Lu Keqian


Lù Kèqián
陆客钱
Dr. Sun in London.jpg
Lu Keqian in 1937
Grand Marshal of Xiaodong
In office
20th September 1935 – 12th May 1944
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byYu Changshao
Chairman of the Xiaodong Regeneration Society
In office
7th April 1933 – 12th May 1944
DeputyZhou Hongkui
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byMa Renzhong
Personal details
Born(1881-10-13)October 13, 1881
Flag of Xiaodong.png Rongzhuo, Jiebu Prefecture, Xiaodong
DiedMay 12, 1945(1945-05-12) (aged 63)
Flag of Xiaodong.png Rongzhuo, Langang Prefecture, Xiaodong
Political partyXiaodong Regeneration Society
Other political
affiliations
Republican Party
Spouse(s)Tao Guangmei
Children5
Alma materUniversity of Rongszhuo
OccupationPolitician
Military service
AllegianceFlag of Xiaodong.png Heavenly State of Xiaodong (1894-1934)
 Xiaodong (1934-1952)
Branch/serviceFlag of Xiaodong.png Heavenly Army of Xiaodong (1894-1934)
Flag of Xiaodong.png Xiaodongese Army (1934-1952)
RankGrand Marshal
Battles/warsGreat Borean War, Senrian-Xiaodongese War, Xiaodongese Civil War
This is a Xiaodongese name; the family name is Lu (陆).

Grand Marshal Lu Keqian (Xiaodongese: 陆客钱, Lù Kèqián; October 13th 1881 - May 12th 1944 aged 63) was a Xiaodongese statesman, revolutionary, military officer and strongman politician was was the founder of the modern Auspicious Republic of Xiaodong, serving as it's de facto leader as Grand Marshal from the Corrective Revolution until his death in 1945. He also was the founder and first Chairman of the Xiaodong Regeneration Society and served as both a general and briefly a minister during the Great War.

Born in a wealthy military family in 1881, Lu was active in the Heavenly Army of Xiaodong after becoming an officer in 1902. He rose through the ranks of the military during the 1910's, becoming a colonel in 1922 after supporting the Jianyin Uprising. Considered politically close to nationalist spiritual-socialists within the army, an ideological current popular amongst lower officers, in 1927 Lu was made head of Xiaodongese forces in Senria during the Senrian-Xiaodongese War where he led the successful first offensive, although he was dismissed by rival Qiu Hanjie in 1930. He was appointed as the military governor of Rongzhuo, at the time a largely meaningless role but allowed him to build a political powerbase in the city.

Following the Shanrong Emperor's death when his plane crashed in the Huashan mountains in 1934 Lu was politically rehabilitated and appointed as Minister for Transportation and Communications as well as Minister of Munitions by the Taiyi Emperor. Lu became known for helping manage the failing war economy through greater industrial management with his most notable achievement being the transfer of many large industries to the interior of Xiaodong to escape capture by invading Senrian forces as well as his partial reorganisation of the logistics system alongside quartermaster-general Chen Shengyou. Lu came to clash with the Taiyi Emperor who opposed his strategy to cede territory in the west to better utilise the more developed rail network in the east. In July 1934 Lu initiated the July Incident, an attempted removal of the monarchy by rallying his supporters in the military. The coup failed resulting in Lu to flee Xiaodong to avoid assassination or execution - he was apprehended in Zorasan but in November 1934 escaped to the Zorasani-Xiaodongese border where he began to organise the Xiaodong Regeneration Society, a secret society within the military which supported National Principlism, an ideology promoting socialist-spiritualism under an authoritarian, nationalist state.

In 1935 the newly created Republic of Xiaodong officially signed the Treaty of Keisi with terms deemed detrimental to Xiaodongese interests. Outrage amongst the military led to Lu to return to Xiaodong and alongside a coalition of the Regeneration Society and various left-wing revolutionary forces known as the Army of National Salvation launched the "Corrective" Revolution", seizing power in northern Xiaodong and declaring creation of the Auspicious Republic of Xiaodong, with Lu becoming its Grand Marshal (大元帥; dà yuán shuài). This act triggered the Xiaodongese Civil War from 1935-1941 which ended with the defeat of republican and separatist forces to the Army of National Salvation, with Lu becoming the undisputed leader of Xiaodong.

