Biography in English

Chang Fa-k'uei 張發奎 T. Hsiang-hua 向華

Chang Fa-k'uei (1896-), a leading Cantonese military officer, commanded the 12th (Ironside) Division, later and better known as the Fourth Army. Although a sometime supporter of Wang Ching-wei who participated in several anti- Chiang Kai-shek movements, he was given important commands during the Sino-Japanese war.

A native of Shihhsing hsien on the northern borders of Kwangtung province, Chang Fa-k'uei was born into a poor peasant family. His father, Chang Chu-ch'i, finding farming difficult, had obtained a clerical post in the hsien magistracy. This enabled the boy to attend school and, at the age of 12, he enrolled in the higher primary school in the hsien city. A stubborn lad, he was expelled from the school for insubordination in 1910, at the age of 15. In 1911 Chang Fa-k'uei left his home district for Canton, where he served for a time in the Tseng-pu Weaving Works. It was the year of the anti-Manchu revolt, and the lad soon was attracted to the movement. After the republic was established in 1912, Chang gained admission to the Whampoa Military Primary School near Canton. Teng K'eng (q.v.), then dean of the school, took a liking to the boy and sponsored his membership in the Kuomintang. After being graduated from the Canton school in 1914, Chang Fa-k'uei went to Wuchang, where he joined the Army preparatory academy. In 1916 when the southern provinces launched the campaign against Yuan Shih-k'ai, who had proclaimed himself monarch, Chang Fa-k'uei left the academy and returned to Canton to join the army. Together with Hsueh Yueh (q.v.), he served under Teng K'eng and Chu Chih-hsin (q.v.) in numerous revolutionary actions.

Before Sun Yat-sen left Canton for Shanghai in the summer of 1918, he organized a Kwangtung Army and placed it under the command of Ch'en Chiung-ming (q.v.). To avoid an open clash with the Kwangsi warlords, Sun sent Ch'en Chiung-ming with that army to Fukien. Teng K'eng was chief of staff in this army, and Chang Fa-k'uei served under Teng.

In 1920 this Kwangtung Army returned to Kwangtung and ousted the Kwangsi warlords from Canton. Sun Yat-sen then returned to Canton, where in 1921 he was elected president extraordinary. The Kwangtung Army had expanded, and Teng K'eng, the chief of staff, was also commander of its 1st Division. Chang Fa-k'uei was a battalion commander, and soon his battalion was incorporated into the special guards regiment which was charged with the personal protection of Sun Yat-sen. In 1922 Chang Fa-k'uei lost his friend and mentor Teng K'eng, whose assassination proved to be the prelude to Ch'en Chiung-ming's revolt against Sun. At the time of that revolt, which took place early in the morning on 16 June 1922 when Ch'en Chiung-ming's subordinates surrounded Sun's headquarters in Canton, Chang Fa-k'uei and his battalion were in Shaokwan, where Sun had established the headquarters of his northern expeditionary army. Chang and his men thus escaped the assault by Ch'en's forces. Army units loyal to Sun which had entered Kiangsi found Ch'en Chiung-ming's forces to be overpowering and they turned toward Fukien. Chang Fa-k'uei was unable to join them, and for a time he took his men to his native district of Shihhsing in northern Kwangtung.

Meanwhile, Liang Hung-k'ai, who was loyal to Sun, had succeeded Teng K'eng as commander of the 1st Division. That division had to take refuge in the Kongmoon area, and, eventually, Liang summoned Chang Fa-k'uei to join him. Then, in 1923, the 1st Division of the Kwangtung Army was reorganized, and Chang Fa-k'uei contributed many troops to it. Because of the aid given by the Kwangsi and Yunnan armies to Sun Yat-sen's cause, Ch'en Chiung-ming had been forced to evacuate Canton and retreat to his home district in the East River area. Sun Yat-sen then named Liang Hung-k'ai commander of the First Anti-bandit Army (the "bandit" referring to Ch'en Chiungming), and Li Chi-shen, hitherto chief of staff to the 1st Division, took over its command. Chang Fa-k'uei was promoted to the command of the independent regiment in the division. In 1924 there was a further reorganization, and Chang Fa-k'uei was assigned to command one of the regiments which formed the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division. The brigade commander was Ch'en Ming-shu (q.v.), and the commander of the other regiment under the same brigade was Tai Chi. The division saw action in the campaign against Shen Hung-ying, another Kwangsi warlord whom the Peking government had attempted to use against the southern government. It also fought in the final East River campaign against Ch'en Chiung-ming in 1925, and, later, against the Kwangsi and Yunnan armies of Liu Chen-huan and Wang Hsi-min.

