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Zhou Enlai

Zhou Enlai 周恩來 (1898 - January 8, 1976) was a prominent Chinese Communist leader and Premier of the People's Republic of China from 1949 until his death.

Born in Huai'an, Jiangsu province into a Mandarin family, he was educated in Nankai[?] and Japan (1915-1918). On his return to Nankai he was briefly arrested for his radical associations. After his release in 1920 he studied in France, England and Germany. He had joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1921 and Zhou returned to China in 1924 to work with Sun Yat-sen.

In 1925, he married Deng Yingchao, a student activist, in Tianjin. She later became a prominent member of the CPC. The couple remained childless, but adopted many orphaned children of "revolutionary martyrs"; one of the more famous ones was former Premier Li Peng.

He served as the chairman of the political department at the Whampoa Military Academy in Canton when it was founded in 1926.

After the Northern Expedition began, he worked as a labour agitator. In 1926 he organized a general strike in Shanghai, opening the city to the Kuomintang. When the Kuomintang broke with the Communists Zhou became a more prominent member of the CPC. He participated in the Long March (1934-1935).

In 1949, with the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Zhou became Premier and Foreign Minister. In June 1953, he made the five declarations for peace. He headed the communist Chinese delegation to the Geneva Conference[?] (1954) and to the Bandung Conference[?] (1955). In 1958 he passed the post of Foreign Minister to Chen Yi but remained Premier. A popular and practical administrator, Zhou maintained his position through the Great Leap Forward (1958) and the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and pushed for the "four modernizations" to undo the damage caused. He was largely responsible for the re-establishment of contacts with the West in the early 1970s, he welcomed Nixon to China in February 1972, and signed the Shanghai Communique[?]. Discovering he had cancer he began to pass many of his responsibilities onto Deng Xiaoping. He was hospitalized in 1974 and died on January 8, 1976 mere months before Mao. In April 1976, the clamp-down on mourning for Zhou caused riots. This event is usually called the Tiananmen incident

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