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China's Communist Revolution - A Glossary
Chiang Kai Shek
Chiang Kai Shek
Chiang Kai Shek took part in the 1911 Kuomintang revolution against the imperial Qing Dynasty. He became military leader of the nationalists in 1917, gaining political prominence after the death of leader Sun Yat Sen. Kuomintang policies of co-operation with the Chinese Communists went on until 1927, when Chiang initiated civil war. Becoming nationalist leader from 1928, he re-joined forces with the Communists to fight Japan in World War II and was briefly elected the first president under a liberalised constitution in 1948. But the Red Army eventually drove him and the Kuomintang from the mainland to the island of Taiwan when Mao Zedong consolidated his power in 1950. There, he became president of a nationalist government and continued to promise re-conquest of the Chinese mainland until his death in 1975.