Soldier in the People's Liberation Army of China whose selflessness and good deeds have made him a folk hero in Chinese culture. Despite this, his life is the subject of controversy among many Chinese people, as it is believed that many aspects of his life were fabricated as part of a propaganda effort by the Mao regime.
He joined the People's Liberation Army at age 20.
He died at age 22 when he was struck by a falling telephone pole.
He was orphaned at a very young age.
His 200,000-word diary, whose authorship has been heavily disputed by historians, contains glowing praise of Communist leader Mao Yse Tung.