Li Yongtai, Chinese lieutenant general & politician, died at 87

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Li Yongtai, born in 1928 and passed away on October 5, 2015.

Li was a Chinese air marshal in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and a politician.

Born in Tonghua, Jilin Province, China to an ethnic Korean family, Li joined the Eighth Route Army of the People’s Liberation Army in October 1945, and became a member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) the following year.

Li began learning to fly in October 1949, and after China’s entry into the Korean War, served as a member of the People’s Volunteer Army Air Force.

He shot down four American F-86s, earning him the nickname “tank in the sky”.

After the war he continued his rise through the ranks, and in 1975 was named commander of the Wuhan Military District Air Force.

Li was promoted to air marshal in 1988.

Li served as a representative to the 10th and 12th National Congresses of the CPC, and to the 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th National People’s Congresses (NPC).

In the 8th and the 9th Congresses he was named a member of the NPC Standing Committee, and also served on the Nationalities Committee.

Li died at age 87 on May 5, 2015.

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