Famous Chinese Leaders

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 1 
Sun Yat-Sen
(Provisional President of the Republic of China (January - March 1912))
Sun Yat-Sen
8
Birthdate: November 12, 1866
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cuiheng, Zhongshan, China
Died: March 12, 1925
Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat Sen, also known as the "Father of the Nation" in China, ousted the Qing Dynasty in 1911. He was the first leader of the Nationalist Party of China and laid down the Three Principles of the People, which included nationalism, democracy, and livelihood.
 2 
Sun Tzu
(Chinese Military Strategist, Writer and Philosopher)
Sun Tzu
7
Birthdate: 0544 AD
Birthplace: Qi, China
Died: 0496 AD
Sun Tzu was a Chinese general from the Eastern Zhou period. He is known to have written The Art of War, which propagated various alternatives to battles, such as alliances and use of spies, to win wars. He is said to be the same as Sun Wu and Sun Bin.
 3 
Wu Zetian
(Chinese Empress)
Wu Zetian
7
Birthdate: February 17, 0624
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lizhou, Tang Dynasty
Died: December 16, 0705

Wu Zetian was a Chinese empress regnant who ruled the Zhou dynasty from 690 to 705. She is the only female monarch in Chinese history. Before ruling the Zhou dynasty, Wu Zetian had served as the de facto ruler of China from 665 to 690. Under her political and military leadership, the Chinese empire expanded beyond its former territorial limits.

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 4 
Jiang Zemin
(Former President of China)
Jiang Zemin
9
Birthdate: August 17, 1926
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Yangzhou, Jiangsu
Died: November 30, 2022

Chinese politician, Jiang Zemin, served as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party from 1989 to 2002. Qualified as an engineer, he joined the Chinese Communist Party when he was in college. Rising through the ranks, he eventually became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Minister of Electronic Industries. 

 5 
Qianlong Emperor
(Emperor of China)
Qianlong Emperor
6
Birthdate: September 25, 1711
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lama Temple, Beijing, China
Died: February 7, 1799
The Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty was the fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor and reigned over China from 1735 to 1796. Known for the economic prosperity and military prowess his kingdom gained under his rule, he continued to indirectly rule as the Retired Emperor even after his abdication.
 6 
Hu Jintao
(Former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China)
Hu Jintao
13
Birthdate: December 21, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Taizhou

President of the People's Republic of China (PRC) from 2003 to 2013, Hu Jintao is believed to have given shape to the belligerent China that Xi Jinping unleashed on the world. He was conservative with political reforms and reintroduced state control in several sectors. Known for his reserved and modest leadership style, his tenure marked consensus based rule and collective leadership.

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 7 
Deng Xiaoping
(Politician)
Deng Xiaoping
26
Birthdate: August 22, 1904
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Guang'an, China
Died: February 19, 1997
Deng Xiaoping led the People's Republic of China from 1978 to 1989. He ordered a crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protestors in 1989, leading to the June Fourth Massacre. However, he also earned the tag of the "Architect of Modern China" for ushering in a market economy in the country.
 8 
Lu Bu
(Chinese Army General and Warlord of the 2nd Century)
Lu Bu
4
Birthdate: 0161 AD
Birthplace: Wuyuan Commandery, China
Died: February 7, 0199

After killing warlord Ding Yuan, Chinese army general Lü Bu ran away to work for another warlord, Dong Zhuo, whom he also killed. After assisting Yuan Shao, he fought against Cao Cao. He eventually lost to Cao Cao and Liu Bei in the Battle of Xiapi and was executed.

 9 
Cao Cao
(Chinese Statesman, Warlord, Poet and the Penultimate Grand Chancellor of the Eastern Han Dynasty)
Cao Cao
6
Birthdate: 0155 AD
Birthplace: Bozhou, Anhui, China
Died: March 15, 0220

Cao Cao was a Chinese warlord, poet, and statesman. He played an important role in laying the foundations for the state of Cao Wei, which was formed shortly after his death. Although he was posthumously honoured with the title Emperor Wu of Wei, Cao Cao never ruled as an emperor, but kept Emperor Xian under his control.

 10 
Chiang Kai-shek
(President of the Republic of China)
Chiang Kai-shek
28
Birthdate: October 31, 1887
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Xikou
Died: April 5, 1975

Chiang Kai-shek was a Chinese revolutionary who led the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975, first in mainland China until 1949 and later on in Taiwan until his death. He is credited with successfully leading the Northern Expedition against the Beiyang government, achieving Chinese unification. He was involved in a civil war with Communist Party of China, which he lost in 1949 and retreated to Taiwan.

