Who’s Who in Modern China

S c r o l l D o w n

CCP: Chinese Communist Party
Chiang: Chiang Kai-shek
CPPCC: Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference
CR: Cultural Revolution
Deng: Deng Xiaoping
GLF: Great Leap Forward
Immortal: One of the Eight Immortals of the P RC
KMT: Kuomintang
LM: Long March
Mao: Mao Zedong
NPC: National People’s Congress
PLA: People’s Liberation Army
PRC: People’s Republic of China

Bai Chongxi ( 1 8 9 3 – 1 9 6 6 ) Muslim general in Guangxi Clique and leading Nationalist strategist.
Bao Tong ( 1 9 3 2 – ) Close aide to C C P Secretary Zhao Ziyang in 1980s. Sent to jail for seven years in 1989 for sympathy for student protestors. After release, continued to criticize the regime.
Bo Gu ( 1 9 0 7 – 4 6 ) Moscow-aligned head of the C C P 1 9 3 1 – 5 . Forced out by Mao on L M . Died in plane crash.
Bo Yibo ( 1 9 0 8 – 2 0 0 7 ) C C P economist. Purged in C R . Rehabilitated under Deng. Immortal.
Borodin (Mikhail Gruzenberg) ( 1 8 8 4 – 1 9 5 1 ) Soviet adviser to K M T in Canton who reorganized it as a Leninist party. Left China after Chiang’s purge of left in 1 9 2 7 . Died in Siberian gulag.
Braun, Otto ( 1 9 0 0 – 1 9 7 4 ) German C C P adviser ousted by Mao during L M .

Cai Tingkai ( 1 8 9 2 – 1 9 6 8 ) Commmander of 19th Route Army in Battle of Shanghai in 1 9 3 2.
Rebelled against K M T the next year. Supported the C C P in final stages of civil war.
Chai Ling ( 1 9 6 6 – ) Leading figure in Tiananmen protests of 1989. Escaped to US, where she founded a software firm.
Chen Boda ( 1 9 0 4 – 8 9 ) C C P theoretician and Mao speechwriter. Allied with left and armyin C R . Sentenced to eighteen years in jail, but released because of his ill-health.
Chen Duxiu ( 1 8 7 9 – 1 9 4 2 ) First C C P chairman. Intellectual pushed aside by Party in-fighting.
Chen Guofu ( 1 8 9 2 – 1 9 5 1 ) With brother, prominent K M T politician and Chiang aide.
Chen Jieru (Ch’en Chieh-ju, Jennie Chen) ( 1 9 0 6 – 7 1 ) Second wife of Chiang, who disowned her in 1 9 2 7 to marry Soong Meiling. Later wrote an account of her life with Chiang, which was suppressed in the U S A .
Chen Jiongming ( 1 8 7 8 – 1 9 3 3 ) Reformist leader in southern China who ran progressive regionalist regime in Guangdong, but clashed with Sun Yat-sen and Chiang, who defeated him and forced him to flee to Hong Kong, where he died of typhus.
Chen Lifu ( 1 9 0 0 – 2 0 0 1 ) With brother, close Chiang aide. Leading K M T ideological enforcer.
Chen Shui-bian ( 1 9 5 0 – ) Elected president of Taiwan in 2000 at head of Democratic Progressive Party, ending K M T dominance of the island and stressing ‘Taiwanese identity’. Re-elected 2004.
Chen Yi ( 1 9 0 1 – 7 2 ) P L A commander, mayor of Shanghai, vice-premier and foreign minister. Target of attack by Gang of Four and Red Guards.
Chen Yun ( 1 9 0 5 – 9 5 ) Conservative C C P economist who clashed with Mao and Deng. Immortal.
Chennault, Claire ( 1 8 9 3 – 1 9 5 8 ) American airforce strategist for Nationalists and chief of the ‘Flying Tigers’, who fought running battle with Joseph Stilwell
Chiang Ching-kuo ( 1 9 1 0 – 8 8 ) Son of Chiang. Succeeded his father as president of Republic of China in Taiwan 1 9 7 8 – 8 8 . Began democratization to go with economic growth.
Chiang Kai-shek ( 1 8 8 7 – 1 9 7 5 ) Leader of Nationalist China as head of the K M T after victory of Northern Expedition in 1 9 2 6 – 8 . Unable to resist Japanese invasion. Defeated by Communists in 1 9 4 9 . Fled to Taiwan to head Republic of China there.
Chun (Prince) ( 1 8 8 3 – 1 9 5 1 ) . Regent from 1908 to 1 9 1 1 as father of the last emperor.
Cixi, Dowager Empress ( 1 8 3 5 – 1 9 0 8 ) Former concubine, she was the main power at court from the 1 8 60s to her death.

