Xi'an Incident

Xi'an Incident

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The Xi'an Incident of December 1936 is an important episode of Chinese modern history
History of China
Chinese civilization originated in various regional centers along both the Yellow River and the Yangtze River valleys in the Neolithic era, but the Yellow River is said to be the Cradle of Chinese Civilization. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest...

, taking place in the city of Xi'an
Xi'an
Xi'an is the capital of the Shaanxi province, and a sub-provincial city in the People's Republic of China. One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history, the city was known as Chang'an before the Ming Dynasty...

 during 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...

 between the ruling 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...

 (KMT) and the rebel Chinese Communist Party and just before 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...

. On 12 December 1936, Generalissimo
Generalissimo
Generalissimo and Generalissimus are military ranks of the highest degree, superior to Field Marshal and other five-star ranks.-Usage:...

 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....

, the leader of the Kuomintang was suddenly arrested and kidnapped by Marshal
Marshal
Marshal , is a word used in several official titles of various branches of society. The word is an ancient loan word from Old French, cf...

 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...

, a former warlord 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...

, then Japan-occupied 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...

. The incident led the Nationalists and the Communists to make peace so that the two could form a united front against the increasing threat posed by Japan. Some facts about the incident still remain unclear as most of the parties involved died without revealing in detail what happened during those chaotic few weeks. Thus, there are controversies over the causes, events and effects of this incident.

Background


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...

, known also as The Young Marshal, was the son of 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...

 warlord 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...

 in northeast China. For sometime before the Kuomintang-led China-uniting Northern Expedition, the elder Zhang was being quietly supported by the Japanese government. When it became imminent that the advancing Expedition forces would defeat Zhang and thus threaten Japanese interests in Manchuria, rogue elements within the Kantogun
Kantogun
The , also known in China as the Guandong Army , was an army group of the Imperial Japanese Army in the first half of the twentieth century. It became the largest and most prestigious command in the IJA...

 (Japan's Army in Manchuria) forcibly halted the Expedition at Ji'nan and assassinated Zhang on the grounds that he was an unreliable ally, hoping to capitalise on the confusion caused by his death. They miscalculated however, and his son quickly pledged his allegiance to 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....

, turning his forces over to Kuomintang control and supported Chiang in his war of unification against other warlords such as 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...

, 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...

 and 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...

. As a reward, Zhang remained ruler of Manchuria and even extended his influence to Northern China around Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 and 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...

. Following 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....

 of 1931, when the Japanese invaded and took full and direct control over Manchuria, forcing Zhang, his army and all other Chinese to evacuate, the public placed the responsibility of the disaster on Zhang, who suffered great humiliation in China. By 1936, his father's assassination and the loss of his homeland made Zhang into an ardent opponent of the Japanese.

Zhang left China for military training in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. After his return, Zhang and his Northeastern China Army were sent to 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...

 and Hubei
Hubei
' Hupeh) is a province in Central China. The name of the province means "north of the lake", referring to its position north of Lake Dongting...

 to suppress the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 of the Chinese Communist Party. The CPC was forced on the Long March
Long March
The Long March was a massive military retreat undertaken by the Red Army of the Communist Party of China, the forerunner of the People's Liberation Army, to evade the pursuit of the Kuomintang army. There was not one Long March, but a series of marches, as various Communist armies in the south...

 after suffering heavy losses and then set up another base in Yan'an
Yan'an
Yan'an , is a prefecture-level city in the Shanbei region of Shaanxi province in China, administering several counties, including Zhidan County , which served as the Chinese communist capital before the city of Yan'an proper took that role....

, Shaanxi
Shaanxi
' is a province in the central part of Mainland China, and it includes portions of the Loess Plateau on the middle reaches of the Yellow River in addition to the Qinling Mountains across the southern part of this province...

. Zhang and his troops were transferred to Shaanxi again for suppression in 1936, where he worked with General Yang Hucheng
Yang Hucheng
Yang Hucheng was a Chinese warlord during the Warlord Era of Republican China and Kuomintang general during the Chinese Civil War....

