10 Maréchaux de Chine

10. Ye Jianying

    Ye Jianying(April 28, 1897-October 22, 1986) was a Chinese Communist general and the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress from 1978 to 1983.
    Born Ye Yiwei into a wealthy merchant family in Meixian County, Guangdong Province, his courtesy name was Cangbai. He belonged to the Hakka minority. 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 joined the communist party in 1927. He participated in the failed Nanchang and Guangzhou Uprisings (1927), fled to Hong Kong and subsequently studied military science in Moscow. After returning to China in 1932 he joined the Jiangxi Soviet. He served as Chief of Staff of Zhang Guotao's Fourth Front Army. Ye survived the Long March, during which he assisted Liu Bocheng in directing the crossing of the Yangtze River, and became director of the offices that liaised with the KMT after 1936, first in Xi'an, then in Nanjing and finally in Chongqing. He worked together with Zhou Enlai in this capacity. Until 1968, Ye would be active in various military functions, including Defense Minister, having been made a marshal in 1955. He led the conspiracy of generals and Party elders that overthrew Jiang Qing and the Gang of Four. He retired as vice-chairman of the Party when the position was abolished in 1982, and left the Politburo in September 1985. He died at 89 in Beijing.
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