Wu Xiuquan

Name in Chinese
Name in Wade-Giles
Wu Hsiu-ch'üan
Related People

Biography in English

Wu Hsiu-ch'üan (4 March 1908-), Russiantrained Chinese Communist who held important staff positions in Kiangsi in the 1930's and in the Northeast in the 1940's. In 1949-51 he served as director of Soviet and Eastern European affairs in the ministry of foreign affairs at Peking. He then became deputy foreign minister. In 1955-58 he was ambassador from the People's Republic of China to Yugoslavia. Little is known about Wu Hsiu-ch'üan's family background or early life except that he was born in Wuchang, Hupeh. He attended middle school in the Wuhan area, where he became active in the student radical movement. From 1927 to 1930 he studied in France and the Soviet Union, where he attended Sun Yat-sen University and an artillery school. He joined the Chinese Communist party in 1927 and came to know many of its members who took refuge in Moscow during the years following the Kuomintang-Communist split in China.

On his return to China, Wu taught briefly at Futan University in Shanghai. He then went to the central soviet base area in Kiangsi, where he served as a staff officer in the headquarters of the Red Army and instructor in the Red Army Academy at Juichin. He rose to become a regimental commander and deputy chief of staff of the Third Army Group, led by P'eng Te-huai (q.v.), in the First Front Army. Wu left Kiangsi on the Long March in October 1934 with the main forces of Mao Tse-tung, Chu Teh, and P'eng Te-huai. After arrival in Shensi, he headed a reception center at Yenan run by the Chinese Communist party's united front department. In 1938 he became secretary general of the Shensi-Kansu-Ninghsia Border Region government, headed by Lin Po-ch'ü (q.v.). From 1938 to 1940 he directed the office of the Eighth Route Army at Lanchow, Kansu.

At war's end, Wu Hsiu-ch'üan went to Manchuria, where he became deputy chief of staff of the Northeast Democratic Alliance Army, headed by Lin Piao (q.v.). He soon became chief of staff of the Chinese Communist Northeast military district and held that post until 1949. In 1946 Wu was connected with the tripartite Executive Headquarters, established at Peiping as part of the United States mediation effort in China, to monitor and enforce Nationalist-Communist ceasefire arrangements worked out in January of that year. Yeh Chien-ying (q.v.) was assigned as chief Chinese Communist delegate to the Executive Headquarters, and in late 1946 Wu served as the Communist representative at its Changchun office. The Executive Headquarters effort proved fruitless, however, and military operations resumed in Manchuria. When Lin Piao's forces occupied Mukden in November 1948, Wu became vice chairman of the Mukden military control commission and commander of garrison forces there. In August 1949 he became a member of the Northeast People's Government Council, the first regional authority established by the Chinese Communists in that area.

With the establishment of the Central People's Government at Peking in October 1949, Wu Hsiu-ch'üan became director of the division of Soviet and East European affairs in the ministry of foreign affairs headed by Chou En-lai. He held this post until 1952 and made good use of his knowledge of Russian. During this period Wu also carried out important assignments abroad. In January 1950 he accompanied Chou En-lai to Moscow for the later stages of the negotiations that led to the signing in February of the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance and related agreements. He remained in Moscow with a Chinese Communist trade mission until April. The outbreak of the Korean war in June 1950 was followed in late October by the intervention of Chinese Communist troops and by an invitation to Peking from the United Nations Security Council to participate in discussions of the Far Eastern situation. Wu Hsiu-ch'üan was selected to head Peking's delegation, the first to appear at the United Nations from the People's Republic of China. On 28 November 1950, he delivered a blistering 20,000-word speech to the United Nations Security Council in New York in which he stated that that body should penalize the United States for its "armed aggression" against China, Taiwan, and Korea. He added that the People's Republic of China intended to "liberate" Taiwan and to aid the Communist movements in Vietnam, the Philippines, and Japan. "The Chinese people," Wu concluded, "have arisen." From January 1951 until March 1955, Wu Hsiu-ch'üan served as a vice minister of foreign affairs at Peking. He visited the Mongolian People's Republic in February 1952 and was a member of the Chinese delegation headed by Chou En-lai that flew to Moscow in March 1953 to attend Stalin's funeral. He also served as a director of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, and he represented Szechwan at the National People's Congress in 1954. In 1955 Wu Hsiu-ch'üan was named the first ambassador from the People's Republic of China to Yugoslavia. He remained at Belgrade until mid- 1958, when Peking launched a new attack on Tito's revisionism and recalled Wu. In 1956 Wu had been elected for the first time to the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist party at its Eighth National Congress. After his return from Yugoslavia, he became extremely active in the international liaison work of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist party, and during the next few years he greeted and conferred with almost all senior Communist party leaders from abroad who visited Peking. He also traveled frequently to represent the Chinese party at Communist party congresses abroad: in Poland and Great Britain in 1959, and in Rumania in June 1960. In August 1960 he flew to Cuba to observe the ninth congress of the Cuban People's Socialist party, a trip that paved the way for the establishment of diplomatic relations between Peking and Havana. In the spring of 1961 he participated in discussion at Peking with Souvanna Phouma, premier of Laos.

With the deterioration of relations between the Communist parties of China and the Soviet Union after 1960, Wu Hsiu-ch'üan traveled widely throughout the Communist bloc to press Peking's case against the Russian party leadership. He visited North Korea in September 1961 and Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia) in November-December 1962. Chinese and Soviet differences were plainly apparent in January 1963 at the sixth congress of the East German Communist party in East Berlin. That congress was attended by 70 delegations from national Communist parties, most of whom sided with Nikita Khrushchev. On 18 January 1963 Wu delivered a vigorous rebuttal to Khrushchev while other delegates shouted and attempted to disrupt his presentation. In March-April 1963 Wu accompanied Chou En-lai and Teng Hsiao-p'ing (q.v.) in talks with the Soviet ambassador to China regarding arrangements for negotiations between their two Communist parties. In July he served as a member of the Chinese delegation headed by Teng Hsiao-p'ing which flew to Moscow for abortive talks with the Soviet leaders. In September 1963 he accompanied Liu Shao-ch'i to North Korea. In November 1964 he was a member of the delegation led by Chou En-lai to Moscow for observance of the forty-seventh anniversary of the Russian Revolution; he also visited Tirana with Li Hsien-nien (q.v.) to attend the celebrations marking the twentieth anniversary of Communist rule in Albania. During 1964-65 Wu continued to be an active figure at Peking in discussions with Communist leaders from abroad who visited China. He was also a member of the standing committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Biography in Chinese

All rights reserved@ENP-China