Ye Jianying

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Ye Jianying
叶剑英
Ye Jianying.jpg
3rd Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
In office
5 March 1978 18 June 1983
Premier Hua Guofeng
Zhao Ziyang
Leader Hua Guofeng
Deng Xiaoping
Preceded by Soong Ching-ling (acting)
Succeeded by Li Xiannian (as President)
5th First Vice Chairman of the Communist Party of China
In office
7 October 1976 12 September 1982
Chairman Hua Guofeng
Hu Yaobang
Preceded by Hua Guofeng
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Vice Chairman of the Communist Party of China
In office
30 August 1973 12 September 1982
Chairman Mao Zedong
Hua Guofeng
Hu Yaobang
3rd Minister of National Defense of the People's Republic of China
In office
17 January 1975 26 February 1978
Premier Zhou Enlai
Hua Guofeng
Preceded byMarshal Lin Biao
Succeeded byMarshal Xu Xiangqian
Member of the
National People's Congress
In office
15 September 1954 6 June 1983
Constituency Guangdong At-large (54-59)
PLA At-large (59-83)
1st Mayor of Guangzhou
In office
1949–1952
Preceded byPosition Created
Succeeded by He Wei
Personal details
Born(1897-04-28)28 April 1897
Jiaying, Guangdong, Qing Empire
Died22 October 1986(1986-10-22) (aged 89)
Beijing, China
Political party Flag of the Chinese Communist Party.svg Communist Party of China
Alma mater Flag of the Republic of China Army.svg Whampoa Military Academy
Awards Order of Victory of Resistance against Aggression ribbon.png Order of Victory of Resistance against Aggression (1945)
Zhong Guo Ren Min Jie Fang Jun Yi Ji Ba Yi Xun Zhang De Lue Zhang .png Order of August the First (1st Class Medal) (1955)
Zhong Guo Ren Min Jie Fang Jun Yi Ji Du Li Zi You Xun Zhang De Lue Zhang .png Order of Independence and Freedom (1st Class Medal) (1955)
Zhong Guo Ren Min Jie Fang Jun Yi Ji Jie Fang Xun Zhang De Lue Zhang .PNG Order of Liberation (1st Class Medal) (1955)
Details...
Military service
Nickname(s)叶帅 (Marshal Ye)
花帅 ("Playboy Marshal")
Allegiance Flag of the Chinese Communist Party.svg Communist Party of China
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  People's Republic of China
Branch/serviceGround Force Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  People's Liberation Army Ground Force
Flag of the Republic of China Army.svg 18th Army Group, NRA
Zhong Guo Gong Nong Hong Jun Jun Qi .svg Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army
Flag of the Republic of China Army.svg 1st Army and 4th Army, National Revolutionary Army
Rank Marshal rank insignia (PRC).jpg Marshal of the People's Republic of China
Lieutenant General rank insignia (ROC, NRA).jpg Lieutenant general of the National Revolutionary Army, Republic of China
Commands Flag of the Republic of China Army.svg Chief of Staff, 4th Army, NRA
Zhong Guo Gong Nong Hong Jun Jun Qi .svg Chief of Staff, Red Army
Flag of the Republic of China Army.svg Chief of Staff, 18th Army Group, NRA
People's Liberation Army Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Chief of Staff, CMC
Ye Jianying
Traditional Chinese 葉劍英
Simplified Chinese 叶剑英
Birth name
Traditional Chinese 葉宜偉
Simplified Chinese 叶宜伟
Courtesy name
Traditional Chinese 滄白
Simplified Chinese 沧白

Ye Jianying (Chinese :叶剑英; 28 April 1897 – 22 October 1986) was a Chinese communist revolutionary leader and politician, one of the founding Ten Marshals of the People's Liberation Army. He was the top military leader in the 1976 coup that overthrew the Gang of Four and ended the Cultural Revolution, and was the key supporter of Deng Xiaoping in his power struggle with Hua Guofeng. After Deng ascended power, Ye served as China's head of state as Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress from 1978 to 1983.

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, Malaysia and Singapore.

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

The Communist Party of China (CPC) 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.

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 of 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. As per Credit Suisse, the PLA are the world's third-most powerful military.

Contents

Life

Born Ye Yiwei (Chinese :叶宜伟) into a wealthy Christian Hakka merchant family in Jiaying county (modern-day renamed as Meixian District), Guangdong, his courtesy name was Cangbai (滄白).

Hakka people Ethnic group

The Hakka, sometimes Hakka Han, are Han Chinese people whose ancestral homes are chiefly in the Hakka-speaking provincial areas of Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan, Zhejiang, Hainan and Guizhou. The Chinese characters for Hakka (客家) literally mean "guest families". Unlike other Han Chinese groups, the Hakkas are not named after a geographical region, e.g. a province, county or city, in China. Modern day Hakka are generally identified by both full Hakka and by different degrees of Hakka ancestry and usually speak the Hakka language.

Meixian District District in Guangdong, Peoples Republic of China

Meixian, formerly Meihsien, is a district of Meizhou City, in northeastern Guangdong Province, China.

Guangdong Most populous province of the Peoples Republic of China

Guangdong is a coastal province in South China on the north shore of South China Sea. Its capital of the province is Guangzhou. With a population of 113.46 million across a total area of about 179,800 km2 (69,400 sq mi), Guangdong is the most populous province of China and the 15th-largest by area. Its economy is larger than that of any other province in the nation and the 6th largest sub-national economy in the world with a GDP size of 1.47 trillion US dollars in 2018. The Pearl River Delta Economic Zone, a Chinese megalopolis, is a core for high technology, manufacturing and foreign trade. Located in this zone are two of the four top Chinese cities and the top two Chinese prefecture-level cities by GDP; Guangzhou, the capital of the province, and Shenzhen, the first special economic zone in the country. These two are among the most populous and important cities in China, and have now become two of the world's most populous megacities.

After graduation from the Yunnan Military Academy in 1919, he joined Sun Yat-sen and the Kuomintang (KMT). He taught at the Whampoa Military Academy, and in 1927 joined the Communist Party.

Sun Yat-sen Chinese physician, politician and revolutionary

Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese politician, physician and philosopher who provisionally served as the first president of the Republic of China; and the first leader of the Kuomintang. He is referred as the "Father of the Nation" in the Republic of China due to his instrumental role in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty during the Xinhai Revolution. Sun remains a unique figure among 20th-century Chinese leaders for being widely revered in both mainland China and Taiwan.

Kuomintang Political party in the Republic of China

The Kuomintang of China, also spelled as Guomindang and often alternatively translated as the Nationalist Party of China (NPC) or the Chinese Nationalist Party (CNP), is a major political party in the Republic of China based in Taipei that was founded in 1911. The KMT was formerly the sole ruling party of China from 1928 to 2000 and is currently an opposition political party in the Legislative Yuan.

That year, he participated in the failed Nanchang Uprising and was forced to flee to Hong Kong with two other uprising leaders, Zhou Enlai and Ye Ting (no relation), with only a pair of handguns to share between them. Shortly after, he faithfully carried out his assigned duties during the Guangzhou Uprising, although he had been opposed to it; upon this uprising's failure he was once again obliged to flee to Hong Kong with Ye Ting and Nie Rongzhen. However, Ye was far more fortunate than Ye Ting, who was made a scapegoat for the Comintern's failures and forced into exile. Ye was not blamed, and subsequently studied military science in Moscow.

Hong Kong Special administrative region of China

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a special administrative region on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With over 7.4 million people of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world.

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.

Ye Ting Chinese general

Ye Ting, born in Huiyang, Guangdong, was a Chinese military leader. He started out nationalist but later joined the communists.

