chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: May 5, 2019
Chen Huacheng (1776-1842) was born in Xiamen's Tongan district. He was a patriotic general during the reign of Emperor Daoguang in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Chen joined the imperial army at a young age. In 1830, he was promoted to admiral of Fujian province and stationed in Xiamen where he led the navy and suppressed piracy.
He was promoted again to admiral of Jiangnan, the region south of the Yangtze River, in 1840.
During the First Opium War, Chen commanded the Chinese defenses at the mouth of the Yangtze River. He swore to defend the waterway and began to fortify his position against British incursions.
On June 16, 1842, a British fleet sailed up the Yangtze River and began to bombard Chen's warships at Wusong, Shanghai. He fought back bravely, but still lost his life in the battle.
Chen was declared a national hero after his death. A memorial hall was built in his honor in Shanghai.