Biography in English

Chang Ch'ün (1899-), prominent member of the Kuomintang, was a close friend of Chiang Kai-shek and of Huang Fu (q.v.). As minister of foreign affairs in 1935-37, he played an important role in China's relations with Japan. He served as secretary general of the Supreme National Defense Council (1938-42) and as wartime governor of Szechwan (1940-45). He became secretary general in the President's office in Taipei in 1954.

Little is known of Chang Ch' tin's childhood except that he was born in the Huayang district of Szechwan. After a conventional education in the Chinese classics, he passed an entrance examination in 1906 for admission to a national military academy, the T'ung-kuo lu-chün such'eng hsueh-hsiao, at Paoting in north China. The next year, 40 students from that academy, including Chang, were selected to go to Japan for further study. In Tokyo, the Chinese cadets enrolled in a preparatory military school, the Shimbu Gakko, which had been established there by the ministry of war. In 1907 Chang Ch'ün and his fellow-student Chiang Kai-shek joined the T'ung-meng-hui. After completing preparatory work at the Shimbu Gakko, Chang Ch'ün and Chiang Kai-shek received field training with the 13th Field Artillery (Takada) Regiment of the Japanese Army.

After the Wuhan revolt of October 1911, both cadets left their regiment in Japan and hastened to Shanghai, where they served under Ch'en Ch'i-mei (q.v.). Chang Ch'ün also served as [ 47 ] Chang Ch'ün staff officer in charge of the arsenal department of the 23rd Division, commanded by Huang Fu (q.v.). He became a regimental commander under Huang Fu in the spring of 1912. Chang Ch'ün, Chiang Kai-shek, and Huang Fu became sworn, or blood, brothers.

Because of their services to the revolutionary cause, Chang Ch'ün and Huang Fu were selected to go to Europe for further study. Late in 1912 they and their wives went north to Peking, planning to join Ch'en Ch'i-mei in Japan before embarking for Europe. However, the March 1913 assassination of Sung Chiao-jen (q.v.) by men generally assumed to have been agents of Yuan Shih-k'ai caused an abrupt change of plans. Ch'en Ch'i-mei cancelled the projected European trip, and he and his T'ung-meng-hui associates went to Shanghai to join battle with Yuan. During the socalled second revolution of 1913, Chang Ch'ün served under Ch'en Ch'i-mei in the Shanghai area. After that effort failed, Chang fled to Japan.

After completing his military training at the Shikan Gakko [military academy] in 1915, Chang visited the Netherlands East Indies, where he taught in an overseas Chinese school in Java to support himself. When Yuan Shihk'ai made his final monarchical attempt, Chang Ch'ün returned incognito to Shanghai, where he participated in the anti-Yuan campaign as a staff officer in the Chekiang military headquarters of the Kuomintang. In 1917-18 Chang was at Canton, where he served as adjutant general under Ts'en Ch'unhsuan. He went to Japan to argue on behalf of the Canton regime against a Japanese loan to the northern government at Peking, but his mission was unsuccessful. In 1918 he returned to his native Szechwan, where he served for some two years as commissioner of police in the provincial government and, concurrently, as head of the police bureau at Chengtu. In 1921 he left Chengtu for north China, where his friend Huang Fu had come into favor with Hsu Shih-ch'ang. Chang Ch'ün, despite his Kuomintang background and connections, worked closely with Huang in the northern government.