Dai Li ( 1 8 9 7 – 1 9 4 6 ) Nationalist political police chief who headed a huge security apparatus. Killed in plane crash on way to meet his mistress.
Deng Liqun (Little Deng) ( 1 9 1 4 – ) Conservative C C P crusader against liberalism and ‘spiritual pollution’.
Deng Xiaoping ( 1 9 0 4 – 9 7 ) Revolutionary survivor who opened door to market economy in 1 9 7 8 . L M veteran, purged under Mao, he came back to win supreme power and change China. Immortal.
Ding Ling ( 1 9 0 4 – 8 6 ) Leading author and feminist who joined the Communists in Yenan. Denounced as ‘rightist’ in C R and sent to work on farm before being rehabilitated in 1 9 7 8 .
Donald, William Henry ( 1 8 7 5 – 1 9 4 6 ) Australian journalist and adviser to Sun Yat-sen, Zhang Xueliang and Madame Chiang.
Du Yuesheng (Big Ears Du) ( 1 8 8 7 – 1 9 5 1 ) Head of Green Gang in Shanghai. Allied with K M T right. Godfather drug baron and an opium addict.
Duan Qirui ( 1 8 6 4 – 1 9 3 6 ) Major faction leader in early years of Republic.

Fang Lizhi ( 1 9 3 6 – ) Scientist and leading reformist advocate in 1980s.
Feng Yuxiang (The Christian General or Betraying General) ( 1 8 8 2 – 1 9 4 8 ) Major warlord of 1920s who rebelled repeatedly against K M T .

Galen (Vasilii Konstantinovich Blyukher) ( 1 8 8 9 – 1 9 3 8 ) Soviet K M T adviser who masterminded military successes in 1 9 2 5 – 7 . In U S S R , he held senior commands before dying in Stalin’s purges.
Gang of Four ( 1 9 6 6 – 7 6 ) C R leading group, tried and sentenced in 1 9 7 1 . See Jiang Qing, Wang Hongwen, Yao Wenyuan, Zhang Chunqiao.
Gao Gang ( 1 9 0 5 – 5 4 ) Communist boss in Manchuria after 1 9 4 9 before being promoted to Politburo. Lost Mao’s support and was purged, killing himself in jail.
Gong, Prince ( 1 8 3 3 – 1 8 9 8 ) Regent in the 1860-70S outmanoeuvred by Dowager Cixi. Gordon, Charles (Chinese Gordon) ( 1 8 3 3 – 8 5 ) British mercenary who took part in attack on Beijing in i 8 6 0 and led Chinese army against Taiping rebels.

