Biography

Sunzi (Sūnzǐ 孙子)

John G. BLAIR and Jerusha McCORMACK Sunzi, a military strategist said to have flourished during China’s chaotic Warring States period, is known for a work attributed to him usually translated as The Art of War. During a time when 600,000 men could participate in a single battle, strategy became paramount for a state’s survival; Sunzi reserved his highest praise for […]

SOONG Mei-ling (Sòng Meilíng 宋美龄)

SOONG Mei-ling (Sòng Meilíng 宋美龄)

Winberg CHAI Eleanor Roosevelt and Soong May-ling, wife of Chiang Kai-shek. Madame Chiang was one of the most public proponents of the New Life Movement, which was designed by Chiang to improve the customs and social habits of the dispirited Chinese people. As the threat of Japanese invasion loomed in 1936, and the movement was in decline, Chiang turned over […]

SNOW Edgar Parks (Aìdéjiā Pàkèsī Sīnuò 埃德加帕克斯斯诺)

Cecilia Siu-Wah POON and Craig RICHARDS The work of Edgar Parks Snow helped promote normalization of the U.S.-China relationship. As a journalist, Snow is known as the first and last foreign journalist to interview Chinese leader Mao Zedong. As an author, Snow is recognized for his book Red Star over China, which gave insight into the Chinese Communist Party and […]

Tang Taizong (Táng Tàizōng 唐太宗)

Tang Taizong (Táng Tàizōng 唐太宗)

Lily HWA Detail of the painting Emperor Taizong Receiving Tibetan Envoy by Yan Liben. Ink and color on silk. In foreign affairs Taizong preferred forming alliances and winning allegiance through the appeal of fair and kind treatment. THE PALACE MUSEUM, BEIJING. Emperor Taizong of the Tang dynasty was a benevolent ruler who created perhaps the greatest administration in Chinese history. […]

WEN Jiabao (Wēn Jiābǎo 温家宝)

Wendell ANDERSON Wen Jiabao, who began his second five-year term as premier in 2008, is a respected leader because of his managerial abilities and a popular figure because of his common-man approach to political and social issues. Following the deadly Sichuan earthquake of 2008, he emerged as the compassionate face of the Chinese government. Wen Jiabao was born of Han […]

ZHAO Ziyang (Zhào Zǐyáng 赵紫阳)

ZHAO Ziyang (Zhào Zǐyáng 赵紫阳)

Kirk W. LARSEN Many events have been held in the world’s largest public square, but it is the student protests of June 1989, when Zhao Ziyang supported and then tried to calm those camped in the Square, that continue to resonant. PHOTO BY JOAN LEBOLD COHEN. Zhao Ziyang was a leading economic reformer of the People’s Republic of China in […]

DENG Xiaoping (Dèng Xiǎopíng 邓小平)

DENG Xiaoping (Dèng Xiǎopíng 邓小平)

Kerry BROWN Chinese vice premier Deng Xiaoping applauds as President Jimmy Carter stands behind a podium at the White House, Washington, D.C. 29 January 1979. U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS PRINTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS DIVISION WASHINGTON, D.C. Deng Xiaoping survived upheavals in the Chinese Communist Party and in his own career to become the paramount […]

LIN Biao (Lín Biāo 林彪)

LIN Biao (Lín Biāo 林彪)

Charles DOBBS Lin Biao addresses the Peking (Beijing) celebration rally in 1966. UNKNOWN PHOTOGRAPHER. Lin Biao was a military leader of the Chinese Communist forces and a propagandist for Mao Zedong. He died under mysterious circumstances in a plane crash in 1971; the plane was headed to Russia, where it was said he intended to defect. He was tried posthumously […]

JIANG Zemin (Jiāng Zémín 江泽民)

JIANG Zemin (Jiāng Zémín 江泽民)

Colin MACKERRAS Jiang Zemin at the Fortune 500 Forum, Shanghai, during the 50th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, 1999. PHOTO BY JOAN LEBOLD COHEN. Jiang Zemin succeeded Deng Xiaoping as the paramount leader of China in the 1990s and continued to pursue economic reforms and improved relations with the West into the twenty-first century. He served as General […]

ZHU De (Zhū Dé 朱德)

ZHU De (Zhū Dé 朱德)

Keith A. LEITICH Portrait of Marshal Zhu De, one of the leaders of the Long March. COURTESY OF PAUL AND BERNICE NOLL. Zhu De founded the Red Army. Under his command the Red Army undertook the Long March to Shaanxi Province. During the War of Resistance against Japan (1937–1945, known outside China as the Second Sino-Japanese War) Zhu commanded the […]