Luo Ruiqing

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Luo Ruiqing
Luo Ruiqing.jpg
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 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg 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 (simplified Chinese: 罗瑞卿; traditional Chinese: 羅瑞卿; pinyin: Luó Ruìqīng; May 31, 1906 – August 3, 1978) was a general and politician of the People's Republic of China.

Biography[edit]

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.

Luo took part at the Korean War from 1950 to 1953. He was awarded as Da Jiang or General of the Army, the highest rank of general in People's Liberation Army in 1955.

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.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
New title Minister of Public Security of the People's Republic of China
1949–1959
Succeeded by
Xie Fuzhi
Military offices
Preceded by
Huang Kecheng
Head of the People's Liberation Army General Staff Department
1959–1965
Succeeded by
Yang Chengwu