Zhu De
Marshal Zhu De (1955)
2nd Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
In office
April 28, 1959 – July 6, 1976
Presidentabolished (since 1975)
Preceded byLiu Shaoqi
Succeeded bySoong Ching-ling (acting)
Head of State of the People's Republic of China
as Chairman of the NPCSC
In office
January 17, 1975 – July 6, 1976
PremierZhou Enlai
Hua Guofeng
LeaderMao Zedong
Preceded byDong Biwu (as acting chairman of the PRC)
Succeeded bySoong Ching-ling (acting)
1st Vice Chairman of the People's Republic of China
In office
September 27, 1954 – April 27, 1959
ChairmanMao Zedong
Succeeded bySoong Ching-ling and Dong Biwu
Vice Chairman of the Communist Party of China
In office
28 September 1956 – 1 August 1966
ChairmanMao Zedong
Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
In office
November, 1949 – March, 1955
Preceded byLi Weihan
Succeeded byDong Biwu
Commander-in-Chief of the People's Liberation Army
In office
November 28, 1946 – September 27, 1954
Preceded bypost established
Succeeded bypost abolished
Personal details
Born(1886-12-01)1 December 1886
Yilong County, Sichuan Province, Qing dynasty China
Died6 July 1976(1976-07-06) (aged 89)
Beijing, China
Political party Communist Party of China
Xiao Jufang
(m. 1912; death 1916)

Chen Yuzhen
(m. 1916; death 1935)

Wu Ruolan
(m. 1928; death 1929)

(m. 1929)
ChildrenZhu Qi
Zhu Min
Awards Order of Victory of Resistance against Aggression (1945)
Order of August the First (1st Class Medal) (1955)
Order of Independence and Freedom (1st Class Medal) (1955)
Order of Liberation (1st Class Medal) (1955)
Military service
Allegiance Communist Party of China
 People's Republic of China
Branch/service People's Liberation Army
Eighth Route Army
Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army
National Revolutionary Army
Yunnan clique
Years of service1927–1976
Rank Marshal of the People's Republic of China
General of the National Revolutionary Army, Republic of China
Battles/warsNorthern Expedition, Chinese Civil War (Encirclement Campaigns, Long March), Second Sino-Japanese War (Hundred Regiments Offensive)

Template:Chinese name

Zhu De
Courtesy name: Yujie

Zhu De (Chu Teh; Chinese: 朱德; pinyin: Zhū Dé; pronounced [ʈʂú tɤ̌]; 1 December 1886 – 6 July 1976) was a Chinese general, warlord, politician, revolutionary and one of the pioneers of the Communist Party of China. Born poor in 1886 in Sichuan, he was adopted by a wealthy uncle at age nine; this prosperity provided him a superior early education that led to his admission into a military academy. After his time at the academy, he joined a rebel army and soon became a warlord. It was after this period that he adopted communism. He ascended through the ranks of the Chinese Red Army as it closed in on securing the nation. By the time China was under Mao's control, Zhu was a high-ranking official within the Communist Party of China. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the Eighth Route Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. In 1955 he became one of the Ten Marshals of the People's Liberation Army, of which he is regarded as the principal founder. Zhu remained a prominent political figure until his death in 1976. As the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress from 1975-76, Zhu was the head of state of the People's Republic of China.


Early life

Zhu was born on December 18, 1886, to a poor tenant farmer's family in Hung, a town in Yilong County, a hilly and isolated part of northern Sichuan province.[1] Of the 15 children born to the family only eight survived. His family relocated to Sichuan during the migration from Hunan province and Guangdong province.[2][3][4] His origins are often given as Hakka, but Agnes Smedley's biography of him says his people came from Guangdong and speaks of Hakka as merely associates of his.[5] She also says that older generations of his family had spoken the "Kwangtung dialect" (which would be close to but probably different from modern Cantonese) and that his generation also spoke the "Szechwan dialect" Sichuanese, a distinct regional variant of Southwest Mandarin that is unintelligible to other speakers of Standard Chinese (Mandarin).[6]

