By Yixiao Zheng
A remarkable political development, as this diary reveals, is that morale on the Taiwan island had reached a low point in 1964. The R.O.C. was hit by the diplomatic crises with Japan and France, in addition to the major setback in securing U.S. support for the military counteroffensive that the Kuomintang regime had already suffered. Fu learned that morale amongst the servicemen was very low and the military’s sentiment was worrying. Even party elders such as Ma Chaojun were very concerned about the current situation, especially the lax military discipline and the Taiwanese people’s growing grievance against the government. Zhao Zhihua’s failed mutiny attempt in August, the further restrictions placed by the United States government on its military aid to the R.O.C., and the first successful detonation of a nuclear device by Communist China in October, all dealt serious blows to the KMT regime. Fu did not attend the Second Plenum of the Ninth Central Committee of the KMT (as he was on an official trip to Latin America), but he learned from his friends that the message of the President’s extremely heart-sinking speech at the closing meeting was that the R.O.C. was indeed facing an unprecedented crisis as the nation was in the most difficult and dangerous period, not least because the Chinese Communists would soon be able to weaponise their nuclear capability and manufacture nuclear bombs, and the possibility of losing the R.O.C.’s seat at the United Nations was still hanging over the Kuomintang regime. Fu noted that the severity of the situation had been confirmed by intelligence from Hong Kong. What had added to Chiang’s growing sense of haplessness was the lack of a sense of crisis and vitality on the part of the Party’s cadres and the government personnel. Indeed, Chiang Kai-shek was very disappointed and unhappy with the state of the government after going on a tour of inspection of some of the government ministries in December, and Chiang subsequently vowed to check on all the government agencies.
In January, the KMT Central Standing Committee approved Chen Cheng’s resignation from the post of the Premier of the Executive Yuan and Yan Jiagan’s new cabinet. The diary notes the difficult position in which Yan found himself, and Fu learned that Yan’s nomination was not a result of Chen Cheng’s recommendation. But the new Premier’s appointment was successfully passed by the Legislative Yuan as Yan’s premiership managed to get the highest number of votes in support of his appointment among all of his predecessors. The new Vice Premier, Yu Jingtang, was said to have been rather disenfranchised because of Yan’s tendency to gain full control of the Executive Yuan’s work. The diary also notes the new government’s imposition of a ban on all public functionaries visiting wine houses, night clubs and ballrooms because of concerns about the potentially devastating impact such a lifestyle would have on military morale as the armed forces were gearing up for the military counterattack.
The Vice President claimed that it was already the fourth time that he had tendered his resignation; and he reportedly said that his resignation was voluntary and a decision based on the advice of an American doctor. Since his departure from the Executive Yuan at the end of last year, the Vice President’s involvement in government affairs seemed to be kept to a minimum. Apart from taking up the chairmanship of the Preparatory Committee of the Centenary Commemoration of the Founding Father of the Nation (Dr Sun Yat-sen), as noted in this diary, Chen did not even attend the meetings of the KMT Central Standing Committee, and barely turned up for the Yangmingshan military conferences in August. Despite Chen’s lack of interest in making his appearance in those important meetings, his political associates and protégé were said to have remained active and refused to make peace; and the group reportedly harboured deep resentment and bitterness towards Foreign Minister Shen Changhuan, and was said to have been seeking revenge against the much-frightened Foreign Minister. There was speculation about Chen Cheng’s health at the end of the year, when Fu learned that the Vice President’s days were numbered as he had reportedly been diagnosed with liver cancer (or some said, cirrhosis). Chiang Kai-shek was said to have continued to use those senior Party figures favoured by the Vice President to avoid stinging the latter.
As to the KMT’s party affairs, the diary notes Chiang Kai-shek’s dissatisfaction with Tang Zong, who was then the KMT’s Secretary-General. What Tang had said during his official visit to the United States (where he suggested to a group of overseas Chinese that the United States was blocking the R.O.C.’s efforts to launch a military counteroffensive) had led to a strong backlash from the U.S. side. Tang was almost forced into retirement, only to be saved by Chiang Ching-kuo, who managed to persuade his father to reassign Tang to the National Defence Council (國防會議) as its Deputy Secretary-General, a post which had hitherto been held by Chiang Ching-kuo himself). Because of the special importance that Chiang Kai-shek had attached to the Party’s Central Committee, the Party’s new Secretary-General, Gu Fengxiang, had been in a very difficult position. Fu also observed that Zhang Fakui was improving his attitude towards the government recently. The diary also notes Xie Guansheng’s replacement of Jiang Menglin as the leader of the Third Party Small Group after the latter’s death. This year, Fu attended the ninth meeting of the KMT Central Policy Committee, two joint symposiums of the Central Advisory Committee and the Central Committee in February and September respectively, and the preparatory meetings for the commemoration of the centenary celebration of the birth of the founding father of the nation in August and September.
In this diary, readers may also find references to some personnel matters of the central and local governments. For instance, Fu noted that it was Defence Minister Yu Dawei who recommended Chiang Ching-kuo for the post of Deputy Defence Minister. A mention was made of the Vice President’s personnel plan, before his departure from the Executive Yuan, for people such as Huang Jie (considered for the post of Chinese Ambassador to Thailand or Chief of the General Staff), Peng Mengji (considered for the ambassadorial post to Seoul), and Chen Daqing (considered for the post of Taiwan Provincial Governor). There was speculation in May that the incumbent Provincial Governor, Huang Jie, would become the Ambassador to Vietnam and be succeeded by Zheng Yanfen, the Minister of Judicial Administration. Also noted in the diary is the appointment of Chen Cheng’s younger brother, Chen Min, as President of the Bank of Taiwan.
The diary also covers the outcome of Taipei’s mayoral election held in April, where the KMT candidate, Zhou Bailian, who was Taipei’s former mayor and reportedly hand-picked by Chiang Kai-shek for the campaign, unexpectedly lost the race to Gao Yushu, who stood as an independent in the election. Fu, who had duly cast his vote for the party candidate, noted the immense pressure of holding the KMT Central Committee (especially Secretary-General Tang Zong) accountable for the election result following the Party’s electoral defeat, and the deliberations of the Third Party Small Group on the mayor elect, who was said to be actually more reassuring than had been expected in terms of his capability and attitude towards the Kuomintang authorities; Shen Changhuan was worried about Gao’s relationship with the Americans, but his concern was dismissed by Ye Gongchao. Fu later learned that Chiang Kai-shek did not make a fuss about the election result. Fu also noted the circumstances surrounding the deliberations of the KMT Central Standing Committee on Zhang Qizhong’s nomination as the Party’s mayoral candidate for Taizhong.
