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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 ?
Ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell observed part of Warlord Rock 2015 airborne and live ammo exercise before the news conference.
Ashraf Ghani, seen as the front runner in tomorrow's presidential elections, had branded Dostum "a known killer" in 2009, when the warlord was backing Karzai's bid for re-election.
The principal observation is that specialists in violence always exist in a society but that such a specialist becomes a warlord, i.
He went (in the minds of the West) from being a bad warlord to a good one and now he is once again labeled as bad.
Warlord is an apt title since Churchill was an anti-organization leader (much like Hitler and FDR) who never favored the rational side of conducting military operations.
It's the story of a cricket named Christopher who lived a happy cricket life playing and singing for his forest friends until the Warlord (a mean spirited lizard) arrives and demands that music cease and to make certain that it does, kidnaps Christopher's muse, the Night Star.
The arrest and extradition of Charles Taylor and branding him a warlord is a blatant act of hypocrisy and racism.
At one point this results in a farcical situation in which Berntsen directs his readers to a specific page in Schroen's book where they can learn the identity of an Afghan warlord whose name is redacted in Jawbreaker.
FORMER Liberian warlord Charles Taylor was flown from Nigeria back to his homeland yesterday, where officials said he would be sent on to the UN-backed court in Sierra Leone to face trial on charges of crimes against humanity.
Meanwhile, he is estranged from his own father, a respected warlord, and returns to his home for the first time since they fought.
The Mogadishu-based warlord and commerce minister Muse Sudi Yalahow said that he would shoot down aircraft that were diverted to other airports to comply with the closure.
But Capcom also used that game to establish the tradition of applying gaming mythos to historical figures - in the real world, Nobunaga is just a great warlord.