Li Zuocheng

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Li Zuocheng
Chief of the CMC Joint Staff Department
Assumed office
August 2017
Preceded byFang Fenghui
Commander of the PLA Ground Force
In office
January 2016 – August 2017
Preceded byPosition created
Succeeded byHan Weiguo
Commander of Chengdu Military Region
In office
August 2013 – January 2016
Preceded byLi Shiming
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
BornOctober 1953 (age 65)
Anhua County, Hunan, China
Political partyCommunist Party of China
AwardsMerit of the First Class
Military service
Allegiance China
Service/branchGround Force Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg PLA Ground Force
Years of service1970−present
RankPLAGeneral r.png General
Battles/warsSino-Vietnamese War

Li Zuocheng (Chinese: 李作成; born October 1953) is a general (shang jiang) of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China, currently serving as the chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission. Between 2015 and 2017, he served as the inaugural Commander of the PLA Ground Force. A veteran of the Sino-Vietnamese War, he served in southern China for most of his career; he was commander of the Chengdu Military Region between 2013 and 2016.[1]


Li Zuocheng was born in October 1953 in Anhua County, Hunan Province. He joined the PLA in 1970 at the age of 17.[2][3]

In 1978, Li fought in the Sino-Vietnamese War as a company commander in the Guangxi Military District. His unit fought a lengthy engagement with the Vietnamese army that lasted 26 days. He was injured in battle but refused to stop fighting. His unit was named by the Central Military Commission as a "hero company", and Li was awarded merit of the first class and officially named a "war hero".[2] In 1982, largely as a result of his wartime achievements, Li was selected to sit in the Presidium (主席团) of the 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the age of only 29.[2]

Li Zuocheng steadily rose through the military ranks, and became a division commander by 1994. His division was lauded for its performance during the relief efforts of the Guangxi floods in the summer of 1994, and the entire division was awarded merit of the second class. In 1995, Li was named one of the "100 best public servants" of China. He was promoted to the rank of major general in 1997.[2]

In 1998, 45-year-old Li Zuocheng succeeded Ou Jingu (欧金谷) as Commander of the 41st Group Army, becoming China's youngest army commander at the time; he commanded the 41st Army in the relief efforts of the great Yangtze floods of that year.[2]

Li was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff of the Guangzhou Military Region in 2002; even though this was technically a lateral move, the transfer was seen as a 'sidelining' of Li, because he was no longer serving on the frontline of command. In December 2007, he was transferred to the Chengdu Military Region and became its Deputy Commander. He attained the rank of lieutenant general in 2009. In August 2013, he was promoted to Commander of the Chengdu Military Region, replacing the retiring general Li Shiming (no relation).[2]

On 31 July 2015, Li Zuocheng was promoted to general (shang jiang), the highest rank for Chinese military officers in active service, together with nine other officers.[4] After the PLA's re-organization in late 2015, Li was named the inaugural commander of the People's Liberation Army Ground Force.[5] In August 2017, Li was named chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission.[6]


  1. ^ Zhang Jianfeng (2 January 2016). "China inaugurates PLA Rocket Force as military reform deepens". CCTV.
  2. ^ a b c d e f 李作成升任成都军区司令员 [Li Zuocheng promoted to Commander of the Chengdu Military Region]. Caixin (in Chinese). 6 August 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Li Zuocheng" (in Chinese). Phoenix New Media. 27 August 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  4. ^ "China promotes 10 officers to general". Xinhua. 2015-07-31.
  5. ^ "李作成出任解放军陆军司令员 刘雷任陆军政委". Sina. Retrieved 2016-01-01.
  6. ^ "中央军委联合参谋部参谋长李作成会见巴基斯坦陆军参谋长". (in Chinese). 2017-08-26.