The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Chinese Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,710 Politicians, 400 of which were born in China. This makes China the birth place of the 9th most number of Politicians behind Turkey and Russia.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Chinese Politicians of all time. This list of famous Chinese Politicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Chinese Politicians.

Photo of Mao Zedong

1. Mao Zedong (1893 - 1976)

With an HPI of 89.64, Mao Zedong is the most famous Chinese Politician.  His biography has been translated into 160 different languages on wikipedia.

Mao Zedong (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the founder of the People's Republic of China (PRC), which he ruled as the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party from the establishment of the PRC in 1949 until his death in 1976. Ideologically a Marxist–Leninist, his theories, military strategies, and political policies are collectively known as Maoism. Mao was the son of a prosperous peasant in Shaoshan, Hunan. He supported Chinese nationalism and had an anti-imperialist outlook early in his life, and was particularly influenced by the events of the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 and May Fourth Movement of 1919. He later adopted Marxism–Leninism while working at Peking University as a librarian and became a founding member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), leading the Autumn Harvest Uprising in 1927. During the Chinese Civil War between the Kuomintang (KMT) and the CCP, Mao helped to found the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, led the Jiangxi Soviet's radical land policies, and ultimately became head of the CCP during the Long March. Although the CCP temporarily allied with the KMT under the Second United Front during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), China's civil war resumed after Japan's surrender, and Mao's forces defeated the Nationalist government, which withdrew to Taiwan in 1949. On October 1, 1949, Mao proclaimed the foundation of the PRC, a Marxist–Leninist single-party state controlled by the CCP. In the following years he solidified his control through the Chinese Land Reform against landlords, the Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries, the "Three-anti and Five-anti Campaigns", and through a psychological victory in the Korean War, which altogether resulted in the deaths of several million Chinese. From 1953 to 1958, Mao played an important role in enforcing planned economy in China, constructing the first Constitution of the PRC, launching the industrialisation program, and initiating military projects such as the "Two Bombs, One Satellite" project and Project 523. His foreign policies during this time were dominated by the Sino-Soviet split which drove a wedge between China and the Soviet Union. In 1955, Mao launched the Sufan movement, and in 1957 he launched the Anti-Rightist Campaign, in which at least 550,000 people, mostly intellectuals and dissidents, were persecuted. In 1958, he launched the Great Leap Forward that aimed to rapidly transform China's economy from agrarian to industrial, which led to the deadliest famine in history and the deaths of 15–55 million people between 1958 and 1962. In 1963, Mao launched the Socialist Education Movement, and in 1966 he initiated the Cultural Revolution, a program to remove "counter-revolutionary" elements in Chinese society which lasted 10 years and was marked by violent class struggle, widespread destruction of cultural artifacts, and an unprecedented elevation of Mao's cult of personality. Tens of millions of people were persecuted during the Revolution, while the estimated number of deaths ranges from hundreds of thousands to millions. After years of ill health, Mao suffered a series of heart attacks in 1976 and died at the age of 82. During Mao's era, China's population grew from around 550 million to over 900 million while the government did not strictly enforce its family planning policy. A controversial figure within and outside China, Mao is still regarded as one of the most important individuals in the twentieth century. Beyond politics, Mao is also known as a theorist, military strategist, and poet. During the Mao era, China was heavily involved with other southeast Asian communist conflicts such as the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Cambodian Civil War, which brought the Khmer Rouge to power. He ruled China through an autocratic and totalitarian regime responsible for mass repression as well as destruction of religious and cultural artifacts and sites. The government was responsible for vast numbers of deaths with estimates ranging from 40 to 80 million victims through starvation, persecution, prison labour, and mass executions. Mao has been praised for transforming China from a semi-colony to a leading world power, with greatly advanced literacy, women's rights, basic healthcare, primary education and life expectancy.

Photo of Huang Xianfan

2. Huang Xianfan (1899 - 1982)

With an HPI of 88.19, Huang Xianfan is the 2nd most famous Chinese Politician.  His biography has been translated into 166 different languages.