 11 
Zhuge Liang
(Military Strategist, Inventor)
Zhuge Liang
4
Birthdate: 0181 AD
Birthplace: Shandong, China
Died: 0234 AD

Zhuge Liang, or Kong Ming, was a Chinese strategist of the Three Kingdoms Period. Legend has it that he had supernatural powers and had invented a number of things, such as a crossbow that shot multiple arrows. His habit of living in seclusion earned him the nickname The Hidden Dragon.

 12 
Guan Yu
(Chinese Military General Serving Under the Warlord Liu Bei During the Late Eastern Han Dynasty of China)
Guan Yu
4
Birthdate: 0160 AD
Birthplace: Yuncheng, Shanxi, China
Died: 0220 AD

Guan Yu was nicknamed Beautiful Beard for his long, flowing beard. Featured in literary works such as Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Guan was a Chinese military general who served Liu Bei of the Eastern Han dynasty. Lord Guan is now revered as a deity in Chinese folk culture.

 13 
Zhou Enlai
(First Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China)
Zhou Enlai
8
Birthdate: March 5, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Huai'an, China
Died: January 8, 1976

Zhou Enlai served as the People's Republic of China's first premier. He played a major role in the Communist Party's rise to power, serving under the founder of the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong. Since his death, Zhou has been widely considered a skilled negotiator and a devoted revolutionary.

 14 
Liu Bei
(Founder of the Chinese Shu Han Dynasty)
Liu Bei
5
Birthdate: 0161 AD
Birthplace: Zhuozhou, Baoding, China
Died: June 10, 0223

Liu Bei was a warlord in the Eastern Han dynasty. He is credited with founding the state of Shu Han. Liu Bei went on to reign as the emperor of Shu Han from 221 until his death in 223. Liu Bei is best remembered for his remarkable skills as a leader and politician. His life has inspired several TV series.

 15 
Jiang Qing
(Chinese Political Figure Who Played an Important Role During 'The Cultural Revolution')
Jiang Qing
13
Birthdate: March 19, 1914
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zhucheng, Weifang, China
Died: May 14, 1991

Jiang Qing was a Chinese actress, communist revolutionary and major political figure who played an important role during the Cultural Revolution in China. She is also remembered for forming a Maoist political faction called the Gang of Four. Jiang Qing married Mao Zedong and played a prominent role in propagating Mao's brand of Communist ideology.

 16 
Gaozu of Han
(Political leader)
Gaozu of Han
3
Birthdate: 0256 BC
Birthplace: Pei County
Died: June 1, 0195

Emperor Gaozu of Han reigned as the first emperor of the famous Han dynasty from 202 to 195 BC. Although he was born into a peasant family, Gaozu of Han went on to found the Han dynasty after emerging victorious in the Battle of Gaixia. He is credited with unifying most of China and popularizing Confucianism.  

 17 
Liu Shaoqi
(Politician)
Liu Shaoqi
3
Birthdate: November 24, 1898
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Huaminglou, Changsha, China
Died: November 12, 1969

Liu Shaoqi was a Chinese politician, revolutionary, and theorist. He served as the vice-chairman of the Chinese Communist Party from 1956 to 1966. From 1959 to 1968, he served as the Chairman of the People's Republic of China, implementing several policies of economic reconstruction in the country. For 15 long years, Liu was the third most influential man in China.

 18 
Xi Jinping
(General Secretary of the Communist Party of China)
Xi Jinping
48
Birthdate: June 15, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Beijing, China

Xi Jinping, President of China since 2013, is said to be the most powerful Chinese leader since Chairman Mao Zedong. He is an authoritarian leader and his reign is marked by an increase in censorship and deterioration in human rights . Also, China’s foreign policy under Xi has been more assertive, leading to a deterioration of relations with many countries.

 19 
Soong May-ling
(First Lady of the Republic of China (1950 - 1975))
Soong May-ling
5
Birthdate: March 5, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Died: October 23, 2003
Soong May-ling was a Chinese political figure best remembered as the wife of President Chiang Kai-shek. She played an important role in the politics of China and held several honorary and active positions. She also played a prominent role during the Second Sino-Japanese War, rallying several Chinese people against the invasion of the Japanese.  
 20 
Baiju Noyan
(Mongol Commander, Who Served Ögedei Khan and Led Campaigns in Georgia, Persia and Anatolia)
Baiju Noyan
4
Birthdate: 1201 AD
Birthplace: Mongol Empire
Died: 1260 AD

Mongol army commander Baiju Noyan is remembered for his campaigns in Persia and Georgia. He served Ögedei Khan, the Commander of Persia, and led his forces in the Battle of Köse Dağ and the Siege of Baghdad. Following his death, the descendants of Hulagu Khan inherited the regions he commanded.

