||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (December 2008)|
|Chiang c. 1948|
|President of the Republic of China|
20 May 1978 – 13 January 1988
|Vice President||Hsieh Tung-min
|Preceded by||Yen Chia-kan|
|Succeeded by||Lee Teng-hui|
|Premier of the Republic of China|
29 May 1972 – 20 May 1978
|Preceded by||Yen Chia-kan|
|Succeeded by||Sun Yun-suan|
|1st Chairman of the Kuomintang|
5 April 1975 – 13 January 1988
|Preceded by||Chiang Kai-shek (Director-General of the Kuomintang)|
|Succeeded by||Lee Teng-hui|
|Vice Premier of the Republic of China|
1 July 1969 – 1 June 1972
|Preceded by||Huang Shou-ku|
|Succeeded by||Hsu Ching-chung|
|Minister of National Defense of the Republic of China|
14 January 1965 – 30 June 1969
|Preceded by||Yu Da-wei|
|Succeeded by||Huang Chieh|
|Minister without Portfolio|
15 July 1958 – 13 January 1965
|Minister of Vocational Assistance Commission for Retired Servicemen of the Executive Yuan|
25 April 1956 – 1 July 1964
|Preceded by||Yen Chia-kan|
|Succeeded by||Chau Chu-yue|
27 April 1910|
Fenghua, Zhejiang, Qing Dynasty
|Died||13 January 1988
Taipei, Republic of China
|Spouse(s)||Chiang Fang-liang (m. 1935–1988)|
|Alma mater||Moscow Sun Yat-sen University|
Chiang Ching-kuo (Shanghai/Ningbo dialect: [tɕiã.tɕiŋ.koʔ]) (April 27,1 1910 – January 13, 1988), Kuomintang (KMT) politician and leader, was the son of Generalissimo and President Chiang Kai-shek and held numerous posts in the government of the Republic of China (ROC). He succeeded his father to serve as Premier of the Republic of China between 1972 and 1978, and was the President of the Republic of China from 1978 until his death in 1988. Under his tenure, the government of the Republic of China, while authoritarian, became more open and tolerant of political dissent. Towards the end of his life, Chiang relaxed government controls on the media and speech and allowed native Taiwanese into positions of power, including his successor Lee Teng-hui.
The son of President Chiang Kai-shek and his first wife Mao Fumei, Chiang Ching-kuo was born in Fenghua, Zhejiang, with the courtesy name of Jiànfēng (建豐). He had an adopted brother, Chiang Wei-kuo. "Ching" literally means "longitude" while "kuo" means "nation"; in his brother's name, "wei" literally means "parallel (of latitude)". The names are inspired by the references in Chinese classics such as the Guoyu, in which "to draw the longitudes and latitudes of the world" is used as a metaphor for a person with great abilities, especially in managing a country.
While the young Chiang Ching-kuo had a peaceable relationship with his mother and grandmother (who were deeply rooted to their Buddhist faith), his relationship with his father was strict, utilitarian and often rocky. Chiang Kai-shek appeared to his son as an authoritarian figure, sometimes indifferent to his problems. Even in personal letters between the two, Chiang Kai-shek would sternly order his son to improve his Chinese calligraphy.
From 1916 until 1919 Chiang Ching-kuo attended the "Grammar School" in Wushan in Hsikou. Then, in 1920, his father hired tutors to teach him the four books, considered the basis of all Chinese culture. On June 4, 1921, Ching-kuo's grandmother died. What might have been an immense emotional loss was compensated for by Chiang Kai-shek moving his family to Shanghai. Chiang Ching-Kuo's stepmother, historically known as the Chiang family's "Shanghai Mother", went with them. During this period, Chiang Kai-shek concluded that Chiang Ching-kuo was a son to be taught, while Chiang Wei-Kuo was a son to be loved.