In July 1925 the Kuomintang organized the National Government at Canton. In August of that year, the various armies under the Canton government were reorganized and standardized as units of the National Revolutionary Army. A part of the Kwangtung Army, with the former 1st Division as the backbone, was organized as the Fourth Army, with Li Chi-shen (q.v.) as commander. That reorganization marked the first appearance of the name Fourth Army. Chang Fa-k'uei first served as the commander of an independent brigade, but that unit was soon expanded into the 12th Division. The Fourth Army, at the time of its founding, was commanded by Li Chi-shen, and its four divisional commanders were Ch'en Ming-shu, Ch'en Chi-t'ang, Chang Fa-k'uei, and Hsu Ching-t'ang.

When the National Government launched the Northern Expedition in 1926, under the over-all command of Chiang Kai-shek, Li Chi-shen was appointed to secure the rear base at Canton. Of the four divisions of his Fourth Army, however, two were assigned to join in the expedition. These were the 10th Division under Ch'en Ming-shu and the 12th Division under Chang Fa-k'uei. These two divisions of the Fourth Army formed the vanguard unit that spearheaded the drive into Hunan in July 1926. Chang Fa-k'uei was chiefly responsible for the final capture, on 29 August 1926, of Ting-ssu-ch'iao, and he followed that victory by taking another strategic point, Ho-sheng-ch'iao. These two battles broke the morale of the enemy forces of Wu P'ei-fu (q.v.) and won the name "Ironsides" for Chang Fa-k'uei's division. After the capture of the Wuhan area, both the 10th Division of Ch'en Ming-shu and the 12th Division of Chang Fa-k'uei were enlarged into armies. Ch'en Ming-shu's 10th Division was expanded into the Eleventh Army, made up of three divisions, the unit which later became the famous Nineteenth Route Army. Chang Fa-k'uei's 12th Division, with the addition of the 25th Division, took over the name of the Fourth Army, and carried over the "Ironsides" appellation.

In what was referred to as the second phase of the Northern Expedition, Chang Fa-k'uei led his men farther north from Wuhan and reached Kaifeng. Feng Yu-hsiang (q.v.) had thrown his support to the side of the southern forces, and Honan province came into the hands of the National Government. Chang Fa-k'uei and the army units returned to Wuhan. By that time, the growing rift between the Wuhan and the Nanking factions of the Kuomintang was becoming manifest. Ch'en Ming-shu left the army because he did not agree with the Wuhan stand. Chang Fa-k'uei then was given command of the Eleventh Army, as well as the Fourth Army. Meanwhile, T'ang Sheng-chih (q.v.) had assumed the position of commander in chief in the Wuhan government, and by the summer of 1927 it appeared that the differences between Wuhan and Nanking might have to be settled by military action. Chang Fa-k'uei was appointed commander in chief of the Second Front Army, which, in addition to the Fourth Army and the Eleventh Army, included the Twentieth Army.

