Li Hui (died 231), style name De'ang (德昂), was an official of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history. In Luo Guanzhong's historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Li Hui foresaw the defeat of Liu Zhang so he ended up submitting to Liu Bei. When Ma Chao came to the aid of Liu Zhang, Li Hui then persuaded Ma Chao to join Liu Bei. Li Hui served Shu during the Northern and Southern campaigns led by Zhuge Liang. In reality, however, Li Hui was not satisfied with Liu Zhang's reign and despite Liu Zhang's repeated requests, Li Hui had refused to serve in his government and remained as a civilian. After Liu Bei had become the local ruler, Zhuge Liang invited Li Hui to serve under Liu Bei, and since Li Hui admired both Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang, he agreed and was assigned an important post in Liu Bei's regime.
During Zhuge Liang's Southern Campaign, Li Hui was assigned to attack Jianning (建寧) from Pingyi (平夷) by marching southwest on the central front, while Ma Zhong led a bigger army on the eastern front, and the main force at the right front was personally led by Zhuge Liang himself. Li Hui's army, however, became surrounded in Kunming by the rebel forces twice his numbers, and he did not know of Zhuge Liang's whereabouts to ask for reinforcements for some time. Knowing the importance of the effort of tying down the enemy to prevent them from reinforcing other rebels in the eastern and western fronts, Li Hui not only successfully held out at Kunming, but also actively engaged in constantly striking the rebels, so the enemy was unable to divert their force to reinforce the other two fronts. Li Hui finally learned the news of rebels' defeat at the other two fronts so he pretended to be eager to gain a better deal with the enemy by claiming that he was ready to cooperate with the rebels, saying his supplies had run out and he could not return back north and so had no choice but to join the rebels and help them to negotiate with Zhuge Liang. When the Nanman people trusted him and lowered their guards, Li Hui struck and defeated the encirclement. Chasing the fleeing rebels all the way to their base, Li Hui then led his men south to Panjiang (槃江), and it was his turn to encircle the surviving rebels. However, because Li Hui's force was the smallest among the three fronts, he was unable to take the rebel base and annihilate the enemy until he was joined by Ma Zhong to the east who defeated Zhu Bao in Qielan (且蘭). Finally, the two divergent forces rejoined Zhuge Liang's main army.
To better administer the region after the end of Zhuge Liang's Southern Campaign, the region was divided into four governing regions instead of the original single one, and Li Hui was appointed as the governor of the new governing regions. Li Hui's nephew, Li Qiu (李球), became the Right Commander (羽林右部督) of Imperial Bodyguard for Liu Shan and died in the last battle defending Shu Han with Zhuge Zhan, Huang Chong, Zhang Zun and Zhuge Shang in 263.
Appointments and titles held
- Inspector (督郵) in Jianning Commandery (建寧郡)
- Assistant Officer of Merit and Registrar (功曹書佐主簿)
- Assisting Attendant Officer (別駕從事) to Liu Bei
- Area Commander of Laijiang (庲降都督)
- Inspector of Jiao Province (交州刺史)
- Marquis of Hanxing (漢興亭侯)
- General Who Pacifies Han (安漢將軍)
- Administrator of Jianning (建寧太守)