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Zhou Enlai
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    (March 5, 1898-January 8, 1976)
    Born in Huai'an, China
    Long-term top aide to Mao ZeDong
    Premier of China (1949-76)
    Foreign Minister (1949-58)
    Name also spelled Chou En-Lai
    He helped fund the Chinese Communists by establishing opium plantations on the land they controlled.
    His arm remained bent the rest of his life after he fell off his horse (1939).
    Allegedly, after he found out about a plot by Taiwanese intelligence to plant a bomb on a plane taking him from Hong Kong to Indonesia, he changed his flight plans, but declined to warn the airline, since he hoped the incident would embarrass the government of Chaing Kai-shek. Eleven people died when the plane exploded. (April 11, 1955).
    He was described as the 'midwife' of Mao's 'Great Leap Forward' which killed 15-30 million people.
    During the Cultural Revolution, he went along with the persecution of political allies and friends to save his own skin.
    He said, 'One's personal opinions should advance or beat a retreat according to the direction of the majority.'
    He was married to Deng Yingchao for 50 years until his death.
    According to the Chinese government's official story, he had no foreknowledge of the bomb plot and missed the original flight because had to undergo an emergency appendectomy.
    One of his adopted daughters died after being imprisoned and tortured by the Red Guards (1968).
    It was rumored that Mao deliberately prevented him from getting treatment for the cancer that killed him.
    He was largely responsible for arranging Richard Nixon's visit to China (1972).
    Henry Kissinger called him 'one of the two or three most impressive men I have ever met.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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