Li Tsung-jen 李宗仁 T. Te-lin 德鄰 Li Tsung-jen (1890-), leader of the so-called Kwangsi clique, which also included Pai Ch'ung-hsi and Huang Shao-hung. He was elected to the vice presidency of the National Government in 1948, and he became acting President in 1949. He retired to the United States in December 1949, but went to live in the People's Republic of China in July 1965. Kweilin, Kwangsi, was the birthplace of Li Tsung-jen. After completing his primary education, Li passed the competitive entrance examinations for the Kwangsi Army Primary School. Among his schoolmates were Pai Ch'ung-hsi, Huang Shao-hung (qq.v.), Hsia Wei, Huang Hsü-ch'u, Li P'in-hsien, and Yeh Ch'i. About this time, Li joined the T'ung-meng-hui. The Wuchang revolt of 1911 interrupted Li's studies, and he returned home. In 1912, when military schools throughout China resumed operations, he entered the Kwangsi Short- Course Military Academy at Kweilin. After being graduated in 1913, he spent six months at home before becoming a physical-training instructor for several educational institutions in the Kweilin area.
In 1916 Li joined the forces of Lin Hu as a platoon commander. Lin Hu's forces were under the overall command of Lu Jung-t'ing (q.v.). Li fought in the so-called national protection and constitution protection movements. He was wounded twice on the battlefields of Kwangtung and Hunan, and his courage in battle won him a promotion to battalion commander in 1918. When Lu Jung-t'ing's forces were driven out of Kwangtung and back into Kwangsi in 1920, Li, whose forces had formed part of the rear guard, became deputy regimental commander. When the Kwangtung Army invaded Kwangsi in 1921 and defeated Lu Jung-t'ing's army, most of the officers of Lin Hu's regiment defected to the Kwangtung side. Li Tsung-jen, however, led about 1,000 troops into the mountainous area around Yülin and began to build up an independent force in Peiliu. Later, he temporarily joined the Kwangtung Army of Ch'en Chiung-ming (q.v.). When Ch'en took action against Sun Yat-sen in 1922 and the Kwangtung Army was ordered back to Canton, Li left Ch'en's service and became commander of the Second Route of the Kwangsi Autonomous Army, and he moved his headquarters to Yülin. However, he soon broke with the Autonomous Army and declared his neutrality in the Kwangsi-Kwangtung conflict. Huang Shao-hung joined him at Yülin, and when Li accepted an appointment from Lu Jung-t'ing and reorganized his force as the 5th Independent Brigade, Huang received command of the 3rd Regiment. In the spring of 1923, when Huang accepted an appointment from Sun Yat-sen as commander of the Kwangsi Anti-Rebel Army, Li reorganized the 5th Independent Brigade as the Kwangsi-Settling Army, with Huang Hsü-ch'u as his chief of staff. At the beginning of 1924 the chief contenders for political power in Kwangsi were Lu Jung-t'ing and Shen Hung-ying. Li Tsung-jen met with Huang Shao-hung and Pai Ch'ung-hsi, and they decided to ally themselves with Shen in a campaign to crush Lu Jung-t'ing's army and to unify Kwangsi. In June, their forces took Xanning. The following month, the two armies established the joint headquarters of the Kwangsi-Settling Anti-Rebel Army, with Li as commander in chief, Huang as his deputy, and Pai as chief of staff. In mid-July, Li demanded that Lu Jung-t'ing resign and disband his forces. Shen Hung-ying joined Li in a drive against Lu Jung-t'ing. They occupied Kweilin on 24 August and brought the campaign to an end in September.
In November 1924 Sun Yat-sen appointed Liu Chen-huan governor of Kwangsi, but Liu did not assume office. On 1 1 November, Li Tsung-jen proclaimed himself rehabilitation commissioner of Kwangsi, with Huang Shaohung as his deputy, and declared his opposition to the appointment of Liu Chen-huan. Shortly afterwards, Hu Han-min and Hsü Ch'ung-chih invited Li to Canton to discuss the unification of Kwangtung and Kwangsi, and Li sent Huang to represent him. As a result of these talks, Li was appointed pacification commissioner of Kwangsi, with Huang as his deputy, and commander of the First Kwangsi Army. Li joined the Kuomintang and assumed office on 1 December.
