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|Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission|
28 September 1995 – 15 November 2002
28 March 1993 – 5 March 2003
|8th Minister of National Defence|
March 1993 – 17 March 2003
|Preceded by||Qin Jiwei|
|Succeeded by||Cao Gangchuan|
|Born||9 July 1929|
Zhaoyuan, Shandong Province, China
|Political party||Communist Party of China|
|Allegiance||People's Republic of China|
|Branch/service||People's Liberation Army Ground Force|
|Years of service||1946–2003|
Chi was born July 1929 in Zhaoyuan, Shandong Province, China. In October 1946 he joined the CPC (Communist Party of China). He was recruited to the army in July 1945, and graduated from the synthesis department of Military Academy of PLA.
In 1973, he became the vice political commissar of Beijing Military Region, and vice editor in chief of a prominent newspaper "People's Daily". He later became vice director of the general staff department of PLA and the director of political department under it, the political commissar of Jinan Military Region, and the head of the general staff department of PLA as well as the secretary of CPC's committee there. He was elected as a member of central military commission in 1988.
In May–June, 1989, Chi played an important role in directing the military's enforcement of martial law in Beijing to suppress the Tiananmen Square Protests in the national capital. As chief of staff he instructed the commanding officers of the Beijing, Shenyang, and Jinan Military Districts to "finalize the name list of every group army division scheduled to advance into Beijing and their exact times of departure and arrival, as well as details regarding primary duties", according to the "Daily report" (Meiri yibao) from the Central Military Commission Office, dated 19 May 1989. This military buildup resulted in the so-called Beijing massacre, which took place on 4 June that year.
In 1993 Chi became a state council member and the Minister of National Defense until 2003. He was also the director of the Law of National Defense Draft Commission. He was elected to be vice chairman of the central military commission of the CPC in September 1995, and CMC of the state in December that year.
On 19 October 1999, after meeting with Syrian Defence Minister Mustafa Tlass in Damascus, Syria, to discuss expanding military ties between China and Syria, Chi then flew directly to Israel and met with Ehud Barak, the then prime minister and Defence Minister of Israel where they discussed military relations. Among the military arrangements, was a 1 billion dollar Israeli Russian sale of military aircraft to China, which were to be jointly produced by Russia and Israel.
He was elected as a member of central committee of CPC's 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th National Congresses, and a Politburo member at 15th Congress.
He was awarded First-class honor in 1952, and Third-Class Liberation medal in 1985. He was made general in 1988.
His hobbies include reading books, especially those of Lu Xun's and military ones. He's good at swimming, horse-riding and wrestling. He used to be the honorary Chairman of Chinese Wrestling Association.
Chi Haotian is married to Jiang Qinping (姜青萍). She is a native of Changzhou, Jiangsu province, and was a doctor in the Navy's general hospital of PLA. The couple has a son and a daughter.