- Rider(s):Chiang Kai-shek
(1887 –1975) was a Chinese Nationalist politician, revolutionary and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975, first in mainland China until 1949 and then in Taiwan until his death.
With help from the Soviets and the Communist Party of China (CPC) Chiang organized the military for Sun’s Canton Nationalist Government. Commander in chief of the National Revolutionary Army he led the Northern Expedition from 1926 to 1928, before defeating a coalition of warlords and nominally reunifying China under a new Nationalist government. Midway through the Northern Expedition, the KMT–CPC alliance broke down and Chiang purged the communists inside the party, triggering a civil war with the CPC, which he eventually lost in 1949.
As leader of the Republic of China in the Nanjing decade, Chiang sought to strike a difficult balance between modernizing China while also devoting resources to defending the nation against the CPC, warlords, and the impending Japanese threat. As the leader of a major Allied power, Chiang met with Churchill and Roosevelt to discuss the terms for Japanese surrender. No sooner had the Second World War ended than the Civil War with the communists, by then led by Mao Zedong, resumed. Chiang’s nationalists were mostly defeated in a few decisive battles in 1948.
In 1949 Chiang’s government and army retreated to Taiwan, where Chiang imposed martial law and persecuted critics during the White Terror.
photo by James X. Morris