First Lady Faina Chiang, Russian Wife of President Chiang Ching-kuo | Speaking of China

13 Responses

  1. Jenna Cody
    Jenna Cody October 3, 2016 at 12:07 pm | | Reply

    So, what’s up with not being clearer about the fact that she spent the latter part of her life in Taiwan, not China?

    (Also it is fairly well known that Chiang Ching-Kuo also had mistresses in Taiwan, not just one in China – which I had not known about. But his philandering in this country is well-documented and few people see them as an ideal couple because of it.)

    In Taiwan she might be the only one of the Chiangs who is remembered fondly. Chiang Kai-shek is hated – for good reason – across most of the political spectrum despite his still having a few statues around and a memorial hall (which looks very nice, you can almost forget that it was built to honor a brutal dictator and mass murderer). Chiang Ching-Kuo has a few admirers still, but it’s becoming more clear now that he was not the father of Taiwanese democracy the KMT painted him to be – it was the people of Taiwan who insisted on democracy and took it by force against KMT resistance who brought about democracy years after the younger Chiang’s death. Soong Mei-ling is pretty much hated by everyone – she hated Taiwan, so Taiwan hates her (also the Grand Hotel – built to please her – was built on the site of the main Japanese shrine in Taipei, which was a massive cultural loss though that loss is only being felt now). CCK’s children have mostly stayed out of the picture, and his great-grandchildren…well, of the ones well-known in Taiwan, one is well-liked, the other one has some serious problems and is something of a national joke.

    But, of that fond remembrance of Chiang Fangliang, she is mostly remembered for putting up with her philandering no-good husband, and people do question whether she knew of the campaign of mass arrest, torture and murder perpetrated on the Taiwanese people by her family. She is, however, better than the rest of them. I hope they burn in hell, but may she rest in peace.

  2. gordon chung
    gordon chung October 5, 2016 at 12:56 am | | Reply

    while i have no problem with jenna being pro taiwan independence. i find it offensive when she wrote “…built on the site of the main japanese shrine in taipei, which was a massive cultural loss…” i find this statement would upset even some pro independent taiwanese. after all, taiwanese is not japanese and japanese was a colonial ruler. this statement implies that they were a benign ruler and loved by the taiwanese?? really??? i am sure if you ask taiwanese about this, the opinion is as diverse as the sentiment about taiwan’s relationship with china.
    with regard to chiang fangliang, i have read quite a bit about her. i feel really sorry for her because she had no contact with her russian families (not through offical channel anyway), husband was unfaithful, sons passed away before she did. it would be sad for any woman.

  3. Judith
    Judith October 5, 2016 at 2:17 pm | | Reply

    Interesting to read more about AMWF history! I hope you managed to interview Carolijn Visser about Selma Vos. If so, I look forward to reading that story here on your blog soon. 🙂

  4. David
    David October 5, 2016 at 8:40 pm | | Reply

    Very few leaders are married to foreigners these days, let alone a member of a different race. The last one I heard about was Cheddi Jagan of Guyana whose wife Janet was a white American. A movie on Sir Sereste Khame of Botswana who married a white woman is going to be released later this month.

  5. Lao Zhang
    Lao Zhang October 7, 2016 at 11:27 am | | Reply

    The India’s Ghandi family seemed to have married an Italian woman a while back, and the royal family of the Netherland to have tied knots with a Serbian or Austrian or a country which is independent from the former Yugoslavia, and the would-be American President Donald Trump has his younger wife from Europe, Barrack Obama could most probably have changed his nationality before he married our dear Michelle.

  6. David
    David October 12, 2016 at 6:01 am | | Reply

    The India’s Ghandi family seemed to have married an Italian woman a while back, and the royal family of the Netherland to have tied knots with a Serbian or Austrian or a country which is independent from the former Yugoslavia, and the would-be American President Donald Trump has his younger wife from Europe, Barrack Obama could most probably have changed his nationality before he married our dear Michelle.

    Rajiv Gandhi looked as white as Sonia if not whiter! The rest of the stuff you are talking about are marriage among white people. And Barrack Obama was born in the US. I hope you are not a Trump-style birther!

    1. Lao Zhang
      Lao Zhang October 13, 2016 at 11:30 am | | Reply

      I do not really understand what “birther” means, but your style is more like Donald Trump, at least that is my impression. I was the fan of The Apprentice, by the way.

      Difference in this context means cultural difference rather than biological difference, if everybody agrees.

      An Italian is as white as an Indian? I don’t know how you can make such a judgment. I think it is ridiculous, geographically, ethnically or culturally.

      Another similar case is the Korean ethnic groups living on either side of the that ceasefire line.

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