Conditions during the Chinese Civil War

Following the war, the United States encouraged peace talks between Chiang and Communist leader Mao Zedong in Chongqing. Due to concerns about widespread and well-documented corruption in Chiang's government throughout his rule (though not always with his knowledge) (Sony VGN-Z92YS Battery), the U.S. government limited aid to Chiang for much of the period of 1946 to 1948, in the midst of fighting against the People's Liberation Army led by Mao Zedong. Alleged infiltration of the U.S. government by Chinese Communist agents may have also played a role in the suspension of American aid.

Chiang's right hand man, the secret police Chief Dai Li, was both anti-American and anti-Communist(Sony VGN-Z92PS Battery). Dai ordered Kuomintang agents to spy on American officers. Earlier, Dai had been involved with the Blue Shirts Society, a fascist-inspired paramilitary group within the Kuomintang, which wanted to expel Western and Japanese imperialists, crush the Communists, and eliminate feudalism. Dai Li died in a plane crash, which was an assassination orchestrated by the American OSS or the communists(Sony VGN-Z92JS Battery).

Though Chiang had achieved status abroad as a world leader, his government deteriorated as the result of corruption and inflation. In his diary on June 1948, Chiang wrote that the KMT had failed, not because of external enemies but because of rot from within. The war had severely weakened the Nationalists, while the Communists were strengthened by their popular land-reform policies, and by a rural population that supported and trusted them(Sony VGN-Z92DS Battery). The Nationalists initially had superiority in arms and men, but their lack of popularity, infiltration by Communist agents, low morale, and disorganization soon allowed the Communists to gain the upper hand in the civil war.

Conflict with Li Zongren

Chiang Kai-shek and Li Zongren.

A new Constitution was promulgated in 1947, and Chiang was formally elected by the National Assembly as the first term President of the Republic of China on May 20, 1948. This marked the beginning of what was termed the "democratic constitutional government" period by the KMT political orthodoxy(Sony VGN-Z91YS Battery), but the Communists refused to recognize the new Constitution, and its government, as legitimate. Chiang resigned as President on January 21, 1949, as KMT forces suffered bitter losses and defections to the Communists. After Chiang's resignation the vice-president of the ROC, Li Zongren, became China's president(Sony VGN-Z91PS Battery).

Shortly after Chiang's resignation the Communists halted their advances and attempted to negotiate the virtual surrender of the ROC. Li attempted to negotiate milder terms that would have ended the civil war, but without success. When it became clear that Li was unlikely to accept Mao's terms, the Communists issued an ultimatum in April 1949, warning that they would resume their attacks if Li did not agree within five days. Li refused(Sony VGN-Z91JS Battery).

Li's attempts to carry out his policies faced varying degrees of opposition from Chiang's supporters, and were generally unsuccessful. Chiang especially antagonized Li by taking possession of (and moving to Taiwan) US$200 million of gold and US dollars belonging to the central government that Li desperately needed to cover the government's soaring expenses(Sony VGN-Z91DS Battery). When the Communists captured the Nationalist capital of Nanjing in April 1949, Li refused to accompany the central government as it fled to Guangdong, instead expressing his dissatisfaction with Chiang by retiring to Guangxi.

The former warlord Yan Xishan, who had fled to Nanking only one month before, quickly insinuated himself within the Li-Chiang rivalry, attempting to have Li and Chiang reconcile their differences in the effort to resist the Communists(Sony VGN-Z90US Battery). At Chiang's request Yan visited Li in order to convince Li not to withdraw from public life. Yan broke down in tears while talking of the loss of his home province of Shanxi to the Communists, and warned Li that the Nationalist cause was doomed unless Li went to Guangzhou. Li agreed to return under the condition that Chiang surrender most of the gold and US dollars in his possession that belonged to the central government, and that Chiang stop overriding Li's authority(Sony VGN-Z90S Battery). After Yan communicated these demands and Chiang agreed to comply with them, Li departed for Guangdong.

