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Zhang Xueliang

Age: 100

Chinese warlord who, in the Xian Incident of December 1936, dispatched his troops to kidnap Chiang Kai-shek. Zhang released Chiang two weeks later, when he agreed to end the civil war against the Communists and instead unite with them to fight Japanese invaders. The agreement ultimately helped the Communists to gain control of mainland China. Zhang spent 55 years in house arrest in mainly Taiwan. He gained a reputation as a national hero and enjoyed increasing freedom after Democracy arrived in the early 1990s.

Died: Honolulu , Oct. 14, 2001

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