Chang Tso-lin

Chang Tso-lin
/jahng" tsoh"lin"/
1873-1928, Chinese general: military ruler of Manchuria 1918-28.

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▪ Chinese warlord
Pinyin  Zhang Zuolin,  byname  Old Marshal  
born 1873, Hai-ch'eng, Sheng-ching [now Liaoning] province, China

died , c. June 7, 1928, Manchuria
      Chinese soldier and later a warlord who dominated Manchuria and parts of North China between 1913 and 1928. He maintained his power with the tacit support of the Japanese; in return he granted them concessions in Manchuria.

      Born into a peasant family, Chang Tso-lin enlisted in the Chinese army and fought in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95. After the war he organized a self-defense militia in his native district, and in 1905 Chang's growing military unit was organized into a regiment by the governor of the renamed Feng-t'ien (formerly Sheng-ching) province. By 1912 Chang had risen to the command of a division, in 1916 he became the military governor of Feng-t'ien province, and in 1918 he was appointed inspector general of Manchuria's three provinces. From then on he controlled Manchuria as a virtually autonomous state within the Chinese republic.

      In 1920 Chang began to try to expand his power southward into North China proper. By 1924 his position was strong enough for him to extend his control to Peking, the capital, where he established himself, assuming the powers of a military dictator.

      Chang's ambitions were threatened by the armies of the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang), which in 1927 advanced into North China under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek in an attempt to complete the unification of the country. Disheartened by military reverses, Chang Tso-lin ordered his troops to abandon Peking to the advancing Nationalists. On June 4, 1928, his train was destroyed by a bomb planted by Japanese extremists who hoped that his death would provoke the Japanese army into occupying Manchuria. His son Chang Hsüeh-liang succeeded in command of his forces.

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Universalium. 2010.

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