Cheng Zihua
程子华
Cheng Zihua
Vice Chairperson of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
In office
September 1980 – April 1988
ChairmanDeng Xiaoping
Deng Yingchao
Minister of Civil Affairs of the People's Republic of China
In office
February 1978 – March 1982
PremierHua Guofeng
Zhao Ziyang
Preceded byNew title
Succeeded byCui Naifu
Minister of Commerce of the People's Republic of China
In office
11 September 1958 – 18 February 1960
PremierZhou Enlai
Preceded byChen Yun
Succeeded byYao Yilin
Communist Party Secretary of Shanxi
In office
August 1949 – February 1951
Preceded byNew title
Succeeded byLai Ruoyu
Governor of Shanxi
In office
August 1949 – February 1951
Preceded byNew title
Succeeded byPei Lisheng
Personal details
Born(1905-06-20)20 June 1905
Xiezhou [zh], Shanxi, Qing Empire
Died30 March 1991(1991-03-30) (aged 85)
Beijing, People's Republic of China
Political partyChinese Communist Party
SpouseZhang Hui
Children2
Alma materRepublic of China Military Academy
Military service
Allegiance People's Republic of China
Branch/service People's Liberation Army Ground Force
Years of service1926–1950
RankArmy group commander (Equivalent to Senior general)
Battles/warsSecond Sino-Japanese War
Chinese Civil War
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese

Cheng Zihua (Chinese: 程子华; June 20, 1905 – March 30, 1991) was a People's Republic of China politician and military general.[1] He was born in Yuncheng, Shanxi Province. He was the 1st Chinese Communist Party Committee Secretary and governor of his home province. He was a delegate to the 3rd (1964-1975), 4th (1975-1978) and 5th (1978-1983) National People's Congress. Cheng was an important part of the Third Front campaign to develop basic and national defense industry in China's interior.

Career

Early career

At 21 years old in 1927, Cheng joined the Communist Party.[2]: 98  He participated in Jiangxi Soviet, was part of the Long March, and fought against Japan during the Second-Sino Japanese War and against the Nationalists during the on-going Chinese Civil War.[2]: 98 

1949 and after

In 1949, Cheng became the Party Secretary of Shanxi.[2]: 98  He later served as Minister of Commerce and Vice Director of the Planning Commission.[2]: 98 

Third Front construction

Cheng strongly supported the Third Front campaign to develop basic industry and national defense industry in China's interior.[2]: 97  Cheng wrote in his memoirs, "Preparing for war was absolutely necessary" because (1) the United States "had launched a war of aggression against Vietnam at our southern border" and (2) because of increasing Soviet hostility towards China, "the situation at our northern border was very tense.."[2]: 97  In Cheng's ultimate evaluation, the Third Front was a major success because it had rectified "the almost total lack of industry in the interior" which had existed before 1949 and persisted into the 1960s.[2]: 97 

As part of his work on the Third Front, Cheng led an investigative team that conducted regional surveys to start preparations for the Chengdu-Kunming railroad and industrial complexes near Panzhihua, Liupanshui, and Chongqing.[2]: 125  Cheng first visited Panzhihua in mid-1964 when only eight households lived there.[2]: 170  In his memoirs, Cheng highlights Panzhihua's suitability for a strategic industrial rear because its "lofty mountains and steep hills" would make it difficult for enemy infantry to access or for enemy airplanes to bomb.[2]: 170 

Before beginning to conduct the surveys, Cheng led the team to study Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai's comments on the Third Front in order to emphasize the importance of the Third Front campaign;[2]: 125–126  Cheng also led the team in discussion sessions focused on Mao's texts On Practice, On Contradiction, and Oppose Book Worship in a further effort to build ideological cohesion among the team.[2]: 126 

References

  1. ^ Cheng Zihua Archived 2016-10-16 at the Wayback Machine Beijing Review
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Meyskens, Covell F. (2020). Mao's Third Front: The Militarization of Cold War China. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108784788. ISBN 978-1-108-78478-8. OCLC 1145096137. S2CID 218936313.
Party political offices New title Communist Party Secretary of Shanxi 1949–1951 Succeeded byLai Ruoyu Government offices New title Governor of Shanxi 1949–1951 Succeeded byPei Lisheng Preceded byChen Yun Minister of Commerce of the People's Republic of China 1958–1960 Succeeded byYao Yilin New title Minister of Civil Affairs of the People's Republic of China 1978–1982 Succeeded byCui Naifu Military offices New title Commander of Shanxi Military District 1949–1950 Succeeded byXiao Wenjiu [zh] Political Commissar of Shanxi Military District 1949–1950 Succeeded byLai Ruoyu