Today October 15 in 2001, Zhang Xueliang died at the age of 101.
Zhang was the effective ruler of northeast China and much of northern China after the assassination of his father, Zhang Zuolin, by the Japanese on 4 June 1928. He was an instigator of the 1936 Xi'an Incident, in which Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of China's ruling party, was arrested in order to force him to enter into a truce with the insurgent Chinese Communist Party and form a united front against Japan, which had occupied Manchuria. As a result, he spent over 50 years under house arrest, first in mainland China and then in Taiwan.
After Chiang's death in 1975, his freedom was restored officially.
He immigrated to Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1993. There were numerous pleas for him to visit mainland China, but Zhang, claiming his political closeness with the KMT, declined. He died of pneumonia at the age of 100 at Straub Hospital in Honolulu, (following the Chinese way of counting, his age is often given as 101) and was buried in Hawaii.
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