The diary also contains references to the situations concerning the elected institutions. The members of the Legislative Yuan and the delegates to the National Assembly had come under attack from the newspapers for borrowing money from the government to build their own houses. Yu Youren appeared to be a weak President of the Control Yuan because he was said to have lost control over his own ombudsmen, some of who had even moved to impeach him. Indeed, even Chiang Kai-shek had many grievances against some of the Control Yuan members such as Tao Baichuan. Fu also noted the reasons for the difficulties in electing a new President for the Control Yuan. In August, Chiang Kai-shek called on the Legislative Yuan and the Control Yuan to enhance their cooperation with the Executive Yuan, urging those two elected bodies to focus on big issues only and instructing the Legislative Yuan to support the restructuring of the China Merchants Steam Navigation Company. The diary also records an incident where Fu’s close friend Ma Chaojun had almost been indicted on charges of corruption following the deliberations of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee of the Legislative Yuan; Fu noted how the KMT Central Committee, presumably under the instruction of Chiang Kai-shek, had to intervene in what was supposedly a politically motivated attempt to oust Ma Chaojun as Chairman of the Federation of Overseas Chinese Associations, by mobilising the Kuomintang parliamentary party and the Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee to stop the political manoeuvring against Ma.
Fu offered some detailed accounts of the judicial affairs in the 1964 diary. Fu noted the administrative aspect of his work at the Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Functionaries, such as the passing of the Commission’s annual budget by the Legislative Yuan this year, and his unsuccessful struggle to resist the appointment of an undesirable accountant who had been assigned by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics to work at the Commission. Fu also noted how he and his colleague, Gu Ruxun, had opposed and helped rule out on constitutional and practicality grounds the proposed amendments to the Public Functionaries Discipline Act that had been put forward by the Party’s Central Planning and Evaluation Committee. The diary also has a reference to a case filed against a Presidential Palace staff member that had been brought before the Commission. It also shows a number of occasions where Fu cautiously declined to interfere in the legal proceedings when being approached by friends who attempted to intercede with him for other people. This year, the inspection team from the Control Yuan adopted a new way of conducting the annual inspection of the Judicial Yuan by choosing to speak with individual organs of the Judicial Yuan, and the Judicial Yuan duly cooperated. The Judicial Yuan already had two vacant posts of Justices after it lost Justice Zeng Shaoxun this year and Justice Hu two years ago; Fu wrote about the deliberations between President Xie Guansheng and Fu on making a replacement nomination, the competition between the three nominees (Huang Liang, Wang Changhua and Gu Ruxun), Gu Ruxun’s grievance (which was shared by Fu to some extent) against President Xie for the way he handled this process, Gu Fengxiang’s initial opposition to Wang Changhua’s nomination, as well as the difficulty faced by Wang in securing the Control Yuan’ endorsement of his nomination. Fu was unable to do Yu Youren a favour after finding out that the Supreme Court would, based on the factual evidence identified and submitted by the Taiwan High Court, have to remand the Li Caifa case back to the High Court for a retrial and could not simply hand down a death sentence to Li Caifa, who had killed Yu Youren’s friend and saviour. Fu also noted the Judicial Yuan’s views on whether the staff of a government holding company (Hua Nan Bank) should be treated as a government functionary for the purpose of trial and on whether the judge of the District Court could be subject to impeachment by the Control Yuan. The diary also highlights the pervasive corruption of Taiwan’s District and High Court systems, which were said to have been plagued by the practice of bribery that had allegedly already spread to some parts of the Supreme Court; and Fu noted the causes of the judiciary’s degeneration, which included low pay, and more importantly, the practice of political appointment during the reigns of Lin Foxing and Gu Fengxiang, who were both keen to establish their power base during their tenure as Minister of Judicial Administration and had therefore always put considerations of personal relationship and lines of allegiance before professional experience, ethics and integrity when making judicial appointments; Fu also noted how the Supreme Court had responded to this alarming trend by devising a new system of assigning the cases, which was said to have somewhat mitigated the corrosive impact.
But the most significant and difficult judicial events encountered by Fu this year were two protracted political battles between the Control Yuan on the one hand, and the Supreme Court, the Taiwan High Court and the Commission of the Disciplinary Sanctions of Functionaries on the other. The struggles were prolonged because they started in January and it had taken more than half a year to call a truce. The first battle that had engulfed the Supreme Court and the Taiwan High Court (and to a lesser extent the Disciplinary Commission) was a continuation of the political struggle over the Huang Qirui case. Following Huang’s reinstatement as Taipei’s Mayor in January this year, some ombudsmen associated with the CC Clique such as Tao Baichuan moved again to file an impeachment motion at the Control Yuan against the judges of the Supreme Court and the Taiwan High Court who had dealt with Huang’s case. The move subsequently triggered several rounds of heated debates and acrimonious exchanges from parties on both sides from newspapers; the row also divided the press, angered the Legislative Yuan (with some Legislators also accusing the Control Yuan of interfering in judicial processes), and drew the KMT Central Committee’s attention (with the Party’s Secretary-General Tang Zong criticising Tao Baichuan for slack party discipline and disobeying the President’s orders). Fu and his colleagues at the Judicial Yuan also tried to mobilise their friends at the Control Yuan to dissuade Tao and his fellow Control Yuan members from giving up their impeachment motion and to explain the Disciplinary Commission’s approach to the case. But these efforts failed to prevent the Control Yuan from passing the impeachment motion in March. As a result of the impeachment resolution, which was published in full by newspapers, the case was brought before the Disciplinary Commission, effectively dragging the Commission into this affair.