, who used to be a general of Northwestern China Army and a favorite of Feng Yuxiang but later defected to Chiang’s camp.

Zhang and Yang suffered great losses in their attempted suppression of the CPC, and Chiang did not give them any support in manpower and weaponry. It was quite natural for them to think Chiang would take advantage of CPC’s resistance to eliminate their own armies, which were not of Chiang’s own Whampoa
Whampoa Military Academy
The Nationalist Party of China Army Officer Academy , commonly known as the Whampoa Military Academy , was a military academy in the Republic of China that produced many prestigious commanders who fought in many of China's conflicts in the 20th century, notably the Northern Expedition, the Second...

 Clique. Zhang and Yang began to contact the CPC secretly, and overtly agreed with while covertly opposing Chiang’s policies. Zhang and Yang reached an agreement with CPC for temporary peace. CPC even sent many members to work for Yang.

At the same time, the tension between China and Japan rose day by day. Japan was hoping to conquer China in its entirety by invading vast areas of Northern China. Japanese troops fought against Kuomintang troops along the Great Wall in 1933. Then in 1935, under the accord signed between 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...

, the commander of Kuomintang armies in Northern China, and Yoshijiro Umezu, the commander of Japanese troops in Northern China, elite Kuomintang troops related to the group Blue Shirts Society
Blue Shirts Society
The Blue Shirts Society also known as the Society of Practice of the Three Principles of the People , the Spirit Encouragement Society and the China Reconstruction Society , was a secret clique in the...

, core of Chiang’s Whampoa Clique, had to evacuate from Beijing and Northern China, which put the whole of Northern China under direct threat of Japanese invasion. But Chiang preferred to unite China by eliminating the warlords and CPC forces first. Chiang believed that he was still too weak to launch an offensive to chase out Japan and that China needed time for a military build-up. Only after unification would it be possible for the Kuomintang to mobilize a war against Japan. So he would rather ignore the discontent and anger among Chinese people at his policy of compromise with the Japanese, and urged Zhang and Yang to carry out suppression efficiently.

Meanwhile, Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 and his Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 in the 1920s and early of 1930s stood by Japan’s invasion of China at first, for they had also invaded Manchuria and waged a war against Zhang and his father. The Soviets were hoping to make their own territorial gains at the expense of China, dividing it with the Japanese as they would do later with Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 over Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 in Europe. Soon the Soviets became wary of the Japanese ambition and success, fearing it might hurt Soviet interests in the Far East
Far East
The Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century,...

. Then, Stalin began to favor a stronger Chinese resistance to Japan.

Under the authorization of Stalin and Comintern
Comintern
The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

, the delegation of CPC to Comintern led by Wang Ming
Wang Ming
Wang Ming was a senior leader of the early Chinese Communist Party and the mastermind of the famous 28 Bolsheviks group. Wang was also a major political rival of Mao Zedong during the 1930s, opposing Mao's nationalist deviation from the Comintern and orthodox Marxism and Leninism lines...

 issued a manifesto urging Chinese to set up a new united front against the Japanese, which was later called the Ba Yi Xuan Yan
Ba Yi Xuan Yan
-August 1 Declaration:Ba Yi Xuan Yan - Chinese Name for the "August 1 Declaration" of the Chinese Communist Party...

. In this manifesto, Wang acknowledged that the archenemy of CPC at the present stage was Japan instead of Chiang. But this received a cold shoulder from Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 and his associates, who ruled CPC and greatly disagreed with Chiang's policies.

These were the complicated situations of, and relationships between, the domestic and foreign parties which preceded the incident.

Events


On 22 October 1936, Chiang flew to Xian from Nanjing
Nanjing
' is the capital of Jiangsu province in China and has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China on several occasions...

 and announced his new plan of suppression of the communist forces, raising opposition from both 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...

 and Yang Hucheng
Yang Hucheng
Yang Hucheng was a Chinese warlord during the Warlord Era of Republican China and Kuomintang general during the Chinese Civil War....

