Finance and the Northern Expedition: From the Northeast Asian Perspective, 1925-1928

Chi Man Kwong *

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper looks at the problems faced by the Chinese silver-backed currencies in Manchuria during the period of Northern Expedition (1925-1928), the Chinese attempt to overcome these problems, and the reasons for its failure. Manchuria was a peculiar territory during the interwar period (1919-1939), where several currencies, backed by silver or gold, competed against one another. The Chinese silver banknote, first introduced at the turn of the twentieth century, was challenged by gold-backed Japanese yen issued by the Bank of Korea, and by the Russian ruble. This competition was set in the context of the struggle for political control over the area between China (the Qing Dynasty and its successor, the Chinese Republic), Russia (and its successor the Soviet Union), and the Japanese Empire, as well as the war between the southern Nationalists (Kuomintang) and the militarists (warlords) who controlled the Chinese central government in Beijing and Manchuria. This paper suggests that the difficult financial situation determined the course followed by the warlords, and that their failure was the result of the complex regional context, and the failures in their military strategy rather than of their fiscal policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1695-1739
Number of pages45
JournalModern Asian Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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