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October 21, 2009

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Last of 1st generals of New China cremated

LU Zhengcao, the last of New China's first 57 generals, was cremated in Beijing yesterday. Lu died of illness on October 13 at age 106.

President Hu Jintao, former President Jiang Zemin, Premier Wen Jiabao and other senior leaders attended the cremation ceremony, which was held at the hall of the Beijing Babaoshan Cemetery.

The People's Republic of China first adopted the military ranks in 1955, and 55 senior officers were appointed generals. Two more joined those ranks in 1956 and 1958.

They were considered the first group of generals in the history of New China.

Among the generals, the youngest was 39 years old in 1955. They witnessed the development of the People's Liberation Army and the founding of New China in 1949.

Born in Haicheng in northeast China's Liaoning Province, Lu joined the Communist Party of China in 1937 and fought in China's war of resistance against the Japanese invasion from 1937 to 1945 and the civil war against the Kuomintang army from 1945 to 1949.

Before joining the CPC, Lu worked as an assistant to KMT General Zhang Xueliang. After the war against Japanese invasion was in full swing in 1937, Lu quit the KMT army and led a CPC military force to fight the Japanese army in north China. After 1949, he served as a senior military leader.


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