Pai Ch'ung-hsi (1893-2 December 1966), general of the Kwangsi clique, which also included Li Tsung-jen and Huang Shao-hung. In 1946-48 he was minister of national defense in the National Government. At the end of 1949 he went to Taiwan, where he became vice director of the strategic advisory commission in the presidential office.
The second of three sons, Pai Ch'ung-hsi was born into a Chinese Muslim family in Shanwei village, Linkuei hsien, Kwangsi. The Pai clan, whose members had been farmers for generations, was said to have come to Kwangsi from Szechwan many years before Pai Ch'ung-hsi's birth. After receiving a traditional primary education in the Chinese classics, Pai Ch'ung-hsi was sent to a modern school in the town of Huihsien. In 1906, at the age of 14 sui, he enrolled at the Kwangsi Army Primary School, where his schoolmates included Li Tsung-jen and Huang Shao-hung (qq.v.). He later withdrew from the academy at the request of his family and entered a civilian institution, the Kwangsi School of Law and Political Science. Late in 1911, after the Wuchang revolt and the declaration of independence in Kwangsi, he left school and joined the Students Army Dare-to-Die Corps, of which Huang Shao-hung was a squad commander. This unit marched northward to Wuchang, but arrived there too late to participate in the fighting. It then was transferred to Nanking and disbanded. The discharged student-soldiers entered the Nanking Enlistment Corps, and they later were transferred to the Second Military Preparatory School at Wuchang.
After being graduated in the winter of 1914, Pai Ch'ung-hsi and some of his classmates went to Peking and received six months of "pre-cadet training." In June 1915 Pai entered the third class of the Paoting Military Academy, where his classmates included Huang Shao-hung and Hsia Wei. Soon after graduation late in 1 9 1 6, he organized a group of 36 fellow graduates and petitioned the Peking government to accept their services in the frontier region of Sinkiang. Although the Peking government accepted his petition and gave him a commission, the project had to be abandoned in 1917.
Pai Ch'ung-hsi returned to Kwangsi as a probationary officer in the 1st Kwangsi Division. In the summer of 1917 the Kwangsi Model Battalion was established by the provincial government. Its commander was Ma Hsiaochün, a graduate of the Shikan Gakko [military academy] in Japan, and its officers included Pai Ch'ung-hsi, Huang Shao-hung, and Hsia Wei. The Model Battalion soon was ordered to Hunan to participate in the so-called constitution protection movement as a guard unit serving under T'an Hao-ming, tuchun [military governor] of Kwangsi and commander in chief of the Hunan-Kwangtung-Kwangsi Constitution-Protection Army. A machine-gun company was added to the Model Battalion, and Pai Ch'ung-hsi, Huang Shao-hung, and Hsia Wei all volunteered as deputy commanders. The three men received joint command of the company.
Early in the autumn of 1918 T'an Hao-ming, having been defeated by Wu P'ei-fu (q.v.), reorganized the Model Battalion. Pai Ch'unghsi and Huang Shao-hung each received command of a company. The Kwangsi forces returned home early in 1919, and the Model Battalion then saw a year of garrison service in western Kwangsi, where it proved effective in the so-called bandit-suppression campaigns. That winter, Ma Hsiao-chim, because of his success in these campaigns, was given command of the Model Battalion, which then was ordered to Chaoch'ing in western Kwangtung to replace the local garrison force. Later in 1920 it marched eastward to garrison Canton on orders from Lu Jung-t'ing (q.v.). The Kwangsi troops were defeated in October by the Kwangtung Army of Ch'en Chiung-ming (q.v.) and were forced to retreat to Kwangsi along the northern bank of the West River. The Model Battalion, in cooperation with the forces of Li Tsung-jen, served as the rear guard.
