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Chiang Kai-shek
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Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975) is a renowned modern Chinese political and military leader. Named Ruiyuan in his childhood, Zhoutai in the pedigree of his clan and Zhiqing as his formal name used in school, he is known as Chiang Chung-cheng (Jiang Zhongzheng). With his ancestral home being in Yixing, Jiangsu Province, Chiang was born in Fenghua, Zhejiang. As one of the most influential figures in China’s modern history, he held various political and governmental positions, including Commandant of Huangpu Military Academy, Commander-in-chief of the National Revolutionary Army, President of National Government, President of the Executive Yuan, Chairman of the Military Committee of the National Government, Super Admiral of the Republic of China, President of the Chinese Nationalist Party, Commander-in-chief of the China War Zone of the Allied Nations during the WWII, President of the Republic of China.   

Chiang Kai-shek went to Japan in 1908 and joined Tongmenghui (Chinese Revolutionary Alliance) there. In 1924, he was appointed by Sun Yat-sen as Commandant of the Huangpu Military Academy. In 1926, Chiang launched a series of events, such as Zhongshan Warship Incident, Finishing Party Case, and April 12 Incident, aiming to combat the Communist Party and the revolutionary forces. He later assumed the post of Chairman of the National Military Council of the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China. In 1928 Chiang served as Chairman of Nanjing-based Nationalist Government of China, continuing his fights against warlords. After the Japanese invasion of Manchuria occurred in 1931, Chiang was then chairman of the military committee, and adopted the policy of "first internal pacification, then external resistance" and waged assaults on the Red Army's revolutionary bases. After the Xi'an Incident in 1936, Chiang was forced into making a "Second United Front" with the Communists against Japan;In 1938, Chiang Kai-shek was elected President of the KMT and chief of the youth corps. During the Sino-Japanese War between 1937 and 1945, he was the Chairman of the Supreme National Defense Council and also the Supreme Commander of Allied forces in the China war zone of the WWII. During the period between 1937 and 1945, Chiang Kai-shek became the commander of War of Resistance in China and led his National Revolutionary Army to resist the invasion of Japanese forces for eight years. Although he plotted the "Southern Anhui Incident" and later executed the third anti-communist campaign in 1941, he still deserves the name of a national leader despite the mistakes he made. In 1943, he attended Cairo Conference with President of the United States Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill, to outline the Allied position against Japan during World War II and make decisions about postwar Asia. After the victory of the Second-Japanese War, he agreed to a temporary truce with CCP after peace talks with Communist leader Mao Zedong. However, in 1946 he violated the truce agreements and ordered attacks on Communist-dominated areas, and promulgated a new Constitution in 1947 which was not recognized as legitimate by the Communists. Then during 1948, he convened the first National Assembly without any authorization, where he was elected the first term President of the Republic of China. After 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek retreated to Taiwan with his son, his government and his army, he stuck to determined opposition to any suggestion of Taiwanese Independence and declined the USA’s request to hold in trust the sovereignty over Taiwan.

Chiang was an outstanding national leader. Without him, China would have been disintegrated by warlords. At that time, Taiwan and Northeastern areas of the time were both occupied by Japanese armies; besides, China was also in imminent danger of being divided into smaller countries by the then local warlords. The only figure who was able to control and command the party and the army of the National Government with millions of soldiers consisting of different fractions and organized them to resist Japan and eliminate local warlords was Chiang Kai-shek. Therefore, he played an extremely important role in safeguarding China’s territorial integrity. 

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