Xiong Guangkai was born in Shanghai in 1939. He joined the army in 1956 and the Chinese Communist Party in 1959. Xiong was Deputy Director and later Director of the People’s Liberation Army General Staff Intelligence Department, Assistant and later Deputy Chief-of Staff . In 1988 he was conferred the rank of Major General, in 1994 Lieutenant General and in 2000 General.
Xiong also served on the Central Leading Group on Taiwan, He was also Alternate Member of the 14th, 15th and 16th Central Committees and is currently an Adjunct Professor at Qinghua and Beijing Universities and Chairman of the Chinese Institute for International Securities Studies
In 1995, General Xiong was widely, and incorrectly quoted as threatening to use nuclear weapons against Los Angeles. The person to whom he was alleged to have said this, Chas Freeman, denies it.