Baoding Military Academy

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Baoding Military Academy or Paoting Military Academy (Chinese: 保定軍校; pinyin: Bǎodìng Jūnxiào; Wade–Giles: Pao-ting Chün-hsiao) was a military academy based in Baoding, Republican China, in the first two decades of the 20th century. For a time, it was the most important military academy in China, and its cadets played prominent roles in the political and military history of the Republic of China. The Baoding Military Academy closed in 1923, but served as a model for the Whampoa Military Academy, which was founded in Guangzhou in 1924. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, half of 300 divisions in China's armed forces were commanded by Whampoa graduates and one-third were Baoding cadets.


In 1885 Li Hongzhang founded the Tianjin Military Academy 天津武備學堂 for Chinese army officers, with German advisers, as part of his military reforms.[1][2] The move was supported by Anhui Army commander Zhou Shengchuan.[2] The academy was to serve Anhui Army and Green Standard Army officers. Various practical military, mathematic and science subjects were taught at the academy. The instructors were German officers.[2] Another program was started at the academy for five years in 1887 to train teenagers as new army officers.[3] Mathematics, practical and technical subjects, sciences, foreign languages, Chinese Classics and history were taught at the school. Exams were administered to students. The instruction for Tianjin Military Academy was copied at the Weihaiwei and Shanhaiguan military schools.[3] The 'maritime defense fund' supplied the budget for the Tianjin Military Academy, which was shared with the Tianjin Naval Academy.[3]

The Tianjin Military Academy in 1886 adopted as part of its curriculum the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.[4] Among its alumni were Wang Yingkai and Duan Qirui. Among its staff was Yinchang.


In 1902, Yuan Shikai, the Viceroy of Zhili Province and the Minister of Beiyang, founded an officer academy in Baoding, the capital of Zhili Province. Baoding was the headquarters for his New Army, which until 1901 was based in Xiaozhan, near Tianjin. The Boxer Protocol required the Qing government to demilitarize Tianjin and the New Army was relocated to Baoding. From 1902 to 1912, the officer academy in Baoding took on a number of different names, including the Beiyang Army Expedited Martial Studies Academy. The academy trained officers for the New Army, which was a significant factor in Yuan Shikai's rise to power at the end of the Qing dynasty and the pivotal role he played in the Xinhai Revolution. In 1912, after Yuan became the provisional president of the Republic of China, the academy was briefly moved to Beijing and became the Army Academy. In October 1912, the academy was relocated back to Baoding and formally became the Baoding Military Academy.

Prominent Graduates

Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, who would later become president of the Republic of China, and Chang Chun attended the academy in 1906 as cadets in the overseas study preparatory class, prior to studying abroad in Japan.

Prominent graduates of the 3rd class in 1916 include Bai Chongxi, Cai Tingkai, Huang Shaohong, Zhang Zhizhong and Xia Wei.[5]


Whampoa Military Academy


In 1993, a memorial and museum was built on the site of the academy in Baoding to commemorate the academy and the 11,000 cadets who studied there. In 2006, the memorial became a national-level historical site.[6]


  1. ^ John King Fairbank (1978). The Cambridge History of China. Cambridge University Press. p. 266. ISBN 978-0-521-22029-3.
  2. ^ a b c John King Fairbank (1978). The Cambridge History of China. Cambridge University Press. p. 267. ISBN 978-0-521-22029-3. (profile)
  3. ^ a b c John King Fairbank (1978). The Cambridge History of China. Cambridge University Press. p. 268. ISBN 978-0-521-22029-3.
  4. ^ Michael Lackner, Ph.D.; Natascha Vittinghoff (January 2004). Mapping Meanings: The Field of New Learning in Late Qing China ; [International Conference "Translating Western Knowledge Into Late Imperial China", 1999, Göttingen University]. BRILL. pp. 269–. ISBN 90-04-13919-2.
  5. ^ Howard L. Boorman; Richard C. Howard; Joseph K. H. Cheng (1979). Biographical dictionary of Republican China, Volume 3. New York City: Columbia University Press. p. 51. ISBN 0-231-08957-0. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  6. ^ (Chinese) Xinhua 2006-06-28

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