Huang Xianfan (zhuang: Vangz Yenfanh; simplified Chinese: 黄现璠; traditional Chinese: 黄現璠; pinyin: Huáng Xiànfán; Wade–Giles: Huáng Hsiènfán) (November 13, 1899 – January 18, 1982) was a Zhuang Chinese historian, ethnologist and educator.He was the first college graduate of Zhuang ethnicity and trained at Peking National University under leading historians and linguists in the 1920s. Huang was the first writer of a general history of the Zhuang nationality, but also a major advocate of the theory that there was no slavery society in the history of the Zhuang, and there was no slave society as a stage of social development in Chinese history.The General History of the Zhuang is the first research book on the history of Zhuang nationality and The "Bagui School" he created is the first school of ethnic studies in China.Huang is considered one of the founders of modern Chinese ethnology.

Photo of Qin Shi Huang

3. Qin Shi Huang (-258 - -210)

With an HPI of 88.05, Qin Shi Huang is the 3rd most famous Chinese Politician.  His biography has been translated into 171 different languages.

Qin Shi Huang (Chinese: 秦始皇; lit. 'First Emperor of Qin', pronunciation ; 259–210 BCE), or Shi Huangdi, was the founder of the Qin dynasty, and the first emperor of a unified China. Rather than maintain the title of "king" (王 wáng) borne by the previous Shang and Zhou rulers, he ruled as the First Emperor (始皇帝) of the Qin dynasty from 221 to 210 BCE. His self-invented title "emperor" (皇帝 huángdì) would continue to be borne by Chinese rulers for the next two millennia. Historically, he was often portrayed as a tyrannical ruler and strict Legalist, in part from the Han dynasty's scathing assessments of him. Since the mid 20th-century, scholars have begun to question this evaluation, inciting considerable discussion on the actual nature of his policies and reforms. Regardless, according to sinologist Michael Loewe "few would contest the view that the achievements of his reign have exercised a paramount influence on the whole of China's subsequent history, marking the start of an epoch that closed in 1911".Born in the Zhao state capital Handan, as Ying Zheng (嬴政) or Zhao Zheng (趙政), his parents were King Zhuangxiang of Qin and Lady Zhao. The wealthy merchant Lü Buwei assisted him in succeeding his father as the ruler of Qin, after which he became Zheng, King of Qin (秦王政). When he was 38, the Qin had conquered all of the other Warring States and unified all of China in 221 BCE, resulting in his ascension as China's first emperor. During his reign, his generals greatly expanded the size of the Chinese state: campaigns south of Chu permanently added the Yue lands of Hunan and Guangdong to the Chinese cultural orbit; campaigns in Central Asia conquered the Ordos Loop from the nomad Xiongnu, although eventually it would also lead to their confederation under Modu Chanyu. Qin Shi Huang also worked with his minister Li Si to enact major economic and political reforms aimed at the standardization of the diverse practices of the earlier Chinese states. He is traditionally said to have banned and burned many books and executed scholars. His public works projects included the unification of diverse state walls into a single Great Wall of China and a massive new national road system, as well as the city-sized mausoleum guarded by the life-sized Terracotta Army. He ruled until his death in 210 BCE during his fourth tour of Eastern China.

Photo of Deng Xiaoping

4. Deng Xiaoping (1904 - 1997)

With an HPI of 84.13, Deng Xiaoping is the 4th most famous Chinese Politician.  His biography has been translated into 95 different languages.