In early 1925 Shen Hung-ying suddenly began to advance against Li along the West River line. Li, his forces outnumbered, requested the assistance of Li Chi-shen (q.v.), who controlled the Kwangtung 1st Division. Li Chi-shen sent Ch'en Chi-t'ang (q.v.) and his brigade to Kwangsi, and the combined forces drove Shen into Hunan in February. Soon afterwards, T'ang Chi-yao, the military governor of Yunnan, attempted to send forces through Kwangsi to Canton so that he could succeed Sun Yat-sen, who had died on 12 March. T'ang's forces drove into Kwangsi and took Nanning. Shen Hung-ying seized the opportunity to invade the northern part of the province with the aid of Fan Shih-sheng. T'ang's forces soon were defeated, and they retreated from Kwangsi with only a fraction of their original strength. By late 1925 all of Kwangsi was under the control of Li Tsung-jen, Huang Shao-hung, and Pai Ch'ung-hsi. In March 1926, after several months of negotiation at Canton, the relationship between Kwangtung and Kwangsi was defined to the satisfaction of both sides, and the Kwangsi forces were designated the Seventh Army of the National Revolutionary Army, with Li Tsung-jen as commander, Pai Ch'ung-hsi as chief of staff, and Huang Shao-hung as party representative. On 24 March, Li formally assumed his new command. He had become an alternate member of the Central Supervisory Committee of the Kuomintang in January. Li had been among those who encouraged T'ang Sheng-chih (q.v.), who commanded the 4th Division in south Hunan, to break with Chao Heng-t'i (q.v.), the governor of Hunan, and join forces with the National Revolutionary Army. T'ang forced Chao from office in March, but Wu P'ei-fu (q.v.) soon drove T'ang out of Yochow. In April, T'ang had to retreat from Changsha to Hengshan. Li Tsung-jen urged the early launching of the Northern Expedition in support of T'ang, but the Russian adviser Borodin opposed this move. Units of the National Revolutionary Army were sent to Hunan in May, enabling T'ang to hold Hengyang. T'ang then became the commander of the Eighth Army of the National Revolutionary Army. On 1 July 1926 Chiang Kai-shek issued orders for general mobilization, and the Northern Expedition began. On 17 July, Li Tsung-jen led Hsia Wei's unit into Changsha. Chiang Kai-shek arrived at Changsha on 11 August. After consulting with Li Tsung-jen and T'ang Sheng-chih, he decided to attack Wu P'ei-fu before dealing with Sun Ch'uan-fang (q.v.). On 15 August orders were issued for an attack on Wuhan. In that operation Li Tsung-jen commanded the right column, composed of his Seventh Army and the Fourth Army. Li's column and Liu Chih's 2nd Division participated in the military actions that resulted in the capture of Hengyang and Hankow. After Sun Ch'uan-fang issued an ultimatum demanding the withdrawal of the expeditionary forces to Kwangtung, Liu Chih's forces were moved to the Kiangsi front, and the Seventh Army soon joined them. After the surrender of Wuchang on 10 October, the Fourth Army also moved to the Kiangsi front. The Kiangsi campaign lasted 70 days, and Li's forces played an important role in it. Nationalist forces finally occupied Nanchang on 7 November.
The Northern Expedition was interrupted by the 1927 split between the left-wing Kuomintang regime at Wuhan and the supporters of Chiang Kai-shek at Nanchang. After Wang Ching-wei returned from Europe, Li Tsung-jen participated in the 5„April meeting in Shanghai at which it was decided that a conference should be convened at Nanking to resolve the differences that had split the Kuomintang. After Wang Ching-wei left Shanghai, another meeting was held. Its participants decided to purge the Kuomintang and the National Revolutionary Army of Communist and other leftist elements. On 18 April, Chiang Kai-shek set up a national government at Nanking. The support of Li Tsung-jen and Pai Ch'ung-hsi was essential to Chiang for the undertaking of both actions. Li, serving as commander in chief of the Third Route Army, participated in the capture of Hsuchow on 2 June. He also attended the 19-22 June meetings of Chiang Kai-shek and Feng Yü-hsiang (q.v.) which led to a measure of agreement between the two leaders. In August, Chiang Kai-shek announced his retirement in the interest of party unity and went to Japan, and Hu Han-min (q.v.) left Nanking for Shanghai. Thus, Li Tsung-jen, Pai Ch'ung-hsi, and Ho Ying-ch'in were left in