Nie Rongzhen

Last updated
Nie Rongzhen
Marshal Nie Rongzhen.jpg
Marshal Nie Rongzhen
Native name
BornDecember 29, 1899
Kaixian, Sichuan, Qing China
DiedMay 14, 1992(1992-05-14) (aged 92)
Beijing, PRC
AllegianceFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg  People's Republic of China
Service/branch People's Liberation Army Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg People's Liberation Army
Years of service1923–1989
Commands helddivision commander, Eighth Route Army,Commander-in-Chief, Northern China Military Region
Battles/wars Northern Expedition, Long March, Hundred Regiments Offensive, Chinese Civil War
Other workPolitician, Writer, Military Instructor
Nie Rongzhen
Traditional Chinese 聶榮臻
Simplified Chinese 聂荣臻

Nie Rongzhen (Chinese :聂荣臻; Wade–Giles :Nieh Jung-chen; December 29, 1899 – May 14, 1992) was a prominent Chinese Communist military leader, and one of ten Marshals in the People's Liberation Army of China. He was the last surviving PLA officer with the rank of Marshal.

Simplified Chinese characters standardized Chinese characters developed in mainland China

Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore.

Wade–Giles, sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a romanization system for Mandarin Chinese. It developed from a system produced by Thomas Wade, during the mid-19th century, and was given completed form with Herbert A. Giles's Chinese–English Dictionary of 1892.

Communist Party of China Political party of the Peoples Republic of China

The Communist Party of China (CPC), also referred to as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China. The Communist Party is the sole governing party within mainland China, permitting only eight other, subordinated parties to co-exist, those making up the United Front. It was founded in 1921, chiefly by Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao. The party grew quickly, and by 1949 it had driven the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) government from mainland China after the Chinese Civil War, leading to the establishment of the People's Republic of China. It also controls the world's largest armed forces, the People's Liberation Army.



Nie was born in Jiangjin County in Sichuan (now part of Chongqing municipality), the cosmopolitan and well-educated son of a wealthy family. In his 20s, Nie applied to the Université du Travail (University of Labour) in Charleroi, Belgium, with a scholarship from the Socialist Party, and was thus able to study science in Charleroi.

Jiangjin District District in Chongqing, Peoples Republic of China

Jiangjin, one of the districts in the southwest of Chongqing, China, lies along the upper reaches of Yangtze River, and has a history extending back more than 1500 years. The district covers 3200 square kilometres and has a population of 1,460,000, and borders the provinces of Sichuan to the southwest and Guizhou to the south. The county seat and central town of Jiangjin is 50 km (31 mi) away by highway, 65 km (40 mi) away by railway and 72 km (45 mi) away by waterway from Yuzhong of central Chongqing.

Sichuan Province

Sichuan is a province in southwest China occupying most of the Sichuan Basin and the easternmost part of the Tibetan Plateau between the Jinsha River on the west, the Daba Mountains in the north, and the Yungui Plateau to the south. Sichuan's capital city is Chengdu. The population of Sichuan stands at 81 million.

Chongqing Municipality in Peoples Republic of China

Chongqing, alternately romanized as Chungking, is a major city in southwest China. Administratively, it is one of China's four municipalities under the direct administration of central government, and the only such municipality in China located far away from the coast.

Political leanings

Zhou Enlai spent a night in Charleroi and met with Nie. Nie agreed to join the group of Chinese students in France on a work-study program, where he studied engineering and became a protégé of Zhou Enlai. He joined the Communist Party of China in 1923.

Zhou Enlai 1st Premier of the Peoples Republic of China

Zhou Enlai was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China. Zhou was China's head of government, serving from October 1949 until his death in January 1976. Zhou served under Chairman Mao Zedong and was instrumental in the Communist Party's rise to power, and later in consolidating its control, forming foreign policy, and developing the Chinese economy.

Engineering applied science

Engineering is the application of knowledge in the form of science, mathematics, and empirical evidence, to the innovation, design, construction, operation and maintenance of structures, machines, materials, software, devices, systems, processes, and organizations. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specialized fields of engineering, each with a more specific emphasis on particular areas of applied mathematics, applied science, and types of application. See glossary of engineering.

A graduate of the Soviet Red Army Military College and Whampoa Academy, Nie spent his early career first as a political officer in Whampoa's Political Department, where Zhou served as the Deputy Director, and in the Chinese Red Army.

Peoples Liberation Army combined military forces of the Peoples Republic of China

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the armed forces of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and its founding and ruling political party, the Communist Party of China (CPC). The PLA consists of five professional service branches: the Ground Force, Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, and the Strategic Support Force. Units around the country are assigned to one of five theater commands by geographical location. The PLA is the world's largest military force and constitutes the second largest defence budget in the world. It is one of the fastest modernising military powers in the world and has been termed as a potential military superpower, with significant regional defense and rising global power projection capabilities. China is also the third largest arms exporter in the world.

