The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that under at least one of the so-called “warlords” or military rulers who governed China during the 1930's, there occurred political, social, and, above all, economic changes of the utmost importance. These changes took place in the northwestern province of Shansi, where, beginning in 1932, the warlord Yen Hsi-shan undertook to modernize the underdeveloped economy of his domain by carrying out a “provincial Ten-Year Plan of Economic Reconstruction,” or Shan-hsi sheng-cheng shih-nien chien-she chi-hua. I have chosen to call Yen's scheme for promoting economic growth in Shansi “China's First Five-Year Plan,” since in addition to being cut short by the Japanese occupation of Shansi only five years after its inception, it was inspired by the success of Russia's first five-year plan. Throughout the 1930's, Yen and his supporters repeatedly lavished praise on the Soviet Union for its spectacular accomplishments in the field of industrial development and advocated adopting Russian methods in order to achieve similar results in China. Notwithstanding his hatred of the Chinese Communists, who invaded Shansi in the winter of 1936, Yen continued to praise the Soviet economy throughout the 1930'5, holding it up as a model for China and for Shansi. “The Soviet Union accomplishes in one year what it takes other countries five years to achieve,” he remarked.