Republican Era- (1912- 1949)
The Republican Era part of the Biographical Database provides short biographies of individuals involved in the progress of Chinese and relative East Asian history during the period of Republican China.
Chinese names will be alphabetically sorted according to either Pinyin or Wade- Giles romanizations of the Chinese name (pinyin will appear without accent marks). Older pronunciations, former romanizations, other translations and variations will be present next to the pinyin translation. There may be more than a few exceptions to this general rule, depending on the names most commonly associated with the person, independent of romanization issues, such as Chiang Kai-shek.
Where possible, names will include Chinese character references in either traditional (BIG5) or simplified (GB) characters or both.
Please follow this primer which defines the transliteration type and/or name type for entries:
- B5- Traditional characters (BIG 5)
- GB- Simplified characters (GB)
- Should both BIG5 and GB correspond, the character will be listed under B5.
- BN- Birth Name
- PY- Pinyin romanization
- WG- Wade Giles romanization
- Y- Yale romanization
Western names will be alphabetically sorted according to western biographical standards, or by surname. If there is a Chinese equivalent, it will be present next to the western name.
Dates reflecting a time period before the year '0' in western terms, are categorized as BCE (Before the Common Era). This is equivalent to the widely used BC (Before Christ) and a.C.n. (Ante Christum Natum "before the birth of Christ"). Dates reflecting a time period after the year '0' are categorized as CE (in the Common Era). This is equivalent to the widely used AD (Anno Domini "In the Year of the Lord"). As the Chinese culture in the majority do not subscribe to the practice of Christianity as a religion, it seemed appropriate to signify these dates in a neutral manner.
Dates before October 1582 are given in the Julian calendar, not in the proleptic Gregorian calendar. Dates after October 1582 are given in the Gregorian calendar, not in the Julian calendar that remained in use in England until 1752.
An index to all terms in this database is located after the database entries.
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B5: 张作霖; PY: Zhāng Zuòlín (March 19, 1873- June 4, 1928)- Nicknamed the "Old Marshal" (大帥), "Rain Marshal" (雨帥) or "Mukden Tiger", was one of the major warlords of China in the early 20th century. He was the warlord of Manchuria and at one time ruled an enormous area of north China.
Of humble origins, he assisted the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese War (1904- 1905) as leader of a Manchurian militia unit. He held various military posts under the Republic of China. From his appointment (1918) as inspector general of Manchuria until his death, he had effective control of Manchuria. He constantly warred to extend his rule southward from 1920 onward, contending in a three-way struggle with Wu P'ei-fu and Feng Yü-hsiang for control of the Beijing government. His Fengtien army occupied the Beijing-Tianjin area until driven out (1926) by Chiang Kai-shek in his Northern Expedition. Chiang was then compelling the submission of the warlords and building a national government for China. The time of the warlords was ending.
In 1928 Chang Tso-lin was growing less cooperative toward the Japanese army in Manchuria and he went to Beijing to make his submission to Chiang Kai-shek. He was killed by officers of the Japanese Kwantung Army who bombed his train as he was returning to Shenyang having just handed over control of Beijing to the Kuomintang and Chiang Kai-shek. The assassination was performed by a small group of military men commanded by the senior officer of the Kwantung Army, Colonel Daisaku Komoto. This was part of a plot to secure nearly all parts of Manchuria beyond the South Manchurian Railway Zone, which was ceded to Japan after the Russo-Japanese War. He was succeeded by his son the "Young Marshal" (少帥) Zhang Xueliang, in control of Manchuria.
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(ROC) B5: 蔣中正; PY: Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng; WG: Chiang Chung-cheng (PRC) GB: 蒋介石; PY: Jiǎng Jièshí; WG: Chiang Chieh- shih (October 31, 1887- April 5, 1975)- Chinese military and political leader who assumed the leadership of the Kuomintang (KMT) after the death of Sun Yat-sen in 1925. He commanded the Northern Expedition to unify China against the warlords and emerged victorious in 1928 as the overall leader of the Republic of China (ROC). Chiang led China in the Second Sino-Japanese War, during which Chiang's stature within China weakened but his international prominence grew. During the Chinese Civil War (1926–1949), Chiang attempted to eradicate the Chinese Communists but ultimately failed, forcing his government to retreat to Taiwan, where he continued serving as the President of the Republic of China and Director-General of the KMT for the remainder of his life.
Chiang Kai-shek was born in the town of Xikou, approximately 33 km (20.5 miles) southwest of downtown Ningbo, in Fenghua County, Ningbo Prefecture,
Zhejiang Province. However, the ancestral home (祖籍) of Chiang Kai-shek, a concept important in Chinese society, was the town of Heqiao (和橋鎮), in Yixing
County, Wuxi Prefecture, Jiangsu Province (approximately 38 km. (24 miles) southwest of downtown Wuxi, and 10 km. (6 miles) from the shores of famous
His parents were Chiang Zhaocong (蔣肇聰) and Wang Caiyu (王采玉), part of a upper-middle class family of salt merchants. His father died when he was only three and Chiang wrote of his mother as the "embodiment of Confucian virtues." In an arranged marriage, Chiang was married to fellow villager Mao Fumei (毛福梅, 1882–1939). Chiang and Mao had a son, Ching-Kuo, and a daughter, Chien-hua (建華).
Chiang grew up in an era where military defeats had left China destabilized and in debt, and he decided to join the military. He began his military education at the Paoting Military Academy in 1906. He left for the Military State Academy in Japan in 1907. There, he was influenced by his compatriots to support the revolutionary movement to overthrow the Qing Dynasty and set up a Chinese republic. He befriended fellow Zhejiang native Chen Qimei and in 1908, Chen brought Chiang to the Revolutionary Alliance. Chiang served in the Imperial Japanese Army from 1909 to 1911.
Rise to Power
With the outbreak of the Wuchang Uprising in 1911, Chiang Kai-shek returned to China to fight in the revolution as an artillery officer. He served
in the revolutionary forces, leading a regiment in Shanghai under his friend and mentor Chen Qimei. The revolution was ultimately successful in overthrowing
the Qing Dynasty and Chiang became a founding member of the Kuomintang.
After takeover of the Republican government by Yuan Shikai and the failed Second Revolution, Chiang, like his Kuomintang comrades, divided his time between exile in Japan and haven in Shanghai's foreign concession areas. In Shanghai, Chiang also cultivated ties with the criminal underworld dominated by the notorious Green Gang and its leader Du Yuesheng. Chiang had numerous brushes with the law during this period and the International Concession police records show an arrest warrant for him for armed robbery. On February 15, 1912, Chiang Kai-shek shot and killed Tao Chengzhang, the leader of the Restoration Society, at point-blank range as Tao lay sick in a Shanghai French Concession hospital, thus ridding Chen Qimei of his chief rival. In 1915, Chen Qimei was assassinated by agents of Yuan Shikai and Chiang succeeded him as the leader of the Chinese Revolutionary Party in Shanghai. This was during a low point in Sun Yat-sen's career, with most of his old Revolutionary Alliance comrades refusing to join him in the exiled Chinese Revolutionary Party, and Chen Qimei had been Sun's chief lieutenant in the party.