The other battle involved a direct conflict between the Control Yuan and the Disciplinary Commission, and it ran almost parallel to the aforementioned struggle over the Huang case. In January, Yu Zhenzhou and other ombudsmen were intending to ask Fu to come to the Control Yuan to explain why there were many cases that were still left unheard by the Disciplinary Commission. Fu regarded that as a deliberate move to make life difficult for him; but with the helpful mediation of Xia Weishang, the ombudsmen agreed to postpone the meeting and consequently drop the initiative. But the thornier challenge came soon after, when the Control Yuan passed a resolution, which criticised the work of the Disciplinary Commission on several grounds. As a result of the resolution, the Control Yuan decided to convene a joint symposium with the relevant parties of the Judicial Yuan to exchange views and to address its concerns about the Disciplinary Commission. The Control Yuan had four major concerns in this regard, which included the question of whether the Commissioners had been excessively lenient in their judgements and rulings in the cases that were brought by the Control Yuan, the arrangements for dealing with the Commissioner’s illegal conduct, misconduct and negligence, the revision of the Public Functionaries Discipline Act, and the restrictions on the amount of external part-time work undertaken by the Commissioners (see the enclosed newspapers cuttings on this). Because President Xie Guansheng strongly advocated Fu attending the symposium, Fu and his colleagues had to prepare materials for the meeting, discuss their response and ask friends to help mediate with the Control Yuan members. The newspapers published the Control Yuan’s strongly worded invitation letter, and the Control Yuan had even made statements on the newspapers that were said to be highly insulting to the Disciplinary Commission. Still, Fu managed to dissuade his enraged fellow Commissioners from making any public statements in return, because he believed in the merits of the British judicial practice and custom, whereby judges would only have to answer to the law and their own conscience. Nonetheless, Fu indicated in the diary several times that a mood of melancholy had descended on him as he felt extremely depressed and anxious about what had happened. So dejected and dispirited had Fu become that he had even once thought about resigning from the Disciplinary Commission. In Fu’s view, it was never a constitutional requirement for the judiciary to be summoned by the Control Yuan to appear before the ombudsmen and answer to the latter; Fu himself was in favour of maintaining a tough stance and was personally never willing to attend the symposium as asked by the Control Yuan members, but he could not insist or defy President Xie, who was said to be too afraid to stand up to the Control Yuan by rejecting their demand; what made the matter worse was that the Control Yuan was keen on having an open meeting by trying to invite all of its members to attend (rather than having a closed door discussion attended by members of its Justice/Judicial Affairs Committee only), and this would significantly increase the risk of conflict and confrontation between the two sides at the meeting, only at the expense of the government’s prestige and credibility.
The struggles with the Control Yuan soon led to the intervention of President Chiang Kai-shek, who summoned Xie Guansheng, Fu and Xie Yingzhou on 10th March to brief them on the legal matters involved and the Judicial Yuan’s position. In the diary, Fu gave a very detailed account of the conversation between him and his colleagues with Chiang, who asked Xie Guangsheng to brief him about the cases concerning Huang Qirui and the four judges who handled Huang’s case, and also asked Fu about how the Disciplinary Commission would deal with the Control Yuan’s concerns. Chiang accepted and approved of what Fu and his colleagues said, and encouraged the Judicial Yuan to act in accordance with the law and not to be afraid of standing up to the Control Yuan; Chiang also indicated that it was unnecessary to attend the joint symposium with the Control Yuan. As a result of the presidential intervention, the KMT Central Committee ordered the Control Yuan to postpone the joint symposium. Because of the attitude of some of the Control Yuan members such as Tao Baichuan and Wang Guanwu who still refused to let it go, Xie Guansheng insisted on the Disciplinary Commission producing a written response to the Control Yuan to explain its position. Actually, Fu was hoping the matter could be allowed to die out on its own, and was concerned that such a letter might risk causing more misunderstanding. Nonetheless, Fu and his colleagues had to ask KMT party heavyweights (such as Tang Zong, Gu Fengxiang, Tao Xisheng, Ma Chaojun, Zheng Yanfen and Ni Wenya) to help mediate with the Control Yuan and to give a voice to the Judicial Yuan at the KMT Central Standing Committee. Eventually, the Control Yuan backed down on its demand for a joint symposium under pressure from the KMT Central Committee. As to the struggle over the cases concerning Huang Qirui and the four judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court, Tao Baichuan and other Control Yuan members refused to give up their fight despite the intervention of the KMT Central Committee which adopted a resolution ordering the Control Yuan not to interfere in the Disciplinary Commission’s work and criticising the Control Yuan for disobeying the order of the Party’s Central Committee. Fu had to ask friends (such as Cheng Cangbo, Ma Chaojun and Lou Peilan) for help. The matter was ultimately resolved by Chiang Kai-shek, who weighed in again months later by explicitly instructing the Disciplinary Commission, via Secretary-General Gu Fengxiang, to acquit the judges of all charges and not to give Huang a severe penalty (for political reasons because to do otherwise would deepen the Taiwanese people’s misunderstanding and make it more difficult for the Party to reinstate Huang in other important party duties). Fu followed Chiang’s instruction, and postponed the case accordingly. The diary also notes the political background of the cases involving Huang and the four judges, Tang Zong’s mishandling of the Huang case at the early stage, and Chiang’s attitude towards Huang after the latter demanded his reinstatement early this year.
This diary shows that the R.O.C. was undergoing a period of huge diplomatic uncertainty in 1964. As the repercussions caused by Tang Zong’s ill-fated remarks made during his official visit to the United States demonstrated, disagreement over the issue of military counterattack remained a serious irritant in relations with the U.S. ally. Large cuts in U.S. economic aid to the R.O.C. also to some extent implicitly explained the R.O.C.’s reduced status as a junior ally, though the impact of the steady reduction in American aid was said to have been limited. The diary also reveals that the regime was extremely anxious about the prospects for the R.O.C.’s continued U.N. membership, which had come to be seen as increasingly untenable this year. Fu noted that, as early as February, a special foreign policy conference had been convened to discuss specifically the question of Chinese representation at the United Nations and the diplomatic strategy for the U.N. General Assembly vote this autumn; and Fu was also invited by Foreign Minister Shen Changhuan to attend the meeting. So important was the issue at stake that, in an unprecedented arrangement, the R.O.C.’s representative to the United Nations, Liu Kai, had been invited to attend the KMT Central Standing Committee in May. Liu Kai told Fu that he had to reach out to as many foreign friends and countries as possible in order to garner sufficient international support for the R.O.C., and was therefore fully occupied interacting with people. However, the biggest diplomatic challenges facing the R.O.C. in 1964 came from relations with Japan and France.