Through his association with Huang Fu at Peking, Chang Ch'ün came into contact with Feng Yü-hsiang (q.v.), at whose headquarters Huang often lectured to senior officers. In 1924 Chang Ch'ün joined Feng's Kuominchun, serving in its Second Army when Feng conducted his campaign against Wu P'ei-fu. Chang then was appointed police commissioner in Honan and chief of the police bureau at Kaifeng. When Feng was defeated by Wu P'ei-fu and others in Honan in 1926, he and his Kuominchun turned to support the Kuomintang in anticipation of the Northern Expedition. Thus, through his temporary connection with Feng, Chang Ch'ün was reunited with Chiang Kaishek, who was commander in chief of the Northern Expedition. When the National Revolutionary Army moved into Kiangsi in November 1926, Chang Ch'ün became the chief councillor of Chiang Kai-shek's headquarters at Nanchang. After the Nationalist forces under Chiang Kai-shek reached the Nanking-Shanghai area in the spring of 1927 and purged the Communists, Chang Ch'ün was placed in charge of the Shanghai arsenal. He worked closely with Huang Fu, who was named mayor of Shanghai, to ameliorate Chiang Kai-shek's relations with local Chinese business leaders and to enlist support, often through political bargains, from influential groups outside the Kuomintang. When Chiang Kai-shek resigned his posts in September and went to Japan, Chang Ch'ün accompanied him. In Tokyo they called on a number of Japanese leaders, including the premier, General Tanaka Güchi, in an attempt to assess Japanese attitudes toward the projected Nationalist advance into north China. Tanaka stated that the Nationalists would be well advised, for the time being at least, to consolidate their position in the south, though he gave the impression that Japanese military intervention was unlikely.

When Chiang Kai-shek returned to China and his military command at the beginning of 1928, the Nationalist forces resumed their push northward. In February 1928 Chang Ch'ün became a member of the foreign affairs committee of the Central Political Council, the new policy-making body of the Kuomintang. He directed the Shanghai arsenal and served as first political vice minister in the ministry of war. When the Nationalist forces reached Tsinan in Shantung province, the Japanese reacted vigorously, allegedly to protect Japanese interests in that area. Chang Ch'ün went to Tokyo and attempted to persuade Tanaka to settle the Tsinan incident through regular diplomatic channels. Chang's success was -Jimited: although the Tsinan incident was contained, basic settlement remained impossible because the Japanese commander in Shantung deliberately misinterpreted the restraining orders from Tokyo. In September 1928, after the conclusion of the Northern Expedition, Chang Ch'ün again was sent to Japan, where he privately informed Tanaka of the forthcoming accession of Chiang Kai-shek to the presidency of the Executive Yuan and appealed for a friendly Japanese attitude with respect to Manchuria—so as not to hinder the unification of China. In March 1929, Chang Ch'ün was elected to the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang. Later in 1929, he was named to succeed Huang Fu as mayor of Shanghai. Chang Ch'ün's tenure as mayor of Shanghai from 1929 to 1931 was marked by efforts at modernizing the city.

Chang also continued to assist Chiang Kaishek in strengthening his position at Nanking in the face of continued threats from dissident Nationalist generals. When Yen Hsi-shan and Feng Yü-hsiang joined forces against Chiang in 1930, Chang Ch'ün and Wu T'ieh-ch'eng were sent to Manchuria to persuade Chang Hsueh-liang (q.v.) to support Nanking rather than the northern generals. Although Chang Hsueh-liang was acting on his own behalf when he moved troops into north China in September 1930, the Chang Ch'ün mission nevertheless helped to save Chiang Kai-shek from possible defeat in the civil war and marked an important step toward the unification of China under Chiang.

Chang Ch'ün believed that China, beset with internal weaknesses and conflicts, should not attempt to fight Japan single-handedly. His resulting unpopularity with strongly anti- Japanese groups in Shanghai was one factor leading to his resignation as Shanghai's mayor in 1931. Chang Ch'ün then served Chiang Kai-shek as a trusted staff officer in the development of long-range policy. With respect to domestic affairs, that policy called for strengthening the position of the National Government and extending its practical control over outlying areas which served as territorial bases for regional rulers or for Communist insurgents. Policy with respect to Japanese aggression called for a flexible combination of limited resistance in cases where there appeared to be no alternative and of local appeasement in situations where adjustment was the only alternative to disastrous defeat. Chang Ch'ün made notable contributions to the implementation of the policy. After serving at Peiping during the winter of 1931, he was placed in charge of the political section of Chiang Kai-shek's field headquarters. The objective was to uproot the Communist Hupeh-Honan-Anhwei base area in 1932-33.

