Biography in English

Chen, Eugene 陳誠 Ch'en Ch'eng Ch'en Ch'eng (4 January 1897 - 5 March 1965), a senior Nationalist general and second in command to Chiang Kai-shek in both the Kuomintang and the National Government. He was governor of Taiwan in 1949 when the Nationalists evacuated from the mainland. In 1954, Ch'en was elected vice president of the Republic of China. He also served as president of the Executive Yuan 1950-54, 1958-63.

The village of Kaoshih in Ch'ingt'ien hsien, Chekiang province, was the birthplace of Ch'en Ch'eng. His family owned some land, but was not wealthy. Ch'en Ch'eng had two younger brothers and two sisters. His father, Ch'en Hsi-wen, was a scholar who taught school in the village.

In 1913 Ch'en enrolled in the Eleventh Normal School at Lishui. After being graduated in 1917, he entered the Hangchow provincial school of physical education. Although his schooling was periodically jeopardized by family financial difficulties, he was graduated from the Hangchow school in 1918. In 1919 he enrolled in the eighth class of the Paoting Military Academy, artillery division. There he met Lo Cho-ying (1896-1961), a Kwangtung man, with whom he formed a lasting friendship. The Chihli-Anhwei war ofJuly 1920 disrupted classes at the academy, and Ch'en went to eastern Kwangtung to serve in the 3rd Regiment of the 1st (Kwangtung) Division. In 1920 he joined the Kuomintang. Classes at Paoting were resumed in 1921. Ch'en then returned to his studies, and in June 1922 he was graduated with the eighth class. He was assigned to the 3rd Company, 6th Regiment, of the 2nd Division, which was stationed in his native Chekiang province. After completing initial field service, he went to Kwangtung in February 1923 and became an adjutant with the rank of first lieutenant in the National Construction Kwangtung Army. In April he was promoted to the rank of captain and given command of a company. He fought in the North River and West River campaigns. He was wounded and, after convalescence, was given command of the headquarters company. The Whampoa Military Academy was founded in June 1924, and in September Ch'en Ch'eng became an artillery instructor there. Thus began an enduring relationship with Chiang Kai-shek and a competitive one with Ho Ying-ch'in (q.v.), who was then commandant of the cadet corps at the Academy. In January 1925, Ch'en was assigned to command the 1st Company of the 2nd Artillery Battalion of the (Kuomintang) Party Army; Lo Cho-ying commanded another company of the same unit. Both men participated in the two eastern expeditions of that year against the forces of Ch'en Chiung-ming (q.v.) and won favorable recognition of their effective action in the decisive battle of Waichow. Ch'en was promoted to the rank of major and was given command of the artillery battalion.

In January 1926, Ch'en Ch'eng was appointed commander of the Whampoa Specialist Corps. When the Northern Expedition was launched in July of that year, Ch'en first served as a staff officer, with the rank of lieutenant colonel, in the headquarters of the commander in chief. He then was given command of the 3rd Regiment of the 1st Replacement Division, and in December 1926 he received command of its 63rd Regiment. The division was attached to the Eastern Route Army commanded by Ho Ying-ch'in and charged with the capture of Shanghai and Nanking from the forces of Sun Ch'uan-fang. The Nationalist objectives were attained in February-March 1927. In April, Ch'en was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and was made deputy commander of the 21st Division, retaining command of the 63rd Regiment. In July, he was given command of the division.

Chiang Kai-shek had established his opposition National Government at Nanking in April, and Ch'en had been appointed garrison commander there. After Chiang's temporary retirement from power in August, Ch'en Ch'eng fought in the critical battle of Lungtan at the end of the month to help repulse Sun Ch'uan-fang's counter-offensive. In October he was transferred to command the 3rd Division, but he did not take up that post. Instead, he became deputy chief of the military administration office of the Military Affairs Commission and director of its Shanghai administrative office. In December, when Chiang Kai-shek returned to the political scene, Ch'en became acting chief of the military administration office. Chiang resumed full powers in January 1928, and Ch'en was assigned the post of chief of the office of military education in March.

