Biography in English

Chiang Ching-kuo (1909-), the eldest son of Chiang Kai-shek. After spending almost 12 years in the Soviet Union, he returned to China and served the National Government in various posts. In Taiwan, Chiang advanced steadily in influence and importance, heading the general political department of the ministry of defense and then serving as deputy secretary general of the National Defense Council, minister without portfolio, and minister of national defense. Born at Ch'ik'ou, Fenghua, Chekiang province, Chiang Ching-kuo was the son of Chiang Kai-shek and his first wife. When Chiang Chingkuo was born, his father was in Japan. Chiang Ching-kuo was raised under the strict Buddhist discipline of his paternal grandmother. He entered the Wushan School in Chekiang in March 1916 and studied there for two academic years. In December 1917 Chiang Kai-shek entrusted his son's education to his own former tutor, Ku Ch'ing-lien, and to another teacher named Wang Ou-sheng. In 1921 Chiang Ching-kuo entered the Lung-chin Middle School at Fenghua, where his father had studied in 1906. A few months after the death of his grandmother in the summer of 1921, Chiang Ching-kuo was sent from Fenghua to Shanghai. There, in March 1922, he entered the Wan-chu School. He was graduated in the winter of 1924, and he enrolled in the Pootung Middle School in the spring of 1925. After participating in the anti-imperialist agitation of that year, sparked by clashes between the British police in Shanghai and Chinese students, he was expelled from school. His father then sent him to Peking, where he became a student in the small private school that the veteran republican revolutionary and classical scholar Wu Chih-hui (q.v.) operated for the children of Kuomintang leaders. During his brief stay at Peking, Chiang was arrested and jailed for two weeks for participating in student demonstrations against the policies of the Peking government.

Chiang Ching-kuo went to Canton in August 1925 to obtain his father's permission to study in the Soviet Union. Chiang Kai-shek, who had visited Moscow on a mission for Sun Yat-sen during the late months of 1923, was closely associated with the program of Soviet military assistance to the Kuomintang. He then was serving as commandant of the Whampoa Military Academy, which had been established in 1924. Whatever Chiang Kai-shek's thoughts about his son's desire to go to the Soviet Union may have been, he did not stand in the way of the proposed trip. Chiang Ching-kuo and other Chinese youths left for Russia by cargo ship in October 1925. In Moscow, despite his youth and the inadequacies of his formal education in China, he was permitted to enter Sun Yat-sen University, which had been opened that year for the training of Chinese revolutionary cadres. Chiang Ching-kuo joined the Communist Youth Corps in December 1925. He was graduated from Sun Yat-sen University in April 1927. He then asked to return to China, but was not allowed to do so.

The Kuomintang-Communist alliance in China fell apart in 1927, and Kuomintang leaders associated with Chiang Kai-shek began a purge of Communists in areas under their control in central and south China. Chiang Chingkuo was completely isolated from China. He was not even allowed to mail a letter. In 1928 he was selected by the Soviet government for advanced studies at the Central Tolmatchev Military and Political Institute in Leningrad. After his graduation from the Central Institute in May 1930, Chiang again asked permission to return to China. As a second choice, he asked to be assigned to the Russian army. However, the Chinese Communist delegation in Moscow allowed him neither choice. At the end ofJune 1930, he was appointed assistant director of the Chinese students visiting group at Lenin University, formerly Sun Yat-sen University. He was assigned to accompany a group of students on a trip to the Outer Caucasus and the Ukraine. When he returned to Moscow from this trip, he was seriously ill. After his recovery, in October 1930 Chiang was employed by the Tinama electrical plant as an apprentice. At a meeting, Chiang Ching-kuo verbally attacked Ch'en Shao-yü (q.v.), the head of the Chinese Communist delegation in Moscow. As a result, he was asked by Comintern officials to leave Moscow and to go to a mining plant in Alta, Siberia. Because ofhis poor health, Chiang appealed to the Russian Communist party not to send him to the north. This request was granted, and in the autumn of 1931 he was sent to Shekov village near Moscow and was given a horse and some farming tools. At the end of October 1932 he was recalled to Moscow for reassignment. In January 1933 he was sent to Alta to work in a gold mine, as had been advised by the Chinese Communist delegation. Chiang was reassigned to the Ural Heavy Machinery Plant at Sverdlovsk as a technician in October 1933. A year later, he became assistant director of the plant and the chief edi-tor of the plant newspaper. During the period from August to November 1934, he was placed under the surveillance of the NKVD.

