Red China's Formosa
I FIRST HEARD THE "Two Chinas" idea put forward in 1945 in an address at Princeton University. A senior officer in the Department of State suggested the possibility of a division within China--perhaps at the Yangtze River line--which would produce a Communist North and a Nationalist South. But from 1945 until 1950 the State Department held rigidly to the "territorial integrity," or "This is China now" thesis, and from 1950 until 1960 China proper was considered to be "overrun" and occupied"; Chiang, as President of China, governed from a temporary capital in an unoccupied or free province. After 1960 there began to be serious talk of "two Chinas" and the talk was not Chinese. One wonders, when the suggestion for "two Chinas" is advanced at Washington or by China specialists, if it is always put forward in good faith. Washington knows that Peking will never recognize the existence of a second China, and neither will Chiang Kai-shek at Taipei. It is difficult to believe that the United Nations could be persuaded by the United States to recognize a "Big China" and a "Little China."
Communist leaders state most emphatically that the Formosan Problem must be solved and Peking's claims to the island must be recognized before there can be any consideration of other issues outstanding between the United States and China. They promise the Formosans "liberation."
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The Formosans on their part think of it as a threat rather than as a promise. At the risk of repetition let us take note of some Communist activities on the island and propaganda relating to it.
The Generalissimo blamed the 1947 disturbance on "communists" and "Japanized renegades," but we had reason to believe that fewer than fifty professed Communists appeared during the March affair. Six years later - in 1953, three years after the Nationalists' retreat - Chiang Ching-kuo claimed that he had been breaking up "communist conspiracies" at an average rate of thirteen per month. On the face of it we have either to believe that an extraordinary number of mainland Communists had crossed over in 1949-50 or that an extraordinary number of Formosans had become Communists under Nationalist Chinese rule.
Neither was the case. Undoubtedly the number of Formosan converts grew larger in that period and we may be sure that Peking had sent in many crusading agents, but the explanation of Ching-kuo's boast lies elsewhere. He was charged with internal security; and merely exercised his power to pick up suspects without warrant. Anyone known to have expressed criticism of the regime was fair game. They were given the "communist" label, sentenced to long prison terms or disposed of with a bullet. Formosans who spoke of intervention or dared to talk of independence walked in special danger.
The only well-known Formosan Communist was Miss Snow Red whose presence and activities in the Taichung area we noticed on an earlier page. Her career deserves further remark, although her name may be the only romantic touch about her; she was tough in character and utterly dedicated to her subversive mission.
Hsieh was born about 1900 in the Taichung district and therefore as a young girl lived through the period of Japan's military campaigns to put down Formosan rebels in the foothills and exterminate aboriginal tribes in the mountains. In the early 1920's she joined in promoting the Home Rule Movement
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led by Lim Hsien-tang. When harsh Japanese police reprisals drove scores of young Formosan irreconcilables into exile she went over to Shanghai and there, in 1925, joined the Communist Party. Soon she followed Chiang Kai-shek's footsteps to Moscow where she studied at the Labor University. In the year that Chiang Ching-kuo went off to Moscow for an education (1927) Hsieh returned to Shanghai and soon slipped back into Formosa to work with an underground Communist cell directed from Tokyo. After at least three arrests the Japanese sent her to the penitentiary. Having served eight years of a thirteen-year sentence she was released because of extreme ill-health and allowed to go back to Taichung to live quietly under strict surveillance.
It was assumed then that she would soon die of tuberculosis. But she was tough in spirit and when MacArthur's amnesty order in 1945 opened the penitentiary doors for all political prisoners Miss Hsieh was ready to welcome her companions to Taichung district. Little was heard of them as conditions ripened for local rebellion in 1947. When it came members of the Taichung group attempted to establish themselves as leaders in attacks upon the homes of well-to-do farmers and local townsmen believed to be hoarding rice.
The Formosans were not yet hungry enough; this was not a doctrinaire class struggle according to Marx or Mao but a Formosan struggle against the mainland carpetbaggers. When the Nationalist troops came in on March 8 the Communists fled to the mountains. Some were caught but Miss Snow Red is believed to have left Formosa on July 16. Going over to Hong Kong she attempted to establish herself among the new exiles, with little success. In due course she went over to Shanghai and then on to Peking to become a leader among Formosan Communists in China.
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Peking Prepares to Liberate Formosa
No one knows how many Formosans remained in the coastal cities in 1949. There were old, well-established Formosan communities in Shanghai, Amoy, Foochow and Canton. Some Formosans remained on the continent by choice, prepared to take a chance with the incoming Communist regime, but many anti-Communists were trapped at the ports, unable to find homeward transport.
To the long-establisbed Formosan groups there had been added a very large number of young men who were labor-conscripts in the Japanese army, stranded in China in 1945 wherever Japanese forces had surrendered. Thousands then had no place to go and no means of livelihood and were often treated roughly by the Nationalists as "Japanized traitors."
