Born 1898 in the district of Hsiang t’an, Hunan Province. Chinese political and military figure. Member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) from April 1928.
During the Northern Campaign of 1926–27, P’eng commanded a regiment. In the summer of 1928, he led a rebellion of Kuomintang troops in P’ing-chiang District, Hunan Province. He supervised the creation of the V Red Army Corps of China and a Soviet region at the juncture of the provinces of Hunan, Hupei, and Kiangsi. In 1934 he became a member of the CPC Central Committee, and in 1935 a member of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee. He took part in the Northwest Campaign of 1934–36. During the war with Japan (1937–45), he was deputy commander of the Eighth Army. From 1945 to 1949, he commanded first the Northwestern Army and then the First Field Army of the People’s Liberation Army of China.
Between 1949 and 1954, P’eng was a member of the Central People’s Government Council, deputy chairman of the People’s Revolutionary Military Council of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and chairman of the Military Administrative Committee of northwest China. From 1950 to 1953 he was commander of the Chinese people’s volunteers in Korea. From 1954 he was deputy premier of the State Council of the PRC, deputy chairman of the State Council of Defense, and minister of defense of the PRC. P’eng held the military rank of marshal of the PRC from 1955 to 1965, when military ranks were abolished. In 1959 he came out against the adventuristic policy of Mao Tsetung, the course of the “three red banners” (the new “general line,” the “great leap forward,” and the “people’s communes”). At the Eighth (Lushan) Plenum of the Central Committee in 1959, P’eng was accused of “antiparty activity,” after which he was removed from the posts he had occupied. He was subjected to persecution during the Cultural Revolution of the second half of the 1960’s. There is no information about his subsequent fate.
V. I. ELIZAROV