Biography in English

Ho Lung 賀龍 T. Yun-ch'ing 雲卿 Ho Lung (11 March 1896-), Hunanese military leader who, with Yeh T'ing (q.v.) staged the Nanchang uprising of 1 August 1927. He helped build the Chinese Communist military establishment in the 1930's and 1940's. After 1949 he served the Central People's Government in such posts as commander of the Southwest Military District (1950-52), head of the National Physical Culture and Sports Commission (1952-), and officer of the State and National Defense councils.

A native of Tayung in western Hunan, Ho Lung was the son of a poor, but locally prominent officer of the Ch'ing military forces. He received little formal education. His father, an influential member of the Ko-lao-hui [elder brother society], encouraged him to become a military man. In the spring of 1912 there was a famine in western Hunan. Ho Lung participated in a peasant rebellion in the neighboring hsien of Sangchih; he often was referred to in later years as a native of that district. Starting with a few followers, Ho built an armed force of several thousand men, and he gradually extended his raids into bordering districts of Kweichow, Szechwan, and Hupeh. Because it was unable to defeat him, the government of Hunan in 1918 gave him a commission in the provincial army.

From 1918 to 1925 Ho Lung gained practical experience as a military officer and rose to the rank of regimental commander under Wu P'ei-fu (q.v.). Early in 1925 he was associated for a time with the Szechwanese general Hsiung K'o-wu (q.v.) and was given command of a unit in the Szechwan National Construction Army. Ho then transferred his loyalties to the Hunanese general Chao Heng-t'i (q.v.), who made him garrison commander of Lichou, with jurisdiction over some ten hsien of western Hunan, a territory through which opium caravans passed on the way from Yunnan to Hankow. Ho maintained himself comfortably by levying taxes on the opium trade. As plans developed for the Northern Expedition, Ho Lung was induced to join the Kuomintang and to support the Nationalist effort to unify China. When the National Revolutionary Army reached Hunan in 1926, Ho Lung joined it, and he established a program of political indoctrination in the unit under his command. His unit then was reorganized as the Independent 5th Division, and his relative Chou I-ch'un was named to head its political department. Chou I-ch'un, a Communist, was a graduate of the first class at the Whampoa Military Academy. He had served as a political instructor under Chou En-lai after graduation. In the campaign in Honan, the Independent 5th Division distinguished itself, capturing the sedan chair of Chao Jung-chen, an army commander under Chang Tso-lin. Ho Lung's division then was enlarged to become the Twentieth Army of the National Revolutionary Army. When the Kuomintang factions at Wuhan and Nanking split in the spring of 1927, Ho Lung remained loyal to the authorities at Wuhan. When Wang Ching-wei, the dominant Kuomintang figure at Wuhan, began to suppress the Communists there in July 1927, Ho Lung was ordered to move his forces to Kiukiang in Kiangsi province. However, Ho did not stop at Kiukiang, but moved on to Nanchang. Forces of his Twentieth Army joined with units of the Eleventh Army under Yeh T'ing (q.v.) to stage an uprising in the early morning hours of 1 August 1927. Although it was suppressed a few days later, the Nanchang uprising later came to be celebrated by the Chinese Communists as the birth of the Red Army in China. After their defeat at Nanchang, Ho Lung, Yeh T'ing, Chu Teh, and other military officers associated with the action marched southward. On 10 August 1927 Ho Lung joined the Chinese Communist party. In late September, the Communist forces occupied Swatow, but they were driven out a few days later. Under sustained attack. Ho Lung and his forces retreated to Haifeng, Kwangtung, where he was captured. He escaped and fled to Hong Kong. Chou En-lai, then recovering in Hong Kong from a bout with malaria, gave him formal indoctrination in Marxism-Leninism. Ho Lung then went to Shanghai to establish contact with the central authorities of the Chinese Communist party.

Ho Lung was assigned to western Hunan to organize a new base. Accompanied by a few political workers, he traveled secretly to Wuhan and thence to the Sangchih district of Hunan. His assistants included Chou I-ch'un, who had served with him in the Twentieth Army, and his sister Ho Hsiang-ku. Ho Lung began to mobilize political support among the poor peasants and to organize military forces. The resulting Hunan-Hupeh soviet area soon developed into an important Communist base area in central China. In 1930, Ho Lung's troops were designated the Second Red Army. In the next year, the unit was expanded to include three Red armies, the Second, Sixth, and Ninth, with Ho in over-all command.

