Did you know … ?

By the early 1920s, Sun Yat-sen saw Chiang as a stand-out urban insurgent, clandestine operative, tactical military officer in the field, and chief of staff of a multi-divisional unit. Equally important, the young officer from Zejiang province was the quintessential loyalist, but not afraid to disagree with the supreme leader. He was also a thinker, who early on submitted a blueprint for the Northern Expedition and kept abreast of world affairs, studying Russian and reading everything he could find on the new Soviet state. He was not popular among his peers but known to be tenacious, courageous, and apparently honest. It was a great advantage also that he had no base of support or network of influence, or, in the Chinese phrase, guanxi.

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