Shang Zhen

Name in Chinese
Name in Wade-Giles
Shang Chen
Related People

Biography in English

Shang Chen (c. 1884-), military subordinate of Yen Hsi-shan who later served as governor of Hopei (1928-29), Shansi (1929-31), and Honan (1936). He headed the Chinese Military Mission to the United States in 1944-45. Little is known about Shang Chen's family background or early life except that he was born in Paoting, Chihli (Hopei) and that his native place was Shaohsing, Chekiang. After receiving a military education, he became a divisional staff officer in Fengtien, where he became active in the anti-Manchu revolutionary movement. With the establishment of the republic in 1912, he received command of a mixed brigade in Shantung. Later that year, he was transferred to an advisory post in the ministry of war. During the so-called second revolution of June-September 1913 he was arrested on suspicion of complicity in the anti- Yuan plot, but he was released soon afterwards and was given a post in Mienchih, Honan. In 1914 he received command of a regiment in the forces of Feng Yu-hsiang's uncle Lu Chien-chang. He spent 1914 and 1915 campaigning against bandits in northern Shensi. In 1916 Shang Chen led his regiment into Shansi and entered the service of Yen Hsi-shan (q.v.). He soon rose in rank and power from commander of the Shansi 1st Mixed Brigade to commander of the Shansi Temporary 1st Division, director of the Taiyuan arsenal, and defense commander for southern Shensi. In September 1926 Yen Hsi-shan appointed Shang military governor of the Suiyuan special district. When Yen decided to support the Northern Expedition, Shang received command of the First Army of the Northern Route of the National Revolutionary Army. When Yen's forces were reorganized in 1927 as the Third Army Group, Shang became field commander of that army's northern route. He served as field commander of the entire Third Army Group during the final stage of the Northern Expedition in 1928, and his own First Army led the way into Paoting and Peking. At the end of June 1928 Shang Chen was rewarded for his services during the Northern Expedition with appointments as governor of Hopei, bandit-suppression commander in Hopei, and deputy (under Yen Hsi-shan) Peiping-Tientsin garrison commander. Soon afterwards, he became a member of the Peiping branch of the Political Council. When Yen Hsi-shan became minister of interior in the new National Government established at Nanking in October 1928, Shang assumed full command of the Peiping-Tientsin garrison forces. In 1929 Shang was appointed governor of Shansi in September and was elected an alternate member of the Kuomintang's Central Supervisory Committee at year's end. About this time, he apparently decided that his future prospects would be enhanced if he dissociated himself from Yen Hsi-shan. Thus, he did not take part in the activities of the so-called northern coalition {see Yen Hsi-shan; Feng Yu-hsiang) in 1930.

Shang Chen received command of the Fourth Army in 1930 and of the Thirty-second Army in 1931. He was succeeded as governor of Shansi by Hsu Yung-ch'ang (q.v.) in August 1931, at which time he received command of the Third Army Group of the so-called northern bandit-suppression forces. Early in 1933 he was appointed commander in chief of the Second Army Group in north China and was dispatched to the Great Wall, where his forces performed well in turning back the Japanese at Langkow. Beginning in June 1934, Shang served as adjutant of the Lushan Officers Training Corps. He was reassigned to north China in June 1935 as Tangku-Paoan commander and mayor of Tientsin. After the Ho-Umezu agreement {see Ho Ying-ch'in), he was appointed governor of Hopei and was elevated to full membership on the Central Supervisory Committee of the Kuomintang. He was transferred to the governorship of Honan in January 1936, but later that year he left that post to assume command of the Twentieth Army Group in north China. In 1939, the second year of the Sino- Japanese war, Shang Chen became deputy commander of the Ninth War Area. He was appointed commander of the Sixth War Area and director of the executive office of the Military Affairs Commission in 1940 and was given the additional post of director of the commission's foreign affairs bureau in 1941. He held these posts until 1944, when he was made chief of the Chinese Military Mission to the United States. The mission's chief function was to obtain supplies of war materiel, and Shang was chosen to head it because of his military knowledge, command of English, and prowess at polo. In 1946 he also served as chief Chinese delegate to the Military Staff Commission of the United Nations. Ho Ying-ch'in succeeded him in these posts in October 1946, and Shang then returned to China to become chief adjutant to Chiang Kai-shek.

Shang Chen went to Japan in April 1947 as Chinese delegate to the Allied Council and head of the Chinese mission in Japan. With the Chinese Communist victory on the mainland and the withdrawal of the National Government to Taiwan in 1949, Shang left public life to embark upon a comfortable retirement in Japan.

Biography in Chinese




All rights reserved@ENP-China