The Northern Expedition resumed in April 1928, with Ch'en Ch'eng acting as guards commander at Chiang Kai-shek's headquarters and as commander of the artillery corps. In the military reorganization that followed the victory over Peking, Ch'en in July was made deputy commander of the 11th Division. In October he was given command of the 31st Brigade of that division. In June 1929 he received fullcommand of the 11th Division, and in the autumn of that year he acted as deputy commanderoftheSecond Army in the fighting with the Kuominchun of Feng Yü-hsiang (q.v.) in the Honan sector. In November, his forces scored a notable victory at Hsiangyang in northern Hupeh, after which Ch'en led them into southern Honan to defeat the forces of T'ang Sheng-chih (q.v.) at Chuehshan, on the Peiping-Hankow rail line, in January 1930.

The National Government's struggle against the Kuominchun continued into 1930, when a northern coalition against Chiang Kai-shek began to take form. In March, Ch'en was assigned garrison duties at Pengpu. The northern coalition headed by Feng Yü-hsiang and Yen Hsi-shan openly defied Nanking's authority in May, and Ch'en's forces fought later that month in northeastern Honan, where they occupied Kweiteh. In July 1930 they fought at Chüfu, in Shantung, which had been beleagured by the Shansi forces of Fu Tso-yi. Then, in September, Ch'en's unit participated in the recovery of Chengchow, and the northern threat to Chiang Kai-shek's power was ended.

Ch'en Ch'eng and other officers associated with Chiang Kai-shek then went to Japan in November to observe military maneuvers. While there, Ch'en also visited Japanese military schools and local Chinese communities. He thus obtained his first, somewhat mixed, impression of China's powerful neighbor. In December 1930, after his return home, Ch'en was given command of the Eighteenth Army. A month later, in January 1931, he also was given command of the 14th Division. The deputy commander of that unit was Chou Chih-jou (q.v.), a Chekiang man and Paoting classmate who had previously served under Ch'en in the 11th Division.

Ho Ying-ch'in had failed to eliminate the Communist threat in Nanking's first so-called bandit-suppression campaign of 1930, and, in February 1931, Ch'en led the 11th and 14th Divisions of his army into Kiangsi, and a second campaign began. In June, Chiang Kai-shek took personal command of a third campaign, and Ch'en Ch'eng became commander of the Second Route Army for operations against the Communists. Then, after the Mukden Incident of September 1931 and the beginning of the Japanese occupation of Manchuria, the National Government's third anti-Communist campaign was halted.

In October 1931, Ch'en was given the additional appointment of commander of the 52nd Division. But, with the lull in domestic military action in China, there came a change in Ch'en's private life. T'an Yen-k'ai (q.v.), first president of the Executive Yuan of the National Government, before his death in September 1930 had charged Chiang Kai-shek with the duty of finding a suitable husband for his third daughter, T'an Hsiang. Ch'en Ch'eng divorced his first wife, and Chiang Kai-shek introduced him to T'an Hsiang. They were married on 1 January 1932.

After his return to active duty in Kiangsi, Ch'en succeeded in ending the Communist siege of Kanchow in March 1932. The Communists, however, had grown stronger. In December 1932, in preparation for a fourth anti-Communist campaign, Ch'en Ch'eng was appointed to command a new offensive on the Fuchow front, in central Kiangsi. In February, he was transferred to command of the central route of the Nationalist forces on the Kiangsi- Kwangtung-Fukien border, in which position he commanded eleven divisions. In July, when that campaign had already entered its desultory, indecisive final stage, Ch'en was removed from field command and placed in charge of the newly established Officers Training Corps at Lushan, in northern Kiangsi. In September he was appointed commander in chief of the Third Route Army, with concurrent command of the fifth column. The Communist hold on Kiangsi was finally broken in October 1934. In the meantime, in May 1934, Ch'en Ch'eng had been appointed deputy commander of the Army Officers Training Corps established under the jurisdiction of the Military Affairs Commission. In December of that year, Ch'en was assigned to direct operations against the remaining Communist units in Kiangsi. One result of the Kiangsi operations was the preparation, under Ch'en Ch'eng's direction, of a compendium of captured Chinese Communist documents. Entitled Ch'ih-fei fan-twig wen-chien hui-pien [a collection of subversive documents of the Red bandits], the collection was published in 1935 and was reprinted in six volumes in Taiwan in 1960. This work gives a detailed account of the history, organization, and operations of the Chinese Red Army as of early 1935 and quotes extensively from Communist documents captured during the so-called extermination campaigns. In March 1935, Chiang Kai-shek established an Army Reorganization Office as part of his Wuchang headquarters and named Ch'en Ch'eng as its director. That organ was charged with the massive task of reorganizing the Chinese army. In June, Chiang Kai-shek ordered that the cavalry, artillery, and engineering units throughout China be placed under Ch'en's supervision. Since some of the strongest cavalry and artillery units were then under the control of semi-independent military men, that order had special significance. An artillery training center and a training base for engineering units were established in Kiangsi province. Lo Choying was charged with supervision of both of those specialized branches. Ch'en Ch'eng, concerned primarily with training officers at the Lushan center in Kiangsi, was also charged with creation of a training corps at Omei, Szechwan, which was to be a base for supervision of military training in Szechwan, Kweichow, and Yunnan. The program reflected Nanking's drive to consolidate effective control over the whole country.

