List of warlords and military cliques in the Warlord Era

List of warlords and military cliques in the Warlord Era

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Encyclopedia
The Warlord Era is the common term that refers to the time period of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 beginning from 1916 to the mid-1930s, when the country was divided by various military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 cliques. Followed by the death of Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai was an important Chinese general and politician famous for his influence during the late Qing Dynasty, his role in the events leading up to the abdication of the last Qing Emperor of China, his autocratic rule as the second President of the Republic of China , and his short-lived...

 in 1916, and nominally ended in 1928 at the conclusion of the Northern Expedition with the Northeast Flag Replacement, beginning the "Nanjing decade". However, the division continues to exist into the 1930s, and remains until the end of the Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

 in 1949.

The warlords and military cliques of the Warlord Era are generally divided into the Northern Faction and the Southern Faction. The following is a list of cliques within each faction, and the dominant warlords within that clique.

Northern Faction


The cliques in the Northern Faction are evolved from the Beiyang
Beiyang
The term Beiyang originated toward the end of the Qing Dynasty, and it referred to the coastal areas of Zhili , Liaoning, and Shandong in northeast China....

 system. Most of them were generals under Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai was an important Chinese general and politician famous for his influence during the late Qing Dynasty, his role in the events leading up to the abdication of the last Qing Emperor of China, his autocratic rule as the second President of the Republic of China , and his short-lived...

. After the death of Yuan, they separated and formed cliques in their own sphere of influence.

Anhui clique
Anhui clique
The Anhui clique was one of several mutually hostile cliques or factions that split from the Beiyang Clique in the Republic of China's Warlord era. It was named after Anhui province because several of its generals including its founder, Duan Qirui, was born in Anhui...

  • Anhui
    Anhui
    Anhui is a province in the People's Republic of China. Located in eastern China across the basins of the Yangtze River and the Huai River, it borders Jiangsu to the east, Zhejiang to the southeast, Jiangxi to the south, Hubei to the southwest, Henan to the northwest, and Shandong for a tiny...

     is the name of a province in southern China.
  • The Anhui Clique was so named because many of its most influential members were from Anhui, including founder Duan Qirui.
  • It could be considered a legacy of Anhui native Li Hongzhang
    Li Hongzhang
    Li Hongzhang or Li Hung-chang , Marquis Suyi of the First Class , GCVO, was a leading statesman of the late Qing Empire...

    's influence on the Beiyang army.
  • The clique was removed from power after the Zhili-Anhui War
    Zhili-Anhui War
    The Zhili–Anhui War was a 1920 conflict in the Republic of China's Warlord Era between the Zhili clique and Anhui cliques for control of the Beiyang government.-Prelude:...

     and slowly faded from prominence
    Name | | Years of dominance Notes
    Duan Qirui
    Duan Qirui
    Duan Qirui was a Chinese warlord and politician, commander in the Beiyang Army, and the Provisional Chief Executive of Republic of China from November 24, 1924 to April 20, 1926. He was arguably the most powerful man in China from 1916 to 1920.- Early life :Born in Hefei as Duan Qirui , his...

    1916 - 1926 - Premier: 1913, 1916-18; President: 1924-26
    - Negotiated the Nishihara Loans
    Nishihara Loans
    The ' were a series of loans made by the Japanese government under the administration of Prime Minister Terauchi Masatake to the Anhui clique warlord Duan Qirui from January 1917 to September 1918, in exchange for territorial concessions and rights in northern China.In January 1917, Prime Minister...

     with Japan in exchange for Shandong Concession, triggering the May Fourth Movement
    May Fourth Movement
    The May Fourth Movement was an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement growing out of student demonstrations in Beijing on May 4, 1919, protesting the Chinese government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles, especially the Shandong Problem...

    Xu Shuzheng
    Xu Shuzheng
    Hsu Seu-Cheng or Xu Shuzheng , was a Chinese warlord in Republican China. A subordinate and right-hand man of Duan Qirui, he was a prominent member of the Anhui Clique....

    1916 - 1920 - Duan Qirui's right-hand man
    - Led expedition that reconquered Mongolia
    Mongolia
    Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

     and temporarily brought it back under control
    Duan Zhigui
    Duan Zhigui
    Duan Zhigui was a Chinese general. Born in Hefei, Anhui, Duan gained the post of Heilongjiang governor in the late Qing dynasty and between 1912-13 he was governor of Chahar, and the military governor of Hubei between 1914–15, as well as Military and Civil governor of Fengtian in 1915-16.A...