In Guangdong, Li attempted to create a new government composed of both Chiang supporters and those opposed to Chiang. Li's first choice of premier was Chu Cheng, a veteran member of the Kuomintang who had been virtually driven into exile due to his strong opposition to Chiang. After the Legislative Yuan rejected Chu, Li was obliged to choose Yan Xishan instead. By this time Yan was well-known for his adaptability, and Chiang welcomed his appointment(Sony VGN-Z90PS Battery).

Conflict between Chiang and Li persisted. Although he had agreed to do so as a prerequisite of Li's return, Chiang refused to surrender more than a fraction of the wealth that he had sent to Taiwan. Without being backed by gold or foreign currency, the money issued by Li and Yan quickly declined in value until it became virtually worthless.

Although he did not hold a formal executive position in the government, Chiang continued to issue orders to the army, and many officers continued to obey Chiang rather than Li(Sony VGN-Z90NS Battery). The inability of Li to coordinate KMT military forces led him to put into effect a plan of defense that he had contemplated in 1948. Instead of attempting to defend all of southern China, Li ordered what remained of the Nationalist armies to withdraw to Guangxi and Guangdong, hoping that he could concentrate all available defenses on this smaller, and more easily defensible, area(Sony VGN-Z90FS Battery). The object of Li's strategy was to maintain a foothold on the Chinese mainland in the hope that the United States would eventually be compelled to enter the war in China on the Nationalist side.

Final Communist advance

Chiang opposed Li's plan of defense because it would have placed most of the troops still loyal to Chiang under the control of Li and Chiang's other opponents in the central government. To overcome Chiang's intransigence Li began ousting Chiang's supporters within the central government(Sony VGN-Z898H/X Battery). Yan Xishan continued in his attempts to work with both sides, creating the impression among Li's supporters that he was a "stooge" of Chiang, while those who supported Chiang began to bitterly resent Yan for his willingness to work with Li. Because of the rivalry between Chiang and Li, Chiang refused to allow Nationalist troops loyal to him to aid in the defense of Guangxi and Guangdong, with the result that Communist forces occupied Guangdong in October 1949(Sony VGN-Z890GMR Battery).

After Guangdong fell to the Communists, Chiang relocated the government to Chongqing, while Li effectively surrendered his powers and flew to New York for treatment of his chronic duodenum illness at the Hospital of Columbia University. Li visited the President of the United States, Harry S. Truman, and denounced Chiang as a "dictator" and an "usurper." Li vowed that he would "return to crush" Chiang once he returned to China. Li remained in exile, and did not return to Taiwan(Sony VGN-Z890GLX Battery).

In the early morning of December 10, 1949, Communist troops laid siege to Chengdu, the last KMT controlled city in mainland China, where Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo directed the defense at the Chengdu Central Military Academy. Chiang Kai-shek, father and son, sang the Republic of China National Anthem while leaving the Academy all the way to the airfield. The aircraft May-ling evacuated them to Taiwan on the same day. Chiang Kai-shek would never return to the mainland(Sony VGN-Z820G/B Battery).

Chiang did not formally re-assume the presidency until March 1, 1950. On January 1952, Chiang commanded the Control Yuan, now in Taiwan, to impeach Li in the "Case of Li Zongren's Failure to carry out Duties due to Illegal Conduct" (李宗仁違法失職案). Chiang officially relieved Li of the position as vice-president in the National Assembly on March 1954(Sony VGN-Z820DB Battery).

Presidency in Taiwan

Chiang presiding over the 1966 Double Ten celebrations.

[edit]Preparations to retake the mainland

Chiang moved the government to Taipei, Taiwan, where he formally resumed duties as President of the Republic of China on March 1, 1950. Chiang was reelected by the National Assembly to be the President of the Republic of China (ROC) on May 20, 1954, and again in 1960, 1966, and 1972(Sony VGN-Z790DND Battery). He continued to claim sovereignty over all of China, including the territories held by his government and the People's Republic, as well as territory the latter ceded to foreign governments, such as Tuva and Outer Mongolia. In the context of the Cold War, most of the Western world recognized this position and the ROC represented China in the United Nations and other international organizations until the 1970s(Sony VGN-Z790DMR Battery).