Chiang had met an orphaned Russian girl named Faina at the Ural plant in 1933. She had just been graduated from the Workers' Technical School and was working under Chiang's supervision. Two years later, in March 1935, they were married.

In January 1936, Chiang went to Moscow on instructions from the Comintern. Ch'en Shaoyü tried to force Chiang to write a letter to his mother according to Ch'en's dictation. The proposed letter said that Chiang had become a dedicated Communist, and it contained a refusal to return to China and an attack on Chiang Kai-shek. They argued for three days about the content ofthe letter without reaching agreement. Chiang later gave in and agreed to write the proposed letter if he could add a note at the end of the letter saying, "if you wish to see me, please come to Western Europe and let us meet there." The next day, Chiang showed a copy of the letter to the general director of the NKVD and told him that he was forced to write it, pointing out his objections to its content. After conferring with Ch'en Shao-yü, the director suggested that the letter be destroyed. However, as Chiang learned later, it had already been sent to China and had been published.

Ch'en Shao-yü agreed to let Chiang write another letter. Reportedly, this communication was unsatisfactory also, for there was much that Chiang was afraid to say. He tried to convey his longing for his family in one sentence: "I have never stopped even for one day the desire to have some home-cooked food which I have missed for such a long time." Apparently, Chiang unsuccessfully sought another opportunity to get in touch with his parents.

In September 1936, Chiang was dismissed from his posts at the Ural Heavy Machinery Plant by the Ural Committee of the Russian Communist party. His alternate membership in the Communist party also was rescinded. In December 1936, the Soviet Union, through the Chinese Communist party, took action to preserve Chiang Kai-shek as the national leader of China after he had been detained by Chang Hsueh-liang (q.v.) and others who supported a national united front against the Japanese. Then Chiang Ching-kuo wrote to Stalin, pleading to be allowed to return to China. His request was granted, and on 25 March 1937 Chiang, his wife, and their two children left Moscow for China.

After an absence of almost 12 years, Chiang Ching-kuo, then nearly 28, arrived at Shanghai in April 1937. Contemporary press reports quoted sources close to Chiang Kai-shek as saying that reports of estrangement between father and son were "Russian inventions" and stated that Chiang Ching-kuo had "made his peace with his father" and that the two had met at Hangchow to discuss the young man's future. Chiang Ching-kuo returned to Ch'ik'ou in Chekiang and spent some three months at the family home, where his mother still lived. Chiang Ching-kuo reportedly was assigned to study, under the direction of a tutor, the works of the seventeenth-century philosopher Yen Yuan as a method of inculcating in him the traditional discipline of the ancient Chinese sages.

The outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war in July 1937 afforded Chiang Ching-kuo an opportunity for "political rehabilitation." Shortly after the conflict began, Hsiung Shih-hui (q.v.), the governor of Kiangsi province, proposed to Chiang Kai-shek that his son be sent to work in the Kiangsi provincial government. Chiang Kai-shek approved the proposal, and in January 1938 Chiang Ching-kuo went to Nanchang as deputy commander of the Kiangsi provincial peace preservation corps. Later in 1938 he joined the Kuomintang.