In spite of the family's poverty, by pooling resources Zhu was chosen to be sent to a regional private school in 1892. At age nine he was adopted by his prosperous uncle, whose political influence allowed him to gain access to Yunnan Military Academy.[7] Before the suspension of imperial examinations in 1906, he attained the rank of Xiucai, which allowed him to qualify as a civil servant.[8][9] He enrolled in a Sichuan high school around 1907 and graduated in 1908. Subsequently, he returned to Yilong's primary school as a gym instructor. An advocate of modern science and political teaching rather than the strict classical education afforded by schools, he was dismissed from his post[4] and entered the Yunnan Military Academy in Kunming. There he joined the Beiyang Army and the Tongmenghui secret political society (the forerunner of the Kuomintang).[10]

Nationalism and Warlordism

Zhu De on horseback.

It was at the Yunnan Military Academy in Kunming that he first met Cai E (Tsai Ao).[11] He taught at the Academy after his graduation in July 1911.[12] Siding with the revolutionary forces after the Chinese Revolution, he joined Brig. Cai E in the October 1911 expeditionary force that marched on Qing forces in Sichuan. He served as a regimental commander in the campaign to unseat Yuan Shikai in 1915-16. When Cai became governor of Sichuan after Yuan's death in June 1916, Zhu was made a brigade commander.[13]

Following the death of his mentor Cai E (November 1916) and of his first wife, Zhu developed a severe opium habit that afflicted him until 1922, when he underwent treatment in Shanghai.[14] His troops continued to support him, and so he consolidated his forces to become a warlord. In 1920, after his troops were driven from Sichuan toward the Tibetan border, he returned to Yunnan as a public security commissioner of the provincial government. Around this time he decided to leave China for study in Europe.[15] He first traveled to Shanghai, where he broke his opium habit and, according to historians of the Kuomintang, met Dr. Sun Yat-sen.[8] He attempted to join the Chinese Communist Party in early 1922, but was rejected due to his being a warlord.[16]

Converting to Communism

Zhu De in 1916.

In late 1922 Zhu went to Berlin, along with his partner He Zhihua. He resided in Germany until 1925, studying at one point at Göttingen University.[17] Here he met Zhou Enlai and was expelled from Germany for his role in a number of student protests.[18] Around this time he joined the Communist Party of China; Zhou Enlai was one of his sponsors (having sponsors being a condition of probationary membership, the stage before actual membership).[19] In July 1925, after being expelled from Germany, he traveled to the Soviet Union to study military affairs and Marxism at the Communist University of the Toilers of the East. While in Moscow He Zhihua gave birth to his only daughter, Zhu Min.[20] Zhu returned to China in July 1926 to unsuccessfully persuade Sichuan warlord Yang Sen to support the Northern Expedition.[17]

In 1927, following the collapse of the First United Front, Kuomintang authorities ordered Zhu to lead a force against Zhou Enlai and Liu Bocheng's Nanchang Uprising.[17] Having helped orchestrate the uprising, Zhu and his army defected from the Kuomintang.[citation needed] The uprising failed to gather support, however, and Zhu was forced to flee Nanchang with his army. Under the false name of Wang Kai, Zhu managed to find shelter for his remaining forces by joining warlord Fan Shisheng.[citation needed] He was soon named head of a new First United Front military institute in Nanchang.[citation needed]


Zhu (second from right) photographed with Mao, Zhou Enlai (second from left) and Bo Gu (left).

