Since ancient times, the Chinese have called their world the Celestial Empire. Although it is not entirely clear what forces determined its fate in the twentieth century, several stars shone in the Chinese sky in the past century. In the first quarter of a century, it was the star of the father of the Chinese anti-monarchist revolution, Sun Yatsen, in the second – Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, in the third – the “great leader” Mao Zedong, in the fourth – the architect of reforms Deng Xiaoping.
The very name of Chiang Kai-shek seems to be known to quite a few: as a rule, they say that there was a Chinese leader who was “driven” from China by Mao Zedong, who turned out to be “bigger” than his rival. In fact, Chiang Kai-shek was the leader of hundreds of millions of Chinese for almost a quarter of a century, and then another 25 years the leader of the transformed island of Taiwan. What kind of person is this? Why did he take the lead in China? And how was he able to resist Mao himself?
At the zenith of his career, he was called a great man in China, a hero from the galaxy of those who are born once every five hundred years. He was compared with Confucius, awarded the laurels of the leader of the Chinese people, who eventually won the long-term War of Resistance to Japanese aggression (1931-1945). In modern China, his merits are recognized as a comrade-in-arms of the father of the Chinese revolution of 1911, Sun Yat-sen, the head of the country’s government and its army in the War of Resistance to Japan, a politician who has been advocating a united and indivisible China all his life.
Zhou Gong’s descendant
Chiang Kai-shek was born in the Chinese outback, near the port city of Ningbo on October 31, 1887. According to the records in the book of the family chronicle, he belonged to a clan originating from the descendants of Zhou Gong – a famous ruler in Chinese history, whom, according to legend, Confucius himself admired.
Representatives of this genus have lived for five hundred years in very picturesque places, where mountain springs gush, waterfalls rush down and fast mountain rivers originate. Chiang Kai-shek’s family lived in a house that was also a shop: his father, a typical rural scholar from the old Chinese society, was the owner of a salt shop, thrifty, strict and sedate. In relations with people, the head of the family was distinguished by a cunning, resourceful mind. His wife was known as a good mother of his own and adopted children.
During more than 260 years of the Qing Dynasty, that is, the Manchus, not a single member of the family held any official posts or collaborated with the authorities of the Great Qing Empire. The clan prided itself on not staining itself with serving the barbarians, and in this sense, the future leader of China was, as they say, a patriot of his country to the core.
People from the Zhou Gong clan have worked on the land for generations, doing peasant labor. Only the boy’s grandfather and father, having shown remarkable abilities, became merchants, established trade in salt and lime, and other goods in the district. They already belonged to the stratum of a relatively few, relatively educated people, to whom their fellow villagers turned for advice.
It would be appropriate to clarify here that the real name and surname of our hero is Jiang Zhongzheng (official, solemn name) or Jiang Jieshi (everyday, everyday). As for what we have – Chiang Kai-shek, this is a distorted transcription of his real name and surname. Chiang Kai-shek himself preferred to be called Jiang Zhongzheng.
Jiang is his surname, genus name. The names Zhongzheng and Jieshi were given to him by his mother. He recalled that the mother wanted her son to be the same as Jieshi, that is, “Steadfast as a cliff”, direct and honest person, whose actions and deeds are different from the behavior of ordinary people. The name Zhongzheng, otherwise – “occupying a central position, choosing the golden mean and being a just and correct person,” as the second was chosen because such a name in China has been called straightforward people since ancient times.
The house where Jiang Zhongzheng spent his childhood has survived to this day. It stands at the very edge of the village in a truly picturesque landscape surrounded by mountains. In the rooms of this house, the rumble of waterfalls and the noise of a nearby mountain river are constantly heard. They say that as a child, Jiang fearlessly frolicked in her, that he needed “an eye and an eye” behind him. Allegedly, at the age of three, he thrust a chopstick into his throat, wanting to measure its depth – the child was barely saved. Well, in general, the future leader from childhood was distinguished by sociability, stubbornness and even persistence.
At the age of 6, the boy was sent to a private school. According to the recollections of classmates, incompatible qualities coexisted in his character: liveliness, agility, the desire to measure strength with rivals – and at the same time concentration and attentiveness.