Chiang Ching-kuo was assigned to train troops at Linch'uan, and he proved to be a capable officer. When the provincial government moved to T'aiho after the Japanese engulfed Nanchang in March 1939, Chiang was appointed supervisory officer of the fourth administrative district, which was composed of 1 1 hsien in southern Kiangsi and which included the area which had formerly been the chief Chinese Communist territorial base. After the Communists had withdrawn in late 1934, the area had been dominated by local gentry, who paid scant attention to the provincial government authorities. Chiang Ching-kuo reportedly approached his duties with the thought of becoming a twentieth-century counterpart of Wang Yang-ming ( 1 472-1 529) , a Chekiang man who had won fame as a military man and as a civil administrator in southern Kiangsi. Chiang established himself at Kanhsien, where he began a vigorous program of social reform and political consolidation based on Marxist-Leninist principles and on the teachings of Yen Yuan. Chiang personally selected a group of assistants to implement the program. He also directed the Kiangsi branch of the Chinese Youth Corps.

Chiang Ching-kuo took stern measures to prohibit gambling, opium smoking, and prostitution. He established governmental authority quickly by punishing offenders severely. He utilized secret police methods to consolidate his power over the local gentry and the hsien magistrates. In 1940 Chiang launched a modest three-year plan for economic and social reform in southern Kiangsi and made Kanhsien itself an experimental area for some of his theories about government administration. He won popular acclaim for improving sanitation and public health, developing local industries, and introducing reforms in popular education and government service training. It was generally agreed that Chiang Ching-kuo's administrative methods were authoritarian, and he became widely known as the "iron commissioner" of Kanhsien. Taxes were high, but he won a reputation as a vigorous administrator. Beginning in 1941 Chiang Kai-shek frequently summoned his son to Chungking. In 1943 Chiang Ching-kuo and his wife, known in China as Fang-liang, joined the Methodist Church at Chungking. By 1943 Chiang Kaishek evidently had decided that his son had remained long enough in the rural areas, and he made preparatory moves for his transfer. Chiang Ching-kuo was relieved of his responsibilities at Kanhsien, and most of his subordinate officers were reassigned. In December 1943 Chiang Ching-kuo was made a member of the Kiangsi provincial government council, and he was appointed dean of studies at the Youth Cadres Training School at Chungking in January 1944. He was given concurrent responsibilities in the central organization department of the Kuomintang in 1945. As the Second World War drew to a close, Chiang Ching-kuo was assigned, as his father's personal representative, to accompany T. V. Soong (q.v.) to Moscow and attempt to reach an agreement on provisions of the Yalta pact that concerned China. The initial discussions were not satisfactory to the Chinese negotiators, and Chiang Kai-shek directed his son, who spoke Russian fluently, to arrange a personal meeting with Stalin. However, the meeting did not soften the Soviet dictator's attitude with respect to the postwar settlement.

At the end of the Second World War, in the initial allocation of Nationalist posts in Manchuria, Chiang Ching-kuo's former chief in Kiangsi, Hsiung Shih-hui, received the position of top political administrator, and the banker Chang Kia-ngau (Chang Chia-ao, q.v.) was assigned responsibility for economic affairs. Chiang Ching-kuo, despite his lack of diplomatic experience, was appointed special foreign affairs commissioner for the Northeast, with primary responsibility for dealing with the Soviet military forces which had advanced to occupy that area in August. He left Chungking with Hsiung Shih-hui, and they arrived in Changchun on 13 October 1945. In Manchuria, Chiang confronted an outstanding Russian military commander, Marshal Rodion Ya. Malinovsky, hardly one to be dominated by a young man who had spent more than a decade of his life in a subordinate status in the Soviet Union. Russian obstacles to the extension of Nationalist military and political control into Manchuria caused the National Government on 15 November to order its officials at Changchun to withdraw. Chiang Ching-kuo remained behind and negotiated an agreement with Malinovsky, concluded on 30 November 1945, which permitted postponement of Soviet troop withdrawal until Nationalist troops moved into Manchuria. He held new talks with Malinovsky in early December. By then it had become apparent that Nationalist gains from the Sino- Soviet agreements of August 1945 would be smaller than anticipated and that the Chinese Communists were already establishing territorial bases in the Manchurian countryside in preparation for military operations. On 25 December 1945, Chiang Ching-kuo left for Moscow as his father's personal representative. He was received by Stalin and Molotov on 30 December 1 945, and he met once again with Stalin. In his account of the mission in his book, Wo-ti fu-ch'in [my father], Chiang reported that Stalin had indicated that the Soviet Union stood ready to assist the postwar economic rehabilitation of China, including Manchuria and Sinkiang, on condition that China would not permit American military power in China and would not rely on the United States. According to Chiang Ching-kuo he and his father saw through Stalin's plot and rejected the Soviet proposition.