. On 4 December 1936, Chiang came to Xian again, accompanied by many senior Kuomintang leaders including Chen Cheng
Chen Cheng
Chen Cheng , was a Chinese political and military leader, and one of the main National Revolutionary Army commanders during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War. After moving to Taiwan at the end of the Civil War, he served as the Governor of Taiwan Province, Vice President and...

 to monitor the suppression campaign. In the interim between these two visits the Japanese backed Inner Mongolian Army
Inner Mongolian Army
The Inner Mongolian Army was first formed by Prince Demchugdongrub with his personal bodyguard of 900 men in 1929.Although only armed with rifles and a couple of field guns from the Mukden arsenal, a gift of the Young Marshal in 1929. His force became very efficient with the assistance of...

 had tried to invade Suiyuan. This invasion was defeated by the Chinese in the Suiyuan Campaign
Suiyuan Campaign (1936)
The Suiyuan Campaign was an engagement between the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China and the Japanese-trained Inner Mongolian/Grand Han Righteous Armies before the outbreak of official hostilities during the Second Sino-Japanese War....

, the success giving many Chinese the belief that it was possible and necessary to resist the Japanese.

After unsuccessfully attempting to persuade Chiang to voluntarily join forces with the CCP to meet the impending threat of Japan, Zhang and Yang finally decided to take matters into their own hands. In the early hours of 12 December 1936, Chiang and his entourage were arrested by Zhang's bodyguards. During the arrest, Shao Yuanchong ( in Chinese), the incumbent minister of the propaganda department of the Kuomintang, died after he was hit in his testicles while attempting to climb over a fence. Colonel Jiang Xiaoxian ( in Chinese), Chiang’s nephew and bodyguard, was also killed during the chaos for past grievances.

Misperceived as a coup by Zhang, news of the incident shocked the world. But Zhang and Yang had a different plan. While the country was reeling in confusion, they contacted the CPC and requested a delegation be sent to Xian to discuss Chiang’s fate and that of the whole of China.

There was great disagreement within both the CPC and Kuomintang on how to handle the incident. Senior leaders of the Kuomintang decided to set up an acting commission for resolution. Chiang’s wife Soong May-ling
Soong May-ling
Soong May-ling or Soong Mei-ling, also known as Madame Chiang Kai-shek or Madame Chiang was a First Lady of the Republic of China , the wife of Generalissimo and President Chiang Kai-shek. She was a politician and painter...

 (Madame Chiang Kai-shek) was excluded from this commission although she desperately asked for a peace negotiation. General Tung Cheuk Heem was appointed to take charge of the military. His role was quite controversial. He was voted as acting commander to lead the Kuomintang armies for the rescue of Chiang. Historians used to say that 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...

 strongly supported solving this incident by force, for which He contacted 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...

 asking him back to China to take charge of Kuomintang. Two armies were marched to Xian to fight Zhang’s army. It has been said that when Madam Chiang came to him to ask for a peaceful solution, He refused her on the grounds of her being a woman with little knowledge of politics who should stay out of state issues. New evidence suggests that it was actually the Whampoa clique, especially the young and extremist officers of the Blue Shirts Society
Blue Shirts Society
The Blue Shirts Society also known as the Society of Practice of the Three Principles of the People , the Spirit Encouragement Society and the China Reconstruction Society , was a secret clique in the...

, that intended to launch military attacks against Zhang, even though He Yingqin rejected their request for military support. The radical young officers of the Blue Shirts Society and Whampoa clique could not wait for the decisions made by their senior leaders and launched expeditions against Zhang's forces. Although he did not support the young officers in public, his connivance did promote conditions calling for Chiang's death. However, warlords such as 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...

 and 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...

 who used to oppose Chiang, did not want Chiang to die. They knew that if they advocated the execution of Chiang, Japan would benefit the most from a China without a national leader. These warlord generals sent their telegrams of reprimand to Zhang Xueliang and Yang and voiced their support of Chiang. Furthermore, most of the western powers, such as the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, preferred a peaceful resolution to the incident, for they regarded Chiang as the ideal person to govern China.

