Liu Xiang is a Chinese general, warlord, politician and de facto co-ruler of Sichuan, and nominally an ally of the Zhili Clique. He was governor of Sichuan during different periods between 1921/1926, from 1924 onwards he became the most powerful warlord in the province.
He graduated from Sichuan Military College and eventually was promoted to army commander in Sichuan. Liu Xiang succeeded Liu Cunhou, the Chongqing-based warlord in Sichuan, in 1921. From 6 June 1921 to 24 May 1922 Liu was both Civil Governor and Military Governor of Sichuan Province, and remained civil governor until December 1922. Though he would wage a protracted war within Sichuan. In 1923, the Zhili Clique would get in contact with Xiang and appointed him the new Beiyang-backed governor of Sichuan, though he managed to gain the secret backing of warlords affiliated with the Anhui remnants in Eastern China. To secure dominance Liu Xiang defeated the warlord Yang Sen in 1924, emerging as the new most powerful warlord in Sichuan, though the power balance in the province would remain fragile, especially with formerly Yunnan-aligned Guizhou warlord Yuan Zuming making trouble in the south. He again became both civil and military Governor of Sichuan Province from July 1923. In late July, Yang Sen, now supported by Wu Peifu to the east, would invade Sichuan from Hubei, launching the Sichuanese War of Unification. Liu Xiang immediateley formed a so called anti-Yang alliance, including Yuan Zuming, and defeated Yang later that year.
In Sichuan, Liu Xiang, disgruntled with Yuan Zumings steadily increasing influence in the south of the province, striked deal with his former enemy, Yang Sen. Throughout the early months of the year, Yuan Zuming was expelled from the province. After the anti-Yuan coalition's victory, Yang Sen was recognized as the legitimate governor of Sichuan by Wu Peifu; however, the governorship is a mere nominal one, as the true power within Sichuan continues to lay in the hands of Liu Xiang, who exerts lots of influence from his well-established power base in Chongqing.