At that time, Chang Fa-k'uei was accused of being a Communist, or at least a sympathizer. Although that charge soon was disproved, his forces did include several known Communists and fellow travelers. At the headquarters of his Second Front Army, Kuo Mo-jo served as chief of the political department. In the Fourth Army, Yeh Chien-ying was chief of staff; in the 25th Division of the army, Chang Yun-yi was divisional chief of staff and Chou Shih-ti was a regimental commander. In the Eleventh Army, Yeh T'ing was commander of the 24th Division. And the Twentieth Army was headed by Ho Lung. Chang Fa-k'uei led his army eastward from Wuhan, and some of his troops had reached Nanchang by late July 1927. At that time, however, the Kuomintang authorities at Wuhan, headed by Wang Ching-wei (q.v.), began a purge of the Communists. On 1 August 1927, Yeh T'ing, commander of the 24th Division, and Ho Lung, commander of the Twentieth Army, staged the famous Nanchang insurrection, later marked as the birth of the Chinese Communist army, and forced Ts'ai T'ing-k'ai, the commander of the 10th Division, to join them.

Acting promptly, Chang Fa-k'uei rallied the remainder of his army, consisting of the 12th Division and the 25th Division of the Fourth Army, and the 26th Division of the Eleventh Army, to suppress the rebels, who had openly identified themselves as Communists. They were unable to resist Chang Fa-k'uei's attack and evacuated Nanchang to retreat southward. Ts'ai T'ing-k'ai took the opportunity to break away, and he led the 10th Division into Fukien.

Chang Fa-k'uei moved his army back to Canton in October 1927. In November, when Li Chi-shen left Canton for Shanghai to attend a meeting dealing with the reunification of the Kuomintang, Chang Fa-k'uei staged a coup and gained control of Canton. He issued a declaration which voiced opposition to the special committee of the Kuomintang that was then being organized at Nanking in an attempt to patch up intra-party differences. The National Government treated the Canton incident as an open revolt and issued orders for the arrest of both Chang Fa-k'uei and Huang Ch'i-hsiang, then the commander of the Fourth Army.

Meanwhile, some Kwangsi units and those Kwangtung units which were loyal to Li Chi-shen were threatening to advance on Canton against Chang Fa-k'uei. These included the forces of Ch'en Chi-t'ang and Ch'en Ming-shu, who had now resumed the command of the Eleventh Army. Chang had to send his men to both eastern and western fronts to meet them. At that juncture, Communist elements headed by Yeh Chien-ying, who was in command of the officers' training regiment left behind in Canton city, staged the Canton Commune of 11 December 1927. Chang Fa-k'uei and Huang Ch'i-hsiang escaped to Honam (Honan) island, and they quickly recalled the 26th Division and the 1st Model Division, commanded by Hsueh Yueh, back to the city. The Communist uprising was suppressed after only three days.

The forces of Li Chi-shen then converged on Canton, and Chang Fa-k'uei was defeated. He withdrew to the Kwangtung-Kwangsi border. Both Chang and Huang Chi-hsiang issued a public statement accepting responsibility for the Canton tragedy and announced their departure from the army. The Fourth Army was then placed under the command of Miao P'ei-nan, and it joined the final phase of the Northern Expedition in 1928, being assigned to the First Army Group under Liu Chih.

Chang Fa-k'uei left Canton and went to Japan for a rest. Meanwhile, after the successful conclusion of the Northern Expedition, the National Government carried out a plan for the reduction of the armed forces which was based on the principle of reorganizing each army into a division; the Fourth Army was turned into the 4th Division, with Miao P'ei-nan still in command. Early in March 1929, however, Miao resigned. Nanking was then sending an expedition against the Kwangsi leaders, Li Tsung-jen and Pai Ch'ung-hsi, who were in control of the Wuhan area. Chang Fa-k'uei returned to China and resumed the command of the 4th Division, and Chiang Kai-shek also appointed him commander in chief of the right wing of the expeditionary forces against the Kwangsi generals. This meant that in addition to his own 4th Division, Chang had over-all command of the 10th and 11th divisions. In May he defeated the Kwangsi troops at Shasi and occupied Ichang.

