Skip to main content
Select Source:

Zhou Enlai

Zhou Enlai or Chou En-lai (both: jō ĕn-lī), 1898–1976, Chinese Communist leader. A member of a noted Mandarin family, he was educated at an American-supported school in China and a university in Japan. His involvement in radical movements led to several months imprisonment. After his release he studied (1920–22) in France. A founder of the Chinese Communist party, he established (1922) the Paris-based Chinese Communist Youth Group. After a few months in England, he studied in Germany. Zhou returned (1924) to China and joined Sun Yat-sen, who was then cooperating with the Communists. He served (1924–26) as deputy director of the political department at the Whampoa Military Academy, of which Chiang Kai-shek was commandant. After the Northern Expedition began, he worked as a labor organizer. In 1927 he directed a general strike in Shanghai, opening the city to Chiang's Nationalist forces. When Chiang broke with the Communists, executing many of his former allies, Zhou became a fugitive from the Kuomintang. Later, holding prominent military and political posts in the Communist party, he participated in the long march (1934–35) to NW China. During the partial Communist-Kuomintang rapprochement (1936–46) he was the chief Communist liaison officer.

In 1949, with the establishment of the People's Republic of China at Beijing, Zhou became premier and foreign minister. He headed the Chinese Communist delegation to the Geneva Conference of 1954 and to the Bandung Conference (1955). In 1958 he relinquished the foreign ministry but retained the premiership. A practical-minded administrator, Zhou maintained his position through all of Communist China's ideological upheavals, including the Great Leap Forward (1958) and the Cultural Revolution (1966–76). Initially supportive of the latter, he was periodically attacked by Red Guards for attempting to shelter its victims. He was largely responsible for China's reestablishing contacts with the West in the early 1970s before becoming ill.

See biographies by D. W. Chang (1984), D. Wilson (1984), and G. Wenqian (2003, tr. 2007).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Zhou Enlai." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Jul. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Zhou Enlai." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/zhou-enlai

"Zhou Enlai." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/zhou-enlai

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Zhou Enlai

Zhou Enlai (1898–1976) Chinese statesman. Zhou was a founder of the Chinese Communist Party. As a member of the Communist-Kuomintang alliance (1924–27), he directed the general strike (1927) in Shanghai. When Chiang Kai-shek broke the alliance, Zhou joined the Long March (1934–35). He was the chief negotiator of a renewed peace (1936–46) with nationalist forces. After the establishment of a communist republic, Zhou became prime minister (1949–76) and foreign minister (1949–58). Although publicly supportive of the Cultural Revolution, he protected many of its intended victims.

http://www.marxists.org

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Zhou Enlai." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Jul. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Zhou Enlai." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/zhou-enlai

"Zhou Enlai." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved July 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/zhou-enlai

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.