Mao and Ye Jianying The Long March
Mao and Ye Jianying

Ye Jianying (1897-1986) was born into a wealthy merchant family in Meixian County, Guangdong Province and spent part of his youth in Singapore and Hanoi. He belonged to the Hakka minority. After graduation from the Yunnan Military Academy in 1919, he joined Sun Yatsen and the Guomindang (GMD), as a result of which he became an instructor at the Whampoa Military Academy. He participated in the failed Nanchang and Guangzhou Uprisings (1927), fled to Hong Kong and subsequently studied military science in Moscow. After his return in 1932, he joined the Jiangxi Soviet. He survived the Long March and became director of the offices that liaised with the GMD after 1936, first in Xi'an, subsequently in Nanjing and finally in Chongqing. In this capacity, he worked together with Zhou Enlai. Until 1968, Ye would be active in various military functions, having been made a marshal in 1955.