Born 1893 in the district of Shao-hsing, Chekiang Province; died July 29, 1969, in Peking. Chinese historian.
From 1940 to 1945, Fan Wen-Ian was deputy director of the Central Research Institute of the Communist Party of China (CPC). From 1945 to 1949 he was rector of the Northern University and prorector of the Northern Chinese University in the liberated regions of China. From 1950 to 1960 he served as director of the Third Institute of History of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and in 1960 he became director of the academy’s Institute of Modern History.
Fan Wen-Ian was a candidate member of the Central Committee of the CPC from 1956, becoming a full member in 1969. He was the editor and principal author of A Short History of China, completed in 1941 in Yen-an. He subsequently revised this work and published it in sections, one of which was translated into Russian and published in 1958 as Ancient History of China. Fan Wen-lan’s Modern History of China, completed in 1947, went through several editions; Part 1 was published in Russian in 1955. Fan Wen-Ian was a leading proponent of the thesis dating the beginning of feudalism in China from the 11th century B.C.