 21 
Carrie Lam
(Politician)
Carrie Lam
10
Birthdate: May 13, 1957
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wan Chai, Hong Kong, England

Carrie Lam is a Hong Kong politician who has been serving as the Chief Executive of Hong Kong since 2017. From 2007 to 2012, she served as the Secretary for Development. From 2012 to 2017, Lam was the Chief Secretary for Administration. A controversial leader, Carrie Lam's administration witnessed the criminalization of the Hong Kong National Party.

 22 
Sima Yi
(General)
Sima Yi
3
Birthdate: 0179 AD
Birthplace: Wen County, Henan, Jiaozuo, China
Died: September 7, 0251

Sima Yi was a Chinese politician and military general. He served as the regent of Cao Wei during the tripartite division of China in the third century AD. Sima Yi is best remembered for defending Cao Wei from several invasions led by Cao Wei's arch-rival Shu. He then went on to serve as Wei's de facto primary authority.

 23 
Wen Jiabao
(6th Premier of the People's Republic of China)
Wen Jiabao
3
Birthdate: September 15, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tiensin, China

Wen Jiabao is a retired Chinese politician who served as the country's head of government from 2003 to 2013. As Premier, Wen Jiabao played a major role in directing Beijing's economic policy. Nicknamed the people's premier, Wen worked towards bettering the lives of migrant workers and farmers rather than focusing on GDP growth in rich coastal areas and large cities.  

 24 
Wang Jingwei
(1st President of the Republic of China)
Wang Jingwei
4
Birthdate: May 4, 1883
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sanshui District, Foshan, China
Died: November 10, 1944
Wang Jingwei lost both his parents in childhood. He grew up to become a close associate of Sun Yat-sen. He was the first president of the Republic of China. His collaboration with Japan to form a government in Nanjing made him a traitor in the eyes of his countrymen. 
 25 
Chiang Ching-kuo
(Politician)
Chiang Ching-kuo
3
Birthdate: April 27, 1910
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fenghua
Died: January 13, 1988

Son of former president Chiang Kai-shek, Chiang Ching-kuo had been the premier and the president of the Republic of China. He had also studied in Russia as Nikolai Vladimirovich Elizarov. Following the rise of communists in China, he moved to Taiwan and continued to manage the government in exile.

 26 
Yue Fei
(Military General Whose Expertise in Martial Arts Made Him a National Folk Hero in China)
Yue Fei
3
Birthdate: March 24, 1103
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Anyang, China
Died: January 28, 1142

Yue Fei was a Chinese military general best remembered for leading the Southern Song forces during the Jin–Song Wars in the 12th century. Fei is depicted in Jin Guliang's famous book Wu Shuang Pu and is widely regarded as a national folk hero in China.

 27 
Zhao Ziyang
(Former Prime Minister of China)
Zhao Ziyang
6
Birthdate: October 17, 1919
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hua County, Anyang, China
Died: January 17, 2005

Zhao Ziyang was a Chinese politician who served as general secretary of China's Communist Party from 1987 to 1989. From 1980 to 1987, Zhao served as the third premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China. Under his rule, China witnessed several political and economic reforms. He died from a stroke in 2005 in Beijing.

 28 
Li Peng
(4th Premier of the People's Republic of China)
Li Peng
3
Birthdate: October 20, 1928
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Died: July 22, 2019

Li Peng was a Chinese politician and hydroelectric engineer. From 1987 to 1998, he served as the premier of the People's Republic of China. As Premier, Li was responsible for the Tiananmen Square Massacre as he chose to use force to quell the protests of 1989. He is credited with overseeing the Three Gorges Dam project, which is the largest dam in the world.

 29 
Hu Yaobang
(Former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China)
Hu Yaobang
7
Birthdate: November 20, 1915
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Liuyang, Changsha, China
Died: April 15, 1989

Hu Yaobang served as the Chinese Communist Party's general secretary from 1982 to 1987. Prior to his position as the general secretary, Hu served as the party's chairman from 1981 to 1982. Under Deng Xiaoping's leadership, Hu Yaobang rose to prominence and played a crucial role in the Boluan Fanzheng program, which was initiated by Deng.