He was not yet ten years old when he lost his grandfather and father. And from that time on, the family found itself in a difficult financial situation. But thanks to the efforts of his mother, the boy continued to study – first in the countryside, and then in the county schools, where, in addition to basic disciplines, he studied classical ancient books that tell about the traditional Chinese worldview. At the age of 19, our hero determined his life path for himself. Following the inclinations of his character, he decided to become a military man and devote his life to fighting for the interests of the Chinese nation. The idea of a nation and its greatness took possession of Jiang’s thoughts completely.
At the age of 20, he first came to Japan, where he joined the Chinese revolutionary movement. Outwardly, he was then a typical young man from China with a long braid on his back. As a sign of his determination, he became involved in the anti-monarchist anti-Manchu revolution in April 1906 and, while in Tokyo, cut off his braid, sending it home, where, according to custom, it should be kept.
As a cadet in the Japanese officer’s infantry school, Jiang Zhongzheng in 1908 joined the revolutionary organization created by Sun Yat-sen and actually acted with the connivance of the Japanese authorities, who considered it profitable for themselves to help the enemies of the then Chinese state.
After the start of the 1911 anti-monarchist revolution in China, Jiang Zhongzheng returned from Japan to his homeland, where he actively participated in revolutionary events, after which Sun Yat-sen first became interim president of the Republic of China, but was soon forced to resign. And then the failure of the revolution forced Sun Yat-sen and many of his supporters, including Jiang Zhongzheng, to flee to Japan. There, in 1914, he first talked with Sun Yat-sen and subsequently began to successfully carry out his orders, trying to raise armed uprisings in several regions of the country, becoming the leader of the Shanghai group of republican revolutionaries. In Shanghai, Jiang Zhongzheng participated in the stock exchange to raise funds for revolutionary action under the leadership of Sun Yat-sen. In 1917, Sun Yat-sen appointed him as his military adviser.
“Younger Brother” Sun Yat-sen
In 1921, Sun Yat-sen was elected Extraordinary Great President of the Republic of China. The following year, Jiang Zhongzheng helped Sun Yat-sen quell a military insurgency. After that moment, the president began to see him as a successor, calling Jiang Zhongzheng his younger brother.
In 1923, Sun Yat-sen came to the conclusion that it was necessary to create his own armed forces and sent Jiang Zhongzheng to Moscow in order to establish interaction, including military cooperation with our country. During his stay in Moscow, Jiang Zhongzheng met with one of the two then leaders of the Communist Party, L.D. Trotsky (but did not see I.V. Stalin), as well as the head of the Comintern G.E. Zinoviev, People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs G.V. Chicherin. He even started to study Russian. While in Moscow, Jiang Zhongzheng then came to the conclusion that the young Soviet republic is really not inferior to others both in the development of the latest types of weapons and in military affairs in general. Therefore, on the one hand, he developed an understanding of the need to reckon with the military strength of China’s northern neighbor, and on the other, a desire to use the knowledge of our military specialists and our weapons for his own purposes.
This, however, did not in any way signify Jiang Zhongzheng’s agreement with the political views of the people in Moscow and trust in our country. Returning to China, he reported to Sun Yat-sen that, in his opinion, the RCP (b) seeks to turn the CCP into an obedient instrument, that the communism of Soviet Russia, in its implementation, will certainly harm humanity and that “today’s friend”, that is Soviet Russia, and there is “our future greatest enemy.” In this regard, Sun Yat-sen believed that Jiang Zhongzheng expressed “too many doubts.” He, of course, took into account the considerations of Jiang Zhongzheng and at the same time considered it necessary, at least at that stage of historical development, to maintain allied relations with our country and with the Chinese communists.
In 1924, Sun Yat-sen decided to establish an army training school near Guangzhou. At the same time, evaluating Jiang Zhongzheng as a military specialist familiar with the armies of both Japan and Russia, he appointed him head of the Wampu military school and at the same time chief of the general staff. At this school, Jiang Zhongzheng worked closely with Soviet military and political advisers.
After Sun Yat-sen’s death in 1925, Jiang Zhongzheng remained the most powerful military figure in the Kuomintang. He began to concentrate power in the party and government in his hands and practically became the leader of the Kuomintang.