Calligraphy Chiang Kai-shek etched on a rock in Kinmen reads, "Forget not that you're in Jǔ" – an allusion to the Warring States Period when the State of Qi, cornered into the City of Ju by the State of Yan, successfully counterattacked and retook its territory. This is intended as an analogy to the situation between the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China(Sony VGN-Z790DKX Battery

During his presidency in Taiwan, Chiang continued to prepare to take back mainland China. He developed the ROC army to prepare for an invasion of the mainland, and to defend Taiwan in case of an attack by the Communist forces. He also financed armed groups in mainland China, such as Muslim soldiers of the ROC Army left in Yunnan under Li Mi, to continue to fight(Sony VGN-Z73FB Battery). It was only in the 1980s that these troops were airlifted to Taiwan. He promoted the Uyghur Yulbars Khan to Governor during the Kuomintang Islamic Insurgency in China (1950–1958) for resisting the Communists, even though the government had already evacuated to Taiwan. He planned an invasion of the mainland in 1962. In the 1950s Chiang's airplanes dropped supplies to Kuomintang Muslim insurgents in Amdo(Sony VGN-Z71JB Battery).

Political conditions in early ROC-era Taiwan

Despite the democratic constitution, the government under Chiang was a one-party state, consisting almost completely of mainlanders; the "Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion" greatly enhanced executive powers, and the goal of retaking mainland China allowed the KMT to maintain a monopoly on power and the prohibition of opposition parties(Sony VGN-Z70B Battery). The government's official line for these martial law provisions stemmed from the claim that emergency provisions were necessary, since the Communists and Kuomintang (KMT) were still technically in a state of war. Seeking to promote Chinese nationalism, Chiang's government actively ignored and suppressed local cultural expression, even forbidding the use of local languages in mass media broadcasts or during class sessions(Sony VGN-Z699JAB Battery).

The first decades after the Nationalists gained control of Taiwan are associated with the organized effort to resist Communism known as "the "White Terror", around which 140,000 Taiwanese were imprisoned or executed for their real or perceived opposition to the Kuomintang. Most of those prosecuted were labeled by the Kuomintang as "bandit spies" (匪諜), meaning spies for Chinese Communists, and punished as such(Sony VGN-Z698Y/X Battery).

The government offered limited civil and economic freedoms, property rights (personal[citation needed] and intellectual) and other liberties. Free debate within the confines of the legislature was permitted. He also jailed dissidents who were labeled by the KMT as supporters of communism or Taiwan independence. Later, Chiang's son, Chiang Ching-kuo, and Chiang Ching-kuo's successor(Sony VGN-Z691Y/X Battery), Lee Teng-hui, would, in the 1980s and 1990s, increase native Taiwanese representation in the government and loosen the many authoritarian controls of the early era of ROC control in Taiwan.

Under the pretext that new elections could not be held in Communist-occupied constituencies, the National Assembly, Legislative Yuan, and Control Yuan members held their posts indefinitely. It was also under the Temporary Provisions that Chiang was able to bypass term limits to remain as president. He was reelected by the National Assembly as president four times – doing so in 1954, 1960, 1966, and 1972(Sony VGN-Z691Y/B Battery).

Believing that corruption and a lack of morals were key reasons that the KMT lost mainland China to the Communists, Chiang attempted to purge corruption by dismissing members of the KMT accused of graft. Some major figures in the previous mainland China government, such as H. H. Kung and T. V. Soong, exiled themselves to the United States. Though politically authoritarian and(Sony VGN-Z690YAD Battery), to some extent, dominated by government-owned industries, Chiang's new Taiwanese state also encouraged economic development, especially in the export sector. A popular sweeping Land Reform Act, as well as American foreign aid during the 1950s, laid the foundation for Taiwan's economic success, becoming one of the Four Asian Tigers(Sony VGN-Z690PFB Battery).