Four months later, in September 1929, Chang Fa-k'uei again broke with Chiang Kai-shek and launched another movement, purportedly for the protection of the party. He marched his troops from Ichang to Hunan with the aim of returning to Kwangtung. The Kwangsi leader, Li Tsung-jen, who had fought bitterly against Chang Fa-k'uei only a few months before, now turned to assist him. The 4th Division and the Kwangsi Army then formed a coalition to attack Kwangtung. They marched on Canton in November 1929, but were defeated by Ch'en Chi-t'ang. Chang Fa-k'uei and his allies retreated to Kwangsi and remained there while he sought to reorganize and rebuild his forces. In the spring of 1930 another coalition against Chiang Kai-shek was organized, with Wang Ching-wei, Yen Hsi-shan, Feng Yü-hsiang, and Li Tsung-jen as the major participants. They undertook the so-called enlarged conference movement of 1930, sometimes called the Yen-Feng coalition. With the help of Li Tsung-jen, Chang Fa-k'uei enlarged his forces to comprise two armies, the Fourth and the Seventh.

Chang Fa-k'uei and Li Tsung-jen, supporting the Yen-Feng coalition in the north, marched into Hunan in May 1930. They advanced as far as Yueh-chou by June, but were met by superior forces from Nanking. In July they were expelled from Hunan and retreated to Kweilin. Soon the Yen-Feng coalition collapsed completely. Li Tsung-jen and Chang Fa-k'uei, however, maintained their forces in western Kwangsi, and in October 1930 they successfully repelled an attack by troops from Yunnan.

In the spring of 1931, before the Nanking authorities could reach a decision regarding measures to be taken toward Kwangsi, another anti-Chiang Kai-shek coalition was organized. The new movement, based at Canton, was precipitated by Chiang Kai-shek's detention of Hu Han-min (q.v.) in March 1931. In May, four members of the Central Supervisory Committee of the Kuomintang led a movement to impeach Chiang. Ch'en Chi-t'ang, Li Tsung-jen, and Chang Fa-k'uei were reconciled, and their Kwangtung and Kwangsi forces provided the military backing for the separatist regime formed at Canton in May 1931. Wang Ching-wei, Sun Fo, Eugene Ch'en, and T'ang Shao-yi provided the political leadership.

The Japanese invasion of Manchuria in September 1931 caused the reconciliation of Nanking and Canton. At the Fourth National Congress of the Kuomintang, held in both Nanking and Canton, Chang Fa-k'uei was elected to the Central Supervisory Committee of the party. At this time, Chang retired from his military command. In the summer of 1932 the government awarded him a grant for travel abroad. He left China on 12 November 1932 and visited Europe, the United States, and Southeast Asia during his stay abroad. It was not until 1935 that Chang Fa-k'uei was summoned back to China by the government. He was then appointed commander in chief of operations in the Anhwei-Chekiang- Kiangsi-Fukien border areas. By that time the Communists had abandoned their base in Kiangsi, and the focus of Nationalist operations against them had shifted to the northwest. Early in 1937 Chang Fa-k'uei became pacification commissioner on the Kiangsu-Chekiang border. It was understood that his mission was the construction of a secure defense line in that area to face the possible full-scale Japanese invasion of China.

When the Sino-Japanese war did break out in July 1937, Chang Fa-k'uei was assigned to command the Eighth Army Group and was given responsibility for the Shanghai-Woosung sector. He established his headquarters on an island situated across the Whangpoo River from the city of Shanghai and engaged the Japanese in battle for about three months. When the Chinese forces abandoned the Shanghai area, Chang moved his troops to Kiangsi. In the campaign to defend the outer perimeter of the Wuhan area in 1938, he commanded the Second Army Group.

After the fall of Wuhan and Canton to the Japanese, Chang Fa-k'uei was named in 1939 to command the Fourth War Area, with headquarters at Chuchiang (Shaokwan), the wartime capital of Kwangtung. He continued to hold that command until 1945. Late in
1939 he engaged the Japanese in a sharp battle in northern Kwangtung and won. In 1940 he moved his headquarters to Liuchow in southern Kwangsi. Toward the end of that year, he recaptured Nanning and Lungchow in Kwangsi and the Fangch'eng and Yinchou districts of southern Kwangtung. The situation in south China remained relatively stable during the war years until 1944, when the Japanese launched another offensive. In October 1944, the Japanese advanced into Kwangsi. In early November, Chang Fa-k'uei's forces gave up both Kweilin and Liuchow with little resistance and withdrew to western Kwangsi. They reached the Poseh district with most of their equipment lost and with their supply and medical services in a state of chaos.