    - Minister of War: 1917-1919
    Jin Yunpeng
    Jin Yunpeng
    Jin Yunpeng was a Chinese General and politician of the Warlord Era of the Republic of China. He served as both Minister of War and then Premier of China several times....

    - Premier: 1919-1921
    Lu Yongxiang
    Lu Yongxiang (warlord)
    Lu Yongxiang, 盧永祥 , Anhui clique warlord, military governor of Zhejiang, Zhili, and Jiangsu.Lu Yongxiang was born October 22, 1867, in Jiyang, Shandong, China. Impoverished as a child he joined the Huai Army in 1890...

    - Ruler of Zhejiang and Shanghai, his refusal to hand over Shanghai caused the Second Zhili–Fengtian War
    Zhang Jingyao
    Zhang Jingyao
    Zhang Jingyao, Chang Ching-yao, 張敬堯, , was a Chinese General, the military governor of Chahar and later Hunan Province. He was known as one of the most notorious of China's war-lords, known for his troops' atrocities and the looting of Hunan of its wealth during his administration...

    1917 - 1920 - Governor of Hunan noted for his exceptional brutality
    - Assassinated in 1933 after he became involved with the Japanese plot to enthrone Puyi
    Puyi
    Puyi , of the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan, was the last Emperor of China, and the twelfth and final ruler of the Qing Dynasty. He ruled as the Xuantong Emperor from 1908 until his abdication on 12 February 1912. From 1 to 12 July 1917 he was briefly restored to the throne as a nominal emperor by the...

     as emperor of Manchukuo
    Manchukuo
    Manchukuo or Manshū-koku was a puppet state in Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia, governed under a form of constitutional monarchy. The region was the historical homeland of the Manchus, who founded the Qing Empire in China...


    Zhili clique

    • Zhili
      Zhili
      Zhílì was a northern province in China from the Ming Dynasty until the province was dissolved in 1928 during the Republic of China era.-History:...

       was the province surrounding Beijing, most of its territory is now in the province of Hebei
      Hebei
      ' is a province of the People's Republic of China in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is "" , named after Ji Province, a Han Dynasty province that included what is now southern Hebei...

      .
    • The Zhili clique was formed by officers disgruntled with the Anhui clique, they rallied around Feng Guozhang
      Feng Guozhang
      Féng Guózhāng, was a key Beiyang Army general and politician in early republican China. He held the office of Vice-President and then President of the Republic of China...

      .
    • The clique took power after the Zhili-Anhui War
      Zhili-Anhui War
      The Zhili–Anhui War was a 1920 conflict in the Republic of China's Warlord Era between the Zhili clique and Anhui cliques for control of the Beiyang government.-Prelude:...

       but lost it after the Second Zhili-Fengtian War
      Second Zhili-Fengtian War
      The Second Zhili–Fengtian War of 1924 was a conflict between the Japanese-backed Fengtian clique based in Manchuria, and the more liberal Zhili clique controlling Beijing and backed by Anglo-American business interests...

      .
    • It was largely wiped out during the Northern Expedition.
      Name | | Years of dominance Notes
      Feng Guozhang
      Feng Guozhang
      Féng Guózhāng, was a key Beiyang Army general and politician in early republican China. He held the office of Vice-President and then President of the Republic of China...

      1916 - 1919 - Served as President 1917-1918
      - Died in 1919 and was succeeded by Cao Kun
      Cao Kun
      Cao Kun
      |-...

      1919 - 1924 - Bribed his way to the presidency and served from 1923 to 1924
      - Arrested and imprisoned during the Beijing coup
      Beijing coup
      The Beijing coup refers to the October 1924 coup d'etat by Feng Yuxiang against Chinese President Cao Kun, leader of the Zhili warlord faction. Feng called it the Capital Revolution . The coup occurred at a crucial moment in the Second Zhili–Fengtian War and allowed the pro-Japanese Fengtian...

       by Feng Yuxiang
      Feng Yuxiang
      Feng Yuxiang was a warlord and leader in Republican China. He was also known as the Christian General for his zeal to convert his troops and the Betrayal General for his penchant to break with the establishment. In 1911, he was an officer in the ranks of Yuan Shikai's Beiyang Army but joined...

      Wu Peifu
      Wu Peifu
      Wu Peifu or Wu P'ei-fu , was a major figure in the struggles between the warlords who dominated Republican China from 1916 to 1927.- Early career :...

      1919 - 1927 - Military commander and strategist of the Zhili Clique
      - Credited with the victories that pushed Zhili to power but ultimately failed hold onto power in the Second Zhili-Fengtian War
      Second Zhili-Fengtian War
      The Second Zhili–Fengtian War of 1924 was a conflict between the Japanese-backed Fengtian clique based in Manchuria, and the more liberal Zhili clique controlling Beijing and backed by Anglo-American business interests...