On the recommendation of Huang Fu and Chang Ch'ün, Yang Yung-t'ai (q.v.) became one of Chiang Kai-shek's advisers and exerted great influence on policy. Huang and Yang were key figures in the group of moderate conservatives around Chiang Kai-shek known as the cheng-hsueh-hsi [political study group], sometimes called the Political Science Group (for details, see Huang Fu). After Huang and Yang died in 1936, Chang Ch'ün became its leading representative in the National Government, and his connection with the cheng- hsuehhsi during the 1930's provides a key to his political behavior in public office. Chinese foreign policy was tested severely when the Japanese breached the Great Wall line and began to threaten Peiping, the loss of which would have dealt a severe blow to the National Government at Nanking. Huang Fu, sent to take charge of the political situation in north China, arranged with the Japanese the Tangku Truce of May 1933. Chang Ch'ün went to Peiping to assist Huang and to maintain appropriate liaison with Chiang Kai-shek's headquarters. After the external pressure from Japan was eased, Chang Ch'ün was assigned in mid- 1933 to be governor of Hupeh. He held that post until 1935, while the National Government attempted to stabilize central China. Among Chang's accomplishments in Hupeh were famine relief, tax reassessment, promotion of local industry, balancing of the budget, consolidation of offices and increase in administrative efficiency, selection of qualified magistrates, and the convening of a provincial administrative council.

Renewed pressure from Japan in 1935 caused Chang Ch'ün to leave the governorship of Hupeh. He soon was succeeded by Yang Yung-t'ai. In December 1935, when Wang Ching-wei was forced to resign all official posts after he had been wounded by a would-be assassin at Nanking, Chiang Kai-shek took over Wang's post as president of the Executive Yuan, and Chang Ch'ün replaced Wang as foreign minister. In assuming his new position, Chang changed Wang's policy of no direct negotiations to one of dealing with Japan in the hope of resolving outstanding cases of disputes and of readjusting relations between the two countries. As a prelude to this policy shift, Nanking at the beginning of 1935 had published a long article in the Wai-chiao p'ing-lun [diplomatic review] entitled "Enemy or Friend?" (see Ch'en Pu-lei). As foreign minister, Chang Ch'ün at once approached Tokyo with the prospect of negotiations based on a regional understanding with respect to north China which would take account of the special Japanese position there while leaving the area under the over-all control of Nanking. The favorable response of the Japanese government curbed the efforts of the Japanese military to create an "autonomous area" and eased the crisis between the two governments.

Chang Ch'ün's foremost purpose was to gain time rather than to explore the possibilities of reaching agreements with Japan. In an important speech on 24 May 1936 he stressed that Chinese policy was one of laissez-faire and argued that economic cooperation was preferable to political encroachment by Japan. So far as China was concerned, Chang stated, outstanding problems could be adjusted, not merely as a means of easing the situation in north China, but "with the objective of ensuring peaceful co-existence of the two peoples for generations to come." Chang finally consented to hold formal negotiations at Nanking in the autumn of 1936, though he stipulated that the discussions were to be merely exploratory. In seven sessions with Kawagoe Shigeru, the Japanese ambassador, he shrewdly employed delaying tactics which led neither to specific agreement nor to total disagreement. When the Chinese army scored a surprise victory over Japanese-supported insurgents in Inner Mongolia, Chang took advantage of that development. He declined, but did not reject, numerous Japanese demands on the grounds that both anti-Japanese and anti-Communist activities were domestic Chinese problems not subject to intervention, certainly not by a Japanese government that professed to seek friendship with China. The long negotiations thus ended with no result other than the settlement of two inconsequential local incidents. This diplomatic episode was soon overshadowed by the Sian Incident of December 1936 and the national unification of China. In the ensuing reorganization of the cabinet at Nanking, Chang resigned from his post as foreign minister. However, his policy toward Japan continued to be followed for several months.

