Chinese Civil War

Huanggutun incident
Assassination of Zhang Zuolin, 4 June 1928
1928 Jun 4

Huanggutun incident

Shenyang, Liaoning, China

The Huanggutun incident was the assassination of the Fengtian warlord and Generalissimo of the Military Government of China Zhang Zuolin near Shenyang on 4 June 1928. Zhang was killed when his personal train was destroyed by an explosion at the Huanggutun Railway Station that had been plotted and committed by the Kwantung Army of the Imperial Japanese Army. Zhang's death had undesirable outcomes for the Empire of Japan, which had hoped to advance its interests in Manchuria at the end of the Warlord Era, and the incident was concealed as "A Certain Important Incident in Manchuria" in Japan. The incident delayed the Japanese invasion of Manchuria for several years until the Mukden Incident in 1931.

The younger Zhang, to avoid any conflict with Japan and chaos that might provoke the Japanese into a military response, did not directly accuse Japan of complicity in his father's murder but instead quietly carried out a policy of reconciliation with the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek, which left him as the recognized ruler of Manchuria instead of Yang Yuting. The assassination thus considerably weakened Japan's political position in Manchuria.