      Sun Chuanfang
      Sun Chuanfang
      Sun Chuanfang aka the "Nanking Warlord" or leader of the "League of Five Provinces" was a Zhili clique warlord and protege of the "Jade Marshal" Wu Peifu .- Biography :Sun Chuanfang was born in Lichen, Shandong...

      1919 - 1927 - Controlled most of the Lower Yangtze
      - Defeated in the Northern Expedition

      Fengtian clique
      Fengtian clique
      The Fengtian Clique was one of several mutually hostile cliques or factions that split from the Beiyang Clique in the Republic of China's warlord era. It was named for Fengtian Province and led by Zhang Zuolin...

      • Fengtian
        Fengtian
        Fengtian is:* The name of an old prefecture under which Shenyang city was administered. Abolished in 1910.* The former name of Liaoning province from 1907 to 1929. Under the Manchukuo regime, the name was revived, but was again abolished in 1945....

         is the former name of Liaoning
        Liaoning
        ' is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the northeast of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is "辽" , a name taken from the Liao River that flows through the province. "Níng" means "peace"...

         province, and was the political center of Manchuria
        Manchuria
        Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

        .
      • The Fengtian clique controlled most of Manchuria up to Shanhaiguan
        Shanhai Pass
        Shanhai Pass , or Shanhaiguan, along with Jiayu Pass and Juyong Pass, is one of the major passes of the Great Wall of China It is located in Shanhaiguan District, Qinhuangdao, Hebei. In 1961, Shanhaiguan became a site of China First Class National Cultural Site.It is a popular tourist destination,...

         and had an uneasy relationship with Japan.
      • It took power in Beijing after the Second Zhili-Fengtian War
        Second Zhili-Fengtian War
        The Second Zhili–Fengtian War of 1924 was a conflict between the Japanese-backed Fengtian clique based in Manchuria, and the more liberal Zhili clique controlling Beijing and backed by Anglo-American business interests...

         but could not stop the Kuomintang
        Kuomintang
        The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

         during the Northern Expedition
      • Was driven from Manchuria after the Mukden Incident
        Mukden Incident
        The Mukden Incident, also known as the Manchurian Incident, was a staged event that was engineered by Japanese military personnel as a pretext for invading the northern part of China known as Manchuria in 1931....

         and merged with the Kuomintang.
        Name | | Years of dominance Notes
        Zhang Zuolin
        Zhang Zuolin
        Zhang Zuolin was the warlord of Manchuria from 1916 to 1928 . He successfully invaded China proper in October 1924 in the Second Zhili-Fengtian War. He gained control of Peking, including China's internationally recognized government, in April 1926...

        1916 - 1928 - Leader of the Fengtian Army, ruler of Manchuria
        Manchuria
        Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...


        - Assassinated
        Huanggutun Incident
        Huanggutun Incident was an assassination plotted by the Japanese Kwantung Army that targeted Fengtian warlord Zhang Zuolin. It took place on June 4, 1928 at Huanggutun rail station near Shenyang in which Zhang's train was destroyed by an explosion...

         by a Japanese military officer for his failure to halt the expansion of the Kuomintang
        Kuomintang
        The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

        Zhang Xueliang
        Zhang Xueliang
        Zhang Xueliang or Chang Hsüeh-liang , occasionally called Peter Hsueh Liang Chang in English, nicknamed the Young Marshal , was the effective ruler of Manchuria and much of North China after the assassination of his father, Zhang Zuolin, by the Japanese on 4 June 1928...

        1928 - 1937 - Son and successor to Zhang Zuolin
        - Eventually reconciled the Fengtian clique with the Kuomintang
        Guo Songling
        Guo Songling
        Guo Songling was a Manchurian general who led a three month rebellion against his commanding warlord - Zhang Zuolin....

        1920 - 1925 - General in the Fengtian Army
        - Rebelled during the Anti-Fengtian War
        Anti-Fengtian War
        The Anti-Fengtian War was the last major civil war within the Republic of China's northern Beiyang government prior to the Northern Expedition. It lasted from November 1925 to April 1926 and was waged by the Guominjun against the Fengtian clique and their Zhili clique allies...

         but was defeated and killed in action
        Zhang Haipeng
        Zhang Jinghui
        Zhang Jinghui
        Zhāng Jǐnghuì ; 1871 – 1 November 1959) was a Chinese general and politician during the Warlord era. He is noted for his role in the Japanese puppet regime of Manchukuo in which he served as its second and final Prime Minister.-Biography:...

