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Zhang was the head of the 12th army group of Chinese Red Army, the principal of the Red Army University in Ruijin, the chief of staff of the 4th army of the Red 4th army group, the chief of staff of Red Army University, and the head of the 1st bureau of central military commission. During Second Sino-Japanese War, he was the general of 358 brigade, affiliated to 120 division of the Eighth Route Army. In 1945, he became the commander and political commissar of the Luliang military region. He later became the vice commander of Northwest Field Army, vice commander of No. one field army and vice commander of Northwest Military Region.
He participated many famous battles, and was regarded as one of "Ten Anti-Japan Generals" of CPC. He was awarded the General (Shang Jiang) rank in 1955.
He was promoted to the deputy chief of staff of PLA, the director of the department of military academy and the vice-director of the department of training superintendence. In 1971, he was appointed as the vice commander of Jinan Military Region. In 1973, he was promoted to the director of the general logistics department of PLA, until his retirement in 1978.
- "PLA reshuffle strengthens Xi Jinping's hand in corruption fight". South China Morning Post. 2014-09-22.