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Wei Jinshan
Political Commissar of the PLA Navy

In office
April 1990 – December 1993
Commander Zhang Lianzhong
Preceded by Li Yaowen
Succeeded by Zhou Kunren
Personal details
Born April 1927 (age 93)
Penglai, Shandong, China
Political party Communist Party of China
Military service
Allegiance  People's Republic of China
Service/branch  People's Liberation Army Ground Force
 People's Liberation Army Navy
Years of service 1945–1993
Rank PLALtGeneral r.png Vice Admiral
Battles/wars Second Sino-Japanese War
Chinese Civil War
Korean War
Awards Order of Liberation
Order of the National Flag
Order of Friendship
Order of Independence
Medal of Honour

Wei Jinshan (Chinese: 魏金山; Wade–Giles: Wei4 Chin1-shan1; born April 1927) is a Chinese Communist revolutionary and retired vice admiral of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Starting in 1945, he served for decades in the army under General Xu Shiyou, and became a decorated veteran of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese Civil War, and the Korean War. He later transferred to the Navy and served as Political Commissar of the PLAN from 1990 to 1993. He was awarded the Medal of Honour by President Xi Jinping and the Order of the National Flag by North Korea.

Republic of China[edit | edit source]

Wei was born in April 1927 in Wei Family Village (魏家村) in Penglai, Shandong, Republic of China. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, he attended secondary school in the Jiaodong Communist Base from 1943 to 1944. In February 1945, he enlisted in the Eighth Route Army and served under General Xu Shiyou, the commander of the Jiaodong Military Area.[1]

After the Empire of Japan announced its surrender on 15 August 1945, the Communist forces in Shandong attacked Jimo, which was held by Japan and the puppet Wang Jingwei regime, in order to gain advantage over the Kuomintang forces. Wei participated in the battle on 26 August, when the Communists took over the city after a three-hour battle and annihilated the 34th Brigade of the Wang Jingwei regime.[1]

Soon after the Battle of Jimo, Wei was promoted to a company-level officer.[1] Under the command of Xu Shiyou, he distinguished himself in major battles during the Chinese Civil War, including the Battle of Laiwu, the Menglianggu campaign, the Battle of Jinan, the Huaihai campaign, and the Yangtze River Crossing Campaign.[2] At Menglianggu, the 9th Column Wei belonged to was a main attacking force. It subsequently became the main unit of the East China Field Army (later renamed the Third Field Army). By the end of the civil war in 1949, Wei had been promoted to Chief of Staff of the Combat Department of the 79th Division, under the 27th Army of the Third Field Army.[1]

People's Republic of China[edit | edit source]

A year after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Wei joined the People's Volunteer Army to fight in the Korean War in November 1950. He continued to serve in the 79th Division of the 27th Army, and participated in the Second Phase Offensive and the Fifth Phase Offensive.[1]

After the Korean War, Wei served in the East China Military Region, which was reorganized into the Nanjing Military Region in 1955.[1] Wei headed the training department of the Nanjing MR, before being appointed the secretary of Xu Shiyou, the commander of the military region. Having earned the trust of Xu,[2] Wei was successively promoted to regiment commander, Political Commissar of the 179th Division, Political Commissar of the 60th Army, Political Commissar of the 12th Army (1978), Director of the Political Department of the Nanjing MR (1982), and Director of the Political Department of the PLA General Staff Department (1985).[1]

PLA Navy[edit | edit source]

After decades of service in the army, Wei transferred to the PLA Navy in July 1985[1] to serve as the sole Deputy Political Commissar under Li Yaowen. He was awarded the rank of vice admiral in September 1988. In April 1990, he succeeded Li as Political Commissar of the Navy,[2] serving alongside Commander Zhang Lianzhong.[3] He retired in December 1993.[1]

Wei became an alternate member of the 12th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in 1982, and was elected a full member of the 13th and 14th Central Committees, serving from 1987 to 1997.[4] He was also a delegate to the 5th National People's Congress.[2]

Honours[edit | edit source]

Wei is a recipient of the Order of Liberation (Third Class).[2] For his service in the Korean War, he was awarded the Order of the National Flag (Third Class) by the North Korean government. Before his retirement, he was awarded the Order of Friendship (Second Class) by North Korea in October 1992. In July 1998, he was awarded the Order of Independence (独立功勋荣誉章) by the Central Military Commission.[1]

In September 2015, the 70th anniversary of the surrender of Japan, Chinese President Xi Jinping awarded the Medal of Honour to 30 people who made major contributions to the victory over Japan. Wei was one of the recipients.[1][5]

References[edit | edit source]

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