Biography in English

Han Fu-chü (1890-24 January 1938), served under Feng Yü-hsiang until May 1929, when he gave allegiance to Chiang Kai-shek. He served as governor of Shantung from 1930 to 1938. After his troops failed to resist the Japanese invasion of Shantung, he was arrested and executed.

Pahsien, Chihli (Hopei), was the birthplace of Han Fu-chü. He received his early education in an old-style military school and then began his career in the army. At the time of the 1911 revolution, he participated in a military uprising at Luanchow, Chihli (Hopei), with such Peiyang Army officers as Feng Yu-hsiang (q.v.). After that revolt against Manchu authority had been crushed, Han made his way back to his native district. In 1912, when Feng Yü-hsiang returned to the Peiyang Army of Yuan Shih-k'ai as a battalion commander, Han visited Feng, recalled their former ties, and was taken into Feng's service.

Han served as an orderly and then, successively, as a platoon, company, and battalion commander. He was closely associated with Feng Yü-hsiang's leadership of the 16th Mixed Brigade in the next few years. Han also was associated with one of Feng's captains who later gained national prominence. Sung Che-yuan (q.v.). After Feng Yü-hsiang's successful coup at Peking during the second Chihli-Fengtien war of 1924, Han became a brigade commander in Feng's new Kuominchün [people's army]. In 1925 he visited Japan to observe military maneuvers, but soon returned to China to join Feng's new fight for power. Han was given command of the 1st Division.

After the expulsion of Feng's forces from Peking in early 1926, however, Han did not remain with the Kuominchün. Instead, he joined a division commanded by Shang Chen (q.v.) in Shansi. When Shang Chen was made military governor of Suiyuan, Han was assigned to garrison duty in Suiyuan as commander of the Shansi 13th Division.

Feng Yü-hsiang returned to China from Moscow in September 1926 and announced that he intended to support the Northern Expedition forces then striking northward from Canton. Han Fu-chü soon rejoined his former chief and returned to active service under Feng's command. In 1927 he was made a commander when Feng's forces were reorganized as the Second Army Group of the National Revolutionary Army. Han played an important role in the drive on north China in 1928 which comprised the second stage of the Northern Expedition. His forces participated in the actions at Hsuchow and at Changho and then struck into Hopei province in the final thrust toward Peking.

After Feng Yü-hsiang became minister of war in the National Government established at Nanking in 1928, Han Fu-chü was appointed governor of Honan, and he went there with his army in 1928. At the fifth plenum of the second Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang, held in August, he was elected to the State Council.

Han Fu-chü was an able general, and he now held an important position. Feng Yü-hsiang, when he concentrated his forces in Honan and challenged Chiang Kai-shek's growing power in the late spring of 1929, planned to rely heavily on the strength of Han Fu-chü. However, in May 1929, as the opposing forces were being deployed, Han Fu-chü defected to the National Government side, taking with him three division commanders, including Shih Yü-san and Ma Hung-k'uei (q.v.), and thousands of troops. The battle between Feng Yü-hsiang and Chiang Kai-shek was fought in the autumn, and Feng lost the campaign. Han Fu-chü was appropriately rewarded by Chiang Kai-shek. He was given command of the First Army and was assigned to stabilize the provinces of Honan and Shantung. He fought against the Shansi forces in Shantung province in 1930 to help break up the so-called northern coalition, led by Feng Yü-hsiang and Yen Hsi-shan. In September 1930, after the defeat of Yen's forces in Shantung and the collapse of the coalition, Han was named governor of Shantung.

Han Fu-chü's administration of Shantung represented a notable improvement over that of Chang Tsung-ch'ang (q.v). Han reduced taxes and delivered a substantial portion of the tax revenues to the National Government at Nanking. He tightened administrative and military discipline, restricted the cultivation and consumption of opium, and established equitable qualifying examinations for Shantung students who wished to go abroad to study. In his personal life, Han Fu-chü followed the regimen that he had learned under Feng Yühsiang: wearing a plain uniform, eating the same food as his troops, and sleeping on a board bed.

