The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from China

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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 (; simplified Chinese: 毛泽东; traditional Chinese: 毛澤東; pinyin: Máo Zédōng; 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 its establishment 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 had a Chinese nationalist and 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, 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 United Front during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), China's civil war resumed after Japan's surrender and in 1949 Mao's forces defeated the Nationalist government, which withdrew to Taiwan. On October 1, 1949, Mao proclaimed the foundation of the PRC, a single-party state controlled by the CCP. In the following years he solidified his control through campaigns against landlords, suppression of "counter-revolutionaries", "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 the "Two Bombs, One Satellite" project. In 1955–1957, Mao launched the Sufan movement and the Anti-Rightist Campaign, with at least 550,000 people persecuted in the latter, most of whom were intellectuals and dissidents. 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, including Liu Shaoqi, the 2nd Chairman of the PRC. 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, Mao is regarded as one of the most important individuals in the twentieth century. He is also known as a political intellect, theorist, military strategist, and poet. During Mao's era, China was involved in the Korean War, the Sino-Soviet split, the Vietnam War, and the rise of Khmer Rouge. Mao has been credited with transforming China from a semicolony to a powerful sovereign state, and increased literacy and life expectancy, but also ruled an autocratic and totalitarian regime responsible for mass repression, as well as destruction of religious and cultural artifacts and sites. It was additionally responsible for vast numbers of deaths with estimates ranging from 40 to 80 million victims through starvation, persecution, prison labour and mass executions.

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 ; 18 February 259 BC – 10 September 210 BC) was the founder of the Qin dynasty and the first emperor of a unified China. From 247 to 221 BC he was Zheng, King of Qin (秦王政, Qín Wáng Zhèng, personal name 嬴政 Yíng Zhèng or 趙政 Zhào Zhèng). He became China's first emperor when he was 38 after the Qin had conquered all of the other Warring States and unified all of China in 221 BC. 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 BC to 210 BC. His self-invented title "emperor" (皇帝 huángdì) would continue to be borne by Chinese rulers for the next two millennia. 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 BC 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 (, also UK: ; simplified Chinese: 邓小平; traditional Chinese: 鄧小平; pinyin: dèng xiǎo píng; born Xiansheng (“先圣”); courtesy name Xixian (“希贤”); Wade–Giles: Teng Hsiao-ping; 22 August 1904 – 19 February 1997) was a Chinese revolutionary and statesman who served as the supreme policymaker 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 his country through a series of far-reaching market-economy reforms, thereby resulting in his characterization as the "Architect of Modern China". Despite never holding office as either the PRC’s head of state/government or as head of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), he is generally viewed as the “core leader” of the CCP’s second generation leadership, a status enshrined within the party's constitution.Born into an educated land-owning family in Sichuan province in the Qing dynasty, Deng studied and worked in France in the 1920s, where he became a follower of Marxism–Leninism and lifelong friends with Zhou Enlai as well as many other future CCP leaders. There, he joined the CCP in 1924 while changing between menial jobs, including working at a Schneider factory and a Renault plant. In early 1926, Deng travelled to Moscow to study Communist doctrines. Upon returning to China in 1927, Deng changed his name to "Deng Xiaoping" at the age of 23 and joined the party organization in Shanghai, becoming a political commissar for the Red Army in rural regions. In late 1929, Deng led local Red Army uprisings in Guangxi province. In 1931, he was criticized and demoted within the party due to his support of Mao, but was promoted again during the Zunyi Conference in which Mao emerged as the party's leader. By the late 1930s, Deng was considered a "revolutionary veteran" as he participated in the Long March (1934–1935). During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), Deng quickly rose in prominence within the CCP military. At the height of the Chinese Civil War (1945–1949), Deng served as political commissar of the Central Plains Field Army in the Huaihai campaign, one of the three decisive battles that led to the defeat of the ruling Kuomintang party. Marshal Liu Bocheng and Deng led the Communist troops to cross the Yangtze River and capture Nanjing (the capital of the Nationalist government) and Shanghai (the largest city of China) in mid-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 newly formed central government. As the party's Secretary-General under Chairman Mao and Vice Premier under Premier Zhou 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 so he was purged twice during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). Deng was publicly disgraced and criticized nationwide alongside then President Liu Shaoqi and was sent to work in a tractor factory in rural Jiangxi province from 1969 to 1973. Deng briefly came back to power until the April Fifth Action in 1976, after which he was again stripped of all official titles and only kept his party membership. 