Zhu's close affiliation with Mao Zedong began in 1928 when, under the assistance of Chen Yi and Lin Biao, Zhu defected from Fan Shisheng's protection and marched his army of 10,000 men to Jiangxi and the Jinggang Mountains.[21] Here Mao had formed a soviet in 1927, and Zhu began building up his army into the Red Army, consolidating and expanding the Soviet areas of control.[22]

Zhu's leadership made him a figure of immense prestige; locals even credited him with supernatural abilities.[23] During this time Mao and Zhu became so closely connected that to the local peasant farmers they were known collectively as "Zhu-Mao" (homophonic to 猪毛, or pig's pelage).[24][25]

In 1929 Zhu and Mao were forced to flee Jinggangshan to Ruijin following Kuomintang military pressure.[26] Here they formed the Jiangxi Soviet, which would eventually grow to cover some 30,000 square kilometers (11,584 square miles) and include some three million people.[27] In 1931 Zhu was appointed leader of the Red Army in Ruijin by the CPC leadership.[28] He successfully led a conventional military force against the Kuomintang in the lead-up to the Fourth Counter Encirclement Campaign;[29] However, he was not able to do the same during the Fifth Counter Encirclement Campaign and the CPC fled.[30] Zhu helped form the 1934 break-out that began the Long March.[31]

Red Army leader

1940 Zhu De in Yan'an.
Chinese communist Red Army leader Zhu De.
Zhu De with David D. Barrett of the Dixie Mission.

During the Long March Zhu and Zhou Enlai organized certain battles in tandem. There were few positive effects since the real power was in the hands of Bo Gu and Otto Braun. In the Zunyi Conference, Zhu supported Mao Zedong’s criticisms of Bo and Braun.[32] After the conference, Zhu cooperated with Mao and Zhou on military affairs. In July 1935 Zhu and Liu Bocheng were with the Fourth Red Army while Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai with the First Red Army.[33][34] When separation between the two divisions occurred, Zhu was forced by Zhang Guotao, the leader of Fourth Red Army, to go south.[35] The Fourth Red Army barely survived the retreat through Sichuan Province. Arriving in Yan'an, Zhu directed the reconstruction of the Red Army under the political guidance of Mao.[36]

During the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War, he held the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Red Army[37] and, in 1940, Zhu, alongside Peng Dehuai, devised and organized the Hundred Regiments Offensive. Initially, Mao supported this offensive.[38] While a successful campaign, Mao later attributed it as the main provocation for the devastating Japanese Three Alls Policy later and used it to criticize Peng at the Lushan Conference.[39]

Later life

In 1949 Zhu was named Commander-in-Chief of the People's Liberation Army (PLA);it is in this way posterity regards him as a principal founder of the PLA.[40] He also served as the Vice-Chairman of the Communist Party (1956–1966) and Vice-Chairman of the People's Republic of China (1954–1959).[41] Zhu oversaw the PLA during the Korean War within his authority as Commander-in-Chief.[42] In 1955, he was conferred to the rank of marshal.[43] At the Lushan Conference, he tried to protect Peng Dehuai, by giving some mild criticisms of Peng; rather than denouncing him, he merely gently reproofed his targeted comrade, who was a target of Mao Zedong. Mao wasn't satisfied with Zhu De's behavior.[44] After the conference, Zhu was dismissed from vice chairmen of Central Military Commission, not in least part due to his loyalty for the fallen Peng.[37]

In April 1969, during the summit of the Cultural Revolution, Zhu was dismissed from his position on the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, and the activity of the National People's Congress was halted.[45] However, due to the support of Zhou Enlai, he was not harmed or imprisoned.[citation needed] In August 1969, Lin Biao issued a command that dispatched important martial figures to distant areas due to the tension between China and Soviet Union, and Zhu De was driven to Guangzhou.[citation needed] In 1973 Zhu was reinstated in the Standing Committee.[46]

He continued to be a prominent elder statesman until his death[how?] on 6 July 1976.[47] His passing came six months after the death of Zhou Enlai,[48] and just two months before the death of Mao Zedong.[49] Zhu was cremated three days later, and received a funeral days afterwards.[50][51] During a "Strike Hard" anti-crime campaign in 1983, one of Zhu's grandsons, Guohua, was sentenced to death due to a rape conviction in Tianjin.[52]

