Famous Chinese Military Leaders

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong.
5
Famous As: Communist Leader of China
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 .

 2 Qin Shi Huang

Qin Shi Huang.
4
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0259 BC
Birthplace: Handan, China
Died: 0210 BC

Qin Shi Huang is credited with founding the Qin dynasty, the first dynasty of Imperial China. He reigned as the first emperor of a unified China from 221 BC to 210 BC. Under his rule, the Chinese state expanded greatly and he also enacted major political and economic reforms. His life and work inspired several films like The Emperor's Shadow.

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 3 Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu.
4
Famous As: Ancient Military General, Strategist & Philosopher
Birthdate: 0544 BC
Died: 0496 BC
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.

 4 Qianlong Emperor

Qianlong Emperor.
5
Famous As: Emperor of China
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 Cao Cao

Cao Cao.
4
Famous As: Chinese warlord
Birthdate: March 18, 0155
Sun Sign: Pisces
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.

 6 Lu Bu

Lu Bu
4
Famous As: Military General
Birthdate: 0161 AD
Birthplace: Wuyuan Commandery, China
Died: February 7, 0199

 7 Guan Yu

Guan Yu
4
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Died: 0219 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.

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 8 Baiju Noyan

Baiju Noyan
4
Famous As: Military personnel
Birthdate: 1201 AD
Birthplace: Mongol Empire
Died: 1260 AD

 9 Liu Bei

Liu Bei.
4
Famous As: Founder of the Chinese Shu Han Dynasty
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.

 10 Sima Yi

Sima Yi
3
Famous As: General
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.

 11 Dong Zhuo

Dong Zhuo
3
Famous As: Warlord
Birthdate: 0138 AD
Birthplace: Min County, Dingxi, China
Died: May 22, 0192

 12 Zhang Fei

Zhang Fei
3
Famous As: Military officer
Birthdate: 0168 AD
Birthplace: Zhuozhou, Baoding
Died: 0221 AD

 13 Wang Jian

Wang Jian
3
Famous As: Military personnel
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: China

 14 Wang Jingwei

Wang Jingwei.
3
Famous As: Politician, Diplomat
Birthdate: May 4, 1883
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sanshui, Guangdong, Qing Dynasty, 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. 

 15 Zuo Zongtang

Zuo Zongtang
3
Birthdate: November 10, 1812
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Xiangyin County
Died: September 5, 1885

 16 Li Zongren

Li Zongren
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: August 13, 1890
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Q10353346
Died: January 30, 1969

 17 An Lushan

An Lushan
3
Famous As: General
Birthdate: November 30, 0703
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: China
Died: January 29, 0757

 18 Wu Sangui

Wu Sangui
3
Famous As: Military general
Birthdate: June 8, 1612
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Gaoyou, South Zhili, Ming dynasty, China
Died: October 2, 1678

 19 Fu Hao

Fu Hao
3
Famous As: Military general
Birthdate: 0000 AD
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.

 20 Zhang Zuolin

Zhang Zuolin
3
Famous As: Warlord
Birthdate: March 19, 1875
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Haicheng, Liaoning, Qing dynasty, China
Died: June 4, 1928

Chinese bandit and warlord Zhang Zuolin initially ruled over Manchuria and then became the military dictator of the Republic of China. Later, the Nationalist Party’s march into China forced him to move his troops out of Beijing. He died when his train became the target of a bomb blast.

 21 Wang Yangming

Wang Yangming
2
Famous As: Calligrapher
Birthdate: October 26, 1472
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Yuyao, Zhejiang Province
Died: January 9, 1529

 22 Meng Tian

Meng Tian
2
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: 0000 AD
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.

 23 Zeng Guofan

Zeng Guofan
2
Famous As: Political Leader
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.

 24 Duan Qirui

Duan Qirui
2
Famous As: Warlord
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.

 25 Huang Xing

Huang Xing
2
Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: October 24, 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.

