The History of Organized Crime in China — Part 4/5

November 18, 2010

In 1937, Japan invaded China. On August 14, the Japanese launched a fierce assault on Shanghai. Chinese refugees fled to the foreign concessions hoping to be safe.

However, Du Yue-sheng had his Green Gang fight alongside Nationalist troops against the Japanese.

Three months later, Shanghai fell and Du fled to Hong Kong. The Triads would never be the same.

A month after the end of World War II, in 1945, Du returned to Shanghai.

Any respect and fear he had earned before the war had been lost. The Shanghainese saw him as a coward for running away from the Japanese and booed him when he was seen on the streets.

When the Communists won in 1949, broken and unhealthy, Du fled to Hong Kong and died there in 1951 at 66. The Communist Revolution ended the Green Gang in Shanghai.

 

However, the Communists did not destroy the Chinese underworld. With hundreds of gangs operating in other countries, power shifted out of mainland China.

In time, New York’s Chinatown would become the center of the Chinese Triads in the US.

In 1977, on Mott St. in the heart of New York’s Chinatown, a war raged between the Chinese gangs. One Chinatown gang boss, Nicky Louie, became the most feared gangster in New York’s Chinatown.

Nicky arrived in New York’s Chinatown in the 1960s along with tens of thousands of other Chinese soon after Congress changed the Chinese Exclusion Act allowing more Chinese into the US.

Work was hard to come by so young Chinese men organized street gangs modeled after the same gangs from China that the Communists had destroyed.

Nicky, ruthless and smart, quickly became the leader of a Triad gang called the Ghost Shadows.

Under Nicky’s leadership, the Ghost Shadows became more powerful and ruthless. However, Nicky wanted to control all of Chinatown. Success then made Nicky a target and he was shot many times but survived.

Return to The History of Organized Crime in China – Part 3

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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The History of Organized Crime in China — Part 3/5

November 18, 2010

In a short period, the Green Gang changed from an old fashioned Northern Chinese group of sworn brothers into one of the most powerful criminal organizations in the world.

At the center of the Green Gang’s metamorphosis was one man. His name was Du Yue-sheng. Du grew up an orphan and illiterate near Shanghai.

When Du was fourteen, he arrived in Shanghai and spent the money he earned on opium and women. In 1910, Du was sworn into the Green Gang.

Du lived and worked out of the French Concession in Shanghai where the police were the criminals.

In 1924, Du had an opportunity to become the leader of the Green Gang when the current leader, Wong, had the son of a powerful warlord beaten. The warlord then had Wong arrested and tossed in prison.

Du paid the warlord to free Wong, who then owed Du a debt of gratitude. From that day on, Du controlled the Green Gang.

 

In 1927, General Chiang Kai-shek made a deal with the Triad Du controlled to destroy the Communists in Shanghai who were organizing labor unions.

Frederick Wakeman, a historian at the University of California-Berkeley says that Du was threatened with the possibility of a Communist victory.

Thousands of Green Gang members went after the Communists to shoot and behead as many as possible. Within hours, at least five thousand Communists had been executed.

As a reward, Chiang Kai-shek made Du a general in the Nationalist Army. Du’s public image became one of respectability while he maintained an iron control over Shanghai and the Green Gang.

For Chiang Kai-shek, the alliance with Du and the Green Gang became a useful way to raise money from Shanghai’s wealthy families.

Du was also in charge of the agency to stop the opium trade in Shanghai and he controlled the drugs seized by the Nationalists, which he would sell making a huge profit.

Return to The History of Organized Crime in China – Part 2

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.