Zhang Qiyun

Name in Chinese
Name in Wade-Giles
Chang Ch'i-yün
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Biography in English

Chang Ch'i-yün T. Hsiao-fen

Chang Ch'i-yün (1901-), scholar and official, taught history and geography for many years at National Central and Chekiang universities. He also wrote on the modernization of China. He served in Taiwan in such positions as secretary general of Chiang Kai-shek's office and minister of education.

A native of Yinhsien, Chekiang, Chang Ch'i-yün came from a family of scholars ; both his great-grandfather and grandfather earned the chü-jen degree. His father, Chang Chao-lin, was a student of local history in Chekiang and devoted much energy to the promotion of village education and water conservation schemes. After several years of old-style schooling, Chang Ch'i-yün entered the Fourth Higher Primary School located at the county seat in 1913. Two years later he enrolled at the Provincial Fourth Middle School where he came under the influence of several remarkable teachers. Ch'en K'ang-fu, who taught language and who had been a student of Chang's grandfather and a teacher of Chang's father, directed the youth's attention to education as a career. Hung Yun-hsiang, his history teacher, and Ts'ai Ho-k'eng, his geography teacher, emphasized the interrelationship between history and geography, the two subjects which became Chang's life-long interest.

In the summer of 1919, at the height of the May Fourth Movement, Chang was sent to Shanghai by the Ningpo Student Association to attend the organizational meeting of the All- China Federation of Student Associations. It was probably the first time Chang took part in politics. But it was also the year of his graduation, and he soon left Chekiang to matriculate at the Nanking Higher Normal School, a government supported institution of college level which was tuition-free. There a history professor, Liu I-cheng (q.v.), took a special interest in Chang and prevented him from failing the entrance requirements because of physical frailty. Chang studied philosophy under another well-known scholar, Liu Po-ming (1887-1923), founder of the scholarly Hsueh-heng journal. Chang proved to be an excellent student, and when Liang Ch'i-ch'ao lectured at the Normal School in 1922, he bestowed generous praise upon one of the young man's essays. Chang was graduated in June 1923, the same year that the Normal School was reorganized as Southeast University.

After graduation, Chang Ch'i-yün contracted with the Commercial Press in Shanghai to write a series of geography texts for middle school students. The assignment, which took four years to complete, gave him excellent opportunity to read widely in the firm's well-stocked Oriental library. When Southeast University became National Central University in 1927, following the establishment of the National Government at Nanking, Chang was appointed instructor in geography at his alma mater on the recommendation of Liu I-cheng. He remained at the university for the next ten years and became a full professor. In addition to producing a number of books and translations in the field of geography, he also found time during this period to travel extensively in Chekiang (autumn of 1929), Manchuria (summer of 1931), and the northwestern provinces (autumn of 1935 to summer of 1936). The accounts of his travels published in the Ti-li hsueh-pao [journal of geography] received favorable comment from V. K. Ting, the noted geologist and secretary general of the Academia Sinica. When the Council of the Academia Sinica was inaugurated in 1935, Chang was elected by the participating national universities as one of the councillors. At the age of 35, he was then the youngest councillor and the only one who had never studied abroad.

In the summer of 1936, Chang left Nanking for Hangchow, where he took up a new appointment as chairman of the newly established department of history and geography of National Chekiang University. A year later, Japan invaded China. To avoid enemy destruction, the faculty and student body of the university migrated inland, where they found refuge successively at Chien-te, Chekiang; I-shan, Kwangsi; and Tsunyi, Kweichow. In August 1939 the university, then in Kwangsi, appointed him director of its newly founded research institute of history and geography. In August 1940, when the university was finally located at Tsunyi, Chang, together with several members of the faculty of the college of arts, founded the journal Ssu-hsiang yü shih-tai [thought and the age] which served as a forum for discussion of the problems of China's reconstruction and the interchange of Chinese and Western cultures. In February 1943, the Office of Cultural Relations of the United States Department of State invited six Chinese professors, who had been nominated by the presidents of various Chinese universities, to visit the United States. Chang was among the group who made the trip. They left Chungking on 6 June 1943 and arrived at Miami, Florida, on 21 June, traveling by way of India, Africa, and Brazil. While in the United States, Chang spent most of his time doing research on geopolitics at Harvard's Widener Library. He also visited various cities on the West Coast and the Eastern Seaboard. An interview with President Isaiah Bowman of The Johns Hopkins University in November 1944 was remembered with pleasure by Chang; they discussed China's role as a sea as well as a land power in centuries past.

