Lin Ruo

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Lin Ruo, the late Chinese reformist

The recently deceased Lin Ruo (林若) (Oct., 1924-Oct. 7, 2012) once stood at the head of Guangdong Province. Until this day he remains best known for his supportive role in the pilot reform of the province.

A Guangdong native, Lin was a 1945 bachelor graduate from the literature school at Sun Yat-sen University. That same year, he joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) and became a local party cadre after the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

He was reappointed as local party secretary in Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province in 1971, five years after he had been kicked out of the country’s political arena amid the chaos that was the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).

Lin Ruo

He also gained some knowledge of media management when serving as party secretary of the Nanfang Daily Press Group in 1973. The group later became one of the country’s most influential media organs, popular for its investigative stories published in its weekend newspaper--Southern Weekly.

Lin was considered an audacious reformist for his pioneering trials in family-farming and price reform during his tenures from the late 1970s to the 1980s.

When serving as party secretary of Guangdong Province from 1982 to 1990, he was seen as an iron fist beating down on corruption as well as a feverish advocate for enhancing the power of the legal monitoring system.

Lin also served as member of the central committee of the Communist Party of China from 1982 to 1991.

He died in 2012 at the age of 89.