During his time in Shanghai, Chiang Ching-kuo was supervised by his father by being made to write a weekly letter containing 200-300 Chinese characters. Chiang Kai-shek also underlined the importance of classical books and of learning English, two areas he was hardly proficient in himself. On March 20, 1924, Chiang Ching-kuo was able to present to his now-nationally famous father a proposal concerning the grass-roots organization of the rural population in Hsikou. Chiang Ching-kuo planned to provide free education in order to allow people to read and to write at least 1000 characters. In his own words:
I have a suggestion to make about the Wushan School, although I do not know if you can agree to it. My suggestion is that the school establish a night school for common people who cannot afford to go to the regular school. My school established a night school with great success. I can tell you something about the night school: Name: Wuschua School for the Common People Tuition fee: Free of charge with stationery supplied Class hours: 7 pm to 9 pm Age limit: 14 or older Schooling protocol: 16 or 20 weeks. At the time of the graduation, the trainees will be able to write simple letters and keep simple accounts. They will be issued a diploma if they pass the examinations. The textbooks they used were published by the Commercial Press and were entitled "One thousand characters for the common people." I do not know whether you will accept my suggestion. If a night school is established at Wushan, it will greatly benefit the local people.
In early 1925, Chiang Ching-kuo entered the Shanghai's Pudong college, but immediately afterwards Chiang Kai-shek decided to send him on to Beijing because of warlord action and spontaneous riots in Shanghai. In Beijing he attended the school organized by a friend of his father, Wu Chih-hui (吳稚暉), a renowned scholar and linguist. The school combined classical and modern approaches to education. While there, Ching-kuo started to identify himself as a progressive revolutionary and participated in the flourishing social scene inside the young Communist community. The idea of studying in Moscow now seized his imagination. Within the help program provided by the Soviet Union to the countries of East Asia there was a training school that later became the Moscow Sun Yat-sen University. The participants to the university were selected by the CPSU and KMT members, with a participation of CPC Central Committee.
Chiang Ching-kuo asked his teacher Wu Chih-hui to name him as a KMT candidate. Though Wu Chih-hui did not try to dissuade him, Wu was a key figure of the right-leaning and anti-Communist "Western Hills Group" of the Kuomintang, which help to realize the purge of the Communist and the KMT break with Moscow. In the summer of 1925, Chiang Ching-kuo traveled to Whampoa to discuss with his father about the plans to go to Moscow.
Chiang Kai-shek was not keen on sending his son to the USSR, but after a discussion with Ch'en Kuo-fu (陳果夫) he finally agreed. In a 1996 interview, Ch'en's brother, Li-fu, claimed that the reason behind Chiang Kai-shek acceptance was the need to have Soviet support during a period when his hold over the KMT was not guaranteed.
In 1925, Chiang Ching-Kuo went on to Moscow to study at a Communist school. While in Moscow, Chiang Ching-kuo was given the Russian name Nikolai Vladimirovich Elizarov (Николай Владимирович Елизаров) and put under the tutelage of Karl Radek at the Communist University of the Toilers of the East. 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. Soon Ching-kuo was an enthusiastic student of Communist ideology, particularly Trotskyism; though following the Great Purge, Joseph Stalin privately met with him and ordered him to publicly 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 KMT leftists and Communists from the Central Government and expelled his Soviet advisers. Following this, Chiang Ching-kuo wrote an editorial that harshly criticized his father's actions and was detained as a "guest" of the Soviet Union as a practical hostage. Debate still continues as to whether he had been forced to write it, and it is known that some years beforehand he had seen many of his Trotskyist friends arrested and killed by the Soviet secret police. It is possible that Chiang Ching-kuo was held to be used by Stalin as leverage in Sino-Soviet relationships. Nevertheless, the Soviet government sent Chiang Ching-kuo to work in the Ural Heavy Machinery Plant, a steel factory in the Urals, Yekaterinburg, where he met Faina Ipat'evna Vakhreva, a native Belarusian. They married on March 15, 1935, and she would later become known as Chiang Fang-liang. In December of that year, a son, Hsiao-wen was born. A daughter, Hsiao-chang, was born the next year.
Chiang Kai-shek wrote about the situation in his diary, "It is not worth it to sacrifice the interest of the country for the sake of my son." Chiang even refused to negotiate a prisoner swap for his son in exchange for the Chinese Communist Party leader. His attitude remained consistent, and he continued to maintain, by 1937, that "I would rather have no offspring than sacrifice our nation's interests." Chiang had absolutely no intention of stopping the war against the Communists.
Stalin allowed Chiang Ching-kuo to return to China with his Belarusian wife and two children in April 1937 after living in the USSR for 12 years. By then, the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek and the Communists under Mao Zedong had signed a ceasefire to create the Second United Front and fight the Japanese invasion of China, which began in July. Stalin hoped the Chinese would keep Japan from invading the Soviet Pacific coast, and he hoped to form an anti-Japanese alliance with the senior Chiang.
