138 Facts About Chiang Kai-shek


Chiang Kai-shek, known as Chiang Chung-cheng and Jiang Jieshi, was a Chinese Nationalist politician, revolutionary and military leader, who served as the leader of the Republic of China from 1928 to his death in 1975 – until 1949 in mainland China and from then on in Taiwan.

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Midway through the Northern Expedition, the KMT–CCP alliance broke down and Chiang Kai-shek massacred communists inside the party, triggering a civil war with the CCP, which he eventually lost in 1949.

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Chiang Kai-shek's nationalists were mostly defeated in a few decisive battles in 1948.

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One of the longest-serving non-royal heads of state in the 20th century, Chiang Kai-shek was the longest-serving non-royal ruler of China, having held the post for 46 years.

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Chiang Kai-shek argued that Chiang made genuine efforts to improve the economic and social conditions of mainland China and Taiwan such as improving women's rights and land reform.

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Chiang Kai-shek was credited with transforming China from a semi-colony of various imperialist powers to an independent country by amending the unequal treaties signed by previous governments, as well as moving various Chinese national treasures and traditional Chinese artworks to the National Palace Museum in Taipei during the 1949 retreat.

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In 1903, the 16-year-old Chiang Kai-shek went to Ningpo to be a student, and he chose a "school name" .

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Sometime in 1917 or 1918, as Chiang Kai-shek became close to Sun Yat-sen, he changed his name from Jiang Zhiqing to Jiang Zhongzheng .

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Chiang Kai-shek's name is written in Taiwan as "The Late President Honorable Chiang", where the one-character-wide space in front of his name known as Nuo tai shows respect.

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Chiang Kai-shek was born on 31 October 1887, in Xikou, a town in Fenghua, Zhejiang, China, about 30 kilometers west of central Ningbo.

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Chiang Kai-shek was the third child and second son of his father Chiang Chao-Tsung and the first child of his father's third wife Wang Tsai-yu who were members of a prosperous family of salt merchants.

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Chiang Kai-shek's father died when he was eight, and he wrote of his mother as the "embodiment of Confucian virtues".

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The young Chiang Kai-shek was inspired throughout his youth by the realisation that the reputation of an honored family rested upon his shoulders.

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In early 1906, Chiang Kai-shek cut off his queue, the required hairstyle of men during the Qing dynasty, and had it sent home from school, shocking the people in his hometown.

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Chiang Kai-shek grew up at a time in which military defeats, natural disasters, famines, revolts, unequal treaties and civil wars had left the Manchu-dominated Qing dynasty destabilized and in debt.

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Chiang Kai-shek used the story as an example of how the common man in 1969 Taiwan had not developed the spirit of public sanitation that Japan had.

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Chiang Kai-shek began his military training at the Baoding Military Academy in 1906, the same year Japan left its bimetallic currency standard, devaluing its yen.

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Chiang Kai-shek left for Tokyo Shinbu Gakko, a preparatory school for the Imperial Japanese Army Academy intended for Chinese students, in 1907.

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Chiang Kai-shek befriended Chen Qimei, and in 1908 Chen brought Chiang into the Tongmenghui, an important revolutionary brotherhood of the era.

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Chiang Kai-shek served in the revolutionary forces, leading a regiment in Shanghai under his friend and mentor Chen Qimei, as one of Chen's chief lieutenants.

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Chiang Kai-shek became a founding member of the Nationalist Party after the success of the 1911 Revolution.

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In Shanghai, Chiang Kai-shek cultivated ties with the city's underworld gangs, which were dominated by the notorious Green Gang and its leader Du Yuesheng.

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Chiang Kai-shek then succeeded Chen as leader of the Chinese Revolutionary Party in Shanghai.

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Chiang Kai-shek was restored to Guangdong with mercenary help in 1920.

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That same year Sun sent Chiang Kai-shek to spend three months in Moscow studying the Soviet political and military system.

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Chiang Kai-shek later sent his eldest son, Ching-kuo, to study in Russia.

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Chiang Kai-shek returned to Guangdong and in 1924 Sun appointed him Commandant of the Whampoa Military Academy.

