Zhang Wannian, male, Han nationality, was born in 1928 in Longkou, Shandong Province.
He joined the PLA in 1944 and the CPC in 1945. He fought in the Chinese civil war and
was cited for meritorious service. He was a regimental combat staff officer at the time of the Korean War and afterwards.
Zhang graduated from the PLA Nanjing Military Academy in 1961, and then served successively as regimental commander, division commander, army commander and regional commander in such places as Guangzhou, Wuhan and Jinan. He had a parallel rise in Party posts within the military. He served as PLA chief of staff from 1992 to 1995 and was appointed to the CPC and PRC Central Military Commissions during the same period. In 1995, he was appointed vice-chairman of both of these commissions. He was made lieutenant general in 1988 and general in 1993.
Zhang was an alternate member of the 12th and 13th CPC Central Committees and a member of the 14th and 15th CPC Central Committees. He was elected to the Politburo and as a member of the secretariat of the 15th CPC Central Committee. He was also a member of the 8th NPC and 9th NPC.
Zhang died in January 2015.