        Afterwards Prime Minister of Manchukuo
        Manchukuo
        Manchukuo or Manshū-koku was a puppet state in Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia, governed under a form of constitutional monarchy. The region was the historical homeland of the Manchus, who founded the Qing Empire in China...

        Zhang Zongchang
        Zhang Zongchang
        Zhang Zongchang , nicknamed the "Dogmeat General" and "72-Cannon Chang" , was a Chinese warlord in Shandong in the early 20th century...

        Tang Yulin
        Tang Yulin
        Tang Yulin was a Chinese warlord in the Fengtien clique and Chairman of the government of Rehe.-Biography:...

        Wan Fulin
        Wan Fulin
        Wan Fulin was the military governor of Heilongjian province from 1928, and part of the Fengtian clique. On Dec 29th 1928, Wan Fulin along with Zhang Xueliang, son of late Zhang Zuolin, together with Zhang Zuoxiang, against Japanese threats and coercion, declared in a public wire that the four...

        Wu Junsheng
        Wu Junsheng
        Wu Junsheng, or Wu Tsi-cheng, 吳俊陞, General of the Fengtian clique and its cavalry commander.Wu Junsheng was born in a peasant family in Changtu, Fengtien province , on November 23, 1863. He joined a cavalry troop in 1880, crushed the Manchu independence plan in 1912...

        - Commander of Fengtian Cavalry
        Yang Yuting
        Yang Yuting
        Yang Yuting, , , Fengtien clique warlord and Military governor of Jiangsu from August to November 1925. He was shot by Zhang Xueliang for his collusion with the Japanese, following the Huanggutun Incident.- Source :*...

        - Executed by Zhang Xueliang for his part in the assassination of Zhang Zuolin

        Shanxi clique
        Shanxi clique
        The Shanxi clique was one of several military factions that split off from the Beiyang Army during China's warlord era.Though a close associate of Duan Qirui, Shanxi's military governor, Yan Xishan, did not join Duan's Anhui clique. He kept his province neutral from the various civil wars the...

        • Formed in the aftermath of the Xinhai Revolution
          Xinhai Revolution
          The Xinhai Revolution or Hsinhai Revolution, also known as Revolution of 1911 or the Chinese Revolution, was a revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty, the Qing , and established the Republic of China...

          , the Shanxi clique was limited to Shanxi
          Shanxi
          ' is a province in Northern China. Its one-character abbreviation is "晋" , after the state of Jin that existed here during the Spring and Autumn Period....

           province only
        • Although affiliated with the Anhui clique, Yan Xishan remained neutral until the Northern Expedition
        • Most territory was lost to Japan in the Second Sino-Japanese War
          Second Sino-Japanese War
          The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

          Name | | Years of dominance Notes
          Yan Xishan
          Yan Xishan
          Yan Xishan, was a Chinese warlord who served in the government of the Republic of China. Yan effectively controlled the province of Shanxi from the 1911 Xinhai Revolution to the 1949 Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War...

          1911 - 1949 - Military ruler of Shanxi
          Shanxi
          ' is a province in Northern China. Its one-character abbreviation is "晋" , after the state of Jin that existed here during the Spring and Autumn Period....


          - Joined the Kuomintang
          Kuomintang
          The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

           but later rebelled against Chiang Kai-shek
          Chiang Kai-shek
          Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

           in the Central Plains War
          Central Plains War
          Central Plains War was a civil war within the factionalised Kuomintang that broke out in 1930. It was fought between the forces of Chiang Kai-shek and the coalition of three military commanders who had previously allied with Chiang: Yan Xishan, Feng Yuxiang, and Li Zongren...


          - Defeated by the Communists in 1949, withdrew to Taiwan

        Guominjun
        Guominjun
        The Guominjun , a.k.a Nationalist Army, KMC, or Northwest Army , refers to the military faction founded by Feng Yuxiang, Hu Jingyi and Sun Yue during China's Warlord Era. It was formed when Feng betrayed the Zhili clique during the Second Zhili-Fengtian War with the Fengtian clique in 1924...

        Name | | Years of dominance Notes
        Feng Yuxiang
        Feng Yuxiang
        Feng Yuxiang was a warlord and leader in Republican China. He was also known as the Christian General for his zeal to convert his troops and the Betrayal General for his penchant to break with the establishment. In 1911, he was an officer in the ranks of Yuan Shikai's Beiyang Army but joined...

        1924 - 1934 Leader of the Northwest

        Shandong
        Shandong
        ' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

        Name | | Years of dominance Notes
        Zhang Zongchang
        Zhang Zongchang
        Zhang Zongchang , nicknamed the "Dogmeat General" and "72-Cannon Chang" , was a Chinese warlord in Shandong in the early 20th century...