Han Dongfang ( 1 9 6 3 – ) Leader of first independent trade union in 1989. Imprisoned and expelled to Hong Kong.
He Long ( 1 8 9 6 – 1 9 6 9 ) Commander of early C C P base on Yangzi. Joined L M . P L A marshal. Purged during the C R , and deprived of medicines, causing his death.
He Yingqin ( 1 8 9 0 – 1 9 8 7 ) Long-time K M T war minister. China’s senior lay Catholic.
Hong Xiuquan ( 1 8 1 4 – 6 4 ) Teacher from the south who led Taiping Rebellion in mid nineteenth century, ruling over the ‘Heavenly Kingdom’ in Nanjing.
Hu Hanmin ( 1 8 7 9 – 1 9 3 6 ) Prominent K M T politician who allied with Chiang, and then fell out with him.
Hu Jintao ( 1 9 4 2 – ) C C P general secretary since 2002 as well as president and head of military. Designated as future leader by Deng after masterminding suppression of unrest in Tibet in 1 9 8 9 .
Hu Yaobang ( 1 9 1 5 – 8 9 ) C C P general secretary and reform advocate unseated by conservatives in 1 9 8 7 . His death in 1989 led to demonstrations that grew into the Tiananmen protests.
Hu Zongnan (The Eagle of the North-West) ( 1 8 9 6 – 1 9 6 2 ) K M T general who suffered series of defeats at hands of P L A before becoming the last commander to cross to Taiwan in 1 9 5 0 .
Hua Guofeng ( 1 9 2 1 – ) C C P chairman 1 9 7 6 – 8 1 . Mao’s designated successor, trumped by Deng.
Huang Jinrong (Pockmarked Huang) ( 1 8 6 7 / 8 – 1 9 5 1 ) Green Gang boss in Shanghai while also senior Chinese detective in French Concession. Executed under the Communists.
Huang Xing ( 1 8 7 4 – 1 9 1 6 ) Leading late-Qing revolutionary. Sun Yat-sen’s deputy in 1 9 1 2 .
Hurley, Patrick ( 1 8 8 3 – 1 9 6 3 ) US ambassador who brought Chiang and Mao together in 1 9 4 5

Jiang Qing (Madame Mao) ( 1 9 1 4 – 1 9 9 1 ) Leading figure in Gang of Four during C R . Arrested after Mao’s death, she hanged herself fifteen years later.
Jiang Zemin ( 1 9 2 6 – ) C C P general secretary ( 1 9 8 9 – 2 0 0 2 ) , state president and head of the military. Presided over China’s boom.
Jung-lu ( 1 8 3 6 – 1 9 0 3 ) Manchu military commander. Had been betrothed to Dowager Empress.

Kang Sheng ( 1 8 9 8 – 1 9 7 5 ) C C P secret police chief and member of the Gang of Four in C R .
Kang Youwei ( 1 8 5 8 – 1 9 2 7 ) Reform propagandist of the Hundred Days of 1898 who was less important than he made out subsequently.
Kong Xiangxi (H. H. Kung) ( 1 8 8 1 – 1 9 6 7 ) Nationalist prime minister, finance minister, banker. Husband of Ailing Soong.
Kuai Dafu ( 1 9 4 5 – ) Beijing student and Red Guard leader.

Lao She ( 1 8 9 9 – 1 9 6 6 ) Leading Beijing writer. Tortured by Red Guards, he was either murdered by them or committed suicide because of the harassment.
Lee Teng-hui ( 1 9 2 3 – ) President of Taiwan and K M T chairman 1 9 8 8 – 2 0 0 0 . Implemented democratic reforms and backed the island’s autonomy.
Li Hongzhang ( 1 8 2 3 – 1 9 0 1 ) Leading ‘Self-Strengthener’. Pioneered industry and acted as Qing negotiator with foreigners.
Li Lisan ( 1 8 9 9 – 1 9 6 7 ) C C P leader 1 9 3 0 – 3 1 . Labour minister in P R C . Tortured and died in CR.
Li Peng ( 1 9 2 8 – ) Prime minister 1 9 8 7 – 9 8 . Conservative who backed use of force against 1989 protests.
Li Xiannian ( 1 9 0 9 – 9 2 ) Early economic reformer. P R C president 1 9 8 3 – 8 . Then C P P CC president. Immortal.
Li Yuanhong ( 1 8 6 4 – 1 9 2 8 ) Gentry general. President of the Republic 1 9 1 6 – 1 7 and 1 9 2 2 – 3 after heading revolution in Hubei in 1 9 1 1 .
Li Zhisui ( 1 9 1 9 – 9 5 ) Mao’s doctor. Wrote warts-and-all portrait of the Chairman after moving to US.
Li Zongren ( 1 8 9 0 – 1 9 6 9 ) Leader of Guangxi Clique who feuded over two decades with Chiang. Briefly president of the Republic before fall of K M T regime.
Liang Qichao ( 1 8 7 3 – 1 9 2 9 ) Reformer and writer in Hundred Days of 1 8 9 8 .
Lin Biao ( 1 9 0 7 – 7 1 ) P L A general who led civil war campaign in the north. Promoted to number two in P R C during C R . Killed in plane crash fleeing China.
Liu Bocheng ( 1 8 9 2 – 1 9 8 6 ) One-eyed P L A marshal and L M chief of staff. In 1 9 4 8 – 9 , his army helped win the key Huai-Hai battle. Deng’s saying about the colour of a cat not mattering came from Liu.
Liu Shaoqi ( 1 8 9 8 – 1 9 6 9 ) Mao Zedong’s deputy in the P R C till hounded to death in C R .
Long Yun ( 1 8 8 4 – 1 9 6 2 ) Warlord of Yunnan 1 9 2 7 – 4 5 . Later held posts under Communists.
Lu Xun ( 1 8 8 1 – 1 9 3 6 ) One of China’s greatest twentieth-century writers. His Story of Ah Q stands as a telling allegory for the state of the nation.

