Li Siguang (; 1889–1971), also known as J. S. Lee, was a Chinese geologist and politician. He was the founder of China's geomechanics. He was an ethnic Mongol. He made outstanding contributions, which changed the situation of "oil deficiency" in the country, enabling the large-scale development of oil fields to raise the country to the ranks of the world's major oil producers.


Li was born as Li Zhongkui () in Huanggang, Hubei Province. His paternal grandfather was a Mongolian beggar who migrated to
Hubei Hubei (; Postal romanization, alternately Hupeh) is a landlocked provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, and is part of the Central China region. The name of the province means "north of the lake", referring to i ...
in search of a better livelihood, and his family originally had the Mongol surname "Kuli" () or "Ku" (). He was often known in English as J. S. Lee (J for Zhongkui/Jung-kuei, S for Siguang). Li studied in Osaka Technical College in Japan and the
University of Birmingham A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Institutions can refer to mechanisms which govern the behavior Behavio ...
in UK in his early years. He became a geological professor at
Peking University Peking University (Chinese: 北京大学, informally Beida 北大, PKU; lit. "Beijing University"), is a major research university A research university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institutio ...
upon his return from abroad in 1920. Li Siguang was
Wuhan University Wuhan University (WHU; ; colloquially ) is a national research university located in Wuhan, Hubei. It is one of the most prestigious and selective universities in China, and was recognized by the Chinese Ministry of Education as a Class A Double Fir ...
building preparatory chairman from July 1928 to April 1938. He was the president of National Central University (
Nanjing University
Nanjing University
) in 1932. After the
People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6& ...
was established, Li held the positions of vice president of the
Chinese Academy of Sciences Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
(CAS) and minister of
geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which th ...
. After the end of the
Cultural Revolution The Cultural Revolution, formally the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was a violent Political sociology, sociopolitical purge Social movement, movement in China from 1966 until 1976. Launched by Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Chinese Commu ...
(1966–1976), Xu Chi published Li's biography entitled ''The Light of Geology'' (), which was widely read and made Li a household name in China.


Li Siguang's daughter Li Lin was a physicist and academician of the CAS. She married Chen-Lu Tsou (Zou Chenglu), a distinguished biochemist and academician, while they were both attending the University of Cambridge in England. Li's family is thus the only one in China that has produced three academicians. Li Lin's daughter, Zou Zongping () followed her grandfather's footsteps and became a geologist.


{{DEFAULTSORT:Li, Siguang 1889 births 1971 deaths Osaka University alumni Alumni of the University of Birmingham Chinese expatriates in the United Kingdom Chinese geologists Chinese people of Mongolian descent China University of Geosciences faculty Foreign Members of the USSR Academy of Sciences Members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Members of Academia Sinica National Central University faculty Educators from Hubei Peking University faculty People's Republic of China politicians from Hubei Presidents of Wuhan University Politicians from Huanggang Scientists from Hubei Vice Chairpersons of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Burials at Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery 20th-century geologists