Biography in English

Li Chi-shen (1886-9 October 1959), commander of the Fourth Army (1925-26) who served during the Northern Expedil^ion as governor of Kwangtung, military affairs commissioner, and acting president of the Whampoa Military Academy. He became the top-ranking military and political officer at Canton. He later participated in several movements which opposed Chiang Kaishek. After being expelled from the Kuomintang in 1947, he became chairman of the Kuomintang Revolutionary Committee (1948) and an official of the Central People's Government. A native of Kiangsu, Li Chi-shen was born into a scholar-gentry family in Hushents'un, Ts'angwu hsien (Wuchow), Kwangsi. His mother died when he was four years old. In 1903, after receiving a primary education in the Chinese classics, Li enrolled at the Wuchow Middle School, where one of his teachers was Hu Han-min (q.v.). In 1904 he transferred to the Liang-kuang Military Middle School in Canton. Three years later, he was selected for advanced study in Peking at the Officers Military Academy, run by the Board of War. He interrupted his studies after the Wuchang revolt of October 1911 to serve as chief of staff" of the 22nd Division of the revolutionary army in Kiangsu. After the republic had been established, he returned to the academy, now called the Military Staff" College. After being graduated, he remained at the college as an instructor. He also served as an editor in the research bureau of the ministry of war.

In 1921 Li went to Canton at the invitation of Teng K'eng (q.v.), who was chief of staff of the Kwangtung Army and commander of the 1st Division. Teng appointed him chief of staff" of the 1st Division. Teng was assassinated in March 1922, and Ch'en Chiung-ming (q.v.) staged a coup in Canton on 16 June. Li Chi-shen participated in the campaign that drove Ch'en from Canton in the spring of 1923. He then received command of the 1st Division. In 1924 Li served briefly as commissioner of reconstruction of the West River-Wuchow area and Wuchow garrison commander. When the Whampoa Military Academy was established in May 1924, Li became deputy dean, serving under Chiang Kai-shek. After Sun Yat-sen's death in March 1925, the Canton government was reorganized as the National Government. Hsü Ch'ung-chih (q.v.), the commander of the Kwangtung Army, became minister of war, and he relinquished command of the army on 1 August 1925. The National Revolutionary Army was created in August, and Li was appointed commander of the Fourth Army (formerly the Kwangtung Army).« Among the men who served under him in that army were Chang Fa-k'uei, Ch'en Ming-shu, Ts'ai T'ing-k'ai, and Ch'en Chi-t'ang. (qq.v.). Because Ch'en Chiung-ming's forces still maintained a strong position along the East River, a second eastern expedition was organized. Li's Fourth Army formed the second column of the expeditionary forces which destroyed Ch'en's remaining power in October- November 1925. In the final phase of this campaign Li led his troops into southern Kwangtung to destroy the power of Ch'en's supporter Teng Pen-yin.

When the Northern Expedition began in July 1926, the divisions of the Fourth Army led by Chang Fa-k'uei and Ch'en Ming-shu participated in the drive northward. Li Chishen and the Fourth Army divisions under Ch'en Chi-t'ang and Hsü Ching-t'ang remained behind to garrison the Canton area. Li also served as governor of Kwangtung, military affairs commissioner, and acting president of the Whampoa Military Academy. In 1927 he was elected to the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang.