After the 1911 revolution, China soon found itself actually divided into several isolated regions, each of which was headed by a military clique, one or another military ruler. During this period, more than ever before, China needed unification under the rule of one central government. This task could be solved only by relying on a strong army, which Sun Yatsen began to create during his lifetime. Then his government was in the south of China, in the city of Guangzhou (Canton). Therefore, the army was preparing to march to the north of the country. It should be noted that the armed forces of the Kuomintang Party were created with the financial assistance of our country. We also supplied weapons. But the main thing is that Moscow sent talented military leaders to help. The most outstanding among them was the future Marshal V.K. Blucher. In China, he worked under the name Zoi Vsevolodovich Galin, invented by him. His wife’s name was Galina, and his children were Zoya and Vsevolod. One of our military advisers said that Jiang Zhongzheng was simply “praying for Blucher.” Thanks to Blucher and other Soviet military advisers, Jiang Zhongzheng’s army won decisive victories during the Northern Expedition, gaining the opportunity to unite the country.
However, Jiang Zhongzheng strove to have at the head of the country not only one central government, but also one political party. He considered the Chinese Communist Party a temporary ally imposed on him by circumstances. He saw in her a puppet of Moscow. Jiang Zhongzheng considered Soviet Russia and the CPC two forces that wanted to impose foreign domination on China. In 1927, he carried out a direct armed action against the CCP, believing that it wanted to split the Kuomintang and ultimately seize power in the country. Simultaneously, the government of Jiang Zhongzheng severed diplomatic relations with the USSR.
In 1928, Jiang Zhongzheng was able to complete the unification of the country, and the end of that year was a triumph for him. When, in 1931, Japan launched an open intervention to seize Manchuria, Jiang Zhongzheng faced three opponents at the same time: external Japanese aggression, local government rallies against the central government, and the CPC’s active armed struggle for power in the country. And then the USSR and the Republic of China in December 1932 restored diplomatic relations.
And in 1936, Jiang Zhongzheng succeeded in moving the center of the communist opposition to the remote areas of Northwest China.
Stalin is the savior
At the end of 1936, the Xi’an events took place. In the city of Xian in the northwest of the country, two of Jiang Zhongzheng’s subordinates, generals, arrested him, demanding that he change his government and immediately start a war against Japan, while allied with our country. Jiang Zhongzheng preferred to accumulate forces and in every possible way delayed the formal declaration of war on Japan.
Moreover, from his point of view, any war against China was only a more or less protracted, but not a fatal disease, from which China in any case should have recovered over time. The generals who arrested Jiang Zhongzheng were under the influence of Mao Zedong. And now his life was in real danger. Upon learning of this, the acting head of the Chinese government, Kong Xiangxi, rushed from Shanghai to the then capital of Nanjing and met with the secretary of the USSR Embassy in China I.M. Oshanin, telling him bluntly the following: “If Jiang Zhongzheng is killed, China will certainly rely on Japan, China’s human and material resources will be provided to the Japanese militarists, will become the capital of aggression. This is a serious threat to Asia and the Soviet Union. I express my hope that the USSR will find a way to guarantee the life of Jiang Zhongzheng. As for other issues, in the course of time it will be possible to look for their solution ”. Having received this signal, Stalin influenced Mao Zedong and prevented the assassination of Jiang Zhongzheng. This is how an important connecting point arose in the relationship between Stalin and Jiang Zhongzheng.
He was released and returned to the capital, Nanjing, after which he agreed to create a united front with the CCP to fight the Japanese invaders.
In 1937, Japan began a large-scale aggression against China. Jiang Zhongzheng was appointed Generalissimo of the Republic of China. And in August, Stalin and Jiang Zhongzheng signed a mutual non-aggression pact, after which the USSR became the only state at that time in the world that provided the Republic of China with very significant military and financial assistance.
In 1938, Jiang Zhongzheng officially and formally received the highest power in the Kuomintang and, in fact, in the Republic of China. From that time on, he was considered the generally recognized leader of China.
Pearl Harbor warning
In 1941, Jiang Zhongzheng’s secret service, through captured Japanese, managed to find out about the content of Japanese radio messages and to find out that Japan was preparing to strike at the US Navy in Hawaii. Through the military attaché of the Republic of China in Washington, this information was transmitted to the Americans. In the United States, these reports were ignored and even believed that Chinese intelligence was thereby trying to undermine US-Japanese relations. Roosevelt then did not believe Jiang Zhongzhen and received Pearl Harbor.
Jiang Zhongzheng formally declared war on Japan and its allies Germany and Italy only in December 1941, when the United States was drawn into the war in the Pacific. In January 1942, the Republic of China, along with the USSR, the United States and Great Britain, became one of the four great allies in World War II.
