Zhou Xinyue in 1920
5 November 1886|
Oakland, Santa Clara, K.S.
12 April 1922 (aged 23)|
Bloomington, Calcania, U.C.
United Commonwealth (1916–1922)
Sierran Royal Army|
Continental Revolutionary Army
|Years of service||1916-1922|
Order of the Crimson Star|
Continental Revolutionary Award
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Zhou Xinyue (周信悅; November 5, 1886–April 12, 1922) was a Sierran Continentalist military commander and political leader. He was the first Commissioner of the Continentalist Armed Forces and played a central role in the Continental Revolutionary War. Xinyue was distinguished among his peers due to his status as a non-white foreigner who rose in ranks in the military and political leadership of the Continentalists and their postwar government. Under his military leadership, he successfully led the Continentalist insurrection against the Federalists and installed a one-party system that operated under the principles of Landonism and Continentalism. He was assassinated by party leader Seamus McCallahan during the Continental Purge.
Born into a working-class Chinese Sierran household, Zhou embraced revolutionary Landonist politics following his family's mistreatment by their landlords and factory employers. Harassed and attacked for his race and socioeconomic condition, Zhou joined local Landonist and republican circles, including The Seventy-Seven Society in San Francisco City. He became a locally renowned Landonist thinker and pursued a career in the military as an officer out of pragmatic reasons. He was accepted into The Presidio, The Military College of San Francisco where he befriended Continental visitor Aeneas Warren. The two influenced each other profoundly and led to the two leaving for Warren's native United Commonwealth. Zhou allowed Warren, a political fugitive sought by both the Sierran and Continental governments, to escape from certain capture and was dishonorably discharged as a defector. He eventually made his way to the United Commonwealth following a series of revolutionary activities in Brazoria and Tournesol.
Zhou helped form an alliance of labor unions and guilds throughout the United Commonwealth under the banner of Landonism. He and Warren began an insurrection against the Federalist government. The two experienced disagreement over the methods and aims of achieving revolution. Zhou had for much of his life, been devoted to reformism but later chose violent revolution, at odds with Warren in what became the Boxcar Affair. He famously posed the question Americani aut non Americani? and was credited with coining the term "Continentalist" in its modern sense following controversy over the term "American". He formulated and articulated the Five Virtues of the People and Continentalism, a variant of Landonism with several other party leaders, and formally created the Continentalist Party of the United Commonwealth. During the war, Zhou played a crucial role as a military leader, strategist, and tactician. He took up mortar positions during the Battle of Black Mountain and oversaw operations during the Battle of Chicago. Following the death of Aeneas Warren and the Continentalist victory in 1920, Zhou remained in office as the Commissioner of the Continentalist Armed Forces and a member of the Central Committee of the United Commonwealth before his assassination by Chairman Seamus McCallahan.
Widely respected and revered as one of the most significant figures of the 20th century and Continentalist history, Zhou's status as a war hero and political leader experienced a cult of personality which emerged in the 1950s, about three decades after his death following Demccallahanization. He has become an ideological figurehead of Continentalism and has a broader importance in the international communist movement. Although he is highly popular within the United Commonwealth and other communist states, he is viewed as a traitor and a military dictator by critics, especially in his homeland, Sierra.
Zhou Xinyue was born in the Chinatown neighborhood of Oakland, Santa Clara to a working-class Chinese Sierran extended family household of twenty which included his paternal uncle and his family. He was the youngest child and had three older brothers. His father and mother were immigrants from Taishan, Guangzhou and made a living in Sierra as restaurant owners, while Zhou's uncle and aunt worked as seamstresses next door. Their restaurant mainly catered to other Chinese Sierrans and Tondolese immigrants in the city. He attended a racially segregated school for Asian Sierrans where he received bilingual instruction in Cantonese and English.