Those tasks completed, the jurisdiction of the Army Reorganization Office was reduced in September, and the Wuchang headquarters was dissolved in October. On 10 November 1935 the Generalissimo's Ichang headquarters was organized, with Ch'en Ch'eng as its chief of staff. He continued to act concurrently as head of the Army Reorganization Office, which was moved to Ichang. Chiang Kai-shek merged the two organs into the Generalissimo's headquarters in January, and in February 1936 the new organ moved back to Wuchang. In the meantime, in the autumn of 1935, Ch'en had been elected a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang.

In late February of 1936 the Communists, who had taken refuge in northern Shensi, invaded Shansi province to the east. Yen Hsishan, the governor of Shansi, called for aid, and Chiang Kai-shek promptly sent Ch'en Ch'eng to the front. Yen Hsi-shan gave Ch'en command of the First Route Army. After the Communist attack was repulsed in May, Ch'en was appointed commander in chief of the Nationalist forces assigned to curb the Communists in the Shensi-Shansi-Suiyuan-Ningsia border region, a step which marked the strengthening of the National Government's control, particularly over Shansi.

In the meantime, the Kwangtung-Kwangsi coalition against Chiang Kai-shek had become active again in south China. As chief of staff of the Generalissimo's headquarters, Ch'en Ch'eng moved large forces into Hunan in June of 1936. Ho Chien, the governor of that province, had adopted an equivocal attitude, but Ch'en's prompt occupation of the strategic city of Hengyang in southern Hunan caused Ho to shift definitely to the government side. Ch'en was also in contact with Yü Han-mou (q.v.) in the Kwangtung camp; and Yü's turnover, for a consideration, to the National Government's side on 8 July 1936 shattered the Kwangtung military machine and broke the southerners' revolt.

Chiang Kai-shek seized the opportunity for a showdown with the Kwangsi generals and deployed forces in Kwangtung itself against the Kwangsi position. Ch'en Ch'eng was appointed commander in chief of the Third Route Army; Lo Cho-ying was designated its front-line commander. Chiang Kai-shek himself was already in Canton, and political discussions with the Kwangsi leaders were in progress. In early September, as a result of combined military and political pressures, terms were reached under which the Kwangsi generals submitted, at least nominally, to Nanking's authority. Ch'en Ch'eng was then appointed director of the Canton branch of the Central Military Academy; in September, he was given the additional post of chief of staff of the Generalissimo's Canton headquarters. His chief task was the rehabilitation of Kwangtung-Kwangsi affairs. In the meantime, Nanking had undertaken two tasks: to recover territory held by the Japanese-supported Mongols of Suiyuan, and to annihilate the Communist forces in the northwest. In November 1936, Ch'en Ch'eng was transferred back to the Wuchang headquarters to act as that organ's deputy director and chief of staff. Fighting began in Suiyuan in early November. The combined Shansi-Suiyuan forces took Pailingmiao from the Mongol forces of Te Wang (Demchukdonggrub, q.v.), and soon Ch'en Ch'eng visited Taiyuan and Kweisui to discuss with Yen Hsi-shan and Fu Tso-yi, respectively, a proposed advance on Shangtu, in Chahar province. After having worked out an accord, Ch'en flew to Sian on 4 December to obtain the approval of Chiang Kai-shek, who had gone to Shensi to direct a new campaign against the Communists.

