Republic of China (Taiwan)- (1949- Present)
The Republic of China (Taiwan) portion of the Biographical Database provides short biographies of individuals involved in the progress of Chinese and relative East Asian history after the Republic of China was declared on Taiwan, October 1, 1949.
Chinese names will be alphabetically sorted according to Wade- Giles romanization of the Chinese name. Older pronunciations, pinyin romanization, other translations and variations will be present next to the Wade- Giles translation. There may be more than a few exceptions to this general rule, depending on the names most commonly associated with the person, independent of romanization issues, such as Chiang Kai-shek.
Where possible, names will include Chinese character references in either traditional (BIG5) or simplified (GB) characters or both.
Please follow this primer which defines the transliteration type and/or name type for entries:
- B5- Traditional characters (BIG 5)
- GB- Simplified characters (GB)
- Should both BIG5 and GB correspond, the character will be listed under B5.
- BN- Birth Name
- PY- Pinyin romanization
- WG- Wade Giles romanization
- Y- Yale romanization
Western names will be alphabetically sorted according to western biographical standards, or by surname. If there is a Chinese equivalent, it will be present next to the western name.
Dates reflecting a time period before the year '0' in western terms, are categorized as BCE (Before the Common Era). This is equivalent to the widely used BC (Before Christ) and a.C.n. (Ante Christum Natum "before the birth of Christ"). Dates reflecting a time period after the year '0' are categorized as CE (in the Common Era). This is equivalent to the widely used AD (Anno Domini "In the Year of the Lord"). As the Chinese culture in the majority do not subscribe to the practice of Christianity as a religion, it seemed appropriate to signify these dates in a neutral manner.
Dates before October 1582 are given in the Julian calendar, not in the proleptic Gregorian calendar. Dates after October 1582 are given in the Gregorian calendar, not in the Julian calendar that remained in use in England until 1752.
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An index to all terms in this database is located after the database entries.
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B5: 呂秀蓮; GB: 吕秀莲; PY: Lǚ Xiùlián; WG: Lu Hsiu-lien (June 7, 1944- )- Vice president of Republic of China on Taiwan and a politician of the Democratic Progressive Party.
She was born in Taoyuan County, in northern Taiwan, and studied law at the National Taiwan University. Graduating in 1967, she went on to gain a master's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and another from Harvard University. During the 1970s she established herself as a prominent advocate of feminist ideas in Taiwan, including writing Hsin-nü-hsing Chu-i (新女性主義 New Women's Principle). She also joined the Tangwai movement and worked on the staff of Formosa Magazine. Surviving throat cancer in 1974, she spoke at the rally that precipitated the Kaohsiung Incident and was subsequently sentenced to 12 years for sedition. She served five years and four months before being given a given medical parole due to thyroid cancer.
She was elected to the Legislative Yuan in 1993. In 1997 she won an election to be a magistrate in Taoyuan, replacing her murdered predecessor. On March 18, 2000, she was elected vice-president. She was awarded the World Peace Corps Mission's World Peace Prize in 2001. Controversy erupted over this in Taiwan, with Lu's political opponents accusing her of vastly overstating the significance and value of that award.
She has been notably more outspoken in favor of Taiwan independence than President Chen Shui-bian, and as such has been more heavily attacked than Chen both by the government of the People's Republic of China as well as by supporters of Chinese reunification on Taiwan.
She has often appeared at odds with Chen, particularly in regard to cross-Strait policy. While Chen initially sent conciliatory signals, Lu has consistently made inflammatory comments to the media. Her confrontational remarks has led state newspapers in mainland China to accuse her of provoking "animosity between the people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits".
She has often complained of being sidelined or being treated like a mere "flower vase" by the administration. In June 2000 she said publicly that Chen "wants me to play 'bad cop' on cross-Strait issues." Chen's office immediately denied this.
In the months leading to the ROC presidential election, 2004 there was intense speculation as to whether she would be again chosen Chen's running mate, as party leaders had pressured him to choose someone else, presumably less controversial and outspoken to appeal to swing voters. But on December 11, 2003, Chen officially nominated Lu to run for a second term.
On March 19, 2004, Lu was shot in the right kneecap during a campaign trip to Tainan. Chen was shot in the abdomen at the same event. Both survived the shooting and left Chi-mei Hospital on the same day. The Pan-Blue Coalition suggested that the shooting was not an assassination attempt but that it was staged to gain sympathy votes. The Chen/Lu ticket won the election on the following day with only a 0.2% margin.
After the election, she continued to make statements which contributed to a public impression that she was tactless and not very careful about her statements. In a June 2004 meeting with expatriates in San Francisco, she proposed to officially rename her country "Taiwan Republic of China" to pacify domestic disputes over Taiwan's identity. However, this drew heat from both sides, ranging from those who wanted to drop the "Republic of China" completely and those who pointed out that her proposal violated the Five Noes. Lu was careful to state that this was just her personal opinion and not an official proposal. She drew even more controversy after flooding in Taiwan, in which she made statements which were portrayed as an attack on Taiwanese aboriginals for living in flood prone areas.
Following the resignation of DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang, who took responsibility for the DPP defeat in the December 2005 "3-in-1" local elections, the DPP Central Executive Committee appointed Lu on December 7, 2005 acting Chairwoman of the DPP, but she suddenly resigned less than one week later on December 12. According to unidentified DPP officials quoted by the local press, President Chen was displeased with the decision to appoint Lu as acting chairwoman and troubled by Lu's intention to become formal chairwoman. Lu resigned after Chen cancelled a meeting with her (which was taken as a snub). Her stated reason was that she did not want to get involved in "factional infighting."
However, in another sudden change, she withdrew her resignation on December 14, citing a number of standing committee members' request for her to stay on.
Lu is widely considered to be a contender for the DPP nomination in the 2008 presidential election.
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B5: 陳水扁; GB: 陈水扁 Pinyin: Chén Shuǐbiǎn (September, 1950- )- Taiwanese politician, President of the Republic of China since May 20, 2000. He is colloquially and affectionately referred to as A-Bian (阿扁; Ābiǎn).
Chen, whose Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has traditionally been supportive of Taiwan independence, took office in 2000 ending more than fifty years of Kuomintang rule in Taiwan. Though he moderated his stance and took conciliatory gestures, Chen remains a divisive figure for his position of Taiwan independence.
Unlike most prominent politicians in Taiwan, Chen came from an impoverished background. Chen was born to a tenant farming family
in Kuantien Township of Tainan County in late 1950 but was not formally issued a birth certificate until February 18, 1951 because of doubts that
he would survive.
In June 1969, he was admitted to the National Taiwan University. Initially a business administration major, he switched to law in his first year and became editor of the law review. He passed the bar exams before the completion of his junior year with the highest score, earning him the distinction of being Taiwan's youngest lawyer. He graduated in 1974 with a LL.B. in commercial law.
In 1975, he married Wu Shu-chen, the daughter of a physician. The couple have a daughter who is a dentist and son, Chen Chih-Chung, who graduated with a degree in law from the University of California, Berkeley in 2005.
From 1976 to 1989, Chen was a partner in Formosa International Marine and Commercial Law, where he specialized in maritime insurance and held the firm's portfolio for Evergreen Marine Corporation.
Entrance Into Politics
Chen became involved in politics in 1980 when he defended the participants of the Kaohsiung Incident against a military court.
While his client Huang Hsin-chieh, the leading opposition dissident, and seven co-defendants, including his future Vice President Annette Lu, were
all found guilty, Chen came to be known for his forceful and colorful arguments. He has stated that it was during this period that he realized the
unfairness of the political system in Taiwan and became politically active as a member of the Tangwai movement.
Chen won a seat in the Taipei City Council as a Tangwai candidate in 1981 and served until 1985. In 1984, he founded the pro-opposition Civil Servant Public Policy Research Association, which published a magazine called Neo-Formosa.
On January 12, 1985, Chen was sentenced to a year in prison for libel, when, as editor of a Neo-Formosa magazine, he printed an article critical of Elmer Feng, then a college philosophy professor who was later elected a Kuomintang (KMT) legislator. As he was appealing the sentence, he returned to Tainan to run for county magistrate in November 1985. Three days after losing the election, his wife, Wu Shu-chen was hit by a truck as they were thanking their supporters, which left her paralyzed from the waist down. His supporters believed this was part of a government campaign to intimidate him.
Chen lost his appeal in May 1986 and began serving his eight months in the Tucheng Penitentiary along with Huang Tien-fu and Lee Yi-yang, two other defendants in the same case. While he was in prison, his wife campaigned and was elected to the Legislative Yuan. Upon his release, Chen served as her legislative assistant and practiced law.
In 1989, Chen was elected to the Legislative Yuan and served as the executive director of the Democratic Progressive Party Congress. With the support of some KMT colleagues, Chen was also elected convener of the National Defense Committee. He was instrumental in laying out and moderating many of the DPP's positions on Taiwanese independence, including the four ifs. He was reelected to another three year term in 1992, but resigned in two years to become mayor.
Mayor of Taipei
Chen was elected as the mayor of Taipei in 1994, largely as the result of a vote split between the highly unpopular KMT incumbent
and the KMT-spin-off New Party (NP) candidate Chao Shaokong. Unable to find experienced bureaucrats from his own party, Chen and his inner circle
of young law school graduates retained many of the KMT administrators and delegated considerable authority.
During his term, Chen received accolades for his campaigns to drive illegal gambling and prostitution rackets out of Taipei. He levied large fines on polluters and reformed public works contracts. He closed brothels and demolished the slums to create a new park. Chen renamed many of the roads in Taipei, most notably the road which runs between KMT Headquarters to the Presidential Palace from "Chieh-shou Road" (介壽路 jiè shòu lù) (Long Live Chiang Kai-shek) to "Ketagalan Avenue" (凱達格蘭大道) in an effort to acknowledge the aboriginal people of the Taipei basin. Chen also made highly publicized evictions of longtime KMT squatters on municipal land, and ordered Chiang Wei-kuo's estate demolished.
Despite receiving more votes both in absolute and in percentage terms than his 1994 campaign, Chen lost this position in 1998 to the KMT's rising star Ma Ying-jeou in large part because the KMT was able to get the support of New Party supporters.
First Term Presidency
In an election eerily similar to Taipei's in 1994, Chen won the 2000 presidential election on March 18 with only 39% of the vote
as a result of a split of factions within the Kuomintang, when James Soong ran for the presidency as an independent against the party nominee Lien
Lacking a clear mandate and inheriting a bureaucracy largely loyal to the KMT, Chen tried to reach out to his opposition. He appointed the KMT conservative mainlander Tang Fei, a former general and the incumbent defense minister, as his first Premier. Only half of Chen's original cabinet were DPP members, as few DPP politicians had risen above the local level. Although a supporter of Taiwan independence, Chen moderated his stance during his campaign and pledged the Four Noes and One Without in his inaugural address—that as long as the People's Republic of China does not attack Taiwan, he would not declare independence nor change the national symbols of the Republic of China. He also promised to be "president of all the people" and resigned his chairmanship from the DPP. His approval rating reached 70%.
Chen's administration ran into many problems, and its policies were constantly being blocked by the Pan-Blue Coalition-controlled legislature. The stock market lost over half its value within a year and unemployment reached 4.5%. While Chen's detractors blamed Chen's poor leadership for the economic crisis, the administration blamed the legislature for blocking its relief efforts.
More troublesome for Chen was the political showdown over the construction of the Number Four Nuclear Power Facility. This multibillion dollar project in Kungliao was already one-third completed and favored by the pro-business KMT as a means of avoiding an energy shortage. However, the environmentalist DPP strongly objected to the expansion of nuclear power. Premier Tang had threatened to resign if the project were cancelled, and Chen accepted his resignation on October 3, 2000, only four and a half months after both had taken office. Chen appointed his political ally Chang Chun-hsiung as Tang's replacement. On October 27, Chang announced that the government would halt construction. But less than an hour before, President Chen had met with Lien Chan to reconcile differences. Lien had asked Chen to leave the matter for the Legislative Yuan to decide and Chen seemed receptive to the suggestion. When Chang's announcement came out, Lien was furious and the KMT began an effort to recall the President. The Council of Grand Justices intervened and declared that it was the legislature and not the cabinet that had the power to decide on the issue. This was widely seen as the end of Chen's attempts to face the pan-blue groups head on. By the end of his first year in office, Chen's approval ratings had dropped to 25%.
