Biography in English

Ho Yao-tsu (1859-16 July 1961), a Hunanese military leader, participated in the May Third Incident at Tsinan (1928) and later served Chiang Kai-shek in such posts as minister to Turkey (1934-36), special envoy to the Soviet Union (1938-40), director of the attendance office (1941-42), and mayor of Chungking. After 1949 he lived in Peking.

Ninghsiang, a thriving hsien in Hunan province, produced several prominent military leaders in the republican period, one of whom was Ho Yao-tsu. Little is known about his family background or his childhood. He studied at a preparatory school for cadets in Hunan and then enrolled at the military academy at Wuchang, Hupeh. Ho was sent to Japan to complete his military training at the Shikan Gakko [military academy]. Among the Hunan provincial military group that academy was especially well known, and studying there was useful in gaining promotion in the military hierarchy.

T'an Yen-k'ai (q.v.) was the recognized senior figure in the Hunanese hierarchy, with Chao Heng-t'i and Ch'eng Ch'ien fqq.v.) next in importance. Ho Yao-tsu was regarded as a contemporary of such officers as Ho Chien, Lu Ti-p'ing, T'ang Sheng-chih, and Yeh K'ai-hsin. In the post-1912 period, armed clashes between rival factions were recurrent in Hunan. During the early 1920's the principal antagonists in that province were Chao Hengt'i, who was allied with Wu P'ei-fu (q.v.) and his northern military forces, and T'an Yen-k'ai, who supported Sun Yat-sen and his cause. Ho Yao-tsu served under Chao Heng-t'i. In time, he was promoted to the rank of the division commander.

On the eve of the Northern Expedition in mid- 1926, T'ang Sheng-chih (q.v.) defected from Chao's camp to join the Nationalist regime at Canton. T'ang then was appointed commander of the Eighth Army and was assigned to lead an expeditionary force against Chao Heng-t'i and Wu P'ei-fu. Ho Yao-tsu was made front-line commander of the Hu- Hsiang-chün [Hunan protection army] and was assigned to stem the advance of T'ang's units. Ho soon recognized that he was fighting on the losing side. When the vanguard units of the Nationalist forces entered Changsha, the provincial capital, in August 1926, Ho immediately petitioned the Kuomintang authorities in Hunan to intercede on his behalf with Chiang Kai-shek. The petition was accepted, and Ho Yao-tsu's army was reorganized as the 1st and 2nd Independent divisions of the National Revolutionary Army.

After rapid victories in Hunan and Hupeh, Chiang Kai-shek turned his attention in the autumn of 1926 to Kiangsi, where the Nationalists confronted the forces of Sun Ch'uanfang (q.v.). On 5 November 1926 Ho Yao-tsu's forces, which had been assigned to the northern Kiangsi front, captured Kiukiang, enabling the Nationalists to take Nanchang three days later. As a result of this victory, Ho Yao-tsu was promoted to commander of the Fortieth Army. Early in 1927 he led his army to the vicinity of Nanking and captured it from Sun Ch'uan-fang's forces on 24 March. After the incident involving the destruction of property and the killing of foreigners by Nationalist soldiers (later alleged to have been members of the Communist-infiltrated Sixth Army under the command of Ch'eng Ch'ien), Ho Yao-tsu, Ho Ying-ch'in (q.v.), Lu Ti-p'ing, and Ch'eng Ch'ien were assigned responsibility for restoring order at Nanking.

In the summer of 1927, the Nationalists suffered a serious military reverse when a surprise counterattack launched by the joint forces of Sun Ch'uan-fang and Chang Tsungch'ang (^q.v.) imperiled Nanking. Chiang Kai-shek resigned in mid-August to aid the reconciliation of the Kuomintang factions at Wuhan and Nanking, and he went to Japan. By the end of 1927 he had returned to China. The Kuomintang leaders at Nanking urged him to resume the post of commander-in-chief. Ho Yao-tsu, then the garrison commander for the Nanking-Shanghai sector, offered his full support to Chiang. This gesture, made at a crucial time, won him Chiang's confidence. Early in 1928 the National Government at Nanking decided to resume the Northern Expedition and to advance against the forces of Chang Tsung-ch'ang and Chang Tso-lin (q.v.) in the north. The First Route Army under Ho Ying-ch'in was reorganized as the First Group Army; it was commanded personally by Chiang Kai-shek, with Ch'en Tiao-yuan, Ho Yao-tsu, and Liu Chih (q.v.) as commanders. Late in April, Ho's forces routed the Shantung troops of Chang Tsungch'ang in T'aian and captured Tsinan. Chiang Kai-shek arrived there on 2 May to plan the crossing of the Yellow River. However, the Japanese, making use of their large garrison in the provincial capital of Shantung, took steps to safeguard their interests. The result was the May Third Incident at Tsinan. Clashes on that date between Chinese and Japanese units caused many deaths, including that of the Chinese foreign-affairs commissioner, and resulted in serious damage to property. The May Third Incident aroused nationwide indignation in China. Because of superior Japanese military power, however, Chiang Kai-shek desired to avoid an international conflict. Accordingly, Ho Yao-tsu, whose troops had been directly involved in the incident, was relieved of his military command, and the Nationalist forces detoured to move northward along the Peking- Hankow rail line.

