Liu Bocheng (1892-1986) was a native of Kaixian County, Sichuan Province. In his youth he joined the students' army, formed to take part in the Revolution of 1911, and fought in the campaigns to protect the Republic and uphold the Provisional Constitution. In 1926 he joined the Chinese Communist Party. As Chief of Staff under the CPC Frontline Committee, he was one of the leaders of the Nanchang Uprising of August 1, 1927. Towards the end of that year he was sent to study in the Soviet Union.

After his return to China in 1930, he served as a member of the Military Commission of the CPC Central Committee, President and Political Commissar of the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army Academy, and Chief of the General Staff of the Central Revolutionary Military Commission. In 1934 he took part in the Long March, serving as chief of the general staff of the Red Army and commander of the Central Column. After the rendezvous of the Red Army's First and Fourth Front Armies, together with Zhu De and others he waged a resolute struggle against Zhang Guotao's attempts to split the Party (see note 71).

Following the outbreak of the anti-Japanese war, Liu Bocheng became commander of the Eighth Route Army's 129th Division. Together with its political commissar, Deng Xiaoping, he set up the Shanxi-Hebei-Henan and other anti-Japanese base areas. During the War of Liberation he served as commander of the Shanxi-Hebei-Shandong-Henan Field Army, the Central Plains Field Army and then the Second Field Army. In June 1947 he and Deng led their troops to the Dabie Mountains, raising the curtain on the PLA's nationwide strategic offensive against the Kuomintang government armies. Later he helped lead the Huai-Hai Campaign and the Campaign to Cross the Yangtze.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Liu served as Second Secretary of the Southwest Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, chairman of the Southwest Military and Administrative Council, president and political commissar of the PLA's Military Academy, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, member of the Seventh through the Eleventh CPC Central Committees and member of the Political Bureau from the Eighth to the Eleventh Central Committees.