Chiang Kai-shek

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Chiang Kai-shek was a Chinese politician who served as the Republic of China’s leader for nearly five decades. He was a powerful member of the Kuomintang (KMT), the Chinese Nationalist Party, and was also known as Chiang Chung-cheng and Chiang Chieh-shih. He was born in China during the Qing dynasty’s reign, and as a teenager, he enrolled in a military training college in Japan. He spent some time in the Japanese army, during which time he began to acquire revolutionary ideals. He got actively involved in the movement that destroyed the Qing Dynasty and founded a Chinese republic after his return to China. He eventually joined Sun Yat-Chinese sen’s Nationalist Party (also known as the Kuomintang or KMT) and became a close ally. He rose through the ranks of the Kuomintang to become the Commandant of the Whampoa Military Academy. Following Sun’s death in 1925, Chiang became the party’s head and oversaw the Chinese Communist Party’s defeat. In the late 1930s, he rose to become a very powerful political leader and gained a lot of international attention. Following the fall of the KMT by the Communists in the 1946 civil war, Chiang fled to Taiwan, where he created an exile government.

Childhood and Adolescence

Chiang was born in Fenghua, Zhejiang, during the Qing era, on October 31, 1887. His father Jiang Zhaocong and mother Wang Caiyu were from a well-to-do salt trader family. Chiang’s father passed away while he was only eight years old.

He grew raised in China at a period of political turbulence marked by civil conflicts between warlords.
Chiang made the decision to join the military. In 1906, he enrolled at the Baoding Military Academy in North China, then in 1907, he transferred to the Tokyo Shinbu Gakko, an Imperial Japanese Army Academy Preparatory School for Chinese students.

In Japan, he met several countrymen who impacted him with their revolutionary ideas and motivated him to embrace the revolution in their homeland to topple the Qing Dynasty and establish a Chinese republic.
From 1909 to 1911, Chiang was a member of the Imperial Japanese Army.

Later the Years

In 1911, Chiang returned to China and took part in the protests that culminated to the Qing Dynasty’s collapse and the establishment of a Chinese republic. In 1913–16, he joined the other revolutionaries in the fight against Yuan Shikai, China’s new president.

He joined Sun Yat-Chinese sen’s Nationalist Party (known as the Kuomintang or KMT) and became a close ally of Sun, with whom he was appointed commandant of Canton’s Whampoa Military Academy in 1924. He began working on the formation of the Nationalist army there.

After Sun’s death in 1925, Chiang became the KMT’s leader. He conducted the Northern Expedition, which reunified most of China under a National Government during the next three years and was instrumental in the destruction of the Chinese Communist Party in 1928.

Despite the ongoing Chinese Civil War, the decade from 1927 to 1937 was one of relative tranquility. Despite the fact that the decade was defined by combat between militarists, Nationalists, Communists, and Japanese invaders, the Nationalist administration grew stronger. Chiang established a modern army and a formidable military machine with the support of German advisers.

The Second Sino-Japanese War began in July 1937, and by August, Chiang had dispatched 600,000 well-trained soldiers to protect Shanghai. China, on the other hand, lost over 200,000 soldiers.

Heavy fighting raged for years until the United States entered the war against Japan in 1941 and allied with China. In 1945, the Japanese surrendered to the United States. Chiang’s government, on the other hand, was displaying signs of internal deterioration at the time, and it was ill-equipped to reassert its power in the formerly Japanese-occupied China. Due to the KMT’s inability, the Communists took control of a large portion of the countryside.

The KMT and the Communists fought a civil war in 1946. The Communists were triumphant after a three-year war and formed the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

Chiang, along with the KMT’s remaining members, fled mainland China for Taiwan. On March 1, 1950, he formally started duties as President of the Republic of China, moving the government to Taipei. He was re-elected president four times more (1954, 1960, 1966, and 1972). Many countries acknowledged this government as China’s legitimate government.

Achievements & Awards

The Order of National Glory was bestowed to Chiang Kai-shek, the highest military decoration bestowed by the Republic of China Armed Forces, the Republic of China’s army.
For “great achievements to national security amid enemy invasion,” he was given the Order of Blue Sky and White Sun with Grand Cordon.

Personal History and Legacy

Chiang Kai-shek had four marriages. His first wife, Mao Fumei, perished in a bombing during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Chiang Ching-kuo was born from this union. Yao Yecheng and Chen Jieru were his second and third spouses, respectively. Soong May-ling, his fourth and most famous wife, was a significant figure in Republic of China politics.

During the later years of his life, he suffered from a variety of diseases. In the months leading up to his death, a heart attack and kidney failure devastated his already frail physique. At the age of 87, he died of his illnesses on April 5, 1975. Vice President Yen Chia-kan succeeded Chiang as President, and his son Chiang Ching-kuo succeeded him as Kuomintang party leader.

Chiang Kai Shek Net Worth

Chiang is one of the wealthiest politicians and one of the most well-known. Chiang Kai Shek’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.