Deng Xiaoping (22 August 1904 – 19 February 1997), also known by his courtesy name Xixian (希贤), was a Chinese revolutionary leader, military commander and statesman who served as the paramount leader of the People's Republic of China (PRC) from December 1978 to November 1989. After Mao Zedong's death in 1976, Deng gradually rose to supreme power and led China through a series of far-reaching market-economy reforms earning him the reputation as the "Architect of Modern China". He contributed to China becoming the world's largest economy in terms of its purchasing power in 2014.Born in the province of Sichuan in the Qing dynasty, Deng studied and worked in France in the 1920s, where he became a follower of Marxism–Leninism and joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1924. In early 1926, Deng travelled to Moscow to study Communist doctrines and became a political commissar for the Red Army upon returning to China. In late 1929, Deng led local Red Army uprisings in Guangxi. In 1931, he was demoted within the party due to his support of Mao, but was promoted again during the Zunyi Conference. Deng played an important role in the Long March (1934–1935), the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) and the Chinese Civil War (1945–1949). Following the founding of the PRC on 1 October 1949, Deng worked in Tibet as well as in southwest China as the regional party chief to consolidate CCP control until 1952, when he returned to Beijing to serve in the central government. In 1955, when the PLA adopted a Russian style rank system Deng was considered for the rank of Marshal of the People's Republic of China which he declined to accept. As the party's Secretary-General under Mao and Vice Premier in the 1950s, Deng presided over the Anti-Rightist Campaign launched by Mao and became instrumental in China's economic reconstruction following the disastrous Great Leap Forward (1958–1960). However, his right-leaning political stance and economic policies eventually caused him to fall out of favor with Mao, and he was purged twice during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). Following Mao's death in September 1976, Deng outmaneuvered the late chairman's chosen successor Hua Guofeng and became the de facto leader of China in December 1978 at the 3rd Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee. Having inherited a country beset with institutional disorder and disenchantment with Communism resulting from the chaotic political movements of the Mao era, Deng started the "Boluan Fanzheng" program which gradually brought the country back to order. From 1977 to early 1979, he resumed the National College Entrance Examination that had been interrupted by the Cultural Revolution for ten years, initiated the Reform and Opening-up of China, designated special economic zones including Shenzhen, and started a one-month Sino-Vietnamese War. On 1 January 1979, the PRC established diplomatic relations with the United States, and Deng became the first Chinese paramount leader to visit the U.S. In August 1980, Deng embarked on a series of political reforms by setting constitutional term limits for state officials and other systematic revisions, which were incorporated in China's third Constitution (1982). In the 1980s, Deng supported the one-child policy to cope with China's overpopulation crisis, helped establish China's nine-year compulsory education, and launched the 863 Program for science and technology. Deng also proposed the One Country, Two Systems principle for the governance of Hong Kong and Macau, as well as the future unification with Taiwan. The reforms carried out by Deng and his allies gradually led China away from a planned economy and Maoist ideologies, opened it up to foreign investment and technology, and introduced its vast labor force to the global market, thus turning China into one of the world's fastest-growing economies. He was eventually characterized as the "architect" of a new brand of thinking combining socialist ideology with free enterprise, dubbed "socialism with Chinese characteristics" (now known as Deng Xiaoping Theory). Despite never holding office as either the PRC's head of state or head of government nor as the head of CCP, Deng is generally viewed as the "core" of the CCP's second-generation leadership, a status enshrined within the party's constitution. Deng was named the Time Person of the Year for 1978 and 1985. He was criticized for ordering a military crackdown on the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, yet was praised for his reaffirmation of the reform program in his Southern Tour of 1992 as well as the reversion of Hong Kong to Chinese control in 1997 and the return of Macau in 1999.

Photo of Sun Yat-sen

5. Sun Yat-sen (1866 - 1925)

With an HPI of 84.12, Sun Yat-sen is the 5th most famous Chinese Politician.  His biography has been translated into 114 different languages.