Since that time, thanks to the participation of China, the front of the struggle against the aggression of Germany and Japan has become truly worldwide. Although China was not active during the Second World War, its very presence among the allies played an important role. Jiang Zhongzheng, using this circumstance, sought the abolition of unequal treaties with the Western countries and their recognition of China as an equal ally. In October 1942, Great Britain and the United States made declarations to annul treaties that were considered unequal in China. Jiang Zhongzheng was proud of the results he had achieved. At the end of 1943, the United States and Great Britain agreed with his opinion on the return to China of its Northeast, as well as the islands of Taiwan and Penghu after the end of World War II and the victory over Japan. The position of our country played a significant role in the recognition of China as a great power under Jiang Zhongzhen. With Stalin’s consent, the Republic of China became one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council.
1945 is the year of victory over Japan and perhaps Jiang Zhongzheng’s greatest triumph as the nation’s military and state leader. The main square of Chongqing, the wartime capital of China, was then named Victory Square. When Mao Zedong came to power in 1949, he did not fail to rename it Liberation Square (it meant liberation from Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang).
And then, after victory in the protracted fifteen-year anti-Japanese war, which claimed the lives of millions of Chinese, Jiang Zhongzheng did not detain prisoners in China – one million three hundred thousand Japanese soldiers and officers were returned home. He also did not take reparations from Japan. But most importantly, he strove to eliminate the reasons that divided the two nations – Chinese and Japanese.
In August-October 1945, Jiang Zhongzheng and Mao Zedong met in Chongqing, who had not communicated for 19 years, since 1926, when the Kuomintang and the CCP parted ways. But this meeting was unsuccessful and the last. Chiang Zhongzheng was then forced to take into account the fact that the USSR, the USA and Great Britain were in favor of finding a peaceful solution to issues within China, for maintaining the status quo.
In 1945, the USSR and the Republic of China signed a treaty of friendship and alliance, which spoke of the coincidence of the national interests of the two countries and the end of Japanese aggression against the USSR and China, which lasted half a century: from the late nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century. China has never been able to recover from the aftermath of the anti-Japanese war. The struggle for power over the country between Jiang Zhongzheng and Mao Zedong turned out to be uncompromising. Her interests outweighed all other considerations. In mid-1946, a full-scale civil, or internal, war broke out in China between the Kuomintang and the CCP. In early 1947, Jiang Zhongzheng was successful in this war. However, in the middle of that year, the CCP’s armed forces went on the offensive. This was due to a number of reasons.
In December 1949, Jiang Zhongzheng flew from Sichuan to the island of Taiwan, where the Taiwanese period in his activities began.
He was over sixty. He already admitted thoughts of retiring from business, from politics, but the situation developed in such a way that he had to take responsibility for that part of the Chinese nation that never lived under the rule of Mao Zedong and did not want to live under this power.
A hundred and thirty-kilometer sea strait separated mainland China from Taiwan. But one had to defend oneself and find such forces in the world that would help guarantee the opportunity to live one’s own life. And the USA became such forces after the Korean War of 1950-1953. The United States openly went over to support Taiwan in its armed confrontation with the Chinese mainland: in December 1954, a joint defense treaty was signed between Taiwan and the United States. In the first half of the 1960s, the United States provided the island with a loan of $ 100 million annually to purchase weapons.
In Taiwan, Jiang Zhongzheng first of all brought order to his political party and began to implement agrarian reform. Public land was sold to peasants in installments. He then carried out Sun Yat-sen’s installation program in Taiwan: each plowman has his own field. Thanks to this, the peasants in Taiwan received their land plots. As a result, the social and economic situation on the island literally leveled off. This was, in fact, Jiang Zhongzheng’s first challenge to Mao Zedong, who was never able to fend off him. Until the end of Mao Zedong’s life, the Chinese peasants suffered from his attitude towards them, towards the countryside, towards agriculture.
In 1972, Jiang Zhongzheng’s son Jiang Ching-kuo became head of government in Taiwan, which meant the election of his father as his successor, who retired due to his deteriorating health.
In 1974, on the island of Taiwan, the average annual per capita income reached $ 700: by this indicator, Taiwan was then second only to Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore in Asia.
Jiang Zhongzheng’s life was very modest. For decades he did not have a permanent home. As for the range of his interests, it was poetry, music. Jiang Zhongzheng was also known as a good calligrapher. If you believe that a person’s handwriting determines many of his character traits, then his handwriting spoke of love for order and rigor. In his office there were two scrolls, on one of them Chiang Chzhongzheng wrote the saying of the ancient thinker Mencius: “To live, feeling like a man of the Celestial Empire in all its breadth; to occupy in the Celestial Empire the position of one who is known for his justice; follow the great path that the Celestial Empire provides; share your successes with people, and experience your failures on your own.
