Zheng Lücheng

Zheng Lücheng (Chinese: 郑律成; Korean정률성, Kwangju; 13 August 1918 – 7 December 1976) was a Korea-born Chinese composer. He is most notable for having composed the music to the Military Anthem of the People's Liberation Army, to words by Gong Mu (公木; real name: Zhang Yongnian; Chinese: 张永年).[1][2]

Early life

Zheng was born Cheong Buk'un (郑富恩) in the South Jeolla Province of what is now South Korea in either 1914 or 1918. Official records show his year of birth at 1918, but it is believed he may have concealed his age to maintain cover as an agent in Nanjing.[3]

In 1933, Zheng moved to Nanjing in China, where he became associated with the Chinese Korean anti-Japanese movement and then with the communists.


A monument commemorating Zheng's birthplace in Gwangju, South Korea.

In 1937, in Yan'an, Zheng composed the song which was to become the military anthem of the People's Liberation Army.

In 1945, Zheng returned to Korea or, precisely, North Korea, where he worked as chief of the North Korean army's band and taught music at Pyongyang University. Zheng wrote the anthem of the North Korean Army, Tumen River, East Sea Fisherman and other songs. After the outbreak of Korean War, Zheng returned to China, where he composed many works including a Chinese-language western-style opera, Cloud Gazing based on a story of the Bai people.

Personal life

Zheng's wife was China's first woman ambassador, Ding Xuesong.[4]

In 1950, when the Korean War broke out, Zhou Enlai — having been petitioned by Zheng's Chinese wife, Ding Xuesong — personally wrote to Kim Il Sung requesting that Zheng return to work in China. Kim agreed; and, in 1950, Zheng took Chinese nationality.[5]


  1. ^ Le pouvoir en chantant: L'art de fabriquer une musique chinoise - Volume 1 Sabine Trébinjac - 2000 "Zheng Lücheng' (1918-1976), reconnu comme compositeur, était également pianiste, violoniste et chanteur. Il arriva à Yan'an en octobre 1957 où il commença par enseigner l'art de la musique vocale. Il est l'auteur de «Louange de Yan'an», ..."
  2. ^ Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women - Volume 2 - Page 145 Lily Xiao Hong Lee, A. D. Stefanowska, Sue Wiles - 2003 "... situation of their conflicting nationalities by returning to China, where Zheng Lücheng took out Chinese citizenship. ... PRC, Zheng Lücheng was active in his work as a composer; he wrote the music for the Western-style opera Cloud Gazing."
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Ding Xuesong: la première ambassadrice de la Chine nouvelle". French.china.org.cn. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  5. ^ Zheng Lücheng: Thoroughly into Factories and the Countryside 28 Sep 2012 "Ding Xuesong, with help by a letter written by the ambassador to Chief State Councillor Zhou Enlai, asked for both her and Zheng's return to China, plus requesting a renewal "

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