The R.O.C.’s relations with Japan continued to suffer from the tension created by the Zhou Hongqing incident, which broke out at the end of 1963 and occurred in the context of the realignment of Japanese foreign policy towards Communist China and Republican China. The diary not only notes Taipei’s official position as illustrated by the Foreign Ministry’s statements issued in protest at Tokyo’s handling of the incident and conciliatory policy towards Communist China, but also made known the policy position proposed by some of individual figures such as Vice President Chen Cheng and the new Executive Yuan Premier, Yan Jiagan, who were both said to have advocated a level of prudence consistent with the maintenance of diplomatic relations lest the disputes should turn into a full-blown crisis. Fu also noted Shen Changhuan’s repeated advocacy of a hard-line approach to the handling of the Zhou Hongqing incident, which was said to have only aggravated the tension and been responsible for the almost irremediable situation in which the country found itself vis-à-vis Japan; Fu also noted disapprovingly the Foreign Minister’s unwarranted defence of his management of the Zhou incident and his refusal to come to terms with the reality in his remarks made at the joint symposium of the Central Advisory Committee and the Central Committee in February. In March, Chiang Kai-shek shared with his fellow party cadres in a speech what he had said to former Japanese Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida during the latter’s visit to Taiwan. In his speech, Chiang tried to explain the reasons why the R.O.C. chose to remain in the United Nations despite the insulting experience and why Taipei chose not to break off diplomatic relations with Tokyo; Chiang also sought to encourage and cheer up his fellow comrades by emphasising the pressing imperative of the campaign of counteroffensive and national recovery, which was said to be the only way to regain international respect for the country, as well as the fundamental importance of pursuing self-reliance, which was said to be Kuomintang’s time-honoured experience that had enabled the Party to endure the greatest hardships and cope with even the most adverse international environment throughout its revolutionary history; Chiang also asserted that trade with Japan was by no means indispensable. Concerning the developments in Japan, Fu noted that Japanese Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda showed every indication of wanting to improve relations with Communist China notwithstanding remarks made by his Foreign Minister who claimed that Tokyo remained committed to preserving the R.O.C.-Japan relationship. By the middle of the year, tensions seemed to have receded in some degree, with the appointment of Wei Daoming as Ambassador to Japan (despite opposition from some members of the Legislative Yuan), the visit of Japanese Foreign Minister Masayoshi Ōhira to Taiwan in July, and Secretary-General to the President Zhang Qun’s visit to Japan in August.
Taipei managed to maintain its diplomatic relations with Tokyo this year, but it failed to prevent Paris from establishing formal relations with Beijing in early 1964. As a result of the French decision to recognise Communist China, the R.O.C. government had to break off relations with France in order to uphold the ‘One China’ principle. There was speculation in January 1964 that Gaullist France was soon going to recognise the People’s Republic of China. When told about this prospect by his friends, Fu initially found it difficult to believe that de Gaulle would have been forced to make concessions politically to the Chinese Communists; nor could Fu see the necessity for de Gaulle to do that in any event. However, in the face of intelligence warnings from U.S. sources in Hong Kong and the recent news reports covering the dynamics of policy change in de Gaulle’s government, Fu soon realised that the French authorities looked set to make their move. On 27th January 1964, France announced the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. Enclosed in the diary are two newspaper cuttings on diplomatic crisis with France, one of which discussed the origins of the French question and was actually, according to Chen Cangbo, a summary of Foreign Minister Shen Changhuan’s report to the Legislative Yuan on 25th January, and the other tried to explain the changing French policy in relation to de Gaulle’s advocacy of a neutralised Southeast Asia.
Fu’s diary gives insights into the Kuomintang government’s reactions, both in the run-up to, and after, the announcement of the French decision to recognise Communist China. The R.O.C. government not only registered its protests and opposition to a ‘Two China’ arrangement (before and after the announcement of the French decision), but also sent a special envoy (Zhang Zhao, who was dispatched by Foreign Minister Shen Changhuan and Education Minister Huang Jilu) to France to engage in what seemed to be the last-minute diplomatic efforts to avert the French decision. The Kuomintang government also worked closely with the American government to dissuade the French government from recognising the Chinese Communist regime and to discuss measures after the establishment of diplomatic relations between Paris and Beijing. Fu also noted the private correspondence between de Gaulle and Chiang Kai-shek, as Chiang and de Gaulle were said to have kept up a private correspondence for many years; in his letters, de Gaulle was seeking to reach an understanding with the Chinese President regarding the French decision to extend recognition to Communist China while wishing to pay his personal tribute to Chiang; but Chiang Kai-shek could not really say anything to his French counterpart, other than to reiterate the official position of the R.O.C. government. Fu’s account also covered what had happened inside the Kuomintang government in the days leading up to the critical moment, as Fu wrote about the deliberations of the KMT policy makers, regarding issues such as whether the R.O.C. should decide to immediately sever diplomatic relations with France in response to the French move or whether the country should postpone the decision and choose to hold out instead. The diary offers a rather detailed account of Fu’s observation of the ninth meeting of the KMT Central Policy Committee, which was convened in late January to discuss relations with France. During the meeting, Yan Jiagan and Shen Changhuan each made a speech on the crisis in the relationship, which was followed by a discussion where individual participants made their personal statements on their preferred policy choice; the diary also records reports of Yan Jiagan and Shen Changhuan, as well as Chiang Kai-shek’s speech, all of which provide a revealing insight into the government’s assessments of the situation. On the question of whether the government should break off relations with France, Fu said in the diary that, in private, he would favour a prudent approach, and he said his view had influenced some of the meeting participants just before the meeting. Yan Jiagan opposed the ‘Two China’ arrangement in principle, and indicated that the R.O.C. should never give in to the idea, but nonetheless suggested that the government should allow some technical flexibility on this. Zhang Qun said to Fu that it would be difficult not to sever the relations and the government would unlikely be able to hold out for long. De Gaulle had reportedly secured Beijing’s agreement to accept that Paris could maintain its diplomatic relations with Taipei even after establishing formal relations with Beijing. However, within 24 hours of the French recognition of Communist China, disputes had already emerged between Paris and Beijing. The French government stated that the establishment of relations between Paris and Beijing was unconditional, and France had no intention to break off relations with Republican China; but the Chinese Communist government stated that France had agreed to break off formal relations with Taiwan as a precondition for the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic, and the People’s Republic would never tolerate France maintaining formal relations with both the P.R.C. and the Kuomintang regime. Fu wrote that this development showed that it had been right to exercise prudence and withhold a decision on the part of the R.O.C. Nonetheless, the KMT government chose to sever diplomatic relations with France regardless, and announced its decision on 11 February.