Another inscription was made by Sun Yat-sen: “To my younger brother Jieshi (that is, Jiang Zhongzheng. – Y. G.). The Celestial Empire is our common heritage. Sun Wen (that is, Sun Yatsen. – Y. G.) “.
For many decades, Jiang Zhongzheng kept a daily diary, and his reading circle was determined by his interest in China’s ethics, political philosophy, history, and world history.
It is said that he was a superstitious man. And despite the fact that, having married Song Meiling, he was baptized and became a Christian, he did not forget about Chinese deities and always offered prayers to Buddha in the temple. In addition, he was distinguished by excellent health and enviable energy. And he became seriously ill only in 1972, however, then he was already 86 years old. Jiang Zhongzheng usually wore either a military uniform or traditional Chinese clothing and tried to preserve the classical image of the Chinese of his time as much as possible: he was not Europeanized either in appearance or in habits.
But, probably, one of the main qualities of his nature was optimism. In the bedroom, on a table in his home in Taiwan, there was a piece of paper on which he probably wrote shortly before his death: “What turned out to be able to bend, can also straighten.”
A worthy friend
Jiang Zhongzheng had four wives. Each – at a certain period of life and career. The first is rural. The second is Shanghai. The third is Shanghai-Cantonese (Guangzhou). The fourth is the capital, Nanking-Chongqing-Taipei. It was she who became the first in his destiny.
Song Meiling was educated in the United States and was fluent in English. Her father was a wealthy man and friend of Sun Yat-sen, whom he helped to finance his revolutionary activities.
The wedding of Jiang Zhongzheng and Song Meiling took place in December 1927 at a Christian temple in Shanghai. The wedding ceremony was public and took place in the hall of a famous Shanghai hotel. The guests drank tea to the sound of an orchestra of Russian musicians.
During World War II, Song Meiling traveled to the United States with great success, urging Americans to help China. The American press wrote that the guest’s speeches undoubtedly influenced the audience. She was described as “a petite brunette in a long black dress of Chinese cut with a slit from knee to ankle, curled, wearing jasper jewelry. Her intelligence, beauty, and fluent English were striking. ”
In the winter of 1943, Song Meiling accompanied Jiang Zhongzheng on a trip to Cairo, where he met with Roosevelt and Churchill. There she served as a translator and made a lot of efforts to establish contacts between the heads of the three countries. Subsequently Churchill said to Roosevelt: “This Chinese woman is a strong woman!” Song Meiling was Jiang Zhongzheng’s assistant on both foreign policy and domestic affairs. The couple lived in perfect harmony for almost fifty years, from 1927 to 1975, until the death of Jiang Zhongzheng. After that, Song Meiling lived in the United States, where she died at the beginning of the 21st century at the age of 106.
Jiang Zhongzheng passed away on April 5, 1975 due to heart failure. Before his death, he requested that his remains be transported to Nanjing for permanent burial on Mount Zijinshan, where the coffin with the body of Sun Yatsen rests.
In his political testament, Jiang Zhongzheng urged his compatriots to continue to implement Sun Yat-sen’s three popular principles: to seek a healthier and revived mainland China, revive the national culture, and resolutely defend democracy.
Yuri Galenovich, Doctor of Historical Sciences
In 1894 – before Lenin’s party appeared in Russia – Sun Yat-sen created a political party to fight against the monarchy in China, then the Great Qing Empire. Along with the struggle against the monarchy, the goal of Sun Yat-sen’s revolutionary party was the struggle of the Chinese against the Manchus, who were then considered barbarians who had seized power over China. His party was at the same time anti-monarchist and anti-Manchu, nationalist. Sun Yat-sen’s program was based on three popular principles: the unity of the people, the rule of the people, the well-being of the people. The party’s credo was expressed in its name: GOMINDAN, where GO is the state and country, MIN is the nation and people, DAN is the party. It was the first and only political party at that time that intended to overthrow the Manchu-Qing monarchy in China through a revolution. The party achieved its goal: the monarchy was overthrown in 1911, China became a republic several years earlier than Russia. The Kuomintang Party emerged more than a quarter of a century before the formation of the Chinese Communist Party. Foreigners had nothing to do with its creation. True, Japan gave its leaders the opportunity to prepare a revolution from Japanese territory.
The wealthy Chinese helped Sun Yat-sen and his party. However, its main backbone before the revolution was the Chinese patriotic Republicans. In our country, under Soviet rule, “Kuomintang” and “Kuomintang”, “Chiang Kai-shek” and “Chiang Kai-shek” were swear words that did not even consider it necessary to explain. The implication was that it was either about nationalists, which was perceived as a curse, or about a class enemy. Yes, indeed, Chiang Kai-shek was a staunch opponent of communist ideas and had his own ideas about politics as such. However, history in the first half of the twentieth century developed in such a way that within the country, in China itself, two political parties, the Kuomintang and the Communist Party, in certain periods were forced to act together. Both parties worked to achieve the goals that the Chinese nation was striving for: in the 1920s it was the unification of the country, and in the 1930s and 1940s, it was resistance to Japanese aggression. In both cases, Chiang Kai-shek was the leader of China. Both were carried out in cooperation and even alliance with our country, with our substantial assistance. We were allies in World War II as well. At the same time, it was Chiang Kai-shek who then became one of the leaders of the allied powers that made up the “Big Four”: Stalin, Roosevelt, Churchill, Chiang Kai-shek. For more than two decades, he was the sole supreme leader of China until the establishment of the PRC. Yes, he was defeated in an armed struggle against Mao Zedong’s forces in mainland China. But from 1949 until his death in 1975, Chiang Kai-shek was the “main” on the island of Taiwan, which today has become one of the most industrialized regions with a democratic political system.
Causes of defeat on the continent
In mid-1947, the state and Jiang Zhongzheng’s party on the continent were heading towards collapse, falling apart, and self-destructing. And the point was, first of all, that people wanted peace, not war. They were ready to support the victor in the civil war, whoever he was. At the same time, the CPC had a reliable rear – the USSR. The CPC had a base for the offensive – Manchuria, bordering on the Soviet Union, which transferred a lot of weapons to the CPC, provided substantial material, technical and other assistance. In particular, thanks to our efforts, the railways were quickly restored, as a result of which it became possible to transfer large military units. On the other hand, the United States did not become such a rear for Jiang Zhongzheng. They chose not to get directly involved in the war in China. Simply put, they abandoned the Kuomintang and Jiang Zhongzheng. The political system that existed under him was less totalitarian than the system created by Mao Zedong. But the Kuomintang party did not act then as a single mechanism. The Republic of China was not a unitary state. The disintegration of military and civilian officials also played a significant role in the general confusion. Jiang Zhongzheng then did not find a way out of economic and social difficulties, could not find a solution to the problem of improving the situation of the Chinese peasantry. Indeed, as they said in China at the time, he first lost the war on the peasant fields, and then on the battlefields. His policies have also frustrated the democratically minded Chinese intelligentsia. On the one hand, his regime was not fascist, but on the other hand, the Kuomintang was in power for a relatively long time and did not attract educated people to its side.
Rather, on the contrary, the Kuomintang proceeded primarily from the fact that the intellectuals sympathize with the communist ideas, the CCP, Mao Zedong, and therefore should be under suspicion. This reflected the general situation in the world, especially after the Second World War, when the influence of the USSR increased. All this alienated the Chinese intelligentsia from Jiang Zhongzheng. At the same time, the populist slogans of Mao Zedong, the game on the idea of democracy and a coalition government enjoyed support in the country. It was also important that the people were tired of decades of war, turmoil, chaos and instability. There is a general consensus that Jiang Zhongzheng brings neither peace nor tranquility. It was then that the eyes of the people in China turned to Mao Zedong as “the great star of salvation.”
The unknown seemed promising. Most turned their backs on Jiang Zhongzheng and believed in Mao Zedong. Jiang Zhongzheng, who stood firm on the positions of resistance to Japanese aggression, turned out to be an almost ideal leader in wartime, but not in peacetime. Although the years following the end of the anti-Japanese war can hardly be called peaceful. Jiang Zhongzheng has always had to act in anticipation of a military attack or repelling such an attack. Mao Zedong won a military victory over Jiang Zhongzheng.