Relationships with foreign governments


In 1971, shortly after he had switched his country's diplomatic recognition from the Republic of China to the People's Republic of China, the Australian Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, visited Japan. After meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister, Sato Eisaku, Whitlam observed that the reason Japan at that time was hesitant to withdraw recognition from the Nationalist government was "the presence of a treaty between the Japanese government and that of Chiang Kai-shek"(Sony VGN-Z690PEB Battery). Sato explained that the continued recognition of Japan towards the Nationalist government was due largely to the personal relationship that various members of the Japanese government felt towards Chiang. This relationship was rooted largely in the generous and lenient treatment of Japanese POWs by the Nationalist government in the years immediately following the Japanese surrender in 1945, and was felt especially strongly as a bond of personal obligation by the most senior members then in power(Sony VGN-Z690PDB Battery).

Although Japan eventually recognized the People's Republic in 1972, shortly after Tanaka Kakuei succeeded Sato Eisaku as Prime Minister of Japan, the memory of this relationship was strong enough to be reported by The New York Times (April 15, 1978) as a significant factor inhibiting trade between Japan and the mainland. There is speculation that a clash between Communist forces and a Japanese warship in 1978 was caused by Chinese anger after Premier Fukuda attended Chiang's funeral(Sony VGN-Z690PCB Battery). Historically, Japanese attempts to normalize their relationship with China were met with Taiwanese accusations of ingratitude.

Americans and the CIA

Chiang was suspicious that covert operatives of the United States plotted a coup against him. In 1950, Chiang Ching-kuo became director of the secret police, which he remained until 1965. Chiang was suspicious of politicians who were overly friendly to the United States, and considered them his enemies. In 1953, seven days after surviving an assassination attempt, Wu Kuo-chen lost his position as governor of Taiwan Province to Chiang Ching-kuo(Sony VGN-Z690PAB Battery). After fleeing to America the same year he became a vocal critic of Chiang's family and government.

Chiang Ching-kuo, educated in the Soviet Union, initiated Soviet-style military organization in the Republic of China Military. He reorganized and Sovietized the political officer corps, and propagated Kuomintang ideology throughout the military. Sun Li-jen, who was educated at the American Virginia Military Institute, was opposed to this(Sony VGN-Z690NAX Battery).

Chiang Ching-kuo orchestrated the controversial court-martial and arrest of General Sun Li-jen in August 1955, for plotting a coup d'état with the American CIA against his father Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang. The CIA allegedly wanted to help Sun take control of Taiwan and declare its independence(Sony VGN-Z690CTO Battery).


In 1975, 26 years after Chiang came to Taiwan, he died in Taipei at the age of 87. He had suffered a major heart attack and pneumonia in the months before and died from renal failure aggravated with advanced cardiac malfunction at 23:50 on April 5.

A month of mourning was declared. Chinese music composer Hwang Yau-tai wrote the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Song. In mainland China(Sony VGN-Z670N/B Battery), however, Chiang's death was met with little apparent mourning and Communist state-run newspapers gave the brief headline "Chiang Kai-shek Has Died." Chiang's body was put in a copper coffin and temporarily interred at his favorite residence in Cihu, Dasi, Taoyuan. When his son Chiang Ching-kuo died in 1988, he was entombed in a separate mausoleum in nearby Touliao (頭寮) (Sony VGN-Z650N/B Battery). The hope was to have both buried at their birthplace in Fenghua if and when it was possible. In 2004, Chiang Fang-liang, the widow of Chiang Ching-kuo, asked that both father and son be buried at Wuzhi Mountain Military Cemetery in Xizhi, Taipei County (now New Taipei City). Chiang's ultimate funeral ceremony became a political battle between the wishes of the state and the wishes of his family(Sony VGN-Z620N/B Battery).

Chiang was succeeded as President by Vice President Yen Chia-kan and as Kuomintang party leader by his son Chiang Ching-kuo, who retired Chiang Kai-shek's title of Director-General and instead assumed the position of Chairman. Yen's presidency was interim; Chiang Ching-kuo, who was the Premier, became President after Yen's term ended three years later(Sony VGN-Z620D Battery).

Cult of personality

Chiang's portrait hung over the gate of the Forbidden City before Mao's portrait was set up in its place. People also put portraits of Chiang in their homes and in public on the streets. Until recently, it was a widespread practice for Taiwanese people to hang portraits of Chiang in their homes.

