Peng Zhen

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Peng.
Peng Zhen
Peng Zhen 1956.jpg
Peng Zhen in 1956
Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
In office
Preceded by Ye Jianying
Succeeded by Wan Li
1st Secretary of CPC Central Political and Legislative Committee
In office
Succeeded by Chen Pixian
1st First Secretary of the CPC Beijing Committee
In office
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by Li Xuefeng
Personal details
Born (1902-10-12)October 12, 1902
Houma, Shanxi, China
Died April 26, 1997(1997-04-26) (aged 94)
Beijing, China
Nationality Chinese
Political party Communist Party of China
Spouse(s) Zhang Jieqing
Peng Zhen
Chinese 彭真

Peng Zhen (pronounced [pʰə̌ŋ ʈʂə́n]; October 12, 1902 – April 26, 1997) was a leading member of the Communist Party of China. He led the party organization in Beijing following the victory of the Communists in the Chinese Civil War in 1949, but was purged during the Cultural Revolution for opposing Mao's views on the role of literature in relation to the state. He was rehabilitated under Deng Xiaoping in 1982 along with other 'wrongly accused' officials, and became the inaugural head of the CPC Central Political and Legislative Committee.


Born in Houma, Shanxi province, Peng was originally named Fu Maogong (傅懋恭). He joined the Chinese Communist Party in 1923 as a founding member of the Shanxi Province CP. Arrested in 1929, he continued underground political activities while imprisoned. He was released from prison in 1935 and began organizing a resistance movement against the invading Japanese forces. Around the same time, he was appointed the Organization Department Director of the North Bureau of CPC. He also served on a number of positions as vice-president of the Central Party School and director of the CPC Policy Research Office. In 1945 he served in the history research committee and the organizing committee of the Communist Party's 7th National Congress.

In September 1945 Peng was sent by Mao Zedong to take up overall leadership of the Communists in Northeast China. He was accompanied by Lin Biao who was to assist Peng with directing military operations against the Nationalists. Peng decided that the Communists could hold the 3 big cities of the Northeast: Shenyang, Changchun and Harbin. When the Nationalists under the command of Du Yuming attacked in November 1945, the Communists were forced back. Peng was removed as Communist leader in the northeast after further failure by Lin Biao's forces in March 1946 led to the Communists retreat back to Harbin.[1]

Peng was a member of the CPC Central Committee starting from 1944 as well as member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee. He also held the positions of First Secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee, and Mayor of Beijing (1951). He was Politburo member from 1956 to 1966.

Peng was appointed head of the Five Man Group in charge of preparing the cultural revolution, but he fell out of favor with Mao Zedong in April 1966 when he attacked Mao's belief that all literature should support the state. He was accused of being an associate to Wu Han's counter-revolutionary clique and deposed at a May conference, along with Lu Dingyi, Luo Ruiqing and Yang Shangkun, at the very start of the Cultural Revolution.

Peng survived to be rehabilitated under Deng Xiaoping. He subsequently became Secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee (1980), a post he already held from late 1950s in the capacity of leader of a Central Politics and Law Leading Group. As Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Sixth National People's Congress (1983), he sought to increase the NPC's power. Peng retired from his leading political positions in 1988.

He is considered one of the Eight Immortals of the Communist Party of China.


  1. ^ Tanner, Harold M. (2012). "Big Army Groups, Standardisation, and Assaulting Fortified Positions: Chinese Ways of Warfare and the Transition from Guerilla to Conventional War in China's Northeast, 1945 - 1948.". Journal of Chinese Military History One (Two): 111–113. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Pitman B. Potter , From Leninist Discipline to Socialist Legalism: Peng Zhen on Law and Political Authority in the PRC, Stanford University Press; 1 edition (March 13, 2003), hardcover: 272 pages, ISBN 0804745005 ISBN 978-0804745000
Political offices
Preceded by
Nie Rongzhen
Mayor of Beijing
Succeeded by
Wu De
New title Secretary-General of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
Succeeded by
Liu Ningyi
Preceded by
Ji Pengfei
Secretary-General of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
Succeeded by
Yang Shangkun
Preceded by
Ye Jianying
Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
Succeeded by
Wan Li
Party political offices
Preceded by
Chen Yun
Head of the Central Organization Department of the Communist Party of China
Acting from 1944–1945

Succeeded by
Rao Shushi
New title Secretary of the CPC Beijing Committee
Succeeded by
Li Xuefeng
Secretary of the CPC Central Political and Legislative Affairs Commission
Succeeded by
Chen Pixian