Famous Chinese Military Leaders

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 1 
Sun Tzu
(Chinese Military Strategist, Writer and Philosopher)
Sun Tzu
6
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.
 2 
Cao Cao
(Chinese Statesman, Warlord, Poet and the Penultimate Grand Chancellor of the Eastern Han Dynasty)
Cao Cao
5
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.

 3 
Lu Bu
(Chinese Army General and Warlord of the 2nd Century)
Lu Bu
6
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.

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 4 
Qianlong Emperor
(Emperor of China)
Qianlong Emperor
8
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.
 5 
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.

 6 
Liu Bei
(Founder of the Chinese Shu Han Dynasty)
Liu Bei
4
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.

 7 
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.

 8 
Mao Zedong
(Communist Leader of China)
Mao Zedong
16
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 .

 9 
Sima Yi
(General)
Sima Yi
4
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.

 10 
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.

 11 
Koxinga
(Ming Loyalist General and Former Ruler of the Kingdom of Tungning (1661 - 1662))
Koxinga
4
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.

 12 
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. 

 13 
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.

 14 
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. 

 15 
Li Xiannian
(3rd President of the People's Republic of China)
Li Xiannian
3
Birthdate: June 23, 1909
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hongan, Huanggang, China
Died: June 21, 1992

Li Xiannian was a Chinese Communist political and military leader. From 1983 to 1988, he served as the president of the People's Republic of China under Paramount Leader Deng Xiaoping. He played an important role during the Chinese Civil War and the Second Sino-Japanese War, serving as a successful and influential military commander.

 16 
Peng Dehuai
(Defense Minister of China (1954 – 1959))
Peng Dehuai
3
Birthdate: October 24, 1898
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Xiangtan County, Xiangtan, China
Died: November 29, 1974

Peng Dehuai was a Chinese Communist military leader who served as the Defense Minister of China from 1954 to 1959. Peng's attempt to reform China's military contradicted Mao Zedong's political goals as Peng wanted the military to be less political. Although he was imprisoned by the Mao government, Peng is counted among the most successful Communist generals of all time.  

 17 
Zuo Zongtang
Zuo Zongtang
3
Birthdate: November 10, 1812
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Xiangyin County
Died: September 5, 1885
 18 
Fu Hao
(Military general)
Fu Hao
3
Birthplace: China
Died: 1200 AD

Fu Hao, or Lady Hao, the legendary figure of the Shang dynasty, was a high priestess and the only female military general of her time. Known for her successful battle against the Tu-Fang tribe, she was buried with valuables and 16 people who would be her servants in the afterlife.

 19 
Wu Sangui
(Military general)
Wu Sangui
4
Birthdate: June 8, 1612
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Gaoyou, South Zhili, Ming dynasty, China
Died: October 2, 1678
 20 
An Lushan
(General)
An Lushan
5
Birthdate: November 30, 0703
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: China
Died: January 29, 0757
 21 
Bai Chongxi
(First defense minister of the Republic of China from 1946 to 1948)
Bai Chongxi
2
Birthdate: March 18, 1893
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Guilin, China
Died: December 2, 1966
 22 
Li Zongren
(Chinese Military Personnel of World War II)
Li Zongren
4
Birthdate: August 13, 1890
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Guilin, China
Died: January 30, 1969
 23 
Xiang Yu
Xiang Yu
0
 24 
Meng Tian
(Inventor)
Meng Tian
2
Birthplace: Qin, China
Died: 0210 AD

Qin dynasty military general Meng Tian was also an inventor. Serving emperor Shihuangdi, Meng was assigned with the task of building a wall to fend off the attacks of the Central Asian tribesmen, resulting in the Great Wall of China. He is also credited with inventing a form of harpsichord.

 25 
Wang Yangming
(Chinese Calligrapher, Philosopher, Writer, Politician, and General)
Wang Yangming
3
Birthdate: October 26, 1472
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Yuyao, Zhejiang Province
Died: January 9, 1529
 26 
Zeng Guofan
(Chinese Military General of the Late Qing Dynasty and Viceroy of Liangjiang (1870 - 1872))
Zeng Guofan
2
Birthdate: November 26, 1811
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Shuangfeng, China
Died: March 12, 1872

Chinese military general and Confucian scholar Zeng Guofan is best remembered for his efforts in crushing the Taiping Rebellion. Apart from being a court scholar of the Qing rulers, he also served on various prominent boards. His writings have been preserved as a collection of 156 books.

 27 
Mao Xinyu
(Military personnel who is grandson of Mao Zedong)
Mao Xinyu
4
Birthdate: January 17, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Beijing, China
 28 
Duan Qirui
(Chinese Warlord and the Acting Chief Executive of the Republic of China (in Beijing) from 1924 to 1926)
Duan Qirui
3
Birthdate: March 6, 1865
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hefei, China
Died: November 2, 1936

Duan Qirui was a Chinese politician and warlord who served as the premier of the Republic of China. From 1916 to 1920, he was one of the most powerful men in China. He played an important role in the Battle of Yangxia, where he led the Second Army Corps and succeeded in re-capturing Hankou and Hanyang.

 29 
Wu Peifu
(Chinese Warlord)
Wu Peifu
3
Birthdate: April 22, 1874
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Penglai, China
Died: December 4, 1939

Wu Peifu was a Chinese warlord who played important roles in several battles, such as the Zhili-Anhui War, First Zhili-Fengtian War, Second Zhili-Fengtian War, and Northern Expedition. Over the course of his career, he received many honors, including the Order of Rank and Merit, Order of the Precious Brilliant Golden Grain, and Order of the Rising Sun. 

