A high-level Communist Party meeting expected to lead to the removal of Mao Tse-tung's chosen successor, Hua Guofeng, from the party chairmanship began Monday, a senior official said. He did not give details of the meeting but said it was a Central Committee session.
Diplomats said the meeting would either be the long-awaited sixth plenum at which Mr. Hua would resign, or a work conference leading to it. The plenum, which will also approve a reassessment of Mao's merits and mistakes, must be held by July 1, the 60th anniversary of the party's founding, when the reassessment is due to be published.
The plenum is expected to select party General Secretary Hu Yaobang to succeed Mr. Hua. Mr. Hu is a close political ally of Vice-Chairman Deng Xiaoping. He has been given a gradual buildup in the press and presided at the sta te funeral of Soong Ching Ling, widow of Sun Yat-sen.