Chen Cheng ([ʈʂʰə̌n ʈʂʰə̌ŋ]; Chinese: 陳誠; pinyin: Chén Chéng; January 4, 1898 – March 5, 1965) was a Chinese political and military leader, and one of the main commanders of the National Revolutionary Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War.

Chen Cheng
Chen Cheng in 1940's.jpg
Vice President of the Republic of China
In office
20 May 1954 – 5 March 1965
PresidentChiang Kai-shek
Preceded byLi Zongren
Succeeded byYen Chia-kan
Premier of the Republic of China
In office
30 June 1958 – 15 December 1963
PresidentChiang Kai-shek
Vice PremierHuang Shao-ku
Wang Yun-wu
Preceded byYu Hung-chun
Succeeded byYen Chia-kan
In office
7 March 1950 – 7 June 1954
PresidentChiang Kai-shek
Vice PremierChang Li-sheng
Huang Shao-ku
Preceded byYan Xishan
Succeeded byYu Hung-chun
2nd Chairman of Taiwan Provincial Government
In office
5 January 1949 – 21 December 1949
PresidentChiang Kai-shek
Li Zongren (acting)
Preceded byWey Daw-ming
Succeeded byWu Kuo-Chen
1st Chief of the General Staff of the Republic of China Armed Forces
In office
23 March 1946 – 12 May 1948
PresidentChiang Kai-shek
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byGu Zhutong
1st Commander-in-Chief of the Republic of China Navy
In office
1 July 1946 – 25 August 1948
PresidentChiang Kai-shek
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byKui Jung-ching
Personal details
BornJanuary 4, 1898
Qingtian, Zhejiang, Qing Empire
DiedMarch 5, 1965(1965-03-05) (aged 67)
Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China
NationalityRepublic of China
Political partyKuomintang
SpouseTan Xiang
RelationsTan Yankai (father-in-law)
ChildrenChen Li-an
OccupationGeneral, politician
AwardsOrder of Blue Sky and White Sun
Nickname"Little Generalissimo"
Military service
Allegiance Republic of China
Branch/serviceFlag of the Republic of China Army.svg Republic of China Army
Years of service1924–1950
Rank17陆军一级上将.png General
Unit11th division
Commands18th Army
11th Division

After moving to Taiwan at the end of the civil war, he served as the Governor of Taiwan Province, Vice President, and Premier of the Republic of China (ROC). He represented the ROC in visits to the United States and helped to initiate land reforms and tax reduction programs that caused communism to become unattractive in Taiwan since peasants were able to own land.

His courtesy name was Tsyr-shiou (辭修; Cíxiū).

Early lifeEdit

Chen Cheng was born in Qingtian County, Zhejiang, graduated from Baoding Military Academy in 1922, and entered Whampoa Military Academy two years later. It was there that he first met Chiang Kai-shek, Commandant of the Academy. Later, Chen joined National Revolutionary Army to participate in the Northern Expedition.

Rise in militaryEdit

During the Northern Expedition, Chen displayed good leadership ability. Within a year, he was promoted from commanding battalions to divisions already.

After the expedition, Chen became active in the wars against the warlords. His successes in the battles allowed him to be promoted again, to the commander of the 18th Army.

Anticommunist campaignsEdit

In 1931, Chen was assigned the task of suppressing the Red Army. In various campaigns searching for the main force of Red Army, Chen's units experienced heavy casualties. In the fifth campaign against the Communists, he finally managed to defeat them, which forced the Red Army to launch its Long March.

Campaigns against the Red Army came to an end after the Xi'an Incident in which Chiang and his staff were forced to agree to co-operate with the communists against the invading Imperial Japanese Army.

