Chou En-Lai, 1898-1976

Chou was converted to Communism during his years as a student in France (1920-4) and on his return worked in a clandestine role as an instructor at the Kuomintang’s Whampoa Military Academy, of which CHIANG Kai-shek was Commandant. He later went underground, was arrested and on his release journeyed to Russia, but returned for the Long March. MAO Tse-tung sent him as communist ‘ambassador’ to Chiang Kai-shek during the war with Japan, 1937-45, then he maintained excellent relations with the Kuomintang government and with allied representatives at its headquarters. He became Prime Minister of China after the communist victory in the Civil War.

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