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Chiang Kai-shek resigned from the office after one month in disagreement with Sun's extremely close cooperation with the Comintern, but returned at Sun's demand.

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The early years at Whampoa allowed Chiang Kai-shek to cultivate a cadre of young officers loyal both to the KMT and to himself.

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Chiang Kai-shek initially considered fleeing Kwangtung and even booked passage on a Japanese steamer, but then decided to use his military connections to declare martial law on 20 March 1926, and crack down on Communist and Soviet influence over the NRA, the military academy, and the party.

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The right wing of the party supported him and Stalin—anxious to maintain Soviet influence in the area—had his lieutenants agree to Chiang Kai-shek's demands regarding a reduced Communist presence in the KMT leadership in exchange for certain other concessions.

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NRA branched into three divisions: to the west was the returned Wang Jingwei, who led a column to take Wuhan; Bai Chongxi's column went east to take Shanghai; Chiang Kai-shek himself led in the middle route, planning to take Nanjing before pressing ahead to capture Beijing.

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Chiang Kai-shek asked Chen Guofu to purchase a photograph that had been taken in Japan around 1895 or 1898.

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When told that it was not for sale, Chiang Kai-shek offered a million dollars to recover the photo and its negative.

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On 12 April 1927, Chiang Kai-shek carried out a purge of thousands of suspected Communists and dissidents in Shanghai, and began large-scale massacres across the country collectively known as the "White Terror".

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Chiang Kai-shek allowed Soviet agent and advisor Mikhail Borodin and Soviet general Vasily Blucher to "escape" to safety after the purge.

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Chiang Kai-shek made great efforts to gain recognition as the official successor of Sun Yat-sen.

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Originally rebuffed in the early 1920s, Chiang Kai-shek managed to ingratiate himself to some degree with Soong Mei-ling's mother by first divorcing his wife and concubines and promising to sincerely study the precepts of Christianity.

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On 10 October 1928, Chiang Kai-shek was named director of the State Council, the equivalent to President of the country, in addition to his other titles.

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The government of the Republic of China under Chiang Kai-shek's leadership enacted a women's quota in the parliament with reserved seats for women.

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Chiang Kai-shek often resolved issues of warlord obstinacy through military action, but such action was costly in terms of men and material.

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Chiang Kai-shek had Hu put under house arrest, but he was released after national condemnation, after which he left Nanjing and supported a rival government in Canton.

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Chiang Kai-shek only won the campaign against Hu after a shift in allegiance by Zhang Xueliang, who had previously supported Hu Hanmin.

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The New Life Movement which was initiated by Chiang Kai-shek was based upon Confucianism, mixed with Christianity, nationalism and authoritarianism that have some similarities to fascism.

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However, Chiang Kai-shek repeatedly attacked his enemies such as the Empire of Japan as fascistic and ultra-militaristic.

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Chiang Kai-shek confiscated the wealth of capitalists even while he denounced and fought against communists.

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Chiang Kai-shek crushed pro-communist worker and peasant organizations and rich Shanghai capitalists at the same time.

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Chiang Kai-shek continued the anti-capitalist ideology of Sun Yat-sen, directing Kuomintang media to openly attack capitalists and capitalism, while demanding government controlled industry instead.

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Also, contrary to communist propaganda that Chiang Kai-shek was highly corrupt, he and his family were not involved in corruption.

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However, Chiang Kai-shek was rather benevolent to people in his inner circles or high-ranking nationalist officials who were corrupt.

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Chiang Kai-shek has often been interpreted as being pro-capitalism, but this conclusion is problematic.

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Chiang Kai-shek blocked Chinese capitalists from gaining any political power or voice within his regime.

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Once Chiang Kai-shek was done with his White Terror on pro-communist laborers, he proceeded to turn on the capitalists.

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Chiang Kai-shek viewed all of the foreign great powers with suspicion, writing in a letter that they "all have it in their minds to promote the interests of their own respective countries at the cost of other nations" and seeing it as hypocritical for any of them to condemn each other's foreign policy.