 26 Fuk'anggan

Fuk'anggan
2
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: 1753 AD
Birthplace: China
Died: 1796 AD

 27 Wu Peifu

Wu Peifu
2
Famous As: Warlord
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. 

 28 Bo Yibo

Bo Yibo
2
Famous As: Political Leader
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.

 29 Bayan of the Merkid

Bayan of the Merkid
2
Famous As: General
Birthdate: 1280 AD
Birthplace: China
Died: 1340 AD

 30 Zhu Wen

Zhu Wen
2
Famous As: General
Birthdate: December 5, 0852
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dangshan County, Suzhou, China
Died: July 8, 0912

 31 Xu Caihou

Xu Caihou
2
Famous As: Military general
Birthdate: June 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wafangdian, China
Died: March 15, 2015

 32 Zheng Zhilong

Zheng Zhilong
2
Famous As: Merchant
Birthdate: April 16, 1604
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nan'an, Fujian, Quanzhou, China
Died: November 24, 1661

Chinese pirate and Ming dynasty leader Zheng Zhilong was baptized by the Europeans who had employed him as a boy. He was assigned the duty of safeguarding the borders from the Dutch, and later joined the Qing dynasty. He was assassinated for his son’s refusal to submit to the Qings.

 33 Ronglu

Ronglu
2
Famous As: Political leader
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.

 34 Ban Chao

Ban Chao
2
Famous As: Military General
Birthdate: 0032 AD
Birthplace: Xianyang, China
Died: 0102 AD

 35 Wang Zhen

Wang Zhen
1
Famous As: Politician
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.

 36 Chen Yi

Chen Yi
1
Famous As: Chinese military leader
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.

 37 Ye Ting

Ye Ting
1
Famous As: Military leader
Birthdate: September 10, 1896
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Shexian, China
Died: April 8, 1946

 38 Li Lisan

Li Lisan
1
Famous As: Political leader
Birthdate: November 18, 1899
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Liling, Zhuzhou, China
Died: June 22, 1967

Born in Hunan and educated in Paris, Li Lisan went back to China to join the Communist Party, becoming one of its top leaders later. He is remembered for his strategy known as the Li Lisan line. He committed suicide when he was attacked during the Cultural Revolution.

 39 Guo Ziyi

Guo Ziyi
1
Famous As: Chinese general
Birthdate: 0697 AD
Birthplace: Huaxian, China
Died: July 9, 0781

 40 Xin Qiji

Xin Qiji
1
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: May 28, 1140
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jinan, China
Died: October 3, 1207

 41 Xu Da

Xu Da
1
Famous As: General
Birthdate: 1332 AD
Birthplace: Fengyang, China
Died: January 31, 1385

 42 Li Xiucheng

Li Xiucheng
1
Famous As: Military Commander
Birthdate: 1823 AD
Birthplace: Teng County, Wuzhou, China
Died: August 7, 1864

 43 Li Keyong

Li Keyong
1
Famous As: Military commander
Birthdate: October 24, 0856
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: China
Died: February 24, 0908

 44 Wiman of Gojoseon

Wiman of Gojoseon
1
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Yan

 45 Feng Yunshan

Feng Yunshan
1
Famous As: Political leader
Birthdate: 1815 AD
Birthplace: Hua County, Anyang, 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.

 46 Yang Dezhi

Yang Dezhi
1
Famous As: Military official
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.

 47 Zhang Aiping

Zhang Aiping
0
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: January 9, 1910
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: China
Died: July 5, 2003

 48 Xiao Ke

Xiao Ke
0
Famous As: Political figure
Birthdate: July 14, 1907
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Jiahe County, Chenzhou, China
Died: October 24, 2008

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.

 49 Shang Kexi

Shang Kexi
0
Famous As: General
Birthdate: August 25, 1604
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Haicheng, Liaoning, Anshan, China
Died: November 12, 1676

 50 Feng Yuxiang

Feng Yuxiang
0
Famous As: Warlord
Birthdate: November 6, 1882
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Anhui, China
Died: September 1, 1948