The Chinese Communist party top command, then underground at Shanghai, assigned Teng Chung-hsia (q.v.), who had recently returned to China from the Soviet Union, to the soviet area as Ho Lung's political commissar. Teng soon returned to Shanghai. In 1931 Teng was succeeded by Hsia Hsi, a Hunanese Communist who had been an original member of the Hsin-min hsueh-hui [new people's study society] at Changsha in the period after the First World War. Through Hsia Hsi, Ho Lung met Mao Tse-tung. In November 1931, when the first All-China Soviet Congress met at Juichin, Kiangsi, a central soviet government was formed and Ho Lung was elected to membership on its executive council. In 1932 Kuan Hsiang-ying (q.v.) was assigned to Ho Lung's base area as political commissar. Kuan and Ho became close friends.

Because of increasing Nationalist military pressure in 1932-33, Ho Lung was forced to abandon his original base area in the Hung Lake area west of Wuhan and to seek refuge in the remote Hunan-Kweichow border area. In November 1934 Communist forces under Hsiao K'o and Jen Pi-shih (qq.v.), which had been operating along the Kiangsi-Hunan border, joined forces with Ho Lung at Yenho. Hsiao K'o had succeeded Chou I-ch'un (who had been killed) as commander of the Sixth Red Army. The Second Army and the Sixth Army were merged to form the Second Front Army, with Ho Lung as commander. Ho then began work to establish a new Communist territorial base, the Hunan-Hupeh-Szechwan- Kweichow border area.

Although Nationalist military encirclement forced the bulk of the Chinese Communist forces in Kiangsi to begin the Long March in October 1934, Ho Lung and his Second Front Army remained in their base area until the autumn of 1935, when they began a separate retreat. After moving thjough Kweichow and Yunnan, Ho Lung led his men on an arduous march into Sikang, where they succeeded in making a rendezvous in June 1936 with the Fourth Front Army of Chang Kuo-t'ao and Hsü Hsiang-ch'ien (qq.v.). These forces then decided to march northward. Ho Lung and his troops finally arrived at the new Communist base in northern Shensi in October 1936.

After the Sian Incident and the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war in the summer of 1937, the Communists and the Kuomintang reached agreement on the formation of a united front against Japan. Under the terms of that agreement, Communist forces were reorganized as the Eighth Route Army, composed of three divisions, under the nominal authority of the National Government. Ho Lung was named to command the 120th Division of the Eighth Route Army, with Kuan Hsiang-ying as political commissar and Hsiao K'o as deputy commander. In the autumn of 1937 Ho's division thrust into northwestern Shansi to create an anti-Japanese base along the Shansi-Suiyuan border. In 1938 the main force of the 120th Division moved eastward into Hopei to support the efforts of Nieh Jung-chen (q.v.) to build a Communist base on the central Hopei plain. In 1940 Ho Lung returned to the Shansi- Suiyuan border area to command the Communist military district which had been established there. From 1940 until the Japanese surrender in 1945, he held responsibility for the military security of the principal Shensi-Kansu- Ninghsia Border Region and for Communist operations in western Shansi designed to control the important railroad linking Taiyuan, the provincial capital, with Peiping. Ho became one of the best known and most colorful of the Communist military commanders in China. In 1945, when the Chinese Communists held their Seventh National Congress at Yenan, Ho Lung was elected to the Central Committee of the party.

After the Japanese surrender, Ho continued to hold primary military responsibility in the Communist-controlled Shensi-Kansu-Ninghsia Border Region and in the Shansi-Suiyuan area. In the early autumn of 1945 he was assigned to hold open a corridor through which Communist troops could move from northwest and north China into Manchuria, which was to be a vital theater of military operations in the Chinese civil war. In Suiyuan, where his principal Nationalist adversary was Fu Tso-yi (q.v.), Ho Lung laid siege to Paotow and Kweisui in November and December 1945. After the Communist troop movement to Manchuria had been completed. Ho Lung withdrew his forces and Suiyuan became relatively peaceful for a time. In March 1947 the Communists evacuated their wartime capital of Yenan, Shensi, in the face of an advance by Hu Tsung-nan (q.v.), but Ho Lung soon returned to defeat Hu's forces at Ich'uan. In 1948 Ho Lung continued to act as the senior Communist commander of what was called the northwest China military district. In 1949 he led his troops in a slashing move from western Shensi into Szechwan, where he joined forces with the Communist Second Field Army, commanded by Liu Poch'eng (q.v.). Between 1949 and 1952, one prominent feature of the pattern of control established by the Communists in China was the creation of administrative regions. To a great extent, the jurisdiction of these administrative regions reflected the pattern of military control in China at the end of the civil war. The southwest region, with headquarters at Chungking, was established in July 1950 with jurisdiction over Szechwan, Yunnan, Kweichow, and Sikang. Authority over this vast and populous area of southwest China lay, practically speaking, in the hands of three senior Communists: Ho Lung, Liu Po-ch'eng, and Teng Hsiao-p'ing (q.v.). Ho Lung commanded the Southwest Military District, with Teng Hsiao-p'ing as political commissar; and he served as a senior vice chairman of the Southwest Military and Administrative Committee, which was headed by Liu Po-ch'eng.

