China military hero turned counter-revolutionary dies at 96 | world | Hindustan Times
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China military hero turned counter-revolutionary dies at 96

world Updated: Jan 04, 2009 16:08 IST

A Chinese military hero who fought Japan and the Kuomintang in the 1930s and 1940s, but was jailed for counter-revolutionary crimes during the Mao era, has died in Beijing, state press said Sunday.

Li Zuopeng died in Beijing on January 3 at the age of 96 from unspecified causes, Xinhua news agency reported.

Li was born in April 1914 and became a prominent military official fighting against the the invading Japanese armies during World War II and the Kuomintang (Nationalist) armies during China's 1946-1949 civil war.

During his earlier career Li fought alongside Lin Biao, one of the top generals of revolutionary leader Mao Zedong.

After Lin died in a mysterious 1971 air crash while fleeing China following a dispute with Mao, Li also met disgrace and was persecuted and kicked out of the ruling Communist Party in 1973, Xinhua said.

He was later sentenced to 17 years in prison for counter-revolutionary crimes in 1981 and served time with political prisoners in Beijing's notorious Qincheng prison before being released early on medical parole, it said.