After their return to Kwangsi, Pai Ch'ung-hsi and Huang Shao-hung followed Ma Hsiao-chim to Paise (Poseh) in February 1921. The war between Kwangtung and Kwangsi began again in June, and Kwangtung troops commanded by Ch'en Chiung-ming soon occupied Kwangsi. The Model Battalion endeavored to remain aloof from the conflict and to recruit men. Ma reorganized it as a five-battalion army, with Pai Ch'ung-hsi as commander of the 2nd Battalion. When the army was surrounded by Liu Jih-fu's Kwangsi Antonomous Army, Pai escaped with some of his men. After he had recruited new troops, Ma appointed him commander of the 2nd Regiment. Liu Jih-fu's force was defeated by the Kwangtung Army later in 1921, and Ma and his men then returned to Paise. About this time, Pai fell from a cliff during a night inspection tour and suffered a broken leg and other injuries. He gave command of his regiment to Huang Shao-hung and went to Canton for medical treatment.
Pai Ch'ung-hsi arrived in Canton in the summer of 1922. After Sun Yat-sen returned to Canton in February 1923, he asked Pai to return to Kwangsi and persuade Huang Shaohung to accept appointment as commander in chief of the Kwangsi Anti-Rebel Army. The purpose of the new force was to defeat Shen Hung-ying, under whom Huang then was serving at Wuchow. Huang seized Wuchow that autumn after Shen's expeditionary force hajd been defeated in Kwangtung. He then proceeded to organize the Kwangsi Anti-Rebel Army, with Pai Ch'ung-hsi as his chief of staff. The new force cooperated closely with Li Tsung-jen's Kwangsi Pacification Army at Yülin to defeat other forces in the province. After Lu Jung-t'ing and Shen Hung-ying began to vie for control of Kwangsi, Pai Ch'ung-hsi, Huang Shao-hung, and Li Tsung-jen decided to ally themselves with Shen. In June 1924 their forces took Xanning, and the following month the two armies were combined to form the Kwangsi Pacification Anti-Rebel Army, with Li as commander in chief, Huang as his deputy, and Pai as field commander and chief of staff. Lu Jung-t'ing's forces were defeated in September, and the Kwangsi Pacification Anti-Rebel Army was abolished on 1 December. Pai, Li, and Huang all joined the Kuomintang about this time. Li then became Kwangsi pacification commissioner and commander of the First Kwangsi Army, with Huang as deputy commissioner and commander of the Second Kwangsi Army, and Pai as chief of staff of the pacification commission and the Second Kwangsi Army. Early in 1925 these forces joined with the Kwangtung 1st Division, commanded by Li Chi-shen (q.v.), to drive Shen Hung-ying into Hunan. A short time later T'ang Chi-yao (q.v.), the military governor of Yunnan, tried to send troops through Kwangsi to Canton so that he could succeed Sun Yat-sen, who had died on 12 March. During the ensuing battles in northern Kwangsi, Pai Ch'ung-hsi participated in a general counteroffensive at Shap'u which ended in victory for his troops. T'ang's battered forces soon retreated from Kwangsi. Pai also helped in the suppression of Szechwan troops under Hsiung K'o-wu (q.v.) which had marched into Kwangtung. By this time, Pai's tactical abilities had won him the nickname Hsiao Chu-ko, signifying that he was deemed a worthy successor of the great military strategist of the Three Kingdoms period, Chu-ko Liang (181-234).
By the end of 1925 Kwangsi had come under the control of the three men who became known as the Kwangsi clique, and negotiations for closer cooperation between Kwangsi and Kwangtung had begun. In March 1926, after lengthy discussions, the Kwangsi forces were reorganized as the Seventh Army of the National Revolutionary Army, with Pai Ch'ung-hsi as chief of staff and commander of the 2nd Brigade, Li Tsung-jen as commander, and Huang Shaohung as party representative. Later that month, Pai Ch'ung-hsi and Ch'en Ming-shu (q.v.) were sent to Changsha to persuade T'ang Sheng-chih (q.v.) to ally himself with the Nationalists. Their success in winning T'ang's support enabled the National Revolutionary Army to make a decisive start on its move northward. After the Northern Expedition began, Pai served as deputy chief of staff of the National Revolutionary Army. In November 1926, after the Nationalist capture of Nanchang, he was given command of a pursuit force. He later served with Ho Ying-ch'in (q.v.) in the East River district of Kwangtung and participated in the overthrow of Chou Ying-jen, the military governor of Fukien.