In the CPC, there were two opinions as well. Most of the leaders such as Mao and Zhu De
Zhu De
Zhu De was a Chinese militarist, politician, revolutionary, and one of the pioneers of the Chinese Communist Party. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, in 1955 Zhu became one of the Ten Marshals of the People's Liberation Army, of which he is regarded as the founder.-Early...

 proposed the execution of Chiang for his suppressions, which had damaged the CPC immensely. Some of them, such as Zhou Enlai
Zhou Enlai
Zhou Enlai was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China, serving from October 1949 until his death in January 1976...

 and Zhang Wentian
Zhang Wentian
Zhang Wentian . He is also known as Luo Fu . His names in Wade-Giles are Chang Wen-t'ien and Lo Fu.Born in Jiangsu, he attended engineering school in Nanjing and also spent a year at the University of California. He later joined the Communist Party and was sent to study at Sun Yat-sen University...

, did realize it could bring more damage to the anti-Japan movement if Chiang was executed. At last they only made a resolution to send a delegation consisting of senior leaders such as Zhou, Ye Jianying
Ye Jianying
Ye Jianying was a Chinese communist general and the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress from 1978 to 1983.-Biography:...

 and Qin Bangxian
Qin Bangxian
Qin Bangxian or better known as Bo Gu was a senior leader of the Chinese Communist Party in its early stages, and well-known as a member of the group of 28 Bolsheviks.-Biography:...

 to Xian at the request of Zhang and Yang.

As the fury over Chiang and pressure for his execution intensified among the CPC members and armies of Zhang and Yang, the situation worsened for Chiang. Madam Chiang did not believe that the Kuomintang would be effective in freeing her husband. Thus, on 14 December 1936, Madam Chiang sent her Australian adviser, who also used to be Zhang’s adviser, to Xian for negotiation. The winds began to change his way after Stalin gave his guidance on this incident. Stalin believed that Chiang's execution would not be beneficial to either Chinese resistance to Japan or Soviet interests in the Far East. Desperately in need of Soviet aid, Mao relented to Stalin’s opinion and showed his enthusiasm for peace talks. On 17 December 1936, the CPC delegation was sent to Xian and met with Zhang and Yang to find a peaceful resolution. On 22 December 1936, Madam Chiang and her elder brother T.V. Soong flew to Xian to meet the CPC delegation, Zhang, and Yang. On 24 December 1936, the parties reached an agreement to establish a united front
Second United Front (China)
The Second United Front was the alliance between the Kuomintang and Communist Party of China during the Second Sino-Japanese War or World War II, which suspended the Chinese Civil War from 1937 to 1946....

 against Japan and to release prisoners accused of inciting anti-Japanese riots. The next day, Chiang and his entourage were released. Zhang escorted him back to Nanjing, although Zhou expressed his concern.

Repercussions


Although Chiang described his perseverance during the ordeal in Half Month In Xian, parts of his journal were clearly fabricated. In his diary, Chiang described it as the greatest humiliation of his life—thus it was no surprise that he would later seek to take revenge on Zhang. As Chiang was the legitimate premier
Premier of the Republic of China
The President of the Executive Yuan , commonly known as the Premier of the Republic of China , is the head of the Executive Yuan, the executive branch of the Republic of China , which currently administers Taiwan, Matsu, and Kinmen. The premier is appointed by the President of the Republic of China...

 of China at that time, Zhang’s actions could be characterized as treasonous. Although some argued for a public trial, Chiang insisted on trying Zhang in a military court. Zhang was sentenced to ten years in prison, with Chiang quickly granting amnesty but nevertheless keeping Zhang in custody.