Personal life


Zhu De was legally married four times, according to the unfinished biography written by Agnes Smedley, however there is no evidence of his marrying the mother of his only daughter.[53] His known relationships were with:



Chinese Soviet Republic
Red Star Medal (1st Class) (1933)
 Republic of China
Order of Victory of Resistance against Aggression (1945)
 People's Republic of China
Order of August the First (1st Class Medal) (1955)
Order of Independence and Freedom (1st Class Medal) (1955)
Order of Liberation (1st Class Medal) (1955)

See also



  1. ^ Snow, Edgar (1968). Red Star Over China. Grove Press. ISBN 978-0-8021-5093-6.
  2. ^ "朱德的祖籍家世". Archived from the original on 2014-10-09. ((cite web)): Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  3. ^ "朱德故乡成为客家文化发掘焦点".
  4. ^ a b "朱德《母亲的回忆》英译". 4 June 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  5. ^ Smedley, The Great Road, p. 14 and 23.
  6. ^ Smedley, The Great Road, p. 14
  7. ^ Mao.
  8. ^ a b "Zhu De". chineseposters.net.
  9. ^ Shum Kui-kwong, Zhu-De (Chu Teh), University of Queensland Press (St. Lucia: 1982), p. 2-3.
  10. ^ "The Manchu Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Internal Threats". Countries Quest. Retrieved 26 September 2011. Tongmenghui
  11. ^ Provincial Patriots.
  12. ^ "V26N2 - Personality Profile: Zhu De [Chu Teh]". mindef.gov.sg.
  13. ^ Shum Kui-kwong, Zhu-De (Chu Teh), University of Queensland Press (St. Lucia: 1982), p. 3-4.
  14. ^ Dictionary of Contemporary Chinese Military History.
  15. ^ Zhu De and his Marriages
  16. ^ Shum Kui-kwong, Zhu-De (Chu Teh), University of Queensland Press (St. Lucia: 1982), p. 4-5.
  17. ^ a b c William W. Whitson, Huang Chen-hsia, The Chinese High Command: A History of Communist Military Politics, 1927-1971, Praeger Publishers: New York, 1973, p. 30f.
  18. ^ Dictionary of Contemporary Chinese Military History.
  19. ^ 马玉佳. "The legacy of overseas study for China's early leaders: Zhu De". china.org.cn.
  20. ^ a b Wuyan xia guoke 屋檐下过客 (2 July 2014). "Zhu De di si ren qizi He Zhihua de xiachang 朱德第四任妻子贺治华的下场 [The part of Zhu De's fourth wife, He Zhihua]". 360doc. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  21. ^ Mao's Road to Power: From the Jinggangshan to the establishment of the ...
  22. ^ Daniel Morley. "The Chinese Communist Party 1927-37 – The development of Maoism – Part Six". In Defence of Marxism.
  23. ^ Zhu De Early History Profile
  24. ^ Bianco, Lucien (1957). Origins of the Chinese Revolution, 1915-1949. Stanford Press. p. 64, note 10.
  25. ^ http://chineseposters.net/themes/zhude.php Zhu De Biography
  26. ^ "Ruijin Revolutionary Memorial". chinaculture.org. Archived from the original on 2005-12-04. ((cite web)): Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  27. ^ "The Jiangxi Soviet". Chinese Revolution.
  28. ^ Mao's Road to Power - Revolutionary Writings, 1912-1949.
  29. ^ Dictionary of Contemporary Chinese Military History.
  30. ^ Mao.
  31. ^ "The Long March 1934 to 1935". historylearningsite.co.uk.
  32. ^ Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and the Evolution of the Chinese Communist Leadership.
  33. ^ New Fourth Army.
  34. ^ "Chinese Revolution". Chinese Revolution.
  35. ^ Battle of Baizhangguan Pass
  36. ^ CCTV Eyewitnesses to history: Yan'an