After his first year in office, Chen seemed to move away from sending conciliatory gestures. In the summer of 2002, Chen became the chairman of the DPP. During his tenure, images of Chiang Kai-shek, and Chiang Ching-kuo (and to a lesser degree Sun Yat-sen) have disappeared from public buildings. The word "TAIWAN" is now printed on new ROC passports. Also continuing a trend from the previous administration, the Education Ministry has revised the school curriculum to be more Taiwan-centered. Government websites have also tended to promote the notion that China is synonymous with the PRC. The "Free China Press" has been renamed the Taiwan Press and Who's Who in the ROC has been renamed Who's Who in Taiwan. In January 2003, the Cabinet-level Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission was abolished and replaced by a newly-formed Taiwan-Tibet Exchange Foundation. Though Chen has proposed talks with the PRC, relations remain deadlocked as Chen has refused to pledge to the One-China Policy, as required by the PRC for talks to begin. Such a pledge seemed unlikely for Chen since there remains strong opposition within his own party. Despite these symbolic gestures, Chen moved away from "no haste, be patient" policy and opened the three mini links.
Position on Taiwan's Status
Chen's and the Democratic Progressive Party position on Taiwan's political status is that Taiwan is already an independent, sovereign
nation named the Republic of China. This has the implication that a declaration of independence is unnecessary as Taiwan is already independent. This
view point, however, is subjected to change in each election campaign. At the same time, it also has the implication that the pledge by Chen to preserve
the status quo or not change Taiwan's sovereign status would not preclude a declaration of independence but would preclude acceptance of the one China
It is generally accepted that Chen's position on this issue is intended and to a large degree has succeeded in placating his pro-independence supporters without crossing any red lines that would trigger war. His supporters see these positions as creative and indicative of a willingness to compromise. However, it is also common among his opponents in Taiwan, as well as among policy makers in mainland China and the pro-PRC United States politicians to see his statements in their own much darker terms. Many among his critics believe that his positions and actions reveal Chen to be an old style Taiwanese politician and promote that his seemingly conciliatory statements are merely a smokescreen to advance a hidden agenda of advancing de-facto Taiwan independence. These suspicions appear to arise from the actions of his KMT predecessor Lee Teng-hui who now readily admits to secretly trying to advance de-facto Taiwan independence during his presidential terms.
President Chen admits that he leans towards independence but his main position is opposition to adopting the One China policy since it prevents Taiwanese people from being able to decide upon their own future. From this it is speculated that if a large majority of Taiwanese did vote for unification in a referendum, and the PRC not been putting any diplomatic or military pressure on Taiwan during the referendum, Chen would abide by the result.
In an interview in July 2005, Chen explicitly repudiated the position of all former Taiwanese leaders that the Republic of China was still the legitimate government of the whole of China. "The republic of China on Taiwan and the People's Republic of China on the mainland are two separate countries with divided rule and do not exercise sovereignty over each other," he said. "Under the principle of popular sovereignty and self determination, we consider that the question of whether Taiwan should be united with China should be the decision of the 23 million people of Taiwan."
Re-election Campaign and Referendum
In late 2003, he signed a controversial referendum bill, which he had supported but was heavily watered down by the Pan-Blue majority
legislature. One concession that the legislature made was to include a provision for an emergency defensive referendum and during the legislative
debates it was widely believed that this clause would only be invoked if Taiwan was under imminent threat of attack from China as has been so often
threatened. Within a day of the passage of the referendum bill, Chen stated his intention to invoke this provision, citing PRC's over 450 missiles
aimed directly at the Taiwanese. Pan-Blue believed that his bill was only intended to benefit Chen in the coming election, as whether PRC removes
the missiles cannot be decided by ROC's referendum result.
His use of the referendum in combination with his talk of a new constitution lead many among his reunification critics to believe that he would attempt to achieve Taiwan independence in his second term by invoking a referendum to create a new constitution that would formally separate Taiwan from any interpretation of China. This caused the Bush led government of the United States to follow the lead of Chen's political critics and issue a rare rebuke of Chen's actions.
Chen was shot in the stomach while campaigning in the city of Tainan on March 19, 2004, the day before polls opened. According to Chen, the bullet left a flesh wound that was 8 cm long and 2 cm deep and was found in his clothes. He left the hospital on the same day with 14 stitches. His Vice President Annette Lu was shot in the leg in the same incident. Many continue to believe that the shooting was a set-up to help Chen win the election by earning sympathy votes. Since the incident, a large quantity of rumors, conspiracy theories, claims and counter-claims have been generated and propagated both on the Internet and in the Taiwanese media.
The following day, Chen narrowly won the election with a margin of less than 30,000 votes out of 12.9 million votes counted. Both of his referendum proposals were rejected due to insufficient turnout. The Pan-Blue candidate Lien Chan refused to concede and sued both for a recount and for a nullification of the outcome while supporters held a week-long violent protest in front of the presidential office in Taipei due alleged election irregularities throughout the island. He also claimed that the shooting was staged by Chen to win sympathy votes. Chen claimed that the shooting could not have been staged because it would be too dangerous to have himself shot in a moving jeep and also challenged Lien and Vice Presidential Candidate James Soong to try their luck with a shooter in a stationary jeep. However, most theories on how the shooting could have been staged do not center on Chen's injury having occurred while he was in the moving jeep. Most theories go along the lines that his wound was made beforehand and/or afterwards.
Throughout the election, Chen planned to hold a referendum in 2006 on a new constitution to be enacted upon the accession of the 12th-term president in May 2008. After the election, he sought to reassure critics and moderate supporters that the new constitution would not address the issue of sovereignty, and that the current constitution was in need of comprehensive reform after more than a decade of patchwork revision.
There have been two interpretations of Chen's actions during the election in terms of independence politics. The first is that he is ideologically committed to advancing Taiwan independence and that his actions are intended to systematically remove the constraints which prevent this from occurring. Seen in this light, his actions are intended to provoke a crisis in which the PRC must either start a war or accept independence, with the expectation that the PRC would back down. Ironically, this interpretation of his actions is shared both among his most fervent supporters (who think it is a good thing) and his most bitter opponents (who think that it is a bad thing). It is largely to counter this possibility that the PRC has issued statements that it will definitely go to war if certain red lines are crossed. However, they in reality carry little meaning, as Beijing has made such statements warning against electing former President Lee and Chen in the 1996 and 2000 elections, which both failed to materialize. Some people regard these statements now as reverse psychology, as Lee and Chen may help to weaken ROC and advance the unification process.
The second interpretation is that Chen's actions are primarily intended to placate his core supporters rather than provoke a crisis. People who subscribe to this interpretation point out that Chen's early efforts to moderate his pro-independence position did not create a positive reaction either from Mainland China or from his anti-independence opponents on Taiwan. He also alienated some pro-independence supporters. Therefore Chen was forced to take a more assertive approach both as a negotiation tactic with the PRC and to keep support from his core supporters. This strategy is consistent with the oft-stated position that Taiwan would only seek independence as a preemptive measure in the face of evidence of PRC military aggression. However, even this interpretation provokes unease among many people, especially among policy makers in Mainland China and the United States. The first problem is that this interpretation makes Chen seem like an old-style Taiwan politician that seems to say whatever pleases people. The second, more serious problem is the fear that through misunderstanding and misinterpretation, Chen may provoke a war without intending to do so, as Mainland China has repeatedly claimed that any progress towards independence would provoke war.
Second Term Presidency
On May 20, 2004, Chen was sworn in for his second term as President amid continued mass protests by the pan-blue alliance over
the validity of his re-election. Having heard protests from pro-independence figures in Taiwan, he did not explicitly re-state the Four Noes and One
Without but did state that he reaffirmed the commitments made in his first inaugural. He defended his proposals to change the constitution, but asked
for constitutional reform to be undertaken through existing procedures instead of calling for a referendum for an entirely new constitution which
was proposed by former president Lee Teng-hui. This would require approval by a three-fourths majority of the National Assembly which could authorize
a referendum. This has two major implications. First, by going through existing constitutional amendment procedures, this has the symbolic effect
of maintaining continuity with the existing constitution which was originally written in Mainland China. Second, this has the practical effect of
requiring the Chen administration to get the consent of the opposition Pan-Blue coalition to pass any amendments, and while the opposition is willing
to consider constitutional reforms that would increase governmental efficiency, they are unlikely to support anything that would imply a de jure declaration
However, even these seemingly conciliatory gestures did not quell unease by his critics at his election. Some have pointed out that he qualified his statements on the constitution with the statement that this is a personal suggestion. Furthermore, it is widely believed in Taiwan that some of these gestures were essentially forced on him again by pressure from the United States and Mainland China. The People's Republic of China has stated many times that it cares little about what Chen says, but will watch closely in the next few months to see what he does, a standard sentence that Communist China continues to quote.
Three days before Chen's inauguration, the Taiwan Affairs Office of the People's Republic of China issued what has become known as the May 17 Declaration. In that declaration, Communist China accused Chen of continuing with a creep toward independence, having merely paid lip service to his commitments in his first term of office, and reiterated that there would be consequences if Chen did not halt policies toward Taiwan independence, but at the same time offered major concessions if Chen would accept the one China principle.
In late 2004, Chen began eagerly pushing for an US$18 billion arms deal with the United States, but the Pan-Blue Coalition has blocked the deal from passing the legislature, arguing the money should be spent on other measures. Chen announced on December 5 that state-owned enterprises and foreign offices bearing the name "China", such as China Airlines, the China Steel Corporation, and Chinese Petroleum Corporation, would be renamed to bear the name "Taiwan". On December 14, 2004, following the failure of the Pan-Green coalition to gain a majority of seats in the ROC legislative election, 2004 (as many had expected to occur), Chen resigned as chairman of the DPP. This dashed hopes that the stalemate that plagued Chen's first term would end.
In 2005 Chen became the first ROC president to visit Europe, when he attended the funeral of Pope John Paul II in the Vatican City (the Holy See continues to maintain diplomatic relations with the ROC). Though it is common for the ROC president frequent visits to the ROC's remaining diplomatic allies to shore up support, past presidents had been prevented from visiting the Vatican because such a visit would require passing through Italy, which maintains relations with the PRC. Under agreement with the Vatican, Italy permitted all guests to the funeral passage without hindrance and Chen was received at Rome's airport in his capacity as a foreign head of state.
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B5: 蔣經國; GB: 蔣经国; PY: Jiǎng Jīngguó (April 271, 1910- January 13, 1988)- Kuomintang politician and leader, son of Chiang Kai-shek. Chinag Ching-kuo held numerous posts in the government of the Republic of China (from 1949 on Taiwan). He succeeded his father to power, serving as Premier of the Republic of China from 1972 to 1978, and President of the Republic of China from 1978 until his death in 1988. Under his tenure, the government of the Republic of China, although still authoritarian, became much more open and tolerant of political dissent. Towards the end of his life, Chiang relaxed government controls on the press and speech and put native Taiwanese in positions of power, including his successor Lee Teng-hui who furthered the course of democratic reforms.
The son of Chiang Kai-shek and his first wife Mao Fumei, Chiang Ching-kuo was born in Fenghua, Zhejiang and had the courtesy name
of Jianfeng (建豐). He had an adopted brother, Chiang Wei-kuo.
In 1925 he went to Moscow to study communism on his own volition; his father agreed, since it seemed a sensible thing to do at the time because the Kuomintang and Communist Party of China were allied in the First United Front in preparation for the Northern Expedition. In Moscow, he was given the Russian name "Nikolai Vladimirovich Elizarov" and put under the tutelage of Karl Radek. He was noted for having an exceptional grasp of international politics. His classmates included other children of influential Chinese families, most notably the future Chinese Communist party leader, Deng Xiaoping. In Moscow, the younger Chiang became an enthusiastic student of Communist ideology, particularly Trotskyism. Following the Great Purge, Joseph Stalin privately met with Chiang and ordered him to denounce Trotskyism. Chiang even applied to be a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, although his request was denied.
