Top 10 Most Influential Men in China

Most of us know China as the most populous country in the world. And in today’s tech-savvy world we also know about its biggest contribution to the world of gadgets. Most of us are unaware that many big companies have their production units in China and if you take a closer look at any of your flamboyant devices, you will find this country’s name written on it. To know about the country’s influence in the world we need not go too far. The ‘Xiomi Technologies Co. Ltd’ which came to existence in 2010, has emerged as the 4th largest smartphone maker, leaving behind big daddies in the business, within a few years of its inception. However, it is not only the technological field that the country holds a grip, and the men listed below prove it. Be it literature, martial arts, politics, astronomy or sports, these Chinese man have made a mark of themselves influencing the masses in their country, also exercising a global impact.

1. Confucius

Born in 551 B.C., Confucius grew to become a philosopher, teacher and politician. His philosophies encompass a varied range like government, justice, morality, sincerity and many more. Those are prominent even today, thus, even after thousands of years he lives through his philosophies and teaching. He had a huge number of followers who participated in the ‘Hundred Schools of Thought’ era propagating his ideas but when the Qin Dynasty operated, the followers of ‘Legalism’ overpowered this group of thinkers. However, during the reign of Han Dynasty the thoughts of this great personality were given due status forming the philosophical system called ‘Confucianism’.

2. Mao Tse-tung

The founder of ‘People’s Republic of China’, Mao Tse-tung ruled the country from 1949 (the year it was established) to 1976 (his death). He belonged to the ‘Communist Party of China’ serving as its chairman. He was a follower of the Marxist–Leninist theories, which together with his thoughts form the ‘Marxism–Leninism–Maoism’ also known as the ‘Mao Zedong Thought’.

3. Deng Xiaoping

After the death of Chairman Mao, Deng Xiaoping took charge of the responsibility of leading the country and he was engaged in the same for more than two decades. Though he never held office as the chief of state, General Secretary or head of government, he was always regarded as the ‘paramount leader’ of People’s Republic of China. He made a shift from several communist doctrines and brought about many reforms into Chinese economy. The effect of the reforms he introduced were also seen in the socio-political system of the nation, making the country domestically stable as well as ensuring economic growth.

4. Yuan Longping

Born in 1930, into a farmer’s family, Yuan Longping became an agricultural scientist who developed the first ever known hybrid rice during 1970s. This was a breakthrough discovery which helped masses to get adequate amount of rice to feed themselves. From China the concept of hybrid rice spread far and wide like the rest of Asia, America and Africa. Once Longping quoted one of his dreams as, “I saw rice plants as tall as Chinese sorghum. Each ear of rice as big as a broom and each grain of rice as huge as a peanut. I could hide in the shadow of the rice crops with a friend.” For the discovery, he was awarded with ‘5-million-yuan State Supreme Science and Technology Prize’ and this honor is regarded as the ‘Chinese Nobel Prize’.

5. Sun Yat-sen

Sun Yat-sen popularly known as Sūn Zhōngshān in China was the founder of the ‘Republic of China’ and was the first one to preside over it. He is often dubbed as the ‘Father of the Nation’ in the ROC. He actively participated in the Chinese Revolution which finally resulted in toppling the Qing Dynasty, the last imperial dynasty of China. After the establishment of the Republic of China, he was appointed as the provisional president by the revolutionaries and served the position during the period of transition. Such is the impact of this man on the nation that even his name appears on the constitution’s preamble.

6. Lu Xun

Lu Xun is one of the most prominent literary figures in China, and he is also credited as the ‘Father of Modern Chinese Literature’. He penned short stories, essays, literary criticism, poetry as well as translations, often using the pseudonym Zhou Shuren. The ‘League of Left-Wing Writers’ established on 2nd March, 1930, was led by him as the titular head. His essays encompassed historical China as well as modern day scenarios. His stories are read and cherished even today.

7. Yang Liwei

Almost all of us know about Neil Armstrong but very few of us are familiar to the name Yang Liwei. He is a Chinese astronaut who made his country proud by being the first Chinese to travel into space. Belonging to the ‘China National Space Administration’, he brought global fame to the country with this act and this paved the way for ‘Shenzhou 5’, the first spacelight mission of ‘Chinese space program’, making China the third nation to do so.

8. Qin Shi Huang

The China of today owes a lot to Emperor Qin Shi Huang. As the head of the state he did not want to be addressed as ‘king’ rather he preferred the title ‘emperor’, thus becoming the first one to rule the country. The various Chinese regions which were at war with each other were conquered by him and turned into the united kingdom of China. He was the head of the Qin Dynasty who ruled from 220 BC to 201 BC. The different Chinese states had their own economic principles which were reformed to build uniform political and economic laws after he unified the nation.

9. Yao Ming

Yao Ming took to playing basketball as early as nine years old and with time his passion for the game increased, making him represent his country at the national level. Although, Wang Zhizhi was the first Chinese basketball player to join the NBA, it was Yao who was responsible for the countrywide popularity of the game. Ming was the first ever international player to be included in the ‘Houston Rockets’ team without being a part of the ‘U.S. college basketball’ and to be elected as the first one in the draft. Being tall seems to run in the family and at one point of time he was named the ‘tallest active player in the NBA’ with a height of 2.29m (7 ft 6 in). At birth too he weighed twice the average Chinese newborn. He is tall in stature but his achievements are taller.

10. Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee — does he even need an introduction? Well, not really, but we would like to cite a few of his achievements and influences over the years. One of the best known martial artists of all time, Bruce Lee entered the film industry as a child artist and later, cemented his place in the world. With this he was also able to revamp the representation of Asian people in Hollywood. He traveled to the United States for higher studies but he also taught martial arts there. This talented personality has achieved global acclamation and has spread the name of his nation far and wide.