When the Japanese military invasion began in July 1937, Chang Ch'ün abandoned his hopes for appeasement or negotiation. His abilities and prestige as a negotiator were soon put to good use in domestic politics. In August 1937 he was named secretary general of the National Military Council, the newly organized policy-making body, with Ch'en Pu-lei as his deputy. In that position, he served as the Chinese government's representative when the German ambassador to China, Oskar Trautmann, attempted to mediate between China and Japan after the Japanese attack on Nanking at the end of 1937. In early 1938 Chang Ch'ün was named vice president of the Executive Yuan in a new reorganization of the National Government, the seat of which had been moved from Nanking to Chungking. Liu Hsiang (q.v.), the governor of Szechwan, died suddenly and mysteriously at Hankow in late January 1938. At that time Chang was director of the Generalissimo's headquarters at Chungking, and the National Government apparently intended to appoint him to succeed Liu, but Szechwan generals indicated rather determined resistance, with the result that Chiang Kai-shek himself had to assume the post of acting governor for a transitional period. In January 1939 Chang Ch'ün was appointed secretary general of the newly created Supreme National Defense Council. He was made governor of Szechwan in November 1940. He held that post until the end of the Japanese war in 1945, during which period his mission was to ensure the stability and security of the National Government's territorial base. In the 1940's Chang Ch'ün was often in contact with the local military commanders of southwest China, the leaders of minor political parties, and representatives of the Chinese Communist party. Even from political opponents, he earned substantial respect and enjoyed a measure of confidence. During the war years, he helped to deal with local Szechwan troops, which previously had not been under National (government control. He worked to improve the provincial administration of Szechwan and took steps to establish local representative assemblies in the province. However, his efforts were not notably successful. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, Chang's role as a negotiator assumed new importance in the context of the developing struggle between the Kuomintang and the Communists for national authority in China. At the end of August 1945, Mao Tse-tung arrived at Chungking for discussions with Chiang Kai-shek. In the working-level conferences, Chang Ch'ün was assigned, together with Wang Shih-chieh and Shao Li-tzu, to talk with the Communist negotiators led by Chou En-lai and WangJo-fei. After some 40 days of intermittent talks, the meetings were terminated as being inconclusive. In January 1946 the so-called Committee of Three—Chang Ch'ün, Chou En-lai, and General George C. Marshall—was established to work toward a truce between the Nationalist and Communist forces. A Political Consultative Conference then was called, with eight representatives from the Kuomintang, including Chang Ch'ün; seven from the Chinese Communist party, including Chou En-lai; fourteen from other political parties; and nine nonpartisan participants. At the first committee session, on 10 January 1946, a truce agreement was signed by Chang Ch'ün and Chou En-lai, but the agreement proved to be ineffectual. After the breakdown of the mediation negotiations in mid- 1946, Chang Ch'ün made a trip to the United States, presumably to broaden his contacts with officials in the United States government, whose aid had become indispensable to the Nationalist cause. Early in 1947 he visited Japan to establish contact with the American authorities in Tokyo and with potentially influential Japanese political figures. In April 1947 Chang was named president of the Executive Yuan, or premier, in a new coalition government at Nanking. Chang's political platform was composed of necessary declarations of intention designed to secure and sustain American aid. He included some representatives of minor parties, though no Communists, in his cabinet to symbolize the abandonment of one-party rule by the Kuomintang. His political program called for preparing China for government based on the new constitution adopted by the National Assembly in 1946 and scheduled to take effect by the end of 1947. His economic program heralded price control, currency stabilization, tax readjustments, land reform, and encouragement of production. However, the post of premier had never been powerful under Chiang Kai-shek, and Chang Ch'un, despite his longstanding personal ties with Chiang, was powerless to implement his platform. With respect to the military situation, Chang continued to hope that, after the hostilities had reached a certain stage, a political compromise might still be possible. However, the military balance grew increasingly unfavorable to the National Government and soon rendered political settlement impossible. Chang resigned the premiership in May 1948.