In April 1927, however, Chiang Kai-shek purged the leftists and Communists from the KMT and expelled his Soviet advisors. Following this event, Chiang Ching-kuo wrote an editorial, harshly criticizing his father's actions. The Soviet government then sent Chiang Ching-kuo to work in the Ural Heavy Machinery Plant, a steel factory in Siberia where he met Faina Ipatyevna Vakhreva, a native Russian. They married on March 15, 1935, and she would later became known as Chiang Fang-liang. In December of that year, a son, Hsiao-wen (孝文) was born. A daughter, Hsiao-chang (孝章), was born the next year.
Stalin allowed Chiang Ching-kuo to return to China with his Russian wife and two children in April 1937 after living in Russia for 12 years. The Communists under Chairman Mao Zedong and the Nationalists still under Chiang's father had signed a ceasefire and formed a Second United Front to counter the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. Stalin hoped the Chinese would keep Japan from invading of the Soviet Pacific coast, and he hoped to form an anti-Japanese alliance with the senior Chiang.
Back in China, Chiang and his wife eventually had two more sons, Hsiao-wu (蔣孝武) and Hsiao-yung (蔣孝勇). Out of his affair with Chang Ya-juo (章亞若), Chiang also had two twin sons in 1941: Chang Hsiao-tz'u and Chang Hsiao-yen. (Note the identical generation name of Hsiao between all sons, legitimate or not.)
Mayor of Shanghai
During the Chinese Civil War, Chiang Ching-kuo briefly served as the mayor of Shanghai and tried to crackdown the corruption and hyperinflation that plagued the city. He was determined to do this because of the fears arising from the Nationalists’ increasingly lack of popularity during the Civil War. He pinpointed the source of the corruption to be from the family of his stepmother Soong Mei-ling. Ching-kuo’s stepmother told Ching-kuo’s father Chiang Kai-shek to force Ching-kuo to back off. Although Ching-kuo backed off, Soong Mei-ling and Ching-kuo remained on bad terms perhaps for the rest of their lives.
Political Career in Taiwan
Chiang Ching-kuo followed his father and the retreating Nationalist forces to Taiwan after the Nationalists lost control of mainland
China to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War. On December 8, 1949 the capital was moved from Nanjing to Taipei. In early morning December 10,
1949, Communist troops laid siege to Chengdu, the last KMT occupied city in mainland China, where Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo directed
the defense at the Chengdu Central Military Academy. The aircraft May-ling evacuated them to Taiwan on the same day; they would never again return
to mainland China.
In 1950, Chiang's father appointed him director of the secret police, better known as the "Blue Shirts", where he remained until 1965. As the director of the Blue Shirts, Chiang orchestrated the controversial court-martial and arrest of General Sun Li-jen in August 1955 for allegedly plotting a coup d'etat against his father. General Sun was a popular Chinese war hero from the Burma Campaign against the Japanese and remained under house arrest until Chiang Ching-kuo's death in 1988. Chiang Ching-kuo's activities as director of the secret police have been widely criticized as heralding an era of human rights abuses in Taiwan, including the mysterious disappearances of both documents and people that seemed to oppose the Nationalist government.
From 1955 to 1960 Chiang administered the construction and completion of the Taiwan's highway system. Chiang's father elevated him to high office when he was appointed as the ROC Defense Minister in 1965, where he remained until 1969. He was the nation's Vice Premier between 1969 and 1972, and he was the nation's Premier between 1972 and 1978. In Chiang Kai-shek's final years, he gradually gave more responsibilities to his son. Chiang Kai-shek died in April 1975 and was succeeded to the presidency by Yen Chia-kan while Chiang Ching-kuo succeeded to the leadership of the Kuomintang (opting to take the title "Chairman" rather than the elder Chiang's title of "Director-General").
Chiang was officially elected President of the Republic of China by the National Assembly after the end of the term of President
Yen Chia-kan on May 20, 1978. He was reelected to another term in 1984. At that time, the National Assembly consisted mostly of "thousand year" legislators
who had been elected in 1947/8 before the fall of the mainland.
Chiang maintained many of his father's autocratic policies during the early years of his term in office. He continued to rule Taiwan as a military state under martial law, as it had been since the Nationalists re-established its capital on Taiwan, in anticipation of an imminent invasion by the People's Republic of China. For this reason, the United States maintained a permanent military presence on the island to defend its World War II and Cold War ally.
Chiang launched the "Fourteen Major Construction Projects" and "Ten Major Construction Projects and the Twelve New Development Projects" contributing to the "Taiwan miracle." Among his accomplishments were accelerating the process of modernization to give Taiwan a 13% growth rate, $4600 per capita income, and the world's second largest foreign exchange reserves.
However, in December 1978, U.S. President, Jimmy Carter made the shocking announcement that the United States would no longer recognize the ROC as the legitimate government of China. Under the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States would continue to sell weapons to Taiwan. However, the TRA was purposely vague in any promise of defending Taiwan in the event of an invasion. But the United States would now end all official contact with the Chiang's government and withdraw its troops from the island. Carter was so eager to make the announcement that the American ambassador had to wake Chiang up in the middle of the night to inform him of the decision.
In 1987 Chiang ended martial law and allowed family visits to the Mainland China. His administration saw a gradual loosening of political controls and opponents of the Nationalists were no longer forbidden to hold meetings or publish papers. Opposition political parties, though still illegal, were allowed to form. When the Democratic Progressive Party was established in 1986, President Chiang decided against dissolving the group or persecuting its leaders, but its candidates officially ran in elections as independents in the Tangwai movement.
Chiang Ching-kuo appointed Taiwan-born Lee Teng-hui as his successor as Chairman of the Nationalist Party and President of the Republic of China, ending his father's hopes for continued dynastic succession.
Death and Legacy
Chiang died of heart failure and hemorrhage in Taipei at the age of 78. Like his father, he was interred "temporarily" in Tahsi
Township, Taoyuan County, but in a separate mausoleum. The hope was to have both buried at their birthplace in Fenghua once the mainland was recovered.
In January 2004, Chiang Fang-liang asked that both father and son be buried at Wu Chih-shan Military Cemetery in Sijhih, Taipei County. The state
funeral ceremony was initially planned for Spring 2005, but was eventually delayed to winter 2005. It may be further delayed due to the recent death
of Chiang Ching-kuo's oldest daughter-in-law, who had served as the de-facto head of the household since Chiang Fang-liang's death in 2004. Chiang
Fang-liang and Soong May-ling had agreed in 1997 that the former leaders be first buried but still be moved to mainland China in the event of reunification.
In contrast to his father Chiang Kai-shek, Chiang Ching-kuo built himself a folksy reputation and remains a generally popular figure among the Taiwanese electorate, particularly those who support Chinese reunification. His memory and image is frequently invoked by the Kuomintang, which is unable to base their electoral campaign on Chiang's successor as President and KMT Chairman Lee Teng-hui because of Lee's stand in support of Taiwan independence. Especially after the 2000 presidential election, the Pan-Blue Coalition has elevated Chiang's status to the point which some critics see as excessive.
Among the Tangwai and later the Pan-Green Coalition, opinions toward Chiang Ching-kuo are more reserved. While long-time supporters of political liberalization do give Chiang Ching-kuo some credit for relaxing authoritarian rule, they point out that Taiwan, particularly in the early years of his rule, was still quite authoritarian, and tend to emphasize the democratization of Taiwan under Chiang Ching-kuo as a result of general internal and external forces rather than his personal actions or characteristics. In particular, critics have argued that Chiang's support of democratization was a direct result of the fall of Ferdinand Marcos. Nonetheless, as with Pan-Blue followers, many still think rather highly of him for his efforts in domestic developments.
Under President Chen Shui-bian, pictures of Chiang Ching-kuo and his father have gradually disappeared from public buildings. The AIDC, the ROC's air defense company, has nicknamed its AIDC F-CK Indigenous Defense Fighter the Ching Kuo in his memory.
All of his legitimate children studied abroad and two of his children married in the United States. Only two remain living: John Chiang is a prominent KMT politician and Chiang Hsiao-chang and her children and grandchildren reside in the United States.
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(ROC) B5: 蔣中正; PY: Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng; WG: Chiang Chung-cheng (PRC) GB: 蒋介石; PY: Jiǎng Jièshí; WG: Chiang Chieh- shih (October 31, 1887- April 5, 1975)- Chinese military and political leader who assumed the leadership of the Kuomintang (KMT) after the death of Sun Yat-sen in 1925. He commanded the Northern Expedition to unify China against the warlords and emerged victorious in 1928 as the overall leader of the Republic of China (ROC). Chiang led China in the Second Sino-Japanese War, during which Chiang's stature within China weakened but his international prominence grew. During the Chinese Civil War (1926–1949), Chiang attempted to eradicate the Chinese Communists but ultimately failed, forcing his government to retreat to Taiwan, where he continued serving as the President of the Republic of China and Director-General of the KMT for the remainder of his life.
Chiang Kai-shek was born in the town of Xikou, approximately 33 km (20.5 miles) southwest of downtown Ningbo, in Fenghua County,
Ningbo Prefecture, Zhejiang Province. However, the ancestral home (祖籍) of Chiang Kai-shek, a concept important in Chinese society, was the town of
Heqiao (和橋鎮), in Yixing County, Wuxi Prefecture, Jiangsu Province (approximately 38 km. (24 miles) southwest of downtown Wuxi, and 10 km. (6 miles)
from the shores of famous Lake Taihu).
His parents were Chiang Zhaocong (蔣肇聰) and Wang Caiyu (王采玉), part of a upper-middle class family of salt merchants. His father died when he was only three and Chiang wrote of his mother as the "embodiment of Confucian virtues." In an arranged marriage, Chiang was married to fellow villager Mao Fumei (毛福梅, 1882–1939). Chiang and Mao had a son, Ching-Kuo, and a daughter, Chien-hua (建華).
Chiang grew up in an era where military defeats had left China destabilized and in debt, and he decided to join the military. He began his military education at the Paoting Military Academy in 1906. He left for the Military State Academy in Japan in 1907. There, he was influenced by his compatriots to support the revolutionary movement to overthrow the Qing Dynasty and set up a Chinese republic. He befriended fellow Zhejiang native Chen Qimei and in 1908, Chen brought Chiang to the Revolutionary Alliance. Chiang served in the Imperial Japanese Army from 1909 to 1911.
Rise to Power
With the outbreak of the Wuchang Uprising in 1911, Chiang Kai-shek returned to China to fight in the revolution as an artillery
officer. He served in the revolutionary forces, leading a regiment in Shanghai under his friend and mentor Chen Qimei. The revolution was ultimately
successful in overthrowing the Qing Dynasty and Chiang became a founding member of the Kuomintang.
After takeover of the Republican government by Yuan Shikai and the failed Second Revolution, Chiang, like his Kuomintang comrades, divided his time between exile in Japan and haven in Shanghai's foreign concession areas. In Shanghai, Chiang also cultivated ties with the criminal underworld dominated by the notorious Green Gang and its leader Du Yuesheng. Chiang had numerous brushes with the law during this period and the International Concession police records show an arrest warrant for him for armed robbery. On February 15, 1912, Chiang Kai-shek shot and killed Tao Chengzhang, the leader of the Restoration Society, at point-blank range as Tao lay sick in a Shanghai French Concession hospital, thus ridding Chen Qimei of his chief rival. In 1915, Chen Qimei was assassinated by agents of Yuan Shikai and Chiang succeeded him as the leader of the Chinese Revolutionary Party in Shanghai. This was during a low point in Sun Yat-sen's career, with most of his old Revolutionary Alliance comrades refusing to join him in the exiled Chinese Revolutionary Party, and Chen Qimei had been Sun's chief lieutenant in the party.
In 1917 Sun Yat-sen moved his base of operations to Guangzhou and Chiang joined him in 1918. Sun, at the time was largely sidelined and without arms or money, was soon expelled from Guangzhou in 1918 and exiled again to Shanghai, but restored again with mercenary help in 1920. However, a rift had developed between Sun, who sought to militarily unify China under the KMT, and Guangdong Governor Chen Jiongming, who wanted to implement a federalist system with Guangdong as a model province. On June 16, 1923, Chen attempted to expel Sun from Guangzhou and had his residence shelled. Sun and his wife Song Qingling narrowly escaped under heavy machine gun fire, only to be rescued by gunboats under the direction of Chiang Kai-shek. The incident earned in Chiang Kai-shek the trust of Sun Yat-sen.