control at Nanking. The three Nanking leaders then moved to defeat Sun Ch'uan-fang, who had sent his troops across the Yangtze at Lungt'ang in an attempt to recapture Nanking. On 15 September 1927 the Nanking leaders, a number of Wuhan leaders, and representatives of the Western Hills faction decided to form the Central Special Committee of the Kuomintang to function as an interim government. T'ang Sheng-chih, in Wuhan, announced his opposition to the plans for reunification. In late October, Nanking launched a punitive expedition against him, with Li Tsung-jen as commander in chief and Pai Ch'ung-hsi as field commander. T'ang abandoned Wuhan, and Li's force, composed of the Seventh Army and the Nineteenth Army under Hu Tsung-to, took control there in mid-November. Li Tsung-jen became chairman of the Wuhan branch of the Political Council, and he had Hu Tsung-to made garrison commander of Wuhan. Li now controlled Hupeh and Hunan, thus extending Kwangsi power from the home province to the Yangtze. He also became a member of the Military Affairs Commission at Nanking. The position of Wang Ching-wei and his supporters at Canton was weakened by the Canton Commune (see Chang T'ai-lei) of December 1927. Li Tsung-jen joined with others in inviting Chiang Kai-shek to resume' office, and Chiang did so in January 1928. The following month, Li was appointed commander in chief of the Fourth Group Army, with Pai Ch'ung-hsi second in command. The Northern Expedition was resumed, and the Fourth Group Army participated in the final drive on Peking in June. Chiang Kai-shek, Li Tsung-jen, Feng Yü-hsiang, and Yen Hsi-shan met in July to discuss military reorganization, but finally decided to defer the matter. When the new National Government was inaugurated at Nanking in October 1928, Li Tsung-jen became a member of the State Council. Li attended the troop-disbandment conference of January 1929, but Pai Ch'ung-hsi did not. By that time, the so-called Kwangsi clique of Li Tsung-jen, Pai Ch'ung-hsi, and Huang Shao-hung had spread its forces from Kwangsi to Hopei (Chihli) in the north and to Kiangsu in the east. The troop-disbandment conference ended inconclusively.
On 19 February 1929 the Wuhan branch of the Political Council issued an order relieving Lu Ti-p'ing (q.v.) of his post as governor of Hunan. Troops were sent into Hunan from Wuhan, and Lu was forced to retreat into Kiangsi. The Wuhan council named Ho Chien (q.v.) to succeed Lu. On 13 March, the Central Political Council ordered the dissolution of all branch councils within two days. On 15 March, the Third National Congress of the Kuomintang opened at Nanking. Almost simultaneously, a coup was staged against Pai Ch'ung-hsi in north China in which he lost his Fourth Group Army troops to T'ang Sheng-chih. On 21 March, Chiang Kai-shek made a statement condemning arbitrary actions by military men and the actions of the Wuhan council. That same day, Li Chi-shen, who had hoped to mediate the dispute between Chiang and the Kwangsi clique, was placed under detention. The National Government ordered a punitive expedition against Wuhan on 26 March, naming Li Tsung-jen and Pai Ch'ung-hsi as plotters against the government and relieving them of their posts. Li and Pai were expelled from the Kuomintang on 27 March.
Li Tsung-jen went to Hong Kong, where he was joined by Huang Shao-hung and Pai Ch'ung-hsi. The three men returned to Kwangsi in November 1929 and established the Party- Protecting National Salvation Army at Nanning, with Li as commander in chief, Huang as deputy commander and Kwangsi governor, and Pai as field commander. Li also became military affairs commissioner of Kwangsi. The Kwangsi forces joined with the Fourth Army of Chang Fa-k'uei (q.v.) in January 1930 for an attack on Kwangtung, but they were defeated and forced back to Kwangsi within a month. The three Kwangsi generals and Chang Fa-k'uei then decided to support the northern coalition (see Feng Yü-hsiang; Yen Hsi-shan) by invading Hunan and capturing W'uhan. After initial successes in May, this attempt ended in defeat when Li and Chang turned back to extricate Huang at Hengyang, where his rearguard forces had been cut off by Kwangtung troops. The entire Kwangsi force was defeated at Hungchiao, and the remnant forces returned to Kwangsi to regroup. Huang Shao-hung then broke with the Kwangsi clique because he opposed the policy of continuing the civil war.