        1925 - 1928 Ruler of the Shandong
        Shandong
        ' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

         province
        Han Fuqu 1930 - 1938 Chairman of the Shandong Province; Was arrested and shot after abandoning his province when the Second Sino-Japanese War
        Second Sino-Japanese War
        The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

         started.

        Ma clique
        Ma clique
        The Ma clique or Ma family warlords is a collective name for a group of Muslim warlords in Northwestern China who ruled the Chinese provinces of Qinghai, Gansu and Ningxia from the 1910s until 1949. There were 3 families in the Ma clique , each of them respectively controlled 3 areas, Gansu,...


        All Ma Clique Generals were Kuomintang
        Kuomintang
        The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

         members
        Name | | Years of dominance Notes
        Ma Anliang
        Ma Anliang
        Ma Anliang , a Hui, was born in 1855, in Linxia, Gansu, China. He became a general in the Qing dynasty army, and of the Republic of China. His father was Ma Zhanao, and his younger brother was Ma Guoliang...

        1912 - 1920 Ruler of the Gansu
        Gansu
        ' is a province located in the northwest of the People's Republic of China.It lies between the Tibetan and Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia to the north, Xinjiang and Qinghai to the west, Sichuan to the south, and Shaanxi to the east...

         province, Outranked all the other Ma Clique generals.
        Ma Qi
        Ma Qi
        Ma Qi was a Chinese Muslim warlord in early 20th century China.-Early life:His grandfather Sa-la Ma , is a Salar. He was born in 1869 in Daohe, now part of Linxia, Gansu, China. His father was Ma Haiyan...

        1915 - 1931 Ruler of the Qinghai
        Qinghai
        Qinghai ; Oirat Mongolian: ; ; Salar:) is a province of the People's Republic of China, named after Qinghai Lake...

         province, influential in Gansu
        Gansu
        ' is a province located in the northwest of the People's Republic of China.It lies between the Tibetan and Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia to the north, Xinjiang and Qinghai to the west, Sichuan to the south, and Shaanxi to the east...

         province
        Ma Lin
        Ma Lin (warlord)
        Ma Lin, , chairman of the government of Qinghai ; brother of Ma Qi. A Muslim born in 1873, Linxia, Gansu, China, he mainly succeeded to the posts of his brother, being general of southeastern Gansu province, as well as councillor of the Qinghai provincial government and acting head of the...

        1931 - 1938 Ruler of the Qinghai
        Qinghai
        Qinghai ; Oirat Mongolian: ; ; Salar:) is a province of the People's Republic of China, named after Qinghai Lake...

         province
        Ma Fuxiang
        Ma Fuxiang
        Ma Fuxiang . Ma, a Dongxiang muslim leader, had a military and political career which spanned the Qing dynasty through the early Republic of China and illustrated the power of family, the role of religious affiliations, and the interaction of Inner Asian China and the national government of...

        1912 - 1928 Ruler of Ningxia
        Ningxia
        Ningxia, formerly transliterated as Ningsia, is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. Located in Northwest China, on the Loess Plateau, the Yellow River flows through this vast area of land. The Great Wall of China runs along its northeastern boundary...

        Ma Bufang
        Ma Bufang
        Ma Bufang was a prominent Muslim Ma clique warlord in China during the Republic of China era, ruling the northwestern province of Qinghai. His rank was Lieutenant-general...

        1938 - 1945 Ruler of the Qinghai
        Qinghai
        Qinghai ; Oirat Mongolian: ; ; Salar:) is a province of the People's Republic of China, named after Qinghai Lake...

         province
        Ma Hongbin
        Ma Hongbin
        Ma Hongbin , was a prominent muslim Ma clique warlord in China during the Republic of China era. He was the acting Chairman of Gansu and Ningxia Provinces for a short period.- Life :...

        1921 - 1928 Ruler of Gansu
        Gansu
        ' is a province located in the northwest of the People's Republic of China.It lies between the Tibetan and Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia to the north, Xinjiang and Qinghai to the west, Sichuan to the south, and Shaanxi to the east...

         Province
        Ma Hongkui
        Ma Hongkui
        Ma Hongkui , was a prominent warlord in China during the Republic of China era, ruling the northwestern province of Ningxia. His rank was Lieutenant-general. His courtesy name was Shao-yun .- Life :...

        1923 - 1949 Army commander then ruler of Ningxia
        Ningxia
        Ningxia, formerly transliterated as Ningsia, is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. Located in Northwest China, on the Loess Plateau, the Yellow River flows through this vast area of land. The Great Wall of China runs along its northeastern boundary...