Sun regained control in Guangzhou in early 1924 with the help of mercenaries from Yunnan, and accepted aid from the Comintern. He then undertook a reform of the Kuomintang and established a revolutionary government aimed at unifying China under the KMT. That same year, Sun sent Chiang Kai-shek to spend three months in Moscow studying the Soviet political and military system. Chiang left his eldest son Ching-kuo in Russia, who would not return until 1937. Chiang Kai-shek returned to Guangzhou and in 1924 was made Commandant of the Whampoa Military Academy. The early years at Whampoa allowed Chiang to cultivate a cadre of young officers loyal to him and by 1925 Chiang's proto-army was scoring victories against local rivals in Guangdong province. Here he also first met and worked with a young Zhou Enlai, who was selected to be Whampoa's Political Commissar. However, Chiang was deeply critical of the Kuomintang-Communist Party United Front, suspicious that the Communists would take over the KMT from within.
With Sun Yat-sen's death in 1925 a power vacuum developed in the KMT. A power struggle ensued between Chiang, who leaned towards the right wing of the KMT, and Sun Yat-sen's close comrade-in-arms Wang Jingwei, who leaned towards the left wing of the party. Though Chiang ranked relatively low in the civilian hierarchy, and Wang had succeeded Sun to power as Chairman of the National Government, Chiang's deft political maneuvering eventually allowed him to emerge victorious. Chiang, who became Commander-in-Chief of the National Revolutionary Forces in 1925, launched in July 1926 the Northern Expedition, a military campaign to defeat the warlords controlling northern China and unify the country under the KMT.
The National Revolutionary Army branched into three divisions—to the west, Wang Jingwei led a column to take Wuhan, to the east, Pai Ch'ung-hsi led another column to take Shanghai, while Chiang led in the middle to take Nanjing- before they were to press ahead to take Beijing. However, in January 1927, allied with the Chinese Communists and Soviet Agent Mikhail Borodin, Wang Jingwei and his KMT leftist allies (including Hu Hanmin and Song Qingling), having taken the city of Wuhan amid much popular mobilization and fanfare, declared the National Government to have moved to Wuhan. After taking Nanjing in March (and with Shanghai under the control of his close ally General Pai), Chiang momentarily halted his campaign and decided to break with the leftists. On April 12, Chiang began a swift and brutal attack on thousands of suspected Communists. He then established his own National Government in Nanjing, supported by his conservative allies. The communists were purged from the KMT and the Soviet advisers were expelled. This earned Chiang the support (and financial backing) of the Shanghai business community, and maintained him the loyalty of his Whampoa officers (many of whom hailed from Hunan elites were discontented by the land redistribution Wang Jingwei was enacting in the area), but led to the beginning of the Chinese Civil War. Wang Jingwei's National Government, though popular with the masses, was weak militarily and was soon overtaken by a local warlord, forcing Wang and his leftist government into joining him in Nanjing. Finally, the warlord capital of Beijing was taken in June 1928 and in December, the Manchurian warlord Chang Hsueh-liang pledged allegiance to Chiang's government.
Chiang made gestures to cement himself as the successor of Sun Yat-sen. In a pairing of much political significance, Chiang married on December 1, 1927 Soong May-ling, the younger sister of Soong Ching-ling (Sun Yat-sen's widow, whom he had proposed to beforehand but was swiftly rejected) in Japan and thus positioned himself as Sun Yat-sen's brother-in-law. (To please Soong's parents, Chiang had to first divorce his first wife and concubines and promise to eventually convert to Christianity. He was baptized in 1929.) Upon reaching Beijing, Chiang paid homage to Sun Yat-sen and had his body moved to the capital Nanjing to be enshrined in an grand mausoleum.
"Tutelage" Over China
Chiang Kai-shek gained nominal control of China, but his party was "too weak to lead and too strong to overthrow". In 1928, Chiang
was named Generalissimo of all Chinese forces and Chairman of the National Government, a post he held until 1932 and later from 1943 until 1948. According
to KMT political orthodoxy, this period thus began the period of "political tutelage" under the dictatorship of the Kuomintang.
The decade of 1928 to 1937 was one of consolidation and accomplishment for Chiang's government. Some of the harsh aspects of foreign concessions and privileges in China were moderated through diplomacy. The government acted energetically to modernize the legal and penal systems, stabilize prices, amortize debts, reform the banking and currency systems, build railroads and highways, improve public health facilities, legislate against traffic in narcotics, and augment industrial and agricultural production. Great strides also were made in education and, in an effort to help unify Chinese society—the New Life Movement was launched to stress Confucian moral values and personal discipline. Mandarin was promoted as a standard tongue. The widespread establishment of communications facilities further encouraged a sense of unity and pride among the people.
These successes, however, were met with constant upheavals with need of further political and military consolidation. Though much of the urban areas were now under the control of his party, the countryside still lay under the influence of severely weakened yet undefeated warlords and communists. Chiang fought with most of his warlord allies, with one northern rebellion—against the warlords Yen Hsi-shan and Feng Yuxiang—in 1930 almost bankrupting the government and costing almost 250,000 casualties. When Hu Han-min established a rival government in Guangzhou in 1931, Chiang's government was nearly toppled. A complete eradication of the Communist Party of China eluded Chiang. The Communists regrouped in Jiangxi and established the Chinese Soviet Republic. Chiang's anti-communist stance attracted the aid of German military advisers, and in Chiang's fifth campaign to defeat the Communists in 1934, he surrounded the Red Army only to see the Communists escape through the epic Long March to Yan'an.
Wartime Leader of China
With Japan's invasion of Manchuria in 1931, Chiang adopted a slogan "first internal pacification, then external resistance" which
meant that the government would first defeat the Communists before challenging Japan directly. In December 1936, Chiang flew to Xi'an to coordinate
the final assault on Red Army forces holed up in Yan'an. However, Chiang's allied commander Chang Hsueh-liang, whose forces were to be used in his
attack and whose homeland of Manchuria had been invaded by the Japanese, had other plans. On December 12, Chang Hsueh-liang kidnapped Chiang Kai-shek
for two weeks in what is known as the Xi'an Incident and forced Chiang into making an "Second United Front" with the Communists against Japan. Though
he lost his chance to finish off the communists, Chiang refused to make a formal public announcement of this "United Front" as the Communists had
hoped and his troops continued fighting the Communists throughout the war.
All-out war with Japan broke out in July 1937. In August of the same year, Chiang sent 500,000 of his best trained and equipped soldiers to defend Shanghai. With about 250,000 Chinese casualties, Chiang lost his political base of Whampoa-trained officers. Although Chiang lost militarily, the battle dispelled Japanese claims that it could conquer China in three months and demonstrated to the Western powers (which occupied parts of the city and invested heavily in it) that the Chinese would not surrender under intense Japanese fire. This was skillful diplomatic maneuvering on the part of Chiang, who knew the city would eventually fall, but wanted to make a strong gesture in order to secure Western military aid for China. By December, the capital city of Nanjing had fallen to the Japanese and Chiang moved the government inland to Chongqing. Devoid of economic and industrial resources, Chiang could not counter-attack and held off the rest of the war preserving whatever territory he still controlled, though his strategy succeeded in stretching Japanese supply lines and bogging down Japanese soldiers in the vast Chinese interior who would otherwise have been sent to conquer southeast Asia and the Pacific islands.
With the Attack on Pearl Harbor and the opening of the Pacific War, China became one of the Allied Powers. During and after World War II, Chiang and his American-educated wife Soong May-ling, commonly referred to as "Madame Chiang Kai-shek", held the unwavering support of the United States China Lobby which saw in them the hope of a Christian and democratic China. Chiang Kai-shek's policies were far from Christian or democratic, but this remained unknown to the U.S. public due to strong state-imposed censorship in China and self-imposed censorship in the U.S. during the war years and after. This was especially fomented by the Chiangs' close friendship with TIME magazine publisher Henry Luce.
Chiang's strategy during the War opposed the strategies of both Mao Zedong and the United States. The U.S. regarded Chiang as an important ally able to help shorten the war by engaging the Japanese occupiers in China. Chiang, in contrast, used powerful associates such as H. H. Kung in Hong Kong to build the ROC army for certain conflict with the communist forces after the end of WWII. This fact was not understood well in the United States. The U.S. liaison officer, General Joseph Stilwell, correctly deduced that Chiang's strategy was to accumulate munitions for future civil war rather than fight the Japanese, but Stilwell was unable to convince Franklin D. Roosevelt of this and precious Lend-Lease armaments continued to be allocated to the Kuomintang. Chiang was recognized as one of the "Big Four" Allied leaders along with Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin and traveled to attend the Cairo Conference in November 1943. His wife acted as his translator and adviser.
Following the World War, the United States encouraged peace talks between Chiang and Communist leader Mao Zedong in Chongqing,
but each side, both distrustful of each other and the United States' professed neutrality, soon resorted to all-out war. The U.S. suspended aid to
Chiang Kai-shek for much of the period of 1946 to 1948, in the midst of fighting against the People's Liberation Army led by Mao Zedong. Though Chiang
achieved great status internationally, his government was deteriorating with corruption and inflation. The war had severely weakened the Nationalists
both in terms of resources and popularity while the Communists were strengthened by aid from Stalin, and guerrilla organizations extending throughout
rural areas. The Nationalists initially had superiority in arms and men, but their lack of popularity and morale, and apparent disorganization soon
allowed the Communists to gain the upper hand.
Meanwhile a new Constitution promulgated in 1947, and Chiang was elected by the National Assembly to be President. This marked the beginning of the democratic constitutional government period in KMT political orthodoxy, but the Communists refused to recognize the new Constitution and its government as legitimate.
Chiang resigned as President on January 21, 1949, as KMT forces suffered massive losses against the communists. Vice President Li Tsung-jen took over as Acting President, but his relationship with Chiang soon deteriorated, as Chiang still acted as if he were in power, and Li was forced into exile in the United States under a medical excuse (under Chiang's direction, Li was later formally impeached by the Control Yuan). In the early morning of December 10, 1949, Communist troops laid siege to Chengdu, the last KMT occupied city in mainland China, where Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo directed the defense at the Chengdu Central Military Academy. The aircraft May-ling evacuated them to Taiwan on the same day, forever removing them from the Chinese mainland.
Presidency in Taiwan
Chiang moved his government to Taipei, Taiwan, where he formally resumed his duties as president on March 1, 1950. Chiang was
reelected by the National Assembly to be the President of the ROC on May 20, 1954 and later on in 1960, 1966, and 1972. In this position he continued
to claim sovereignty over all of China. In the context of the Cold War, most of the Western world recognized this position and the ROC represented
China in the United Nations and other international organizations until the 1970s.
Despite the democratic constitution, the government under Chiang was a repressive and authoritarian single-party state consisting almost completely of non-Taiwanese mainlanders; the "Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion" greatly enhanced executive power and the goal of "retaking the mainland" allowed the KMT to maintain its monopoly on power and to outlaw opposition parties. The government's official line for these provisions stemmed from the claim that emergency provisions were necessary, since the Communists and KMT were still technically under a state of war, without any cease-fire signed, after Chiang retreated to Taiwan. His government sought to impose Chinese nationalism and repressed the local culture, such as by forbidding the use of Taiwanese in mass media broadcasts or in schools. The government permitted free debate within the confines of the legislature, but jailed dissidents who were either labeled as supporters of Chinese communism or Taiwan independence. His son Chiang Ching-kuo and Chiang Ching-kuo's successor Lee Teng-hui would in the 1980s and 1990s increase native Taiwanese representation in the government and loosen the many authoritarian controls of the Chiang Kai-shek era.
Since new elections could not be held in their Communist-occupied constituencies, the members of the KMT-dominated National Assembly, Legislative Yuan, and Control Yuan held their posts indefinitely. It was under the Temporary Provisions that Chiang was able to bypass term limits to remain as president. He was reelected (unopposed) by the National Assembly as president four times in 1954, 1960, 1966, and 1972.