The arrest of Hu Han-min at Nanking on 28 February 1931 opened the way for a reconciliation of Kwangsi and Kwangtung. In May, a number of political leaders opposed to Chiang Kai-shek, including Wang Ching-wei, Eugene Ch'en (qq.v.), and Ch'en Chi-t'ang, formed an opposition government at Canton. Li Tsung-jen went to Canton in mid-May to discuss the formation of a military alliance between Kwangsi and Kwangtung. Agreement was reached, and the Kwangsi-Kwangtung forces invaded southern Hunan in early September. After the Mukden Incident of 18 September, the National Government called for national unity and concerted action to meet the Japanese threat. The Canton regime insisted that Li Chi-shen and Hu Han-min be released and that Chiang Kai-shek resign from office before it would agree to dissolve itself. Both conditions were met. Although Chiang soon returned to power, the agreement remained in force. Li Tsung-jen and Ch'en Chi-t'ang were appointed to the Military Affairs Commission in March 1932. Huang Hsü-ch'u, who had assumed Huang Shao-hung's posts in Kwangsi, became governor of the province. Kwangsi continued to administer its affairs in virtual independence of the National Government. In April, Li was elected to the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang and was appointed pacification commissioner of Kwangsi, with Pai Ch'ung-hsi as his deputy. From 1932 to July 1937 Li and Pai worked to reconstruct Kwangsi by putting into practice the san-tzu cheng-ts'e [three-self policy] of self-government, self-defense, and self-sufficiency and the san-yü cheng-ts'e [three-reservation policy] of building military pow'er (for details, see Pai Ch'ung-hsij. Kwangsi became relatively free from crime and began to develop its industrial and educational capacities. After Hu Han-min died in 1936, it seemed likely that the National Government would move to end the semi-independence of Kwangtung. Ch'en Chi-t'ang, with the support of Li Tsung-jen, attempted to forestall such action. In early June, Kwangsi forces under the overall command of Pai Ch'ung-hsi entered southern Hunan and issued an order for general mobilization of Kwangtung and Kwangsi forces. The force allegedly was an anti-Japanese expeditionary army, marching to the north to protect China because Chiang Kai-shek was not resisting the Japanese. Ch'en Chi-t'ang assumed the post of commander in chief of the First Anti- Japanese National Salvation Forces, and Li and Pai became his deputies. In early July, the revolt collapsed after the Kwangtung air force defected to the National Government. On 25 July 1936 the National Government appointed Li Tsung-jen and Pai Ch'ung-hsi to posts outside of Kwangsi, but they refused to accept them. Five days later they organized a military government in Kwangsi, with Li Chi-shen as its chairman. However, the mediation efforts of Huang Shao-hung and Ch'eng Ch'ien led to an agreement between Li Tsung-jen and Chiang Kai-shek, and Kwangsi accepted the authority of the National Government. Li remained in Kwangsi as pacification commissioner and commander in chief of the Fifth Route Army (the new designation given to the Kwangsi forces).
In August 1937, a month after the Sino- Japanese war began, Li Tsung-jen was appoin
ed commanding officer of the Fifth War Area, which was composed of northern Kiangsu, northern Anhwei, and southern Shantung. Li left Kwangsi on 10 October to take command of the war area and to assume office as governor of Anhwei. The Fifth Route Army was sent north and was split into two group armies. Li established headquarters in Hsuchow. Among the troops under his command were five Kwangsi divisions.
In early 1938 the Japanese launched an offensive near Hsuchow. On 25 March, two Japanese columns attacked Taierhchuang, a walled town northeast of Hsuchow. After five days of heavy fighting, the Chinese forces destroyed one of the Japanese columns. Both sides called for reinforcements, and, in mid-May, the fighting shifted to the perimeter of Hsuchow. On 19 May, the forces of Li abandoned Hsuchow and marched into western Anhwei and eastern Honan. Li then established headquarters at Laohokow in northern Hupeh. After the abandonment of Wuhan in October 1938, his chief task was to prevent the Japanese from advancing to the west. Li retained command of the Fifth War Area, but he was succeeded as governor of Anhwei by another Kwangsi general, Liao Lei.
In April 1939 the Japanese launched a drive from Hankow during which they captured Hsinyeh and Tangho. They then moved to surround six Chinese divisions based in the Tungpei mountains. Li sent his troops to counterattack, and the fighting began on 10 May. By 16 May they had extricated the Chinese divisions at Tungpei and had recovered Hsinyeh and Tangho.
Li Tsung-jen retained command of the Fifth War Area until early 1945, when he became director of the field headquarters of the Military Affairs Commission at Hanchung in southern Shensi. Soon after the war ended, he was appointed director of the presidential headquarters at Peiping. When the situation in Manchuria deteriorated and the possibility of a Chinese Communist victory over the Nationalists became stronger, Chiang Kai-shek unsuccessfully tried to persuade Li to assume direction of the Manchurian campaign. Li retained his Peiping office until 1948, when he announced his candidacy for the office of vice president. He was elected to the vice presidency on 29 April, defeating Chiang Kai-shek's candidate, Sun Fo. Thus, when Chiang retired from office on 21 January 1949, Li became acting President of China. Li, however, was not free to direct the National Government, for Chiang continued to issue orders as party leader (tsung-ts'ai) of the Kuomintang, and many of the men in key governmental and military positions were loyal to him. Sun Fo, who had become premier, moved the Executive Yuan to Canton on 5 February without asking for Li's approval of the move. In effect, the National Government had been split into three parts, with Chiang, Li, and Sun all issuing orders. The situation was eased somewhat when Sun Fo resigned on 7 March and Ho Ying-ch'in became premier.