In the diary, Fu noted the professed reasons for the French decision, which were given by the French President in his communications with the United States government and the Chinese President. The five reasons explained to the Americans included the needs to fill the vacuum in the West’s Far East policy, to exploit the tensions and conflicts between the Soviet and Chinese Communists, to help lay the foundation for a ‘Two China’ solution (because Beijing did not press Paris into severing its relations with Taipei), to maintain an influence on Communist China’s Southeast Asia policy (so as to encourage Beijing to respect and support the genuine neutrality of Southeast Asia, especially one that was to be centred around Vietnam), and to rebuild France’s sphere of influence in the Far East (by deepening trading relationships with Communist China as a way of increasing France’s political leverage and enhance the French bargaining position vis-à-vis the Chinese Communists so as to exert a degree of influence on Communist China’s behaviour in the Far East). To Chiang Kai-shek, de Gaulle was said to have emphasised the necessity of adapting to the changing world by taking full advantage of the growing internal disputes within the Communist bloc; the French President said candidly that after an agonising fourteen-year wait, the French people could not afford to miss the historic opportunity to pursue a course of action that would be in the interest of France and the world just because of the R.O.C.’s difficulties, though President Chiang continued to deserve his highest respect and admiration. Shortly after the formal announcement of the French decision to establish diplomatic relations with Beijing, de Gaulle reportedly once again expressed his personal admiration for Chiang’s patriotism and his place in history in a statement given at a press conference on 1 February, and he even suggested that to establish diplomatic relations with the Chinese Communist regime did not in any way represent French endorsement of the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist rule in mainland China; but the French President nonetheless stressed that, given the enormous influence of Communist China in the entire Southeast Asia (which referred to those countries including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, India, Pakistan and Burma), it was a strategic necessity to establish contact with and maintain constructive engagement with the Chinese Communists in order to achieve the neutralisation of Southeast Asia, which was said to be the only hope for peace in the region; de Gaulle seemed to have avoided commenting on the ‘Two China’ question, but said that the loss of the Chinese mainland was a result of the cessation of U.S. aid to Republican China.
Fu noted that the French policy was never supported by the United States. In February, President Johnson refuted the notion of a neutralised Southeast Asia as envisioned by de Gaulle, insisting that the idea was not consistent with the interests of the free world. The diary shows that Paris had first informed Washington around mid-January that it would soon recognise the Communist government, and Washington was said to have attempted to mobilise all its allies including London and Tokyo to dissuade Paris. However, Fu’s account suggests that the United States government, and governments of other friendly nations for that matter, had little influence over de Gaulle’s decision. Fu noted that Washington had repeatedly tried hard to persuade Paris against its decision, but the U.S. efforts had actually held little sway. In fact, the Americans had urged Chiang Kai-shek to maintain diplomatic relations with France even after France recognised the Communist government, because Beijing did not firmly demand that the immediate severing of diplomatic relations with Republican China should be an essential prerequisite for the establishment of formal relations between Beijing and Paris. Since Mao Zedong believed that Chiang Kai-shek would surely withdraw his diplomats from Paris, the U.S. side called on the Kuomintang government to take on the challenge. President Xie Guansheng of the Judicial Yuan also told Fu that the U.S. side had strongly urged the R.O.C. not to break off relations with France.
What is perhaps more interesting is Fu’s observation of the Chinese interpretation of the crisis situation. As already mentioned, the diary contains Fu’s accounts of the reports of Yan Jiagan and Shen Changhuan to the ninth meeting of the KMT Central Policy Committee, as well as Chiang Kai-shek’s speech delivered on the same occasion. Fu’s record of their remarks offers valuable insights into what the top policy makers of the Kuomintang regime made of these developments in early 1964. For instance, Yan Jiagan said that the French decision reflected the fact that the West had illusions about the prospect of a split between the Chinese and Soviet Communists. Shen Changhuan said that political contact between Communist China and France had already started in 1954; and they enhanced their engagement in Geneva in 1962 on the question Laos; though France was helpful in assisting the R.O.C. in its diplomatic competition with the P.R.C. in Africa, relations between the R.O.C. and France had never been good despite Taipei’s attempts to improve it; the R.O.C. had repeatedly proposed the exchange of ambassadors between the two countries, but the French government had always declined the request, a fact which was never made public; the reason why Paris had not recognised Beijing until now was that France was too weak and had to rely on the support of the United States; but the country’s growing power in recent years, coupled with de Gaulle’s personal ambitions and French chauvinism, had emboldened France to aspire to be a leader of a third international force and resulted in French opposition to almost every major policy of the Western world. Shen also said that France had actually never indicated to the R.O.C. that Paris would not sever relations with Taipei after establishing relations with Beijing; if the R.O.C. were to hold out and acquiesce to that, it would be tantamount to admitting that there were two Chinas. Shen suggested that this move by de Gaulle had dealt the most serious blow to America, which regarded it as an extremely serious and alarming development that was capable of destroying NATO and undermining the United Nations (since France’s formal recognition of Communist China would surely facilitate Beijing’s entry into the United Nations). For Chiang Kai-shek, the French decision was not so much China’s problem as a major question concerning the changing world politics; the establishment of formal relations between France and Communist China was in fact a problem facing the United States, which had also admitted that it had been the most serious setback that America had suffered; what it meant for America was that France was competing against the United States for world leadership; and it was also a question of leadership competition between Communist China and the Soviet Union within the Communist bloc; for Moscow, a Franco-German alliance united with Communist China would emerge as a huge threat to the Soviet Union. Chiang therefore called for steadfastness in the face of adversity, suggesting that the evolving international situation might not necessarily work against the R.O.C. in the future; and Chiang once again stressed that the most fundamental mission of that facing the Kuomintang was to carry out counteroffensive and achieve national recovery; this great struggle should not hinge upon the support of any external power; and the country should remain determined and focused regardless of the changing international circumstances or the attitude of any other countries; in this regard, Chiang reiterated the virtue of self-reliance, and also called upon his fellow party cadres to continue to place their faith in the leadership’s capacity to handle foreign affairs.