In the coup of 12 December 1936 by Chang Hsueh-liang and Yang Hu-ch'eng (qq. v.), Ch'en Ch'eng was detained, with other senior political and military leaders, until after Chiang Kai-shek was flown out of Sian to Nanking. In that hectic December, Ch'en had been appointed administrative vice minister of war at Nanking. His concern with the Sian affair was not yet ended, however. On 4 January 1937 he was appointed commander in chief of the Fourth Group Army. He was charged with two missions : supporting T'ang En-po's army in connection with the Suiyuan operations and breaking up the combination of still-rebellious forces of Chang Hsueh-liang and Yang Hu-ch'eng before they could join with the Communists and extend Communist strength in Shensi and Kansu. Ch'en proceeded to the Wei River front, and undertook a combination of political and military measures. His work had been facilitated by the fact that Chang Hsueh-liang had accompanied the Generalissimo back to Nanking—to imprisonment. Ch'en succeeded in arranging the defection of Feng Ch'in-tsai from Yang Hu-ch'eng's camp. The 36th Division occupied Sian on 9 February 1937, and began the progressive elimination, by transfer, dispersal, and amalgamation through so-called reorganization, of the once-powerful Northeastern and Northwest armies. After work in the northwest was completed, Ch'en Ch'eng was appointed dean of the Lushan Officers Training Corps in June 1937. High Nationalist officers assembled at that mountain retreat for the summer training course—and for important political and military discussions related to the agreements of December 1936 under which Chiang Kai-shek had been released at Sian. The Sian negotiations had brought a change both in Nationalist strategy toward Japan and in Japanese decisions regarding China. The result was the outbreak of the Sino- Japanese war on 7 July 1937, just as the conferences at Lushan were getting under way. When fighting began on the Shanghai- Woosung front in August 1937, Ch'en Ch'eng was sent there to inspect defenses. In September "he was appointed comman
er in chief of the Fifteenth Group Army on that front. He soon was given the additional post of deputy commanding officer of the Fourth Reserve Army. In November he became field commander in chief of the Third War Area, with supreme command over all Chinese armies fighting in the Shanghai- Woosung-Hangchow sector.

After a notable defense that lasted three months, the Nationalist forces were forced to withdraw from that area in mid-November. In December, Ch'en became deputy commanding officer of the Seventh War Area, under Liu Hsiang (q.v.), at Hankow. After the fall of Nanking, Wuhan temporarily became an important military and political center. Chiang Kai-shek organized a Wuhan area headquarters and appointed Ch'en defense commander in chief. He officially assumed that post on 1 January 1938.

Ch'en was also charged with organization of the political department of the Military Affairs Commission, and he became its director when it was inaugurated in February 1938. Huang Ch'i-hsiang and Chou En-lai were its deputy directors, and Kuo Mo-jo (q.v.) headed the section in charge of literary propaganda. In March, Ch'en Ch'eng presided over a national conference called at Wuchang to determine directives to political workers for the war tasks. In the same month, he resumed the post of dean of the Officers Training Corps, then located at Lo-chia-shan.

Ch'en's wartime responsibilities rapidly increased. In April, he was made a member of the National Aviation Commission. In May, he became a member of the Central Training Corps, deputy commander of the cadre training corps of the Military Affairs Commission, and a member of that commission. After the organization of the Ninth War Area, he was appointed in June as its commanding officer. On 14 June 1938, Ch'en was given an additional post, that of governor of Hupeh province. When the San Min Chu I Youth Corps was organized in early July, with Chiang Kai-shek as its nominal head, Ch'en was named secretary general of that organization. In the same month, he became dean of the Central Training Corps. Meanwhile, the Japanese had been conducting active military campaigns. In August 1938, moving up the Yangtze river, they began to probe the outer defenses of the Wuhan area. Command of the Wuhan headquarters was transferred to Lo Cho-ying in September, thus relieving Ch'en of one of his many responsibilities so that he could coordinate military actions in the Ninth War Area as a whole. The Nationalists evacuated Wuhan at the end of October 1938, and the offices and officials of the National Government moved westward to Chungking.