In 1917 Sun Yat-sen moved his base of operations to Guangzhou and Chiang joined him in 1918. Sun, at the time was largely sidelined and without arms or money, was soon expelled from Guangzhou in 1918 and exiled again to Shanghai, but restored again with mercenary help in 1920. However, a rift had developed between Sun, who sought to militarily unify China under the KMT, and Guangdong Governor Chen Jiongming, who wanted to implement a federalist system with Guangdong as a model province. On June 16, 1923, Chen attempted to expel Sun from Guangzhou and had his residence shelled. Sun and his wife Song Qingling narrowly escaped under heavy machine gun fire, only to be rescued by gunboats under the direction of Chiang Kai-shek. The incident earned in Chiang Kai-shek the trust of Sun Yat-sen.
Sun regained control in Guangzhou in early 1924 with the help of mercenaries from Yunnan, and accepted aid from the Comintern. He then undertook a reform of the Kuomintang and established a revolutionary government aimed at unifying China under the KMT. That same year, Sun sent Chiang Kai-shek to spend three months in Moscow studying the Soviet political and military system. Chiang left his eldest son Ching-kuo in Russia, who would not return until 1937. Chiang Kai-shek returned to Guangzhou and in 1924 was made Commandant of the Whampoa Military Academy. The early years at Whampoa allowed Chiang to cultivate a cadre of young officers loyal to him and by 1925 Chiang's proto-army was scoring victories against local rivals in Guangdong province. Here he also first met and worked with a young Zhou Enlai, who was selected to be Whampoa's Political Commissar. However, Chiang was deeply critical of the Kuomintang-Communist Party United Front, suspicious that the Communists would take over the KMT from within.
With Sun Yat-sen's death in 1925 a power vacuum developed in the KMT. A power struggle ensued between Chiang, who leaned towards the right wing of the KMT, and Sun Yat-sen's close comrade-in-arms Wang Jingwei, who leaned towards the left wing of the party. Though Chiang ranked relatively low in the civilian hierarchy, and Wang had succeeded Sun to power as Chairman of the National Government, Chiang's deft political maneuvering eventually allowed him to emerge victorious. Chiang, who became Commander-in-Chief of the National Revolutionary Forces in 1925, launched in July 1926 the Northern Expedition, a military campaign to defeat the warlords controlling northern China and unify the country under the KMT.
The National Revolutionary Army branched into three divisions—to the west, Wang Jingwei led a column to take Wuhan, to the east, Pai Ch'ung-hsi led another column to take Shanghai, while Chiang led in the middle to take Nanjing- before they were to press ahead to take Beijing. However, in January 1927, allied with the Chinese Communists and Soviet Agent Mikhail Borodin, Wang Jingwei and his KMT leftist allies (including Hu Hanmin and Song Qingling), having taken the city of Wuhan amid much popular mobilization and fanfare, declared the National Government to have moved to Wuhan. After taking Nanjing in March (and with Shanghai under the control of his close ally General Pai), Chiang momentarily halted his campaign and decided to break with the leftists. On April 12, Chiang began a swift and brutal attack on thousands of suspected Communists. He then established his own National Government in Nanjing, supported by his conservative allies. The communists were purged from the KMT and the Soviet advisers were expelled. This earned Chiang the support (and financial backing) of the Shanghai business community, and maintained him the loyalty of his Whampoa officers (many of whom hailed from Hunan elites were discontented by the land redistribution Wang Jingwei was enacting in the area), but led to the beginning of the Chinese Civil War. Wang Jingwei's National Government, though popular with the masses, was weak militarily and was soon overtaken by a local warlord, forcing Wang and his leftist government into joining him in Nanjing. Finally, the warlord capital of Beijing was taken in June 1928 and in December, the Manchurian warlord Chang Hsueh-liang pledged allegiance to Chiang's government.
Chiang made gestures to cement himself as the successor of Sun Yat-sen. In a pairing of much political significance, Chiang married on December 1, 1927 Soong May-ling, the younger sister of Soong Ching-ling (Sun Yat-sen's widow, whom he had proposed to beforehand but was swiftly rejected) in Japan and thus positioned himself as Sun Yat-sen's brother-in-law. (To please Soong's parents, Chiang had to first divorce his first wife and concubines and promise to eventually convert to Christianity. He was baptized in 1929.) Upon reaching Beijing, Chiang paid homage to Sun Yat-sen and had his body moved to the capital Nanjing to be enshrined in an grand mausoleum.
"Tutelage" Over China
Chiang Kai-shek gained nominal control of China, but his party was "too weak to lead and too strong to overthrow". In 1928, Chiang was named Generalissimo
of all Chinese forces and Chairman of the National Government, a post he held until 1932 and later from 1943 until 1948. According to KMT political
orthodoxy, this period thus began the period of "political tutelage" under the dictatorship of the Kuomintang.
The decade of 1928 to 1937 was one of consolidation and accomplishment for Chiang's government. Some of the harsh aspects of foreign concessions and privileges in China were moderated through diplomacy. The government acted energetically to modernize the legal and penal systems, stabilize prices, amortize debts, reform the banking and currency systems, build railroads and highways, improve public health facilities, legislate against traffic in narcotics, and augment industrial and agricultural production. Great strides also were made in education and, in an effort to help unify Chinese society—the New Life Movement was launched to stress Confucian moral values and personal discipline. Mandarin was promoted as a standard tongue. The widespread establishment of communications facilities further encouraged a sense of unity and pride among the people.
These successes, however, were met with constant upheavals with need of further political and military consolidation. Though much of the urban areas were now under the control of his party, the countryside still lay under the influence of severely weakened yet undefeated warlords and communists. Chiang fought with most of his warlord allies, with one northern rebellion—against the warlords Yen Hsi-shan and Feng Yuxiang—in 1930 almost bankrupting the government and costing almost 250,000 casualties. When Hu Han-min established a rival government in Guangzhou in 1931, Chiang's government was nearly toppled. A complete eradication of the Communist Party of China eluded Chiang. The Communists regrouped in Jiangxi and established the Chinese Soviet Republic. Chiang's anti-communist stance attracted the aid of German military advisers, and in Chiang's fifth campaign to defeat the Communists in 1934, he surrounded the Red Army only to see the Communists escape through the epic Long March to Yan'an.