Chiang Ching-kuo returned to China from Moscow on 14 January 1946, shortly after the Political Consultative Conference had met at Chungking in an attempt to arrange a settlement of China's internal political problems. At a critical meeting of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang held in early March, decisions were made that effectively undercut both the preliminary decisions of the Political Consultative Conference and the mediation efforts of General George C. Marshall, who had arrived in China in December 1945. Since developments in Manchuria affected the issue of peace or civil war, Chiang Ching-kuo's handling of the situation there was criticized by both the top Kuomintang command and the Political Consultative Conference. The latter, on 31 March, adopted a resolution charging mismanagement in Manchuria and demanding an investigation—which was never undertaken of the actions of Chiang Ching-kuo, Hsiung Shih-hui, and Chang Kia-ngau. Civil war between Nationalist and Communist forces broke out again in June 1946 after the expiration of a temporary truce that had been arranged by General Marshall.

After his return to China in 1946, Chiang Ching-kuo accompanied his father on a brief journey to southern Kiangsi; it was Chiang Kai-shek's first visit there since his son had held office at Kanhsien. Chiang Ching-kuo had been able to dominate the small pond that was southern Kiangsi, but in postwar Nanking the political currents were faster and more treacherous. He was appointed dean of studies at the Central Political Institute (see Ch'en Kuo-fu), but political frictions soon forced him out of that position. He had to be content with lesser posts at Nanking, where he was concerned with renewed but belated efforts to mobilize and train young people for service in the drive against the Communists. He also assumed control of a newspaper, but had little success in that endeavor.