After the military conference of 25 November 1938 at Nanyueh, Szechwan, at which Chiang Kai-shek presided, Ch'en Ch'eng resigned from all of his posts. His resignation seems not to have been accepted. In January 1939, however, Yen Chung assumed the post of acting governor of Hupeh province, and, in April, Hsueh Yueh (q.v.) became acting commander of the Ninth War Area.

Ch'en Ch'eng's energies for the time being were directed into other fields. In February 1939, he was appointed deputy director of the Guerrilla Training Class. In March, he was made a member of the Party Administration Committee for the War Areas and became head of the training section of the Central Training Corps, of which he was dean. From early 1939 until September of that year, Ch'en was mainly engaged in directing the work of the political department of the Military Affairs Commission at Chungking.

Ch'en had been made a full general in September 1936; in May 1939 he was promoted to the rank of general second grade. In August he was made head of the special party headquarters of the Central Training Corps. In September 1939 he went to the Hunan front to assist Hsueh Yueh in defensive operations in the first battle for Changsha. In October, Ch'en was given command of the Sixth War Area. In February 1940, he led forces into Kwangtung to defend Shaokwan against a Japanese attack. In June 1940 Japanese forces occupied Ichang. The defense of the Chinese wartime capital of Chungking fell to Ch'en Ch'eng. He resigned his posts as head of the political department of the Military Affairs Commission and secretary general of the Youth Corps to devote his attention exclusively to his duties as commanding officer of the Sixth War Area and as Hupeh provincial chairman. In those two posts, he undertook to coordinate major administrative and military measures in the Hupeh area. On 1 September 1940 he arrived at Enshih, in southwestern Hupeh, where he established his new headquarters. He re-deployed the military forces under his command and set about the task of making Hupeh province a bastion for the defense of Chungking.

Ch'en Ch'eng's tour of duty at Enshih for some time involved only routine performance of administrative and military duties. In March 1941, Chungking gave him an additional post, that of director of the party administration committee of the Military Affairs Commission. In September 1941, however, as a diversionary action designed to support the Chinese defense in the second battle of Changsha, Ch'en launched an offensive against the Japanese position at Ichang. His forces captured Ichang in September 1941, but promptly lost the city again.

The United States entered the Pacific war in December 1941. There was no major action on the western Hupeh front in China during the entire year of 1942. In January 1943, however, after holding a number of conversations with T. V. Soong (q.v.) and Ch'en Ch'eng at Chungking, Lt. General Joseph W. Stilwell, commanding officer of United States forces in the China-Burma-India Theater and chief of staff (jointly with Ho Ying-ch'in) to Chiang Kai-shek, proposed formation of a so-called Y-Force to be composed of 30 divisions. Ch'en Ch'eng was to be relieved of other duties and put in charge of the joint Sino-American training program. At that time there were three chief rivals in Chiang Kai-shek's top military command: Ho Ying-ch'in, Hu Tsung-nan (q.v.), and Ch'en Ch'eng. By an order of 17 February 1943 Ch'en Ch'eng was given charge of the training program and was made commanding officer of the Expeditionary Army which was to participate in the projected Burma campaign, although Ho Ying-ch'in strongly opposed his appointment. In March, he left his Enshih headquarters and went to Kunming.