Mao Zedong ( 1 8 9 3 – 1 9 7 6 ) C C P leader who gained supremacy on L M . Founder of P R C . Responsible for tens of millions of deaths.
Marshall, George ( 1 8 8 0 – 1 9 59) U S Army chief of staff in Second World War sent on fruitless mission to resolve China’s divisions in 1 9 4 6 . Future secretary of state.

Nie Yuanzi ( 1 9 2 1 – ) Beijing University official who put up first big-character poster of C R .

Peng Dehuai ( 1 8 9 8 – 1 9 7 4 ) Communist commander, L M veteran and P R C defence minister. Purged by Mao after opposing GLF.
Peng Zhen ( 1 9 0 2 – 9 7 ) . C C P boss of Beijing before being purged by Mao. Immortal. Rehabilitated under Deng.
Puyi ( 1 9 0 6 – 6 7 ) . Last emperor of China. Made puppet ruler of Manchukuo by Japanese and underwent re-education under the P R C , ending life as a gardener.

Qiao Shi ( 1 9 2 4 – ) Prominent C C P politician in 1980s and 1990s. Head of security apparatus, and then chairman of N P C .
Qiu Jin ( 1 8 7 5 – 1 9 0 7 ) Revolutionary heroine against late Qing. Executed after failed rising.

Snow, Edgar ( 1 9 0 5 – 7 2 ) American journalist chosen to have first interview with Mao and put the C C P on the map with book Red Star over China.
Song Jiaoren ( 1 8 8 2 – 1 9 1 3 ) K M T politician. Masterminded election victory in 1 9 1 2 – 1 3 but was assassinated before he could claim premiership.
Song Renqiong ( 1 9 0 9 – 2 0 0 5 ) P L A commander and Central Committee member. Vice-chair of C P P C C . Immortal.
Soong Ailing ( 1 8 9 0 – 1 9 7 3 ) Eldest Soong sister. Wife of H. H. Kong, known for her love of money.
Soong Meiling (Madame Chiang Kai-shek) ( 1 8 9 7 – 2 0 0 3 ) Youngest Soong sister. Married Chiang in 1 9 2 7 , and became main foreign spokesperson for K M T regime.
Soong Qingling (Madame Sun Yat-sen) ( 1 8 9 3 – 1 9 8 1 ) Middle Soong sister. Married Sun Yat-sen. Backed the left and held state post in P R C .
Soong Tzu-wen (T. V . Soong) ( 1 8 9 4 – 1 9 7 1 ) Senior member of Soong dynasty. Businessman, banker, prime minister, finance minister and foreign minister under Nationalists.
Stilwell, Joseph (Vinegar Joe) ( 1 8 8 3 – 1 9 4 6 ) US adviser to Nationalists in Second World War. Recalled after violent disagreements.
Sun Zhuanfeng ( 1 8 8 5 – 1 9 3 5 ) East China warlord in 1920s. Defeated by Nationalists.
Sun Yat-sen ( 1 8 6 6 – 1 9 2 5 ) Revolutionary and first president of the Republic. ‘Father of the Republic’ and K M T founder. Political philosophy was based on the Three Principles of the People – nationalism, democracy and the people’s livelihood.