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 extreme poverty, deep social conflict, disenchantment with Communism and institutional disorder resulting from the chaotic political movements of the Mao era, Deng started the "Boluan Fanzheng" ("拨乱反正") program, reversing most of the Cultural Revolution policies, which brought the country back to order by the early 1980s. From 1977 to early 1979, he resumed the National College Entrance Examination program that had been interrupted by the Cultural Revolution for ten years, initiated the historic Reform and Opening-up of China ("改革开放"), desginated 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, less than two weeks after Deng became the paramount leader. By January 1979, Deng became the first Chinese paramount leader to visit the U.S. In August 1980, Deng embarked on a series of radical political reforms by setting constitutional term limits for state officials, including the President implemementing systematic revision of China's third Constitution which remain effective today. On Deng's initiative, the CCP revoked the position of Chairman and made the General Secretary the ex officio leader of the party. 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 ("一国两制") principle for the governance of Hong Kong and Macau as well as the future unification with Taiwan. Although Deng never held the highest office in the CCP leadership, he nonetheless held supreme authority in China from 1978 through the late 1980s in his dual capacity as Chairman of the Central Advisory Commission (an ad hoc body comprising the most senior members of the party elite) and commander-in-chief of the Chinese armed forces. Even after retiring from the Politburo Standing Committee in 1987 and the Central Military Commission in 1989, Deng continued to exert influence over the regime’s policies until his death in 1997. Deng’s policies 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. Such actions are credited with developing China into one of the fastest-growing economies in the world for several generations and raising the standard of living of a fourth of humanity. Deng was the Time Person of the Year for 1978 and 1985, the third Chinese leader and the fourth time for a communist leader to be selected. In the 1990s, Deng was criticized for ordering the crackdown on the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, but 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. Throughout his leadership, Deng was renowned for his pragmatism and support of a market economy, often being compared with contemporary leaders such as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. He was eventually characterized as the "architect" of a new brand of thinking combining socialist ideology with free enterprise, dubbed "socialism with Chinese characteristics". This ideology now known as Deng Xiaoping Theory was ultimately incorporated into the party’s constitution in 1997 and remains the guiding principle of Chinese policy to this day.

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 Deming; 12 November 1866 – 12 March 1925) was a Chinese statesman, physician, and political philosopher, who served as the provisional first president of the Republic of China and the first leader of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party of China). He is referred as the "Father of the Nation" in the Republic of China, and as 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 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 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, Mínzú Zhǔyì) or nationalism (independence from foreign domination), Mínquán (民權主義, Mínquán Zhǔyì) or "rights of the people" (sometimes translated as "democracy"), and Mínshēng (民生主義, Mínshēng Zhǔyì) 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 (; Mongolian: Хубилай, romanized: Hubilai; Mongol script: ᠬᠤᠪᠢᠯᠠᠢ ᠰᠡᠴᠡᠨ ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ; Chinese: 忽必烈; pinyin: Hūbìliè; 23 September  1215 - 18 February 1294), also known as the Emperor Shizu of Yuan, was the fifth khagan of the Mongol Empire (Ikh Mongol Uls), reigning from 1260 to 1294 (although after the division of the empire this was a nominal position). He also founded the Yuan dynasty in China as a conquest dynasty in 1271, and ruled as the first Yuan emperor until his death in 1294. Kublai was the fourth son of Tolui (his second son with Sorghaghtani Beki) and a grandson of Genghis Khan. He 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 disunity in the empire. Kublai's real power was limited to China and Mongolia, though as Khagan he still had influence in the Ilkhanate and, to a significantly lesser degree, in the Golden Horde. If one counts 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 royal 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; 7 February 1906 – 17 October 1967) was the last Emperor of China as the eleventh and final Qing dynasty ruler. Becoming the Xuantong Emperor at age two, forced to abdicate on 12 February 1912 due to the Xinhai Revolution, he later served as the nominal 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 1 July to 12 July 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 "Emperor" of the new state using the era-name of Datong (Ta-tung). In 1934, he was declared the Kangde Emperor (or Kang-te Emperor) of Manchukuo and "ruled" 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, including one making slavery legal. During this period, he was largely cooped up 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. He took on numerous concubines, as well as male lovers. With the fall of Japan, and thus Manchukuo, in 1945, Puyi fled the capital and was eventually captured by the USSR; 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 would die of starvation in a Chinese prison in 1946. Puyi was a defendant at the Tokyo Trials, and imprisoned as a war criminal for 10 years. He escaped execution because Mao Zedong realized that Puyi was more valuable as a reformed commoner than a murdered emperor. After his "reeducation" in prison, 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. His time in prison greatly changed him, and he became much kinder and expressed deep regret for his actions while Emperor. In 1962 he married a commoner, Li Shuxian, whom he had a deep affection for. 