Early in 1927 Pai Ch'ung-hsi was appointed field commander of the Eastern Route Army. After his forces captured Hangchow on 18 February and Shanghai on 22 March, he received the concurrent post of Woosung- Shanghai garrison commander. In April, he was given the authority to purge the Communists in Shanghai. On 12 April, he struck, disarming the volunteers of the Workers General Union, demolishing underground Communist organs, and ordering the execution of known Communists and other leftists. Thus the vigorous Communist movement in Shanghai was crushed. When Chiang Kai-shek established a national government at Nanking on 1 8 April in opposition to the government at Wuhan, Pai accepted an appointment from Chiang as acting commander of the Second Route Army. Pai participated in the capture of Hsuchow in June, moved into Shantung, and then pulled back to northern Kiangsu as military and political pressures mounted.
Chiang Kai-shek announced his retirement in the interest of party unity and went to Japan in August 1927. The headquarters of the commander in chief of the National Revolutionary Army then was reorganized as the Military Affairs Commission, with Pai Ch'ung-hsi, Li Tsung-jen, and Ho Ying-ch'in constituting the standing committee. Late in August, the trio won a victory over Sun Ch'uan-fang (q.v.), whose troops had crossed the Yangtze at Lungt'ang in an attempt to recapture Nanking and Shanghai. On 15 September, the Central Special Committee was formed by the leaders of the Nanking, Wuhan, and Western Hills factions to serve as an interim government. T'ang Sheng-chih, then at Wuhan, objected to the reunification measures, and the authorities at Nanking launched a campaign against him in October, with Pai Ch'ung-hsi as field commander and Li Tsung-jen as commander in chief. Pai occupied Wuhan early in November, forcing T'ang into temporary retirement. Early in 1928 he extended his offensive into Hunan province in pursuit of T'ang's remaining troops. They soon surrendered, and in February 1928 they were combined with other forces to form the Fourth Group Army, with Li Tsungjen as commander in chief and Pai Ch'ung-hsi as his deputy. About this time, Pai also received command of the newly established Thirteenth Army, composed of troops from the Fourteenth Army and the 2nd Brigade of the Seventh Army. Pai participated in the drive on Peking in June 1928 which brought the Northern Expedition to completion. After Peking fell to the Nationalists, he was given command of a mixed force from the four group armies and was ordered to destroy the remnants of Northern forces inside the Great Wall. Having completed this task, he returned to the northern capital with his troops. He then became a member of the Peiping branch of the Political Council. At his own request, Pai Ch'ung-hsi then was sent to the northwestern frontier region at the head of troops from the Fourth Group Army. Early in 1929 the Kwangsi clique came into conflict with Chiang Kai-shek, who sent T'ang Sheng-chih to north China to recover control of the Hunan troops under Pai's command. T'ang's coup was successful, and Pai fled to Kwangsi. On 26 March, Li Tsung-jen and Pai Ch'ung-hsi were relieved of their official posts and denounced as plotters against the government; on 27 March, they were expelled from the Kuomintang. Pai Ch'ung-hsi and Huang Shao-hung launched an unsuccessful attack on Kwangtung, following which they were set upon by Liu Chien-hsu, who occupied Kweilin. The forces of Yü Tso-po, who had been appointed to succeed Huang as governor of Kwangsi, occupied Nanning on 27 June. Pai and Huang then went to Hong Kong, by way of Indo- China, to join Li Tsung-jen. In November, the three men returned to Kwangsi and established the Party-Protecting National Salvation Army at Nanning, with Li as commander in chief, Huang as deputy commander and governor of Kwangsi, and Pai as field commander. In January 1930 the Kwangsi forces and the Fourth Army of Chang Fa-k'uei (q.v.) made an attempt to capture Canton, but they soon were defeated and forced back to Kwangsi. In May, the four generals decided to support the northern coalition of Feng Yü-hsiang and Yen Hsi-shan (qq.v.) by invading Hunan and capturing Wuhan. This move ended in defeat at Hungchiao, and the remnants of the Kwangsi forces returned home to regroup. Huang Shao-hung, who opposed the policy