Chiang was popular among many people and dressed in plain, simple clothes, unlike contemporary Chinese warlords who dressed extravagantly(Sony VGN-Z59G Battery).

Quotes from the Quran and Hadith were used by Muslims in the Kuomintang-controlled Muslim publication, the Yuehua, to justify Chiang Kai-shek's rule over China.

When the Muslim General and Warlord Ma Lin was interviewed, Ma Lin was described as having "high admiration and unwavering loyalty to Chiang Kai-shek"(Sony VGN-Z591U/B Battery).


The Kuomintang used traditional Chinese religious ceremonies, and promoted Martyrdom in Chinese culture. Kuomintang ideology promoted the view that the souls of Party martyrs who died fighting for the Kuomintang, the revolution, and the party founder Dr. Sun Yatsen were sent to heaven. Chiang Kai-shek believed that these martyrs witnessed events on earth from heaven(Sony VGN-Z590UAB Battery).

When the Northern Expedition was complete, Kuomintang Generals led by Chiang Kai-shek paid tribute to Dr. Sun's soul in heaven with a sacrificial ceremony at the Xiangshan Temple in Beijing in July 1928. Among the Kuomintang Generals present were the Muslim Generals Bai Chongxi and Ma Fuxiang(Sony VGN-Z590NJB Battery).

Chiang Kai-shek considered both the Han Chinese and all the minority peoples of China, the Five Races Under One Union, as descedants of Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor and semi mythical founder of the Chinese nation, and belonging to the Chinese Nation Zhonghua Minzu and he introduced this into Kuomintang ideology, which was propagated into the educational system of the Republic of China(Sony VGN-Z58GGX Battery).

Contemporary public perception

Chiang's legacy has been target of heated debates because of the different views held about him. For some, Chiang was a national hero who led the victorious Northern Expedition against the Beiyang Warlords in 1927, achieving Chinese unification, and who subsequently led China to ultimate victory against Japan in 1945. Some blamed him for not doing enough against the Japanese forces in the lead-up to(Sony VGN-Z58GG/X Battery), and during, the Second Sino-Japanese War, preferring to withhold his armies for the fight against the Communists, or merely waiting and hoping that the United States would get involved. Some also see him as a champion of anti-Communism, being a key figure during the formative years of the World Anti-Communist League. During the Cold War, he was also seen as the leader who led Free China and the bulwark against a possible Communist invasion(Sony VGN-Z57TG/X Battery). However, Chiang presided over purges, political authoritarianism, and graft during his tenure in mainland China, and ruled throughout a period of imposed martial law. His governments were accused of being corrupt even before he even took power in 1928. He also allied with known criminals like Du Yuesheng for political and financial gains. Some opponents charge that Chiang's efforts in developing Taiwan were mostly to make the island a strong base from which to one day return to mainland China(Sony VGN-Z57GGX Battery), and that Chiang had little regard for the long-term prosperity and well-being of the Taiwanese people.

Today, Chiang's popularity in Taiwan is divided along political lines, enjoying greater support among Kuomintang supporters. He is generally unpopular among Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) voters and supporters. In sharp contrast to his son, Chiang Ching-kuo, and to Sun Yat-sen, his memory is rarely invoked by current political parties, including the Kuomintang(Sony VGN-Z57GG/X Battery).

In the United States and Europe, Chiang was often perceived negatively as the one who lost China to the Communists. His constant demands for Western support and funding also earned him the nickname of "General Cash-My-Check". In the West he has been criticized for his poor military skills. He had a record of issuing unrealistic orders and persistently attempting to fight unwinnable battles, leading to the loss of his best troops(Sony VGN-Z57G Battery).

In recent years, there has been an attempt to find a more moderate interpretation of Chiang. Chiang is now increasingly perceived as a man simply overwhelmed by the events in China, having to fight simultaneously Communists, Japanese and provincial warlords while having to reconstruct and unify the country. His sincere, albeit often unsuccessful attempts to build a more powerful nation have been noted by scholars such as Jonathan Fenby and Rana Mitter. Mitter has observed that(Sony VGN-Z570N/B Battery), ironically, today's China is closer to Chiang's vision than to Mao Zedong's. He argues that the Communists, since the 1980s, have essentially created the state envisioned by Chiang in the 1930s. Mitter concludes by writing that "one can imagine Chiang Kai-shek's ghost wandering round China today nodding in approval, while Mao's ghost follows behind him, moaning at the destruction of his vision"(Sony VGN-Z56TG/R Battery). Liang Shuming opined that Chiang Kai-shek's "greatest contribution was to make the CCP successful. If he had been a bit more trustworthy, if his character was somewhat better, the CCP would have been unable to beat him".