The point was also that Jiang Zhongzheng’s army was not united and efficient. Its soldiers were reluctant to sacrifice their lives to defend a system that seemed incapacitated. Mao Zedong’s armed forces were inspired by the desire to get the Celestial Empire. And they laid her at the feet of Mao Zedong. And yet, Jiang Zhongzheng did not give up, did not flee from China, did not abandon the part of the Chinese who did not put up with the rule of Mao Zedong. He kept for them an alternative to the development of China on the island of Taiwan. In fact, he set the following conditions to Mao Zedong: each of the opposing sides in China had to possess its own armed forces and also have a powerful ally on the world stage, in one case the USSR, and in the other the United States, in conditions of relative equilibrium of all these strength and preservation of the status quo for decades, measure strength in solving internal problems – political, economic and social problems in two separate parts of the territory of the Chinese nation, empirically groping for alternative ways of development for China and for the Chinese. In other words, Jiang Zhongzheng managed to put Mao Zedong alongside himself, even though the latter won a military victory in mainland China, in the position of two equal participants in the peaceful competition of the two parts of the Chinese nation, competition in peaceful construction, not in revolution or war. … It was about comparing the alternatives for the development of the Chinese nation, about who is the best builder, not a revolutionary or leader of armed battles, Jiang Zhongzheng or Mao Zedong. Mao Zedong was able to oust or, as he preferred to say, “drive” Jiang Zhongzheng out of mainland China, but Jiang Zhongzheng managed to put the island’s development on such rails, moving along which the Chinese on the island of Taiwan in terms of living standards far outstripped the Chinese on the continent. Mao Zedong defeated Jiang Zhongzheng in an armed struggle, and Jiang Zhongzheng defeated Mao Zedong in the field of peaceful construction. Mao Zedong turned out to be only a successful contender for power in the country, and Jiang Zhongzheng showed that he is able to lead people along the path of peaceful construction. At the same time, in fact, Mao Zedong remained until the end of his life a man of attack, a man of attack, and Jiang Zhongzheng managed to win in peaceful competition, occupying the position of a man of defense.
“Kolya the Chinese”
Jiang Zhongzheng’s eldest son Jiang Chingguo was born in 1910. He grew up in his native village under the wing of a caring mother. From childhood, his father was a model and mentor for him. By the age of 15, Jiang Ching-kuo was already a real son of his father, became his convinced like-minded person. Jiang Ching-kuo recalled the principles that, from the point of view of his father, shape a person: in youth, one must be able to adapt to the environment; at the same time, you should not allow it to adapt you to yourself, but it is necessary that you adapt it to yourself; a young man should in no case be conceited, excessively proud of himself; ancient books say: be humble and absorb what makes sense; you should not hope that someone will help you; relying on someone else’s uncle, on support from the outside will lead, first of all, to the fact that a person will dirty himself, since in this case it will be difficult for him to avoid vile actions; one must be able to go out into this world empty-handed … Chiang Ching-kuo recalled: “I’ve lived abroad for more than ten years (I mean 1925-1937 years of life in the USSR. – Yu. G.) and very often I had no money. I even happened to be a sewer truck, carrying out buckets of garbage and shit behind people. I had to beg for alms, but I did not die of hunger. ” Life really seemed to test Jiang Ching-kuo for strength. At the age of 15, he came to Moscow to study and received a Russian name – Nikolai Vladimirovich Elizarov, although acquaintances called him simply Kolya the Chinese. In December 1925, he became a member of the Komsomol (later Komsomol), and in 1927 his father Jiang Zhongzheng and the CPC parted ways. Jiang Zhongzheng began the armed suppression of the communists, while his son Jiang Ching-kuo was “in the hands of Stalin.” Saving his life, he was forced to condemn his father publicly for “betraying” the revolution.
Stalin, in turn, of course, did not release Jiang Ching-kuo to China, leaving him in Moscow as a virtual hostage. In 1931, Jiang Ching-kuo visited Stalin in the Kremlin. This happened shortly before the restoration of diplomatic relations between the USSR and the Republic of China. Then, for some time, he was not persecuted, but also not patronized. It was during these years that he got it. It was then that he was a sewer worker, a worker in Altai. At the same time, great changes took place in his life: in March 1935, Jiang Chingguo married 19-year-old Faina Vakhreva, who worked with him at the same plant. Jiang Ching-kuo was allowed to return to his homeland only in 1937. In their home village, according to Chinese customs, the couple got married, and Faina received the Chinese name Jiang Fanliang. After the death of his father, Jiang Ching-kuo first became the chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang Party of China, and soon the president of the Republic of China. In 1988, Jiang Jingguo died. And Faina passed away in December 2004 in Taipei.
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