Chiang Kai-Shek (蒋介石）
Born in 1887, Chiang Kai-shek went to Japan for military training. After the 1911 Revolution, he joined Sun Yat-Sen's Nationalist party and launched the Northern Expedition in 1927, which resulted in the defeat of many of China's warlords. As part of this, he purged the Nationalist party of Communist factions ending the first united front. Chiang ran a fledgling government from Nanjing between 1928 and 1937, and presided over China during the Sino-Japanese War. He lost the ensuing Civil War to the Communists due to a combination of strategic errors and the mistrust of local populations towards the Nationalists. Chiang exiled himself, his army and party to Taiwan where he instigated martial law to suppress independence and Communist resurgence but equally laid the ground for Taiwan's future economic prosperity before his death in 1975.