TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Stanford University’s Hoover Institution presented the private diaries of late President Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), the son of Taiwan's postwar strongman ruler Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), on Tuesday (Dec. 17), but the public will have to wait until February to have a look.
The notes traced Chiang Ching-kuo's path from the Kuomintang’s (KMT) withdrawal to Taiwan in 1949 to his ascendance to the presidency in 1978, CNA reported.
The younger Chiang was president from 1978 until his death in January 1988, but he was the heir apparent, premier, and KMT chairman before that period. His diaries tell of his interest in economic development, with the Hsinchu Science Park and a special export processing zone in Kaohsiung taking up a significant portion of them.
The documents on display range from 1937, when he returned to China from the Soviet Union, to December 1979, though the entries for 1948 have gone missing, according to CNA. It is not known why Chiang stopped writing after 1979, but most theories suggest his poor health was the reason.
The opening of the exhibition was attended by former United States Secretary of State George Shultz and the Taiwanese representative in San Francisco, Joseph C.L. Ma (馬鍾麟). However, no member of the Chiang family was present, CNA reported.
The only descendant still active in Taiwanese politics is a grandson, KMT legislator Wayne Chiang (蔣萬安).