Wartime Leader of China
With Japan's invasion of Manchuria in 1931, Chiang adopted a slogan "first internal pacification, then external resistance" which meant that the
government would first defeat the Communists before challenging Japan directly. In December 1936, Chiang flew to Xi'an to coordinate the final assault
on Red Army forces holed up in Yan'an. However, Chiang's allied commander Chang Hsueh-liang, whose forces were to be used in his attack and whose
homeland of Manchuria had been invaded by the Japanese, had other plans. On December 12, Chang Hsueh-liang kidnapped Chiang Kai-shek for two weeks
in what is known as the Xi'an Incident and forced Chiang into making an "Second United Front" with the Communists against Japan. Though he lost his
chance to finish off the communists, Chiang refused to make a formal public announcement of this "United Front" as the Communists had hoped and his
troops continued fighting the Communists throughout the war.
All-out war with Japan broke out in July 1937. In August of the same year, Chiang sent 500,000 of his best trained and equipped soldiers to defend Shanghai. With about 250,000 Chinese casualties, Chiang lost his political base of Whampoa-trained officers. Although Chiang lost militarily, the battle dispelled Japanese claims that it could conquer China in three months and demonstrated to the Western powers (which occupied parts of the city and invested heavily in it) that the Chinese would not surrender under intense Japanese fire. This was skillful diplomatic maneuvering on the part of Chiang, who knew the city would eventually fall, but wanted to make a strong gesture in order to secure Western military aid for China. By December, the capital city of Nanjing had fallen to the Japanese and Chiang moved the government inland to Chongqing. Devoid of economic and industrial resources, Chiang could not counter-attack and held off the rest of the war preserving whatever territory he still controlled, though his strategy succeeded in stretching Japanese supply lines and bogging down Japanese soldiers in the vast Chinese interior who would otherwise have been sent to conquer southeast Asia and the Pacific islands.
With the Attack on Pearl Harbor and the opening of the Pacific War, China became one of the Allied Powers. During and after World War II, Chiang and his American-educated wife Soong May-ling, commonly referred to as "Madame Chiang Kai-shek", held the unwavering support of the United States China Lobby which saw in them the hope of a Christian and democratic China. Chiang Kai-shek's policies were far from Christian or democratic, but this remained unknown to the U.S. public due to strong state-imposed censorship in China and self-imposed censorship in the U.S. during the war years and after. This was especially fomented by the Chiangs' close friendship with TIME magazine publisher Henry Luce.
Chiang's strategy during the War opposed the strategies of both Mao Zedong and the United States. The U.S. regarded Chiang as an important ally able to help shorten the war by engaging the Japanese occupiers in China. Chiang, in contrast, used powerful associates such as H. H. Kung in Hong Kong to build the ROC army for certain conflict with the communist forces after the end of WWII. This fact was not understood well in the United States. The U.S. liaison officer, General Joseph Stilwell, correctly deduced that Chiang's strategy was to accumulate munitions for future civil war rather than fight the Japanese, but Stilwell was unable to convince Franklin D. Roosevelt of this and precious Lend-Lease armaments continued to be allocated to the Kuomintang. Chiang was recognized as one of the "Big Four" Allied leaders along with Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin and traveled to attend the Cairo Conference in November 1943. His wife acted as his translator and adviser.
Following the World War, the United States encouraged peace talks between Chiang and Communist leader Mao Zedong in Chongqing, but each side, both
distrustful of each other and the United States' professed neutrality, soon resorted to all-out war. The U.S. suspended aid to Chiang Kai-shek for
much of the period of 1946 to 1948, in the midst of fighting against the People's Liberation Army led by Mao Zedong. Though Chiang achieved great
status internationally, his government was deteriorating with corruption and inflation. The war had severely weakened the Nationalists both in terms
of resources and popularity while the Communists were strengthened by aid from Stalin, and guerrilla organizations extending throughout rural areas.
The Nationalists initially had superiority in arms and men, but their lack of popularity and morale, and apparent disorganization soon allowed the
Communists to gain the upper hand.
Meanwhile a new Constitution promulgated in 1947, and Chiang was elected by the National Assembly to be President. This marked the beginning of the democratic constitutional government period in KMT political orthodoxy, but the Communists refused to recognize the new Constitution and its government as legitimate.
Chiang resigned as President on January 21, 1949, as KMT forces suffered massive losses against the communists. Vice President Li Tsung-jen took over as Acting President, but his relationship with Chiang soon deteriorated, as Chiang still acted as if he were in power, and Li was forced into exile in the United States under a medical excuse (under Chiang's direction, Li was later formally impeached by the Control Yuan). In the early morning of December 10, 1949, Communist troops laid siege to Chengdu, the last KMT occupied city in mainland China, where Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo directed the defense at the Chengdu Central Military Academy. The aircraft May-ling evacuated them to Taiwan on the same day, forever removing them from the Chinese mainland.
Presidency in Taiwan
Chiang moved his government to Taipei, Taiwan, where he formally resumed his duties as president on March 1, 1950. Chiang was reelected by the National
Assembly to be the President of the ROC on May 20, 1954 and later on in 1960, 1966, and 1972. In this position he continued to claim sovereignty over
all of China. In the context of the Cold War, most of the Western world recognized this position and the ROC represented China in the United Nations
and other international organizations until the 1970s.
Despite the democratic constitution, the government under Chiang was a repressive and authoritarian single-party state consisting almost completely of non-Taiwanese mainlanders; the "Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion" greatly enhanced executive power and the goal of "retaking the mainland" allowed the KMT to maintain its monopoly on power and to outlaw opposition parties. The government's official line for these provisions stemmed from the claim that emergency provisions were necessary, since the Communists and KMT were still technically under a state of war, without any cease-fire signed, after Chiang retreated to Taiwan. His government sought to impose Chinese nationalism and repressed the local culture, such as by forbidding the use of Taiwanese in mass media broadcasts or in schools. The government permitted free debate within the confines of the legislature, but jailed dissidents who were either labeled as supporters of Chinese communism or Taiwan independence. His son Chiang Ching-kuo and Chiang Ching-kuo's successor Lee Teng-hui would in the 1980s and 1990s increase native Taiwanese representation in the government and loosen the many authoritarian controls of the Chiang Kai-shek era.
Since new elections could not be held in their Communist-occupied constituencies, the members of the KMT-dominated National Assembly, Legislative Yuan, and Control Yuan held their posts indefinitely. It was under the Temporary Provisions that Chiang was able to bypass term limits to remain as president. He was reelected (unopposed) by the National Assembly as president four times in 1954, 1960, 1966, and 1972.
Defeated by the Communists, Chiang purged members of the KMT previously accused of corruption, and major figures in the previous mainland government such as H.H. Kung and T.V. Soong exiled themselves to the United States. Though the government was politically authoritarian and controlled key industries, it encouraged economic development, especially in the export sector. A sweeping Land Reform Act, as well as American foreign aid during the 1950's laid the foundation for Taiwan's economic success, becoming one of the East Asian Tigers. During this time Chiang received an honorary degree from Bob Jones University.
