The Japanese Ambassador in Taipei reports on meetings between Diet Member Tamaki Kazuo and Lee Huan and another between an embassy staffer and Wei Ching-meng (James Wei) about an impending visit to Japan by Chiang Ching-kuo.
November 1, 1967
Brief Personal History and Character of Chiang Ching-kuo
This document was made possible with support from Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation
- 1910 (March 18, 1910 in the China Year Book, 1909 in Biography of Chiang Kai-shek): born in Fenghua County, Zhejiang Province, the son of Chiang Kai-shek and his first wife, Mao Fu-mei (another wife was Chen Chieh-ju);
- 1925: Study in Russia; studied military science at Sun Yat-sen University and Moscow State University;
- 1937: returned to China along with his Russian wife Faina and eldest son Chiang Hsiao-wen;
- 1940-45: administration and inspection specialist in southern Jiangxi Province;
- 1945-47: member of the Foreign Affairs Commission for the Northeast in Manchuria;
- 1948: conducted purge of business circles as economic control officer in the Shanghai District, recognized for his ability;
- 1949-50: director of Taiwan Provincial Headquarters of the Nationalist Party of China;
- 1952: member of the Central Committee of the Nationalist Party of China;
- 1954: deputy secretary-general of the Supreme National Defense Council;
- 1958: member, Government Affairs Committee of the Executive Yuan;
- 1960: General Second Class of the Army;
- 1962: member, Central Standing Committee of the Nationalist Party of China;
- 1963: member of the Government Affairs Committee of the Executive Yuan;
- 1964: Vice Minister of National Defense;
- 1965: Minister of National Defense to present.
(1) He is 57 years old this year, an energetic man who, while small in stature, gives the impression that his entire body is a mass of energy. He is generally recognized as a capable politician. He has placed devoted subordinates at various key points in the Nationalist Party of China, the military and special service organizations, the China Youth Anti-Communist National Salvation Corps, and elsewhere. He has recently been extending his influence in the executive branch of government and in business circles. Moreover, worthy of note is his making these past few years earnest efforts in maneuvers involving the people of Taiwan Province (Taiwanese).
In addition, with such political skill and his father Chiang Kai-shek’s influence, he is seen as advancing from his present position as National Defense Minister to President of the Executive Yuan (Premier) and President, leading the National Government in the next generation.
His character is to do things thoroughly. In 1948, at the time of the National Government’s currency reform, he is famous for leading a group of armed youths and showing his ability at exposing black market trading. He is said to give the impression of being by nature nervous and difficult to approach. On the other hand, he does not come across as a bureaucrat, casually joining together with soldiers, camping with university students in their summer training, and such.
Recently, he has become more affable. It seems that he is working to create the image of a “beloved Chiang Ching-kuo.”
(2) He has a particular background. He went to study in the Soviet Union at the age of 16. Other than Marxism-Leninism, he also studied military strategy and tactics. He joined the Soviet military and received special training. It is said that he returned to China, disillusioned by Stalin’s bloody purges in the 1930s and the reality of Soviet communism. It seems, however, that he felt no particular attachment to US-style liberalism. There is even suspicion in some circles that he may be anti-American. After the war, however, in the tendency of the times, he began gradually to display a pro-US attitude. He has visited the United States three times since 1963. In the United States as well, he has come to be regarded as likely to lead the National Government in the next generation.
(3) His family consists of his wife Faina, whom he married in the Soviet Union (her Chinese name is Chiang Fang-liang), and four children. There are three sons and one daughter. The daughter, Amy, having married the son of former National Defense Minister Yu Ta-wei, became Mrs. Y.H. Yu and is residing in the United States. His oldest son, Hsiao-wen (Allen), studied at the University of California, Berkeley, after graduating from the Republic of China Military Academy. He now works at Taiwan Electric Power Company.
His second son, Hsiao-chang, attended Mills College in California. [TN: Hsiao-chang was the name of daughter Amy, who attended Mills College. The second son’s name was Hsiao-wu]. His third son, Hsiao-yi, is now training at the Military Academy in Fengshan. [TN: The third son’s name was Hsiao-yung.] Furthermore, it is said that Chiang Ching-kuo has been a Christian since becoming a believer in 1943, when his father encouraged him to do so.
A brief chronology and biography of Chiang Ching-kuo, prepared by the Japanese Foreign Ministry ahead of a visit by Chiang to Japan in late 1967.
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