After returning to China in 1932 he joined the Jiangxi Soviet, serving as Chief of Staff of Zhang Guotao's Fourth Front Army. However, after Zhang's fighters met up with Mao Zedong's force during the Long March, the two leaders disagreed on the subsequent move of the Chinese Red Army. Zhang insisted on turning southward to establish a new base in the regions inhabited by Tibetan and Qiang minorities. (This later proved to be a disaster, as Mao had anticipated, with Zhang losing over 75% of his men and retreating to the Communist base at Shaanxi.) During the two leaders' disagreement, Ye – though he was Zhang's Chief of Staff – sided with Mao; and instead of supporting Zhang unconditionally as he had during the Guangzhou Uprising, Ye absconded to Mao's headquarters with Zhang's code books and maps. As a result, Zhang's communications with Comintern were cut, while Mao was able to establish a radio link, leading to Comintern's acceptance of Mao's leadership in the Communist Party of China. Mao would never forget Ye's contribution, observing later that "Ye Jianying saved the (Chinese Communist) Party, the (Chinese) Red Army, and the (Chinese) Revolution".

Zhang Guotao Chinese politician

Zhang Guotao, or Chang Kuo-tao, was a founding member and important leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and bitter rival to Mao Zedong. During the 1920s he studied in the Soviet Union and became a key contact with the Comintern and organized the CCP labor movement in the United Front with the Guomindang. In 1931, after the Party had been driven from the cities, he established the E-Yu-Wan Soviet. When his armies were driven from the region, he joined the Long March but lost a contentious struggle for party leadership to Mao Zedong. Zhang's armies then took a different route from Mao's and were badly beaten by local forces in Gansu. When his depleted forces finally arrived to join Mao in Yan'an, Zhang continued his losing challenge to Mao, and left the party in 1938. Zhang eventually retired to Toronto, Canada, in 1968. He became a Christian shortly before his death in 1979. His memoirs provide valuable and vivid information on his life and party history.

Mao Zedong Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China

Mao Zedong, also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who became the founding father of the People's Republic of China (PRC), which he ruled as the Chairman of the Communist Party of China from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. Idelogically a Marxist–Leninist, his theories, military strategies, and political policies are collectively known as Maoism.

Long March Military campaign during the Chinese Civil War

The Long March was a military retreat undertaken by the Red Army of the Communist Party of China, the forerunner of the People's Liberation Army, to evade the pursuit of the Kuomintang army. There was not one Long March, but a series of marches, as various Communist armies in the south escaped to the north and west. The best known is the march from Jiangxi province which began in October 1934. The First Front Army of the Chinese Soviet Republic, led by an inexperienced military commission, was on the brink of annihilation by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's troops in their stronghold in Jiangxi province. The Communists, under the eventual command of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, escaped in a circling retreat to the west and north, which reportedly traversed over 9,000 kilometers over 370 days. The route passed through some of the most difficult terrain of western China by traveling west, then north, to Shaanxi.

During the Long March, Ye assisted Liu Bocheng in directing the crossing of the Yangtze River at Anshunchang and Luding Bridge. After 1936, Ye became director of the offices that liaised with the KMT, first in Xi'an, then in Nanjing and finally in Chongqing. He worked together with Zhou Enlai in this capacity.

Liu Bocheng Chinese politician

Liu Bocheng was a Chinese Communist military commander and Marshal of the People's Liberation Army.

Luding Bridge iron-chain suspension bridge in Sichuan Province, China

Luding Bridge is a bridge over the Dadu River in Luding County, Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, China, located about 80 kilometers west of the city of Ya'an. The bridge dates from the Qing Dynasty and is considered a historical landmark. It was an important crossing on the road between Sichuan and Tibet.

Xian Prefecture-level & Sub-provincial city in Shaanxi, Peoples Republic of China

Xi'an is the capital of Shaanxi Province. A sub-provincial city on the Guanzhong Plain in northwest China, it is one of the oldest cities in China, and the oldest of the Four Great Ancient Capitals, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, including Western Zhou, Qin, Western Han, Sui, and Tang. Xi'an is the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.