Death and Legacy
In 1975, 26 years after Chiang fled to Taiwan, he died in Taipei at the age of 87. He had suffered a major heart attack and pneumonia in the months
before and died from renal failure aggravated with advanced cardiac malfunction at 11 p.m. on April 5.
A month of mourning was declared during which the Taiwanese people were asked to put on black armbands. Televisions ran in black-and-white while all banquets or celebrations were forbidden. On the mainland, however, Chiang's death was met with little apparent mourning and news papers gave the brief headline "Chiang Kai-shek has died." Chiang's corpse was put in a copper coffin and temporarily interred at his favorite residence in Cihhu, Dasi, Taoyuan County. When his son Chiang Ching-kuo died in 1988, he was also entombed in a separate mausoleum in nearby Touliao. The hope was to have both buried at their birthplace in Fenghua once the mainland was recovered. In 2004, Chiang Fang-liang, the widow of Chiang Ching-kuo, asked that both father and son be buried at Wuchih Mountain Military Cemetery in Sijhih, Taipei County. The state funeral ceremony is planned for late 2005. Chiang Fang-liang and Soong May-ling had agreed in 1997 that the former leaders be first buried but still be moved to mainland China in the event of reunification.
Chiang was succeeded as President by Vice President Yen Chia-kan and as KMT party leader by his son Chiang Ching-kuo, who retired Chiang Kai-shek's title of Director-General and instead assumed the position of Chairman. Yen Chia-kan's presidency was mainly symbolic, with real power held by Premier Chiang Ching-kuo, who became President after Yen's term ended three years later.
Though one of the major figures in Chinese history, Chiang Kai-shek failed to cultivate in the Chinese people the affection of Sun Yat-sen or the regard of Mao Zedong. As Mao's number-one nemesis, he was vilified in mainland China as "China's number one fascist": a leader who did not serve China's best national interest in not putting an all-out effort against Japan and in trying to crack down on the Communists. Although numbers are uncertain, many estimates place the number of deaths during Chiang Kai-shek's rule on the mainland at around ten million (the lowest estimates provide a figure of about four million, while higher figures suggest as many as 18 million). Many deaths were the result of war and famine, but according to the controversial historian R.J. Rummel approximately four million were killed directly. According to Rummel, even the lower figures would suggest that Chiang Kai-shek has been responsible for more deaths than all but a handful of 20th-century dictators.
Chiang Kai-shek's current popularity in Taiwan is sharply divided among political lines, enjoying greater support among KMT voters and the mainlander population. However, he is largely unpopular among DPP supporters and voters. Since the democratization of the 1990s, his picture began to be removed from public buildings and the currency, while many of his statues have been taken down; in sharp contrast to his son Ching-kuo and to Sun Yat-sen, his memory is rarely invoked by current political parties, including the Kuomintang.
Like many other Chinese historical figures, Chiang Kai-shek used several names throughout his life, and he is known under several of these names.
The name inscribed in the genealogical records of his family, is Jiang Zhoutai (蔣周泰). This "register name" (譜名) is the name under which his extended relatives of the family knew him, this is a name that was used in formal occasions, such as when he got married. Traditionally, this name was not used in intercourse with people outside of the family, and inside mainland China or Taiwan few people know that his "real" name (the concept of real or original name is not as clear-cut in China as it is in the Western world) was Jiang Zhoutai (although other historical figures such as Mao Zedong are known by their "register name").
This name, however, was not the name that he received when he was born. Traditionally, Chinese families would wait a certain number of years before officially naming their offspring. In the meantime, they used so-called "milk names" (乳名) which were given to the infant shortly after his birth, and which were known only by the close family. Thus, the actual name that Chiang Kai-shek received at birth was Jiang Ruiyuan (蔣瑞元), but again this is a fact rarely known in mainland China or Taiwan, and only his parents would have used the given name Ruiyuan when calling him.
In 1903, 16-year-old Chiang Kai-shek went to Ningbo to be a student, and he chose a so-called "school name" (學名). The "school name" was actually the formal name of a person, the name used by older people to call the person, so it was the name that the person would use the most in the first decades of his life (as the person grew older, younger generations would have to use one of the courtesy names instead). Colloquially, the "school name" is called "big name" (大名), whereas the "milk name" is known as the "small name" (小名). The "school name" that Chiang Kai-shek chose for himself was Zhiqing (志清 - meaning "purity of intentions"). For the next fifteen years or so, Chiang Kai-shek was known as Jiang Zhiqing. This is the name under which Sun Yat-sen knew him when Chiang joined the republicans in Guangzhou in the 1910s.
In 1912, when Chiang Kai-shek was in Japan, he started to use the name Jiang Jieshi (蔣介石) as a pen name for the articles that he published in a Chinese magazine he founded (Voice of the Army - 軍聲). This name Jieshi soon became his courtesy name (字). Many interpretations of this name circulate. Some think the name was chosen from the classic Chinese book the Book of Changes, other note that jie (介), the first character of his courtesy name, is also the first character of the courtesy name of his brother and other male relatives on the same generation line, while the second character of his courtesy name shi (石 - meaning "stone") reminds of the second character of his "register name" tai (泰 - the famous Mount Tai of China). Courtesy names in China often tried to bear a connection with the personal name of the person. As the courtesy name is the name used by people of the same generation to call the person, Chiang Kai-shek soon became known under this new name. (Jieshi is the pinyin romanization of the name, which is based on Mandarin, but the common romanized rendering of this name is Kai-shek which is in Cantonese romanization. As the republicans were based in Guangzhou (a Cantonese speaking area), Chiang Kai-shek became known by Westerners under the Cantonese romanization of his courtesy name, but the family name known in English seems to be the Mandarin pronunciation of his Chinese family name, transliterated in Wade-Giles; the Cantonese pronunciation of his family name is "Cheung"). In mainland China, the name Jiang Jieshi is the name under which he is commonly known today.
Sometime in 1917 or 1918, as Chiang was coming to the forefront among the republicans and became close to Sun Yat-sen, he changed his name from Jiang Zhiqing to Jiang Zhongzheng (蔣中正). By adopting the name Zhongzheng ("central uprightness"), he was choosing a name very similar to the name of Sun Yat-sen, who was (and still is) known among Chinese as Zhongshan (中山 - meaning "central mountain"), establishing a close link between the two. The meaning of uprightness, rectitude, or orthodoxy, implied by his name, also positioned him as the legitimate heir of Sun Yat-sen and his ideas. Not surprisingly, the Chinese Communists always rejected the use of this name, and the name is not very well known in mainland China. However, this name was easily accepted by members of the Nationalist Party, and this is the name under which Chiang Kai-shek is still officially known in Taiwan. Often, the name is shortened to Zhongzheng only (Chung-cheng in Wade-Giles) in the style of typical courtesy names (out of respect). Visitors who arrive at the Chiang Kai-shek International Airport in Taipei are greeted by signs in Chinese welcoming them to the "Zhongzheng International Airport." Similarly, the largest monument in Taipei, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is officially in Chinese called the "Zhongzheng Memorial Hall."
