Yan Xishan

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Yan Xishan
Chinese 閻錫山

Yan Xishan (1883-1960) was a Chinese warlord or remarkable longevity, who ruled the mountainous province of Shanxi from 1912 to 1949. Although he spent most of his career in his mountain fastness, his armies did play a role on the wider stage of Chinese politics. In 1928 they captured Beijing to mark the conclusion of the Northern Expedition of the Guomindang under Chiang Kai-shek; and in 1929 he joined Feng Yuxiang in an abortive attempt to oust Chiang, this coup being frustrated by the opposition of Zhang Xueliang.

Yan was known as the 'Model Governor' for his work within Shanxi, where he encouraged the building of schools, clinics, roads and other facilities to improve the lot of his people.