Famous Chinese Political Leaders

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Find out more about the greatest Chinese Political Leaders, including Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Hu Jintao, Jiang Zemin and Zhou Enlai.
Vote for Your Favourite Chinese Political Leaders
 1 
Deng Xiaoping
(Politician)
Deng Xiaoping
16
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.
 2 
Chiang Kai-shek
(President of the Republic of China)
Chiang Kai-shek
10
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.

 3 
Sun Yat-Sen
(Provisional President of the Republic of China (January - March 1912))
Sun Yat-Sen
5
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.
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 4 
Hu Jintao
(Former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China)
Hu Jintao
6
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.

 5 
Jiang Zemin
(Former President of China)
Jiang Zemin
6
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. 

 6 
Mao Zedong
(Communist Leader of China)
Mao Zedong
25
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 .

 7 
Cao Cao
(Chinese Statesman, Warlord, Poet and the Penultimate Grand Chancellor of the Eastern Han Dynasty)
Cao Cao
4
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.

 8 
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.

 9 
Jiang Qing
(Chinese Political Figure Who Played an Important Role During 'The Cultural Revolution')
Jiang Qing
7
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.

 10 
Carrie Lam
(Politician)
Carrie Lam
6
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.

 11 
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.  

 12 
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.

 13 
Soong May-ling
(First Lady of the Republic of China (1950 - 1975))
Soong May-ling
3
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.  
 14 
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.

 15 
Zhou Enlai
(First Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China)
Zhou Enlai
6
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.

 16 
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.

 17 
Wen Jiabao
(Politician, Geologist, Economist)
Wen Jiabao
3
Birthdate: September 15, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tianjin

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.  

 18 
Wang Jingwei
(1st President of the Republic of China)
Wang Jingwei
3
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. 
 19 
Zhao Ziyang
(Former Prime Minister of China)
Zhao Ziyang
4
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.

 20 
Hu Yaobang
(Former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China)
Hu Yaobang
6
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.

 21 
Li Peng
(4th Premier of the People's Republic of China)
Li Peng
4
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.

 22 
Yuan Shikai
(Former President of the Republic of China)
Yuan Shikai
4
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.

 23 
Hua Guofeng
(Politician)
Hua Guofeng
4
Birthdate: February 16, 1921
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Shanxi
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. 

 24 
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.

 25 
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.

 26 
Lin Biao
(Politician)
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.
  


      

 27 
Wang Yi
(Foreign Minister Since 2013 and State Councilor Since 2018)
Wang Yi
3
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.

 28 
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.

 29 
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.  

 30 
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.

 31 
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.

 32 
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.

 33 
Qu Yuan
(Poet and politician in the State of Chu during the Warring States perio)
Qu Yuan
3
Birthdate: 0340 BC
Birthplace: Hubei, China
Died: 0278 BC
 34 
Su Shi
(Poet, Writer, Painter)
Su Shi
3
Birthdate: January 8, 1037
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Meishan
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.

 35 
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.

 36 
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
 37 
Jia Sidao
(Statesman)
Jia Sidao
3
Birthdate: 1213 AD
Birthplace: Taizhou, China
Died: July 31, 1275

Jia Sidao was a Chinese statesman who served as the grand chancellor of the Song Dynasty from 1260 to 1275. He also played a major role in the Battle of Xiangyang. Jia Sidao was played by actor Chin Han in the 2014 TV series Marco Polo.

 38 
Fu Hsi
3

Fu Hsi is a Chinese culture hero, according to Chinese mythology and legend. He is credited with creating humanity and inventing domestication, fishing, hunting, and cooking. According to mythology, Fu Hsi also invented Chinese characters, which are being used today. Over the years, Fu Hsi has been the subject of several paintings and other artworks.

 39 
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.  

 40 
Li Xiannian
(Politician)
Li Xiannian
3
Birthdate: June 23, 1909
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hongan
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.

 41 
Bao Zheng
(Politician)
Bao Zheng
3
Birthdate: March 5, 0999
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hefei, China
Died: July 3, 1062

Bao Zheng was a Chinese politician who played an important role in China's Song Dynasty under Emperor Renzong. Remembered for his extreme honesty, Bao was bestowed with the honorific title, Justice Bao. Today, he is revered in Chinese society as the cultural symbol of justice. Thanks to his popularity, Bao Zheng has been portrayed in many films and TV series.

 42 
Zhu De
(2nd Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress)
Zhu De
3
Birthdate: December 1, 1886
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Yilong County, Nanchong, China
Died: July 6, 1976
 43 
Tung Chee-hwa
(Hong Kong Businessman and 1st Chief Executive of Hong Kong (1997 - 2005))
Tung Chee-hwa
3
Birthdate: July 7, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Shanghai, China

Son of shipping magnate and Orient Overseas founder C.Y. Tung, Tung Chee-hwa was educated in Hong Kong, Britain, and the U.S. before taking over the leadership of his family business. He later became the chief executive of Hong Kong and is still known as the “kingmaker” of Hong Kong’s politics.

 44 
Zhang Gaoli
(politician.economist)
Zhang Gaoli
2
Birthdate: November 1, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jinjiang, Fujian

Born into a family of farmers, Zhang Gaoli lost his father at 3. After studying economics, he rose through the ranks of the state-operated oil companies. Gaoli rarely appears at public events but has served as the vice premier of China and been a member of the Politburo Standing Committee.

 45 
Chin Peng
(politician)
Chin Peng
3
Birthdate: October 21, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Perak
Died: September 16, 2013

Chin Peng was a Malayan anti-fascist activist and politician who led the Malayan National Liberation Army and the Malayan Communist Party for many years. He played a major role during World War II, fighting as an anti-fascist guerrilla fighter against the Japanese occupation of Malaya. His life and career have inspired documentaries like I Love Malaya and The Last Communist. 

 46 
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.

 47 
Yang Shangkun
(Politician)
Yang Shangkun
4
Birthdate: August 3, 1907
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tongnan District, Chongqing, China
Died: September 14, 1998

Yang Shangkun was a Chinese Communist political and military leader. From 1988 to 1993, he served as the fourth president of the People's Republic of China. Counted among the Eight Elders of the Communist Party, Yang Shangkun oversaw major political and military affairs. He also played a major role in quelling the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

 48 
Zhao Gao
(Politician)
Zhao Gao
3
Birthdate: 0258 AD
Birthplace: Qin, China
Died: 0207 AD

Zhao Gao was a eunuch who served the emperors of the Qin dynasty. He conspired to overthrow Qin Shi Huang and hid his death from the emperor’s eldest son, sending him a false letter that stated the emperor wanted the prince to commit suicide. Zhao was eventually assassinated.

 49 
Lü Buwei
(Businessman)
Lü Buwei
3
Birthdate: 0235 AD
Birthplace: Zhao, China
Died: 0291 AD

Lü Buwei was a Chinese politician and businessman of the Qin state. He played a major role in helping Zhuangxiang become the heir apparent to the throne. Subsequently, Lü Buwei was appointed as the chancellor when Zhuangxiang ascended the throne. Over the years, he has been portrayed in many films, such as The Emperor and the Assassin.

 50 
Chen Duxiu
(Politician, Professor, Philosopher, Journalist)
Chen Duxiu
3
Birthdate: October 8, 1879
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Q9328148
Died: May 27, 1942

A co-founder and major leader of the Chinese Communist Party, Chen Duxiu is remembered for his association with the May Fourth Movement. Known as China’s Lenin among his followers, he also contributed to the revolution to overthrow the Qing government and promoted vernacular Chinese through the periodical New Youth.