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No, this story is assuredly bogus. First of all, there is no evidence that Jiang Baili graduated with the highest score. The Imperial Japanese Army Academy held two graduations in 1905: the 17th and 18th classes. See the following table of top graduates, between 1902 and 1907 for good measure. - From left to right, the columns are: Class, Graduation ...


This particular coin is part of a set of commemorative tokens (aka fantasy coins) made in (modern) China, with a token for each of the Qing Dynasty emperors. This one shows Emperor Nurhaci with the dates when he was in power shown below his likeness on the "coin".


The answer seems to be pretty clear from the Wikipedia entry on Lin Biao. how did he get any power at all? I am quoting the same article here: As a child, Lin was much more interested in participating in student movements than in pursuing his formal education. Lin joined a satellite organization of the Communist Youth League before he graduated ...

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