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Chiang Kai-shek used diplomatic persuasion on the United States, Germany, and the Soviet Union to regain lost Chinese territories as he viewed all foreign powers as imperialists who were attempting to curtail and suppress China's power.

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In Nanjing, in April 1931, Chiang Kai-shek attended a national leadership conference with Zhang Xueliang and General Ma Fuxiang, in which Chiang and Zhang dauntlessly upheld that Manchuria was part of China in the face of the Japanese invasion.

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Chiang Kai-shek returned shortly afterwards, adopting the slogan "first internal pacification, then external resistance".

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In 1932, while Chiang Kai-shek was seeking first to defeat the Communists, Japan launched an advance on Shanghai and bombarded Nanjing.

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In December 1936, Chiang Kai-shek flew to Xi'an to coordinate a major assault on the Red Army and the Communist Republic that had retreated into Yan'an.

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However, Chiang Kai-shek's allied commander Zhang Xueliang, whose forces were used in his attack and whose homeland of Manchuria had been recently invaded by the Japanese, did not support the attack on the Communists.

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Chiang Kai-shek moved the government inland, first to Wuhan and later to Chongqing.

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Chiang Kai-shek died in 1944, within a year of the end of World War II.

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In 1942 Chiang Kai-shek went on tour in northwestern China in Xinjiang, Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi, and Qinghai, where he met both Muslim Generals Ma Buqing and Ma Bufang.

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Chiang Kai-shek met the Muslim Generals Ma Hongbin and Ma Hongkui separately.

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Chiang Kai-shek ordered Ma Bufang to put his Muslim soldiers on alert for an invasion of Tibet in 1942.

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Chiang Kai-shek threatened the Tibetans with aerial bombardment if they worked with the Japanese.

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Chiang Kai-shek was even named the Supreme Commander of Allied forces in the China war zone.

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Chiang Kai-shek was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in 1942.

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However, Chiang Kai-shek's subordinates refused to take airbase construction seriously until enough capital had been delivered to permit embezzlement on a massive scale.

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Chiang Kai-shek played the Soviets and Americans against each other during the war.

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Chiang Kai-shek first told the Americans that they would be welcome in talks between the Soviet Union and China, then secretly told the Soviets that the Americans were unimportant and that their opinions would not be considered.

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Chiang Kai-shek used American support and military power in China against the ambitions of the Soviet Union to dominate the talks, stopping the Soviets from taking full advantage of the situation in China with the threat of American military action against the Soviets.

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Chiang Kai-shek threatened the French with war in response to maneuvering by the French and Ho Chi Minh's forces against each other, forcing them to come to a peace agreement.

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Many top nationalist generals, including Chiang Kai-shek, had studied and trained in Japan before the Nationalists had returned to the mainland in the 1920s, and maintained close personal friendships with top Japanese officers.

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Reportedly, Chiang Kai-shek seriously considered accepting this offer, but declined only in the knowledge that the United States would certainly be outraged by the gesture.

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That the Japanese in China came to regard Chiang Kai-shek as a magnanimous figure, to whom many Japanese owed their lives and livelihoods was a fact attested by both Nationalist and Communist sources.

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New Constitution was promulgated in 1947, and Chiang Kai-shek was elected by the National Assembly as the first term President of the Republic of China on 20 May 1948.

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Former warlord Yan Xishan, who had fled to Nanjing only one month before, quickly insinuated himself within the Li-Chiang Kai-shek rivalry, attempting to have Li and Chiang Kai-shek reconcile their differences in the effort to resist the Communists.

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Chiang Kai-shek did not re-assume the presidency until 1 March 1950.

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In January 1952, Chiang Kai-shek commanded the Control Yuan, now in Taiwan, to impeach Li in the "Case of Li Zongren's Failure to carry out Duties due to Illegal Conduct" .

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Chiang Kai-shek relieved Li of the position as vice-president in the National Assembly in March 1954.

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Chiang Kai-shek moved the government to Taipei, Taiwan, where he resumed his duties as President of the Republic of China on 1 March 1950.

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Chiang Kai-shek continued to claim sovereignty over all of China, including the territories held by his government and the People's Republic, as well as territory the latter ceded to foreign governments, such as Tuva and Outer Mongolia.