On his return, his father assigned a tutor, Hsu Dau-lin, to assist with his readjustment to China. Chiang Ching-Kuo was appointed as a specialist in remote districts of Jiangxi where he was credited with training of cadres and fighting corruption, opium consumption, and illiteracy. Chiang Ching-kuo was appointed as commissioner of Gannan Prefecture (Chinese: 贛南) between 1939 and 1945; there he banned smoking, gambling and prostitution, studied governmental management, allowed for economic expansion and a change in social outlook. His efforts were hailed as a miracle in the political war in China, then coined as the "Gannan New Deal" (贛南新政). During his time in Gannan, from 1940 he implemented a "public information desk" where ordinary people could visit him if they had problems, and according to records, Chiang Ching-kuo received a total of 1,023 people during such sessions in 1942. In regards to the ban on prostitution and closing of brothels, Chiang implemented a policy where former prostitutes became employed in factories. Due to the large number of refugees in Ganzhou as a result from the ongoing war, thousands of orphans lived on the street; in June 1942, Chiang Ching-kuo formally established the Chinese Children's Village (中華兒童新村) in the outskirts of Ganzhou, with facilities such as a nursery, kindergarten, primary school, hospital and gymnasium. During the last years of the 1930s, he met Wang Sheng, with whom he would remain close for the next 50 years.
Chiang and his wife had two more sons, Hsiao-wu, born in Chungking, and Hsiao-yung, born in Shanghai. Out of his affair with Chang Ya-juo, Chiang also had 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.)
Jung Chang and Jon Halliday claim that Chiang Kai-shek allowed the Communists to escape on the Long March, allegedly because he wanted his son Chiang Ching-kuo who was being held hostage by Joseph Stalin back. This is contradicted by Chiang Kai-shek himself, who wrote in his diary, "It is not worth is to sacrifice the interest of the country for the sake of my son."  Chiang even refused to negotiate for a prisoner swap, of his son in exchange of the Chinese Communist Party leader. Again in 1937 he stated about his son: "I would rather have no offspring than sacrifice our nation's interests." Chiang had absolutely no intention of stopping the war against the Communists. Chiang Kaishek urged the Ma warlords of northwest China to hammer away at the communists, including allowing the governor of Qinghai to stay in office since he wiped out an entire communist army.
Chang and Halliday also made another claim asserting Chiang Ching-kuo was "kidnapped", however evidence shows that he went to study in the Soviet Union with Chiang Kai-shek's own approval.
Economic policies in Shanghai
After the Second Sino-Japanese War and during the Chinese Civil War, Chiang Ching-kuo briefly served as a liaison administrator in Shanghai, trying to eradicate the corruption and hyperinflation that plagued the city. He was determined to do this because of the fears arising from the Nationalists' increasing lack of popularity during the Civil War. Given the task of arresting dishonest businessmen who hoarded supplies for profit during the inflationary spiral, he attempted to assuage the business community by explaining that his team would only go after big war profiteers.
Chiang Ching-kuo copied Soviet methods, which he learned during his stay in the Soviet Union, to start a social revolution by attacking middle class merchants. He also enforced low prices on all goods to raise support from the Proletariat.
As riots broke out and savings were ruined, bankrupting shopowners, Chiang Ching-kuo began to attack the wealthy, seizing assets and placing them under arrest. The son of the gangster Du Yuesheng was arrested by him. Ching-kuo ordered Kuomintang agents to raid the Yangtze Development Corporation's warehouses, which was privately owned by H.H. Kung and his family, as the company was accused of hoarding supplies. H.H. Kung's wife was Soong Ai-ling, the sister of Soong May-ling who was Chiang Ching-kuo's stepmother. H.H. Kung's son David was arrested, the Kung's responded by blackmailing the Chiang's, threatening to release information about them, eventually he was freed after negotiations, and Chiang Ching-kuo resigned, ending the terror on the Shanghainese merchants.
Political career in Taiwan
After the Nationalists lost control of mainland China to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War, Chiang Ching-kuo followed his father and the retreating Nationalist forces to Taiwan. On December 8, 1949, the Nationalist capital was moved from Chengdu to Taipei, and early on December 10, 1949, Communist troops laid siege to Chengdu, the last KMT controlled city on mainland China. Here Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo directed the city's defense from the Chengdu Central Military Academy, before the aircraft May-ling evacuated them to Taiwan; they would never return to mainland China.
