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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 ?
Although the number of Taliban in the north is still quite low, Weesa warned that it could increase if the warlords were not checked.
Two decades of civil war prior to the collapse of the Taliban government in December 2001 have left warlords in control of many provinces in Afghanistan.
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords artfully blends match-three puzzle gameplay with strategy, character-building elements and a persistent storyline.
It is a step ahead in Karzai's old policy of legitimising warlords and maintaining a state of criminal impunity for them.
Basha Khan Jadran, a prominent warlord in eastern Afghanistan, on Wednesday rejected a government warning to surrender weapons or face military action from international peacekeepers and government forces, the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) news agency said.
Terrified Serb warlord Radovan Karadzic hid behind 500 troops yesterday.
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords is also available for Wii[TM], Nintendo DS[TM], PSP[R] (PlayStation[R]Portable) system, the PlayStation[R]2 computer entertainment system and Windows PC.
TRINKOT (PAN): The governor of Uruzgan has complained that warlords, who join Taliban insurgents at night, are responsible for growing insecurity in the southern province.
Basha Khan Zadran, a powerful warlord in eastern Afghanistan, has fiercely opposed the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Dead Head Fred and Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords have received numerous accolades and nominations acknowledging the excellence of both products.
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords is a critically acclaimed videogame that artfully blends match-three puzzle gameplay with strategy, character-building elements and a persistent storyline.
Blizzard Entertainment's "World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor" has announced that the patch data to the "WoD" background downloader has been uploaded on its official website.