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Chiang Kai-Shek
Chiang
Historical Figure
Nationality: China (born in the Qing Dynasty, died in Taiwan)
Date of Birth: 1887
Date of Death: 1975
Cause of Death: Renal failure caused by cardiac arrest
Religion: Methodism (convert)
Occupation: Politician, Revolutionary
Spouse: Soong May-ling
Children: Chiang Ching-kuo
Chiang Wei-kuo (sons)
Military Branch: Republic of China Army
(World War II)
Political Party: Kuomintang
Political Office(s): President of the Republic of China (later Taiwan)
Premier of China
Turtledove Appearances:
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Throughout
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Political Office(s): President of the Republic of China
The Man With the Iron Heart
POD: May 29, 1942;
Relevant POD: May, 1945
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
Worldwar
POD: May 30, 1942
Appearance(s): In the Balance
through
Aftershocks
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Military Branch: Republic of China Army (World War II, Race Invasion of Tosev 3)
The War That Came Early
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
Appearance(s): Hitler's War;
Coup d'Etat
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Both
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Chiang Kai-shek (Chinese: 蔣介石; 31 October 1887 – 5 April 1975), also romanized as Chiang Chieh-shih and known as Chiang Chungcheng (Chinese: 蔣中正), was a political and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China, both in the mainland from 1928 to 1949, and then on Taiwan after the CCP defeated Chiang's Kuomintang at the end of the Chinese Civil War.

Prior to his rise in 1928, Chiang was an influential member of the Kuomintang (KMT), the Chinese Nationalist Party, as well as a close ally of Sun Yat-sen, the party's long time leader and first President of the Republic of China. Chiang became the Commandant of the Kuomintang's Whampoa Military Academy. After Sun's death, Chiang successfully wrested the leadership of the KMT from Sun's would-be successors. He then began a purge of communists from the Nationalist army in Guangzhou in March, 1926. His position secure, Chiang then led Sun's long-postponed Northern Expedition (1926-1928), conquering or reaching accommodations with China's many warlords in China's north.

From 1928 to 1948, Chiang served as chairman of the National Military Council of the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China (ROC). Chiang was socially conservative, promoting traditional Chinese culture in the New Life Movement and rejecting both western democracy and Sun's nationalist democratic socialism in favor of an authoritarian government. Unable to maintain Sun's good relations with the communists, Chiang followed the Canton Coup with the concentrated effort to suppress and purge all Communists within the control of his conservative KMT faction, including the Shanghai Massacre in 1927, and repression of uprisings at Kwangtung and elsewhere. These purges effectively began the Chinese Civil War in 1927.

While the Civil War raged throughout the 1930s, it was soon clear Japan was preparing for war. In December 1936, warlord Zhang Xueliang kidnapped Chiang and obliged him to establish a Second United Front with the communists in the face of Japanese aggression. While Chiang agreed, after his release he had Zhang placed on house arrest. Chiang did maintain some nominal support for the Second United Front, especially as Japan finally initiated the Second Sino-Japanese War in mid-1937. However, the Second United Front fell apart by 1941, as both the KMT and the CCP both used the fighting to try to gain advantage over each other. Moreover, Chiang's use of scorched-earth tactics claimed additional civilian deaths and cost Chiang national support. However, Chiang soon proved adept at gaining support from the international community, working closely with the West once the war was folded into World War II in December, 1941.

After the defeat of the Japanese in 1945, the American-sponsored Marshall Mission, an attempt to negotiate a coalition government, failed in 1946. The Chinese Civil War resumed, with the CCP led by Mao Zedong defeating the Nationalists and declaring the People's Republic of China in 1949. Chiang's government and army retreated to Taiwan, where Chiang imposed martial law and persecuted critics in a period known as the "White Terror". After evacuating to Taiwan, Chiang's government continued to declare its intention to retake mainland China. Chiang ruled Taiwan securely as President of the Republic of China and General of the Kuomintang until his death in 1975, just one year before Mao's death.

Chiang Kai-Shek in The Hot WarEdit

The United States pointedly recognized Chiang Kai-Shek as the legitimate leader of China even though he only held Formosa. The outbreak of World War III certainly didn't change their position.[1]

Chiang still had intelligence-sources on the mainland, and shared the information he received with the U.S. In September 1951, Chiang confirmed for the U.S. that Mao Tse-Tung only stayed in one town for a day or two at a time before moving on, to thwart U.S. attempts to kill him with an atomic bomb.[2]

As the U.S. prepared Operation: Long Reach in June 1952, President Harry Truman speculated that Chiang wanted a parallel plan to kill Mao. Defense Secretary Omar Bradley agreed.[3] However, the U.S. neither killed Mao nor restored Chiang to the mainland before the war ended on all fronts.