Like many other Chinese historical figures, Chiang used several names throughout his life. That inscribed in the genealogical records of his family is Jiang Zhoutai (Chinese: 蔣周泰; Wade–Giles: Chiang Chou-tai). This so-called "register name" (譜名) is the one under which his extended relatives knew him, and the one he used in formal occasions, such as when he got married. In deference to tradition, family members did not use the register name in conversation with people outside of the family(Sony VGN-Z56TG/E Battery). In fact, the concept of real or original name is not as clear-cut in China as it is in the Western world.

In honor of tradition, Chinese families waited a number of years before officially naming their offspring. In the meantime, they used a "milk name" (乳名), given to the infant shortly after his birth and known only to the close family. Thus, the actual name that Chiang received at birth was Jiang Ruiyuan (Chinese: 蔣瑞元; Wade–Giles: Chiang Jui-yuan) (Sony VGN-Z56TG/B Battery).

In 1903, the 16-year-old Chiang went to Ningbo to be a student, and he chose a "school name" (學名). This was actually the formal name of a person, used by older people to address him, and the one he would use the most in the first decades of his life (as the person grew older, younger generations would have to use one of the courtesy names instead). (Colloquially, the school name is called "big name" (大名) (Sony VGN-Z56GGX Battery), whereas the "milk name" is known as the "small name" (小名).) The school name that Chiang chose for himself was Zhiqing (Chinese: 志清; Wade–Giles: Chi-ching; means "purity of intentions"). For the next fifteen years or so, Chiang was known as Jiang Zhiqing. This is the name under which Sun Yat-sen knew him when Chiang joined the republicans in Guangzhou in the 1910s(Sony VGN-Z56GG/E Battery).

In 1912, when Jiang Zhiqing was in Japan, he started to use the name  Jiang Jieshi (help·info) (Chinese: 蔣介石; Wade–Giles: Chiang Chieh-shih) as a pen name for the articles that he published in a Chinese magazine he founded (Voice of the Army—軍聲).

(Jieshi is the pinyin romanization of the name, based on Mandarin, but the common romanized rendering is Kai-shek which is in Cantonese romanization. As the republicans were based in Guangzhou (a Cantonese speaking area) (Sony VGN-Z56GG/B Battery), Chiang became known by Westerners under the Cantonese romanization of his courtesy name, while the family name as known in English seems to be the Mandarin pronunciation of his Chinese family name, transliterated in Wade-Giles).

The entrance to Chiang's tombsite at Tzuhu (Cihu) uses the official posthumous rendering of Chiang Kai-shek (from right to left): The President (space) Lord Chiang Mausoleum(Sony VGN-Z55TG/B Battery).

Jieshi soon became his courtesy name (字). Some think the name was chosen from the classic Chinese book the I Ching; others note that the first character of his courtesy name is also the first character of the courtesy name of his brother and other male relatives on the same generation line, while the second character of his courtesy name shi (石—meaning "stone") suggests the second character of his "register name" tai (泰—the famous Mount Tai of China) (Sony VGN-Z55F Battery). Courtesy names in China often bore a connection with the personal name of the person. As the courtesy name is the name used by people of the same generation to address the person, Chiang soon became known under this new name.