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Chiang Kai-shek developed the ROC army to prepare for an invasion of the mainland, and to defend Taiwan in case of an attack by the Communist forces.

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Chiang Kai-shek financed armed groups in mainland China, such as Muslim soldiers of the ROC Army left in Yunnan under Li Mi, who continued to fight.

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Chiang Kai-shek promoted the Uyghur Yulbars Khan to Governor during the Islamic insurgency on the mainland for resisting the Communists, even though the government had already evacuated to Taiwan.

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The Temporary Provisions allowed Chiang Kai-shek to remain as president beyond the two-term limit in the Constitution.

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Chiang Kai-shek promoted a mixed economy of state and private ownership with economic planning.

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Chiang Kai-shek promoted a 9-years free education and the importance of science in Taiwanese education and values.

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Chiang Kai-shek personally had the power to review the rulings of all military tribunals which during the martial law period tried civilians as well.

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Chiang Kai-shek reviewed the sentences of all three and ordered them executed instead.

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Chiang Kai-shek was suspicious that covert operatives of the United States plotted a coup against him.

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In 1950, Chiang Kai-shek Ching-kuo became director of the secret police, which he remained until 1965.

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Chiang Kai-shek was suspicious of politicians who were overly friendly to the United States, and considered them his enemies.

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Chiang Kai-shek Ching-kuo, educated in the Soviet Union, initiated Soviet-style military organization in the Republic of China Military.

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Chiang Kai-shek reorganized and Sovietized the political officer corps, and propagated Kuomintang ideology throughout the military.

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Chiang Kai-shek's body was put in a copper coffin and temporarily interred at his favorite residence in Cihu, Daxi, Taoyuan.

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Chiang Kai-shek's funeral was attended by dignitaries from many nations, including US Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, South Korean Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil and two former Japanese prime ministers in Nobusuke Kishi and Eisaku Sato.

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When his son Chiang Kai-shek Ching-kuo died in 1988, he was entombed in a separate mausoleum in nearby Touliao .

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Chiang Kai-shek's portrait hung over Tiananmen Square before Mao's portrait was set up in its place.

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Chiang Kai-shek was popular among many people and dressed in plain, simple clothes, unlike contemporary Chinese warlords who dressed extravagantly.

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Today, Chiang Kai-shek College is the largest educational institution for the Chinoy community in the country.

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Chiang Kai-shek believed that these martyrs witnessed events on Earth from heaven after their deaths.

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Chiang Kai-shek rejected the Western progressive ideologies of individualism, liberalism, and the cultural aspects of Marxism.

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Chiang Kai-shek considered both Han Chinese and all ethnic minorities of China, the Five Races Under One Union, as descendants of the Yellow Emperor, the mythical founder of the Chinese nation, and belonging to the Chinese Nation Zhonghua Minzu and he introduced this into Kuomintang ideology, which was propagated into the educational system of the Republic of China.

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Chiang Kai-shek's legacy has been the target of heated debates because of the different views held about him.

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For some, Chiang Kai-shek was a national hero who led the victorious Northern Expedition against the Beiyang Warlords in 1927 and helped achieve Chinese unification.

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However, Chiang Kai-shek presided over purges, political authoritarianism, and graft during his tenure in mainland China, and ruled throughout a period of imposed martial law.

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Chiang Kai-shek's governments were accused of being corrupt even before he even took power in 1928.

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Chiang Kai-shek allied with known criminals like Du Yuesheng for political and financial gains.

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For example, Chiang Kai-shek is portrayed sympathetically in the 2009 movie sponsored by the Chinese Communist Party, The Founding of a Republic, as a genuine Chinese nationalist with relatively honest if misguided intentions, even akin to a tragic hero, but whose corrupt governance and mistakes still forced him to flee to Taiwan.

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Chiang Kai-shek was depicted in the 2015 movie Cairo Declaration as a reasonably competent Chinese leader who was able to resist the Japanese invaders, greatly increase China's international standing and help reclaim some of its sovereignty during the Second World War in negotiations with other anti-Axis world leaders.