Defeated by the Communists, Chiang purged members of the KMT previously accused of corruption, and major figures in the previous mainland government such as H.H. Kung and T.V. Soong exiled themselves to the United States. Though the government was politically authoritarian and controlled key industries, it encouraged economic development, especially in the export sector. A sweeping Land Reform Act, as well as American foreign aid during the 1950's laid the foundation for Taiwan's economic success, becoming one of the East Asian Tigers. During this time Chiang received an honorary degree from Bob Jones University.
Death and Legacy
In 1975, 26 years after Chiang fled to Taiwan, he died in Taipei at the age of 87. He had suffered a major heart attack and pneumonia
in the months before and died from renal failure aggravated with advanced cardiac malfunction at 11 p.m. on April 5.
A month of mourning was declared during which the Taiwanese people were asked to put on black armbands. Televisions ran in black-and-white while all banquets or celebrations were forbidden. On the mainland, however, Chiang's death was met with little apparent mourning and news papers gave the brief headline "Chiang Kai-shek has died." Chiang's corpse was put in a copper coffin and temporarily interred at his favorite residence in Cihhu, Dasi, Taoyuan County. When his son Chiang Ching-kuo died in 1988, he was also entombed in a separate mausoleum in nearby Touliao. The hope was to have both buried at their birthplace in Fenghua once the mainland was recovered. In 2004, Chiang Fang-liang, the widow of Chiang Ching-kuo, asked that both father and son be buried at Wuchih Mountain Military Cemetery in Sijhih, Taipei County. The state funeral ceremony is planned for late 2005. Chiang Fang-liang and Soong May-ling had agreed in 1997 that the former leaders be first buried but still be moved to mainland China in the event of reunification.
Chiang was succeeded as President by Vice President Yen Chia-kan and as KMT party leader by his son Chiang Ching-kuo, who retired Chiang Kai-shek's title of Director-General and instead assumed the position of Chairman. Yen Chia-kan's presidency was mainly symbolic, with real power held by Premier Chiang Ching-kuo, who became President after Yen's term ended three years later.
Though one of the major figures in Chinese history, Chiang Kai-shek failed to cultivate in the Chinese people the affection of Sun Yat-sen or the regard of Mao Zedong. As Mao's number-one nemesis, he was vilified in mainland China as "China's number one fascist": a leader who did not serve China's best national interest in not putting an all-out effort against Japan and in trying to crack down on the Communists. Although numbers are uncertain, many estimates place the number of deaths during Chiang Kai-shek's rule on the mainland at around ten million (the lowest estimates provide a figure of about four million, while higher figures suggest as many as 18 million). Many deaths were the result of war and famine, but according to the controversial historian R.J. Rummel approximately four million were killed directly. According to Rummel, even the lower figures would suggest that Chiang Kai-shek has been responsible for more deaths than all but a handful of 20th-century dictators.
Chiang Kai-shek's current popularity in Taiwan is sharply divided among political lines, enjoying greater support among KMT voters and the mainlander population. However, he is largely unpopular among DPP supporters and voters. Since the democratization of the 1990s, his picture began to be removed from public buildings and the currency, while many of his statues have been taken down; in sharp contrast to his son Ching-kuo and to Sun Yat-sen, his memory is rarely invoked by current political parties, including the Kuomintang.
Like many other Chinese historical figures, Chiang Kai-shek used several names throughout his life, and he is known under several
of these names.
The name inscribed in the genealogical records of his family, is Jiang Zhoutai (蔣周泰). This "register name" (譜名) is the name under which his extended relatives of the family knew him, this is a name that was used in formal occasions, such as when he got married. Traditionally, this name was not used in intercourse with people outside of the family, and inside mainland China or Taiwan few people know that his "real" name (the concept of real or original name is not as clear-cut in China as it is in the Western world) was Jiang Zhoutai (although other historical figures such as Mao Zedong are known by their "register name").
This name, however, was not the name that he received when he was born. Traditionally, Chinese families would wait a certain number of years before officially naming their offspring. In the meantime, they used so-called "milk names" (乳名) which were given to the infant shortly after his birth, and which were known only by the close family. Thus, the actual name that Chiang Kai-shek received at birth was Jiang Ruiyuan (蔣瑞元), but again this is a fact rarely known in mainland China or Taiwan, and only his parents would have used the given name Ruiyuan when calling him.
In 1903, 16-year-old Chiang Kai-shek went to Ningbo to be a student, and he chose a so-called "school name" (學名). The "school name" was actually the formal name of a person, the name used by older people to call the person, so it was the name that the person would use the most in the first decades of his life (as the person grew older, younger generations would have to use one of the courtesy names instead). Colloquially, the "school name" is called "big name" (大名), whereas the "milk name" is known as the "small name" (小名). The "school name" that Chiang Kai-shek chose for himself was Zhiqing (志清 - meaning "purity of intentions"). For the next fifteen years or so, Chiang Kai-shek was known as Jiang Zhiqing. This is the name under which Sun Yat-sen knew him when Chiang joined the republicans in Guangzhou in the 1910s.
In 1912, when Chiang Kai-shek was in Japan, he started to use the name Jiang Jieshi (蔣介石) as a pen name for the articles that he published in a Chinese magazine he founded (Voice of the Army - 軍聲). This name Jieshi soon became his courtesy name (字). Many interpretations of this name circulate. Some think the name was chosen from the classic Chinese book the Book of Changes, other note that jie (介), the first character of his courtesy name, is also the first character of the courtesy name of his brother and other male relatives on the same generation line, while the second character of his courtesy name shi (石 - meaning "stone") reminds of the second character of his "register name" tai (泰 - the famous Mount Tai of China). Courtesy names in China often tried to bear a connection with the personal name of the person. As the courtesy name is the name used by people of the same generation to call the person, Chiang Kai-shek soon became known under this new name. (Jieshi is the pinyin romanization of the name, which is based on Mandarin, but the common romanized rendering of this name is Kai-shek which is in Cantonese romanization. As the republicans were based in Guangzhou (a Cantonese speaking area), Chiang Kai-shek became known by Westerners under the Cantonese romanization of his courtesy name, but the family name known in English seems to be the Mandarin pronunciation of his Chinese family name, transliterated in Wade-Giles; the Cantonese pronunciation of his family name is "Cheung"). In mainland China, the name Jiang Jieshi is the name under which he is commonly known today.
Sometime in 1917 or 1918, as Chiang was coming to the forefront among the republicans and became close to Sun Yat-sen, he changed his name from Jiang Zhiqing to Jiang Zhongzheng (蔣中正). By adopting the name Zhongzheng ("central uprightness"), he was choosing a name very similar to the name of Sun Yat-sen, who was (and still is) known among Chinese as Zhongshan (中山 - meaning "central mountain"), establishing a close link between the two. The meaning of uprightness, rectitude, or orthodoxy, implied by his name, also positioned him as the legitimate heir of Sun Yat-sen and his ideas. Not surprisingly, the Chinese Communists always rejected the use of this name, and the name is not very well known in mainland China. However, this name was easily accepted by members of the Nationalist Party, and this is the name under which Chiang Kai-shek is still officially known in Taiwan. Often, the name is shortened to Zhongzheng only (Chung-cheng in Wade-Giles) in the style of typical courtesy names (out of respect). Visitors who arrive at the Chiang Kai-shek International Airport in Taipei are greeted by signs in Chinese welcoming them to the "Zhongzheng International Airport." Similarly, the largest monument in Taipei, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is officially in Chinese called the "Zhongzheng Memorial Hall."
His name also used to be officially written in Taiwan as "The Late President (space) Lord Chiang" (先總統 蔣公), where the one-character-wide space showed respect; this practice lost its popularity after Taiwan's democratization in the 1990s. However, he is still known as Lord Chiang (without the title or space), along with the similarly positive name Jiang Zhongzheng, in Taiwan.
Chiang was also nicknamed "the Gimo" (short for "Generalissimo") by some English-speaking foreigners, especially by Americans during the Second World War.
To further expand the already confusing issue of Chiang Kai-shek's name, below are variations:
Known in mainland China as Jiǎng Jièshí (Chiang Chieh- shih) GB: 蒋介石
Known in Taiwan as Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng (Chiang Chung-cheng) B5: 蔣中正
Register name (譜名): Zhoutai (周泰)
Milk name (乳名): Ruiyuan (瑞元)
School name (學名): Zhiqing (志清), later Zhongzheng (中正)
Courtesy name (字): Jieshi (介石)
Kai-shek in Cantonese (his native language)
SEE Photograph (3)
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B5: 胡適; GB: 胡适; PY: Hú Shì (December 17, 1891- February 24, 1962)- Chinese philosopher and essayist. His courtesy name was Shìzhī (適之).
Born Hu Hóngxīng (洪騂) in Shanghai to Hu Chuan (胡傳, courtesy name Tiehua 鐵花) and Feng Shundi (馮順弟), Hu had an ancestry in Jixi (績溪), Anhui. In January 1904, he was arranged to marry Jiang Dongxiu (江冬秀), an illiterate girl one year older than him with bound feet. The marriage took place in December 1917. He received his fundamental education in Jixi and Shanghai.
Being one of the national scholars, on August 16, 1910, Hu was sent to study at Cornell University in the United States and later Columbia University. He was greatly influenced by his professor, John Dewey, and became a lifelong advocate of pragmatic evolutionary change. He received his Ph.D in philosophy in 1917 and returned to lecture in Peking University. During his tenure there, he began to write for New Youth journal, quickly gaining much attention and influence. Hu soon became one of the leading and influential intellectuals during the May Fourth Movement and later the New Culture Movement. He quit New Youth in the 1920s and published several political newspapers and journals with his friends. His most important contribution was promotion of vernacular literature (Baihua) to replace classic literature.
He was ambassador from the Republic of China to the United States of America (1938-1942), chancellor of Peking University (1946-1948), and later 1958 president of the Academia Sinica in Taiwan, where he remained until his death by heart attack in Nangang at the age of 71. He was chief executive of the Free China Journal, which was eventually shut down for criticizing Chiang Kai-shek.
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B5: 李登輝; GB: 李登辉; PY: Lǐ Dēnghuī (January 15, 1923- )- Politician in the Republic of China on Taiwan. He was the President of the Republic of China and Chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) from 1988 to 2000. His tenure was marked with major extensions to the democratic reforms initiated by Chiang Ching-kuo that ceded power to the Taiwanese electorate. He also promoted the Taiwan localization movement and led an aggressive foreign policy to gain diplomatic allies. His critics accused him of black gold politics and being a secret supporter of Taiwan independence who was trying to undermine the party he headed. After leaving office, Lee has confirmed some of these accusations by emerging as a radical Taiwan independence activist, and currently serves as the "spiritual leader" of the pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union.
Claimed to be a Hakka born in Sanchih, near Taipei, Taiwan when the island was under Japanese colonial occupation. However, other
have claimed that he was an illegitimate son of a Japanese occupation force enforcer.
Growing up under Japanese colonial rule, he developed an affinity for Japan and his family collaborated closely with Japanese colonial authority. Lee- one of only four Taiwanese students in his high school class—graduated with honors and was given a scholarship to Japan's prestigious Kyoto Imperial University.
After World War II, with Taiwan now under KMT control, Lee enrolled in the National Taiwan University, where in 1948, he earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural science. A devout Marxist in his teens, Lee joined the Communist Party of China in September 1946, but quit two years later. He participated in the 228 Incident during this time. Based on the fact that the Communists who associated with Lee were all executed by the government while Lee survived, Li Ao, who is a pro-reunification politician and a writer, asserted that Lee must have sold out his comrades before joining Kuomintang later. Meanwhile, Li also criticized Lee for corruption. According to Wu Ketai, who inducted Lee into the Communist Party, the KMT was aware that Lee had been a Communist, but must have destroyed the records when Lee was promoted to the vice-presidency. Lee himself admitted that he was a communist in a 2002 interview, but declined to comment whether he was a traitor. Lee stated that he joined out of hatred of the KMT.
In 1953, Lee received a master's degree in agricultural economics from the Iowa State University in the United States. Lee subsequently returned to Taiwan as an economist with the Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction (JCRR), an institution sponsored by the U.S. and aimed at modernizing Taiwan's agricultural system and at land reform.
In the mid-1960s Lee returned to the United States, and earned a Ph.D in agricultural economics from Cornell University in 1968.
He speaks Taiwanese, Japanese, Mandarin, and English.