Indeed, these broad developments in foreign relations in 1964 undoubtedly suggest a fairly gloomy picture of the current and future state of the R.O.C. place in the world, which arguably explains the strong sense of urgency and crisis conveyed by Chiang Kai-shek’s closing speech at the Second Plenum of the Ninth Central Committee at the end of this year as mentioned at the beginning of this introduction. In this regard, it was no surprise that, as the diary notes, Foreign Minister Shen Changhuan was said to have been under severe attack from all sides for his performance; and this perception of Shen’s failure was indicative of the enormity of the pressure and challenges faced by the Foreign Minister personally and his country. In the diary, Fu also wrote about some of the personnel appointments within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For instance, Fu noted that it was Shen Changhuan who had recommended Liu Kai to Chiang Kai-shek for the job of the Chinese representative to the United Nations. Liu’s predecessor, Jiang Tingfu, at the time was actually hoping to become the Ambassador to the United States while remaining as the Chinese representative to the United Nations; and it was only after the President asked him to choose again between the two jobs that Jiang finally chose to go to Washington DC. Fu thought that Jiang Tingfu should in fact stay in his job in New York because Liu Kai was a more suitable candidate for the ambassadorial position in Washington DC, a view which was shared by Foreign Minister Shen Changhuan, who seemed to be very supportive of Liu Kai’s work; according to Fu, Jiang Tingfu was not quite ambassador material because he did not have a warm and likeable personality, and Fu saw Jiang’s aloofness as a statement of vanity stemming from his pride as a scholar. Fu also noted that He Shili was said to have been asked by Chiang Kai-shek to take the position of Chinese Ambassador to the United States and He had reportedly articulated three conditions for accepting the office. Fu was delighted to learn about Ding Yuzheng’s appointment as Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Belgium. The diary also notes the serious financial difficulties of the overseas embassies, such as the Chinese embassies in France and Kuwait. In January, Yan Jiagan consulted Fu about Yuan Zijian’s suitability for the job of Chargé d’Affaires to France; Fu shared his personal views on Yuan’s character and potential with the new Executive Yuan Premier and advised Yan against selling the existing Chinese Embassy building in exchange for a smaller one in the suburbs of Paris, because it would be inconvenient for the diplomats to conduct their business with the French government; nor would it help protect China’s status and reputation as a major power.
Apart from the R.O.C.’s foreign relations, this year’s diary also covers some other major developments in world politics. Fu followed closely the developments both inside Communist China and in its foreign relations. The Chinese Communists had to wrestle with mounting domestic difficulties. The PLA Air Force’s fighting capacity was limited because of its obsolete military aircrafts. Tensions remained in the relationship between the Chinese and Soviet Communists in 1964 and was said to have reached a point where compromise or cooperation was no longer a viable option. Early this year, Beijing was said to have already paid most of the arrears owed to the Soviet Union. Trade with Soviet Russia, which constituted only a third of the P.R.C.’s total international trade, could no longer provide Communist China with sufficient industrial equipment and technical assistance; even Beijing’s total trade with the entire Eastern bloc only made up about half of its total trade with the world. Hence, Beijing was said to have shifted away from its policy of absolute autarky by opening its door to the Western world and strengthening trade links with anti-Communist industrialised countries. As a result of that, Beijing was said to have opened its door to welcome foreign tourists, and many Western countries (including Japan, Britain, France, West Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland) had sent trade delegations and representatives to the People’s Republic to look for market opportunities. It was in this context that the Chinese Communists began to negotiate with the French about the establishment of formal relations. Zhou Enlai was said to have asked France to supply oil (as the Soviet Union had stopped oil supplies to China for half a year), and the French government had signed a secret agreement with the Chinese Communists to help reduce the P.R.C.’s dependence on oil supplies from Soviet Russia and Romania by providing Beijing with oil from the Saharan region. Because goods from the P.R.C. were of poor quality and therefore could not be sold on the French market, Zhou Enlai proposed that Chinese goods be sold to the French African countries, with France providing those countries with credit to buy Chinese goods and raw materials. Zhou Enlai had also visited countries such as Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia to negotiate a deal. Italy had also signed an agreement with the P.R.C. in December 1963 to provide the latter with an oil refinery. In October 1964, Communist China successfully detonated its first nuclear device. Fu wrote about what he made of this development on a number of occasions in the diary, suggesting that Beijing still had a long way to go before it would fully acquire a nuclear weapon capability, because weaponisation of the nuclear device would be a completely different matter to a successful nuclear testing; in light of the fact that even France had faced tremendous difficulties in fully developing its nuclear programme, and given the economic and agricultural conditions currently facing Communist China, it was Fu’s opinion that Beijing would be unlikely to acquire the capability to manufacture nuclear weapons anytime soon.
