Duringthe hunger strike, Gorbachev, the head of the Soviet communist party,came to China on a visit. Since the students occupied the TianAnMenSquare, the Chinese government had to change the location forreception ritual, which, in their opinion, made them lose face. Intheir narrow mind, the relationship between students and thegovernment should be like father and son. No equal rights betweenthem. So the party leaders were angry. The general secretary Zhao wascriticized for the weakness in his attitude towards the students.Besides, in Zhao's talk with Gorbachev, he was thought to have saidsomething like Deng Xiaoping, though not the head of the nation orthe party in name, could decide everything in national affairs. Thoseold cadres thought that this was a secret and should not be known toa foreign leader, but all the Chinese people knew it, let alone theforeign leaders, that Deng, though only the chairman of the centralmilitary committee in control of the army, was in fact over thegeneral secretary Zhao in power. The Chinese party leaders alwaysplayed the ostrich, burying its head in sands. They thought that oncethey controlled the press, the radio and TV stations, people wouldnot know what happened in China. Besides the above-mentioned, Dengwanted to put Beijing under the martial law, supported by premier Li,but Zhao said that it was not the right time to do it. On suchaccusations, Zhao was removed from the office of general secretaryand put in confinement ever since. All the time during hisconfinement, he just played golf and relaxed. He rejected toself-criticize as he thought he was not wrong. He died of kidneydisease on the 16thday of January, 2005.
Thenwho would be the general secretary was an urgent question. Accordingto the tradition of the communist party, the premier would be thefirst candidate, like when Hu Yuebang was out of the office of thegeneral secretary, the premier Zhao Ziyang succeeded him. Now thepremier Li Peng should be the successor, but some old cadres saidthat Li's disrepute among people made him improper to take thisoffice. So finally, the old cadres decided that Jiang Zeming, theparty secretary of Shanghai should be the general secretary as he wasfirm in opposition of the student movement. Jiang became the nextgeneral secretary of the party. In accordance with the communistparty constitution, the change of the general secretary must bedecided in the central committee of CPC, not decided privately bysome old cadres. Therefore, this was deemed as a bloodless coupd'etat, not a routine procedure. Premier Li had expected to be madethe general secretary, but now was disappointed. Deng, as a shrewdpolitician, had a talk with premier Li and hinted a warning to himnot to form any clique.