Shortly after returning to Taiwan, Lee joined the KMT in 1971 and was made a cabinet minister without portfolio with special responsibility
In 1978 Lee was appointed mayor of Taipei, where he solved water shortages and improved the city's irrigation problems. In 1981, he became governor of Taiwan Province and made further irrigation improvements.
As a skilled technocrat, Lee soon caught the eye of President Chiang Ching-kuo as a strong candidate to serve as Vice President.
As part of his efforts to hand more authority to the bensheng ren (or native Taiwanese), Chiang Ching-kuo nominated Lee to become his Vice President. Lee was formally elected by the National Assembly in 1984.
In January 1988, Chiang Ching-kuo died, and Lee succeeded him as President. The hardline faction of the KMT, headed by General Hau Pei-tsun, deeply distrustful of Lee, threatened a coup. With the help of James Soong, who quieted the hardliners, Lee was allowed to ascend to the presidency unobstructed. Lee solidified his power by skillfully speaking of defending the party line, while emphasizing the global trends of reform. Lee and his allies in the government used the pressure from the hardliners as a tool to work for developing the underlying Taiwanese localization movement. Lee used methods under the veil of "pragmatism" to sideline Hau and his backers in the face of the opposition DPP.
In May 1991 Lee spearheaded a drive to eliminate the Temporary Articles, laws put in place following the KMT arrival in 1949 that suspended the democratic functions of the government. In December 1991 the original members of the Legislative Yuan, elected to represent mainland constituencies in 1947, were forced to resign and new elections were held to apportion more seats to the bensheng ren. The elections forced Hau Pei-tsun from the premiership, a position he was given in exchange for his tacit support of Lee.
Lee's June 1995 visit to Cornell University sparked the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis. The PRC conducted a series of missile tests in the waters surrounding Taiwan and other military maneuvers off the coast of Fujian as a response to what it saw as provocative moves by Lee in attempting to "split the motherland." Another set of tests days before the 1996 presidential election were intended to intimidate the Taiwanese electorate to not vote for Lee. Though these tests disrupted trade and shipping lines and cause the stock market to fall, it aroused anger among the Taiwanese and boosted Lee's popularity.
In March 23, 1996, Lee became the first directly elected president of the ROC with 54% of the popular vote. The previous eight ROC Presidents and Vice Presidents were elected by the deputies of the National Assembly.
In March 18, 2000 presidential election, Democratic Progressive Party candidate Chen Shui-bian won with 39% of the vote, making an end to KMT rule. Lee was accused by supporters within his party and by supporters of James Soong for purposely splitting the vote by running the un-charismatic Lien instead of the popular Soong, who was subsequently expelled from the KMT for launching an independent campaign. Popular protests in front of the KMT headquarters in Taipei led Lee to resign as KMT Chairman on March 24, 2000. He was expelled from the party in December of the same year.
Taiwan Localization Movement
Lee Teng-hui, during his term as president, supported the Taiwanese localization movement. The Taiwanese localization movement
has its roots in the home rule groups founded during the Japanese era and sought to put emphasis on Taiwan as the center of people's lives as opposed
Mainland China or Japan. During the Chiang regime, China was promoted as the center of an ideology that would build a Chinese national outlook in
a people who had once considered themselves Japanese subjects. Under this ideology, Taiwan was seen as a place for mainlanders to resent as they waited
for the re-conquest of the Maoist mainland. Taiwan was often relegated to a backwater province of China in the KMT-supported history books. People
were discouraged from studying Taiwan and old customs were to be replaced by "Chinese" customs. Lee, conversely, sought to turn Taiwan into a center
rather than an appendage, a shift that was widely supported in Taiwan. However, he has stated that his actions were also based on the premise that
a Chinese identity and a Taiwanese identity are ultimately incompatible, a notion that is very controversial on the island, even among supporters
Lee presided over the democratization of Taiwanese society and government in the late-1980s and early-1990s. During his presidency, Lee was followed by persistent suspicions that he secretly supported Taiwan independence and that he was intentionally sabotaging the Kuomintang. The former suspicion was proven true by Lee's behavior after his Presidency, which led to his expulsion from the Kuomintang and subsequently becoming the spiritual leader of the strongly pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union.
Since resigning the chairman of KMT, Lee has actively campaigned on behalf of pan-green coalition candidates and has actively
opposed candidates of his former party, who took pro-unification positions, during the presidential elections. He has stated a number of political
positions and ideas which he did not mention while he was President, but which he appeared to have privately maintained.
Lee has publicly stated that he supports changing the name of the country from the Republic of China to the Republic of Taiwan and opposes increased economic ties with mainland China. The latter two positions conflict with the positions of the ruling party, supported by the more moderate supporters of Taiwan independence, and also conflicts with incumbent ROC President Chen Shui-bian. These differences in positions have been played down in the public.
Lee has also stated that he believes that Taiwan cannot avoid being assimilated into the People's Republic of China unless it completely rejects a Chinese identity, and that he believes that it is essential that Taiwanese unite and develop a unified identity other than the Chinese one. Furthermore, in reference to Mainlanders, he believes that to be truly Taiwanese, one must assume a "New Taiwanese" identity.
He dismisses both the notion that this strategy will trigger a war with the PRC and the notion that Taiwan benefits economically by developing economic ties with the PRC. His argument is that the PRC is a paper tiger and that both its military and economic strength have been far overestimated. He asserts that when presented with a united and assertive Taiwan, Taiwan will receive support from the international community and also from the United States; and that the PRC will be forced to back down. He also believes that the PRC economy is doomed to collapse and therefore integrating Taiwan into the PRC economy is unwise.
During the 2004 Presidential campaign, President Chen Shui-bian publicly campaigned with Lee Teng-hui and developed a campaign platform, including a call for a new constitution adopted by referendum, which could be interpreted as an opportunity to make the symbolic changes which Lee supports. There was a widespread worry, especially in the United States and in the People's Republic of China that Chen would be supportive of Lee's positions, a belief which was reinforced by Lee's own actions while President and by Lee's public statements that Chen Shui-bian agreed with him.
The shared worry between the U.S. and the P.R.C. about the possible unilateral change of cross-strait status quo by President Chen has led to a public rebuke of Chen from the United States President George W. Bush in December 2003. It is believed that this rebuke in part intended to challenge the notion, which Lee had advanced, that American support of Taiwan was unconditional. After his close election in March 2004, Chen has quietly distanced himself from Lee, by explicitly stating that Chen's constitutional reforms will not include a rename of the ROC and by stating a desire to establish greater economic links with Mainland China.
Despite of Taiwan's history of Japanese military occupation from 1895 to 1945, Lee, whose father was a low-level Japanese police
aide, never tried to hide his pro-Japan sentiment. He spoke fondly of his Japanese education and upbringing. Lee also tried repeatedly to assure the
public that Japan will support Taiwan were Taiwan to announce her sovereignty, a stance not held by most political observers. He was viewed by many
as a traitor of the people of China as a whole when at one point he claimed to be Japanese, when people still retained vivid memories of the atrocities
committed by the Imperial Japanese Army during WWII and as they embraced the view that Japan was never sincerely apologetic.
His Japan-leaning attitude can be illustrated by some of his post-retirement eccentric behaviors. For example, he "cosplayed" Heihachi Edajima (江田 島平八 Edajima Heihachi), a hawkish principal in a boy's school, Japanese manga character from the manga Sakigake!! Otokojuku (魁!!男塾) (Shonen Jump) as an advertisement of his personal political website and "school" (輝！李塾) in late 2004. Later, he gives free cosplay posters to his followers and Taiwan Solidarity Union visitors.
Lee Teng-hui's dressing up made him the most highly profiled person ever to cosplay.
SEE Photograph (3)
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B5: 連戰; GB: 连战; PY: Lián Zhàn (August 27, 1936, Xi'an- )- Taiwanese politician. He was Vice President of the Republic of China from 1996 to 2000, and was the Chairman of the Kuomintang from 2000 to 2005. In August 2005, he left that post after not running for re-election and was succeeded by Ma Ying-jeou.
Early Life and Education
Lien Chan was born in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China as the only child of Lien Chen-tung (連震東) and Chao Lan-k'un (趙蘭坤). His paternal
grandfather, Lien Heng (連橫), was the writer of The General History of Taiwan (台灣通史), a book that is often cited for the quote, "Taiwan's sorrow is
that it has no history." Although he was born in Mainland China, because of his family roots in Taiwan, he is not usually considered a member of the
Mainlander group in Taiwan.
Lien earned a Bachelor's degree in political science from the National Taiwan University in 1957 and a Master of Arts in International Law and Diplomacy in 1961. He received a Ph.D. in political science in 1965 from the University of Chicago and married former Miss Republic of China Fang Yui the same year.
Lien held assistant professorships of political science at the University of Wisconsin from 1966 to 1967 and the University of Connecticut from 1967 to 1968. He returned to Taiwan in 1968 to become visiting professor of political science at the National Taiwan University, serving as chairman of the Political Science Department and dean of the Graduate Institute of Political Science the following year.
His official positions included Ambassador to El Salvador (1975- 1976), Minister of Communications and Transportation (1981- 1987),
Vice Premier (1987- 1988), Foreign Minister (1988- 1990) before becoming Governor of Taiwan Province (1990- 1993). In 1993 he was appointed Premier
of the Republic of China. In 1996, Lee Teng-hui selected him as running mate in the presidential election. After Lee and Lien won the election for
the presidency and the vice-presidency respectively, Lien retained the premiership. This proved unpopular, and opposition parties claimed that this
was possibly in conflict with the constitution, leading to a Council of Grand Justices decision ruling that Lien's retention of these dual roles was
"constitutional but inappropriate." In response, in 1997, he resigned as Premier but remained Vice President. Before becoming Chairman of the KMT,
he was Vice Chairman (1993- 2000) and a member of the Central Committee (1984- 2000).
Lien took an active role as a representative of Lee Teng-hui in quasi-official diplomacy in the mid-1990s. One of his greatest moments of his career is his 1995 meeting with Václav Havel, in which Lien likened the democratic reforms of the Lee Teng-hui administration as being similar to the Velvet Revolution.
In contrast to his political opponents, Lien Chan, while vice president, was generally considered arrogant, aloof and out of touch with the public. Some have speculated that his immense wealth was obtained through black gold. Among the allegations, his father Lien Chen-tung was the interior minister responsible of Taiwanese agricultural policy. Through his influence, the family purchased farmland in the 50's and 60's and illegally rezoned it. In an investigation by his political opponents, one DPP legislator Tang Bi-A was quoted "It is doubtful that Lien Chan and his father could accumulate billions in wealth for their family when both of them were government officials receiving limited salaries."
He finished third in the 2000 Presidential elections despite having the backing of the KMT. One popular theory on Taiwan, which has some support from Lee's subsequent actions, has that Lien Chan was chosen to head the KMT's ticket by President Lee Teng-hui in an deliberate effort to destroy the KMT. Many have noted in support of this theory that Lien has never been elected on his own to any political office, and his ill-fated campaign for President was the first campaign that he ever undertook. During the 2000 Presidential campaign Lien campaigned on a platform of following in Lee's footsteps and continuing localization reforms. He touted a "3-S" slogan of "Safety, Security and Stability", claiming the selection of a DPP candidate would bring China's wrath and a return of fascism.
Part of Lien's defeat may have been due to the massive 7.4 earthquake on September 21, 1999. As the Vice President and KMT candidate, Lien bore the brunt of public dissatisfaction with government relief efforts, in one instance being chased onto his helicopter by furious victims. In a poll following the 921 earthquake, the undecided vote rose to 47%.
After the defeat of the KMT in 2000, Lien was able to achieve Lee's ouster and assume the leadership of the KMT. He had adopted a platform to erase the Lee effect from Taiwan and "Return to the Good Old Days", a call to return to the heyday of Chiang Ching-kuo. The KMT launched a party wide purge to eradicate Lee supporters, then held a membership drive to attract KMT loyalists. According to Lien the drive was successful, but many outside observers note a significant drop in membership as many of the former members who had joined the party as a compulsory act of conscripted military service never renewed. Lien as the Chairman of the KMT also vowed to learn from his loss and remake the KMT party. He held forums to discuss erasing the KMT's image as a corrupt institution and Lien promised to give up property seized by the KMT after the Japanese exodus. The KMT has returned some properties to the government and it considers the matter to be closed, but others disagree. Lien has been criticized for trying to give the land away to local governments as a type of payoff for support.