Ch'en Ch'eng took up the planning, military reorganization, and training involved in the Y-Force project. His projects were obstructed, however, by the General Headquarters of the Chinese Army, dominated by Ho Ying-ch'in. A new complication arose in May 1943, when the Japanese staged an attack along the Yangtze in the Sixth War Area. Ch'en Ch'eng was ordered to assume command of the Enshih headquarters again, and he arrived there in mid- May. The Japanese accomplished their limited objective of capturing the river boats that were concentrated in refuge on the Yangtze west of Ichang. Then, at the beginning of June, they withdrew down-river again. Ch'en issued orders to attack. The Chinese troops readily re-occupied points evacuated by the Japanese forces, and a great victory was proclaimed. Ch'en Ch'eng could have returned at once to his post at Kunming. Instead, he remained at Enshih, interpreting correctly the failure of the general headquarters to provide necessary funds and troops for Y-Force. General Stilwell recommended to Chiang Kai-shek that Yunnan and Kwangsi be merged into one combat area under Ch'en's command and that preparations for the expedition, which had originally been planned for the spring of 1943, be completed by 1 December. Ho Ying-ch'in, supported by Chiang Kai-shek, opposed the plan. Ch'en Ch'eng finally returned to Yunnan, but in November he resigned command of the expeditionary force and went to Chungking. Stilwell in late 1943 advanced from India into northern Burma at the head of the so-called Ledo Force, a joint Chinese-American force. As Stilwell had predicted, the campaign was successful. In mid-April of 1944, however, the Japanese launched a massive drive, Operation Ichi-Go, against the Chinese positions in Honan province, and the Nationalist forces suffered a disastrous defeat. The Japanese forces continued southward, and, in May, Ch'en Ch'eng was ordered to Sian to survey the situation. He conferred with Chiang Kai-shek at Chungking in June, and then he was appointed commanding officer of the First War Area. He formally assumed the duties of that post on 15 July 1944 and established his headquarters at Hanchung in southern Shensi. Under Ch'en's general jurisdiction there were nine group armies—a total of 23 armies.

The Japanese drive Ichi-Go had continued southward, sweeping through Hunan and penetrating Kwangsi. Ch'en Ch'eng's chief mission in his new position was to contain the Chinese Communist forces based in the Shensi-Kansu- Ninghsia area of northwest China and to counteract their growing influence in north China, where the Communists had infiltrated the countryside behind the Japanese lines. He also was ordered to supervise Kuomintang administrative offices in Honan and Shensi. When the Japanese overcame Hsueh Yueh's stubborn defense at Hengyang and went on to occupy Kweilin on 10 September 1944, Ch'en Ch'eng again turned his attention to political training and to political maneuver.

Chiang Kai-shek succeeded in forcing the recall of Stilwell in October. After the arrival in China of Lt. General Albert C. Wedemeyer as Stilwell's replacement, Plan ALPHA was framed to attempt to save Kweichow and Yunnan provinces from the advancing Japanese. Wedemeyer proposed that Ch'en Ch'eng be assigned the task of implementing the plan. Instead, Chiang Kai-shek appointed Ho Ying-ch'in, who, chiefly as a result of United States pressure, finally had been forced from the post of minister of war. On 1 December 1944 Ch'en Ch'eng was appointed to succeed him. Ch'en's primary task as minister of war was to transform the Chinese Army, with the help of American training and equipment, into an effective instrument for use in the postwar period. In line with the National Government's continuing concern for the potential threat offered by the Chinese Communists, Ch'en in January 1945 was given the concurrent post of commander in chief of active service in the rear areas.

In May 1945 Ch'en was reelected to the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang. In June, he was made deputy director of the National Defense Research Office. After the Japanese surrender, Ch'en flew to Hankow, Peiping, and Nanking on an inspection tour. The Nationalist armies at the end of the war numbered some 4,300,000 men, but the task of reorganization, particularly of the top-heavy command structure dominated by HoYing-ch'in, had been only partially completed. In October 1945 Ch'en once more became dean of the Central Training Corps. In December 1945 he was made chairman of the committee in charge of the reorganization of the central military organs. Reorganization of the command structure, following the American pattern, was to be completed by May 1946.

That task was nominally accomplished. Accordingly, a new ministry of national defense was established on 1 June 1946 to take the place of the ministry of war. The new minister was Pai Ch'ung-hsi (q.v.). Doubtless in anticipation of the change, Ch'en Ch'eng had been appointed minister of the navy in May. In June, again succeeding Ho Ying-ch'in, he was made chief of general staff.