War against JapanEdit

Chen Cheng (right) inspecting troops with Chiang Kai Shek

During the Battle of Shanghai, he was one of the top military assistants of Chiang Kai Shek. It was his idea to seek a decisive action in Southern China, rather than confronting the Japanese in Northern China, where Nationalist troops were in poor condition and lacked transporting vehicles. After the fall of Shanghai and of Nanjing, Chen moved to Hubei to command the Battle of Wuhan in 1938. Wuhan was the provisional headquarters of the Chinese Army. The Japanese, however, managed, despite heavy losses to defeat the Chinese and captured Wuhan on October 25, 1938.

In the last years of the war, Chen went on to command in the Battle of Changsha, the Battle of Yichang, and the Battle of West Hubei. In 1943, he was appointed the commander of the Chinese Expeditionary Force in the Burma Theater until he was replaced by Wei Li-huang because of illness.

Chinese Civil WarEdit

Engagement picture of Chen Shing and Tan Xiang (1932)

After the Second Sino-Japanese War, Chen became the Chief of the General Staff and commander-in-chief of the navy. He followed Chiang's orders and began to raid the "liberated" areas of the Red Army, which launched the Chinese Civil War.

In August 1947, Chiang appointed Chen as director of the Northeastern Headquarters to command the Nationalist forces against the Communists in that area. He made the crucial mistake of dissolving the local security regiments because they had served in the Japanese-collaborationist Manchukuo Imperial Army, which made the total Nationalist strength in Manchuria fall from 1.3 million to less than 480,000. He also dismissed some of the most capable Nationalist commanders, such as Du Yuming, Sun Li-jen, Zheng Dongguo, and Chen Mingren. As a result, he suffered a series of major defeats, and Chiang recalled Chen to Nanjing and sent Wei Lihuang to replace him in Shenyang as Commander-in-Chief of the Northeast and Fan Hanjie as deputy commander-in-chief and director of Jinzhou forward command center.[1] Chen took a sick leave in Taiwan to treat his chronic stomach ailment.

In TaiwanEdit

On July 31, 1961, Vice President Chen met with US President Kennedy and Vice President Johnson at the White House

Chiang appointed Chen as the Governor of Taiwan Province in 1949 to plan the development of Taiwan as a Nationalist stronghold. After the Nationalist force retreated to Taiwan, Chen went on to hold key civilian government positions such as Vice-Executive of the Kuomintang, Vice President, and Premier of the Republic of China. He was the youngest premier since promulgation of the 1947 constitution to take office.

In his years on Taiwan, he introduced various land and economic reforms and carried out the reconstruction of Taiwan. Chen's 37.5% Arable Rent Reduction initiative was credited with stopping the spread of communism in Taiwan. The policy capped the rent farmers paid to landlords at 37.5% of the harvest. Prior to the directive, landlords had often sought more than half of the crop as payment.[2]

He was also credited with launching several construction projects. One was the Shimen Reservoir, in Taoyuan County, which reduced flooding and increased the rice crop production.

On May 19, 1949, Chen promulgated the Order of Martial Law to announce the imposition of martial law throughout Taiwan to expel communist infiltration and to buffer defense capabilities.


Chen Tsyr-shiou Memorial Park, former mausoleum and memorial of Chen, until 1995.

Chen died of hepatic tumors in 1965. His cremated remains were moved to Fo Guang Shan, Kaohsiung County (now part of Kaohsiung City), in August 1995.


Key to the City



  1. ^ Taylor, Jay (2009). The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China. Harvard University Press. p. 381.
  2. ^ Han Cheung (1 January 2017). "Taiwan in Time:The unwilling politician". Taipei Times. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Cementing Philippines Friendship". Taiwan Today. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-07-12.


External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Taiwan Province
January 5, 1949 – December 21, 1949
Succeeded by
Government offices
Preceded by Premier of the Republic of China
March 7, 1950 – June 7, 1954
Succeeded by
Preceded by Premier of the Republic of China
June 30, 1958 – December 15, 1963
Succeeded by
Preceded by Vice President of the Republic of China
March 12, 1954 – March 5, 1965
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Position established
Chief of the General Staff of the Republic of China Armed Forces
March 23, 1946 – Mary 12, 1948
Succeeded by