Economic conditions in the areas of China remaining under National Government control deteriorated rapidly during this period. By the summer of 1948 Chiang Kai-shek had recognized that hyper-inflation constituted a serious threat to his political control. In July of that year, Chiang Ching-kuo was sent to Shanghai, where he conferred with the garrison authorities regarding measures to curb speculation and the black market. On 19 August 1948 the National Government launched a new currency reform, introduced the so-called gold yuan script, and pegged commodity prices. On 21 August, O. K. Yui (Yü Hung-chun, q.v.) was named economic control supervisor for the Shanghai area, with Chiang Ching-kuo as his deputy. Their formal powers embraced all of Kiangsu, Chekiang, and Anhwei provinces, but the main theater of operations was Shanghai itself. Chiang Chingkuo made headlines by announcing drastic control measures, by summarily executing a number of black market speculators, and by arresting many merchants and bankers, but his methods did not bring order to the chaotic economic situation then prevailing at Shanghai. When Chiang arrested the son of the prominent Shanghai figure Tu Yueh-sheng (q.v.) and David K'ung, the son of H. H. K'ung (q.v.), his stepmother, Soong Mei-ling, at once intervened. She took her nephew David to see Chiang Kaishek and then sent him to Hong Kong. On 31 October 1948, the National Government at Nanking issued new economic regulations that, in effect, accepted the inflation. On the following day—as Mukden, the last Nationalist stronghold in Manchuria, fell to the Communists the cabinet headed by Wong Wen-hao (q.v.) resigned, as did Chiang Ching-kuo. Chiang issued a proclamation containing a public apology to the Shanghai public for the failure of the 19 August regulations, acknowledging that his control measures had "aggravated the sufferings of the people in some respects." Military operations during the final weeks of 1948 resulted in steady Nationalist losses, and Chiang Kai-shek made a belated attempt to seek a compromise settlement with the Communists. When that effort failed, Chiang formally retired from the presidency on 21 January 1949. He appointed his long-time associate Ch'en Ch'eng governor of Taiwan and made Chiang Chingkuo director of the Taiwan headquarters of the Kuomintang. Chiang Kai-shek then left Nanking and flew to his family home in Chekiang. Although Li Tsung-jen (q.v.) was acting President, Chiang, in his capacity as tsung-ts'ai [party leader] of the Kuomintang, continued to direct men and armies from Fenghua. On Chiang Kai-shek's order, Chiang Ching-kuo withdrew substantial holdings of gold bullion from the Central Bank for shipment to Taiwan. He then assumed responsibility for political work at Shanghai during the last futile Nationalist attempt to defend China's major metropolis. In the early autumn of 1949 Chiang Chingkuo accompanied his father to Chungking, where they planned a unified defense of the southwestern provinces. Since the plan necessarily involved the cooperation of Yunnan, Chiang Ching-kuo flew to Kunming on 22 September to prepare for talks with the provincial governor, Lu Han (q.v.), whose loyalty to the Kuomintang was dubious because of Chiang Kai-shek's treatment of Lung Yun (q.v.), his predecessor and relative. Chiang Kai-shek arrived at Kunming on the following day. His son's close surveillance of Lu Han during the brief interval before the meeting is said to have prevented Lu Han from arranging a coup that might have netted Chiang Kai-shek himself. The Kunming meeting proceeded safely, though it bore no fruit. The Chiangs then flew to Canton for a conference with Li Tsung-jen. In November, Chiang Ching-kuo and his father were again in Chungking, then threatened by the rapid Communist military advance. In December 1949 they boarded a military aircraft at Chengtu and flew to the island of Taiwan. Chiang Kai-shek resumed the post of President on 1 March 1950 and confronted the task of establishing his personal authority in Taiwan. Because he was aware of the necessity of having an absolutely reliable assistant, Chiang selected his son. Beginning in 1950 Chiang Ching-kuo, with his father's backing, advanced steadily in influence and importance.

Because Chiang Kai-shek believed the strengthening of political control in the Nationalist military forces to be of prime importance, he appointed Chiang Ching-kuo in 1950 to establish and direct the general political department of the ministry of national defense of the National Government in Taiwan. Working with P'eng Meng-chi (1907-), then deputy commander of the Taiwan peace preservation headquarters, Chiang Ching-kuo came to exercise effective control of the secret police apparatus on the island. In August 1 950 Chiang also was named one of 16 members of a new central reform committee of the Kuomintang, assigned by his father to make plans to revitalize the party's structure and operation. In the early 1950's, when Kuomintang control on Taiwan was based essentially on martial law, the political department of the ministry of national defense gained a reputation for ruthless and effective operations. The department placed political officers in all branches of the military establishment and instituted programs of political indoctrination and surveillance generally similar to those of the Russians and the Chinese Communists. The programs were viewed with distaste by American military officers in Taiwan. Although some practical compromises were worked out, Chiang Ching-kuo, backed by his father, retained the political officers and the dual chain of command, insisting that they were necessary.

Chiang Ching-kuo's rising authority was confirmed at the Seventh National Congress of the Kuomintang, held at Taipei in October 1952. He was elected to the new Central Committee and was made a member of its standing committee. On 31 October 1952, Chiang Ching-kuo was assigned to establish and direct a youth organization designed to stimulate the young people of Taiwan to counterattack and recover the mainland. The Chinese Youth Anti-Communist National Salvation Corps soon pervaded the school system in Taiwan; it was criticized by local educators because it competed with education for the time and interest of students.