One of the first tasks undertaken by General Albert C. Wedemeyer, who took over command of the United States forces in China from General Joseph W. Stilwell in October 1944, was the relief, re-equipment, and training of Chang Fa-k'uei's battered forces. Under the new Sino-American military cooperation program, Chang Fa-k'uei became commander of the Second Army Group. By May 1945, when the Japanese began their withdrawal from south China, that force comprised four armies, including the New First Army, which had been trained and equipped by the Americans. With the Japanese retreat, a diversionary attack into Indo-China was planned for July 1945, and Chang Fa-k'uei was assigned the mission of occupying Kwang-chou-wan, or Fort Bayard. On 26 May his forces recovered Nanning from a small Japanese rear guard unit. The Forty-sixth and Sixty-fourth armies followed the withdrawing Japanese. After the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan and the Japanese offer to surrender, the United States War Department on 12 August rescinded the order for the drive on Kwang-chou-wan.

One incongruous aspect of Chang Fa-k'uei's wartime role which was destined to have lasting political significance was his part in stimulating and sponsoring the alliance between the Vietnamese nationalists and the Communists. In the spring of 1941 a group of Vietnamese nationalists, meeting at a small town in southern Kwangsi near the Indo-China border, organized a Vietnamese League for Revolution and Independence, colloquially labeled the Viet Minh. The objective of the Viet Minh, which represented an alliance of Vietnamese Communists and various non-Communist groups, was to develop a resistance movement against the Japanese in Indo-China. Nguyen Ai Quoc (Ho Chi Minh), a veteran Communist, was a leading figure in the league, and the radical nature of its propaganda and political activities conducted on Chinese soil led Chang Fa-k'uei to arrest Ho Chi Minh and to jail him from August 1942 until September 1943.

Encouraging resistance to the Japanese, however, was in the Chinese interest. On the urging of Nguyen Hai Than, a Vietnamese nationalist who had ties with the Kuomintang, Chang Fa-k'uei and the Chinese Nationalist authorities at Chungking agreed to sponsor the cause of the Vietnamese exiles. In the summer of 1942 the Vietnamese in Kwangsi were organized into a special training group near Liuchow, where the Fourth War Area cadre training corps was based, under the jurisdiction of Chang Fa-k'uei. A new meeting, held at Liuchow in October 1942 under Chang's auspices, led to the formation of the Vietnamese Revolutionary League, the Dong Minh Hoi. The Chinese placed Nguyen Hai Than at the head of the new organization and appointed Chang Fa-k'uei to a supervisory role as director.

The Dong Minh Hoi, however, proved ineffectual in intelligence work in Indo-China, which was one of the main tasks Chungking had envisaged for it. After reappraisal of the situation, the Chinese Nationalists concluded that the Vietnamese Communists might be "more useful allies and that the Indochinese Communist party could be maneuvered and controled. Chang Fa-k'uei therefore released Ho Chi Minh from prison in September 1943. The Viet Minh then joined the Dong Minh Hoi, and the quality of intelligence work improved notably. The Vietnamese factions in China continued to bicker among themselves, however. At the same time, the Free French military mission at Kunming was increasingly concerned by the obvious anti-colonial potential represented by the Viet Minh movement. At the end of March 1944 another conference, held at Liuchow under Chinese auspices, established a so-called provisional republican government of Viet Nam, with Ho Chi Minh at its head. Chang Fa-k'uei still felt that he could control the new organization, and Chungking still believed that the arrangement would enable Chinese influence to replace the former French authority in Indo-China.

