Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Yen Hsi-shan

Yen Hsi-shan (閻錫山; pinyin: Yan Xishan) (1883 - 1960) was a Chinese politician who served in the Republic of China government.

Yen received his formal military training first in China and later at Japan's Imperial Military Academy. In Japan he became a member of Sun Yat-sen's Revolutionary Alliance and following the 1911 uprisings he seized power in Shanxi Province.

Yen ruled the province until the Communists ousted him in 1949. Although Yen was known as the "Model Governor" for his enlightened policies, he was nonetheless a military dictator. In 1926, Yen pledged his loyalty to Chiang Kai-shek's new government, but in 1929 he joined Feng Y-hsiang and Wang Ching-wei in their attempt to overthrow the Generallisimo. After a brief retirement in the early 1930s, Yen returned to power in Shanxi and undertook social and military reforms to counteract the spread of Communism in the province. He also supported Chang Hseh-liang's seizure of Chiang Kai-shek in 1936 (see Xian Incident). During WWII, Yen effectively resisted Japanese attempts to seize Shanxi, and his troops (including thousands of Japanese) held out against the Communists until the fortress city of T'ai-yuan fell in April 1949. Yen fled (with the provincial treasury) to Taiwan along with the rest of the ROC government.

From June 3, 1949 to March 7, 1950 he served as Premier of the ROC.

See also: