Introduction to the 1960 Diary

By Yixiao Zheng

The most important political event in this year’s diary was the convening of the Third Session of the First National Assembly in the spring (from 20 February to 25 March) of 1960, when Chiang Kai-shek was duly re-elected for a third presidential term. Since the KMT Central Committee had already decided on the specific arrangements for the presidential re-election at the end of the previous year, what happened in the months leading up to and during the National Assembly were primarily steps taken to implement the decision. Hence, readers could find diary entries describing the circumstances surrounding the Judicial Yuan’s adoption of a controversial interpretation of the total number of the National Assembly members required for the exercise of political rights by the National Assembly before the start of the National Assembly meeting in February; readers could also find entries about the amendment of the Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of National Mobilisation for Suppression of the Communist Rebellion, which, among other things, suspended Article 47 of the Constitution prohibiting presidential (and vice presidential) re-election beyond the second term in mid-March; Fu also described the nomination of Chiang Kai-shek and Chen Cheng for the presidency and vice presidency respectively at the fourth meeting of the Central Advisory Committee and the extraordinary plenary session of the Central Committee held in conjunction with the National Assembly, and their subsequent successful re-election at the National Assembly days before this session closed around the end of March. Notwithstanding sporadic opposition from some individual dissidents (such as Pan Gongzhan and Hu Shi as highlighted in this diary), Chiang’s re-election was widely endorsed within the establishment and was deemed a political necessity under the circumstances then. Fu’s diary also shows that Chiang had been in close consultation with advisers such as Xie Guansheng and Ma Chaojun. Fu also noted his discussion with senior U.S. diplomats (including the U.S. Ambassador) in Taipei about the presidential re-election and the Americans’ understanding of the need for Chiang’s continued leadership.


In addition to the presidential re-election, Fu’s accounts of the Third Session of the First National Assembly also feature the attempt on the part of the National Assembly members to seek constitutional amendment with the aim of institutionalising their rights of initiative and referendum (創制權、復決權). Fu saw this attempt as the National Assembly members’ struggle for power, and his diary offers some detailed accounts of the evolving dynamics between those National Assembly members seeking constitutional revision to expand their power and Chiang Kai-shek who had remained firm in his refusal to give in. Readers may also find Fu’s own views about this movement, and his description of the mobilisation of the Party machinery, including Chiang’s personal intervention, to dissuade those KMT National Assembly members from going against Chiang’s will. Fu also noted Chiang’s flexibility and skills demonstrated in his efforts to placate the National Assembly members, which helped lead to a proposal for the provisional arrangements that had also been incorporated in the amended Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of National Mobilisation for Suppression of the Communist Rebellion and were intended to leave scope for further examination and preparation for constitutional revision in the future. The diary also has many entries illustrating the dynamics of the presidium election, and those registering the widespread discontent among the National Assembly members at the Party’s Central Committee.


Apart from the presidential re-election and other National Assembly affairs, this year’s diary also offers Fu’s observations of other remarkable aspects of the domestic political situation. One of those pertains to Vice President Chen Cheng’s tense relations with the elected representatives of virtually all the elected institutions including the National Assembly members, members of the Control Yuan, and especially those elements of the CC Clique in those two agencies. What is most striking is perhaps the strained relationship between Chen and the Legislative Yuan members, whose mutual disdain and contempt had almost crippled the working relationship between the Executive Yuan and the Legislative Yuan, as seen from Chen’s continued failure to get his budget bill passed by the legislators; even Chiang’s personal intervention and good offices could not help resolve the deadlock or significantly reduce the elected representatives’ ill will towards Chen. Fu also noted Chen’s displeasure with Fu himself and even Xie Guansheng at some point. Though Chen had been reappointed as Premier of the Executive Yuan, rumours were circulating about his alleged resignation or replacement both before and after his reappointment. The diary thus also notes Fu’s attitude towards those recurrent speculations about Chen’s political standing as the Premier of the Executive Yuan. Some entries suggest that Chen had started trying to improve his relations with Chiang. Fu also recorded his observations of other political developments, including his accounts of the circumstances surrounding the Third Plenum of the Eighth Central Committee of the KMT started at the end of September, the discussion of party reforms, the continuing deliberations concerning the return of Sun Ke and Chen Lifu from America, the cabinet reshuffle of the Executive Yuan and other government bodies, as well as the lack of morale among military servicemen. The circumstances surrounding the arrest and trial of Lei Zhen was also noted in this diary; readers may find Fu’s observation of the government’s handling of this case, including Chiang’s political considerations behind the intensified suppression of dissident views, Chiang’s response to the international criticism of the regime’s handling of the case, and Fu’s personal view on this.


In this year’s diary, Fu recorded in detail several cases handled by the Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Functionaries. Fu’s description of these cases helps reveal the kinds of political difficulties and legal risks that had been encountered by the Commission in its work. Notably, the Commission had been under immense pressure from various sources such as the Vice President (who was also the Premier of the Executive Yuan), the Executive Yuan (especially the Ministry of Economic Affairs) and the Ministry of Judicial Administration over some disciplinary cases in the first half of the year; and these external pressure had left the Commission and its Commissioners vulnerable to the criticisms of some members of the Control Yuan, even exposing the Commissioners (including Fu himself) to the risk of impeachment at one point. In the second half of 1960, the Commission had become reluctantly embroiled in a high-profile case involving the struggle between the Supreme Court and the Control Yuan; with the subsequent involvement of the newspapers, the Party’s Central Commission (including the President’s attention) and even the Legislative Yuan, the unfortunate escalation of the dispute had once again put the Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions in an extremely awkward if not dangerous position as the Control Yuan sought to pressurise the Commission into taking actions against the judges of the Supreme Court. Fu’s accounts of these events offer valuable insights into the workings of the Commission and how Fu and his Commissioners had tried to navigate between legalities and politics in their handling of those thorny cases and in reaction to the intervention of the Control Yuan and what was deemed to be the politically-motivated manoeuvres by some individuals (especially those connected to the CC Clique) of the Control Yuan. Fu also demonstrated his willingness to allow flexibility in some cases (for instance, in the handling of Lian Zhendong’s case for the sake of the new cabinet’s interest) without violating the law.


In addition to the work of the Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions, Fu also noted the situation of the judicial system at large. Some of these accounts include his observations of the extent of judicial corruption, the phenomenon of the so-called ‘judicial brokers’ (with Fu himself being a victim of it), and the external interference (by the ombudsmen for example) in the judicial process; there were also some notes on the personnel issues regarding the choice of the Minister of Judicial Administration since the presidential re-election, the internal management of the Ministry of Judicial Administration and issues relating to the President of the Taiwan High Court. Fu also noted the Supreme Court’s ruling on Lei Zhen’s case and expressed his own view about the sentence passed.


However, the most significant development in the judicial system at the time pertains to the deliberations on the part of the Judicial Yuan in preparation for the proposed institutional reform of the judicial system. In this diary, readers interested in the republican judicial history may find valuable accounts of the circumstances surrounding the constitutional/judicial interpretation by the Justices of the Judicial Yuan concerning the jurisdictional matters within the judicial system. The issues at stake were the jurisdiction over the District and High Courts (which were then administered by the Ministry of Judicial Administration, unlike the Supreme Court under the Judicial Yuan), the separation of the prosecution service and the court service, as well as the Executive Yuan’s jurisdiction over the Ministry of Judicial Yuan. The diary shows how the issue had turned into a political controversy that engulfed the President of the Judicial Yuan, following the political attack launched by the CC members of the Control Yuan against the continued delay on the part of the Judicial Yuan in carrying out the interpretation by the Justices with their threat to oppose the confirmation of the President of the Judicial Yuan and impeach the Justices. Readers may find Fu’s detailed observations of how the President of the Judicial Yuan, Xie Guansheng, was mired in political considerations and scruples in the process and how the Party’s Central Committee mediated between the Judicial Yuan and the Control Yuan. Also contained in the diary are Fu’s own view on the need of constitutional/judicial interpretation, his interpretation of the event and his advice to President Xie; of course, the diary also gives Fu’s personal take on the judicial reform plan and its influence on Xie’s position. Fu’s accounts also reveal Chiang Kai-shek’s evolving attitude towards the proposed changes to the institutional jurisdiction over the District and High Courts as well as the political reasons for Chiang’s preference for the existing arrangements. Also noted in the diary is the opposition of the Legislative Yuan and the Party’s Central Committee to the proposal that the District and High Courts should be brought under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Readers may also find Fu’s observations of the views of the Ministry of Judicial Administration, its newly appointed Minister (Zheng Yanfen), the President of the Supreme Court (Xie Xianting) and other senior figures such as Wang Yunwu, Tao Xisheng and Gu Fengxiang, especially on the question of whether the prosecutor’s office should be separated from the court system, after the Grand Justices Council finally passed the interpretation in favour of the reform in August 1960.


Readers may find interesting accounts of the diplomatic situation of the R.O.C. in the 1959 diary. This year, Fu described the visits by the Presidents of (South) Vietnam and the Philippines, as well as the short visit by U.S. President Eisenhower. Fu was also invited to the annual banquet hosted by the diplomatic corps in Taipei for the Chinese President and his wife, and Fu wrote about his conversation with Madam Chiang on that occasion. There are also a number of accounts of the internal situation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Among other issues, Fu noted Huang Shaogu’s working style and the circumstances surrounding his replacement by Shen Changhuan as the Foreign Minister in the new cabinet, the apparent discontent with Ye Gongchao, the circumstances surrounding Chiang Kai-shek’s review and eventual rejection of the candidacy of Jiang Tingfu (proposed by Chen Cheng) for the Foreign Minister post, and Fu’s personal view about the change of the minister. As to the most important diplomatic relationship with the United States, Fu registered his concern over the new trend in America’s international aid policy and U.S. public opinion towards Taiwan, as well as the implications of the U.S. presidential election and Kennedy’s foreign policy outlook for R.O.C.’s diplomacy and international status. Fu also noted the extent of the U.S. Embassy’s knowledge of the situation in the National Assembly. Fu was disappointed by the continuing deterioration in the international standing of the republican government. In this regard, Fu noted the self-inflicted isolation of the Chinese Embassy in Japan and the low regard held by the host government and the diplomatic corps for the Chinese mission there; he also noted the growing difficulty in preserving the privilege of overseas Chinese, the R.O.C.’s declining status vis-a-vis France, and Chinese protest at the Olympic Games against the International Olympic Committee’s treatment of the R.O.C.’s representation, and how the Chinese had pathetically rejoiced over not having been chased out of international meetings and organisations. Fu was pleased with firm support for the R.O.C.’s membership at the United Nations expressed by the U.S. representative.


