Born 1891; died 1955. Leading member of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which he joined in 1926. Born in Hengshan District, Shensi Province, into the family of a poor peasant.
In the 1930’s, Kao Kang was one of the organizers and leaders of the Soviet movement in northwestern China. During the war against Japan (1937-45), he was secretary of the Northwest Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPC and chairman of the Political Consultative Committee of the liberated Shensi-Kansu-Ninghsia region. At the Seventh Congress of the CPC (1945), he was elected a member of the Central Committee, and at the plenary session of the Central Committee of the CPC, a member of the Politburo. Beginning in 1945, Kao Kang directed military and party work in northeast China, serving as political commissar and commander of the Northeast Military District, secretary of the Northeast Bureau of the Central Committee, and chairman of the people’s government of northeastern China. In 1949 he became a vice-chairman of the government of the People’s Republic of China. In 1952-53 he was the chairman of the State Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China. He continually advocated friendship with the CPSU and the Soviet Union. In 1954 he was accused of “antiparty activity"; he denied the accusation and, according to the official Chinese version, “committed suicide.”