In that position, Ch'en Ch'eng played a key role. As the top-ranking member of the Paoting military clique, he commanded direct access to Chiang Kai-shek while Pai Ch'ung-hsi, a Kwangsi general, could only act through regular Executive Yuan channels. By that time, most of the Japanese armed forces in China had been disarmed and repatriated. But China had reached the end of the war without a solution of its domestic political problems, and the mission of mediation between the Nationalists and Communists begun by General Patrick J. Hurley and continued by General George C. Marshall was being carried on in an atmosphere of increasing hostility. Ch'en Ch'eng had succeeded Chang Chih-chung as the Nationalist representative on the mediation effort's Committee of Three in early April of 1946. But with the expiration on 30 June of the Marshall truce, the Chinese civil war began again. Ch'en Ch'eng was once more fighting his old enemies the Communists. In February 1947 he was promoted to the rank of general first grade.

The civil war increased in intensity, with the chief focus on Manchuria. In an offensive of May and June 1947, the Communists made substantial gains, and, in July, the National Government ordered national mobilization. In August, Ch'en was appointed director of the Generalissimo's Northeast headquarters and director of the political affairs commission of that organ. Ch'en Ch'eng assumed his posts at Mukden on 1 September 1947. His mission was to rehabilitate military, political, and economic conditions, which already had deteriorated. Some achievements were recorded under his direction: adjustments of the disorderly and corrupt administrative apparatus, changes in the high command, and shifts in military plans. But this progress came too late. By the time Ch'en Ch'eng took control in Manchuria, the Communists had already seized the initiative. On Ch'en's recommendation, Nanking moved an additional 90,000 troops into Manchuria. The Nationalists also stepped up local recruiting to strengthen the fighting forces. The Communists, however, in a campaign begun in January 1948, chopped the Nationalist garrison into a number of isolated segments and then began to attack the Nationalist line of communications into Manchuria. Ch'en Ch'eng asked to be relieved of his posts, citing the recurrence of an old stomach ailment. (That ailment was genuine, but it had existed since 1943.) On 17 January 1948 he was replaced by General Wei Li-huang (q.v.) as acting director of the Northeastern headquarters and commander in chief for bandit-suppression in the Northeast. Ch'en Ch'eng, still retaining his position of chief of general staff, returned to Nanking.

After the elections of April 1948, the cabinet, including minister of national defense Pai Ch'ung-hsi, resigned in early May. Ch'en Ch'eng then resigned as chief of general staff and was replaced by a Chiang Kai-shek favorite, Ku Chu-t'ung (q.v.). Ch'en underwent an operation at Shanghai for stomach ulcers. Then, in October, as the Communists were completing the annihilation of the Nationalist military forces in Manchuria, he went to Taiwan. On 29 December 1948, as the Nationalists faced their final crushing defeat in the great Hwai-Hai battle, he was appointed chairman of the Taiwan provincial government. He formally assumed his new post, which had taken on a new significance in the light of the Nationalist defeats on the mainland, on 5 January 1949, at the same time becoming commander in chief of the Taiwan garrison forces. As instructed by Chiang Kai-shek after his retirement from the presidency on 21 January 1949, Ch'en set about making Taiwan a secure base for the Nationalist retreat.

He was still not free of the mainland embroilment, however. As the situation deteriorated, the Executive Yuan on 19 July 1949, appointed Ch'en commanding officer of a new headquarters for southeast China at Taipei. He formally assumed that post on 15 August, and contributed to the successful evacuation of troops and central government offices and personnel to Taiwan. K. C. Wu (Wu Kuo-chen, q.v.) succeeded Ch'en Ch'eng as chairman of the Taiwan provincial government in December 1949, and Ch'en devoted himself to the task of salvaging assets for the National Government, which had formally departed from its final mainland base at Chengtu on 7 December. On 1 March 1950, Chiang Kai-shek formally assumed leadership of the National Government in its Taiwan refuge. A few days later, Ch'en Ch'eng became president of the Executive Yuan at Taipei. He also became a member of the Central Reform Committee of the Kuomintang when it was set up in August 1950.

Two years later, he became a member of the standing committee of the Central Committee elected by the Seven
h National Congress of the Kuom

Biography in Chinese

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