Asia Pacific 1928: Northeast Flag Replacement

Japanese attempts to halt the Nationalist advance in China were thwarted when the warlord Yan Xishan unexpectedly seized Beijing on behalf of Chiang Kaishek's Nationalist government. The other warlords soon followed suit in recognizing the Nationalist regime in Nanjing, culminating in December with the Fengtian clique raising the Nationalist flag in the cities of the northeast. Once again China was united, albeit more as a coalition of warlords than a centralized state.


Treaty Ports

Treaty ports were towns opened to foreign trade by unequal treaties in China. Foreigners operating within treaty ports enjoyed extraterritoriality, being subject to their home country’s laws. Unlike concessions such as Hong Kong, these territories were not directly leased by the foreign powers and did not have sizable foreign garrisons.

Treaty ports are not shown in the maps after the 1911 Chinese Revolution in order to give a clearer picture of the chaos in China itself and as by that point their numbers had stabilized. After the revolution, some of the smaller ports were phased out while the others became less important as the situation in China meant that only the concessions could provide foreigners with security. Most, however, still continued on into the 1940s when the Japanese entry into World War II and foreign agreements with China brought them to an end.

See this map for treaty ports in 1907, when the system was at its peak.

Yangtze River

By the terms of the Treaty of Tientsin (1858), foreign vessels including warships had the right to free navigation on the Yangtze River. In practical terms, this right extended only as far as Yichang until 1900, when advances in steam navigation allowed access as far inland as Chongqing.

Main Events

2–8 Jun 1928 Shanxi Warlord Yan Xishan takes Beijing from Fengtian clique on behalf of the Kuomintang

Shanxi Warlord Yan Xishan takes Beijing from Fengtian clique on behalf of the Kuomintangin wikipedia

4 Jun 1928 Huanggutun Incident

Japanese assassinate Fengtian clique leader Zhang Zuolinin wikipedia

1 Jul 1928 Xinjiang warlord Yang Zengxin declares for Chinese Nationalist Government

Xinjiang warlord Yang Zengxin declares for Chinese Nationalist Governmentin wikipedia

10 Oct 1928 Presidency of Chiang Kaishek

Following his visit to Beijing, Chiang Kaishek is named director of the State Council—the equivalent of President—of the Nationalist Government of wikipedia

29 Dec 1928 Northeast Flag Replacement

Fengtian clique leader Zhang Xueliang accepts Chinese Nationalist Government, symbolically reunifying Chinain wikipedia