Chang Fa-k'uei's armies, however, were battered by the impact of the Japanese offensive of late 1944. In October 1944 Ho Chi Minh named his lieutenant Vo Nguyen Giap to head a Vietnamese guerrilla force which was established in Tonkin on 22 December 1944. Chang Fa-k'uei may have been aware of the true character of the Viet Minh movement, but he reportedly did not inform the National Government authorities at Chungking that Ho Chi Minh was the same man as the well-known Communist Nguyen Ai Quoc. In any event, Chang apparently assumed that Nationalist rule would continue in China after the war and that, after the removal of both Japanese and French authority from Indo-China, the prosperous, mineral-rich Tonkin area would be brought under Chinese influence. As a result of Chinese Nationalist assumptions and policies, it was the Viet Minh organization which created the first effective anti-Japanese forces in Viet Nam, spread its propaganda among the indigenous population, and received credit for anti-Japanese activities there during the war. The Viet Minh seized power at Hanoi in August 1945 and confronted the Allied forces with a fait accompli. The organization then went on to defeat postwar French efforts to reestablish colonial rule in the area.

In 1945 Chang Fa-k'uei was appointed commander in chief of the new Second Front Army and assigned the mission of moving down the West River to occupy Canton. That move was accomplished in September 1945, and Chang received the formal surrender of the Japanese forces in the Canton area. He was then appointed director of the Generalissimo's headquarters at Canton and he held that post during the postwar period until early 1949, when he served briefly as commander in chief of Chinese land forces. In June 1949, however, he retired to take up residence in Hong Kong, where he had already gained the respect and goodwill of the local British authorities, many of whom had worked with him in south China during the Japanese war.

Early in 1950, after the Chinese Communists had gained control of the mainland and Chiang Kai-shek and his associates had moved to Taiwan, Chang Fa-k'uei was often identified as a leader of the so-called third force movement in Hong Kong. That movement, however, proved to be short-lived. At the same time Li Tsung-jen, who had left for the United States, announced that he intended to continue to exercise authority as acting President of the Republic of China and appointed Chang Fa-k'uei to command the land forces. Chang at once issued a statement rejecting the appointment.

After his brief and unfortunate venture with the third force movement, Chang Fa-k'uei consistently affirmed his continued loyalty to the government on Taiwan and his resolute opposition to the Communists. In 1960, however, when the presidential election was about to be held in Taiwan, Chang Fa-k'uei joined other Chinese public figures, including a Young China party leader, Tso Shun-sheng, in issuing a statement from Hong Kong opposing a third term for Chiang Kai-shek. Since the Hong Kong group was merely voicing support of the 1947 constitution, which does not permit a third presidential term, that statement did not imply that Chang was opposed to the Kuomintang or to Chiang Kai-shek personally.

In the autumn of 1960 Chang Fa-k'uei visited the United States, where he was given an enthusiastic reception by the Chinese community in New York and in other parts of the country. At the time he was president of the Tsung Tsin Association of Hong Kong, the society for the Hakka people of Kwangtung. At a banquet given in his honor on 10 October 1960 by the Tsung Tsin Association of New York, he delivered a stirring speech in which he called upon all overseas Chinese to support Taiwan and expressed his confidence that the campaign against the Communists on the mainland would eventually succeed. The address greatly impressed his audience. Two weeks later, representatives of the Chinese community in New York entertained Chang at another banquet, where he repeated these views. In spite of periodic reports that Chang Fa-k'uei would accept a high government post in Taipei, he continued to reside in Hong Kong and did not visit Taiwan.

Chang Fa-k'uei was generally regarded as one of the most capable army officers associated with the Chinese Nationalist cause and was known for his victories on the Northern Expedition and for his emphasis on military discipline. Although in the late 1920's his army included a significant number of Communists, he himself consistently avoided identification with that party. During the early stages of his career, he looked upon Teng K'eng as his military mentor. In later years, Chang was associated with Wang Ching-wei and the reorganizationist group in the Kuomintang, and his opposition to Chiang Kai-shek stemmed principally from that connection. During the Japanese war, Chang had no contact with Wang Ching-wei after Wang moved to Nanking to work with the Japanese. After the Communist victory on the mainland, Chang Fa-k'uei, aside from the ill-advised third force movement in the early 1950's, attempted to avoid politics.

Biography in Chinese



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