In 1928 Beiyang government was replaced by the Nationalists, with its last leader, Zhang Xueliang, agreeing to submit to the Nationalist government. But did any warlord cling to the symbols etc for legitimacy after that?

  • I'm confused as to what you're asking because this seems to be answered in Wikipedia: Zhang Xueliang was the last; all of China submitted to the Nationalist Government with his capitulation. "Zhang's son, Zhang Xueliang, retained a government in exile led by Premier Pan Fu ... Zhang negotiated with Chiang Kaishek to end this pretense leading to the reunification of north and south on December 29." Are you asking for something else?
    – Semaphore
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 12:58
  • That shows Zhang gave up. Just wondering if anyone else tried to pick up the torch.
    – Ne Mo
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 13:11
  • 1
    & It was my impression that "all of China" didn't submit to anybody until the 1950s when Mao was firmly established. Am I wrong?
    – Ne Mo
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 13:22
  • 1
    There was no torch to pick up. The Nationalists were acknowledged as the sole legitimate governing authority of the Chinese Republic. Now, the Nationalists did not exercise effective direct control over all the various regional factions, so what you said is sort of true. But in the symbolic sense, essentially all of China had formally submitted to Nationalist authority. Well, except Soviet occupied Mongolia.
    – Semaphore
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 13:41
  • So after 1928, everyone in China professed loyalty to either the Kuomintang, the Japanese or CCP/USSR?
    – Ne Mo
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 11:30

1 Answer 1


After the Nationalists consolidated power in China in 1928, their government promptly received international recognition. Therefore there was little reason to claim descent from the Beiyang regime.

All except Japan, that is. Due to having poor relations with the Nationalists and harboring ambitions in China, they set up puppet regimes and adopted Beiyang symbols to boost their legitimacy. Note the similarity in flags, for example:

Beiyang: beiyang flag

Manchukuo: manchukuo flag

Mengjiang: mengjiang flag

So no, no Chinese warlord used Beiyang symbols after 1928; only Japanese puppet regimes did.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.