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 (29 November 1835 – 15 November 1908) was a Chinese empress dowager and regent who was the de facto supreme ruler of China in the late Qing dynasty for 47 years, from 1861 until her death in 1908. Of the Manchu Yehe Nara clan, she was elected as a concubine of the Xianfeng Emperor in her adolescence and 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 became the Empress Dowager. Cixi ousted a group of regents appointed by the late emperor and assumed regency, which she shared with Empress Dowager Ci'an. Cixi then consolidated control over the dynasty when she installed her nephew as the Guangxu Emperor at the death of the Tongzhi Emperor in 1875, 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 as a means of limited Westernization to preserve her own power and the dynasty. In regards to the Hundred Days' Reforms of 1898, she feared that sudden implementation would disrupt Manchu rule, and that the Japanese and other foreign powers would take advantage of the ensuing weakness. She not only engineered a putsch that enabled her to take over as regent, but also placed the Guangxu Emperor under virtual house arrest for supporting said reformers, and is reputed to have poisoned him. Additionally, she publicly executed the main reformers, an act which extinguished the momentum for China's modernization while fueling public disfavor that would ultimately end her dynasty's rule. After the Boxer Rebellion led to invasion by Allied armies, Cixi backed the Boxer groups and declared war on the invaders to preserve her own power and the dynasty. 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 while simultaneously continuing the practice of corruption in ways such as selling titles and embezzling funds originally earmarked for building a new imperial navy, channeling it into vanity projects such as the Marble Boat, an architectural folly that is ironically "moored" on Lake Kunming. The death 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 deeply dissatisfied, divided society. Historians both in China and abroad have debated her contentious legacy. The general consensus is that she was a ruthless despot whose reactionary, self-interested policies were an attempt to prolong her own power and that of the ailing Qing dynasty, but instead ultimately led to its humiliation and utter downfall in the Wuchang Uprising. However, some revisionists claim that Nationalist and Communist revolutionaries scapegoated her for trying her utmost regarding problems beyond salvage, lauding her maintenance of political order as well as some effective, if belated reforms such as the replacement of the ancient examination system by institutions such as the newly built 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 China, first through her husband the Emperor Gaozong and then through her sons the Emperors Zhongzong and Ruizong, from 665 to 690. She subsequently became empress regnant of the Zhou dynasty (周) of China, ruling from 690 to 705. She is notable for being the only female monarch in the history of China. 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, empress consort, title for the reigning emperor's main consort) in 655, although having considerable political power prior to this. After Gaozong's debilitating stroke in 660, Wu Zetian became administrator of the court, a position equal to the emperor's until 705.After her wedding to Emperor Gaozong in 655, Empress Wu's rise to power was swift. A strong, charismatic, and well-educated woman who enjoyed the absolute interest of her husband, Empress Wu was the most powerful and influential woman at court during a period when the Tang Empire was at the peak of its power and 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 and ruling figure for more than eighteen years. She was often present when the Emperor held court, and even held court independently when the Emperor was unwell. She was given charge of his Imperial Seal, implying that her perusal and consent were necessary before any document or order received legal validity. The Emperor Gaozong sought her views on all matters before issuing orders. Empress 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 independently and uniquely, and seven years later, she seized the throne in the Zhou dynasty, becoming the only empress regnant in Chinese history. Because she ruled from 665 to 690 through her husband and sons, she was thus one of the longest-reigning de facto rulers in the history of the world. She also spent one of the brightest periods of history in China as emperor. 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. 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. Although family relationships sometimes became problematic, Wu Zetian was the 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 ( SHEE jin-PING; Chinese: 习近平; born 15 June 1953) is a Chinese politician who has served 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 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 cave in the village of Liangjiahe, where he joined the CCP and worked as the 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 the 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 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 People's Republic of China and Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission. He officially received the title of "leadership core" from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 2016. Xi has also been a member of the 17th, 18th, 19th CCP Politburo Standing Committee since 2007. In 2018, he abolished presidential term limits, allowing him to rule indefinitely. Xi is the first CCP General Secretary born after the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Since assuming power, Xi has introduced far-ranging measures to enforce party discipline and to impose internal unity. His anti-corruption campaign has led to the downfall of prominent incumbent and retired Communist Party officials, including members of the Politburo Standing Committee. 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. As the central figure of the fifth generation of leadership of the People's Republic, Xi has significantly centralised institutional power by taking on a wide range of leadership positions, including chairing the newly formed CCP National Security Commission, as well as new steering committees on economic and social reforms, military restructuring and modernization, and the internet.Xi's political thoughts have been incorporated into the party and state constitutions. He 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, the cult of personality developing around him, and the removal of term limits for the leadership under his tenure.

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.