In 1927 Chang Fa-k'uei's division was expanded and was given the designation of Fourth Army. Some of his forces, commanded by Ho Lung and Yeh T'ing (qq.v.) took part in the Communist-led uprising at Nanchang on 1 August. At Li Chi-shen's request, Huang Shao-hung (q.v.) organized the Fifteenth Army and defeated the Chinese Communist forces at Swatow and Chaochow. In the meantime, the Kuomintang factions at Wuhan and Nanking were attempting to resolve their differences. Such Wuhan leaders as Wang Ching-wei, Ho Hsiang-ning, and Ch'en Kung-po went to Canton and conferred with Li Chi-shen. In early November, Li and Wang left Canton and went to Shanghai to attend a plenary session of the Central Executive Committee. The purpose of the meeting was the restoration of party unity. On 17 November 1927 Chang Fa-k'uei, taking advantage of Li's absence, staged a coup at Canton. Li promptly ordered forces loyal to him to oust Chang. He directed Ch'en Mingshu, then in Fukien, to return w'ith his men to Canton. Huang Shao-hung's Kwangsi forces soon converged on Canton. Chang Fa-k'uei deployed forces along the East and West rivers to defend his position. However, few of his troops remained in Canton, and on 1 1 December some of his troops, led by Huang Ch'i-hsiang, joined with Communist elements to stage the Canton Commune {see Chang T'ai-lei). Chang's forces suppressed these rebels two days later. When Ch'en Ming-shu and Huang Shao-hung moved against Chang from two directions and caused heavy casualties among his troops, Chang Fa-k'uei announced that he had been relieved of his posts and requested an opportunity to redeem himself Li Chi-shen returned to Canton on 4 January 1928.

Li was made a member of the standing committee of the Military Affairs Commission on 7 February 1928. He also became commander in chief of the newly established Eighth Route Army, which was composed of the military forces stationed in Kwangtung. On 1 March, the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang issued regulations governing branch political councils, and Li Chi-shen became chairman of the important Canton branch. On 30 March, he was named chief of the general staff of the Northern Expedition. He joined other Kuomintang leaders in Peking for meetings in July, and after Chiang Kai-shek returned to Nanking, he served as acting commander in chief of the Nationalist forces. However, he soon left Peking and returned to Canton. Li was appointed to the State Council on 8 October, and he relinquished the post of governor of Kwangtung to Ch'en Ming-shu in November.

In 1929 the so-called Kwangsi clique of Li Tsung-jen, Pai Ch'ung-hsi (qq.v.), and Huang Shao-hung broke with the National Government. Li Chi-shen went to Nanking in mid- March to attend the Third National Congress of the Kuomintang and to mediate the dispute between Chiang Kai-shek and the Kwangsi clique. On 20 March, Chiang Kai-shek made a statement in which he specifically rejected mediation as a means of ending the dispute. The following day, Li Chi-shen w as placed under detention. On 27 March, Li Tsung-jen, Pai Ch'ung-hsi, and Li Chi-shen were expelled from the Kuomintang. After the Japanese attacked Mukden on 18 September 1931, the opposing factions were reunited, and Chiang Kai-shek was forced to retire from office. The Kwangsi leaders were restored to party membership in October, and Li Chi-shen was freed. He was appointed inspector general of military training in December.

After Chiang Kai-shek returned to power, Li remained at Canton, although he did not resign from office. He was a member of the Southwest Political Council and an ex ojficio member of the Military Affairs Commission, but he had no real function at Nanking or Canton. About 1933 he left Canton for Hong Kong.

In 1933 Ch'en Ming-shu (q.v.), urged on by members of his Social Democratic party, decided to actively oppose Nanking's authority. After meeting with Li Chi-shen and others, Ch'en launched the Fukien revolt. On 20 November, Ch'en and his associates proclaimed the establishment of a people's revolutionary government at Foochow, with Li Chi-shen as chairman. Li assumed office on 21 November. However, Ch'en made the important decisions, and Li was only a figurehead. Nanking moved quickly to suppress the revolt, and the government at Foochow was dissolved in January 1934. Li Chi-shen fled to Hong Kong. The National Government ordered his arrest, expelled him from the Kuomintang, and dismissed him from his official post.

In 1935 Li, along with some of his Fukien associates and Feng Yü-hsiang, founded the Chinese People's Revolutionary League to unite China in resistance to Japan and to work for "overthrow of the traitor government and establishment of the people's state power." The league sought alliance with other groups, but had little success. In 1936 Li went to Kwangsi to help plan a joint Kwangtung-Kwangsi revolt against Nanking. The revolt began in June, but it received a fatal blow in early July when the Kwangtung air force {see Ch'en Chi-t'ang) defected to the National Government side. On 30 July, Li Tsung-jen and Pai Ch'ung-hsi organized a military government in Kwangsi, with Li Chi-shen as its chairman. However, the mediation efforts of Huang Shaohung and Ch'eng Ch'ien (q.v.) led to an agreement between Li Tsung-jen and Chiang Kai-shek by which Kwangsi accepted the authority of the National Government. Although the order for Li Chi-shen's arrest was rescinded, he took refuge in Hong Kong.