         Province from 1932
        Ma Zhongying 1929 - 1934 Chief of the 36th Division
        36th Division (National Revolutionary Army)
        The 36th Division was a cavalry division in the National Revolutionary Army. It was created in 1932 by the Kuomintang for General Ma Zhongying, who was also its first commander. It was made almost entirely out of Hui Muslim troops, all of its officers were Hui, with a few thousand Uighurs forced...

        Ma Hushan
        Ma Hushan
        Ma Hu-shan was the half-brother and follower of Ma Chung-ying, a Ma Clique warlord. He ruled over an area of southern Xinjiang, nicknamed Tunganistan by westerners from 1934 to 1937.-Tunganistan:...

        1934 - 1950 Chief of the 36th Division
        36th Division (National Revolutionary Army)
        The 36th Division was a cavalry division in the National Revolutionary Army. It was created in 1932 by the Kuomintang for General Ma Zhongying, who was also its first commander. It was made almost entirely out of Hui Muslim troops, all of its officers were Hui, with a few thousand Uighurs forced...


        Xinjiang clique
        Xinjiang clique
        The Xinjiang clique was a military faction that ruled Xinjiang during China's warlord era. Unlike other cliques, its leaders were from outside the province....

        Name | | Years of dominance Notes
        Yang Zengxin
        Yang Zengxin
        Yang Zengxin , born in Mengzi, Honghe, Yunnan in 1859, was the ruler of Xinjiang after the Xinhai Revolution in 1911 until his assassination in 1928.-Life:...

        1912 - 1928 Ruler of the Xinjiang
        Xinjiang
        Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

         province.
        Ma Fuxing
        Ma Fuxing
        Ma Fuxing was a Hui born in Yunnan, in Qing dynasty China. He was an ex-convict. During Yang Zengxin's reign in Xinjiang, Ma was appointed as a military commander, and then Titai of Kashgar....

        1912 - 1924 Titai of Kashgar
        Kashgar
        Kashgar or Kashi is an oasis city with approximately 350,000 residents in the western part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. Kashgar is the administrative centre of Kashgar Prefecture which has an area of 162,000 km² and a population of approximately...

        , Military Commander of Southern Xinjiang
        Ma Shaowu
        Ma Shaowu
        Ma Shaowu was a Hui born in Yunnan, in Qing dynasty China. He was a member of the Xinjiang clique during the Republic of China.- Family history :...

        1924 - 1937 Tao-yin of Kashgar
        Kashgar
        Kashgar or Kashi is an oasis city with approximately 350,000 residents in the western part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. Kashgar is the administrative centre of Kashgar Prefecture which has an area of 162,000 km² and a population of approximately...

        , Military Commander of Southern Xinjiang
        Jin Shuren
        Jin Shuren
        Jin Shuren , governor of Xinjiang, succeeded Yang Zengxin after Yang was assassinated in 1928. Jin ruled Xinjiang for about half a decade, and his reign was characterized by corruption and suppression. Under his rule, both ethnic and religion conflicts were greatly deepened, resulting in numerous...

        1928 - 1934 Ruler of the Xinjiang
        Xinjiang
        Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

         province.

        Southern Faction


        The military cliques in the Southern Faction are generally regional revolutionary leaders that took over after the fall of Qing Dynasty
        Qing Dynasty
        The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

         in Xinhai Revolution
        Xinhai Revolution
        The Xinhai Revolution or Hsinhai Revolution, also known as Revolution of 1911 or the Chinese Revolution, was a revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty, the Qing , and established the Republic of China...

        .

        Yunnan clique
        Yunnan clique
        The Yunnan Clique was one of several mutually hostile cliques or factions that split from the Beiyang Government in the Republic of China's warlord era. It was named for Yunnan Province....


        The Yunnan Military Government was established on October 30, 1911, with Cai E
        Cai E
        Cai E or Tsai Ao was a Chinese revolutionary leader and warlord. He was born Cai Genyin in Shaoyang, Hunan, and his courtesy name was Songpo...

         elected as the military governor. This marked the beginning of the "Yunnan clique
        Yunnan clique
        The Yunnan Clique was one of several mutually hostile cliques or factions that split from the Beiyang Government in the Republic of China's warlord era. It was named for Yunnan Province....

        ".
        Name | | Years of dominance Notes
        Cai E
        Cai E
        Cai E or Tsai Ao was a Chinese revolutionary leader and warlord. He was born Cai Genyin in Shaoyang, Hunan, and his courtesy name was Songpo...