Sun Yat-sen (; born Sun Te-ming; 12 November 1866 – 12 March 1925), also known as Sun Yat-sun, Sun Chung-shan, Sun Yi-hsien, Sun Wen, Sun Jih-hsin, Suen Yat-sen, Suen Yat-sun, Sun Yixian and Sun Rixin, was a Chinese statesman, physician, and political philosopher, who served as the first provisional president of the Republic of China and the first leader of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party of China). He is called the "Father of the Nation" in the Republic of China, and the "Forerunner of the Revolution" in the People's Republic of China for his instrumental role in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty during the Xinhai Revolution. Sun is unique among 20th-century Chinese leaders for being widely revered in both Mainland China and Taiwan.Sun is considered to be one of the greatest leaders of modern China, but his political life was one of constant struggle and frequent exile. After the success of the revolution in 1911, he quickly resigned as president of the newly founded Republic of China and relinquished it to Yuan Shikai. He soon went to exile in Japan for safety but returned to found a revolutionary government in the South as a challenge to the warlords who controlled much of the nation. In 1923, he invited representatives of the Communist International to Canton (Guangzhou) to re-organize his party and formed a brittle alliance with the Chinese Communist Party. He did not live to see his party unify the country under his successor, Chiang Kai-shek, in the Northern Expedition. He died in Peking (Beijing) of gallbladder cancer on 12 March 1925.Sun's chief legacy is his political philosophy known as the Three Principles of the People: Mínzú (民族主義, Mínzúzhǔyì) or nationalism (independence from foreign domination), Mínquán (民權主義, Mínquánzhǔyì) or "rights of the people" (sometimes translated as "democracy"), and Mínshēng (民生主義, Mínshēngzhǔyì) or people's livelihood (sometimes translated as "communitarianism" or "welfare").

Photo of Kublai Khan

6. Kublai Khan (1215 - 1294)

With an HPI of 84.04, Kublai Khan is the 6th most famous Chinese Politician.  His biography has been translated into 95 different languages.

Kublai (; also spelled Qubilai or Kübilai; Mongolian: Хубилай, romanized: Khubilai ; Chinese: 忽必烈; pinyin: Hūbìliè; 23 September 1215 – 18 February 1294), reigning from 1260 to 1294 as Setsen Khan (ᠰᠡᠴᠡᠨᠬᠠᠭᠠᠠᠨ; 薛禪汗) and Kublai Emperor (忽必烈皇帝), was the fifth khagan-emperor of the Mongol Empire, although after the division of the empire this was a nominal position. He proclaimed the empire's dynastic name "Great Yuan" in 1271, and ruled Yuan China until his death in 1294, known posthumously as Emperor Shizu of Yuan (Chinese: 元世祖; pinyin: Yuán Shìzǔ) by his temple name Shizu. Kublai was the fourth son of Tolui (his second son with Sorghaghtani Beki) and a grandson of Genghis Khan. He was almost 12 when Genghis Khan died and had succeeded his older brother Möngke as Khagan in 1260, but had to defeat his younger brother Ariq Böke in the Toluid Civil War lasting until 1264. This episode marked the beginning of the fragmentation of the empire. Kublai's real power was limited to the Yuan Empire, even though as Khagan he still had influence in the Ilkhanate and, to a significantly lesser degree, in the Golden Horde. If one considers the Mongol Empire at that time as a whole, his realm reached from the Pacific Ocean to the Black Sea, from Siberia to what is now Afghanistan.In 1271, Kublai established the Yuan dynasty, which ruled over present-day China, Mongolia, Korea, and some adjacent areas; he also amassed influence in the Middle East and Europe as a Khagan. He assumed the role of Emperor of China. By 1279, the Mongol conquest of the Song dynasty was completed and Kublai became the first non-Han emperor to unite all of China proper. The imperial portrait of Kublai was part of an album of the portraits of Yuan emperors and empresses, now in the collection of the National Palace Museum in Taipei. White, the color of the imperial costume of Kublai, was the imperial color of the Yuan dynasty.

Photo of Puyi

7. Puyi (1906 - 1967)

With an HPI of 83.15, Puyi is the 7th most famous Chinese Politician.  His biography has been translated into 64 different languages.

Puyi (Chinese: 溥儀; February 7, 1906 – October 17, 1967), courtesy name Yaozhi (曜之), was the last emperor of China as the eleventh and final Qing dynasty monarch. He became Qing emperor at the age of two in 1908, but was forced to abdicate on February 12, 1912 during the Xinhai Revolution. His era name as Qing emperor, "Xuantong" (Hsuan-tung), means "proclamation of unity". He was later installed as the ruler of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo during World War II. He was briefly restored to the throne as Qing emperor by the loyalist General Zhang Xun from July 1 to July 12, 1917. He was first wed to Empress Wanrong in 1922 in an arranged marriage. In 1924, he was expelled from the palace and found refuge in Tianjin, where he began to court both the warlords fighting for hegemony over China and the Japanese who had long desired control of China. In 1932, after the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, the puppet state of Manchukuo was established by Japan, and he was chosen to become the chief executive of the new state using the era name of "Datong" (Ta-tung). In 1934, he was declared emperor of Manchukuo with the era name "Kangde" (Kang-te) and reigned over his new empire until the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1945. This third stint as emperor saw him as a puppet of Japan; he signed most edicts the Japanese gave him. During this period, he largely resided in the Salt Tax Palace, where he regularly ordered his servants beaten. His first wife's opium addiction consumed her during these years, and they were generally distant. With the fall of Japan (and thus Manchukuo) in 1945, Puyi fled the capital and was eventually captured by the Soviets; he was extradited to the People's Republic of China after it was established in 1949. After his capture, he would never see his first wife again; she died of starvation in a Chinese prison in 1946. Puyi was a defendant at the Tokyo Trials and was later imprisoned and reeducated as a war criminal for 10 years. After his release, he wrote his memoirs (with the help of a ghost writer) and became a titular member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China. His time in prison greatly changed him, and he expressed deep regret for his actions while he was an emperor. He died in 1967 and was ultimately buried near the Western Qing tombs in a commercial cemetery.

Photo of Empress Dowager Cixi

8. Empress Dowager Cixi (1835 - 1908)

With an HPI of 82.70, Empress Dowager Cixi is the 8th most famous Chinese Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 85 different languages.

Empress Dowager Cixi (Chinese: 慈禧太后; pinyin: Cíxǐ Tàihòu [tsʰɨ̌.ɕì tʰâɪ.xôʊ]; Manchu: Tsysi taiheo; formerly romanised as Empress Dowager T'zu-hsi; 29 November 1835 – 15 November 1908), of the Manchu Yehe Nara clan, was a Chinese noblewoman, concubine and later regent who effectively controlled the Chinese government in the late Qing dynasty for 47 years, from 1861 until her death in 1908. Selected as a concubine of the Xianfeng Emperor in her adolescence, she gave birth to a son, Zaichun, in 1856. After the Xianfeng Emperor's death in 1861, the young boy became the Tongzhi Emperor, and she assumed the role of co-empress dowager, alongside the Emperor's widow, Empress Dowager Ci'an. Cixi ousted a group of regents appointed by the late emperor and assumed the regency along with Ci'an, who later died under mysterious circumstances. Cixi then consolidated control over the dynasty when she installed her nephew as the Guangxu Emperor at the death of her son, the Tongzhi Emperor, in 1875. This was contrary to the traditional rules of succession of the Qing dynasty that had ruled China since 1644. Cixi supervised the Tongzhi Restoration, a series of moderate reforms that helped the regime survive until 1911. Although Cixi refused to adopt Western models of government, she supported technological and military reforms and the Self-Strengthening Movement. She supported the principles of the Hundred Days' Reforms of 1898, but feared that sudden implementation, without bureaucratic support, would be disruptive and that the Japanese and other foreign powers would take advantage of any weakness. She placed the Guangxu Emperor, who, she thought, had tried to assassinate her, under virtual house arrest for supporting radical reformers, publicly executing the main reformers. After the Boxer Rebellion led to invasion by Allied armies, Cixi initially backed the Boxer groups and declared war on the invaders. The ensuing defeat was a stunning humiliation. When Cixi returned to Beijing from Xi'an, where she had taken the emperor, she became friendly to foreigners in the capital and began to implement fiscal and institutional reforms aimed to turn China into a constitutional monarchy. The deaths of both Cixi and the Guangxu Emperor in November 1908 left the court in hands of Manchu conservatives, a child, Puyi, on the throne, and a restless, deeply divided society. Historians both in China and abroad have debated her legacy. Conventionally denounced as a ruthless despot whose reactionary policies – although successfully self-serving in prolonging the ailing Qing dynasty – led to its humiliation and utter downfall in the Wuchang Uprising, revisionists suggested that Nationalist and Communist revolutionaries scapegoated her for deep-rooted problems beyond salvage, and lauded her maintenance of political order as well as numerous effective, if belated reforms – including the abolition of slavery, ancient torturous punishments and the ancient examination system in her ailing years, the latter supplanted by institutions including the new Peking University.