As to the situation in the Soviet Union, the diary contains only a passing reference to the coup that unexpectedly removed Nikita Khrushchev from power as the supreme leader of Soviet Russia. Fu noted that the view was that Russia had undergone a massive internal transformation; though it would not abandon its Communist ideology, its revolutionary zeal had already waned, and the country had nonetheless come to a point where the needs for industrial development had become more imperative than strict adherence to Communist orthodoxy. On Yugoslavia, the country was said to have increasingly shifted towards a capitalist policy, and Fu wrote that his prediction made about ten years ago in Moscow were coming to fruition. On superpower relations, Fu noted the views that the Soviet Union and the United States shared an aversion to war, and that undeveloped Third World countries would feel ignored and abandoned once the Soviet Union achieved reconciliation with the West; Zhou Enlai was said to have taken advantage of this sentiment for his trips to countries such as Egypt, Algeria and Morocco, where Zhou reportedly had managed to gain some success in making those countries believe that the CPC was their only reliable ally. With regard to the situation in the United States, Fu noted the conflicts with Panama that erupted in January, as well as the view that the gap between the rich and poor in America was psychologically more disturbing than absolute poverty. The United States engaged the North Vietnamese naval force in August in what is now referred to as the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which later led to retaliatory bombing of North Vietnamese naval facilities by the United States under President Johnson’s order and heavy losses on the North Vietnamese side. Fu followed the developments in the situation, and hailed the U.S. military operations, which were said to be supported by many countries and did not trigger a strong reaction from the Soviet Union or Communist China. Chiang Kai-shek indicated in one of his speeches this year that the Gulf of Tonkin incident had created much resentment among the Vietnamese Communists against the Chinese Communists, which was indicative of the attitude and influence of the Soviets. This year also witnessed another coup that took place in South Vietnam in January. It was claimed that the coup was engineered to prevent the neutralisation of Vietnam under French influence. In 1964, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution prohibiting U.S. aid to Indonesia. The diary also covers briefly the situation in Western Europe. The British Labour Party won the 1964 General Election under the leadership of Harold Wilson. West Germany was said to lack a strong-willed leader for achieving German unification. Italy was suffering from political instability, with the Communist Party controlling the majority of the country’s local governments. Western European integration was set to continue and deepen, and EEC membership was said to be Britain’s only way to survive. On Trans-Atlantic relations, no Western European countries, except France which had ended its colonial rule and stabilised its finance, were said to be willing to depend completely on the United States, but had no other option but to accept the unequal relationship; talks between the British Foreign Secretary and the American President in October failed to reach agreement on a number of issues including Communist China, Cuba, NATO, nuclear weapons and a multilateral nuclear force.
Another significant story of the 1964 diary concerns Fu’s official trip to Latin America as the R.O.C.’s special envoy to attend the presidential inauguration ceremonies in Chile and Mexico. This was the only major diplomatic assignment Fu had undertaken since his turn to Taiwan from Europe. The trip started on 28 October and Fu returned to Taipei on 11 December. The entire trip lasted about one and a half months. During the trip, Fu spent seven days in Santiago, sixteen days in New York (including three days in Boston), four days in Washington DC, and at least eight days in Mexico City (as the diary has a gap for the period between 4th and 10th December); but his journey also included brief stopovers in Tokyo (where Fu stayed for about three days), Seattle, Los Angeles, Panama, Lima, Miami, New Orleans, and Guam. Fu was invited by Foreign Minister Shen Changhuan to take on the role of special envoy to Chile in October. Fu declined it initially, and he explained his reasons in the diary; but he eventually accepted the task, as he was told that he would be the only suitable candidate for this mission as a result of discussion between Zhang Qun, Shen Changhuan and Yan Jiagan.
In preparation for the trip, Fu studied Chile’s politics, geography, history, and foreign relations, and he had even made a will before embarking on the trip. Fu had also had meetings with Secretary-General to the President Zhang Qun (with whom he discussed issues regarding Sun Ke and some personnel matters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Premier Yan Jiagan (who told Fu that his appointment was first proposed by Zhang Qun), and Minister Shen Changhuan (with whom he discussed the recent diplomatic situation and President Chiang’s opinions) as well as the two Deputy Foreign Ministers (Zhu Fusong and Yang Xikun). Fu also wrote about his meeting with President Chiang on the day of his departure, when Party Secretary-General Gu Fengxiang told Fu that President Chiang had returned to Taipei mainly to give Fu an audience. The Foreign Ministry sent Director General of the Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs to accompany Fu on the trip. It was during his stay in New York that Fu unexpectedly received a telegram from the Foreign Ministry asking him to take on the role of special envoy for the inauguration ceremony of the new Mexican President to be held on 1st December. Fu reluctantly accepted the mission.
In the diary, Fu described in detail how he performed his duty as the special envoy in Chile and Mexico. He not only wrote about the circumstances surrounding presidential inaugurations, but also noted the domestic politics of Chile, the R.O.C.’s relations with Chile (which remained a loyal supporter of Taipei’s U.N. membership, as well as the implications of the new policy directions set out by the two new Presidents for the R.O.C. Fu became concerned about the clear indications in the policy speech delivered by the new Chilean President that the new Chilean government was looking to ways of reaching out to the socialist countries and the Far East on the basis of peaceful coexistence; and he was told by the R.O.C. Ambassador (Tang Wu) about the huge influence of domestic politics on Chile’s policy and attitude towards Communist China. Fu was quite surprised to find that the new Chilean President, Eduardo Nicanor Frei Montalva, actually knew that Fu had been appointed Foreign Minister and represented China as one of the signatories of the Four-Power Declaration signed in Moscow in 1943. Fu was satisfied with the policy set out by Mexico’s new President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz in his inaugural speech, which contained no worrying signs insofar as the country’s relationship with the R.O.C. was concerned.
During the trip, Fu toured and visited Tokyo, Santiago, New York, Boston, Washington DC, and Mexico City, and was able to meet with many old friends especially in the United States. Fu had been warmly welcomed and received by the R.O.C.’s diplomatic personnel during his trips, and Fu noted some of his conversations with Ambassador to Japan We Bocong, the Representative to the United States Liu Kai, Ambassador to Chile Tang Wu, Ambassador to the United States Jiang Tingfu, Ambassador to Mexico He Fengshan, former Ambassador to Mexico Feng Zhizheng, and others. In New York, Fu had several happy group reunions with former diplomat colleagues such as Hu Shize, Gu Weijun, Liang Luanli, Liang Long, Zhang Qian, Chen Qingyun and the wife of Qian Tai in New York. Fu also wrote about his meetings with Party elders such as Song Ziwen and Chen Lifu in New York; he went to visit Sun Ke in Los Angeles, but that experience was not recorded in the diary as evidenced by the missing entries for the period between 4th and 10th December. Fu’s eldest daughter Hui Ming and her husband Zhui Hui lived in Boston, and Fu also wrote about his reunion with his daughter’s family both in New York and in Boston, where Fu also met his son-in-law’s family. Feng Tongfang and her husband also invited Fu to their home. Insofar as foreign friends were concerned, Fu met with Harriman, who was then Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs of the U.S. State Department, together with Ambassador Llewellyn Thompson, who had been an old friend of Fu at the American Embassy in Moscow during the 1940s.