In 1950, Chiang's father appointed him director of the secret police, which he remained until 1965. An enemy of the Chiang family, Wu Kuo-chen, was kicked out of his position of governor of Taiwan by Chiang Ching-kuo and fled to America in 1953. Chiang Ching-kuo, educated in the Soviet Union, initiated Soviet style military organization in the Republic of China Military, reorganizing and Sovietizing the political officer corps, surveillance, and Kuomintang party activities were propagated throughout the military. Opposed to this was Sun Li-jen, who was educated at the American Virginia Military Institute. Chiang orchestrated the controversial court-martial and arrest of General Sun Li-jen in August 1955, allegedly for plotting a coup d'état with the American CIA 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. Ching-kuo also approved the arbitrary arrest and torture of prisoners. Chiang Ching-kuo's activities as director of the secret police remained widely criticized as heralding a long era of human rights abuses in Taiwan.
From 1955 to 1960, Chiang administered the construction and completion of Taiwan's highway system. Chiang's father elevated him to high office when he was appointed as the ROC Defense Minister from 1965 until 1969. He was the nation's Vice Premier between 1969 and 1972, during which he survived an assassination attempt while visiting the U.S. in 1970. Afterwards he was appointed the nation's Premier between 1972 and 1978. As Chiang Kai-shek entered his final years, he gradually gave more responsibilities to his son, and when he died in April 1975, Vice President Yen Chia-kan became president for the balance of Chiang Kai-shek's term, while Chiang Ching-kuo succeeded to the leadership of the Kuomintang (he opted for the title "Chairman" rather than the elder Chiang's title of "Director-General").
Chiang Ching-kuo was officially elected President of the Republic of China by the National Assembly on May 20, 1978. He was reelected to another term in 1984. At that time, the National Assembly consisted mostly of "ten thousand year" legislators, men who had been elected in 1947-48 before the fall of mainland China and who would hold their seats indefinitely.
During the early years of his term in office Chiang maintained many of his father's autocratic policies, continuing to rule Taiwan as a one-party dictatorship under martial law as before.
In a move he launched the "Ten Major Construction Projects" and the "Twelve New Development Projects" which contributed to the "Taiwan Miracle." Among his accomplishments were accelerating the process of economic modernization to give Taiwan a 13% growth rate, $4,600 per capita income, and the world's second largest foreign exchange reserves.
However, in 16 December 1978, U.S. President, Jimmy Carter announced 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, but the TRA was purposely vague in any promise of defending Taiwan in the event of an invasion. The United States would now end all official contact with the Chiang's government and withdraw its troops from the island.
In an effort of bringing more Taiwan-born citizens into government services, Chiang Ching-kuo "exiled" his over-ambitious chief of General Political Warfare Department, General Wang Sheng, to Paraguay as an ambassador (November 1983), and hand-picked Lee Teng-hui as vice-president of the Republic of China (formally elected May 1984), first-in-the-line of succession to the presidency.
In 15 July 1987, Chiang finally 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 formally illegal, were allowed to operate without harassment or arrest. When the Democratic Progressive Party was established in 28 September 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. These politicians have a track of vocal accusation on KMT and CCP even to this day. They all sound legitimate and often contradictory.
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 Daxi (Tahsi) Township, Taoyuan County, but in a separate mausoleum in Touliao, a mile down the road from his father's burial place. The hope was to have both buried at their birthplace in Fenghua once mainland China was recovered. Chinese music composer Hwang Yau-tai or Huang Youdi, Huang Yu-ti (黃友棣) wrote the Chiang Ching-kuo Memorial Song in 1988. In January 2004, Chiang Fang-liang asked that both father and son be buried at Wuchih Mountain Military Cemetery in Hsichih, Taipei County (now New Taipei City). 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.
Unlike his father Chiang Kai-shek, Chiang Ching-kuo built himself a folksy reputation that remains generally known even among local Taiwanese electorate. Both his memory and image are frequently invoked by the Kuomintang. 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 credit for relaxing authoritarian rule, they point out that Taiwan remained authoritarian throughout the early years of his rule, and only liberalized in his twilight years. Nonetheless, as with Pan-Blue followers, he is recognized for his efforts and openness in economic developments.