His name also used to be officially written in Taiwan as "The Late President (space) Lord Chiang" (先總統 蔣公), where the one-character-wide space showed respect; this practice lost its popularity after Taiwan's democratization in the 1990s. However, he is still known as Lord Chiang (without the title or space), along with the similarly positive name Jiang Zhongzheng, in Taiwan.
Chiang was also nicknamed "the Gimo" (short for "Generalissimo") by some English-speaking foreigners, especially by Americans during the Second World War.
To further expand the already confusing issue of Chiang Kai-shek's name, below are variations:
Known in mainland China as Jiǎng Jièshí (Chiang Chieh- shih) GB: 蒋介石
Known in Taiwan as Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng (Chiang Chung-cheng) B5: 蔣中正
Register name (譜名): Zhoutai (周泰)
Milk name (乳名): Ruiyuan (瑞元)
School name (學名): Zhiqing (志清), later Zhongzheng (中正)
Courtesy name (字): Jieshi (介石)
Kai-shek in Cantonese (his native language)
SEE Photograph (3)
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B5: 胡適; GB: 胡适; PY: Hú Shì; WG: Hu Shih (December 17, 1891- February 24, 1962)- Chinese philosopher and essayist. His courtesy name was Shìzhī (適之).
Born Hu Hóngxīng (洪騂) in Shanghai to Hu Chuan (胡傳, courtesy name Tiehua 鐵花) and Feng Shundi (馮順弟), Hu had an ancestry in Jixi (績溪), Anhui. In January 1904, he was arranged to marry Jiang Dongxiu (江冬秀), an illiterate girl one year older than him with bound feet. The marriage took place in December 1917. He received his fundamental education in Jixi and Shanghai.
Being one of the national scholars, on August 16, 1910, Hu was sent to study at Cornell University in the United States and later Columbia University. He was greatly influenced by his professor, John Dewey, and became a lifelong advocate of pragmatic evolutionary change. He received his Ph.D in philosophy in 1917 and returned to lecture in Peking University. During his tenure there, he began to write for New Youth journal, quickly gaining much attention and influence. Hu soon became one of the leading and influential intellectuals during the May Fourth Movement and later the New Culture Movement. He quit New Youth in the 1920s and published several political newspapers and journals with his friends. His most important contribution was promotion of vernacular literature (Baihua) to replace classic literature.
He was ambassador from the Republic of China to the United States of America (1938-1942), chancellor of Peking University (1946-1948), and later 1958 president of the Academia Sinica in Taiwan, where he remained until his death by heart attack in Nangang at the age of 71. He was chief executive of the Free China Journal, which was eventually shut down for criticizing Chiang Kai-shek.
SEE Photograph (2)
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B5: 孫傳芳; PY: Sūn Chuánfāng (1885-1935)- The "Nanking Warlord" or leader of the "League of Five Provinces" was a Zhili clique warlord and protégé of the "Jade Marshal" Wu Peifu (1874-1939). He was given command of Zhejiang in 1924. By the next two years he expanded his rule to Jiangsu, Fujian, Anhui, and Jiangxi. He set his headquarters in Nanjing. The Northern Expedition ended his rule with the capture of Shanghai in March 1927. After fleeing to Japanese-held Dalian, he was assassinated on 13 November 1935 by Shi Jianqiao, the daughter of an executed officer. She rose sympathy amongst the Chinese people and was pardoned by the Kuomintang Government.
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B5: 孫逸仙; GB: 孙逸仙; PY: Sūn Yìxiān; WG: Sun I-hsien Also: Sun Zhongshan; B5: 孫中山; GB: 孙中山; PY: Sūn Zhōngshān; WG: Sun Chung-shan (November 12, 1866- March 12, 1925)- was a Chinese revolutionary and political leader who had a significant role in the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty. A founder of the Kuomintang (KMT), Sun was the first provisional president when the Republic of China was founded in 1912. He developed a political philosophy known as the Three Principles of the People which still heavily influences Chinese government today. "Father of the Nation" (Guófù, 國父) is the title officially given to Sun Yat-sen in the Republic of China on Taiwan. Unofficially, the same title is used to refer to Sun Yat-sen in the People's Republic of China on mainland China.
- Early Years
- Transformation Into a Revolutionary
- Early Influence By Western Ideology
Sun was a uniting figure in post-imperial China, and remains unique among 20th century Chinese politicians for being widely revered in both mainland
China and Taiwan. In Taiwan, he is known by the posthumous name National Father, Mr. Sun Chungshan (國父 孫中山先生). On the mainland, Sun is also seen as
a Chinese nationalist, and is highly regarded as the "Forerunner of the Revolution" (革命先行者) and "the Father of Modern China".
Although Sun is considered one of the greatest leaders of modern China, his life was one of constant struggle and frequent exile. He quickly fell out of power in the newly-founded Republic of China, and led successive revolutionary governments as a challenge to the warlords who controlled much of the nation. Unfortunately, Sun did not live to see his party bring about consolidation of power over the country. Although his fragile political alliance with the Communist Party of China fell apart after his death, Sun grew in stature to become a greatly revered figure among Nationalists and Communists alike.
On November 12, 1866, Sun Yat-sen was born to a Chiuchow peasant family in the village of Cuiheng, Xiangshan county, Guangzhou prefecture, Guangdong
province (26 km (16 miles) north of Macao) and spoke the Zhongshan dialect of Cantonese. When Sun Yat-sen died in 1925, the name of Xiangshan was
changed to Zhongshan in his honor.
After receiving a few years of local schooling, at age thirteen, Sun went to live with his elder brother, Sun Mei, in Honolulu. Sun Mei was twelve years Sun Yat-sen's senior and had emigrated to Hawaii as a laborer and had become a prosperous merchant. Though Sun Mei was not always supportive of Sun's later revolutionary activities, he supported his brother financially, allowing Sun to give up his professional career. Sun Yat-sen studied at the prestigious Iolani School where he learned English, mathematics and science. Originally unable to speak the English language, Sun Yat-sen picked up the language so quickly that he received a prize for outstanding achievement in English from King David Kalakaua. Sun then enrolled in Oahu College for further studies but he was soon sent home to China as his brother was becoming afraid that Sun Yat-sen was about to embrace Christianity. While at Iolani, he befriended Tong Phong, who later founded the First Chinese-American Bank.
When he returned home in 1883, he was greatly troubled by what he saw as a backward China that demanded exorbitant taxes and levies from its people. The people were conservative, and the schools maintained their ancient methods leaving no opportunity for expression of thought or opinions. Under the influence of Christian missionaries in Hawaii, Sun had developed a disdain for traditional Chinese religious beliefs. One day, Sun and his childhood friend Lu Hao-tung passed by Beijidian, a temple in Cuiheng Village, where they saw many villagers worshipping the Beiji (lit. North Pole) Emperor-God in the temple. They broke off the hand of the statue, incurring the wrath of fellow villagers, and escaped to Hong Kong.