 30 
Mao Zedong
(Communist Leader of China)
Mao Zedong
55
Birthdate: December 26, 1893
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shaoshan, Xiangtan, China
Died: September 9, 1976

One of the most significant and controversial leaders of the 20th century, Mao Zedong was a communist revolutionary and the founding father of the People's Republic of China which he governed as the chairman of Chinese Communist Party. He is appreciated for numerous development work but is criticised for his authoritarian regime and policies which resulted in millions of deaths .

 31 
Yuan Shikai
(Former President of the Republic of China)
Yuan Shikai
6
Birthdate: September 16, 1859
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Xiangcheng, Henan, Qing Empire
Died: June 6, 1916

Yuan Shikai was a Chinese government and military official who reigned as the emperor of the Empire of China from 1915 to 1916. He is credited with introducing several modernization projects to the dynasty. He is also credited with organizing and training one of the first modern armies of China.

 32 
Koxinga
(Ming Loyalist General and Former Ruler of the Kingdom of Tungning (1661 - 1662))
Koxinga
3
Birthdate: August 27, 1624
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hirado, Hizen Province, Japan
Died: June 23, 1662

Koxinga was a Ming loyalist who opposed and resisted the Manchu invasion of China. In 1661, he established the House of Koxinga after defeating the Dutch military camp in Taiwan. He then ruled the Kingdom of Tungning from 1661 to 1662. Today, Koxinga is considered a deity in coastal China and is worshiped in places like Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

 33 
Hua Guofeng
(Chinese Politician)
Hua Guofeng
6
Birthdate: February 16, 1921
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Jiaocheng County, Shanxi, Republic of China
Died: August 20, 2008

Hua Guofeng was a Chinese politician and one of the most important leaders in the history of China. He served as the premier of the People's Republic of China before he was forced out of power by a group of party leaders. He is the only leader to have held the offices of premier, party leader, and CMC chairman simultaneously. 

 34 
Wang Yi
(Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor)
Wang Yi
4
Birthdate: October 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Beijing, China

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi had initially been part of the Northeast Construction Army Corps. Yi boasts of a university degree in Japanese language and has been an ambassador to Japan. He is quite popular on the Chinese micro-blogging site Sina Weibo. He has also taken care of Taiwan affairs.

 35 
Xi Zhongxun
(Politician)
Xi Zhongxun
3
Birthdate: October 15, 1913
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fuping County
Died: May 24, 2002

Xi Zhongxun was a Chinese revolutionary and political leader. From establishing Communist guerrilla bases in the 1930s to launching economic liberalization in the 1980s, Xi Zhongxun made immense contributions to the development of China. He is also known as the father of the present paramount leader of China, Xi Jinping.

 36 
Sun Quan
(King)
Sun Quan
3
Birthdate: 0182 AD
Birthplace: Xiapi County, Xu Province, Han Empire
Died: May 21, 0252

Sun Quan was the founder of Wu during the tripartite division of China. He went on to reign as the emperor of Eastern Wu from 229 to 252 AD. Today, he is known as a playable character in popular video games, such as the Warriors Orochi video game series. He has also been portrayed in TV series like Three Kingdoms.

 37 
Soong Ching-ling
(2nd Vice Chairperson of the People's Republic of China (1959 - 1975))
Soong Ching-ling
3
Birthdate: January 27, 1893
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Died: May 29, 1981

Soong Ching-ling was a Chinese political figure. Referred to as Madame Sun Yat-sen, Soong is best known as the wife of Sun Yat-sen, who played a major role in the establishment of the Republic of China. Soong played a key role in China's politics before and after the formation of the People's Republic of China.  

 38 
Lin Biao
(Chinese Politician and Vice Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party)
Lin Biao
3
Birthdate: December 5, 1907
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Huanggang, China
Died: September 13, 1971

Lin Biao was a Chinese military officer who played a crucial role in the Chinese Civil War. He is credited with commanding the decisive Pingjin and Liaoshen campaigns during the Civil War. An ardent supporter of Mao Zedong, Lin Biao also played an important role in propagating Mao Zedong's cult of personality.
  


      

 39 
Shennong
(King)
Shennong
3

Legends state that Shennong, or the Divine Farmer, who was a Chinese mythological figure, was born with the body of a man and the head of a bull, and had learned to speak by 3 days of his birth. He revolutionized agricultural methods and made a catalogue of medicinal plants.

