FASH OF THE EAST
You selfish goys think you can keep all the fashy fun to yourselves. That’s problematic and we need to have a conversation about that right now. Modern Asian history has a few right-wing authoritarian leaders of its own. The story of Chiang Kai-Shek, Chinese nationalist and dedicated Commie-killer will make a perfect bedtime story for you TRSers.
Pursuing a military career, he entered the Baoding Military Academy and then later went to Japan to enter the Imperial Army Academy. After serving in the Imperial Japanese Army from 1909-1911, he returned to China and immediately joined the revolutionary forces against the Qing Dynasty, a corrupt, debt-ridden regime.
Known for his quick temper, Chiang had numerous disputes among the revolutionary forces. The most infamous was between Chiang and Tao Chen-Chang, another officer. Chen sought to avoid a direct confrontation with Chiang and so hid in a hospital. Rumors are that Chiang himself entered the hospital and shot Chen dead.
While seeking recruits and financial support for the revolution, Chiang made alliances with various criminal syndicates in Shanghai. This led to him being watched by British intelligence and being charged with numerous felonies. No trial ever occurred and Chiang was never incarcerated.
Chiang was a founding member of the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party). In 1916, the leader of the Kuomintang (KMT)-associated Chinese Revolutionary Party was assassinated and Chiang took his place. Chiang was now ready to take real action and make history. (1.)
(Chiang was a member of a few revolutionary groups in his early days. Some of the groups changed names for various reasons and in other cases Chiang was involved in more than one simultaneously. This is not too unusual in many Asian societies.)
CHINA AND THE WORLD
Both the US and Soviet Union viewed Chiang as the “Red General”, with the US worried about his activities and the Soviet Union praising him. The latter connection may have been due to Chiang’s ally Sun Yat-Sen, who had some amicable communication with the Soviets. It should be noted that the KMT had both right and left factions within their ranks for several years. There were many Communists in the KMT and Chiang, ever the pragmatic strategist, attempted to work with them, despite his more nationalistic, right-wing view. Under the circumstances, a masterful move.
In a brutal change of heart, he carried out a purge of Communists in Shanghai that came to be known as the “White Terror”. Chiang declared martial law in the region and, when students and unionists marched in the streets in protest, the KMT arrested, beat and shot them. During the month of April, an estimated 12,000 people were killed by the KMT. Over the next year, an estimated 300,000 suspected Communists and dissidents were killed throughout the nation. (2.)
As the picture below indicates, these executions were carried out quickly and publicly, sending a simple but effective message to the population.
Following his consolidation of power, Chiang’s new government brought upon massive infrastructural improvements around the vast but impoverished nation of China. He commissioned a standardized national language and created a national banking system, for example.
In 1937 when Japan invaded China, Chiang sent 600,000 troops to defend Shanghai. Although 200,000 troops were killed, Japan quickly realized that China would not be an easy victory. The Japanese forces pushed forward and pushed Chiang to pull his troops back into the mainland. Using a scorched earth policy, the China managed to drastically disrupt and impede Japanese troops.
Chiang also played the US and the Soviet Union off one another during the war. He told the Americans that they were welcome to the talks with the Soviets and China. He then told the Soviets that he ignored American advice. A Third Positionist to the core, he knew how to work with democratic capitalists and communists while serving neither.
Something that may be of interest to you volks is that Chiang’s China had a co-operative alliance with Nazi Germany. Germany sent advisors to China to help with economic and military development. In 1937, KMT official H.H. Kung flew to Germany and met with the Fuhrer himself. Hitler and Chiang Kai-Shek spoke highly of each other and their nations. It is alleged that the two met at some point in the 1920s, but I have not found any photo evidence. (3.)
Good friends, good times:
Hitlerjugend in China:
Chiang’s son even served in the Wehrmacht:
Post-war, China went into civil war with Mao Zedong leading the People’s Liberation Army against Generalissimo Chiang’s KMT. After several defeats had taken its toll on China, Chiang moved his government to Taiwan in late 1949. While often seen as a tactical retreat, this move also allowed Chiang and his supporters to create a new, nationalistic Chinese nation. Mainland China soon fell to the Mao-led Communists.
After the Japanese withdrew from Taiwan, the nation was left without strong leadership. Chiang was elected President of the Republic of China (Taiwan). He conducted another White Terror and approximately 14,000 Communist and dissidents were executed.
White Terror Pt. II
Within his own leadership, he sought to eliminate corruption and fired and occasionally imprisoned officials for graft. Although many of Taiwan’s industries were government-controlled, Chiang also encouraged private enterprise, leading to Taiwan becoming one of the four Asian Tigers economies of the post-war era.
Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek was in office from 1950-1972. He died in 1975. (4.)
Chiang’s personal and political beliefs were a mix of Chinese philosophy and religion with a dash of Christianity. He promoted Confucianism for his people as he saw the value of respecting one’s elders and understood that a hierarchal society was the best choice for the Chinese. He encouraged Buddhism among his soldiers, particularly aspects of martyrdom bringing rewards in the afterlife. Chiang converted to Protestant Christianity in his later adult life.
He was staunchly anti-communist and correctly saw communism as a threat to sovereign nations worldwide. He also saw many Western ideas (democracy, for starters) as foreign and potentially damaging to China. (The irony being that Taiwan become one of the more democratic nations in East Asia.) Chiang was also opposed to capitalism and even seized the assets of business owners in order to fund his government on the mainland.
Having said that, many Western nations had respect for his pivotal role in forming the nation of Taiwan.
Chiang opposed all forms of imperialism and viewed the US, Soviet Union, the UK and Japan as being self-serving with no concern for the well-being of other nations.
And so that ends our story of a premier fash of the East. If you are good goys, I can tell you another tale.
One more picture of Chiang Kai-Shek looking fash as fuck: