavals, including the Great Leap Forward (1958) and the Cultural Revolution (1966–76). Initially supportive of the latter, he was periodically attacked by Red Guards for attempting to shelter its victims. He was largely responsible for China's reestablishing contacts with the West in the early 1970s before becoming ill.
See biographies by D. W. Chang (1984), D. Wilson (1984), and G. Wenqian (2003, tr. 2007).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Chinese, Taiwanese, and Mongolian History: Biographies
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