Major developments in Cold War politics continued to feature in the 1960 diary. Fu followed the U.S.-Soviet rivalry closely. In Fu’s record, readers could sense the growing U.S.- Soviet competition in Asia and Africa. But the most important account pertains to the U.S.-Soviet nuclear arms race and the analysis of how the Soviet superiority in missile capability (the so-called ‘missile gap’) had affected the calculation of balance of power. Fu noted the discussion about the changing balance of forces between the United States and the U.S.S.R. and its implications for the possibility of war between the two superpowers. Fu also registered Chiang Kai-shek’s doubt about the prevailing idea that the so-called ‘balance of terror’ would help prevent war and his assessment of its likely impact on the respective war strategies of the Soviets and Americans. Fu also observed the failure of the Paris summit and the unexpected turn in the atmosphere and course of the meeting in the aftermath of the U-2 incident. Readers may also find Fu’s account of Chiang’s assessment of the circumstances surrounding the Paris summit. Fu also noted the breakdown of the U.S.-Soviet negotiation on the repayment of the lend-lease in 1960. Apart from the relations between the two superpowers, the diary also offers Fu’s observations of the political and economic developments in Western Europe, Southeast Asia and Japan. He was also concerned about the situation in France, following closely the developments in French politics, de Gaulle’s military and stabilisation efforts in Algeria and the international response to France’s first successful nuclear test. The diary also offers Fu’s observation of the circumstances surrounding the fall of the Rhee regime.


Insofar as the assessment of the situation of the Chinese Communists, Fu briefly noted the KMT regime’s fear of the extent of the infiltration of Chinese Communists in Taiwan. But the most interesting part pertains to Fu’s accounts of the tensions between the Chinese Communist regime and the Soviet Union. Fu noted Beijing’s disagreements with Moscow over the review of Stalin and the Soviet policy towards the West, the growing Soviet-led international criticism of the Chinese Communists within the socialist camp, as well as the withdrawal of Soviet advisors from China and the relocation of Chinese students from Soviet Russia to Eastern European countries. Readers may also find Fu’s own assessment of the current state of the relationship and the possibility of a full rupture in Sino-Soviet relations. Perhaps the more interesting account is Fu’s account of Chiang Kai-shek’s assessment of relations between the Chinese and Soviet Communists, such as the Soviet impatience with Peng Dehuai and Moscow’s alleged role in Peng’s removal in 1959, the changing Soviet perception of Liu Shaoqi, the conflict and struggle between Mao Zedong and Khrushchev, as well as the prospect of a collapse of the relations and the Soviet ability to control the Chinese Communists; Chiang was of the view that the lack of outcome at the Paris summits was not a result of the U-2 incident and instead explained its failure in relation to Beijing’s war blackmail, which was also allegedly intended to achieve Chinese policy goals with respect to Outer Mongolia and Taiwan vis-a-vis the Soviets. On Beijing’s relations with the Washington, Fu was concerned that all of U.S. presidential candidates would like to review the existing U.S. approach to Communist China. Fu also noted Washington intention to invite Beijing to the international disarmament conference, which was firmed opposed by Western European countries.

Fu once again indicated in the 1960 diary that he had no wish to take on any responsibilities in the executive branch or the foreign policy establishment, not least because he believed he would have done no better than others in those positions. As to his family, Fu wrote with sadness that he had never been able to enjoy the love and warmth of a family; yet, he dreaded his wife coming to Taiwan to join him from London, even though the relatively regular correspondence between Fu and his wife suggests that they did care about each other and their family. Fu learned about the difficult life of his two younger daughters in Hong Kong; but he was pleased with their school performance and hoped they could come to study in Taiwan after completing their high school. Fu was also disturbed by his concubine’s wish to go to London to live with their daughter there. Fu was also pleased with the achievement of his son-in-law, who was the son of the then Chinese Ambassador to the U.K. and an emerging academic leader in the field of air and space law. One notable feature of this year’s diary is that it contains many interesting personal comments about people, many of those remarks were Fu’s own personal views and observations. Fu completed the interview series for the oral history project with the Academia Sinica early this year, and accepted a number of other interviews with a number of foreign scholars in history, law, and Soviet studies.