Zhang was incarcerated for most of the rest of his life, and his armies disbanded in the meantime; he did not publicly reveal any more details about the incident and died in 2001. Zhou Enlai
Zhou Enlai
Zhou Enlai was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China, serving from October 1949 until his death in January 1976...

 publicly expressed his regrets about the incident, while Zhang privately told others that he felt that the CPC had betrayed him, insofar as his actions had saved the CPC from annihilation but they had put Zhang in custody anyway. Furthermore, Zhang’s real status and beliefs are still in question. Zhang’s enthusiasm for communism was no secret; he applied for membership in the CPC. According to the biography of Zhou, however, Zhou told others that Zhang’s application was opposed by Stalin, as he thought Zhang's status as a warlord made him a poor candidate for CPC membership. New theories argue that Zhang was indeed a CPC member, but that his status was kept secret so that only a few people, such as Zhou and Ye Jianying
Ye Jianying
Ye Jianying was a Chinese communist general and the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress from 1978 to 1983.-Biography:...

, knew about it. With eyewitnesses passing away, Zhang's true status may remain unknown. If Zhang’s CPC membership were ever to be verified, the history of the Xi'an Incident would probably be rewritten as a CPC conspiracy (as opposed to a spontaneous act motivated by patriotism).

Yang Hucheng
Yang Hucheng
Yang Hucheng was a Chinese warlord during the Warlord Era of Republican China and Kuomintang general during the Chinese Civil War....

 probably lost the most in the incident, as he was removed from his position and sent abroad for "review"; later, he was held in a concentration camp for 13 years. When the Kuomintang retreated to Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, Chiang ordered the execution of Yang, his wife and his son as a small child.

It is generally accepted that the CPC benefited the most from the incident. Chiang held up his end of the peace agreement and suspended anti-Communist operations until the outbreak of the New Fourth Army Incident
New Fourth Army Incident
The New Fourth Army Incident , also known as the Wannan Incident , occurred in China in January 1941 during the Second Sino-Japanese War, during which the Chinese Civil War was in theory suspended, uniting the Communists and Nationalists against the Japanese...

 with Mao exploiting the interlude, enlarging his base and strengthening his grip on power. By conforming to Soviet policy, Mao also appeased Stalin and avoided his further interference. Finally, the CPC won considerable support from the Chinese people for being open advocates of the anti-Japanese United Front. All of this laid a foundation for the CPC’s victory over the Kuomintang after the end of the anti-Japanese war.

See also


  • 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....

  • 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...

  • History of the Republic of China
    History of the Republic of China
    The History of the Republic of China begins after the Qing Dynasty in 1912, when the formation of the Republic of China put an end to over two thousand years of Imperial rule. The Qing Dynasty, also known as the Manchu Dynasty, ruled from 1644 to 1912...

  • Warlord era
    Warlord era
    The Chinese Warlord Era was the period in the history of the Republic of China, from 1916 to 1928, when the country was divided among military cliques, a division that continued until the fall of the Nationalist government in the mainland China regions of Sichuan, Shanxi, Qinghai, Ningxia,...

  • 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...

  • Madame Chiang Kai-shek
  • 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...

  • Military of the Republic of China
    Military of the Republic of China
    The Republic of China Armed Forces encompass the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Military Police Force of the Republic of China . It is a military establishment, which accounted for 16.8% of the central budget in the fiscal year of 2003...

  • Politics of the Republic of China
    Politics of the Republic of China
    The politics of the Republic of China ,takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President is head of state and the premier is head of government, and of a dominant party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative...

  • Sino-German cooperation
  • Chinese nationalism
    Chinese nationalism
    Chinese nationalism , sometimes synonymous with Chinese patriotism refers to cultural, historiographical, and political theories, movements and beliefs that assert the idea of a cohesive, unified Chinese people and culture in a unified country known as China...

  • History of China
    History of China
    Chinese civilization originated in various regional centers along both the Yellow River and the Yangtze River valleys in the Neolithic era, but the Yellow River is said to be the Cradle of Chinese Civilization. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest...

  • 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...

  • Lü Zhengcao
    Lü Zhengcao
    Lü Zhengcao was a Chinese military officer. He was one of the original Shang Jiang of the People's Liberation Army....

    (the surviving last witness of the Xi'an Incident)

External links


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