China Lost 15 Academicians in 26 Days, Including Military Weapons Experts

By Shawn Jiang
Shawn Jiang
Shawn Jiang
and Olivia Li
Olivia Li
Olivia Li
Olivia Li is a contributor to The Epoch Times with a focus on China-related topics since 2012.
January 30, 2023Updated: January 31, 2023

The latest COVID-19 outbreak in China has infected millions of people all over the country. From Jan. 1 to Jan. 26, 15 academicians passed away, including several top military weapon experts, such as renowned nuclear weapons expert Wu Sheng, air defense missile expert Liang Jincai, nuclear submarine chief designer Zhang Jinlin, and mine blasting expert Li Zhao.

On Jan. 4, Wu Sheng, a nuclear weapons expert, died in Chengdu at the age of 89. Wu had participated in the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) atomic and hydrogen bomb development in the 1960s, and had won many top awards in science and technology.

Also on Jan. 4, Xu Mi, a nuclear technologist and chief engineer of China Institute of Atomic Energy, died in Beijing at the age of 86. Known as the “Father of China’s Fast Reactors,” Xu was one of the pioneers and founders of fast neutron reactor technology in the country.

On Jan. 9, academician Zhang Jinlin, China’s third nuclear submarine chief engineer and former director of the 719 Research Institute of China Shipbuilding Corporation, died in Wuhan at the age of 87.

Chinese news portal NetEase praised Zhang for his lifetime devotion to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) nuclear submarine development.

“In 1996, academician Zhang Jinlin, who was over 60 years old, could have enjoyed his retirement peacefully, but for the sake of our maritime cause, he felt it was his duty to take on the heavy responsibility and presided over the development of the 094 strategic nuclear submarine. … He made great contributions to the Chinese dream, and the dream to form a powerful Chinese army,” the report said.

Zhang was one of the recipients of the CCP’s special government allowance, an allowance granted by the State Council for experts, scholars, and technical personnel who make prominent contributions.

On Jan. 17, Liang Jincai, a researcher at the 8th Research Institute of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, and an expert in the field of air defense missiles, died at the age of 95. Liang was mainly engaged in the general research and automatic control research of air defense missiles, and has won a number of national awards in science and technology.

On Jan. 23, Hu Guangzhen, an expert in electronic engineering and communications technology, died at the age of 95. He was a long-time researcher at the Institute of the General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army, and had received many awards from the Chinese regime for his contribution in science and technology.

On Jan. 24, Li Zhao, a landmine blasting expert of the General Armament Department, died at the age of 83. He was a long-time researcher in mine blasting equipment, and has won many science and technology awards from the CCP authorities. Li also held a military title as Major General. In 1987, he was elected as a representative of the CCP’s 13th National Congress.

Other academicians on the deceased list include Qian Yitai, a pioneer in the field of nanomaterials research in China; Mao Zhi, a farmland water conservancy scientist; Yang Fuyu, a biochemist and one of the pioneers in biofilm research in China;  Lu Xiyan, an organic chemist; Ge Xiu-run, an expert in petrological mechanics who participated in the preliminary geological study for the Three Gorges Dam project; Zhao Qiguo, a soil scientist; Wang Wei, a semiconductor optoelectronics scientist; Fang Zhiyuan, an expert in genetic breeding of vegetables; and Fan Weitang, an engineer and politician who served as vice minister of coal industry from 1993 to 1995.

The death toll seemed to take a spike in December 2022, when 24 academicians passed away in December alone.

Most of the obituaries did not mention the cause of death.

The majority of the deceased are CCP members. Of the 24 academicians who died in December 2022, 20 were members of the CCP. Of these 15 academicians who died in January this year, 14 were members of the CCP.