The Auspicious Republic was created as a de facto one-party state under the Xiaodong Regeneration Society with Lu at its helm. Threats from his erstwhile left-wing allies led by Rao Junzhao led to Lu to launch a purge of left-wing officials, consolidating his power and ensuring the Regeneration Society remained the only political organisation capable of maintaining power. Nevertheless he continued to court support from the now-much marginalised left-wing forces which saw Lu's military-bureaucratic state as preferable compared to the monarchist and landowner influences from the right.

Under Lu Xiaodong modernised with literacy, social welfare and infrastructure programs being launched whilst Xiaodong recovered from both the Senrian-Xiaodongese and civil wars. Under his leadership, poverty decreased whilst illiteracy was almost eliminated. His government also promoted women's rights, ending forced marriages, legalising divorce and criminalising foot bindings. Ethnic and cultural assimilation was also carried out under Lu who controversially expelled many ethnic minority communities in Xiaodong under his rule, notably the last large remaining communities of Senrians. In 1944 Lu designated technocrat Ma Renzhong as his successor for the post of state chairman and military officer Zhou Hongkui for first minister, increasingly withdrawing from public life due to his frustration of political corruption and serving more as an ideological figurehead than executive ruler. In 1945 Lu died of a cerebral haemorrhage after which he was afforded a state funeral and interned in a mausoleum with his body embalmed. In 1987 the Tokkeitai conducted a terrorist attack on Lu's mausoleum which killed 87 people and the destruction of his body, the remains of which were interned in a rebuilt mausoleum.

Lu's family has remained active in Xiaodongese politics following his death - his wife Tao Guangmei served as State Chairwomen from 1953-1960, his first son Lu Dejiang State Chairman 1967-1974, his daughter Lu Fangliang Presiding Officer of the State Presidium from 1956-1970 and his granddaughter Lu Yanling the incumbent Presiding Officer of the State Pesidium.

Lu continues to be revered as the founding father of modern Xiaodong and one of the most important individuals in Xiaodongese history, with his legacy continuing to be celebrated in Xiaodong today. Lu's social policies are seen as having advanced the rights of women and expanded universal education for the first time in Xiaodongese history, with his economic policies recognised as serving the blueprint for Xiaodong's high economic growth under his successor. Lu is also highly regarded by Xiaodongese nationalists for asserting Xiaodong's sovereignty and for restoring national pride after defeats from Senria and Min, whilst his social welfare programs endeared him to the poor. However, Lu has been criticised for his policies towards ethnic minorities whilst in Senria he is vilified due to his role in the invasion of Senria. His involvement in the Senrian Genocide has been subject to great debate and controversy. Lu is continually to be ranked as one of the greatest Xiaodongese leader of all time, with a cult of personality of him continuing to be maintained in Xiaodong.

Ancestry

Early life

Lu Keqian in 1899, aged 18.

Military Career

Senrian-Xiaodongese War

Lu Keqian in a publicity photo during the Senrian-Xiaodongese War.

Role in the Senrian Genocide

Zorasani-Phuli front

Economy Minister

Lu with cabinet colleagues in 1930.

February Incident

Exile

Lu's arrest photo in Zorasan when he was transferred to Etrurian authorities.

Post-war period

Corrective Revolution and Civil War

Lu arriving back from exile during the Corrective Revolution.

Leader of Xiaodong

Following victory in the civil war Xiaodong was devastated. The country was functionally bankrupt, hyperinflation was rampant and in many parts of the country state authority had collapsed. Famine was occurring in the east of the country due to the scorched earth policy of Senria during the Great War and the incompetence of regional governments in the interim. The economy was suffering from hyperinflation due to continual withdrawal of loans to pay for a combination of treaty repayments and military expenditure in the civil war. Lu Keqian's friend and adviser, Gaullican former general Gastone Laurent-Cély said of the conditions of Xiaodong in 1940 that "in the present history of the world it is impossible to see elsewhere the evidences of extreme poverty and wretchedness that meet one's eye at almost every turn in Shiaotung".

In addition the government's control over ethnic minority areas such as Duljun was weak to non-existent with many of those countries still functionally independent from Xiaodong. The government was also only partially recognised abroad with Euclean imperialist powers and Senria worrying that the new regime would abrogate the treaties of Jindao and Keisi.

