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General of the Army Luo Ruiqing
|Nickname(s)||Luo the Tall|
|Born||May 31, 1906
Nanchong, Sichuan, China
|Died||August 3, 1978
Heidelberg, West Germany
|Allegiance||People's Republic of China|
|Service/branch||People's Liberation Army|
|Years of service||1928-1966|
|Rank||General of People's Liberation Army|
|Commands held||Commander-in-chief of the 2nd Army Group, North China, Chief of General Staff|
|Battles/wars||Northern Expedition, Long March, Hundred Regiments Offensive, Chinese Civil War, Korean War|
|Awards||Order of Independence, Hero of Democratic People's Republic of Korea|
|Other work||Politician, Writer|
Luo Ruiqing was born in Nanchong, Sichuan in 1906. He joined the Communist Party of China in 1928. He was the eldest son of a wealthy landlord named Luo Chunting (罗春庭), who had a total of six kids. However, Luo Chunting was an opium addict and lost all of his wealth due to his addiction, and the entire family had to rely on Luo Ruiqing's mother, who did not leave behind a first name, but only her last name Xian (鲜). Due to the downfall of his family fortune, Luo Ruiqing did not receive any traditional Chinese primary education until he was 6, and then did not enter modern elementary school until the age of 14. At the edge of 17, he passed the entrance exam and entered County Middle School of Nanchong. Despite the decrease of family wealth, Luo's family was still able to afford the hefty sum of money needed for his education, and this fact was used by the Red Guards to attack Luo during Cultural Revolution. It was only after Luo had entered the Advanced Sericulture Academy in Chengdu at the age of 20 when his family was completely gone, and as a result, he was forced to drop out of school and become an apprentice at a silk store, but he never returned to school to complete his study. Luo's early life was willfully ignored in the official Chinese records until 1990s, because his petty bourgeoisie background does not fit the political environment until the end of 20th Century.
Luo took part at the Long March and occupied several posts in the People's Liberation Army in the aftermath. He was transferred to Shaanxi to run the training of young cadres. He led several purges of supporters of former General Secretary Wang Ming. He was then put in charge of eliminating the faction loyal to Zhang Guotao, Mao Zedong's rival in the Fourth Front Army, shortly after his political defeat.
After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Luo was appointed Minister of Public Security and a member of the Central Military Commission. He was so responsible for consolidating the new system against its internal enemies; in 1950, at a conference in Beijing, he supported the establishment of a militia under his Ministry similar to the Soviet MVD armed force.
At the Eight National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 1956, he was elected a member of the Central Committee and its Secretariat, and secretary-general of the Central Military Commission. In 1959 he was also elected a Vice Premier of the State Council.
After Huang Kecheng was removed from his posts in 1959 along with Peng Dehuai, Luo replaced him as chief of the PLA General Staff. However, his reluctance to follow Mao's idea of emphasizing the political training within the army and rifts with Lin Biao led him to be relieved of his posts in December 1965, though he remained a Vice Premier.
During the first stages of the Cultural Revolution, he was branded as part of the "Peng-Luo-Lu-Yang anti-Party clique" (with Peng Zhen, Lu Dingyi and Yang Shangkun). After criticism sessions, he attempted suicide on March 16, 1966 by jumping from the third floor of a building, surviving but breaking both his legs. This was seen as a proof of his guilt, so he received further public criticism after he recovered. He was hospitalized many times in the following years, and he was forced to have his left leg amputated in 1969.
Luo was rehabilitated by Mao during a meeting of the Central Military Commission in 1975, when he recognized that Lin Biao fabricated a case against the former General. In 1977 Luo was elected in the 11th Central Committee and got back his post of CMC secretary-general.
Luo died on August 3, 1978 while in West Germany for medical treatment.
- High Tide of Terror, a strongly critical article about Luo Ruiqing published on March 5, 1956 by Time Magazine
- (Chinese) Biography of Luo Ruiqing, Xinhuanet
- (Chinese) 杨成武谈揭批罗瑞卿实情, ("Yang Chengwu discusses the true facts about the campaign to expose and criticise Luo Ruiqing"), Yanhuang Chunqiu magazine, Beijing, 2005 Vol. 10. General Yang Chengwu, who took part in the campaign against Luo, recalls the events.
|New title||Minister of Public Security of the People's Republic of China
|Head of the People's Liberation Army General Staff Department