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Zhao Guangping

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Zhào Guǎngpíng
Zhao Guangping.jpg
Photograph of Zhao in 1920
Seal of the Premier of Manchuria.png
Supreme Leader of the Manchu Republic
In office
14th July 1932 – 21st April, 1935
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Liang Pufang
In office
11th December 19442 – 22nd November, 1945
Preceded by Liang Pufang
Succeeded by Qian Wanyong
Leader of the Manzuxiehui
In office
14th July 1912 – 22nd November, 1945
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Qian Wanyong
Personal details
Born Zhao Guangping
April 14th, 1878
Flag of the Qing dynasty.png Harbin, Manchuria, Qing Empire
Died 22nd January, 1945
Flag of Manchu Revolutionary National Congress.png Harbin, Manchu Social Republic
Political party Flag of Manchu Revolutionary National Congress.png Manzuxiehui
Spouse(s) Qin Quan
Luo Ying3
Wei Chan3
Children Zhao Zhanli
Zhao Xiaosong
Religion Manchu Shamanism
Military service
Allegiance  Manchuria
Branch/service Manchu National Army
Years of service 1916-45
Rank Supreme Leader rank.png Grand Marshal
Commands All
Battles/wars Second Sino-Japanese War
1 First Manchu Republic, 2 Second Manchu Republic, 3 Concubines

Zhào Guǎngpíng (Chinese: 趙光屏, Chao Kuang-P'ing; April 14th, 1946 - 22nd November, 1945, aged 67) was a Manchu revolutionary nationalist who led the First and Second Manchu Republic's from 1917-1929 and 1944-45 respectively, as well as being the founder of the Manzuxiehui. He is also known as Zhao Xībin and Aleksey Kozlovsky. Zhao is considered the founding father of Manchuria and remains a prominent figure in Manchurian nationalism. He was referred to as the "Zuigao Lingxiu" (supreme leader").

Zhao was born in Harbin in 1878 into an ethnic Manchu noble family. Having been a member of the New Army under the Qing Dynasty, Zhao attempted to take power in the Heilongjiang province and the surrounding area during the Xinhai Revolution, coming into conflict with the Imperial Qing government during the National Protection War. But his revolt failed, and following the October Revolution he started to favour ties with the Bolsheviks in Russia. Zhao fled to the USSR in exile, where he agitated for the cause of Manchu independence while professing a similar idealogical direction to Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk emphasising nationalist, statist policies.

It would not be until the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931 that he would have an opportunity. Arriving there, Zhao became involved with the Japanese plan to create an independent "Manchukuo" (Manchu State) in 1932. Although he served as the first Supreme Leader of Manchukuo from 1932 to 1935, he quickly became disillusioned with the Japanese because of their total control over state affairs and limiting his own power to little more than ceremonial role. He resigned from office and took shelter in the Soviet consulate in Harbin for several years, until he joined local Communist Party of China. The CCP of Manchuria led an anti-Japanese insurgency during the Second Sino-Japanese War, and in 1944 Zhao led a mass uprising. He and the CCP mostly controlled large swaths of the countryside by 1945, but the Soviet invasion of Manchukuo in August 1945 helped Zhao seize total control and proclaim the Manchu Socialist Republic.

However, Zhao was assassinated by Qing agents in November 1945. His body was subsequently embalmed by the CCP and continues to be on display in a mausoleum.


Zhao's birth name was Zhào Xībīn (traditional Chinese: 赵西镔; Wade-Giles: Chao Hsi-Pin; Zhuyin: ㄓㄠˋ ㄒㄧ ㄅㄧㄣ). however he rarely used this name in public. His courtesy name was Zhào Guǎngpíng (traditional Chinese; 趙光屏; Zhuyin: ㄓㄠˋ ㄍㄨㄤ ㄆㄧㄥˊ) of which he was commonly reffered to in Manchuria and the rest of the world. Throughout his lifetime western sources generally called him by the Wades-Giles romanticisation of his name, Chao Kuang-P'ing. During his time living in the Soviet Union he took the Russian name of Aleksey Kozlovsky (Алексей Козловский) which the Soviet press continued to refer to him as until his death. In the west he was referred to as the "Manchu Bolshevik" or the "Red Marshal" whilst in Manchuria he was known as the Zuìgāo Lǐngxiù (最高領袖; Tsui-Kao Linghsiu; ㄗㄨㄟˋ ㄍㄠ ㄌㄧㄥˇ ㄒㄧㄡˋ ), the "Supreme Leader". When he was studying in Japan he adopted the name Hiro Gamen (Kanji: 広画面).

Early life

Zhao was born on April 14th 1878 in Harbin, Manchuria under the Qing Dynasty. He was born to a working class peasant family and grew up in the southern neighborhoods of Harbin. Zhao only completed half of his education before he was forced to work at a nearby factory in order to financially support his family when he turned 14 and was soon working as a factory worker in 1892. During his time working in Harbin, Zhao privately studied Manchu history and quickly developed nationalist tendancies and leanings. When he was 17, he wrote private essays in his journal denouncing the Qing as traitors to the Manchu people and wanted a sovereign independent Manchu Republic. In 1900 at the age of 22, Zhao joined the Manchu Liberation Society, a secret society of Manchu nationalists that wanted to take over Manchuria and create a sovereign republic.

Throughout the 1900s, Zhao and the Liberation Society traveled across Asia from Japan to the Russian Empire and even the nations of Anglo-America in order to gain support from Manchus, anti-monarchist Han Chinese, and non-Asians sympathetic to their cause and create an underground military force with the intent on rebelling when the opportunity was right. After the Xinhai Revolution broke out and several provinces declared independence from the dynasty, Zhao was placed in command of the Northern Forces of the Manchu army and was told to wait until the moment was right to revolt, a moment that became reality in 1912.

Military career

Modernizing Manchuria

War with the Kuomintang

In exile

Second Manchu Republic



Views and beliefs

Personal life