Li Dequan
Minister of Health of the People's Republic of China
In office
19 October 1949 – 4 January 1964
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byQian Xinzhong
Personal details
Born(1896-08-09)August 9, 1896
Tongzhou, Shuntian Prefecture, Zhili, China
(now Tongzhou District, Beijing, China)
Died23 April 1972(1972-04-23) (aged 75)
Beijing, China
Political partyChinese Communist Party
(m. 1924; died 1948)

Li Dequan (Li Teh-Chuan[1] Chinese: 李德全; 1896–1972) was the first Minister of Health of the People's Republic of China from 1949 to 1965.[2][3]


Li was born in Tong County, Beijing. In her early years, she would take part in pro-democracy campaigns. Dequan later graduated from the Methodist Women's College and worked as a pastor's assistant at a Congregational church.[4][5] She was married to Feng Yuxiang in 1924. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, she organized the "War-time Children Fostering Commission" and served as vice chairman. After the war, she founded All-China Women's Federation and became its chairman. In January 1948, she was elected central executive member of Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang. She joined the Chinese Communist Party in December 1958.[citation needed] She was elected to serve on the Executive Council of the Women's International Democratic Federation in 1948,[6] and re-elected in 1953.[7]

After the formation of the People's Republic of China, Li was appointed the first Minister of Health of the PRC central government and she supported legalization of abortion.[8][9] She also served as chairman of the Red Cross Society of China. Her other posts included vice chairman of the China-USSR Friendship Association, member of the Commission of Culture and Education of the State Council, vice chairman of the China National Sports Commission, and vice chairman of the China People's National Commission of Children Protection.[citation needed]

Li also served as a standing committee member of 1st to 3rd Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and vice chairman of 4th CPPCC.

She died in Beijing in 1972.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Le parti communiste chinois au pouvoir. Payot. 1979. ISBN 9782228335904.
  2. ^ Lee, Lily Xiao Hong; Stefanowska, A. D.; Wiles, Sue (1998). Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women. M.E. Sharpe. p. 302. ISBN 978-0-7656-0798-0.
  3. ^ Medical Transitions in Twentieth-Century China. Indiana University Press. 14 August 2014. ISBN 9780253014948.
  4. ^ Mao's Prey: The History of Chen Renbing, Liberal Intellectual. Routledge. 28 January 2016. ISBN 9781317775614.
  5. ^ Who was Who in the People's Republic of China: With more than 3100 Portraits. Walter de Gruyter. 18 June 2012. ISBN 9783110968231.
  6. ^ Joliot-Curie, Irène, ed. (1949). Second Women's International Congress WIDF 1948 (Report) (1st ed.). Paris, Ile-de-France: Women's International Democratic Federation. Retrieved 2 November 2023. – via ASP: Women and Social Movements (subscription required)
  7. ^ "Executive Committee of the Women's International Democratic Federation". As One! For Equality, For Happiness, For Peace (Report). East Berlin, East Germany: Women's International Democratic Federation. 1953. pp. 264–265. Retrieved 23 November 2023. – via ASP: Women and Social Movements (subscription required)
  8. ^ Contemporary China: Economic and Social Studies, Translations, Documents, Chronology, Bibliography, Indexes. Hong Kong University Press. 1956.
  9. ^ Governing China's Population: From Leninist to Neoliberal Biopolitics. Stanford University Press. 2005. ISBN 9780804748803.