 30 
Huang Xing
(Chinese Revolutionary Leader and the First Commander-In-Chief of the Republic of China)
Huang Xing
2
Birthdate: October 25, 1874
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Huangxing, Changsha, China
Died: October 31, 1916

Huang Xing was a Chinese politician and revolutionary leader who served as the first supreme commander of the Republic of China. He is credited with founding the Kuomintang (KMT), one of the most popular political parties in Taiwan. In a 2011 historical drama film titled 1911, Huang Xing was played by actor and martial artist Jackie Chan.

 31 
Bo Yibo
(Former Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China (1956 - 1966, 1979 - 1983))
Bo Yibo
2
Birthdate: February 17, 1908
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Taiyuan, China
Died: January 15, 2007

Bo Yibo was a Chinese military and political leader. After joining the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) at the age of 17, he went on to become one of the most respected Chinese political figures in the 1980s and 1990s. During his career, he held important posts, such as chairman of State Economic Commission and Communist China's first Minister of Finance.

 32 
Fuk'anggan
(Military Leader)
Fuk'anggan
3
Birthdate: 1753 AD
Birthplace: China
Died: 1796 AD
 33 
Xu Caihou
(Military general)
Xu Caihou
2
Birthdate: June 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wafangdian, China
Died: March 15, 2015
 34 
Zhu Wen
(General)
Zhu Wen
2
Birthdate: December 5, 0852
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dangshan County, Suzhou, China
Died: July 8, 0912
 35 
Ronglu
(Manchu Political and Military Leader of the Late Qing Dynasty)
Ronglu
3
Birthdate: April 6, 1836
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: China
Died: April 11, 1903

Ronglu was a Manchu military and political leader who lived during the late Qing dynasty. A close associate of Empress Dowager Cixi, Ronglu served in many prominent military and civil positions, such as the Grand Council, Viceroy of Zhili, Grand Secretary, Zongli Yamen, Secretary of Defence, Wuwei Corps Commander, Nine Gates Infantry Commander, and Beiyang Trade Minister.

 36 
Ban Chao
(Military General)
Ban Chao
2
Birthdate: 0032 AD
Birthplace: Xianyang, China
Died: 0102 AD
 37 
Bayan of the Merkid
(General)
Bayan of the Merkid
2
Birthdate: 1280 AD
Birthplace: China
Died: 1340 AD
 38 
Wang Zhen
(Chinese Political Figure and 4th Vice President of the People’s Republic of China)
Wang Zhen
1
Birthdate: April 11, 1908
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Liuyang, Changsha, China
Died: March 12, 1993

Wang Zhen was a Chinese political figure who served as the fourth Vice President of China. Counted among the Eight Elders of the Communist Party of China, Wang Zhen played an important role in the development of the party, which is currently the sole governing political party of China.

 39 
Chen Yi
(Chinese military leader)
Chen Yi
1
Birthdate: August 26, 1901
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lezhi, China
Died: January 6, 1972

Chen Yi was a Chinese communist politician and military commander. One of the most influential politicians of his generation, Chen Yi served as Mayor of Shanghai between 1949 and 1958. In 1955, he became a Marshal of the People's Liberation Army. From 1958 to 1972, he served as the Foreign Minister of China.

 40 
Shi Dakai
(Chinese Poet and Revolutionary Who Led the 'Taiping Rebellion')
Shi Dakai
2
Birthdate: March 1, 1831
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Guigang, China
Died: June 26, 1863

Shi Dakai was a Chinese poet and one of the most important leaders in the Taiping Rebellion. Shi Dakai's heroics as a magnificent general inspired his fellow clansman Zhu De who went on to establish the Red Army, which came to be known as the People's Liberation Army.

 41 
Ye Ting
(Military leader)
Ye Ting
1
Birthdate: September 10, 1896
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Shexian, China
Died: April 8, 1946
 42 
Guo Ziyi
(Chinese general)
Guo Ziyi
1
Birthdate: 0697 AD
Birthplace: Huaxian, China
Died: July 9, 0781
 43 
Xu Da
(General)
Xu Da
1
Birthdate: 1332 AD
Birthplace: Fengyang, China
Died: January 31, 1385
 44 
Tang Jiyao
(Warlord)
Tang Jiyao
2
Birthdate: August 14, 1883
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Qujing, China
Died: May 23, 1927
 45 
Li Xiucheng
(Military Commander)
Li Xiucheng
1
Birthdate: 1823 AD
Birthplace: Teng County, Wuzhou, China
Died: August 7, 1864
 46 
Li Keyong
(Military commander)
Li Keyong
1
Birthdate: October 24, 0856
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: China
Died: February 24, 0908
 47 
Xin Qiji
(Poet)
Xin Qiji
1
Birthdate: May 28, 1140
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jinan, China
Died: October 3, 1207
 48 
Wiman of Gojoseon
(Chinese-Born Korean Military General and Monarch)
Wiman of Gojoseon
1
Birthplace: Yan
 49 
Feng Yunshan
(Chinese Political leader)
Feng Yunshan
1
Birthdate: 1815 AD
Birthplace: Guangdong, China
Died: June 10, 1852

Feng Yunshan had a major role to play in the Taiping Rebellion against the Qing regime. He led Hong Xiuquan’s God Worshipping Society and later became the South King of the Taiping Rebellion. He was fatally wounded by a Qing gunner, following which the Taiping invaded and ravaged Quanzhou.

 50 
Yang Dezhi
(Military official)
Yang Dezhi
1
Birthdate: January 13, 1911
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hunan, China
Died: October 25, 1994

Chinese military general Yang Dezhi was a Korean War veteran and has also led the Sino–Vietnamese War. Born to a blacksmith, he initially worked as a miner and joined revolutionary activities at 16. During the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, Yang opposed military action in Beijing.