ZHANG XUELIANG'S TELEGRAPH CODE BOOK.
[Telegraph Code Book. Shanghai Electric Transmission Office, 1921.] 12mo. Original printed wrappers, bound with string as issued. Some toning to leaves, corners bumped, pencil and ink annotations throughout the code pages.
THE YOUNG MARSHAL'S COPY with a presentation inscription to the upper wrapper: "Mr. Hanqing [Zhang's "courtesy name"] from Li Zongren." LI ZONGREN [1890-1969] was a Guangxi warlord and a Kuomintang (KMT) military commander who would later serve as Vice President of the Republic of China.
The son of a powerful Manchurian warlord, young Zhang Xueliang was something of a ne'er-do-wellsaddled with both an opium addiction and a reputation as a womanizer. The Japanese, believing he would be a more malleable leader of Manchuria than his father Zhang Zuolin [1875-1928], assassinated the elder Zhang by bombing his train. Once he inherited his father's land and troops, however, Zhang Xueliang rid himself of his addiction and proved himself to be a surprisingly capable leader; the Japanese succeeded only in earning his undying enmity. In 1929, motivated by a desire to see China reunited, the Young Marshal (as Zhang was called) aligned his forces with Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang (KMT). This telegraph code book, presented to Zhang by a fellow officer, is a remnant of his KMT career before the Xi'an Incident.