zhang xueliang

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Zhang Xueliang and Zhao Yidi in their home in the suburbs of Taipei.

When she first met him as a teenager, he had it all: he was one of China’s biggest warlords, controlled territories larger than half of Europe, had a fleet of airplanes and private trains, when the rest of the countries could barely afford shoes, not to mention his army rivalled the national government’s in size and power.

But the man she married was a prisoner of the state, stripped of all his titles, privileges and assets. She followed him into exile, stayed and lived with him in confinement and relative poverty until her death in 2000 at the age of eighty-eight. He died in the following year.

Who would do that these days?