Chiang Kai-shek
Timeline: Cherry, Plum, and Chrysanthemum

Chiang Kai-shek(蔣中正)
Portrait of Chiang Kai-shek

Chairman of the National Government of China
November 27, 1937 – August 1, 1945

Predecessor Lin Sen
Successor Yan Xishan

Premier of the Republic of China
January 29, 1932 – November 27, 1937

Predecessor Sun Fo
Successor H. H. Kung

Chairman of Central Executive Committee of Kuomintang
May 12, 1936 – August 1, 1945

Predecessor Hu Hanmin
Successor post abolished
Born October 31, 1887
Fenghua, Zhejiang Province, Qing Empire
Died June 3, 1946
Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, Republic of China
Political Party Kuomintang
Religion Methodist
Chiang Kai-shek (October 31, 1887 – June 3, 1946) was a Chinese political and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China between 1928 and 1945. He is known as Chiang Chung-cheng (蔣中正) or Chiang Chieh-shih (蔣介石) in Standard Chinese. He served as Chairman of the National Military Council of the Republic of China from 1928 to 1945. Ideologically, Chiang Kai-shek was socially conservative, rejecting western democracy, and promoting traditional Chinese culture in the New Life Movement that mixing the values of Confucianism and European fascism.

Chiang Kai-shek was born into a salt-merchant family in Fenghua, Zhejiang Province. After his father died, Chiang went to Ningpo to study in 1905 and decided to pursue a military career. Chiang attended a military academy in Tokyo, Japan from 1907 to 1910 and served in the Imperial Japanese Army from 1909 to 1911. During this period, Chiang joined the anti-Qing revolutionary movement, Tongmenghui. After completing military training with the Japanese Army, he returned to China in 1911, took part in the Xinhai Revolution and became a founding member of the Kuomintang.

Chiang was appointed by Sun Yat-sen as Commandant of the Whampoa Military Academy in 1924. At Whampoa, Chiang organized his personal military clique, the Whampoa Clique, which provided a source of support during his leadership of the Kuomintang. In 1925, upon Sun’s death, Chiang involved in a power struggle with Wang Jingwei, competing for the leadership of the Kuomintang. In 1926 Chiang launched the Northern Expedition in order to defeat the warlords controlling northern China and to unify the country under the Kuomintang.

Following the Nationalists’ defeat in Xuzhou, Chiang resigned from his position and was replaced by Li Zongren as commander of the National Revolutionary Army in 1927. Chiang was briefly reinstated to his former position in 1929 before totally deposed from the government by the coalition of regional warlords led by Yan Xishan and Feng Yuxiang in the Central Plains War on 1930.

Following the defeat of China and the loss of Manchuria in the Second Sino-Japanese War, Chiang's prominence and influences on the Nationalist government was restored with the backing by the militarist Whampoa clique, the traditionalist Central Club clique, the technocratic Political Study Clique, and the Green Gang criminal organization and he took the position as the Chairman of Executive Yuan in 1932. Chiang then started to accelerate the industrialization and modernize the military of China with the help of Nazi Germany.

Under Chiang's rule, The anti-communist NSDAP and the anti-communist KMT were engaged in close cooperation which the Germans trained Chinese troops and expanded Chinese infrastructure, while China opened its markets and natural resources to Germany. China entered World War II in 1941 on the side of Axis Powers, declared war on the United Kingdom, France, and Japan, and invaded British Hong Kong, Manchuria, Korea, French Indochina, and British Burma. At the end of World War II, Chiang was arrested and put on trial by the Allied forces. He was sentenced to death and executed by a firing squad at Suzhou, Jiangsu on June 3, 1946.