Sun studied English at the Anglican Diocesan Home and Orphanage (currently Diocesan Boys' School) in Hong Kong. In April 1884, Sun was transferred to the Central School of Hong Kong (later renamed Queen's College). Sun was later baptized in Hong Kong by an American missionary of the Congregational Church of the United States, to his brother's disdain. Sun pictured a revolution as similar to the salvation mission of the Christian church. His conversion to Christianity was related to his revolutionary ideals and push for advancement. As a result, his baptismal name, Rixin 日新, literally means "daily renewal."
Ultimately, he earned the license of medical practice as a medical doctor from the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese (the forerunner of The University of Hong Kong) in 1892, of which he was one of the first two graduates. He subsequently practiced medicine in that city briefly in 1893. He had an arranged marriage with fellow villager Lu Muzhen at age twenty; she bore him a son Sun Ke, who would grow up to become a high ranking official in the Republican government, and two daughters, Sun Yan and Sun Wan.
Sun was a Triad member during and after the Qing Dynasty rebellion. It is known that Sun Yat-sen got his funding from Triad business people. Sun Yat-sen's protégé, Chiang Kai Shek, was also a Triad member.
Transformation Into a Revolutionary
Sun, who had grown increasingly troubled by the conservative Qing government and its refusal to adopt knowledge from the more technologically advanced
Western nations, quit his medical practice in order to devote his time to transforming China. At first, Sun aligned himself with the reformists Kang
Youwei and Liang Qichao who sought to transform China into a Western-style constitutional monarchy. In 1894, Sun wrote a long letter to Li Hongzhang,
the governor-general of Zhili and a reformer in the court, with suggestions on how to strengthen China, but he was rebuffed. Since Sun had never been
trained in the classics, the gentry did not accept Sun into their circles. From then on, Sun began to call for the abolition of the monarchy and the
establishment of a republic.
Sun went to Hawaii in October 1894 and founded the Revive China Society to unveil the goal of a prospering China and as the platform for future revolutionary activities. Members were drawn mainly from fellow Cantonese expatriates and from the lower social classes.
From Exile to Wuchang Uprising
In 1895 a coup he plotted failed, and for the next sixteen years Sun was an exile in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Japan, raising money
for his revolutionary party and bankrolling uprisings in China. In Japan, where he was known as Nakayama Shō (Kanji: 中山樵, lit. The Woodcutter of Middle
Mountain), he joined dissident Chinese groups (which later became the Tongmenghui) and soon became their leader. He was expelled from Japan due to
fears of the large level of support he had there and went to the United States.
On October 10, 1911, a military uprising at Wuchang in which Sun had no direct involvement (at that moment Sun was still in exile and Huang Xing was in charge of the revolution), began a process that ended over two thousand years of imperial rule in China. When he learned of the successful rebellion against the Qing emperor from press reports, Sun immediately returned to China from the United States. Later, on December 29, a meeting of representatives from provinces in Nanjing elected Sun as the provisional President of the Republic of China and set the January 1 of 1912 as the first day of the First Year of the Republic. This republic calendar system is still used in Taiwan today.
The official history of the Kuomintang (and for that matter, the Communist Party of China) emphasizes Sun's role as the first provisional President, but many historians now question the importance of Sun's role in the 1911 revolution and point out that he had no direct role in the Wuchang uprising and was in fact out of the country at the time. In this interpretation, his naming as the first provisional President was precisely because he was a respected but rather unimportant figure and therefore served as an ideal compromise candidate between the revolutionaries and the conservative gentry.
However, Sun is credited for the funding of the revolutions and for keeping the spirit of revolution alive, even after series of failed uprisings. Also, as mentioned, he successfully merged minor revolutionary groups to a single larger party, providing a better base for all those who shared the same ideals.
Sun is highly regarded as the National Father of modern China. His political philosophy, known as the Three Principles of the People, was proclaimed in August 1905. In his Methods and Strategies of Establishing the Country completed in 1919, he suggested using his Principles to establish ultimate peace, freedom, and equality in the country.
Republic of China
After taking the oath of office, Sun Yat-sen sent telegrams to the leaders of all provinces, requesting them to elect and send new senators to establish
the National Assembly of the Republic of China. Then the provisional government organizational guidelines and the provisional law of the Republic
were declared as the basic law of the country by the Assembly.
The provisional government was in a very weak position. The southern provinces of China had declared independence from the Qing dynasty, but most of the northern provinces had not. Moreover, the provisional government did not have military forces of its own, and its control over elements of the New Army that had mutinied was limited, and there were still significant forces which had not declared against the Qing.
The major issue before the provisional government was gaining the support of Yuan Shikai, the man in charge of the Beiyang Army, the military of northern China. After Sun promised Yuan the presidency of the new Republic, Yuan sided with the revolution and forced the emperor to abdicate. (Eventually, Yuan proclaimed himself emperor and afterwards opposition snowballed against Yuan's dictatorial methods, leading him to renounce the throne shortly before his death in 1916.) In 1913 Sun led an unsuccessful revolt against Yuan, and he was forced to seek asylum in Japan, where he reorganized the Kuomintang. He married Soong Ching-ling, one of the Soong sisters, in Japan on October 25, 1915, without divorcing his first wife Lu Muzhen due to opposition from the Chinese community. Lu pleaded with him to take Soong as a concubine but this was also unacceptable to Sun's Christian ethics.
Guangzhou Militarist Government
In the late 1910s, China was greatly divided by different military leaders without a proper central government. Sun saw the danger of this, and returned
to China in 1917 to advocate unification. He started a self-proclaimed military government in Canton (now Guangzhou), southern China, in 1921, and
was elected as president and general.
In 1923, he delivered a speech in which he proclaimed his Three Principles of the People as the foundation of the country and the Five-Yuan Constitution as the guideline for the political system and bureaucracy. Part of the speech was made into the National Anthem of the Republic of China.
To develop the military power needed for the Northern Expedition against the militarists at Beijing, he established the Whampoa Military Academy near Guangzhou, with Chiang Kai-shek as its commandant and with such party leaders as Wang Ching-wei and Hu Han-min as political instructors. The Academy kept running during the rest of the Republic of China and continues to serve as a major military school in the People's Republic of China today.
Path to Northern Expedition and Death
In the early 1920s Sun received help from the Comintern for his reorganization of the Kuomintang as a Leninist Democratic-Centrist Party and negotiated
the First CPC-KMT United Front. In 1924, in order to hasten the conquest of China, he began a policy of active cooperation with the Chinese Communists.
