Born 1823; died Aug. 7, 1864. One of the leaders of the Taiping Rebellion of 1850–64 in China. The son of a poor peasant.
Li Hsiu-ch’eng joined the rebels in 1851. Possessing exceptional military talent, he quickly advanced from an ordinary soldier to a powerful military leader. In late 1857, after a split in the rebel camp, he became one of the supreme commanders of the rebel army. In 1858 the forces of Li Hsiu-ch’eng, together with units of the Taiping general Ch’en Yü-ch’eng, dealt a crushing defeat to the government army in the region of Sanho. In 1860, the forces under Li Hsiu-ch’eng routed government forces that were attempting to seize the rebel capital of Nanking (T’iench’ing), and then captured the southern part of the province of Chiangsu and much of Chechiang. In 1861–63 he commanded rebel forces on various fronts. His army twice (August 1860 and January 1862) approached Shanghai but could not capture it because of the resistance of the Anglo-French interventionists. In 1863–64 he directed the defense of Nanking; after it was seized by government forces (July 1864), he was captured and executed. Before his death he wrote extensive testimony, which became an important source on the history of the Taiping peasant war.
WORKS“Pokazaniia Li Siu-chena.” In Taipinskoe vosstanie 1850–1864 gg.: Sb. dok-tov. Moscow, 1960.
REFERENCEIliushechkin, V. P. Krest’ianskaia voina taipinov. Moscow, 1967.
V. P. ILIUSHECHKIN