Sometime in 1917 or 1918, as Chiang became close to Sun Yat-sen, he changed his name from Jiang Zhiqing to Jiang Zhongzheng (Chinese: 蔣中正; Wade–Giles: Chiang Chung-cheng). By adopting the name Chung-cheng ("central uprightness"), he was choosing a name very similar to the name of Sun Yat-sen, who was (and still is) known among Chinese as Zhongshan (中山—meaning "central mountain")(Sony VGN-Z550N/B Battery), thus establishing a link between the two. The meaning of uprightness, rectitude, or orthodoxy, implied by his name, also positioned him as the legitimate heir of Sun Yat-sen and his ideas. Not surprisingly, the Chinese Communists always rejected the use of this name and it is not well-known in mainland China. However, it was readily accepted by members of the Chinese Nationalist Party and is the name under which Chiang Kai-shek is still commonly known in Taiwan(Sony VGN-Z540NMB Battery). Often the name is shortened to Chung-cheng only (Chung-cheng in Wade-Giles). For many years passengers arriving at the Chiang Kai-shek International Airport were greeted by signs in Chinese welcoming them to the "Chung Cheng International Airport". Similarly, the monument erected to Chiang's memory in Taipei known in English as Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall was literally named "Chung Cheng Memorial Hall" in Chinese. In Singapore, Chung Cheng High School was named after him(Sony VGN-Z540NLB Battery).

His name is also written in Taiwan as "The Late President Lord Chiang" (先總統 蔣公), where the one-character-wide space known as nuo tai shows respect; this practice has lost some popularity. However, he is still known as Lord Chiang (蔣公) (without the title or space), along with the name Chiang Chung-cheng, in Taiwan(Sony VGN-Z540EBB Battery).


In an arranged marriage, Chiang was married to a fellow villager named Mao Fumei. While married to Mao, Chiang adopted two concubines (concubinage was still a common practice for well-to-do, non-Christian males in China): he married Yao Yecheng (姚冶誠, 1889–1972) in 1912 and Chen Jieru (陳潔如, 1906–1971) in December 1921. While he was still living in Shanghai, Chiang and Yao adopted a son, Wei-kuo(Sony VGN-Z530N/B Battery). Chen adopted a daughter in 1924, named Yaoguang (瑤光), who later adopted her mother's surname. Chen's autobiography refuted the idea that she was a concubine. Chen claiming that, by the time she married Chiang, he had already divorced Mao, and that Chen was therefore his wife. Chiang and Mao had a son, Ching-kuo, and a daughter, Chien-hua(Sony VGN-Z51XG/B Battery).

According to the memoirs of Chen Jieru, Chiang's second wife, she contracted gonorrhea from Chiang soon after their marriage. He told her that he acquired this disease after separating from his first wife and living with his concubine Yao Yecheng, as well as with many other women he consorted with. His doctor explained to her that Chiang had sex with her before completing his treatment for the disease(Sony VGN-Z51WG/B Battery). As a result, both Chiang and Ch'en Chieh-ju became sterile, which explains why he had only one child, by his first wife.

Relationships with Generals, Ethnic Minorities, and Religions

Chiang Kai-shek with the Muslim General Ma Fushou.

Chiang personally dealt extensively with religions and power figures in China during his regime.

Relationship with Muslims

Chiang Kai-shek developed relationships with other Generals. Chiang became sworn brother of the Muslim General Ma Fuxiang and appointed him to high ranking positions. Chiang addressed Ma Fuxiang's son Ma Hongkui as Shao Yun Shixiong Ma Fuxiang attended national leadership conferences with Chiang during Battles against Japan(Sony VGN-Z48TD/X Battery). Ma Hongkui was eventually scapegoated for the failure of the Ningxia Campaign against the Communists, so he moved to the USA instead of remaining in Taiwan with Chiang.

When Chiang became President of China after the Northern Expedition, he carved out Ningxia and Qinghai out of Gansu province, and appointed Muslim Generals as Military Governors of all three provinces, the three Generals were Ma Hongkui, Ma Hongbin, and Ma Qi. Chiang continued to appoint Muslims as Governors of the three provinces, including Ma Lin (warlord) and Ma Fushou(Sony VGN-Z48GD/X Battery). This caused Islamic power in northwestern China to increase, no other President had dared to appoint Muslims as Governors of Gansu, and the three Muslim governors, known as Xibei San Ma (lit. the three Mas of the Northwest), controlled armies composed entirely of Muslims. Chiang called on the three and their suboordinates to wage war against the Soviet Russians, Tibetans, Communists, and the Japanese(Sony VGN-Z47GD/X Battery), which they did ferociously with their Muslim cavalry. Chiang appointed a Muslim General, Bai Chongxi, as the Minister of National Defence of the Republic of China, which controlled the ROC military.