        1911 - 1916 Leader of the Yunnan
        Yunnan
        Yunnan is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the far southwest of the country spanning approximately and with a population of 45.7 million . The capital of the province is Kunming. The province borders Burma, Laos, and Vietnam.Yunnan is situated in a mountainous area, with...

         Army
        Hu Ruoyu
        Hu Ruoyu
        Lieutenant General Hu Ruoyu , was governor of Yunnan .He was born in Luoping, Yunnan, China. He participated in the uprising against the Qing Dynasty in 1911 as a student of Yunnan Military College and served as a regiment commander after graduation. During the Warlord Era, Hu was a member of the...

        Long Yun
        Long Yun
        Long Yun was governor and warlord of the Chinese province of Yunnan from 1927 to near the end of the Chinese Civil War, when he was overthrown in a coup by Du Yuming under the order of Chiang Kai-shek in October, 1945.-Life:Long Yun was an sinicized ethnic Yi , a non Han Chinese people native to...

        Tang Jiyao
        Tang Jiyao
        Tang Jiyao was a Chinese general and warlord of Yunnan during the Warlord Era of Republican China. Tang Jiyao was military governor of Yunnan from 1913-1927.-Life:...


        Old Guangxi clique
        Old Guangxi clique
        After the founding of the Republic of China, Guangxi served as the base for one of the most powerful warlord cliques of China: the Old Guangxi Clique. Led by Lu Rongting, the clique was able to take control of neighbouring Hunan and Guangdong provinces as well...


        Guangxi
        Guangxi
        Guangxi, formerly romanized Kwangsi, is a province of southern China along its border with Vietnam. In 1958, it became the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, a region with special privileges created specifically for the Zhuang people.Guangxi's location, in...

         province announced its independence on November 6, 1911. Originally, the revolutionaries supported the Qing Governor to remain in position. However, he later left the province, and Lu Rongting
        Lu Rongting
        Lu Rongting was born in Wuming, Guangxi, China. Originating as a common bandit, Lu became a military commander in Guangxi in the Qing dynasty and suppressed the revolutionary uprising at Zhennan Pass on the Sino-Vietnam border in Pingxiang, Guangxi led by Sun Yat-sen and Huang Xing.However, when...

         succeeded his position.
        Name | | Years of dominance Notes
        Lu Rongting
        Lu Rongting
        Lu Rongting was born in Wuming, Guangxi, China. Originating as a common bandit, Lu became a military commander in Guangxi in the Qing dynasty and suppressed the revolutionary uprising at Zhennan Pass on the Sino-Vietnam border in Pingxiang, Guangxi led by Sun Yat-sen and Huang Xing.However, when...

        1912 - 1922
        Chen Binghun
        Shen Chunxuan
        Shen Hongying
        Shen Hongying
        Shen Hongying was a Chinese general in the Old Guangxi Clique. He served as Military governor of Guangdong from March 1923 to May 1924....


        New Guangxi clique
        New Guangxi clique
        After the founding of the Republic of China, Guangxi served as the base for one of the most powerful warlord cliques of China: the Old Guangxi clique. Led by Lu Rongting and others, the clique was able to take control of neighbouring Hunan and Guangdong provinces as well...


        By 1924, the Old Guangxi clique was no longer effective, and was replaced by the New Guangxi clique.
        Name | | Years of dominance Notes
        Bai Chongxi
        Bai Chongxi
        Bai Chongxi , , also spelled Pai Chung-hsi, was a Chinese general in the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China and a prominent Chinese Nationalist Muslim leader. He was of Hui ethnicity and of the Muslim faith...

        1923 - 1949
        Huang Shaoxiong
        Huang Shaoxiong
        Huang Shaoxiong or Huang Shaohong was a warlord in Guangxi province, and governed Guangxi as part of the New Guangxi Clique, though the later part of the Warlord era and a leader in the later years of the Republic of China.-Biography:...

        1923 - 1949
        Li Zongren
        Li Zongren
        Li Zongren or Li Tsung-jen , courtesy name Delin , was a prominent Guangxi warlord and Kuomintang military commander during the Northern Expedition, Second Sino-Japanese War and Chinese Civil War...

        1923 - 1949

        Guangdong
        Guangdong
        Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...


        Guangdong
        Guangdong
        Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

         was independent on November 8. The Guangdong Army was in the early 1920s mostly dominated by Chen Jiongming
        Chen Jiongming
        Chen Jiongming was a revolutionary figure in the early periods of the Republic of China. Chen Jiongming was born in 1878 at Haifeng, Guangdong, China....