After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Ye was placed in charge of Guangdong, which was to cost him his political career under Mao's reign. Ye understood that the economic conditions in the province were very different from those in the rest of China, since most Cantonese landlords were peasants themselves who participated in production without exploiting their tenants. He therefore declined to dispossess the landlords, and instead protected their businesses and land. However, Ye's policies contradicted the general directives of the Party-mandated land reform, which emphasized class struggle. His policies deemed too soft, Ye and his local cadres were soon replaced by Lin Biao's, and a much harsher policy was implemented, with Ye's political career effectively over.

However, Mao did not forget what Ye had done for him during the Long March, and thus removed him only from political posts while preserving his military positions. As a result, until 1968, Ye remained active in various military functions, having been made a marshal in 1955. Ye was clever in using his military influence to provide limited support and protection for reformers like Zhao Ziyang, and he was responsible for interfering with assassination attempts on Deng Xiaoping during the Cultural Revolution.

After Lin Biao was overthrown and died in 1971, Ye's influence grew, and in 1975 he was appointed Defense Minister, taking Lin Biao's post. From 1973, he was also a Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

He led the conspiracy of generals and Party elders that overthrew Jiang Qing and the Gang of Four; during initial planning at his residence, he and Li Xiannian communicated by writing, although they sat next to each other, because of the possibility of bugging.

Thanks to Ye's support of Chairman Hua Guofeng, he was confirmed as party vice-chairman at the Eleventh National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 1977. Because the physical demands of Defense Minister were too great for the octogenarian Ye, he resigned from that position in 1978 and was appointed Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, filling a post left unoccupied since Zhu De's death in 1976. As such, Ye was China's ceremonial Head of State. Ye retired from this position in 1983 and in 1985 he withdrew completely from the Politburo. He died a little over a year later at the age of 89.

Personal life

Ye had married six times and had six children. His sons include Ye Xuanping (1924–2019), Ye Xuanning (1938–2016), and Ye Xuanlian (叶选廉, born 1952). Ye's granddaughter Robynn Yip (born 1986), daughter of Xuanlian, is a professional musician based in Hong Kong.

Awards

Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Republic of China
Order of Victory of Resistance against Aggression ribbon.png Order of Victory of Resistance against Aggression (1945)
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  People's Republic of China
Zhong Guo Ren Min Jie Fang Jun Yi Ji Ba Yi Xun Zhang De Lue Zhang .png Order of August the First (1st Class Medal) (1955)
Zhong Guo Ren Min Jie Fang Jun Yi Ji Du Li Zi You Xun Zhang De Lue Zhang .png Order of Independence and Freedom (1st Class Medal) (1955)
Zhong Guo Ren Min Jie Fang Jun Yi Ji Jie Fang Xun Zhang De Lue Zhang .PNG Order of Liberation (1st Class Medal) (1955)

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A List of Historical makeup of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China since 1927–present.

References

    Government offices
    Preceded by
    He Siyuan
    Mayor of Beijing
    1949
    Succeeded by
    Nie Rongzhen
    Preceded by
    Governor of Guangdong
    1949–1953
    Succeeded by
    Tao Zhu
    Vacant
    Title last held by
    Marshal Lin Biao
    Minister of National Defense of the People's Republic of China
    1975–1978
    Succeeded by
    Marchal Xu Xiangqian
    Assembly seats
    Preceded by
    Soong Ching-ling
    Acting
    Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
    1978–1983
    Succeeded by
    Peng Zhen
    Head of State of the People's Republic of China
    (as Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee)

    1978–1983
    Succeeded by
    Li Xiannian
    as President of the People's Republic of China
    Party political offices
    Preceded by
    Secretary of the CPC Guangdong Committee
    1949–1955
    Succeeded by
    Tao Zhu
    Vacant
    Title last held by
    Lin Biao
    Vice Chairman of the Communist Party of China
    1973–1982
    Served alongside: Zhou Enlai, Hua Guofeng, Deng Xiaoping, Wang Dongxing, Li Desheng, Kang Sheng, Wang Hongwen, Chen Yun, Zhao Ziyang
    Post abolished