of continuing the civil war, then broke with the Kwangsi clique. The arrest of Hu Han-min (q.v.) at Nanking on 28 February 1931 and the formation in May 1931 of an opposition government at Canton by such political leaders as Wang Ching-wei, Eugene Ch'en, and Ch'en Chi-t'ang (qq.v.) opened the way for a reconciliation of Kwangsi and Kwangtung. A military alliance was formed, and a joint Kwangsi-Kwangtung force moved to challenge the National Government by invading southern Hunan in early September. On 18 September, the Japanese attacked Mukden, and the National Government called for national unity. The Canton regime dissolved itself after gaining the release of Li Chi-shen and Hu Han-min and the temporary retirement of Chiang Kai-shek. In November, Pai Ch'ung-hsi was elected to the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang. In April 1932 Li Tsung-jen was appointed pacification commissioner of Kwangsi, with Pai Ch'ung-hsi as deputy pacification commissioner. The two men then began the work of reconstructing Kwangsi by putting into practice the san-tzu cheng-ts'e [three-self policy] of selfgovernment, self-defense, and self-sufficiency and the san-yü cheng-ts'e [three-reservation policy] of building military power. The vehicle used to put these policies into effect was the min-t'uan system. In 1932 Pai Ch'ung-hsi was appointed commander in chief of the Kwangsi provincial militia and was placed in charge of the administration of the min-t'uan system throughout the province.
Min-t'uan was an old term which meant little more than "militia" until Pai Ch'ung-hsi put the new program into effect. The new system was built into the provincial political structure. In the early 1930's, the province of Kwangsi consisted of 94 (later 99) hsien, with a_total population of approximately 12,800,000. Each hsien was composed of ten ch'ü, which, in turn, consisted of about ten hsiang. The basic unit of political administration was the ts'un, of which there were ten in each hsiang. There were approximately 24,000 ts'un in Kwangsi.
According to the Kwangsi law of conscription, adopted in June 1933, every able-bodied male adult between the ages of 18 and 45 was subject to compulsory draft. Those who were not drafted were required to serve in the min-t'uan. Its basic unit was the squad, which contained nine to thirteen militiamen. Three or four squads constituted a platoon, of which there were several in each company. The chief of a ts'un held a concurrent appointment as commander of the company organized under his jurisdiction. Several companies constituted a battalion, with the chief of the hsiang as battalion commander. A column was composed ofseveral battalions, and the column commander was the chief of the ch'ü. In each hsien there was a min-t'uan headquarters, and the hsien magistrate served as commander of all the columns in his district. The district headquarters were organized into about a dozen divisional headquarters, each of which was headed by a professional soldier who held no civilian appointments. The divisional headquarters were under the over-all command of Pai Ch'ung-hsi.
Each militiaman had to undergo, in his leisure time, fundamental military training totaling 180 hours a year. According to Pai's personal estimate, all the able-bodied male adults in Kwangsi would be trained soldiers. In an emergency, an enormous army could be mobilized overnight, with the assistance of an efficient radio network throughout the province. The min-t'uan system also was interwoven with the provincial educational system. Because most of the militia commanders in the lower ranks were unpaid volunteers, they supported themselves by teaching in primary schools. Thus, a trained person appointed to a position in the min-t'uan had to perform a three-fold public duty: political administrator, military commander, and teacher. During large-scale public construction, min-t'uan commanders would serve as directors and foremen in a huge corvee labor system.
Under Pai Ch'ung-hsi's direction, the mint'uan system turned Kwangsi into a military polity which was relatively free from crime. At the same time, Kwangsi began to develop itself industrially and to undertake the construction of public works. These achievements helped to make Pai Ch'ung-hsi and Li Tsungjen nationally famous as capable administrators and efficient mass organizers.
