Ch'ao the Red was a Chinese warlord with distinctive red hair from the bloodline of his non-Chinese mother. His faction was at war with the army of U Paw, the Serpent Lady. He controlled a town not far from Hankow, and close to the Temple of the Covenant of Buddha.
Ch'ao the Red captured Indiana Jones and his friends in 1938 when the archaeologist was in search of the Covenant of Buddha. Ch'ao interrogated U Paw who had also been taken prisoner in his personal headquarters and questioned why she and the Americans were in his region. Ch'ao ordered Indy and his allies be brought to the square. Ch'ao immediately set his sights on Sophia Hapgood, as she too had red hair. Jones' young assistant, Khamal attempted to defend Sophie by kicking the warrior in the knee. Ch'ao only mocked Khamal, and grabbed the boy by his hair. Khamal stabbed Ch'ao in the stomach, enraging the warlord, who pulled a sword on him. Before Ch'ao could kill Khamal, Indiana grabbed a gun from one of Ch'ao's soldiers, and shot Ch'ao in the head, killing him instantly.
- Indiana Jones: Thunder in the Orient (First appearance)