In 1949 Ho Lung attended the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference as a representative of the First Field Army of the People's Liberation Army. He became a member of the Central People's Government Council and of the People's Revolutionary Military Council. With the reorganization of the Central People's Government in 1954, Ho Lung became a vice premier of the State Council and a vice chairman of the National Defense Council. In September 1955 Ho Lung's military contributions to the Communist cause were recognized when he was awarded the rank of Marshal of the People's Republic of China. At the Eighth National Congress of the Chinese Communist party, held in September 1956, Ho Lung was reelected to the Central Committee. He also was elected to the Political Bureau. On 1 August 1965, observed as Army Day in the People's Republic of China, a lengthy article by Ho Lung embodying official doctrine regarding party-military relations in the Chinese Communist military forces was published in all Peking newspapers. The article stressed the continued relevance of the basic experience and methods outlined by Mao Tse-tung before 1949, praised the development of the revolutionary tradition under Lin Piao, and argued that the armed services of Communist China should remain under the firm political control of the Chinese Communist party.

Aside from a brief stay as a political refugee in the British colony of Hong Kong in 1927, Ho Lung had never traveled outside China before 1953, when he headed a delegation to visit Chinese Communist troops stationed in North Korea. He went to the Soviet Union in 1954 to attend the Soviet Sports Festival at Moscow. In the summer of 1955 he flew to Warsaw to head the Chinese Communist delegation at the tenth anniversary celebrations of thegovernment of Poland, and in March 1956 he attended the celebrations that marked the independence of Pakistan. In November 1956 Ho accompanied Chou En-lai on a tour of Viet Nam, Cambodia, India, Burma, and Pakistan. Because of the growing unrest in Eastern Europe, Chou En-lai and Ho Lung returned to Peking at the beginning of January 1957. They then flew to Moscow, Warsaw, and Budapest. After returning to Moscow to issue a Sino-Soviet declaration stressing the need for "socialist solidarity," they left Russia for India, Nepal, and Ceylon. In March 1957 Ho Lung accompanied Chou Enlai to Kunming for a meeting with Burmese statesman U Nu to discuss Sino-Burmese border problems. Ho served as the representative of the Central People's Government Council at the inauguration of the Kwangsi-Chuang Autonomous Region in March 1958. He headed the delegation from the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist party and the State Council which flew to Urumchi in the autumn of 1965 for the celebrations which marked the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Sinkiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

In 1952 Ho was named to head the National Physical Culture and Sports Commission at Peking, the principal organ devoted to making China a sports-conscious nation and to raising- China's athletic accomplishments to recognized world levels. The commission's program, patterned after the Soviet Union's program of sports for the masses, made rapid progress. The People's Republic of China held its First National Games in 1959 and its Second National Games in 1965.

Because of the relative novelty of athletic competition in China and the lack of sustained international competition, Chinese performances in such major sports as track and field and swimming generally were below world standards. However, the Chinese demonstrated outstanding proficiency in other events: archery, cycling, gymnastics, parachuting, shooting, soccer, speed skating, wrestling, and weight-lifting. And Chinese players gained international supremacy in table tennis. At the Twenty-eighth World Table Tennis Championships in 1965, players from the People's Republic of China won several world titles in the singles competition and won both the Swaythling and the Corbillon Cups for team events. In an official message from Peking, Ho Lung saluted the major victory scored by the Chinese in both men's and women's events.

Almost all of Ho Lung's immediate family died in the Communist revolution in China. A brother died in prison in Shanghai. Of his three sisters, two were active Communists who were killed in the late 1920's. Ho Lung's first wife was imprisoned and executed in the 1920's. He later remarried.

Biography in Chinese

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