Lien Chan ran for president with Soong as his running mate in a combined KMT-PFP ticket against Chen Shui-bian in the 2004 Presidential elections, though it had been thought that Lien and Soong personally disliked each other. During the 2000 campaigns, Lien accused Soong of positioning his family graves to interfere with Lien's Feng Shui forcing Lien to reposition his graves.
Initially, it was believed that the Lien-Soong ticket would be a sure win, given that both men garnered a combined 59.9% of the vote in 2000. However, the lead gradually diminished to a dead heat and both sides were forced to moderate their positions. In December 2003, Lien said that while the KMT was opposed to "immediate independence," it did not wish to classed as "pro-reunificationist" either. The platform was changed from promoting the eventual reunification of China preserving the status quo and leaving Taiwan's status to be settled by future generations. Chen also floated the possibility of eventual reunification.
With the platforms largely similar, the campaign was filled largely with personal attacks between Lien and Chen. On March 20, the day after President Chen and Vice President Annette Lu were shot while campaigning, Lien lost the election by 0.2% of the vote. He refused to concede and decided to challenge the results. Pan-Blue supporters staged several mass rallies in the ensuing weeks, with some gatherings turning into riots. Lien sought to nullify the election and institute a recount. The recount confirmed the result, but by a narrower margin. His appeals to cancel the result and hold new elections were rejected by the courts.
In 2005, after Ma was elected as KMT chairman to succeed Lien, the KMT Central Committee offered the unprecedented title of "Honorary Chairman" to Lien. Lien did not explicitly say whether he was accepting the title, but his failure to decline appears to be an implicit acceptance.
2005 Journey to Mainland China
On April 26, 2005, Lien Chan traveled to mainland China to meet with the leaders of the Communist Party of China. His meeting
with CPC leader Hu Jintao was the highest level exchange since Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong met in Chongqing on August 28, 1945, to celebrate the
victory in the Second Sino-Japanese War and discuss a possible truce in the impending Chinese Civil War.
On April 27, Lien visited the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in Nanjing. On April 28, he arrived in Beijing and visited the Palace Museum.
On the afternoon of April 29, he met with President of the People's Republic of China Hu Jintao and they reached a 5-point consensus, reaffirming that Taiwan is part of China and that the two parties would work together to prevent Taiwan independence.
Before meeting with Hu on April 29, Lien Chan delivered a speech at Peking University, which his 96-year-old mother Zhao Lankun attended nearly 80 years ago. On April 30, he headed to his birthplace Xi'an. He revisited Houzaimen Primary School, which he attended 60 years ago. He also visited the Great Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang, China's first emperor. Early on May 1, he paid homage to his grandmother's tomb near Qingliangsi.
Later that day, Lien arrived in Shanghai, where he attended a banquet hosted by Shanghai CPC Party Secretary General Chen Liangyu. On May 2, he met with Wang Daohan, the 90-year-old chairman of the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, and the representatives of Taiwanese businesspeople. He returned to Taiwan at noon on May 3.
His surname is Lien; his given name is Chan. "Chan", which means "battles"; his full name literally means "successive battles." The name originated from Lien Heng, who, sick with liver cancer in Shanghai, wrote to his pregnant daughter-in-law in Xi'an:
"China and Japan will battle inevitably. If the child born is a boy, name him Lien Chan, signifying that the strength coming from within oneself will never diminish and can overcome the enemies and be victorious. It also has the meaning of reviving the former nation, reorganizing the light and hope of our homeland."
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B5: 孫逸仙; GB: 孙逸仙; PY: Sūn Yìxiān; WG: Sun I-hsien Also: Sun Zhongshan; B5: 孫中山; GB: 孙中山; PY: Sūn Zhōngshān; WG: Sun Chung-shan (November 12, 1866- March 12, 1925)- was a Chinese revolutionary and political leader who had a significant role in the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty. A founder of the Kuomintang (KMT), Sun was the first provisional president when the Republic of China was founded in 1912. He developed a political philosophy known as the Three Principles of the People which still heavily influences Chinese government today. "Father of the Nation" (Guófù, 國父) is the title officially given to Sun Yat-sen in the Republic of China on Taiwan. Unofficially, the same title is used to refer to Sun Yat-sen in the People's Republic of China on mainland China.
- Early Years
- Transformation Into a Revolutionary
- Early Influence By Western Ideology
Sun was a uniting figure in post-imperial China, and remains unique among 20th century Chinese politicians for being widely revered
in both mainland China and Taiwan. In Taiwan, he is known by the posthumous name National Father, Mr. Sun Chungshan (國父 孫中山先生). On the mainland, Sun
is also seen as a Chinese nationalist, and is highly regarded as the "Forerunner of the Revolution" (革命先行者) and "the Father of Modern China".
Although Sun is considered one of the greatest leaders of modern China, his life was one of constant struggle and frequent exile. He quickly fell out of power in the newly-founded Republic of China, and led successive revolutionary governments as a challenge to the warlords who controlled much of the nation. Unfortunately, Sun did not live to see his party bring about consolidation of power over the country. Although his fragile political alliance with the Communist Party of China fell apart after his death, Sun grew in stature to become a greatly revered figure among Nationalists and Communists alike.
On November 12, 1866, Sun Yat-sen was born to a Chiuchow peasant family in the village of Cuiheng, Xiangshan county, Guangzhou
prefecture, Guangdong province (26 km (16 miles) north of Macao) and spoke the Zhongshan dialect of Cantonese. When Sun Yat-sen died in 1925, the
name of Xiangshan was changed to Zhongshan in his honor.
After receiving a few years of local schooling, at age thirteen, Sun went to live with his elder brother, Sun Mei, in Honolulu. Sun Mei was twelve years Sun Yat-sen's senior and had emigrated to Hawaii as a laborer and had become a prosperous merchant. Though Sun Mei was not always supportive of Sun's later revolutionary activities, he supported his brother financially, allowing Sun to give up his professional career. Sun Yat-sen studied at the prestigious Iolani School where he learned English, mathematics and science. Originally unable to speak the English language, Sun Yat-sen picked up the language so quickly that he received a prize for outstanding achievement in English from King David Kalakaua. Sun then enrolled in Oahu College for further studies but he was soon sent home to China as his brother was becoming afraid that Sun Yat-sen was about to embrace Christianity. While at Iolani, he befriended Tong Phong, who later founded the First Chinese-American Bank.
When he returned home in 1883, he was greatly troubled by what he saw as a backward China that demanded exorbitant taxes and levies from its people. The people were conservative, and the schools maintained their ancient methods leaving no opportunity for expression of thought or opinions. Under the influence of Christian missionaries in Hawaii, Sun had developed a disdain for traditional Chinese religious beliefs. One day, Sun and his childhood friend Lu Hao-tung passed by Beijidian, a temple in Cuiheng Village, where they saw many villagers worshipping the Beiji (lit. North Pole) Emperor-God in the temple. They broke off the hand of the statue, incurring the wrath of fellow villagers, and escaped to Hong Kong.
Sun studied English at the Anglican Diocesan Home and Orphanage (currently Diocesan Boys' School) in Hong Kong. In April 1884, Sun was transferred to the Central School of Hong Kong (later renamed Queen's College). Sun was later baptized in Hong Kong by an American missionary of the Congregational Church of the United States, to his brother's disdain. Sun pictured a revolution as similar to the salvation mission of the Christian church. His conversion to Christianity was related to his revolutionary ideals and push for advancement. As a result, his baptismal name, Rixin 日新, literally means "daily renewal."
Ultimately, he earned the license of medical practice as a medical doctor from the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese (the forerunner of The University of Hong Kong) in 1892, of which he was one of the first two graduates. He subsequently practiced medicine in that city briefly in 1893. He had an arranged marriage with fellow villager Lu Muzhen at age twenty; she bore him a son Sun Ke, who would grow up to become a high ranking official in the Republican government, and two daughters, Sun Yan and Sun Wan.
Sun was a Triad member during and after the Qing Dynasty rebellion. It is known that Sun Yat-sen got his funding from Triad business people. Sun Yat-sen's protégé, Chiang Kai Shek, was also a Triad member.
Transformation Into a Revolutionary
Sun, who had grown increasingly troubled by the conservative Qing government and its refusal to adopt knowledge from the more
technologically advanced Western nations, quit his medical practice in order to devote his time to transforming China. At first, Sun aligned himself
with the reformists Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao who sought to transform China into a Western-style constitutional monarchy. In 1894, Sun wrote a
long letter to Li Hongzhang, the governor-general of Zhili and a reformer in the court, with suggestions on how to strengthen China, but he was rebuffed.
Since Sun had never been trained in the classics, the gentry did not accept Sun into their circles. From then on, Sun began to call for the abolition
of the monarchy and the establishment of a republic.
Sun went to Hawaii in October 1894 and founded the Revive China Society to unveil the goal of a prospering China and as the platform for future revolutionary activities. Members were drawn mainly from fellow Cantonese expatriates and from the lower social classes.
From Exile to Wuchang Uprising
In 1895 a coup he plotted failed, and for the next sixteen years Sun was an exile in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Japan,
raising money for his revolutionary party and bankrolling uprisings in China. In Japan, where he was known as Nakayama Shō (Kanji: 中山樵, lit. The Woodcutter
of Middle Mountain), he joined dissident Chinese groups (which later became the Tongmenghui) and soon became their leader. He was expelled from Japan
due to fears of the large level of support he had there and went to the United States.
On October 10, 1911, a military uprising at Wuchang in which Sun had no direct involvement (at that moment Sun was still in exile and Huang Xing was in charge of the revolution), began a process that ended over two thousand years of imperial rule in China. When he learned of the successful rebellion against the Qing emperor from press reports, Sun immediately returned to China from the United States. Later, on December 29, a meeting of representatives from provinces in Nanjing elected Sun as the provisional President of the Republic of China and set the January 1 of 1912 as the first day of the First Year of the Republic. This republic calendar system is still used in Taiwan today.
The official history of the Kuomintang (and for that matter, the Communist Party of China) emphasizes Sun's role as the first provisional President, but many historians now question the importance of Sun's role in the 1911 revolution and point out that he had no direct role in the Wuchang uprising and was in fact out of the country at the time. In this interpretation, his naming as the first provisional President was precisely because he was a respected but rather unimportant figure and therefore served as an ideal compromise candidate between the revolutionaries and the conservative gentry.
However, Sun is credited for the funding of the revolutions and for keeping the spirit of revolution alive, even after series of failed uprisings. Also, as mentioned, he successfully merged minor revolutionary groups to a single larger party, providing a better base for all those who shared the same ideals.
Sun is highly regarded as the National Father of modern China. His political philosophy, known as the Three Principles of the People, was proclaimed in August 1905. In his Methods and Strategies of Establishing the Country completed in 1919, he suggested using his Principles to establish ultimate peace, freedom, and equality in the country.
Republic of China
After taking the oath of office, Sun Yat-sen sent telegrams to the leaders of all provinces, requesting them to elect and send
new senators to establish the National Assembly of the Republic of China. Then the provisional government organizational guidelines and the provisional
law of the Republic were declared as the basic law of the country by the Assembly.
The provisional government was in a very weak position. The southern provinces of China had declared independence from the Qing dynasty, but most of the northern provinces had not. Moreover, the provisional government did not have military forces of its own, and its control over elements of the New Army that had mutinied was limited, and there were still significant forces which had not declared against the Qing.
The major issue before the provisional government was gaining the support of Yuan Shikai, the man in charge of the Beiyang Army, the military of northern China. After Sun promised Yuan the presidency of the new Republic, Yuan sided with the revolution and forced the emperor to abdicate. (Eventually, Yuan proclaimed himself emperor and afterwards opposition snowballed against Yuan's dictatorial methods, leading him to renounce the throne shortly before his death in 1916.) In 1913 Sun led an unsuccessful revolt against Yuan, and he was forced to seek asylum in Japan, where he reorganized the Kuomintang. He married Soong Ching-ling, one of the Soong sisters, in Japan on October 25, 1915, without divorcing his first wife Lu Muzhen due to opposition from the Chinese community. Lu pleaded with him to take Soong as a concubine but this was also unacceptable to Sun's Christian ethics.