In September 1953, shortly after the end of the Korean conflict, Chiang Ching-kuo went to the United States as a guest of the departments of State and Defense and met with President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 1954 he became head of a new organization in Taiwan designed to supervise and rehabilitate Chinese prisoners of war (from the Korean conflict) who had elected not to return to mainland China. In June 1954 his deputy, Chang Yi-ting, succeeded to the office of director of the political department of the ministry of national defense. In September of that year, Chiang Ching-kuo was named deputy secretary general of the National Defense Council, a key organ in the Taiwan military establishment. In that position, he continued to supervise political and security operations. Chiang's personal influence was buttressed by the steady rise of his associate P'eng Meng-chi, who was deputy commander of the Taiwan peace preservation headquarters from 1949 to 1954. In 1954, P'eng became deputy chief of the general staff; in 1955, he was promoted to the post of chief of staff.

United States support of the National Government was confirmed by a mutual defense treaty between the two governments, signed in December 1954. Despite the overwhelming dependence of the Chinese Nationalists on the United States, in May 1957, anti-Western mobs, sparked by a poorly handled local issue involving the killing of a Chinese by an American Army sergeant, roamed Taipei for several hours without effective police opposition. The rioters damaged and looted the American Embassy, gutted the offices of the United States Information Agency, destroyed confidential American government files, and injured several Americans. When the local police appeared, the rioters turned on them and besieged the central police headquarters in Taipei. Units of the Chinese army, fortified by tanks and artillery were ordered into Taipei to restore order. The incident indicated the extent of anti-Western sentiment in Taiwan; the delay in bringing it under control suggested that Chiang Ching-kuo and other officers responsible for military security on the island had not been effective in responding to the crisis.

Chiang Ching-kuo's political position in Taiwan continued to rise. At the Eighth National Congress of the Kuomintang, held in October 1957, he was reelected a top-ranking member of the Central Committee of the party. In July 1958 he was named to the cabinet as minister without portfolio. His principal formal governmental responsibility, aside from his key post as deputy secretary general of the National Defense Council, was to handle veterans' affairs. In 1957 he had been named to direct the Vocational Assistance Commission for Retired Servicemen, the principal veterans' rehabilitation organization in Taiwan. Chiang also directed Nationalist guerrilla warfare operations on the mainland of China. He remained at the top of the complex pyramid of Chinese military intelligence and security agencies in Taiwan.

At the invitation of the United States Department of State, Chiang Ching-kuo made a second visit to the United States in September 1963, when he conferred with senior officials of the American government and talked with President John F. Kennedy about the international situation. After his return to Taiwan, Chiang was reelected a top-ranking member of the Central Committee of the Kuomintang at the Ninth National Congress in November 1963. He remained a member of the standing committee. In March 1964 he was named deputy minister of national defense in the National Government. When the minister, Yu Ta-wei (q.v.), resigned in January 1965, Chiang Ching-kuo was appointed minister of national defense. In that capacity he made an official trip to the United States in September 1965 at the invitation of Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara.

After the death in March 1965 of Ch'en Ch'eng, who had held the positions of vice president and of deputy tsung-ts'ai [party leader] of the Kuomintang, Chiang Ching-kuo consolidated his personal position in Taiwan. His primacy was especially notable in the areas of genuine power: the armed forces, the security and intelligence agencies, and the Kuomintang. Chiang had three sons and one daughter. The eldest son, Alan (1935-), studied in the United States at Georgetown University and the University of California ; he later returned to Taiwan, where he became an office manager of the Taiwan Power Company, a government enterprise. The daughter, Amy, was graduated from middle school in Taiwan; she attended Mills College in California. Later, she married a son of Yü Ta-wei and lived in San Francisco. The two youngest sons, Edward and Alexander, attended school in Taipei. The Chinese names of Chiang Ching-kuo's children were Hsiao-wen, Hsiao-chang, Hsiao-wu, and Hsiao-yung. Reportedly, they were chosen by Chiang Kai-shek. It has been noted that all of their names contain the character that means "filial piety," a virtue that Chiang Kai-shek long has emphasized. Chiang Ching-kuo's publications include Wo ti sheng huo [my life], published in 1947 ; Wo tifu ch'in [my father], published in 1956; and Fu chung chihyüan [bearing the burden and carrying it a long way], published in 1960.

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