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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 ?
I don't think it is helpful to criticise Pakistan's Afghan policy also at a juncture where the endgame can cost heavily with potentials of plunging Afghanistan once again to warlordisms and internal chaos with a massive spill over of violence into Pakistan.
He seems to think that an endemic civil war, warlordism, and tribal fragmentation of the country are of no consequence to the United States as long as Al Qaeda's comeback can be prevented by drones and cruise missiles.
Peace envoy Brahimi warned the intensifying conflict could see "the state and its institutions withering away, lawlessness spreading, warlordism, banditry, narcotics, arms smuggling and worst of all the ugly face of communal and sectarian strife take hold of Syria.
Prompted by reflection on enduring warlordism under the auspices of of the Karzai government in occupied Afghanistan, Marten (political science, Barnard College) provides a comparative examination of recent cases of state leader (foreign and domestic) responses to warlords (or "local power brokers" in Washington euphemism) in order to theorize the relationship between states, sovereignty, warlords, and stability and security in the contemporary world order.
For example, consider how patron-client relations in some African countries collapsed and were replaced by coercive warlordism.
In Afghanistan, "regionalism and warlordism tore the country apart in the wake of Soviet withdrawal.
But the fragile state struggled to unify its territory, suffering warlordism and ideological cleavage before finding refuge from the civil war on Taiwan after Chiang Kai-shek's forces were routed by the Communists in the late 1940s.
In short, commercial warlordism is based on money and guns.
Regardless of the formal recognition of democracy by the Bonn Agreement, in the post-2001 period, both the Afghan government and the international community paid less attention in providing the ground for institutionalizing democracy in Afghanistan due to the ongoing challenges of warlordism and the Taliban-led insurgency.
One fails to understand why the media should place so little faith in its own security forces who are struggling day and night and sacrificing their lives and limbs to safeguard ordinary citizens from the brutality and savagery of the terrorists who have spread murder and mayhem in the country and are not even sparing innocent women and children as well as mosques and other holy places in their quest for establishing their brutal warlordism in certain areas of Pakistan.