Reconstruction

Reconquering of former territory

Although by 1940 the Army of National Salvation had already defeated the Ba Republic it still had to contend with the separatist states of Duljun and the Chuttin Republic were still making incursions into Xiaodongese land. As well as this the border with Yi was still undefined with Yi forces having advanced to the Hongxinyue river. Many nationalists also demanded that the new government reclaim Euclean leased cities such as Jindao.

Xiaodongese troops entering Duljun in 1942.

With Lu's army reeling from 14 years of warfare in the country Lu had limited space to launch military operations. The Army of National Salvation numbered around 30 infantry divisions, 5 cavalry divisions and an armoured division but these lacked equipment and supplies. Lu realising the former Grand Alliance would not abide by annexations of treaty cities assured that Xiaodong would not retake such territory by force of arms and came to a quick peace with Yi recognising the annexation of such territories up to the Hongxinyue river. Lu justified this agreement by stating that the border had been rationalised to a natural state and that Xiaodong had "more pressing issues of national unification" to overcome.

Amongst Lu's first acts as State Chairman was to approve of the Xiaodongese invasion of the Chuttin Republic which fell without foreign support within a month. The next military operation was directed at Duljun where the government undertook a year long campaign to defeat the independent state. Whilst the Army of National Salvation was numerically and technologically superior to the Duljunese Banner Army it struggled to traverse the river and hill territory of Duljun where partisan warfare was common.

By June 1941 under general Zhou Hongkui the Army led an offensive into Henjintao, the capital of the Duljunese state. This resulted in the surrender of the Duljunese state and its annexation into Xiaodong proper under a military administration. Following the states annexation Lu signed a decree stating that when there was a "total assertion of state control" over Duljun the state would pass from a military administration to a semi-autonomous civilian government based on the model of Chuttin and Darma. The reasoning for the creation of autonomous ethnic zones fulfilled Lu's federalist conception of the Xiaodongese state which sought to transcend ethnic borders to instead maintain power over the "spiritual Xiaodongese nation" which would span from the Coral to Mazdan seas and therefore downplay ethnic revolts.

Economic stabilisation

Political reorganisation

Leftist purge

During the civil war the Army of National Salvation had been a coalition between Lu Keqian's own loyalist forces aligned to the Regeneration Society alongside the Peasants and Workers' Party, the main left-wing political force in Xiaodong. Having destroyed the rival anarchist Black Army and syndicalist Xiaodongese Section of the Workers' International during the civil war the Peasants and Workers' Party was the sole organised leftist force in Xiaodong, making it after the Regeneration Society one of the most powerful organisation in Xiaodong.

Rao Junzhao, the chairman of the Peasants and Workers' Party and leader of the internationalist faction.
Chen Xuechang represented the nationalist faction of the socialist movement and aligned with Lu Keqian.

Unlike the Regeneration Society which was a largely heterogeneous group united behind Lu Keqian and his nebulous neosocialist national Principlist platform the Peasant and Workers' Party was more ideologically coherent, supporting a centralised state based on agrarian socialism. However the party was deeply split on whether to embrace internationalism or nationalism and to this end were conflicted on continued cooperation with Lu Keqian. In a secret note to the party leadership the Peasants and Workers' Party chairman Rao Junzhao called for an entryist piecemeal strategy to undermine the Lu government and seize power for themselves.

When creating the alliance between the Regeneration Society and the left Lu Keqian had promised to hold a free election following the conclusion of the civil war for a constituent assembly that would put in place a permanent constitutions for the Auspicious Republic. At the time owing to his immense popularity Lu was certain his supporters would easily defeat any socialist opposition if such an election was held; however following the end of the civil war and the start of the reconstruction of the country the socialists promises of land reform and industrial development were attractive to much of the population. This worried Lu and his conservative supporters who had increasingly began to see the socialists as foreign agents whose internationalism predisposed them towards undermining or betraying the Xiaodongese nation.

As well as this the nationalist faction of the socialists became increasingly closer to Lu Keqian's neosocialism. Chen Xuechang, the leader of the neosocialists, opposed Rao's proposals for an alliance with Kirenia and was a close personal friend of Lu believing Lu's ideas of a Xiaodongese-led southern Coian confederation was a more practical socialist alternative then an internationalist policy.