Under President Chen Shui-bian, pictures of Chiang Ching-kuo and his father 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 children had studied abroad and two of his children married in the United States. Only two remain living: John Chiang is a prominent KMT politician, while Chiang Hsiao-chang, her children and grandchildren reside in the United States.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chiang Ching-kuo.|
- Chiang Kai-shek
- Madame Chiang Kai-shek
- History of the Republic of China
- Military of the Republic of China
- President of the Republic of China
- Politics of the Republic of China
- Second Sino-Japanese War
- National Revolutionary Army
- Seven Seas Residence
- Sino-German cooperation
- Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation
- Peter Huang
- Many sources, even Taiwanese official ones, give March 18, 1910 as his birthday, but this actually refers to the traditional Chinese lunar calendar
- letter of August 4, 1922
- Wang Shun-ch'i, unpublished article, 1995. The letter is in the Nanking archive
- Cline, Chiang Ching-kuo remembered, p. 148
- Aleksander Pantsov, "From Students to dissidents. The Chinese Troskyites in Soviet Russia (Part 1)", in issues & Studies, 30/3 (March 1994), Institute of international relations, Taipei, pp. 113-114
- Ch'en Li-fu, interview, Taipei, May 29, 1996
- Jay Taylor (2000). The Generalissimo's son: Chiang Ching-kuo and the revolutions in China and Taiwan. Harvard University Press. p. 59. ISBN 0-674-00287-3. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Jonathan Fenby (2005). Chiang Kai Shek: China's Generalissimo and the Nation He Lost. Carroll & Graf Publishers. p. 205. ISBN 0-7867-1484-0. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Hannah Pakula (2009). The last empress: Madame Chiang Kai-shek and the birth of modern China. Simon and Schuster. p. 247. ISBN 1-4391-4893-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Jay Taylor (2000). The Generalissimo's son: Chiang Ching-kuo and the revolutions in China and Taiwan. Harvard University Press. p. 74. ISBN 0-674-00287-3. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Taylor, Jay. 2000. The Generalissimo’s son: Chiang Ching-kuo and the revolutions in China and Taiwan. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Laura Tyson Li (2007). Madame Chiang Kai-Shek: China's Eternal First Lady (reprint, illustrated ed.). Grove Press. p. 148. ISBN 0-8021-4322-9. Retrieved 2011-05-21.
- "A swan's little book of ire". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2005-10-08. Retrieved 2007-12-08.
- Hannah Pakula (2009). The last empress: Madame Chiang Kai-Shek and the birth of modern China. Simon and Schuster. p. 247. ISBN 1-4391-4893-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Uradyn Erden Bulag (2002). Dilemmas The Mongols at China's edge: history and the politics of national unity. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 50. ISBN 0-7425-1144-8. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Jonathan Fenby (2005). Chiang Kai Shek: China's Generalissimo and the Nation He Lost. Carroll & Graf Publishers. p. 485. ISBN 0-7867-1484-0. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Jonathan Fenby (2005). Chiang Kai Shek: China's Generalissimo and the Nation He Lost. Carroll & Graf Publishers. p. 486. ISBN 0-7867-1484-0. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Peter R. Moody (1977). Opposition and dissent in contemporary China. Hoover Press. p. 302. ISBN 0-8179-6771-0. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
- Jay Taylor (2000). The Generalissimo's son: Chiang Ching-kuo and the revolutions in China and Taiwan. Harvard University Press. p. 195. ISBN 0-674-00287-3. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Nançy Bernkopf Tucker (1983). Patterns in the dust: Chinese-American relations and the recognition controversy, 1949-1950. Columbia University Press. p. 181. ISBN 0-231-05362-2. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- John W. Garver (1997). The Sino-American alliance: Nationalist China and American Cold War strategy in Asia. M.E. Sharpe. p. 243. ISBN 0-7656-0025-0. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Roy, Denny (2003). Taiwan: a political history. Cornell University Press. pp. 179–180. ISBN 0-8014-8805-2.
- Taylor, Jay. The Generalissimo's Son: Chiang Ching-Kuo and the Revolutions in China and Taiwan. ISBN 0-674-00287-3
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- ROC Government biography
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|Minister of National Defence of the Republic of China
1965 – 1969
|Premier of the Republic of China
1972 – 1978
|Acting Vice President of the Republic of China
1975 – 1978
|President of the Republic of China
1978 – 1988
|Party political offices|
Director-General of the Kuomintang
|Chairman of the Kuomintang