The subject of this article:
Mao Zedong is Chairman of the People's Republic of China when Forrest Gump arrives to play ping-pong. He has a minor role in the novel, but in the film, he only appears on propaganda posters during Forrest's visit.
In the novel Edit
Chairman Mao is first seen by Forrest when his group is brought to a river to see Mao swim a wide river alone. Mao begins to drown in the middle of the river, and Forrest jumps in, pulls him out of the deep water and helps him into a boat. For this, he is made a national hero in China.