Lu exploited this divide by deliberately courting the nationalist faction, appointing Chen Minister of International Relations whilst isolating Rao by giving him the prestigious but powerless role of Premier. Lu also ordered that former socialist militias be merged into the newly created Xiaodongese Defence Force. Although Rao supported this measure with the intention of having such former militias act as a "fifth column" within the military instead these militias were forced to swear blood oaths to Lu or disarm weakening the socialists powerbase.

Chen and the nationalist faction with Lu's encouragement at the February 1942 Peasants and Workers' Party Congress forwarded a motion that would pledge to enshrine National Principlism as one of the party guiding ideologies and "respect the revolutionary authority of Marshal Lu Keqian". The internationalist faction refused to put the motion to a vote resulting in the party splitting with Chen and his supporters defecting to the Regeneration Society.

Following the split of the Peasants and Socialist Party Lu quickly moved to exclude the internationalists from public life. Peasants and Workers' politicians were removed from state positions and their leaders rounded up into prison camps on the grounds of being foreign agents and ideological saboteurs. The Peasants and Workers' paper, the Workers' Daily, was shut down for subversive activity whilst party activists were arrested for sedition, sometimes being summarily executed. In rural provinces purges of party cadres was extremely violent with the Shujichu encouraging peasants to sometimes lynch party activists.

Although Lu had initially been interested in representative democratic elections following the civil war the attitude of internationalist socialist politicians, his own supporters conservative tendencies and the country's desperate financial and political situation concluded such a system would be destructive. Lu in particular by now believed that he could only trust his loyalist supporters in the military and bureaucracy to carry out his policy programme and promoted a new form of governance - guided democracy - was needed as a governing model for Xiaodong. Lu also saw in this conception of guided democracy that the remnants of the Peasants and Workers' Party- still officially active despite the leadership having been repressed - was unnecessary within the political system and alongside other parties was banned in the 1942 constitution which envisioned a nonpartisan regime.

1942 constitution

Modernisation

Economic modernisation

Social policies

Foreign relations

Lu was distrustful of foreign diplomats, seeing the conventions of international diplomacy as primarily constructed to benefit imperialist powers in Euclea. Speaking to the Estmerish ambassador in 1942 Lu commented that the concept of nation-states was exclusive only to eastern Euclea and that in Coius it was "impossible to construct the kind of ethnic-based nation state that exists in Euclea, and so should automatically be discarded as a concept in Coian diplomacy." Lu also criticised the notion of self-determination on these grounds instead proposing that nationhood was based on spiritual harmony rather then ethnic unity.

Lu in the last year of his life in 1945 at his private quarters.

Lu however remained a fervent Xiaodongese nationalist, albeit attempting to re-contextualise Xiaodongese nationalism from being based on ethnic assimilationist notions of "Greater Xiaodong" that was prevalent until the end of the Great War to the creation of either a confederation or federation of Coian nations under Xiaodongese leadership. According to Lu the spiritual similarities of the people of Coius had to be tapped into in order to overthrow Euclean imperialism and assert a stable world order whilst confronting the "lapdogs" of imperialism such as Senria which Lu stated had "forfeited its Coian identity whilst remaining socially and politically immature, meriting total opposition to Senria's regime and its values".

Lu believed that the twin forces of Euclean imperialism (of which he also counted Swetanian syndicalism as a "new, insidious form") alongside Senrian revanchism as the key forces threatening Xiaodong and Coius as a whole. As a result Lu promoted a either a confederation or federation of Coian states (using the terms interchangeably) under Xiaodongese leadership that would resist such forces. This proposal never was successful; many of Xiaodong's neighbours saw the federationist project as either a restoration of the pre-war tributary system or that Xiaodong would violently annex them as it had done to Duljun whilst both Euclean powers and Senria actively worked against such proposals.

Despite Lu's militaristic state and ambitions of restoring territories lost to Phula and Yi under his rule Xiaodong largely conducted a peaceful foreign policy. With focus primarily given to reconstruction from a decade and a half of war and the military demobilising Lu stated that an aggressive foreign policy would be "detrimental to the Xiaodongese nation and thus at this present course irresponsible."

Death and aftermath

Lu's body being taken to his mausoleum.

Legacy

Cult of Personality

Portrait of Lu Keqian in Rongzhuo

Assessment

Personal life

Lu and his wife Tao Guangmei at their wedding.