Chiang also supported the Muslim General Ma Zhongying, whom he had trained at Whampoa Military Academy during the Kumul Rebellion, in a Jihad against Jin Shuren, Sheng Shicai, and the Soviet Union during the Soviet Invasion of Xinjiang(Sony VGN-Z46TD/R Battery). Chiang designated Ma's Muslim army as the 36th Division (National Revolutionary Army) and gave his troops Kuomintang flags and uniforms. Chiang then supported Muslim General Ma Hushan against Sheng Shicai and the Soviet Union in the Xinjiang War (1937). All Muslim Generals commissioned by Chiang in the National Revolutionary Army paid alleigance to him. Several, like Ma Shaowu and Ma Hushan were loyal to Chiang and Kuomintang hardliners(Sony VGN-Z46TD/B Battery).

The Ili Rebellion and Pei-ta-shan Incident plagued relations with the Soviet Union during Chiang's rule and caused trouble with the Uyghurs. During the Ili Rebellion and Peitashan incident, Chiang deployed Hui troops against Uyghur mobs in Turfan, and against Soviet Russian and Mongols at Peitashan.

During Chiang's rule, attacks on foreigners by Kuomintang forces flared up in several incidents. One of these was the Battle of Kashgar (1934) where a Muslim army loyal to the Kuomintang massacred 4,500 Uyghurs, and killed several British at the British consulate in Kashgar. The British were unable to retaliate(Sony VGN-Z46SD/B Battery).

Hu Songshan, a Muslim Imam, backed Chiang Kai-shek's regime and gave prayers for his government. ROC flags were saluted by Muslims in Ningxia during prayer along with exhortations to nationalism during Chiang's rule. Chiang sent Muslim students abroad to study at places like Al Azhar and Muslim schools throughout China taught loyalty to his regime(Sony VGN-Z46MD/B Battery).

The Yuehua, a Chinese Muslim publication, quoted the Quran and Hadith to justify submitting to Chiang Kai-shek as the leader of China, and as justification for Jihad in the war against Japan.

The Yihewani (Ikhwan al Muslimun a.k.a. Muslim brotherhood) was the predominant Muslim sect backed by the Chiang government during Chiang's regime. Other Muslim sects, like the Xidaotang and Sufi brotherhoods like Jahriyya and Khuffiya were also supported by his regime. The Chinese Muslim Association(Sony VGN-Z46GD/U Battery), a pro-Kuomintang and anti-Communist organization, was set up by Muslims working in his regime. Salafism attempted to gain a foothold in China during his regime, but the Yihewani and Hanafi Sunni Gedimu denounced the Salafis as radicals, enaged in fights against them, and declared them heretics, forcing the Salafis to form a separate sect. Ma Ching-chiang, a Muslim General, served as an advisor to Chiang Kai-shek(Sony VGN-Z46GD/B Battery). Ma Buqing was another Muslim General who fled to Taiwan along with Chiang. His government donated money to build the Taipei Grand Mosque on Taiwan.

Relationship with Buddhists and Christians

Chiang had uneasy relations with the Tibetans. He fought against them in the Sino-Tibetan War, and he supported the Muslim General Ma Bufang in his bloody war against Tibetan rebels in Qinghai. Chiang ordered Ma Bufang to prepare his Islamic army to invade Tibet several times(Sony VGN-Z45TD/B Battery), to deter Tibetan independence, and threatened them with aerial bombardment. After the war, Chiang appointed Ma Bufang as ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Chiang incorporated Methodist values into the New Life Movement under the influence of his wife. Dancing and western music were discouraged. In one incident, several youths splashed acid on people wearing western clothing, although Chiang was not directly responsible for these incidents(Sony VGN-Z45GD/B Battery). Despite being a Methodist, he made reference to the Buddha in his diary, and encouraged the establishment of a Buddhist political party under Master Taixu.

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