Zhang, Xueliang, 1901-2001

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1898-06-03
Death 2001-10-15

Biographical notes:

Peter Chang (his name also rendered as Zhang Xueliang, and Chang Hsueh-liang) was born in Manchuria in 1901 and died in Hawaii in 2001. After his father Chang Tso-lin Zhang Zuolin, a leading war-lord known as the Old Marshal, was assassinated in 1928 by the Japanese, Chang took his place as the Young Marshal, becoming one of the most powerful military figures in China.

In 1930 Chang became Deputy Commander in Chief of the Chinese Armed Forces. In 1933 he traveled to Europe. Upon his return to China, Zhou Enlai convinced him of the need for a united front between the Nationalist and Communist Chinese against Japan.

On December 4, 1936, Chiang Kai-shek, the Nationalist leader, met with Marshal Chang in Xian, ostensibly to plan a campaign against the Communists that was due to begin on December 12. Chang arrested Chiang Kai-shek, an event that became known around the world as the Xian incident. Two weeks later Chiang was released after agreeing to work with the Communists in fighting the Japanese.

After the Xian incident Marshal Chang might have chosen to join the Communists. Instead he surrendered to Chiang Kai-shek who placed him under house arrest. This was his status for the next fifty years, even after the Nationalists fled to Taiwan taking Chang with them. As he said in 1991 in his first interview after recovering his freedom, "It was a rebellion and I had to take responsibility for it."

During his long period of confinement on Taiwan, Marshal Chang lived comfortably in a house with an extensive garden selected by Chiang Kai-shek's son, Chiang Ching-kuo, who succeeded his father as President of Taiwan. During this time Chang became a Baptist and spent many hours writing, reading the Bible, and studying history. The house was filled with paintings and calligraphy honoring the Chiang family, including a number that were drawn by Madame Chang Kai-shek. Many of these items are now at Columbia in the Chang Papers.

After his release Marshall Chang settled in Hawaii in 1995 with his second wife Yi Di Zhao, known as Edith Chang who predeceased him by one year. The daughter of a senior official, she had left her family while still in her teens to become his companion, later following him into exile on Taiwan. Her devotion so moved Chang's first wife Yu Feng-chih that she released him from his marriage vows.

From the description of Peter H.L. and Edith Chang papers, 1930s-2001. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 456565365

Peter Chang (his name also rendered as Zhang Xueliang, and Chang Hsueh-liang) was born in Manchuria in 1901 and died in Hawaii in 2001. After his father Chang Tso-lin Zhang Zuolin, a leading war-lord known as the Old Marshal, was assassinated in 1928 by the Japanese, Chang took his place as the Young Marshal, becoming one of the most powerful military figures in China.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED In 1930 Chang became Deputy Commander in Chief of the Chinese Armed Forces. In 1933 he traveled to Europe. Upon his return to China, Zhou Enlai convinced him of the need for a united front between the Nationalist and Communist Chinese against Japan.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED On December 4, 1936, Chiang Kai-shek, the Nationalist leader, met with Marshal Chang in Xian, ostensibly to plan a campaign against the Communists that was due to begin on December 12. Chang arrested Chiang Kai-shek, an event that became known around the world as the Xian incident. Two weeks later Chiang was released after agreeing to work with the Communists in fighting the Japanese.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED After the Xian incident Marshal Chang might have chosen to join the Communists. Instead he surrendered to Chiang Kai-shek who placed him under house arrest. This was his status for the next fifty years, even after the Nationalists fled to Taiwan taking Chang with them. As he said in 1991 in his first interview after recovering his freedom, "It was a rebellion and I had to take responsibility for it".

BIOGHIST REQUIRED During his long period of confinement on Taiwan, Marshal Chang lived comfortably in a house with an extensive garden selected by Chiang Kai-shek son, Chiang Ching-kuo, who succeeded his father as President of Taiwan. During this time Chang became a Baptist and spent many hours writing, reading the Bible, and studying history. The house was filled with paintings and calligraphy honoring the Chiang family, including a number that were drawn by Madame Chang Kai-shek. Many of these items are now at Columbia in the Chang Papers.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED After his release Marshall Chang settled in Hawaii in 1995 with his second wife Yi Di Zhao, known as Edith Chang who predeceased him by one year. The daughter of a senior official, she had left her family while still in her teens to become his companion, later following him into exile on Taiwan. Her devotion so moved Chang's first wife Yu Feng-chih that she released him from his marriage vows.

From the guide to the Peter H.L. and Edith Chang Papers, 1930s-2001, (Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library, )

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Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6m33wbt
Ark ID:
w6m33wbt
SNAC ID:
4266526

Subjects:

  • General
  • Generals--China

Occupations:

  • Occupation

Places:

  • Japan (as recorded)
  • China (as recorded)
  • China (as recorded)