One of the most interesting parts of Fu’s accounts of his trip is his record of some of the discreet conversations with the above-mentioned people. Ambassador Wei Bocong told Fu about Sun Ke’s land reclamation business and his conversation with the Chilean Ambassador to Japan about the special attention the new Chilean President paid to the status of foreign envoys attending his inaugural ceremony. Chen Lifu talked about his relationship with Walt Rostow, Director of the Policy Planning of the State Department, and what they (Chen and Rostow) had discussed about the situation in the Soviet Union (concerning Khrushchev’s status) and what they both had believed to be a historic opportunity for creating a strategic alignment between the Soviet Union and the United States against Communist China. Liu Kai briefed Fu on what to expect for the prospects of Taipei’s U.N. seat and Harriman’s attitude on the ‘Two China’ solution, which was quite different from what Hu Shize had said; Liu Kai also told Fu that he had declined to help Chen Lifu arrange a meeting with the Soviet Ambassador, and shared his and Chiang Ching-kuo’s views on the prospect of reconciliation with the Soviet Union against Communist China. At the lunch with Harriman, Ambassador Jiang Tingfu shared what he had learned about the reasons for Mao Zedong’s decision to enter the Korean War, and Mao was said to have told his thinking to his respected personal friend from Hunan; and Harriman talked about his conversations with the Soviet Ambassador in Laos regarding the Soviet Union’s changing policy towards Laos and the weakening Soviet control over Eastern European countries such as Hungary and Romania. Fu also noted Ma Shaotang’s (son of Ma Chaojun) candid remarks about the character of Ye Gongchao and Jiang Tingfu and how well they had fared during their respective tenure as Ambassadors to America, both in the eyes of the Americans and the Embassy staff. Ambassador Feng Zhizheng told Fu about Song Ziwen’s situation, as well as his personal reservations about Ambassador He Fengshan’s style and character. Fu did not provide a record of the circumstances surrounding his reunion with Sun Ke during this trip in the 1964 diary. But Fu did write about in detail how he had been trying to help Sun Ke resolve his financial difficulties. Since his return from the trip to Latin America, Fu received three letters from Sun Ke explaining his financial conditions and pleading for assistance.
Fu recorded his correspondence with a friend in Paris who had been entrusted to help Fu’s son to settle the sale of his wife’s remaining shares in a Paris-based restaurant business. Fu indicated in his diary that the only matter that he had been preoccupied with was the future of his two youngest daughters (Jintu and Jinxuan). Barring any unfortunate and major accidents, his savings were expected to suffice to support his two daughters’ studies in Taiwan and later abroad; otherwise, he would have to ask his sister and nephew in Hong Kong for help. Fu was upset after learning that his young daughter (Jintu) was intending to join her (biological) mother in America after completion of her studies in Taiwan. Fu told his Tenth Sister that he was not really happy with his work here in Taiwan and was hoping to retire soon; but because his wife had passed away he could no longer return to Europe; nor would it be easy to come back to Hong Kong; so he was thinking about selling the jade that came under the joint ownership of his late cousin Jincheng and himself (because the proceeds were expected to be huge and should solve everything) and hoping that Jincheng’s family would agree to sell it. After his sister returned to Hong Kong, Fu was deeply sad about the thought that he might not be able to see her again. Fu also discussed his plan for the future of his two daughters’ lives with Jincheng’s son, who came to Taiwan (Chunzhi) from Hong Kong in August (and whose ex-wife had a good business relationship with the Chinese Communist agencies in Hong Kong as a lawyer), and Fu was relieved to hear that he was willing to continue to offer his financial support if necessary. The diary also notes the new job of Fu’s nephew (Dehui) at the External Trade Council and how Fu had been trying to help Nianzhi get a job with Bank of Taiwan.
Amidst the diplomatic crisis early this year, there was again speculation that Fu’s friends were trying to push for the reinstatement of Fu as Foreign Minister. Fu dismissed that prospect as a false hope, telling his friends that he could never possibly achieve the expectation by doing a good job; nor would he be trusted to do the job by the authorities. Indicating that he would never accept the post, Fu told his friends never to push for this to happen, because to do so would do him a great disservice from the health perspective, and he begged his friends to allow him to live longer by sparing him from such a life-shortening job. Indeed, Fu had every reason to take better care of his health this year, when he had suffered from a series of conditions, such as a cold in January, rheumatic pains in May, and stomach pains in June; in August, a urine test showed that his kidney condition deteriorated again; and after his return from Latin America in December, Fu suffered from chest pain, lumbago and left leg pain as he was diagnosed with problems with his tailbone; his doctor told him that he was fortunate because, thanks to early diagnosis, he was spared from having to undergo surgery. From June onwards, Fu began learning Tai Chi and practised it regularly with a Tai Chi master at home. In January, Fu was involved in the Second World Photographic Exhibition as one of the juries for black and white photos; the event attracted a great amount of interest because the Taiwan-based Photographic Society of China had gained world recognition. Early in the year, Fu cancelled a trip with friends to Ali Mountain in Southern Taiwan after an earthquake struck the South and the diplomatic crises with Japan and France continued to unfold. This year, Fu helped print a poetry collection by Zheng Tianxi and experienced a burglary. Fu said in the diary that he had completely lost his interest in visiting the wine house (with wine girls) ever since Zhu Jiahua’s death. Fu mourned the deaths of Di Junwu and Jiang Menglin. Huang Junbi told Fu that his success was in no small measure owed to Fu’s influence. The diary also notes a tragic crash of a Taiwanese airliner (of the Civil Air Transport) in Taiwan. This year’s diary also notes some anecdotes, such as the love affair of Zhou Zhirou’s son, Jiang Menglin’s agreeable divorce from Xu Xianle, Zhang Xueliang’s wedding with Miss Zhao Si, and a scandalous story about Wang Chonghui’s son Wang Dahong. During the hurricane season this year, the Taiwan island narrowly escaped being hit by several typhoons.