Photo of Wu Zetian

9. Wu Zetian (624 - 705)

With an HPI of 81.81, Wu Zetian is the 9th most famous Chinese Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 52 different languages.

Wu Zhao, commonly known as Wu Zetian (17 February 624 – 16 December 705), alternatively Wu Hou, and during the later Tang dynasty as Tian Hou, was the de facto ruler of the Tang dynasty, as an empress consort, first through her husband Emperor Gaozong and then as an empress dowager, through her sons Emperors Zhongzong and Ruizong, from 665 to 690, not unprecedented in Chinese history. She subsequently became empress regnant of the Wu Zhou dynasty of China, ruling from 690 to 705, unprecedented in Chinese history. She was the only legitimate female sovereign in the history of China. Under her 40-year reign, China grew larger, corruption in the court was reduced, its culture and economy were revitalized, and it was recognized as one of the great powers of the world. Wu was the concubine of Emperor Taizong. After his death, she married his successor—his ninth son, Emperor Gaozong, officially becoming Gaozong's huanghou (皇后), or empress consort, the highest ranking of all the wives, in 655, although having considerable political power prior to her empress title, and then as empress began to control the court. After Gaozong's debilitating stroke in 660, Wu Zetian became administrator of the court, a position equal to the emperor's, until 705.After re-entering the Emperor Gaozong's harem, she clashed with Empress Wang and Consort Xiao to gain the emperor's affection, and eventually expelled and killed them. After her wedding to Gaozong in 655, Empress Wu's rise to power was swift. A strong, charismatic, cunning, vengeful, ambitious and well-educated woman who enjoyed the absolute interest of her husband, Wu was the most powerful and influential woman at court during a period when the Tang Empire was at the peak of its glory. She was more decisive and proactive than her husband, and she is considered by historians to have been the real power behind the throne during the reign of Emperor Gaozong for more than twenty years until his death. She was partially in control of power since November 660, and then totally since January 665. History records that: "She was at the helm of the country for long years, her power is no different from that of the emperor," Empress Wu presided over the court with the emperor, and even held court independently when the Emperor was unwell. She was given charge of the Heirloom Seal of the Realm, implying that her perusal and consent were necessary before any document or order received legal validity. Gaozong sought her views on all matters before issuing orders. In the last years of his reign until death, Emperor Gaozong was unable to run the state due to illness, so he delegated his responsibilities to Empress Wu. Wu was granted certain honors and privileges which were not enjoyed by any Chinese empresses before or after. After Gaozong's death, Empress Wu as empress dowager and regent conquered power completely and solely, used absolute power more forcefully and violently than before, and suppressed her overt and covert opponents, and seven years later, she seized the throne in the Zhou dynasty, becoming the only empress regnant in Chinese history. Wu Zetian is depicted in the Wu Shuang Pu (無雙譜, Table of Peerless Heroes) by Jin Guliang. Empress Wu is considered one of the greatest emperors in Chinese history due to her strong leadership and effective governance, which made China one of the most powerful nations in the world. The importance to history of Wu Zetian's period of political and military leadership includes the major expansion of the Chinese empire, extending it far beyond its previous territorial limits, deep into Central Asia, and engaging in a series of wars on the Korean Peninsula, first allying with Silla against Goguryeo, and then against Silla over the occupation of former Goguryeo territory. Within China, besides the more direct consequences of her struggle to gain and maintain supreme power, Wu's leadership resulted in important effects regarding social class in Chinese society and in relation to state support for Taoism, Buddhism, education, and literature. She set up spies to build a strong intelligence system in the court and throughout the empire to deliver daily reports on current affairs of the empire or opposition to the central state. She also played a key role in reforming the imperial examination system and encouraging capable officials to work in governance to maintain a peaceful and well-governed state. Wu Zetian also had a monumental impact upon the statuary of the Longmen Grottoes and the "Wordless Stele" at the Qianling Mausoleum, as well as the construction of some major buildings and bronze castings that no longer survive. Besides her career as a political leader, Wu Zetian also had an active family life. Wu was a mother of four sons, three of whom also carried the title of emperor, although one held that title only as a posthumous honor. One of her grandsons became the renowned Emperor Xuanzong of Tang.

