View Full Version : TWO REPUBLICS in CHINA (7)

October 11th, 2015, 03:44 PM
IV. The military coup d'etat in XiAn City
As Japan invaded northeastern China (details in chapter 3), the communist party seized this opportunity to demand the unity of the communist party and the national party against Japan in January, 1936. And as Japan occupied the northeastern China, Zhang Xueliang was driven out of it. Therefore, Chiang Kai-shek ordered Zhang to besiege the communist party in northern Shaanxi province on the 20th day of September, 1935. But on the 1st day of October, in the battle at Mt. Lao, two regiments of Zhang's army were annihilated by the red army. On the 29th day, in another battle, the 107th division and the 619th regiment of Zhang's army were wiped out, too. On the 22nd day of November, his 109th division went alone towards Wuqi town and camped on the way at Zhilu town for the night. The division commander thought that the red army was so far away and could not attack him. He was out of vigilance. However, the red army took the whole night on a quick march and surrounded the division. In the morning, the red army put the division to rout.
After these defeats, Zhang had secret contact with the communist party for a truce. On the 9th day of April, 1936, Zhang went to YanAn city to have a talk with Zhou Enlai, the representative of the communist party. Zhang accepted the demand of the communist party to unite against Japan. Zhang even put his request to join the communist party. Nevertheless, hie request was not granted because his father, Zhang Zuolin, a warlord in the northeastern China, had killed some communist party members. Anyway, when Deng Xiaoping (08/22/190402/19/1997), an important leader of the communist party, was seriously sick, Zhang got medication for him and saved his life.
Chiang Kai-shek came to know the situation and was dissatisfied with Zhang. But at the time, an event happened in Canton, on the 1st day of June, 1936, called 6.1 event. Chen Jitang in Guangdong province and Li Zongren (18911969) in Guangxi province wanted to be independent from the central national government and on that day they telegrammed from Canton to the central government asking the permission to go north to fight Japan. But their real aim was to overthrow the central government. Chiang sent his army to conquer Chen in Guangdong province and simultaneously brought over Chen's subordinates. In July, the commander of Chen's air force betrayed him and turned over to Chiang by flying 70 airplanes under his command to Nanking. Then the commander of his 1st army declared his loyalty to Chiang. So on the 18th day of July, Chen Jitang escaped to Hongkong. Then Li Zongren in Guangxi province had to announce his obedience to the central government.
On the 22nd day of October, Chiang flew from Nanking to XiAn city to urge Zhang to continue the attack of the red army, but Zhang made objection. They had a quarrel and Chiang went to Luoyang city. On the 29th day, Zhang went to Luoyang for the celebration of Chiang's birthday. He wanted to persuade Chiang to unite the communist party against Japan, but Chiang refused. On the 27th day of November, Zhang asked to go fighting Japan, but got rejection from Chiang. On the 2nd day of December, Zhang flew to Luoyang to inform Chiang that there might be a riot in his army and asked Chiang to go to XiAn to have a talk to his soldiers. It was really a trick to draw Chiang there for some purpose. Chiang, always not wise enough, agreed and flew to XiAn with Zhang on the 4th day if December. He lodged at Huaqing Pool on Lishan Mountain. Huaqing Pool was really a bathing pool with hot spring water, and with rooms around for living. Actually the bathing pool was also inside a room. It was built in Tang Dynasty (618907 AD) for the famous imperial concubine Yang of emperor Xuanzong (685762 AD).
On the 9th day, the communist party organized a demonstration with crowds. A boy was said to be injured by the police, which incited the wrath of the crowds. Zhang went to see Chiang, who wanted Zhang to oppress the demonstration, but Zhang did not follow Chiang's instruction. On the 11th night, Zhang summoned his generals and asked them to make preparations for a military coup d'etat tomorrow. Accordingly, in the morning of the 12th day, Zhang went to see Chiang with soldiers and put Chiang in custody.
In the evening of the 12th day of December, Mailing Soong, wife of Chiang, was told the event and first thought of Donald William Henry (187511/1946, died in Shanghai), an Australian reporter, who was a friend of both Chiang and Zhang. Soong and Henry immediately took the train to Nanking. At 8 o'clock in the morning on the 13th day, Soong telegrammed Zhang while Henry telegrammed Zhang, too, that they would fly to XiAn city. On the 16th day, the national government ordered Zhang to release Chiang at once, but Zhang declined. So the government gathered army intending to attack XiAn and at the same time send bombers to bombard the city. The communist party suggested to kill Chiang. But on the 17th day, Stalin sent the communist party his instruction in which he opposed to kill Chiang, who, in his opinion, would be the qualified leader in resisting Japan. He demanded to release Chiang. So the communist party agreed to his decision.
When Soong and Henry arrived in XiAn, they went to see Chiang at once. Soong persuaded Chiang by saying that it would be better to act against Japan than to be killed by the communist party. In the resistance of Japan, he would be a hero. When killed by the communist party, he would be nothing. So Chiang accepted the agreement on the 24th day about the unity with the communist party to fight Japan, etc. But Chiang did not sign on the agreement. Some of Zhang's subordinates were not satisfied. Zhang said that if Chiang wanted to go back from the agreement once he was released, he would do that even if he signed the agreement. If Chiang kept his promise, what did it matter that he signed it or not.
Chiang was let go in the afternoon of the 25th day, and Zhang accompanied him back to Nanking and was detained forever in secret confinement till Chiang died on the fifth day of April, 1975. Then he was restored to freedom and died on the 15th day of October, 2001, in Hawaii. This event ended the war between the communist party and the national party and began the Sino-Japanese war all over China.