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in modern Chinese history, autonomous regional military commander. In the political chaos following the death (1916) of republican China's first president and commander in chief, Yüan Shih-kaiYüan Shih-kai
, 1859–1916, president of China (1912–16). From 1885 to 1894 he was the Chinese resident in Korea, then under Chinese suzerainty. He supported the dowager empress, Tz'u Hsi, against the reform movement (1898) of Emperor Kuang Hsü, and she
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, central authority fell to the provincial military governors and regional military groups emerged based on personal loyalties. During the next decade there was a series of wars between shifting coalitions of military cliques in N China for the collection of provincial and national revenues and for control of the republican government at Beijing. Between 1926 and 1928 the Northern ExpeditionNorthern Expedition,
in modern Chinese history, the military campaign by which the Kuomintang party overthrew the warlord-backed Beijing government and established a new government at Nanjing.
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 of the Kuomintang party and the army under Chiang Kai-shekChiang Kai-shek
, 1887–1975, Chinese Nationalist leader. He was also called Chiang Chung-cheng.

After completing military training with the Japanese Army, he returned to China in 1911 and took part in the revolution against the Manchus (see Ch'ing).
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 in alliance with prorevolutionary militarists wrested control of N China from the regional armies of Chang Tso-linChang Tso-lin
, 1873–1928, Chinese general. Chang was of humble birth. As the leader of a unit of Manchurian militia he assisted (1904–5) the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese War. He held various military posts under the Chinese republic.
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, Wu P'ei-fuWu P'ei-fu
, 1874–1939, Chinese general and political leader. He had a distinguished military career under the Ch'ing dynasty and was an important figure in the republic. For the most part Wu supported Yüan Shih-k'ai during his presidency.
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, and Sun Ch'uan-fang. However, the new KuomintangKuomintang
[Chin.,=national people's party] (KMT), Chinese and Taiwanese political party. Sung Chiao-jen organized the party in 1912, under the nominal leadership of Sun Yat-sen, to succeed the Revolutionary Alliance.
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 government at Nanjing was able to establish central administrative and fiscal hegemony over only a few provinces in SE China. Most provinces continued to be controlled by local militarists until the unification of China following the Communist victory in 1949.


a military leader of a nation or part of a nation, esp one who is accountable to nobody when the central government is weak
References in periodicals archive ?
We also supported an impoverished War Lord called Osama Bin Laden with weapons and money, as he was fighting the Russians who were in Afghanistan.
His task is fraught with peril until help appears in the form of kung fu master Lu Yan (Chan) and the Silent Monk (Li) who team up with the teenager to defeat the Jade War Lord.
The third place went to former Secretary of State for War Lord Kitchener who famously issued the famous World War One "Britain Wants You" rallying call.
The Amble charter boat War Lord had a party aboard last weekend, with the best fish cod of 15lb taken by Steve Fretwell on ragworm-baited hokies from a wreck.
The laws are in place, but there is no judiciary to sentence drug barons and there is no secure prison in Afghanistan where a war lord or major drug dealer could be locked up without him being able to buy his way out.
Ashraf Ghani is a Pashtun; he has Abdul Rashid Dostum, a war lord from the North, as running mate for first vice president.
How David Brown's First World War Lord Kitchener-style poster could have looked JUDGES' WORDS ABOUT DIRECTOR What the judgement said about Cardiff Bus managing director David Brown * The management "deliberately decided to disregard the law" when it launched a "war" with 2Travel in 2004.
These tactics, the report reveals, included a poster calling for Cardiff Bus drivers willing to defend contested routes featuring Mr Brown - complete with moustache - in the form of the famous First World War Lord Kitchener poster "Your Country Needs YOU".
One of the subs, U-102, is the resting place of the German who sank Secretary of War Lord Kitchener - famous for the World War I recruiting posters.
Jeff Davidson, skipper of the War Lord out of Amble, took a party close in shore south of the port, and between them they had over 200 fish, all cod, weighing 4-6lb, on daylights and hokis, baited with black lug.
It was no surprise to see War Lord off the mark on his handicap debut over the course last week.
Protected by guards paid for by a Pakistani war lord, he then left on horseback for the remote Kunar province where he stayed for 10 months before finally crossing into Pakistan.