  37. ^ a b "Zhu De". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  38. ^ Biographical Dictionary of the People's Republic of China. ((cite book)): |website= ignored (help)
  39. ^ Mao Zedong as Poet and Revolutionary Leader.
  40. ^ Distant Water.
  41. ^ Zhu De Concurrent Positions[permanent dead link]
  42. ^ "Zhu De". Answers.com.
  43. ^ "Marshal of People's Liberation Army: Zhu De". chinadaily.com.cn.
  44. ^ Dictionary of Contemporary Chinese Military History.
  45. ^ "共产党新闻网—资料中心—历次党代会". people.com.cn.
  46. ^ 陈霞. "The Tenth National Congress (Aug. 1973)". china.org.cn.
  47. ^ "Zhu De Death". chinadaily.com.cn.
  48. ^ "Three Chinese Leaders: Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, and Deng Xiaoping - Asia for Educators - Columbia University". columbia.edu.
  49. ^ "BBC ON THIS DAY - 9 - 1976: Chairman Mao Zedong dies". bbc.co.uk.
  50. ^ Encyclopedia of Cremation.
  51. ^ http://politics.ntu.edu.tw/RAEC/comm2/InterviewItaly%20Sauro%20Angelini%20English.pdf Sauro Angelini Interview
  52. ^ "朱德儿媳妇:我儿子被判死刑(图) /向前进". boxun.com.
  53. ^ a b Chen 陈, Erpiao 贰飘 (ed.). "Zhou Enlai ceng xialing chujue Zhu De yuanpei He Zhihua 周恩来曾下令处决朱德原配贺治华 [Zhou Enlai once ordered the execution of Zhu De's original match He Zhihua]". Shuizhu Bainian 水煮百年. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  54. ^ a b c Chang 常, Xuemei 雪梅, ed. (14 July 2006). "Zhu De yu si wei nüxing de ganqing jingli 朱德与四位女性的感情经历 [The relationship experience of Zhu De with four women]". Zhongguo Gongchandang Xinwen 中国共产党新闻. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  55. ^ Smedley, The Great Road, p. 106
  56. ^ Smedley, The Great Road, p. 122 and 314
  57. ^ Smedley, The Great Road, p. 223-4
  58. ^ a b Chang 常, Xuemei 雪梅, ed. (14 July 2006). "Zhu De yu si wei nüxing de ganqing jingli(2) 朱德与四位女性的感情经历(2) [The relationship experience of Zhu De with four women, part 2]". Zhongguo GOngchandang Xinwen 中国共产党新闻. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  59. ^ Smedley, The Great Road, p. 272-3
  60. ^ wangjing (25 October 2015). "Zhu De yuanshuai de jianjie Zhude yuanshi you ji ge haizi 朱德元师的简介 朱德元师有几个孩子 [Brief introduction to Marshal Zhu De. How many children did Marshal Zhu De have?]". Lishi Quwen 历史趣闻. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  61. ^ "Late Chinese marshal Zhu De's daughter dies at 83". China Daily. 20 April 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2017.


English sources
Chinese sources
Political offices New title Vice President of the People's Republic of China 1954–1959 Succeeded byDong Biwu and Soong Ching-ling Preceded byLiu Shaoqi Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress 1959–1976 Succeeded bySoong Ching-lingActing Preceded byDong Biwuas Acting President of the People's Republic of China Head of State of the People's Republic of China(as Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee) 1975–1976 Party political offices Preceded byXiang Ying Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Chinese Soviet Republic 1931–1936 Succeeded byMao Zedong New title Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection 1949–1955 Succeeded byDong Biwu Vice Chairman of the Communist Party of ChinaServed alongside: Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai, Chen Yun, Lin Biao 1956–1966 Succeeded byLin Biao Military offices New title Commander-in-Chief of the People's Liberation Army 1949–1954 Succeeded byMarshal Peng Dehuaias Minister of National Defense