World War II

During the Second Sino-Japanese War, he was first assigned as the deputy division commander of the 115th division of the Eighth Route Army, with the commander being Lin Biao, and in the late 1930s he was given a field command close to Yan Xishan's Shanxi stronghold.

Second Sino-Japanese War military conflict between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from 1937 to 1945

The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from July 7, 1937, to September 2, 1945. It began with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937 in which a dispute between Japanese and Chinese troops escalated into a battle. Some sources in the modern People's Republic of China date the beginning of the war to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931.

Eighth Route Army

The Eighth Route Army, officially known as the 18th Army Group of the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China, was a group army under the command of the Chinese Communist Party, nominally within the structure of the Chinese military headed by the Chinese Nationalist Party during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Lin Biao Vice Chairman of the Communist Party of China

Lin Biao was a Marshal of the People's Republic of China who was pivotal in the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War, especially in Northeast China. Lin was the general who commanded the decisive Liaoshen and Pingjin Campaigns, in which he co-led the Manchurian Field Army to victory and led the People's Liberation Army into Beijing. He crossed the Yangtze River in 1949, decisively defeated the Kuomintang and took control of the coastal provinces in Southeast China. He ranked third among the Ten Marshals. Zhu De and Peng Dehuai were considered senior to Lin, and Lin ranked directly ahead of He Long and Liu Bocheng.

Civil War

In the Chinese Civil War he commanded the Northern China Military Region, and with his deputy Xu Xiangqian, his force defeated Fu Zuoyi's forces in Tianjin near Beijing. During the Korean War, Nie took part in high level command decision making, military operations planning, and shared responsibility for war mobilization. Nie was made a Marshal of the PLA in 1955 and later ran the Chinese nuclear weapons program.

Chinese Civil War 1927–1950 civil war in China

The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led government of the Republic of China and the Communist Party of China (CPC) lasting intermittently between 1927 and 1949. Although particular attention is paid to the four years of Chinese Communist Revolution from 1945 to 1949, the war actually started in August 1927, with the White Terror at the end of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's Northern Expedition, and essentially ended when major hostilities between the two sides ceased in 1950. The conflict took place in two stages, the first between 1927 and 1937, and the second from 1946 to 1950; the Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937 to 1945 was an interlude in which the two sides were united against the forces of Japan. The Civil War marked a major turning point in modern Chinese history, with the Communists gaining control of mainland China and establishing the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, forcing the Republic of China (ROC) to retreat to Taiwan. It resulted in a lasting political and military standoff between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, with the ROC in Taiwan and the PRC in mainland China both officially claiming to be the legitimate government of all China.

Xu Xiangqian Chinese politician and field marshal

Xu Xiangqian was a Chinese Communist military leader and one of the Ten Marshals of the People's Liberation Army. He was the son of a wealthy landowner, but joined Chiang Kai-shek's National Revolutionary Army, against his parents' wishes, in 1924. When the Kuomintang began to fight the Communists in 1927, Xu left Chiang's forces and led a Communist army based in Sichuan under the political authority of Zhang Guotao. After Zhang was purged in the early 1930s, Xu survived politically and rejoined the Red Army, in a less senior position, under the leadership of Mao Zedong.

Fu Zuoyi Chinese politician

Fu Zuoyi was a Chinese military leader. He began his military career in the service of Yan Xishan, and he was widely praised for his defense of Suiyuan from the Japanese. During the final stages of the Chinese Civil War, Fu surrendered the large and strategic garrison around Beiping to Communist forces. He later served in the government of the People's Republic of China.

Purge and rehabilitation

He was purged during the Cultural Revolution, but was later rehabilitated and became vice chairman of the Central Military Committee, which controlled the nation's armed forces, and also became the vice chairman of the National People's Congress. He retired in 1987 and died in Beijing.

Personal life

Nie had a daughter with Zhang Ruihua (张瑞华) in 1930, who was named Nie Li. She was imprisoned with her mother by the Kuomintang in 1934 and did not see her father again until 1945. Nie Li is a lieutenant general of the People's Liberation Army and the first woman to hold that rank. [1]

See also

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  1. "中科院院士丁衡高与妻子聂力中将简介" [Introduction to the Chinese Academy of Sciences scholar Ding Henggao and his wife Middle General Nie Li]. Meili de Shenhua (in Chinese). 10 April 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
Government offices
Preceded by
Ye Jianying
Mayor of Beijing
Succeeded by
Peng Zhen
Preceded by
Director of State Science and Technology Commission
Succeeded by
Fang Yi
Military offices
Preceded by
Xu Xiangqian
Chief of Staff of the Central Military Commission

Succeeded by
Su Yu
as the Chief of Staff of the PLA