Zhou Enlai (pinyin: Zhōu Ēnlái; 5 March 1898 – 8 January 1976) was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China. He served from October 1949 until his death in January 1976. Zhou served under Mao Zedong and was an important leader in the Communist Party.
A skilled and able diplomat, Zhou served as the Chinese foreign minister from 1949 to 1958. He believed in getting along with Western countries after the Korean War. He participated in the 1954 Geneva Conference and helped organize Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to China. He helped make policies regarding the disagreements with the U.S., Taiwan, the Soviet Union (after 1960), India and Vietnam. Zhou is best known as the long-time top aide to Mao Zedong. His specialty was foreign policy. Mao and Zhou's different personalities made them an effective team, according to Henry Kissinger, the American diplomat who dealt with both men.