Tan Sitong ( 1 8 6 5 – 1 8 9 8 ) Reformist martyr. After joining the Hundred Days of 1 8 9 8 , he refused to flee and was executed.
Tan Yankai ( 1 8 7 6 – 1 9 3 0 ) Revolutionary chief of Hunan and early K M T ally who became prominent figure in Nationalist governments.
Tang Enbo ( 1 8 9 8 – 1 9 5 4 ) K M T general and Chiang loyalist badly defeated by Japanese. Commander in Shanghai in 1949, he organized the removal of troops and treasure to Taiwan.
Tang Shengzhi ( 1 8 8 9 – 1 9 7 0 ) Hunan warlord who joined K M T on Northern Expedition. Named to defend Nanjing in 1 9 3 7 , he fled before the massacre.
Tung Chee-hwa (C. H. Tung) ( 1 9 3 7 – ) First chief executive of Hong Kong after its return to China in 1 9 9 7 . Avuncular shipping magnate, he failed to win popularity and resigned in 2005.

Wang Dan ( 1 9 6 9 – ) Leading student activist in Tiananmen protest of 1989. Imprisoned before being exiled to the US in 1 9 9 8 .
Wang Guangmei ( 1 9 2 1 – 2 0 0 6 ) Wife of Liu Shaoqi, detested by Madame Mao. Persecuted by Red Guards and imprisoned. Released in 1 9 7 9 , she headed bodies to fight poverty and help mothers.
Wang Hongwen ( 1 9 3 6 – 1 9 9 2 ) . Youngest member of the Gang of Four. Shanghai labour organizer favoured by Mao for a time as his successor. Sentenced to life imprisonment after fall of Gang.
Wang Jingwei ( 1 8 8 3 – 1 9 4 4 ) Sinuous, pomaded K M T politician. Lost out repeatedly to Chiang. Ended up heading collaborationist regime with Japanese.
Wang Ming ( 1 9 0 4 – 7 4 ) Moscow-aligned C C P leader bested by Mao.
Wang Zhen (Big Cannon) ( 1 9 0 8 – 9 3 ) Hardline C C P elder and scourge of ‘bourgeois liberalization’. Immortal.
Wei Jingsheng ( 1 9 5 0 – ) Leading democracy activist. Imprisoned for treason 1 9 7 9 – 9 3 a n a” again until 1 9 9 7 before being deported to the United States.
Wen Jiabao ( 1 9 4 2 – ) Prime minister since 2003. Visited Tiananmen students with Zhao Ziyang but saved from retribution by administrative skills. Went on to work with Zhu Rongji.
Weng Tonghe ( 1 8 3 0 – 1 9 0 4 ) Imperial tutor and major official at court before being abruptly dismissed by emperor during Hundred Days reform in 1 8 9 8 .
Wu Peifu (The Philosopher General) ( c . 1 8 7 4 – 1 9 3 9 ) Warlord in Central China in 1920s. Drank heavily. Defeated by K M T Northern Expedition.
Wuerkaixi ( 1 9 6 8 – ) Student leader in 1 9 8 9 . Escaped after Massacre to settle in Taiwan.

Xiang Ying ( c . 1 8 9 5 – 1 9 4 1 ) Political leader of Communist New Fourth Army killed by a member of his staff after showdown with Nationalists.
Xue Yue ( 1 8 9 6 – 1 9 9 8 ) Leading Nationalist general who fought successfully against C C P and Japanese.