        . In the 1930s, Chen Jitang
        Chen Jitang
        Chen Jitang , also spelled Chen Chi-tang, was born into a Hakka family in Fangcheng, Guangxi, China. He joined the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance in 1908 and began serving in the Guangdong Army in 1920, rising from battalion to brigade commander...

         was chairman of the government.
        Name | | Years of dominance Notes
        Chen Jiongming
        Chen Jiongming
        Chen Jiongming was a revolutionary figure in the early periods of the Republic of China. Chen Jiongming was born in 1878 at Haifeng, Guangdong, China....

        1911-1924
        Chen Jitang
        Chen Jitang
        Chen Jitang , also spelled Chen Chi-tang, was born into a Hakka family in Fangcheng, Guangxi, China. He joined the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance in 1908 and began serving in the Guangdong Army in 1920, rising from battalion to brigade commander...

        1929-1936

        Kuomintang
        Kuomintang
        The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

        Name | | Years of dominance Notes
        Sun Yat-sen
        Sun Yat-sen
        Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese doctor, revolutionary and political leader. As the foremost pioneer of Nationalist China, Sun is frequently referred to as the "Father of the Nation" , a view agreed upon by both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China...

        1912 - 1925 Founder of the Republic of China
        Republic of China
        The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

         and leader of the Kuomintang
        Chiang Kai-shek
        Chiang Kai-shek
        Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

        1926 - 1975 Military leader of the Kuomintang and later President
        He Yingqin
        He Yingqin
        He Yingqin , also spelled Ho Ying-chin, was one of the most senior generals of the Kuomintang during Republican China, and a close ally of Chiang Kai-shek.-Early years:A native of Guizhou, He was healthy and bookish in his childhood...

        1926 - 1950 Senior General in the Kuomintang
        Hu Hanmin
        Hu Hanmin
        Hu Hanmin was one of the early leaders of Kuomintang , and a very important right-winger in Kuomintang.-Biography:Hu Hanmin was qualified as juren at 21 years of age. He studied in Japan since 1902, and joined Tongmenghui as an editor of 《Minbao》 in 1905. From 1907-1910, he participated in...

        1925 - 1936 Leader of the right wing faction of the Kuomintang
        Liao Zhongkai
        Liao Zhongkai
        Liao Zhongkai , Kuomintang leader and financier. Liao Zhongkai was the principal architect of the first Kuomintang-Chinese Communist Party United Front in the 1920s....

        1923 - 1925 Architect of the First United Front with the Chinese Communist Party
        Wang Jingwei
        Wang Jingwei
        Wang Jingwei , alternate name Wang Zhaoming, was a Chinese politician. He was initially known as a member of the left wing of the Kuomintang , but later became increasingly anti-Communist after his efforts to collaborate with the CCP ended in political failure...

        1925 - 1944 Leader of the left wing faction of the Kuomintang, later Japanese puppet

        Sichuan clique
        Sichuan clique
        Sichuan clique was a group of warlords in the warlord era in China. During the period from 1927-1938, Sichuan was in the hands of five warlords: Liu Xiang, Yang Sen, Liu Wenhui, Deng Xihou, and Tian Songyao.- Introduction :...


        During the period from 1927–1938, Sichuan
        Sichuan
        ' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

         was in the hands of five warlords. No warlord had enough power to take on all the others at once, so many small battles occurred, pitting one warlord against another.
        Name | | Years of dominance Notes
        Liu Wenhui
        Liu Wenhui
        Liu Wenhui was one of the warlords of Sichuan province during China's Warlord era. Liu who rose to prominence in Sichuan in the 1920s and 1930s, came from a peasant family. At the beginning of his career, he was aligned with the Kuomintang , commanding the Sichuan-Xikang Defence Force from 1927 to...

        Liu Xiang
        Liu Xiang (warlord)
        Liu Xiang or Liu Hsiang, 劉湘 was one of the warlords controlling Sichuan province during the Warlord era of 20th century China....

        1921-1938
        Yang Sen
        Tian Songyao
        Tian Songyao
        Tian Songyao, Tin Chung-yao, 田颂尧 (1888 - 1975)warlord of the Sichuan clique and later Kuomintang general.Tian Songyao was born on 1888 in Jianyang, Sichuan. Tian joined the Sichuan Army and rose to command a Cavalry Regiment, of the 2nd Division, of its 1st Army. He also was the garrison...

        Deng Xihou
        Deng Xihou
        Deng Xihou was a Chinese general and politician.-Biography:Deng was born 1889, Yingshan, Sichuan, China. In 1906 he was admitted to the Sichuan Military School, and in 1909 graduated, and entered the Nanjing Army School. After the Xinhai Revolution, he discontinued his studies and returned to...