Li Zhaozheng in 1965
|3rd State Chairman of Xiaodong|
7th September 1959 – 31st March 1970
|Preceded by||Ma Renzhong|
|Succeeded by||Sun Yuting|
|Vice-Premier of Xiaodong|
20nd October 1952 – 7th September 1959
|Preceded by||Qiao Shaogu|
|Succeeded by||Li Shengjun|
|Member of the State Presidium of Xiaodong|
20nd October 1952 – 21st March 1970
|Born||December 8, 1900|
Kuoqing, Luoyuan Province, Xiaodong
|Died||June 21, 1978 (aged 77)|
|Political party||Xiaodong Regeneration Society|
|Spouse(s)||Li Ningmei (1915-1936)|
Lu Fangliang (1941-1978)
|Allegiance||Heavenly Xiaodongese Empire (1918-1920)|
|Branch/service||Heavenly Xiaodongese Army (1918-1920)|
Li Zhaozheng (Xiaodongese: 里找正; Lǐ Zhǎozhèng; 8th December 1900-21st June 1978, aged 77) was a Xiaodongese politician who served as the State Chairman of Xiaodong and Chairman of the Xiaodong Regeneration Society from September 1959 following the death of Ma Renzhong to March 1970 when he was ousted in the 1970 Xiaodongese coup d'état. He previously served as vice-premier from 1952 to 1959, secretary-general of the Xiaodong Regeneration Society from 1952 to 1959, Minister of Industry and Public Enterprises from 1947 to 1952 and Governing Mayor of Baiqiao and Governor of the Luoyuan Province from 1940 to 1947.
Born in a wealthy landowners family, Li enlisted in the army in 1918 but moved shortly afterwards to work in the Finance Ministry. During the Great War Li worked for the ministry of munitions initially as a low level bureaucrat before rising through the ministry due to his ability to handle the complex food distribution system in Xiaodong during the war. Li was during his time in the Ministry accused of using criminal connections and slave labour to generate enough rice to meet military quota's. In 1934 when Lu Keqian was appointed Munitions Minister Li became one of his closest associates.
Li was captured by Senrian forces in 1935 following the fall of Baiqiao and briefly detained in a Senrian prison camp in the city before being let free. He subsequently joined Lu Keqian's Xiaodong Regeneration Society shortly following the Corrective Revolution once again becoming part of Lu's inner circle despite his non-military background. Li during the Xiaodongese Civil War was responsible for accumulating a large amount of funds for Lu's forces through the yuanminghui (criminal syndicates). For this reason Li accrued infamy amongst Lu's supporters as "one-eyed Xu's dog" (a reference to yuanminghui leader Xu Huangzhi) but was respected by Lu for his talents and loyalty.
Following the victory of Lu's forces in 1940 Li was appointed Governor of the Luoyan province and Governing Mayor of Baiqiao. Initially a supporter of state chairman Wu Jinmao's hardline national principalist faction within the Regeneration Society following Lu's death in 1945 he shifted to support Legislative Council president Ma Renzhong's bureaucratic faction. As Governor of Luoyan and Baiqiao Li was able to accumulate a wide network of supporters within the Regeneration Society from the city and province which continued after he resigned from both positions in 1947 to take up the role of Minister of Industry and Public Enterprises. Through a mixture of his skill in navigating Xiaodong's bureaucratic state alongside his strong factional support and connections to organised crime Li was recognised as one of the more effective members of the government leading him to be promoted by Ma to vice-premier in 1952 that entitled him a seat on the State Presidium, the highest governing body of the state. Li also became Secretary-General of the Xiaodong Regeneration Society which gave him control over personnel within the Society enabling him to promote his own factional supporters and marginalise support for premier Chen Xuecheng. His 1941 marriage to Lu Fangliang, Lu Keqian's daugther, also increased his standing.
Following Ma's death in 1959 Li was able to outmanoeuvre Chen to become State Chairman and thereby Xiaodong's paramount leader both due to the strong support from his own faction within the Xiaodongese government and the fears of the former-socialist Chen being to left-wing.
Known as a hardliner towards Senria but more moderate in domestic affairs, as State Chairman Li continued the economic doctrine of dirigisme, Three Fundamentals foreign policy and consensus-based government of his predecessor, whilst becoming more hardline in regards to Senria - under his rule, Senrian Prime Minister Tokiyasu Kitamura was assassinated by Xiaodongese agents. Li's government also promoted social conservatism and cracked down on pro-democracy forces, although it tolerated the so-called "loyal dissidents". Under Li, inflation increased as the Xiaodongese economy started to see a slowndown in the impressive growth that defined the 1950's - as a result, Li shifted focus from heavy industry to light industry. In 1964 he repressed the 1964 Chanwanese riots and ended the autonomy of Chanwan enforcing direct rule.
Li's government over time became more renown for high levels of corruption and links with organised crime. In 1966 following Chen's death he nominated his brother-in-law and son of Lu Keqian Lu Zhaohui to the position of premier, an act that alienated the military alongside some of his key supporters. Continuing corruption and a decline in rice prices in 1970 led to the surprise 1970 coup d'état by elements of the military that sought to reinforce more ideological governance in Xiaodong. After failing to secure the support Shujichu chief and key powerbroker Sun Yuting during the coup Li resigned as State Chairman and went into exile alongside his family to Gaullica.
Li would remain in Verlois for the rest of his life with the new military government denying his re-entry into Xiaodong out of the fear that he would attempt to lead an uprising to place himself back in office. He died in 1978, with the official cause of death being a car accident. However there have been persistent rumours that his death was caused by Shujichu agents, members of yuanminghui groups due to his criminal connections or the Senrian Tokkeitai. His family was allowed to re-enter Xiaodong six years later by then-State Chairman Qian Xingwen, with his daughter Lu Yanling subsequently becoming involved in politics.
Initially a very popular leader, Li's reputation has declined over time due to the corrupt nature of his governance and connections with organised crime. His immediate successors pointed to the Li regime as a "betrayal of the national principalist spirit" and of "bureaucratising the corrective revolution". However since the repression of the 1970's and economic dislocation of the 1980's and 1990's Li has undergone somewhat more positive assessments as an opportunist yet successful leader who engineered significant economic growth and social stability.