Following the failure of Dr. Sun Yat-sen's punitive expedition against Yuan Shih-kai in 1913 he immediately escaped to Japan, where he enrolled as a student at the Hao Yen Military Academy. Upon his return to China in 1917, Mr. Fang was appointed by the Military Government at Canton as commander of the defense force. He led Yunnan forces to attack the Northerners in Jiangxi (Kiangsi), Anhui (Anhwei) and Shandong (Shantung) in 1918. In 1926 Fang Cheng0wu was appointed commander of' the 5th Army of the Guominjun (Kuominchun) (Feng Yu-hsiang's army).
Upon the defeat of the Guominjun (Kuominchun) at Nankow near Beijing (Peking) by the Fengtian (Fengtien) forces, Mr. Fang retreated to Wuyuan in Suiyuan province. He was appointed commander of 1st route Shaanxi (Shensi) reinforcement army of Guominjun (Kuominchun) in 1926. Fang Cheng-wu led his forces eastward from Shaanxi (Shensi) capturing important cities along the Lung-Hai Railway and finally Luoyang (Loyang), Henan (Honan), where he joined the Nationalist Revolutionary Army at Zhengzhou (Chengchow) in 1927.
Later Fang Cheng-wu remused his offices as a commander of the 3rd flank army (later changed to 9th flank army) of the Nationalist Revolutionary Army and Commander-in-Chief of the 11th Route Army of the Nationalist Revolutionary Army. Mr. Fand was a commander of the 4th unit of the Nationalist 1st Group/Army. In 1929 he was appointed member of the Central Executive Committee of the Guomindang (Kuomintang). The same year Mr. Fang became a Chairman of the Anhui (Anhwei) Provincial Government.
He also was a member of the Military Council of the Nationalist Government commander of the 6th Route Army of the punitive expedition against the Guangxi (Kwangsi) faction and commander of the 10th Nationalist Army in 1929. Mr. Fang organized an Anti-Japanese Army in Charhar with General Feng Yu-hsiang in 1933 and fought against the Japanese for many months. Fang Cheng-wu was dismissed from all his posts by the National Government after the collapse of the movement, he lived in retirement since 1933.