The Jiedushi (traditional Chinese: 節度使; simplified Chinese: 节度使; pinyin: jiédùshǐ) were regional military governors in China during the Tang Dynasty and the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Originally set up to counter external threats, the jiedushi were given enormous power, including the ability to maintain their own armies, collect taxes, and pass their titles on hereditarily.
Powerful jiedushi eventually became fanzhen rulers and eclipsed the power of the central government; an early example is that of An Lushan, who was appointed jiedushi of three regions and was able to start the An Lushan Rebellion that abruptly ended the golden age of the Tang Dynasty. Even after the difficult suppression of that rebellion, the jiedushi retained their powers and accelerated the disintegration of the Tang Dynasty. Eventually the jiedushi ushered in the political division of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, a period marked by continuous infighting among rival kingdoms, dynasties, and regional regimes established by rival jiedushi.
- "Middle Ranking Official of the Tang Dynasty (唐代中層文官)". Retrieved November 26, 2010.