By this time, Sun was convinced that the only hope for a unified China lay in a military conquest from his base in the south, followed by a period of political tutelage that would culminate in the transition to democracy. Sun then prepared for the later Northern Expedition with help from foreign powers such as Japan and the United States until his death.
On November 10, 1924, Sun traveled north and delivered another speech to suggest gathering a conference for the Chinese people and the abolition of all unequal treaties with the Western powers. Two days later, he yet again traveled to Peking (Beijing) to discuss the future of the country, despite his deteriorating health and the ongoing civil war of the warlords. Although ill at the time, he was still head of the southern government. On November 28, 1924 Sun traveled to Japan and gave a remarkable speech on Pan-Asianism at Kobe, Japan. He left Canton to hold peace talks with the northern regional leaders on the unification of China. Sun died of liver cancer on March 12, 1925, at the age of 58, in Beijing.
Early Influence By Western Ideology
Sun attached particular importance to the ideas of Alexander Hamilton and Abraham Lincoln. Sun often said that the formulation from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, "government of the people, by the people, for the people," had been the inspiration for the Three Principles of the People. He incorporated these ideas, later in life, in two highly influential books. One, The Vital Problem of China (1917), analyzed some of the problems of colonialism: Sun warned that "…the British treat nations as the silkworm farmer treats his worms; as long as they produce silk, he cares for them well; when they stop, he feeds them to the fish." The second book, International Development of China (1921), presented detailed proposals for the development of infrastructure in China, and attacked the ideology of laissez-faire, as well as that of Marxism adhering more to the ideas of Henry George's, particularly land value taxation. His ideology remained flexible, however, reflecting his audience as much as his personal convictions. He presented himself as a strident nationalist to the nationalists, as a socialist to the socialists, and an anarchist to the anarchists, declaring at one point that "the goal of the Three Principles of the People is to create socialism and anarchism." It is an open matter of debate whether this eclecticism reflected a sincere effort to incorporate ideas from the multiple competing schools of thought or was simply opportunistic posturing. In any case, his ideological flexibility allowed him to become a key figure in the Nationalist movement since he was one of very few people who had good relations with all of the movements factions.
A struggle for Sun's power between Chiang Kai-shek and Wang Jingwei broke out immediately after Sun's death. This created much inefficiency in the administration of the country and largely delayed the Northern Expedition. In addition, Sun is also one of the primary saints of the Vietnamese religion Cao Dai.
After Sun's death, a power struggle between his young protégé Chiang Kai-shek and his old revolutionary comrade Wang Jingwei split the KMT. At stake
in this struggle was the right to lay claim to Sun's ambiguous legacy. When the Communists and the Kuomintang split in 1927, marking the start of
the Chinese Civil War, each group claimed to be his true heirs. In addition, during World War II, both the anti-Japanese government of Chiang Kai-shek
and the pro-Japanese puppet government of Wang Jingwei claimed to be the rightful heirs of Sun's legacy.
The official veneration of Sun's memory, especially in the Kuomintang, was a virtual cult, which centered around his tomb in Nanking. His widow, the former Soong Ching-ling, sided with the Communists during the Chinese Civil War and served from 1949 to 1981 as Vice President (or Vice Chairwoman) of the Communist China and as Honorary President shortly before her death in 1981.
Sun Yat-sen remains unique among twentieth-century Chinese leaders for having a high reputation both in mainland China and in Taiwan. In Taiwan,
he is seen as the Father of the Republic of China, and is known by the posthumous name National Father, Mr. Sun Chungshan (Chinese: 國父 孫中山先生, where
the one-character space is a traditional homage symbol). His picture is still almost always found in ceremonial locations such as in front of legislatures
and classrooms of public schools, from elementary to senior high school, and he continues to appear in new coinage and currency.
This stands in sharp contrast to Chiang Kai-shek, whose pictures were mostly removed from public places in the 1990s, and whose likeness has gradually disappeared from coinage and currency. Much of the difference may be attributed to the fact that unlike Chiang, Sun played no role in governing Taiwan, so invoking Sun produces much less of a negative reaction among supporters of Taiwanese independence or victims of government oppression prior to the lifting of Martial Law in 1987 than invoking other figures of the Kuomintang.
Sun's Posthumous Popularity In Mainland China
On the mainland, Sun is also seen as a Chinese nationalist and proto-socialist, and is highly regarded as the Forerunner of the Revolution. He is
mentioned by name in the preamble to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China. In most major Chinese cities one of the main streets is named
"Zhongshan" (中山) to memorialize him, a name even more commonly found than other popular choices such as "Renmin Lu" (人民路), or The People's Road, and
"Jiefang Lu" (解放路), or Liberation Road. There are also numerous parks, schools, and geographical features named after him.
In recent years, the leadership of the Communist Party of China has been increasingly invoking Sun, partly as a way of bolstering Chinese nationalism in light of Chinese economic reform and partly to increase connections with supporters of the Kuomintang on Taiwan which the PRC sees as allies against Taiwanese independence. Sun's tomb was one of the first stops made by the leaders of both the Kuomintang and the People First Party on their trips to mainland China in 2005. Furthermore, a massive picture of Sun continues to appear in Tiananmen Square for May Day while pictures of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin no longer appear.
Sun and the Overseas Chinese
Sun's notability and popularity extends beyond the Greater China region, particularly to Nanyang where a large concentration of overseas Chinese
reside in Singapore. Sun recognised the contributions which the large number of overseas Chinese can make beyond the sending of remittances to their
ancestral homeland, and therefore made multiple visits to spread his revolutionary message to these communities around the world.
Sun made a total of eight visits to Singapore between 1900 and 1911. His first visit made on September 7, 1900 was to rescue Miyazaki Toten, an ardent Japanese supporter and friend of Sun's, who was arrested there, an act which also resulted in his own arrest and a ban from visiting the island for five years. Upon his next visit in June 1905, he met local Chinese merchants Teo Eng Hock, Tan Chor Nam and Lim Nee Soon in a meeting which was to mark the commencement of direct support from the Nanyang Chinese. Upon hearing their reports on overseas Chinese revolutionists organising themselves in Europe and Japan, he urged them to establish the Singapore chapter of the Tongmenghui, which came officially into being on 6 April the following year upon his next visit.
The chapter was housed in a villa known as Wan Qing Yuan (晚晴園) and donated for the use of revolutionalists by Teo. In 1906, the chapter grew in membership to 400, and in 1908, when Sun was in Singapore to escape the Qing government in the wake of the failed Zhennanguan Uprising, the chapter had become the regional headquarters for Tongmenghui branches in Southeast Asia. Sun and his followers traveled from Singapore to Malaya and Indonesia to spread their revolutionary message, by which time the alliance already had over twenty branches with over 3,000 members around the world.
Sun's foresight in tapping on the help and resources of the overseas Chinese population was to bear fruit on his subsequent revolutionary efforts. In one particular instance, his personal plea for financial aid at the Penang Conference held on November 13, 1910 in Malaya, helped launch a major drive for donations across the Malay Peninsula, an effort which helped finance the Second Guangzhou Uprising (also commonly known as the Yellow Flower Mound revolt) in 1911.