After the Sino-Japanese war began in 1937, Li dissolved the Chinese People's Revolutionary League, saying that it had accomplished its mission of mobilizing the nation to fight Japan. In 1938 he was restored to membership in the Kuomintang. He also became a member of the Military Affairs Commission and the State Council. In 1941, when the Japanese began to threaten Kwangsi, Li was appointed director of the Kweilin field headquarters of the Alilitary Affairs Commission and vice chairman of the war areas party and political affairs commission. The culmination of the Japanese offensive known as Operation Ichi-go was the occupation of Kweilin in mid-November 1944. Li then was appointed president of the Military Advisory Council but he refused to go to Chungking to assume office. Instead he organized a people's mobilization committee in southern Kwangsi and worked to consolidate resistance to the Japanese. The National Government disapproved of Li's unauthorized program but took no action against him. In Alay 1945 at the Sixth National Congress of the Kuomintang, Li Chi-shen was elected to the Central Supervisory Committee of the Kuomintang. The following year he was a Kuomintang delegate to the National Assembly.

Li went to Hong Kong in early 1947 and issued a statement (8 March) urging that the Nationalists and the Communists settle their differences and end the civil war. On 6 August, he was expelled from the Kuomintang on the grounds that he had made unwarranted statements and had incited the people to riot. Li soon joined the Democracy Promotion Association and the International League for the Promotion of Human Rights. He also worked to unite Kuomintang members and former members who opposed the policies of the National Government. His activities resulted in a conference, convened on 12 November, which, in turn, led to the formation of the Kuomintang Revolutionary Committee. That group was inaugurated in January 1948 with Madame Sun Yat-sen (Soong Ch'ing-ling) as its honorary chairman and Li Chi-shen as its chairman. The founding members of the committee included Feng Yü-hsiang Ho Hsiang-ning, Liu Ya-tzu, and T'an P'ing-shan. The two basic aims of the Kuomintang Revolutionary Committee, as set forth in its inaugural declaration, were the implementation of Sun Yat-sen's policies and the completion of the anti-feudal and anti-imperialist missions of the "Chinese Revolution." In early 1949 Li Chi-shen left Hong Kong and journeyed north. He arrived in Peiping in February, shortly after the Chinese Communists occupied the city. As the chief representative of the Kuomintang Revolutionary Committee, he was appointed to the preparatory committee for the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. When the conference convened in September 1949, Li was elected vice chairman of its Standing Committee. The work of the conference laid the foundation of a new political regime in China, and the Central People's Government was inaugurated on 1 October 1949. Li became one of the six vice chairmen of the Central People's Government and vice president of the Sino-Soviet Friendship Association. In January 1953 Li was made a member of the committee assigned to draft a constitution. He served as a delegate from Kwangsi to the National People's Conference in September 1954. The 1954 constitution reduced the number of government vice chairmen from six to two, and Li gave up his post. He then became a vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. In 1955 he was appointed to the executive committee of the People's Parliamentary Group for Joining the Inter-Parliamentary Union. From November 1956 to January 1957 he served as deputy leader of a National People's Congress delegation which visited the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. He participated in the National People's Congress of 1958 as a delegate from Kwangsi, and he was reelected vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the congress in April 1959. Also in April, he was elected vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and vice president of the executive board of the Sino-Soviet Friendship Association. Throughout this period, he continued to head the central committee of the Kuomintang Revolutionary Committee. On 9 October 1959 he died at Peking of stomach cancer and a cerebral thrombosis.

Li Chi-shen married several times and had a number of children. One of his sons became dean of the agricultural college of Lingnan University in the early 1940's. His eldest son. Li Hao-hsuan, was given a 12-year prison sentence in 1952 for exploiting the peasantry. Three daughters—Li Hsiao-chu, Li Hsiao-lien, and Li Hsiao-tao—reportedly were students at Yenching University in 1950.

Biography in Chinese






















All rights reserved@ENP-China