Li Tsung-jen and Pai Ch'ung-hsi, who was based in the Wuhan area, proposed to defend the Yangtze River line by having the air and naval forces deployed in support of the ground forces and having T'ang En-po's troops, then concentrated in the Shanghai sector, move westward to establish contact with Pai's command. Li asked Chiang Kai-shek to authorize this plan, but Chiang, who had already begun to move troops to the off-shore islands, refused.
Li, with Chiang's approval, made a final attempt to negotiate a peace settlement with the Chinese Communists. On 26 March 1949 the Communist leaders informed Nanking by radio that they had appointed a delegation headed by Chou En-lai to meet with National Government representatives at Peiping on 1 April. At the meetings, the Communists insisted on crossing the Yangtze and gave the Nationalists until 20 April to decide whether to accept this condition. Reportedly, they also offered Li a vice chairmanship in a new coalition government if he would sign the agreement. Li refused the offer, and, on 19 April, the National Government asked for an extension of the deadline date. On 20 April, the Chinese Communists attacked and crossed the Yangtze. The National Government abandoned Nanking on 23 April and moved to Canton. At this point, Li Tsung-jen, weary of battling both Chiang Kai-shek and the Communists, went to Kweilin. A delegation from the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang went there to urge him to return to office. Li finally allowed himself to be persuaded and went to Canton on 7 May. Yunnan, Kweichow, and Szechwan were still held by the Nationalists and by Pai Ch'ung-hsi's forces. Li Tsung-jen now endeavored to evolve a strategy for holding Kwangtung and Hainan Island. On 14 July 1949 Chiang Kaishek arrived at Canton to confer with Li and other officials. A special commission, with Chiang as chairman and Li as vice chairman, was established to effect a liaison between the Kuomintang and the National Government. In October 1949 the National Government was forced to move to Chungking. On 11 November, Li Tsung-jen flew to Kweilin and met with Pai Ch'ung-hsi, Hsia Wei, Li P'in-hsin, and Huang Hsü-ch'u to make plans for the defense of Kwangsi. He then flew to Hainan to confer with Ch'en Chi-t'ang. After returning to Kwangsi a few days later, Li suffered a recurrence of an old stomach disorder. An operation seemed to be necessary, but proper medical facilities were not available in Kwangsi. On 20 November, Li flew to Hong Kong and began to make arrangements to go to the United States for medical treatment. On 22 November, Chiang Kai-shek sent a delegation headed by Chü Cheng and Chü Chia-hua to request that Li remain in China. Li refused, and the delegation withdrew. He also refused to be entrusted with any aid-seeking missions. On 5 December, he flew to the United States. After spending two months in a hospital in New York, he visited President Harry S. Truman at the White House on 2 March 1950. The previous day, Chiang Kai-shek, then in Taiwan, had announced that he was resuming the presidency. Li denounced the action, saying that it was illegal, but he could do nothing about it. Li lived quietly in the United States for three years. Then, on 3 January 1954, he wrote an open letter to Chiang Kai-shek opposing Chiang's plan for reelection by the National Assembly in Taiwan. Li maintained that a new body should have been created in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. In Taiwan, impeachment proceedings were begun against Li, and he was voted out of office on 10 March 1954. On 22 March, Chiang Kai-shek was reelected President. Two days later, Ch'en Ch'eng was elected to succeed Li in the vice presidency.
In July 1965 Li Tsung-jen and his wife, Kuo Te-chieh, who was in very poor health, left the United States and went to the People's Republic of China. Their two sons, Li Yueh-lung and Jackson Li, remained in New York. Li was welcomed at Peking by an imposing delegation which included Chou En-lai. Two months later, on 26 September, after a tour of northeastern China, Li held a two-hour press conference for Chinese and foreign journalists in which he lauded the accomplishments of the Chinese people under the leadership of Mao Tse-tung, stressed that Taiwan was an inalienable part of China, attacked "Khrushchev revisionists" in the Soviet Union and "the reactionaries of various countries," and encouraged his former Kuomintang colleagues in Taiwan to follow his example and "return to the embrace of the motherland." Kuo Te-chieh died at Peking on 23 March 1966, and Li continued to live in the People's Republic of China.