Chang remained loyal to Chiang Kai-shek and attempted to do what he could to save the National Government from total collapse and defeat. As a councillor in the President's office, he went to Japan in August-September 1948 to confer with General Douglas MacArthur and with key Japanese leaders. In a broadcast to the Japanese people, he emphasized the importance of Sino-Japanese cooperation to promote regional security in Asia. After his return from Tokyo, Chang assumed the post of secretary general of the Central Political Council of the Kuomintang. At the beginning of 1949, he was suggested as a possible negotiator with the Communists, who were then consolidating their control of Tientsin and Peiping in north China. However, he could not serve because he was on the Communist list of war criminals which had appeared in December 1948.

In the spring of 1949, Chang Ch'un flew to Chungking to see if he could secure Szechwan as a government base. He found the situation in the southwest so unstable that salvage action seemed impossible. After the fall of Chungking to the Communists at the end of November 1949, defeat in Szechwan was inevitable. Chiang Kai-shek flew to Chengtu and left to seek refuge in Taiwan in early December. Chiang sent Chang Ch'un to Kunming to attempt to stop Lu Han, the governor of Yunnan, from turning over that province to the Communists. The mission was totally unsuccessful. On 11 December 1949 Lu Han declared allegiance to the Communists. He detained Chang Ch'un until 23 December, when the last Nationalist resistance in the southwest was drawing to an end and after Nationalist military aircraft had circled Kunming and had dropped warnings regarding Chang's personal safety. After his release, Chang went to Taiwan. In March 1950, Chang Ch'un became a senior adviser in the President's office. Because of his many connections with Japan and his experience in negotiating with the Japanese, Chang continued to play a leading role as a trusted adviser to Chiang Kai-shek on Sino- Japanese relations. The Japanese peace treaty, negotiated under United States sponsorship and signed at San Francisco in 1951 without the direct participation of Taipei, terminated Japanese sovereignty over Taiwan. In April 1952 a peace treaty was concluded between Japan and the Republic of China and was signed at Taipei. In his trips to Japan after 1950, Chang Ch'ün stressed Japan's new relations with the Chinese government on Taiwan, the importance of the ties of both governments to the United States, and the common threat to both posed by the Soviet Union. He received a warm welcome when he made an official visit to Japan in 1957 as a special envoy of Chiang Kai-shek, 50 years after he and Chiang had arrived in Japan as military cadets. Chang visited Japan again in 1964 to attempt to smooth over friction that had arisen over the issue ofJapanese trade with the mainland of China.

After 1954 Chang Ch'ün was secretary general of the President's office at Taipei. In 1958 he made a notable speech at Taipei, stressing that life begins at 70. This speech reflected political as well as personal belief, for Chang's credo was intended to convey the impression that the elderly men controlling the government in Taiwan did not intend to disqualify themselves as Chinese rulers. Late in 1965 Chang Ch'ün visited Europe as the special envoy of Chiang Kai-shek to the closing session of the Ecumenical Council in Rome. He was received by Pope Paul VI in a special audience on 8 December 1965, and he addressed a meeting of Chinese priests, including Archbishop Paul Yu-pin, and clergymen from other countries.

Largely through the influence of his wife, Ma Yü-ying, Chang Ch'ün had become a Christian in the 1930's. His early training in the Confucian classics continued to color his outlook, with the result that his personal philosophy was a blend of Confucianism and Christianity. Of his three children, one son, Chang Chi-chung (Teddy Chang) was ordained a minister of the Southern Baptist Church in Taiwan in 1961.

Biography in Chinese


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