 40 
Hong Xiuquan
(Taiping Heavenly King from 1851 to 1864)
Hong Xiuquan
4
Birthdate: January 1, 1814
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Huadu District, Guangzhou, China
Died: June 1, 1864

Hong Xiuquan was a Hakka Chinese revolutionary best remembered for leading the Taiping Rebellion against the much-feared and powerful Qing Dynasty. Credited with establishing the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, Hong Xiuquan later served as an inspiration to the Communists under Mao Zedong. In 1959, China established a small museum to honor his legacy.  

 41 
Zhang Fei
(Military General During the Late Easter Han Dynasty Who Fought in Many Battles Alongside Warlord Liu Bei)
Zhang Fei
3
Birthdate: 0168 AD
Birthplace: Zhuozhou, Baoding
Died: 0221 AD

Zhang Fei was a military general who lived during the late Eastern Han dynasty. Zhang Fei was one of the earliest to join warlord Liu Bei and accompanied him in almost all of his early exploits. Alongside Liu Bei, Zhang Fei fought in many battles. His story is dramatized in the 14th century novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms. 

 42 
Kaidu
(Political leader)
Kaidu
3
Birthdate: 1235 AD
Birthplace: Mongol Empire, China
Died: 1301 AD

Kaidu, the great-grandson of Genghis Khan, emerged as the main opposition to his cousin Kublai Khan’s reign over the Mongol empire. Kaidu’s war against Kublai’s empire didn’t end with Kublai’s death, and continued for almost 30 years. He has found mention in literary works such as The Journeyer.

 43 
Chen Yun
(One of the Most Influential Leaders of the People's Republic of China During the 1980s and 1990s)
Chen Yun
3
Birthdate: June 13, 1905
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Qingpu District, Shanghai, China
Died: April 10, 1995

Chen Yun was a Chinese political leader who played a major role during the Chinese economic reform. He was regarded as one of the most influential political leaders of China during the '80s and '90s. He also played an important role during the Chinese Civil War and was later counted among the Eight Great Eminent Officials of China.

 44 
Du Fu
(Chinese Poet and Politician of the Tang Dynasty)
Du Fu
3
Birthdate: February 12, 0712
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gongyi, Henan, China
Died: 0770 AD

Du Fu was a Chinese politician and poet. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Chinese poets of all time, Du Fu's works have influenced both Japanese and Chinese literary culture. While it is said that almost all Chinese poets have been influenced by him, the Japanese literature from the Muromachi period was greatly impacted by Du Fu's poetry.

 45 
Wang Jian
(One of the Greatest Generals of the 'Warring States' Period)
Wang Jian
3
Birthplace: China

Wang Jian was a Chinese military general who lived during the Warring States period. He served in the State of Qin and under his command, the army of Qin conquered the states of Chu, Yan, and Zhao. Along with Li Mu, Lian Po, and Bai Qi, Wang is regarded as one of the greatest generals of the Warring States period.

 46 
Wang Qishan
(Vice President of the People's Republic of China)
Wang Qishan
3
Birthdate: July 19, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tsingtao, Shantung, Republic of China
 47 
Su Shi
(Chinese Poet, Essayist, Politician, Calligrapher and Painter)
Su Shi
3
Birthdate: January 8, 1037
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Meishan, China
Died: August 24, 1101

Su Shi was a Chinese writer, calligrapher, poet, painter, gastronome, pharmacologist, and politician who lived during the Song dynasty. He played a major role in the political affairs of the Song dynasty. He is credited with producing some of the best-known poems, prose, and essays and is considered one of the most decorated personalities in classical Chinese literature.

 48 
Li Hongzhang
(Diplomat, Mandarin)
Li Hongzhang
3
Birthdate: February 15, 1823
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hefei
Died: November 7, 1901

Li Hongzhang was a Chinese politician, diplomat, and general of the popular Qing dynasty. He is credited with quelling many major rebellions and took up several important positions in the imperial court. Although he was praised for his diplomatic skills, Li has remained a controversial figure due to his military and political defeats.

 49 
Qu Yuan
(Chinese Politician and Poet)
Qu Yuan
3
Birthdate: 0340 BC
Birthplace: Hubei, China
Died: 0278 BC
 50 
Dong Zhuo
(Politician and Kingmaker in the Late Eastern Han Dynasty)
Dong Zhuo
4
Birthplace: Min County, Dingxi, China
Died: May 22, 0192

Dong Zhuo was a Chinese politician, military general, and warlord. He served as a general and influential minister of the imperial government. In an attempt to become the de facto ruler, Dong coerced Emperor Shao of Han to renounce the throne and replaced him with his younger half-brother, Emperor Xian of Han. Dong Zhuo has been immortalized in video games.