From 1929 to 1934 Ho Yao-tsu was at Nanking, where he held a sinecure post as aide-de-camp to Chiang Kai-shek. In 1931 he was elected to membership on the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang (he was reelected to that organ at later Kuomintang party congresses until 1949). From 1932 to 1934 he also served as deputy chief of the general staff.

During the early 1930's Chiang Kai-shek developed a great interest in the rise of Turkey. Knowing of this interest. Ho Yao-tsu submitted to Chiang a memorandum assessing the situation in Turkey and suggesting that closer relations be established between the two countries. Some observers have suggested that the memorandum was written by two of Ho Yao-tsu's fellow provincials, Wang P'eng-sheng (q.v.) and Ho Feng-shan. In any event. Ho Yao-tsu became minister to Ankara in November 1934 and spent two years in the Turkish capital. Wang P'eng-sheng and Ho Feng-shan accompanied him as advisers.

Ho Yao-tsu was named governor of Kansu in 1937. After the outbreak of war between China and Japan, the National Government sought to strengthen ties with the Soviet Union. In 1938 T. F. Tsiang (Chiang T'ing-fu, q.v.), the Chinese ambassador to Moscow, returned to China. Ho Yao-tsu was sent to Russia as a special envoy—on the assumption that he understood the military requirements of wartime China better than any civilian or career diplomat. His toür of duty at Moscow was marked by the signing of a commercial treaty between the two countries and by the conclusion of several barter agreements which bolstered China's war effort. He was recalled from the Soviet capital in 1940, when Shao Li-tzu (q.v.) was named ambassador. At Chungking, Ho Yao-tsu was rewarded with an appointment as director of the Generalissimo's attendance office. That post, which Ho held in 1941-42, was a position of the highest trust, and Ho became one of Chiang's most influential deputies. He had access to the most vital information and plans of the National Government; all documents destined for Chiang Kai-shek went first to Ho. He also served as secretary general of the National Economic Council. Toward the end of 1942 Ho was appointed mayor of Chungking, succeeding K. C. Wu, who had been appointed vice minister of foreign affairs. Ho held that office until the end of the war in 1945.

After the Japanese surrender, Ho Yao-tsu returned to Nanking. Using his connections with Wang P'eng-sheng, who had been director of the wartime Institute of International Affairs under Chiang Kai-shek, Ho organized the New Asia Association in Shanghai, a group that published a monthly magazine analyzing Asian international relations. Other leading members of the association were P'eng Hsueh-p'ei, a former vice minister of communications and an able pamphleteer, and Shao Yü-lin, an expert on Japan who later served as Chinese Nationalist ambassador to Korea (1949-51). The New Asia Association asserted that the proper international role for China was to serve as a bridge between the United States and the Soviet Union. As the military and economic position of the National Government worsened in the civil war with the Chinese Communists, Ho became increasingly critical of Chiang Kai-shek and his policies.

When Ho Ying-ch'in was appointed president of the Executive Yuan in 1949, Ho Yao-tsu became minister without portfolio in the last Kuomintang cabinet on the mainland. He left Shanghai in the spring of 1949 for Hong Kong, where a group of former Kuomintang officials had assembled. Among them was Huang Shao-hung (q.v.), who had visited Peiping on a mission to discuss peace terms with the Communists in 1948. The Hong Kong group, numbering 44 persons, signed a statement declaring their allegiance to the Communist cause and denouncing Chiang Kai-shek. The signatures of Huang Shao-hung and Ho Yao-tsu headed the list. Ho then went to Peiping and attended the Chinese People's Political Conference in September 1949. He was appointed a member and a director of the department of communications of the Central-South Military and Administrative Committee. After 1949 Ho Yao-tsu consistently used his courtesy name. Ho Kuei-yen. He died in Peking on 16 July 1961.

Little is known about Ho's first wife. Ni Fei-chün, his second wife, had been a nurse in Chungking before Ho Yao-tsu met and married her. There were reports of her leftist political sympathies in Chungking even when Ho Yaotsu was the Generalissimo's confidant and the mayor of Chungking, but no action was taken by the Nationalist security authorities because of Ho's favored position. After 1945 Ni was associated with Madame Sun Yat-sen (Soong Ch'ingling, q.v.) in Shanghai. After 1949 she served as deputy secretary general of the Red Cross Society of China. She also represented the Central People's Government at peace congresses and other international gatherings.

Biography in Chinese

贺耀祖 字:贵严















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