Liu Shaoqi or Liu Shao-ch'i (both: lyō shou-chē) [key], 1898?–1969, Chinese Communist political leader. Liu joined (1920) a Comintern organization in Shanghai, where he studied Russian. While in Moscow in 1921, he joined the Chinese Communist party. After he returned to China, his reputation as a labor organizer grew. He rose rapidly in the party hierarchy, was a member of the central committee in 1927, and in 1934 was promoted to the powerful politburo. Liu became the Communists' foremost expert on organization and party structure. In the 1950s and early 60s he played an important role in all aspects of public life, especially as chairman and head of state of the Chinese People's Republic (1959–68). Attacked during the early stages of the Cultural Revolution (1966–76) as the "number one capitalist-roader," Liu was stripped of power in 1968. He was rehabilitated posthumously in 1980.