Zhang Jingyao, (simplified Chinese: 张敬尧; traditional Chinese: 張敬堯; pinyin: Zhāng Jìngyáo; Wade–Giles: Chang Ch'ing-yao; IPA: [ʈ͡ʂɑ̄ŋ t͡ɕìŋi̯ɑ́ʊ̯]; 1881–1933), was a Chinese General, the military governor of Chahar and later Hunan Province. He was known as one of the most notorious of China's war-lords, known for his troops' atrocities and the looting of Hunan of its wealth during his administration. He was removed from office for his abuses and eventually assassinated in 1933 for aiding the Empire of Japan by attempting to set up the monarchy of Puyi in northern China with Japanese money.
Zhang Jingyao was born in 1881 and became a General in the Beiyang Army and then was part of the Anhui clique. He was Military Governor of Chahar Province from October 18, 1917 to March 29, 1918. He was then given the post of Military Governor of Hunan province from March 1918. While he was governor his troops committed many atrocities, killing civilians, robbing the wealthy, and raping women throughout the time they garrisoned the province. He is also said to have reduced the province to a state of beggary.
In August 1919, Zhang Jingyao censored Mao Zedong's "Xiang-jiang River Commentary" magazine because of Mao's efforts to organize the movement for expelling him from the governorship. Mao led a Hunan students' delegation to Peking where he appealed nationwide for support and revealed Zhang Jingyao's atrocities in Hunan Province.
At Yochow on June 16, 1920, Zhang's troops murdered an American missionary, William A. Reimert. This provoked the intervention of an American gunboat Upshur, which sent ashore a landing party of one officer and 40 men on June 25 to protect the American mission. Two days later—when local tensions had eased—they were reembarked. On the 29th, Zhang Jingyao, was removed from office, and the Chinese foreign office investigated the incident and expressed its profound regrets to the Americans. Zhang was later pardoned, in obscure circumstances.
In 1933, Zhang became involved in the scheme of the Empire of Japan to set up the monarchy of Puyi in northern China with Japanese money. An assassin shot and fatally wounded him in Peiping's Grand Hotel.