In July 1931, when Han's former Kuominchün associate Shih Yü-san took action against the National Government, Chang Hsueh-liang and Chiang Kai-shek called upon Han to use his influence to bring the revolt to an end. Han took no action, and Shih finally was defeated by the combined forces of Chang Hsueh-liang, Liu Chih (q.v.), and Yen Hsi-shan. Liu and Yen were, respectively, the governors of Honan and Shansi. However, when Shih Yü-san announced his poUtical retirement in August 1931, he turned over his troops to Han Fu-chü for "reorganization." That action antagonized the National Government authorities at Nanking. Han Fu-chü faced internal problems in Shantung. When he became governor, a militarist named Liu Chen-nien, who had been a follower of Chang Tsung-ch'ang, still controlled a large area of eastern Shantung. Liu's military presence in Shantung was condoned at least nominally by the authorities at Nanking. In September 1932 Han Fu-chü's forces and Liu Chen-nien's troops clashed. In a telegram to Chiang Kai-shek, Han charged that Liu had been guilty of illegal exactions from the populace and of connivance in banditry. After negotiations between Han and the National Government, Ho Ying-ch'in, the minister of war at Nanking, announced on 1 November 1932 that the Shantung dispute had been settled. Later that month, "in accordance with orders," Liu Chen-nien and his forces moved to Chekiang province. Han Fu-chü's control of Shantung now was complete. To maintain it, he commanded a military force of about 75,000 men. As governor of Shantung, Han held a key position with respect to Sino-Japanese relations in north China. Han took an active part in an important conference of north China military leaders which was held at Peiping on 27 December under the chairmanship of Chang Hsueh-liang.

The crisis that developed in Jehol at the beginning of 1933 did not involve Shantung directly. After the Japanese had taken Jehol and had gained control of the Great Wall passes, fighting was brought to a close with the signature of the Tangku truce of 31 May 1933. Although Han Fu-chü had remained in Shantung and had taken no action against the Japanese, it was generally assumed that if the Japanese should thrust at Shantung, Han's military forces would have no difficulty in withstanding the attack.

Sung Che-yuan, also a former Kuominchün officer, came to power at Peiping in late 1935. He and Han Fu-chü joined together to halt the Japanese drive to convert the five provinces of north China, including Shantung, into a Japanese-sponsored autonomous region. Japanese Ambassador Kawagoe, on his way to Nanking in August 1935 after conferences with other Japanese officials in north China, stopped off at Tsinan and reportedly outlined the political position and demands of Japan to Han Fu-chü. In the spring of 1937 Major General Kita Seüchi became military attache of the Japanese embassy at Nanking. Shortly after arriving at his new post. General Kita, in the course of a tour of central and north China, visited Han Fu-chü.

Neither Han Fu-chu nor Sung Che-yuan attended the special conference of senior Chinese officials that was convened at Lushan in early July. After the Lukouchiao Incident of 7 July 1937 began the Sino-Japanese war, Han sent a representative to see Chiang Kai-shek at Lushan. Han conferred with Hu Tsung-nan and Liu Chih at Hsuchow and then went to Nanking for a conference with Chiang Kai-shek and Feng Yü-hsiang. On 1 August 1937 he returned to Tsinan.

The Japanese navy landed at Tsingtao on 14 August, and ground forces drove into Shantung from the north at the beginning of October. Doubts about Han Fu-chü's attitude toward the war were raised in both China and Japan. On 3 October 1937 the Japanese took Techow from Chinese defending forces composed of units of Sung Che-yuan's Twentyninth Army and one division of Han's Shantung forces. Japanese troops then advanced on the provincial capital, Tsinan. Han Fu-chü made various public gestures to demonstrate his patriotism and on 10 October directed his subordinates to resist Japanese aggression to the end. In the critical test, however, Han Fuchü's troops, which had been presumed to be a formidable combat force, offered little resistance to the Japanese. The invaders occupied Tsinan on 25 December, with only minor losses. Han had concentrated a large force at T'aian, but the Japanese advanced to take that point on 1 January 1938. On 5 January, they captured Tsining.

Chiang Kai-shek notified Han Fu-chü on 6 January that he was not to withdraw further unless ordered to do so. But the Chinese retreat in Shantung continued. In the meantime, Li Tsung-jen (q.v.), who had been assigned to defend the Hsuchow sector, was massing troops there in an effort to halt the Japanese, who had already landed at Haichow. On 1 1 January 1938, acting on orders from Chiang Kai-shek, Li Tsung-jen arrested Han Fu-chü on charges of dereliction of duty.

Han was sent to Hankow, where Ho Yingch'in presided over his court martial, which was conducted in secret. The other judges were Ho Ch'eng-chün (q.v.), the governor of Hupeh province, and Lu Chung-lin, under whom Han had served during the Northern Expedition. The formal charges included repeatedly disobeying orders and retreating at his own volition; forcing opium upon the people of his province; extracting excessive taxes and levies, pilfering public funds ; and depriving the people of Shantung of their firearms. Although most of the charges could not be substantiated, Han was convicted and sentenced to death. He was executed at Hankow on 24 January 1938, along with nine other military officers who had been convicted of dereliction of duty.

Han Fu-chü's wife, Kao I-chen, also came from Pahsien. She was the granddaughter of Kao Pu-ying (b. 1875), a chü-jen of 1894 who headed the department of social (adult) education in the ministry of education at Peking during the early republican period and who edited several compilations of traditional Chinese literary works.

Biography in Chinese

韩复榘 字:向方

















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