Xi'an Incident

The Xi'an Incident (西安事变 (http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%A5%BF%E5%AE%89%E4%BA%8B%E5%8F%98) Xī'ān shbin) occurred in Xi'an on December 12, 1936.

During the Sino-Japanese War, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, Commander in Chief of the National Revolutionary Army of the Kuomintang (KMT), refused to ally with the Communist Party of China to fight against the Japanese, and instead opted to fight both at once.

KMT generals Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng (with the support of the Communist leader Zhou Enlai), kidnapped Chiang Kai-shek and forced him to join a united front with the Communists against the Japanese.

Even though the ceasefire was in effect, the armies were never under a united command, and the KMT never fully cooperated with the military forces of the Communist Party.

After the war, Zhang Xueliang was placed under permanent house arrest by Chiang and was brought over to Taiwan along with the retreating KMT forces. Yang Hucheng was murdered by Chiang's secret police, along with his family.

Contents

Unanswered Questions

There are many questions related to this incident that have yet to be explained.

Why Zhang incited this incident

A letter was found suggesting that Chiang was considering to fire Zhang and several other high-ranking officials. Was this the motive that sparked the incident? Is this letter even genuine?

Who released Chiang Kai-shek

During this incident, Zhang Xueliang and his officials were divided on whether to kill Chiang Kai-shek or to release him. Disagreement on this also occurred among the Communists. What was the motive for releasing Chiang?

According to the Communists, killing Chiang would not bring any realistic benefit to the Party, and it is likely that such actions would bring Japan-leaning Wang Jingwei into power, which would be damaging to both the Chinese war effort and the Party itself.

Why Zhang returned to Nanjing after the incident

After the incident has ended peacefully, why would Zhang Xueliang accompanied Chiang back to Nanjing, knowing that he will face trials and possible execution?

In fact, Yang Hucheng attempted to persuade Zhang from doing so; Zhou Enlai even tried to stop Zhang at the airport. Zhang said that he was still required to bear the responsibilities of a soldier: to escort his commander-in-chief, Chiang, to safety.

ja:西安事件 zh:西安事变

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