Chiang Kai-Shek in The Man With the Iron HeartEdit

With Japan defeated, Chiang Kai-Shek and the Kuomintang turned back to their direct conflict with the Chinese Communist Party. The years 1946-1948 saw a series of set-backs and downturns in Chiang's fortunes, events which were detrimental to popular support for US President Harry Truman's foreign policy.[4]

Chiang Kai-Shek in WorldwarEdit

With the arrival of the Race's Conquest Fleet in 1942, Chiang Kai-Shek found himself working uneasily with both Japan and the Chinese Communist Party against the Race.

Chiang was viewed as corrupt and worthless by most average people in China. Chiang had evacuated Peking quickly in the face of the approaching Japanese. Ironically, the Japanese had fought the Race tooth-and-nail in a failed bid to hold Peking. The Communists proved far more adept at fighting the Race, and so Chiang and the KMT lost favor.

Nonetheless, Chiang remained an important figure in China, and continued to fight the Race's occupation into the 1960s, although he continued to fight the Communists, as well.[5]

Chiang Kai-Shek in The War That Came EarlyEdit

As the leader of China, Chiang Kai-Shek was supposed to be fighting the invasion of Japan. However, many people (Communists especially) believed China's only real hope lay with Mao Tse-Tung.[6] Even the Japanese, while worried about Chiang's troopers, were more worried about the guerrilla tactics of the Communist Party throughout the war.[7]

Still, Chiang's actions against the Japanese were effective. His troops maintained a secure hold in Yunnan Province, and received a measure of help from Britain in the form of supplies from India. Japan responded in the Fall of 1941 by releasing cholera bacilli and rodents infected with plague into Yunnan.[8]

Chiang Kai-Shek in Joe SteeleEdit

Chiang Kai-Shek was the President of China before, during and after World War II, including the period when Japan had invaded China. Throughout much of this period, Chiang was locked in a civil war with Mao Tse-Tung's Reds.[9] In August 1945, the Soviet Union pushed Japan out of China. However, Soviet Premier Leon Trotsky ensured that Manchuria went to Mao.[10] Throughout the remainder of the 1940s, Chiang's forces lost ground to Mao's forces,[11] until, in October 1949, just two months after the end of the Japanese War, Mao and his Reds pushed Chiang's forces off of the Chinese mainland.[12]

The U.S. had backed Chiang, and refused to recognize Mao. For a time, U.S. President Joe Steele had considered using atomic bombs to support Chiang, as they'd effectively ended the Japanese War. However, the Soviet ambassador to the U.S., Andrei Gromyko, suggested that any U.S. atomic attack in China might be met with a Soviet atomic attack in Europe.[13]

Literary commentEdit

Chiang is only referenced once in the short story, but his role is identical to the novel, and OTL, for that matter.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Bombs Away, pg. 373 e-book.
  2. Fallout, pg. 187, HC.
  3. Armistice, loc. 1266, ebook.
  4. The Man With the Iron Heart, pg. 503.
  5. See, e.g.Second Contact, pg. 163.
  6. Hitler's War, pg. 450.
  7. See, e.g., Coup d'Etat, pg. 161, HC.
  8. Ibid., pg. 333.
  9. Joe Steele, pg. 325.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid., pg. 358.
  12. Ibid., pg. 376.
  13. Ibid, pg. 376-377.
Political offices
(OTL)
Preceded by
Li Zongren
President of the Republic of China (Taiwan)
1950-1976
Succeeded by
Yen Chia-kan
Preceded by
Soong Tse-ven
Premier of the Republic of China
1930-1931
Succeeded by
Chen Mingshu
Preceded by
Wang Jingwei
Premier of the Republic of China
1935-1938
Succeeded by
Hsiang-hsi Kung
Preceded by
Hsiang-hsi Kung
Premier of the Republic of China
1939-1945
Succeeded by
Song Ziwen
Political offices
(The War That Came Early)
Preceded by
Wang Jingwei
Premier of the Republic of China
1935-19??
Succeeded by
Incumbent at series' end, 1944
Political offices
(Worldwar)
Preceded by
Hsiang-hsi Kung
Premier of the Republic of China
1939-1944
Succeeded by
Nobody;
Race rule of China recognized