Born to a family Li in Shandong province of China, Chiang Ching became a stage and film actress (stage name as Lanping) in Shanghai in left-wing groups and film companies in the 1930s. Her careers with the left-wing / pro-communist groups paved her way to become wife to Mao Tse-tung, leader of the Communist Party and subesequently as a political figure in the new People's Republic, where she was known as Chiang Ch'ing/Jiang Qing.