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Cheng Qian

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Title: Cheng Qian  
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Subject: Li Weihan, Gu Xiulian, Xie Fei (politician), Hua Jianmin, Wang Chen (politician)
Collection: 1882 Births, 1968 Deaths, Chinese Military Personnel of World War II, Chinese Revolutionaries, Members of the National People's Congress, Members of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, National Revolutionary Army Generals from Hunan, People from Zhuzhou, People of the Xinhai Revolution, People's Republic of China Politicians from Hunan, Philosophers from Anhui, Political Office-Holders in Hunan, Republic of China Politicians from Hunan, Tongmenghui Members, Victims of the Cultural Revolution, Waseda University Alumni
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Cheng Qian

Cheng Qian
Cheng Qian
Native name 程潛
Born (1882-03-31)March 31, 1882
Liling, Hunan, China
Died May 1968 (aged 1963–1964)
Beijing, China
Allegiance  Republic of China
 People's Republic of China
Rank General

Cheng Qian (simplified Chinese: 程潜; traditional Chinese: 程潛; pinyin: Chéng Qián; Wade–Giles: Ch'eng Ch'ien; 31 March 1882 – 5 April 1968) was a Chinese military general. He occupied a number of significant military and political posts in the Kuomintang and in Sun Yat-Sen's government from the late 1910s through the 1940s. By the late 1940s he was one of the most powerful members of the Kuomintang, and in 1948, he was a successful candidate for the vice-presidency of the KMT Nationalist Government. He was also Governor of Hunan, his native province and in whose political affairs he had been active all his life. In August 1949, he peacefully surrendered to the Communists, who were rapidly advancing on Guangzhou, then the seat of the KMT government, hastening the collapse of the defense of the KMT National Revolutionary Army. After 1949, Cheng held several important political positions in the People's Republic of China until his death in 1968. He had a child. He now has three great grandchildren: Cheng Si Boh, Cheng Si Hao and Cheng Si Hui. One of his grandchildren went to England after his death and so Cheng Si Hui's English name is Jenny Sihui Cheng.

Xinhai Revolution

After having studied at a private school and having passed examination in 1889, Cheng joined the Yuelu Academy in Changsha. Here he began to understand the current political situation and decided to give up imperial exams and a civil career in favor of the military. In 1903, when he was 21, he was admitted first to the Hunan Military Academy, and was sent the following year to study in Japan at the Tokyo Shimbu Gakko, a military preparatory academy. While in Tokyo, he met Huang Xing, Li Liejun, and Song Jiaoren, future nationalist leaders, who fascinated him with their ideas. In 1905 Cheng joined Sun Yat-sen's Tongmenghui a secret revolutionary society, committed to overthrow the Qing Dynasty and modernize China. After serving as a cadet for one year in an artillery battalion in Himeji, he was admitted to the artillery school of the 6th class of the Imperial Japanese Army in 1907. One of his classmates was Tang Jiyao.

After graduation in 1908, Cheng returned in China, where he was put in charge of training a New Army in Sichuan Province under Zhu Qinglan. After the outbreak of the Xinhai Revolution, Cheng took part in the Wuchang Uprising and immediately after he participated to the Battle of Changsha.

With the establishment of the Republic of China, Cheng was appointed military commander of Hunan. However, as Yuan Shikai staged his coup to control the Republic, Cheng tried to revolt, but his failure prompted him to flee to Japan, where he joined the Kuomintang and entered the Waseda University.

Shortly after, Yuan Shikai tried to proclaim himself Emperor, causing the National Protection War. Cheng returned to Hunan to enlist rebel soldiers in Cai E's army. During the Constitutional Protection Movement he was first appointed military commander of Changsha, then Vice Minister of War in Sun Yat-sen's Guangzhou Government. He was put in charge of training troops in Guangzhou, and then took part in the Northern Expedition. From 1925 to 1927 he was the General commanding 6th Army, and briefly served as Chairman of the Government of the Hunan Province in 1928. In 1926 he was elected a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang.

Under Chiang Kai-shek

In the following years, Cheng served in several capacities, including chief of General Staff from 1935 to 1937. When the Second Sino-Japanese War began, Cheng Qian was made Commander in Chief of the 1st War Area in July 1937, and concurrently Chairman of the Government of Henan Province from 1937 to 1939. Cheng Qian was recalled from 1st War area in 1938 to serve as director of the Generalissimo's Headquarters from until 1940. From 1940 to 1944 he was Deputy Chief of Staff of the National Military Council, and from 1944 to 1945 he was acting Chief of Staff of the National Military Council. He was also vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission.

After the war ended, Cheng sided with the conciliatory faction in the Kuomintang. In 1947 he was elected in the Legislative Yuan (in the first election after 14 years) and contested the vice-presidency of the Republic of China in March 1948, barely losing it to Li Zongren, supported by Chiang Kai-shek. Afterwards, he was appointed governor of Hunan once again.

People's Republic of China

As the Communist Party of China forces gained ground, Chiang Kai-shek stepped down in January 1949; after the collapse of peace talks in April, the communists crossed Yangtze River. Cheng Qian in early August decided to surrender, and so Changsha was

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