Yan Xishan (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: Tenacious warlord and able politician, Yan held onto his native province of Shaanxi after 1912 despite waxing and waning fortunes in various civil wars until losing to the Chinese communists in 1949.
Yan Xishan joined Sun Yat-sen’s revolutionary party while studying in a military academy in Japan in 1905. He was serving in the New Shaanxi Army when the 1911 Chinese Revolution occurred. Yan’s unit seized the provincial capital Taiyuan and declared independence from the Qing Dynasty.
Yan participated in various civil wars during the early republic and joined the winning Nationalist forces led by Chiang Kai-shek during the Northern Expedition (1926-1928), thereby increasing his domain in northern China, including the Beijing- Tianjin region. He joined a coalition of anti-Chiang forces in an unsuccessful revolt in 1930, lost the territories he had gained in 1928, but retained control of Shaanxi and neighboring Suiyuan provinces, where he implemented economic reforms to combat communist influence. He was commander of Chinese forces of the Second War Zone during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). Yan was driven out of Shaanxi in 1949 by the communists in the Chinese Civil War (1926-1949) and retreated to Taiwan, where he served as premier until 1950.
Ch’en, Jerome, “Defining Chinese Warlords and Their Factions.” Bulletin of...
(The entire section is 261 words.)
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