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Chiang Kai-shek had a record of issuing unrealistic orders and persistently attempting to fight unwinnable battles, leading to the loss of his best troops.

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Chiang Kai-shek is increasingly perceived as a man simply overwhelmed by the events in China, having to fight simultaneously Communists, Japanese, and provincial warlords while having to reconstruct and unify the country.

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Chiang Kai-shek argues that the Communists, since the 1980s, have essentially created the state envisioned by Chiang in the 1930s.

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Mitter concludes by writing that "one can imagine Chiang Kai-shek's ghost wandering round China today nodding in approval, while Mao's ghost follows behind him, moaning at the destruction of his vision".

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Unlike Chiang's son, who was respected in Taiwan across the political spectrum, Chiang Kai-shek's image is perceived rather negatively in Taiwan, and Taiwanese rated him the lowest in two opinion polls about the perception of former presidents.

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Soong Mei-ling, who moved to the United States after Chiang Kai-shek's death, is arguably his most famous wife even though they had no children together.

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In 1901, in an arranged marriage at age 14, Chiang Kai-shek was married to a fellow villager named Mao Fumei who was illiterate and five years his senior.

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Chen claiming that, by the time she married Chiang Kai-shek, he had already divorced Yao, and that Chen was therefore his wife.

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Chiang Kai-shek told her that he acquired this disease after separating from his first wife and living with his concubine Yao Yecheng, as well as with many other women he consorted with.

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Chiang Kai-shek's great-grandfather was Chiang Qi-zeng ???, his grandfather was Chiang Si-qian ???, his uncle was Chiang Zhao-hai ???, and his father was Chiang Zhao-cong ???.

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Chiang Kai-shek personally dealt extensively with religions and power figures in China during his regime.

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Chiang Kai-shek was born and raised as a Buddhist, but became a Methodist upon his marriage to his fourth wife, Soong Mei-ling.

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Chiang Kai-shek became a sworn brother of the Chinese Muslim general Ma Fuxiang and appointed him to high ranking positions.

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Chiang Kai-shek addressed Ma Fuxiang's son Ma Hongkui as Shao Yun Shixiong Ma Fuxiang attended national leadership conferences with Chiang Kai-shek during battles against Japan.

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When Chiang Kai-shek became President of China after the Northern Expedition, he carved out Ningxia and Qinghai out of Gansu province, and appointed Muslim generals as military governors of all three provinces: Ma Hongkui, Ma Hongbin, and Ma Qi.

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Chiang Kai-shek called on the three and their subordinates to wage war against the Soviet peoples, Tibetans, Communists, and the Japanese.

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Chiang Kai-shek continued to appoint Muslims as governors of the three provinces, including Ma Lin and Ma Fushou.

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Chiang Kai-shek appointed a Muslim general, Bai Chongxi, as the Minister of National Defence of the Republic of China, which controlled the ROC military.

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Chiang Kai-shek supported the Muslim General Ma Zhongying, whom he had trained at Whampoa Military Academy during the Kumul Rebellion, in a Jihad against Jin Shuren, Sheng Shicai, and the Soviet Union during the Soviet Invasion of Xinjiang.

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Chiang Kai-shek designated Ma's Muslim army as the 36th Division and gave his troops Kuomintang flags and uniforms.

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Chiang Kai-shek then supported Muslim General Ma Hushan against Sheng Shicai and the Soviet Union in the Xinjiang War .

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Chiang Kai-shek sent Muslim students abroad to study at places like Al-Azhar University and Muslim schools throughout China taught loyalty to his regime.

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Chiang Kai-shek's government donated money to build the Taipei Grand Mosque on Taiwan.

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Chiang Kai-shek fought against them in the Sino-Tibetan War, and he supported the Muslim General Ma Bufang in his war against Tibetan rebels in Qinghai.

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Chiang Kai-shek ordered Ma Bufang to prepare his Islamic army to invade Tibet several times, to deter Tibetan independence, and threatened them with aerial bombardment.

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Chiang Kai-shek incorporated Methodist values into the New Life Movement under the influence of his wife.

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