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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 could not reach Wilkinson for comment, but I did confront him outside the Warlord Productions offices in Brighton two years ago.
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 Charlize Theron).
Ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell observed part of Warlord Rock 2015 airborne and live ammo exercise before the news conference.
The warlord -- a genuine survivor -- was back in business.
Marten's central thesis is that the nature of a warlord has changed: a warlord is no longer an independent ruler maintained by his own strength.
He's keen to point out that the Warlord impression really is all an act - albeit a well-honed one.
He was protected by fighters paid for by warlord Maulvi Noor Mohammad, later shot dead by unknown gunmen.
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.
This is the real problem in this country,' one of my friends commented when we heard the news that former jihadi warlord, Burhanduddin Rabbani, was appointed head of President Karzai's so-called High Council for Peace, inaugurated in October 2010.
EX-FOOTIE hardman Vinnie Jones is set to play a warlord in a new movie.
In her latest 'Black Jewels' novel, the land of Dena Nehele has been decimated, left with only a hundred Warlord Princes without a leader.
For depth Warlord does not replace the seven volumes by Randolph Churchill and Sir Martin Gilbert, but it certainly takes less campaigning.