Guangzhou Militarist Government
In the late 1910s, China was greatly divided by different military leaders without a proper central government. Sun saw the danger
of this, and returned to China in 1917 to advocate unification. He started a self-proclaimed military government in Canton (now Guangzhou), southern
China, in 1921, and was elected as president and general.
In 1923, he delivered a speech in which he proclaimed his Three Principles of the People as the foundation of the country and the Five-Yuan Constitution as the guideline for the political system and bureaucracy. Part of the speech was made into the National Anthem of the Republic of China.
To develop the military power needed for the Northern Expedition against the militarists at Beijing, he established the Whampoa Military Academy near Guangzhou, with Chiang Kai-shek as its commandant and with such party leaders as Wang Ching-wei and Hu Han-min as political instructors. The Academy kept running during the rest of the Republic of China and continues to serve as a major military school in the People's Republic of China today.
Path to Northern Expedition and Death
In the early 1920s Sun received help from the Comintern for his reorganization of the Kuomintang as a Leninist Democratic-Centrist
Party and negotiated the First CPC-KMT United Front. In 1924, in order to hasten the conquest of China, he began a policy of active cooperation with
the Chinese Communists.
By this time, Sun was convinced that the only hope for a unified China lay in a military conquest from his base in the south, followed by a period of political tutelage that would culminate in the transition to democracy. Sun then prepared for the later Northern Expedition with help from foreign powers such as Japan and the United States until his death.
On November 10, 1924, Sun traveled north and delivered another speech to suggest gathering a conference for the Chinese people and the abolition of all unequal treaties with the Western powers. Two days later, he yet again traveled to Peking (Beijing) to discuss the future of the country, despite his deteriorating health and the ongoing civil war of the warlords. Although ill at the time, he was still head of the southern government. On November 28, 1924 Sun traveled to Japan and gave a remarkable speech on Pan-Asianism at Kobe, Japan. He left Canton to hold peace talks with the northern regional leaders on the unification of China. Sun died of liver cancer on March 12, 1925, at the age of 58, in Beijing.
Early Influence By Western Ideology
Sun attached particular importance to the ideas of Alexander Hamilton and Abraham Lincoln. Sun often said that the formulation from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, "government of the people, by the people, for the people," had been the inspiration for the Three Principles of the People. He incorporated these ideas, later in life, in two highly influential books. One, The Vital Problem of China (1917), analyzed some of the problems of colonialism: Sun warned that "…the British treat nations as the silkworm farmer treats his worms; as long as they produce silk, he cares for them well; when they stop, he feeds them to the fish." The second book, International Development of China (1921), presented detailed proposals for the development of infrastructure in China, and attacked the ideology of laissez-faire, as well as that of Marxism adhering more to the ideas of Henry George's, particularly land value taxation. His ideology remained flexible, however, reflecting his audience as much as his personal convictions. He presented himself as a strident nationalist to the nationalists, as a socialist to the socialists, and an anarchist to the anarchists, declaring at one point that "the goal of the Three Principles of the People is to create socialism and anarchism." It is an open matter of debate whether this eclecticism reflected a sincere effort to incorporate ideas from the multiple competing schools of thought or was simply opportunistic posturing. In any case, his ideological flexibility allowed him to become a key figure in the Nationalist movement since he was one of very few people who had good relations with all of the movements factions.
A struggle for Sun's power between Chiang Kai-shek and Wang Jingwei broke out immediately after Sun's death. This created much inefficiency in the administration of the country and largely delayed the Northern Expedition. In addition, Sun is also one of the primary saints of the Vietnamese religion Cao Dai.
After Sun's death, a power struggle between his young protégé Chiang Kai-shek and his old revolutionary comrade Wang Jingwei split
the KMT. At stake in this struggle was the right to lay claim to Sun's ambiguous legacy. When the Communists and the Kuomintang split in 1927, marking
the start of the Chinese Civil War, each group claimed to be his true heirs. In addition, during World War II, both the anti-Japanese government of
Chiang Kai-shek and the pro-Japanese puppet government of Wang Jingwei claimed to be the rightful heirs of Sun's legacy.
The official veneration of Sun's memory, especially in the Kuomintang, was a virtual cult, which centered around his tomb in Nanking. His widow, the former Soong Ching-ling, sided with the Communists during the Chinese Civil War and served from 1949 to 1981 as Vice President (or Vice Chairwoman) of the Communist China and as Honorary President shortly before her death in 1981.
Sun Yat-sen remains unique among twentieth-century Chinese leaders for having a high reputation both in mainland China and in
Taiwan. In Taiwan, he is seen as the Father of the Republic of China, and is known by the posthumous name National Father, Mr. Sun Chungshan (Chinese:
國父 孫中山先生, where the one-character space is a traditional homage symbol). His picture is still almost always found in ceremonial locations such as
in front of legislatures and classrooms of public schools, from elementary to senior high school, and he continues to appear in new coinage and currency.
This stands in sharp contrast to Chiang Kai-shek, whose pictures were mostly removed from public places in the 1990s, and whose likeness has gradually disappeared from coinage and currency. Much of the difference may be attributed to the fact that unlike Chiang, Sun played no role in governing Taiwan, so invoking Sun produces much less of a negative reaction among supporters of Taiwanese independence or victims of government oppression prior to the lifting of Martial Law in 1987 than invoking other figures of the Kuomintang.
Sun's Posthumous Popularity In Mainland China
On the mainland, Sun is also seen as a Chinese nationalist and proto-socialist, and is highly regarded as the Forerunner of the
Revolution. He is mentioned by name in the preamble to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China. In most major Chinese cities one of the
main streets is named "Zhongshan" (中山) to memorialize him, a name even more commonly found than other popular choices such as "Renmin Lu" (人民路), or
The People's Road, and "Jiefang Lu" (解放路), or Liberation Road. There are also numerous parks, schools, and geographical features named after him.
In recent years, the leadership of the Communist Party of China has been increasingly invoking Sun, partly as a way of bolstering Chinese nationalism in light of Chinese economic reform and partly to increase connections with supporters of the Kuomintang on Taiwan which the PRC sees as allies against Taiwanese independence. Sun's tomb was one of the first stops made by the leaders of both the Kuomintang and the People First Party on their trips to mainland China in 2005. Furthermore, a massive picture of Sun continues to appear in Tiananmen Square for May Day while pictures of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin no longer appear.
Sun and the Overseas Chinese
Sun's notability and popularity extends beyond the Greater China region, particularly to Nanyang where a large concentration of
overseas Chinese reside in Singapore. Sun recognised the contributions which the large number of overseas Chinese can make beyond the sending of remittances
to their ancestral homeland, and therefore made multiple visits to spread his revolutionary message to these communities around the world.
Sun made a total of eight visits to Singapore between 1900 and 1911. His first visit made on September 7, 1900 was to rescue Miyazaki Toten, an ardent Japanese supporter and friend of Sun's, who was arrested there, an act which also resulted in his own arrest and a ban from visiting the island for five years. Upon his next visit in June 1905, he met local Chinese merchants Teo Eng Hock, Tan Chor Nam and Lim Nee Soon in a meeting which was to mark the commencement of direct support from the Nanyang Chinese. Upon hearing their reports on overseas Chinese revolutionists organising themselves in Europe and Japan, he urged them to establish the Singapore chapter of the Tongmenghui, which came officially into being on 6 April the following year upon his next visit.
The chapter was housed in a villa known as Wan Qing Yuan (晚晴園) and donated for the use of revolutionalists by Teo. In 1906, the chapter grew in membership to 400, and in 1908, when Sun was in Singapore to escape the Qing government in the wake of the failed Zhennanguan Uprising, the chapter had become the regional headquarters for Tongmenghui branches in Southeast Asia. Sun and his followers traveled from Singapore to Malaya and Indonesia to spread their revolutionary message, by which time the alliance already had over twenty branches with over 3,000 members around the world.
Sun's foresight in tapping on the help and resources of the overseas Chinese population was to bear fruit on his subsequent revolutionary efforts. In one particular instance, his personal plea for financial aid at the Penang Conference held on November 13, 1910 in Malaya, helped launch a major drive for donations across the Malay Peninsula, an effort which helped finance the Second Guangzhou Uprising (also commonly known as the Yellow Flower Mound revolt) in 1911.
Today, Sun's legacy is remembered in Nanyang at Wan Qing Yuan, which has since been preserved and renamed as the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, and gazetted as a national monument of Singapore on October 28, 1994.
Like many other Chinese historical figures, Sun Yat-sen used several names throughout his life, and he is known under several
of these names, which can be quite confusing for the Westerner. Names, which are not taken lightly in China, are central to Chinese culture. This
reverence goes as far back as Confucius and his insistence on using correct names. In addition to the names and aliases listed below, Sun also used
many other aliases while he was a revolutionary in exile. According to one study, he used as many as thirty different names.
The "real" name of Sun Yat-sen (the concept of real or original name is not as clear-cut in China as it is in the Western world, as will become obvious below), the name inscribed in the genealogical records of his family, is Sun Deming (孫德明). This "register name" is the name under which his extended relatives of the Sun family would have known him; and it was a name that was used on formal occasions, such as when he got married.
In 1883, Sun was baptized as a Christian, and he started his studies in Hong Kong. On that occasion, he chose himself a pseudonym: Rixin (日新, lit. renew oneself daily). Later, his professor of Chinese literature changed this pseudonym into Yixian (逸仙). Unlike in Standard Mandarin, pronunciation of both pseudonyms are similar to Yat-sen in the local Cantonese. This was the name that he used in his frequent contacts with Westerners which became his most often used name in the West. However, in the Chinese world, almost nobody uses the Mandarin version Sun Yixian, nor the Cantonese version Sun Yat-sen.
In 1897, Sun arrived in Japan. Desiring to remain hidden from Japanese authorities, he renamed himself Nakayama Shō (中山樵). After his return to China in 1911, the alias Nakayama was transliterated into Zhongshan. Today, the overwhelming majority of Chinese people know Sun under the name Sun Zhongshan. Often it is shortened to Zhongshan only (as is usually done for Chinese names to show respect), and inside China one can find many instances of Zhongshan Avenue, Zhongshan Park, etc.
Another "official" name is Sun Wen (孫文), the "school name" used by Sun Yat-sen when attending school. This is the way he signed his name, especially after the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912. All official documents executed after this date were signed Sun Wen.
In 1940, the Kuomintang party officially conferred on the late Sun the title Guofu (國父, meaning "National Father"), and this title is still frequently used in Taiwan and Hong Kong. In mainland China, the title "Forerunner of the Revolution" (革命先行者) is sometimes used instead.
Family name: Sun
B5: 孫; GB: 孙
Register name: Deming (德明)
Milk name: Dixiang (帝象)
School name : Wen (文)
Courtesy name : Zaizhi (載之)
Pseudonym : Rixin (日新), later Yixian (逸仙),
Cantonese Pronounciation: Yat San, Yat Sin, resp.
Alias: Zhongshan (中山)
Styled: Guofu (國父), i.e. "Father of the Nation"
SEE Photograph (5)
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B5: 嚴家淦; GB: 严家淦; PY: Yán Jiāgàn; Yen Chia-jin (October 23, 1905- December 24, 1993)- Known as C. K. Yen, succeeded Chiang Kai-shek as President of the Republic of China (on Taiwan) upon Chiang's death on April 5, 1975. He served out the remainder of Chiang's term until May 20, 1978, as a member of the Kuomintang political party.
C. K. Yen was born in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. He graduated from St. John's University in Shanghai with a degree in chemistry.
Yen previously served as minister of economic affairs, minister of finance, and governor of Taiwan Province. He became premier on December 15, 1963. In 1966 the National Assembly elected Yen as vice president and re-elected him in 1972. He concurrently served as premier until May 19, 1972 when he was succeeded by Chiang Ching-kuo, who later succeeded him as president. After his presidency, he was chairman of the Council on Chinese Cultural Renaissance and board chairman of the National Palace Museum until 1991.
He died in Taipei City at the age of 88. He was buried at the Wuchih Mountain Military Cemetery in Taipei County.
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