The kidnapping of the Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek while visiting disaffected Manchurian troops at Xi'an. Chiang was captured by conspirators headed by Zhang Xueliang, who attempted to force him to give up his campaign against the communists and lead a national war against the Japanese, who had occupied Manchuria in 1931. After Chiang had refused to accede to their demands, the communists, headed by Zhou Enlai, also became involved in the negotiations and eventually Chiang was released, having promised to take a more active role against the Japanese and to allow local autonomy to the communists. Zhang Xueliang was imprisoned by Chiang, but the incident led to limited co- operation between the communists and the Kuomintang against the Japanese.
Subjects: World History — Contemporary History (Post 1945).