In June 1936 Pai Ch'ung-hsi moved Kwangsi forces into southern Hunan and issued an order for the general mobilization of Kwangsi and Kwangtung forces. This order in part was an attempt to forestall the possibility of National Government action to end the semi-independence of Kwangtung following the death of Hu Han-min. However, the announced purpose of the mobilization was a northward march to protect China because Chiang Kai-shek was not resisting the Japanese. Pai Ch'ung-hsi and Li Tsung-jen became deputy commanders of the First Anti-Japanese National Salvation Forces, serving under Ch'en Chi-t'ang. The movement collapsed in early July after the Kwangtung air force defected to the National Government. On 25 July, the National Government appointed Pai Ch'ung-hsi governor of Chekiang, but he rejected the post as an attempt to remove him from Kwangsi. At the end of July 1936 Pai Ch'ung-hsi and Li Tsung-jen organized a military government in Kwangsi and appointed Li Chi-shen its chairman. Through mediation efforts of Huang Shao-hung and Ch'eng Ch'ien, however, the Kwangsi leaders resolved their differences with Chiang Kai-shek. Kwangsi then accepted the authority of the National Government, and the Kwangsi forces were reorganized as the Fifth Route Army, with Li Tsung-jen as commander in chief and Pai Ch'ung-hsi as deputy commander.
Soon after the Sino-Japanese war began in July 1937, Pai Ch'ung-hsi went to Kuling for a conference with Chiang Kai-shek. He then became deputy joint chief of staff in the Military Affairs Commission and a member of the National Aeronautical Council, in which posts he played a major role in the formulation of battle strategy for the Nanking-Shanghai area. He accompanied the National Government to the wartime capital of Chungking, where he continued to participate in strategy planning for such actions as the Taierhchuang campaign of 1938. On occasion, he was sent to help field commanders win their battles. He also helped organize the Chinese Islamic National Salvation Federation (later the China Islamic Association), which helped mobilize the Muslims of China in support of the war, and he served as its president.
In November 1938 Pai was appointed director of the Kweilin field headquarters to unify the command of the three war zones south of the Yangtze. When Japanese troops landed at Kwangchouwan and invaded Kwangsi in 1939, Pai personally commanded the Chinese forces which fought the Japanese in the vicinity of the K'unlun pass. Because he failed to drive the Japanese back as ordered, he was recalled to Chungking, where he served until war's end as deputy joint chief of staff, director of the military training board, and chairman of the military inspection committee in the Military Affairs Commission.
With the creation of the ministry of national defense on 1 June 1946 to replace the ministry of war, Pai Ch'ung-hsi was appointed minister, with Ch'en Ch'eng as chief of general staff. In 1948 Pai also became director of the Strategic Advisory Commission. By this time, the Nationalist-Communist struggle for control of the mainland was reaching its height. Pai proposed that the Nationalist troops between the Yellow River and the Yangtze River be placed under a single commander. Chiang Kai-shek, however, decided that the area should be under two commanders—a commander in chief for bandit suppression in east China and another in central China at Wuhan. Pai was removed from office as minister of national defense and was transferred to the Wuhan post. As the Nationalist position in the Hsuchow sector deteriorated, Pai was called upon to reinforce it, but the request came too late. As the situation worsened, Pai in late December sent Chiang a series of telegrams advising negotiations with the Chinese Communists. Those telegrams, together with others sent by provincial authorities in Honan and Hunan, were a factor in Chiang Kai-shek's decision to retire from office on 21 January 1949, leaving Li Tsung-jen to serve as acting President. Li and Pai evolved a plan to defend the Yangtze River line, but Chiang, who continued to issue orders as tsung-ts'ai [party leader], refused to authorize the plan. By this time, Chiang had already begun to move troops to the offshore islands. Pai Ch'ung-hsi lost battles with the Chinese Communists in Hupeh, Hunan, and Kiangsi after some of his troops were shifted to other areas. In October, when the National Government moved from Canton to Chungking, Pai withdrew to Kwangsi. He planned to make a last stand at the Luichow peninsula and on Hainan Island, but Chiang Kai-shek ordered a large part of his force to Kweichow. At the end of 1949, Pai fled from Nanning to Taiwan. In 1950 Pai Ch'ung-hsi became vice director of the strategic advisory commission in the presidential office. A member of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang, he also belonged to the committee charged with carrying out party reorganization in Taiwan in 1950-52. On 2 December 1966 he suffered a heart attack and died in Taipei, at the age of 74. He was survived by his wife, Ma P'ei-chang, whom he had married in 1925, and by seven sons and three daughters. Pai Yang & m