Chiang Kai-shek

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Chiang Kai-shek (October 31, 1887 – April 5, 1975) was a political and military leader of 20th century China.

He was an influential member of the nationalist party Kuomintang (KMT) and Sun Yat-sen's close ally. He became the Commandant of Kuomintang's Whampoa Military Academy and took Sun's place in the party when the latter died in 1925. In 1928, Chiang led the Northern Expedition to unify the country, becoming China's overall leader.[3] He served as chairman of the National Military Council of the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China (ROC) from 1928 to 1948. Chiang led China in the Second Sino-Japanese War, during which the Nationalist Government's power severely weakened, but his prominence grew.

Chiang's Nationalists engaged in a long standing civil war with the Communist Party of China (CPC). After the Japanese surrender in 1945, Chiang attempted to eradicate the Communists. Ultimately, with support from the Soviet Union, the CPC defeated the Nationalists, forcing the Nationalist government to retreat to Taiwan, where martial law was continued while the government still tried to take back mainland China. Chiang ruled the island with an iron fist as the President of the Republic of China and Director-General of the Kuomintang until his death in 1975.[citation needed]

Feelings towards Chiang are mixed in Taiwan. While some still view him as a hero, others consider him with disdain; subsequently, hundreds of Chiang's statues have been dismantled across the island.[4]

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