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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
Nurhaci was a Jurchen chieftain who reigned as the Khan of Later Jin for 10 years. He is credited with uniting and reorganizing several Jurchen tribes. His attack and conquest of Ming dynasty laid the foundation for the formation of the Qing dynasty, which was founded by his descendants in 1636. His life inspired the 2005 TV series, Taizu Mishi.
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.
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.
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.
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.
John Birch was an American missionary and Baptist minister. A US Army Air Forces military intelligence captain, Birch also played a key role during the Second World War, serving as an OSS agent in China. Killed during a confrontation with Communist soldiers in China, John Birch was posthumously honored with the Army Distinguished Service Medal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
People’s Liberation Army general Xiao Ke was born to a poor Chinese rural family and witnessed blatant persecution of his family members, which made him join the Communist Party. Before he died at 101, he was the last-surviving Red Army commander who had been part of the Long March.