BEIJING, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Lu Zhengcao, the last one of New China's first 57 generals, passed away here Tuesday, at the age of106.
In 1955, the People's Republic of China (PRC) first adopted the military ranks and 55 senior officers were granted generals. Two more joined them in 1956 and 1958 respectively.
They have been considered the first group of generals in the history of New China since 1949.
Among the generals, the youngest was 39 years old in 1955. They witnessed the development of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the founding of the PRC.
Born in Haicheng of northeastern Liaoning Province, Lu joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1937 and fought in China's war against Japanese invasion from 1937 to 1945 and the civil war against the Kuomintang (KMT) army from 1945 to 1949.
Before joining the CPC, Lu used to work as an assistant to KMT General Zhang Xueliang and witnessed the famous "Xi'an Incident."
The incident was masterminded by Zhang and another general Yang Hucheng in 1936 to press KMT leader Chiang Kai-shek, who ruled China then, to stop the civil war with the CPC and jointly fight against Japanese invasion.
After the anti-Japanese war fully broke out in 1937, Lu quitted the KMT army and led a CPC military force to fight Japanese army in north China.
After 1949, Lu served as a senior military leader of the PRC.