Today, Sun's legacy is remembered in Nanyang at Wan Qing Yuan, which has since been preserved and renamed as the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, and gazetted as a national monument of Singapore on October 28, 1994.
Like many other Chinese historical figures, Sun Yat-sen used several names throughout his life, and he is known under several of these names, which
can be quite confusing for the Westerner. Names, which are not taken lightly in China, are central to Chinese culture. This reverence goes as far
back as Confucius and his insistence on using correct names. In addition to the names and aliases listed below, Sun also used many other aliases while
he was a revolutionary in exile. According to one study, he used as many as thirty different names.
The "real" name of Sun Yat-sen (the concept of real or original name is not as clear-cut in China as it is in the Western world, as will become obvious below), the name inscribed in the genealogical records of his family, is Sun Deming (孫德明). This "register name" is the name under which his extended relatives of the Sun family would have known him; and it was a name that was used on formal occasions, such as when he got married.
In 1883, Sun was baptized as a Christian, and he started his studies in Hong Kong. On that occasion, he chose himself a pseudonym: Rixin (日新, lit. renew oneself daily). Later, his professor of Chinese literature changed this pseudonym into Yixian (逸仙). Unlike in Standard Mandarin, pronunciation of both pseudonyms are similar to Yat-sen in the local Cantonese. This was the name that he used in his frequent contacts with Westerners which became his most often used name in the West. However, in the Chinese world, almost nobody uses the Mandarin version Sun Yixian, nor the Cantonese version Sun Yat-sen.
In 1897, Sun arrived in Japan. Desiring to remain hidden from Japanese authorities, he renamed himself Nakayama Shō (中山樵). After his return to China in 1911, the alias Nakayama was transliterated into Zhongshan. Today, the overwhelming majority of Chinese people know Sun under the name Sun Zhongshan. Often it is shortened to Zhongshan only (as is usually done for Chinese names to show respect), and inside China one can find many instances of Zhongshan Avenue, Zhongshan Park, etc.
Another "official" name is Sun Wen (孫文), the "school name" used by Sun Yat-sen when attending school. This is the way he signed his name, especially after the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912. All official documents executed after this date were signed Sun Wen.
In 1940, the Kuomintang party officially conferred on the late Sun the title Guofu (國父, meaning "National Father"), and this title is still frequently used in Taiwan and Hong Kong. In mainland China, the title "Forerunner of the Revolution" (革命先行者) is sometimes used instead.
Family name: Sun
B5: 孫; GB: 孙
Register name: Deming (德明)
Milk name: Dixiang (帝象)
School name : Wen (文)
Courtesy name : Zaizhi (載之)
Pseudonym : Rixin (日新), later Yixian (逸仙),
Cantonese Pronounciation: Yat San, Yat Sin, resp.
Alias: Zhongshan (中山)
Styled: Guofu (國父), i.e. "Father of the Nation"
SEE Photograph (5)
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B5: 吳佩孚; PY: Wú Pèifú (1874- 1939)- Major figure in the struggles between the warlords who dominated Republican China from 1916 to 1927.
Born in Shandong Province in Eastern China, Wu initially received a traditional Chinese education. He later joined the Baoding Military Academy (保 定軍校) in Beijing and embarked on a career as a professional soldier. His talents as an officer were recognized by his superiors, and he rose quickly in the ranks.
Wu joined the "New Army" (新軍) (renamed the Beiyang Army in 1902) created by the modernizing Qing Dynasty General, Yuan Shikai. Following the fall of the Qing in 1911, and after Yuan's rise to President of the Republic of China and his subsequent disastrous attempt to proclaim himself emperor, political power in China quickly devolved into the hands of various regional military authorities, inaugurating the era of warlordism.
After Yuan's death in 1916, his Beiyang Army split into several mutually hostile factions of cliques, which battled for supremacy over the following years. The major factions included Duan Qirui's Anhui clique (Wanxi 皖系), Zhang Zuolin's Fengtian clique (Fengtianxi 奉天系; in modern Liaoning), and Feng Guozhang's Zhili clique (Zhixi 直系). The Zhili clique was taken over in 1919 by Cao Kun, Wu Peifu, and Sun Chuanfang. In 1920 the Anhui clique, which was accused of collaborating with Japan, was defeated by Cao Kun. The two other groups, the Zhili and Fengtian cliques, had two clashes in 1922 and 1924. After the first, Zhang Zuolin declared his independence, followed by many military governors of the south who reigned independently from the center in Beijing, now dominated by Cao Kun's Zhili clique.
After Cao Kun forced the puppet parliament to elect him president in 1923, the governor of Zhejiang, Lu Yongxiang (盧永祥), formed an alliance with Zhang Zuolin and Sun Yat-sen and threatened to take control of the key city of Shanghai. Wu Peifu dispatched Sun Chuanfang, governor of Jiangsu, to subdue Lu Yongxiang, but at the same time Zhang Zuolin attacked Wu's Zhili forces from the north.
Wu Peifu, now called the "Jade Marshal" (玉帥) and generally acknowledged to be China's ablest strategist at the time, was widely expected to win, and by doing so to finally put an end to various quasi-independent regional authorities. Hundreds of thousands of men fought in this major battle between Zhang's Fengtian army and Wu's Zhili forces. At a key moment, one of Wu's chief allies, Feng Yuxiang, deserted the front, marched on Beijing, and in the so-called Beijing coup d'etat (Beijing zhengbian) overthrew the existing regime and proclaimed a new and mildly progressive government. Wu Peifu's military strategy was thrown into confusion by this catastrophe in his rear, and he was defeated by Zhang's forces near Tianjin. After the victory of the Fengtian clique, Duan Qirui was made head of state and he proclaimed a provisional government.
Wu maintained a power base in Hubei and Henan in central China until he was confronted by the Guomindang army during the Northern Expedition in 1927. With armies detained by Guomindang allies in the Northwest, Wu was forced to withdraw to Zhengzhou in Henan.
In 1923, Wu ruthlessly broke a strike at the important Hankou-Beijing railway by sending in troops to violently suppress the workers and their leaders. The soldiers killed thirty-five workers and injured many more. Wu's reputation with the Chinese people suffered significantly because of this event, though he gained the favor of British and American commercial interests operating in China.
After the second Sino-Japanese War broke out, Wu refused to cooperate with the Japanese. In 1939, when the Japanese invited him to be the leader of the puppet government in North China, Wu made a speech saying that he was willing to become the leader of North China again on behalf of the New Order in Asia, if every Japanese soldier on China's soil gave up his post and went back to Japan. He then went back into retirement, dying later under what some people considered suspicious circumstances. He was a national hero before he died, a status he had never before achieved.
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