Photo of Xi Jinping

10. Xi Jinping (1953 - )

With an HPI of 81.64, Xi Jinping is the 10th most famous Chinese Politician.  His biography has been translated into 118 different languages.

Xi Jinping (English: SHEE jin-PING; Chinese: 习近平; pinyin: Xí Jìnpíng; [ɕǐ tɕîn pʰǐŋ]; born 15 June 1953) is a Chinese politician who has been serving as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) since 2012, and President of the People's Republic of China (PRC) since 2013. Xi has been the paramount leader of China, the most prominent political leader in the People's Republic of China, since 2012. The son of Chinese Communist veteran Xi Zhongxun, he was exiled to rural Yanchuan County as a teenager following his father's purge during the Cultural Revolution, and lived in a yaodong in the village of Liangjiahe, where he joined the CCP and worked as the local party secretary. After studying chemical engineering at Tsinghua University as a "Worker-Peasant-Soldier student", Xi rose through the ranks politically in China's coastal provinces. Xi was Governor of Fujian from 1999 to 2002, before becoming Governor and Party Secretary of neighbouring Zhejiang from 2002 to 2007. Following dismissal of the Party Secretary of Shanghai, Chen Liangyu, Xi was transferred to replace him for a brief period in 2007. He subsequently joined the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) of the CCP and served as first secretary of the Central Secretariat in October 2007. In 2008, he was designated as Hu Jintao's presumed successor as paramount leader; to that end, Xi was appointed Vice President of the PRC and Vice Chairman of the CMC. He officially received the title of "leadership core" from the CCP in 2016. Xi has also been a member of the PSC since 2007. In 2018, he abolished presidential term limits. Xi is the first CCP General Secretary born after the establishment of the PRC. Since assuming power, Xi has introduced far-ranging measures to enforce party discipline and to impose internal unity. His anti-corruption campaign led to the downfall of prominent incumbent and retired CCP officials, including a former member of the PSC. He has also enacted or promoted a more assertive foreign policy, particularly with regard to China–Japan relations, China's claims in the South China Sea, and its advocacy for free trade and globalization. He has sought to expand China's African and Eurasian influence through the Belt and Road Initiative. Xi has often been described as a dictator or an authoritarian leader by political and academic observers, citing an increase of censorship and mass surveillance, a deterioration in human rights including the internment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, the cult of personality developing around him, and the removal of term limits for the leadership under his tenure. Xi's political thoughts have been incorporated into the party and national constitutions. As the central figure of the fifth generation of leadership of the PRC, Xi has significantly centralised institutional power by taking on a wide range of leadership positions, including chairing the newly formed National Security Commission, as well as new steering committees on economic and social reforms, military restructuring and modernization, and the Internet.On 11 November 2021, the CCP declared Xi's ideology the "essence of Chinese culture". This is the third fundamental resolution of the CCP since its inception, and symbolically raises him to the same level of prestige as leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

Pantheon has 400 people classified as politicians born between 2900 BC and 1990. Of these 400, 50 (12.50%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Xi Jinping, Hu Jintao, and Jiang Zemin. The most famous deceased politicians include Mao Zedong, Huang Xianfan, and Qin Shi Huang. As of October 2020, 16 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Li Yuanhong, Jia Sidao, and Yin Lihua.

Living Politicians

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Deceased Politicians

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Newly Added Politicians (2020)

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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.