Chang returned to China in September 1945. After Japan had been defeated, Chekiang University returned to its Hangchow campus. Chang soon was promoted to be dean of the college of arts, succeeding Mei Kuang-ti (q.v.), who died in December 1945. Chang organized the materials that the research institute of history and geography had gathered at Tsunyi and published them in May 1948 as Tsun-yi hsin chih [a new gazetteer of Tsunyi]. This book embodied a new concept for compiling local history. He also succeeded in purchasing the rare Sung editions preserved in the Chiayeh-t'ang library of the Liu family of Nan-hsin and the Yü-hai-lou library of the Sun family of Jui-an for the research institute, which greatly augmented its collection of historical and geographical studies.

Meanwhile, the Chinese civil war was approaching its climax. In June 1949 Chang left the mainland as the Communist forces advanced toward Hangchow. This time there was no migration of universities. In Taiwan Chang left the academic world to become secretary general of the office of the tsung-ts'ai [party leader]. In July 1949 he accompanied Chiang Kai-shek to Baguio to confer with President Elpidio Quirino of the Philippines, a meeting which led to a joint public declaration against Communism. In August of that year he accompanied Chiang Kai-shek to Korea to call on President Syngman Rhee; there the two political leaders reiterated their firm anti- Communist stand. When Chiang Kai-shek formally resumed the presidency of the Republic of China on 1 March 1950, the office of the tsung-ts'ai was abolished, and Chang Ch'i-yün was reassigned to the directorship of the propaganda department of the Kuomintang. In July 1950 he became the secretary general of the central reorganization commission of the Kuomintang. In October 1952 he was elected to the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang at the Seventh National Congress and served concurrently as its secretary general. Thus, in only a few years, Chang attained the top posts in the party hierarchy.

In the spring of 1954 Chang was appointed minister of education in the cabinet of O. K. Yui (Yu Hung-chun, q.v.). During his term of office, which extended from May 1954 to July 1958, Chang reestablished National Cheng-chih University, Tsinghua University, and Chiaotung University in Taiwan; elevated Taiwan Provincial Normal College to university status; restored the National Central Library; and founded the National Historical Museum and the National Taiwan Science Hall. Seeking to move toward free and compulsory middle school education for the youth of Taiwan, Chang in September 1956 eliminated entrance examinations for primary school graduates of the public school system who wished to enter public middle schools in Hsin-chu hsien. It was a cautious experiment, since the fees were retained and middle school education was voluntary. Unfortunately, because of the inadequacy of funds, buildings, equipment, and teachers for the increased enrollment, the experiment aroused more adverse than favorable response. In July 1958, Chang resigned from the ministry and the experiment was quietly discontinued. In the fall of that year he took over the directorship of the Research Institute of National Defense, whose function is similar to that of the National War College in the United States. In the early 1960's he established the Institute for Advanced Chinese Studies at Yangmingshan.

Chang Ch'i-yün's major publications include the following titles: Chung-kuo min-tsu chih [records of the Chinese people], Chung-kuo chingchi ti-li [economic geography of China], Chechiang sheng shih-ti chi-yao [outline of the history and geography of Chekiang province], Chunghua min-kuo shih-kang [outline history of the Chinese republic], Hsin chiao-yü lun-chi [essays on the new education], Chung-hua wu-ch 'ien-nien shih [five thousand years of Chinese history], Chung-kuo ti-li-hsueh yen-chiu [studies in Chinese geography] , and others. He was also the general editor of the Kuo-fu ch'üan-shu [works of the national father], a collection of Sun Yat-sen's principal theoretical and political writings published in 1960 in Taiwan.

Biography in Chinese


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