Yakub Beg ( 1 8 2 0 – 7 7 ) Muslim nineteenth-century rebel. Set up independent state in Xinjiang. Defeated by Chinese army, he committed suicide.
Yan Xishan (The Model Governor) ( 1 8 8 3 – i 9 6 0 ) Warlord of Shanxi. Survived for more than two decades before fleeing in 1 9 4 9 to Taiwan, where he became prime minister.
Yang Hucheng ( 1 8 9 3 – 1 9 4 9 ) Shaanxi warlord. With Zhang Xueliang, detained Chiang in Xi’an in 1 9 3 6 . Imprisoned, he was executed as K M T regime fell in 1 9 4 9 .
Yang Shangkun ( 1 9 0 7 – 9 8 ) P R C president 1 9 8 8 – 9 3 . Immortal. Close to Deng.
Yao Wenyuan ( 1 9 3 1 – 2 0 0 5 ) Writer and member of Gang of Four. Jailed for twenty years in 1 9 8 1 .
Ye Jianying ( 1 8 9 7 – 1 9 8 6 ) P L A general and defence minister. Led coup against Gang of Four.
Ye Ting ( 1 8 9 6 – 1 9 4 6 ) Head of Communist regiment on Northern Expedition who became commander of N ew Fourth Army. Jailed by Nationalists in 1 9 4 1 . Died in plane crash.
Yuan Shikai ( 1 8 5 9 – 1 9 1 6 ) Ambitious, able late imperial general. Forced the Qing to abdicate in 1 9 1 2 , and took power in the early republic, briefly proclaiming himself emperor.

Zeng Guofan ( 1 8 1 1 – 7 2 ) Confucian organizer of resistance to the Taiping who reflected shift of power from dynasty to gentry.
Zhang Chunqiao ( 1 9 1 7 – 2 0 0 5 ) Member of Gang of Four. Organized Shanghai Commune in 1 9 6 7 . Sentenced to death in 1 9 8 1 , but this was commuted to life imprisonment.
Zhang Guotao ( 1 8 9 7 – 1 9 7 9 ) Founding C C P member and leader of big base. His army joined up with Mao’s on the L M . The two fell out, and Zhang defected to the Nationalists, before going to Canada, where he died.
Zhang Wentian ( 1 9 0 0 – 1 9 7 6 ) L M veteran. C C P general secretary 1 9 3 5 – 4 5 . Persecuted in L M and C R .
Zhang Xueliang (The Young Marshal) ( 1 9 0 1 – 2 0 0 1 ) Drug addict, he succeeded his father as warlord of Manchuria, allied with K M T , only to be driven out by Japanese. Kidnapped Chiang at Xi’an in 1 9 3 6 , and spent next fifty years as political prisoner.
Zhang Xun ( 1 8 5 4 – 1 9 2 3 ) Qing loyalist general who tried to restore the empire.
Zhang Zongchang (The Dogmeat General) ( 1 8 8 1 – 1 9 3 2 ) Shandong warlord known for his violence and wanton ways. Defeated by Nationalists, he was killed by the son of one of his many victims.
Zhang Zuolin (The Old Marshal) (1873 – 1928 ) Epitome of old-style warlord. Ran Manchuria in 1920s and expanded across north China. Assassinated by Japanese.
Zhao Ziyang ( 1919 – 2005 ) Reformist prime minister 1980 – 87 and C C P general secretary 1987 – 9 . Deposed for sympathies towards 1 9 8 9 protestors. Under house arrest for last fifteen years of his life.
Zhou Enlai ( 1898 – 1976 ) Mao’s urbane servitor. Prime minister and foreign minister under PRC. The regime’s main negotiator with the West.
Zhu De ( 1886 – 1976 ) Military commander at Jiangxi base before undertaking L M . P L A chief. Attacked in C R .
Zhu Rongji ( 1928 – ) Prime minister and ‘economic tsar’ 1998 – 2003 .

Source: Jonathan Fenby, Modern China: The Fall and Rise of A Great Power, 1850 to the Present

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