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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.
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a military leader of a nation or part of a nation, esp one who is accountable to nobody when the central government is weak
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
"I never back-stabbed my people in any way hence calling me a warlord a term associated with unprincipled spent force militia commanders in military jargons is extremely insulting to say the least.
I could not reach Wilkinson for comment, but I did confront him outside the Warlord Productions offices in Brighton two years ago.
Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Saadan, the Director General for Religious Affairs at the armed forces, Director General of the joint Liability funds at the armed forces and Supervisor of the Warlord Succession Program, made the announcement.
Captured by barking mad warlord Immortan Joe, his only way of escape from a rather nasty band of pallid, diseased warriors is to align himself with beautiful but supremely tough Imperator Furiosa (a wonderful Theron).
Warlord Rock 2015, the outcome of last year's NATO summit in Wales, started in four locations in western Hungary Sunday and lasts until next Tuesday, involving 750 soldiers -- 450 Americans and 300 Hungarians -- and the U.S.
These are not the traits of a Warlord but then it was a title she never sought.
The warlord -- a genuine survivor -- was back in business.
In this narrative account for general readers, he relates the life story of Afghan warlord and Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostum, who, with his band of nomads on horseback, guided US Special Forces through the desert mountains to reveal Taliban hideouts.
The first set of observations describes the origins of warlords. The principal observation is that specialists in violence always exist in a society but that such a specialist becomes a warlord, i.e., personally rules part of the national territory, only when the national government cannot control that territory at a cost which is unacceptable to the national government.
March 19, 2013 (NEW YORK) - Bosco Ntaganda, the fugitive Congolese warlord responsible for grave child rights violations surrendered yesterday at the Embassy of the United States of America in Kigali, Rwanda, and requested his immediate transfer to the International Criminal Court to face war crimes charges.
LIBERIA * It's a story of transformation that has surprised thousands and shocked all who have heard: A brutal African warlord with a violent past finds Christ and dramatically turns his life around.