In 1947 these two older Formosan groups in China proper were joined by the young men and women compelled to flee Formosa after the February uprising. Many were deeply embittered by what they considered an "American betrayal." Among them were exceptionally able youths who had worked desperately to attract American attention before the March affair and had then seen Chiang's troops roll through Taipei streets in weapons carriers bearing "U.S.A." clearly legible under thin coats of paint.
Communists everywhere promptly adopted the February 28 Incident, as it is called, as the chief rallying point in propaganda, claiming that the Chinese Communists brought it about. They called on Formosans to observe the anniversary as a testimonial to Mao's noble effort to free Formosa from the Nationalists, the "running dogs of American imperialism."
Soon the Formosans in China were being rounded up, registered, and sent off to be "re-educated." They were to be prepared for the "liberation" to come. Many were assigned to a
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"Taiwan Recovery Training Corps" encampment near Shanghai.
Some may have joined up with dedicated enthusiasm but the majority had no choice; a Formosan reluctant to cooperate in the liberation work was a reactionary and for reactionaries there was no room in the New Order.
At the Hsin Chuang training camps internees were placed under guidance of professional Communists skilled in "reeducation" techniques. They were promised a better life under Mao Tse-tung than they had ever known under Chiang Kai-shek, and for many of them any change would be a change for the better. The United States was charged with being in illegal occupation of Chinese territory and Chiang was described as Washington's puppet or straw-man.
Peking's early propaganda directed to Formosa was designed to appeal to mainland Chinese officers and men in the armed forces, urging them to sabotage Chiang's efforts and to "come home." But the Chiangs' very thorough purge of ranking officers and the elaborate development of the political commissar system among conscripts appears to have brought some shift in propaganda emphasis. Henceforth it was directed to the civilian refugees, urging them to return to the mainland and promising amnesty and employment. If they came of their own accord all would be forgiven. On one point Peking's propaganda was unwavering; all talk of UN intervention, of autonomy, trusteeship, or independence was condemned as "treason." Here Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Tse-tung were in complete agreement.
For a time Peking praised and encouraged the Formosans who had become active Communist leaders. The turncoat Hsieh Nan-kuang who had served Chiang in Occupied Japan worked now with the Central Communist Party organization at Peking and as an advisor at the Taiwan Recovery Training Corps base. The training program Director is reported to have been a Formosan woman named Chu Chen-tse whose principal
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lieutenants for field work divided the island into operational districts. Tsai Hsiao-chien was assigned to the important Taipei-Keelung area; Snow Red was sent back to her native Taichung, and Chen Shih-ming is said to have been appointed principal agent for the south. Chu Chen-tse in due course slipped into Formosa, was captured and executed.*
For a time Snow Red was a star performer for broadcasts and training programs with additional duties as Vice Chairman of the China Youth Federation. Formosans who were not selected for the Liberation Corps training were expected to show enthusiasm in other ways. Those who voluntarily sought to join the Party, and were permitted to do so, were also permitted to form a "Taiwan League for Democratic Self-Government."
Using Hong Kong as a way station Formosan Communists in China established communication with those in Japan and there, too, formed a "Taiwan League for Democratic Self-Government" so-named to embarrass much larger, vigorously anti-Communist Formosan groups in Tokyo. The prime purpose was to discredit appeals for United Nations intervention.
All refugee groups had by now adopted February 28 as the principal anniversary for an outpouring of propaganda and used the "2-28" designation as a slogan reference. The Nationalists and their American protagonists would like to belittle and forget the Incident but they do so at risk; the affair left a wound which will not heal in this generation.
But February 28 and its aftermath did cause some embarrassment. Communist propagandists had to explain away the fact that Formosans had made it very clear they wanted nothing to do with any mainland Chinese, either Communist or Nationalist. Moreover some of the new recruits to communism-- refugees who had survived the March massacre at Taipei and the subsequent manhunt--had been prominent among the
* Information and rumor concerning the Communist organization and activities usually cannot be verified or directly documented. The account here must be read with this qualification in mind. GHK.
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young men who sought American help in the weeks just before the Generalissimo sent in his troops.
An issue of the communist China Digest, dated February 22, 1949, carried a long commemorative article entitled "Taiwan: The Marble Ball and the Marble Lion" in which it was predicted that Japan, the United States and the Nationalist Chinese would struggle henceforth for possession of the island but that like the marble ball in the sculptured lion's mouth, Formosa can never be taken from China.
The author (Li Chun-ching) blames Formosan attitudes upon the United States, of course, writing of the secret agents of the U.S.A., including consular officials of the American Consulate in Taipei, "Who did infiltrate into the insurgent crowds dishing out sweets and cigarettes and encouraged them with profuse applauds." According to this account a youth employed by the Consulate proposed intervention but was hissed and booed. The story of Li Wan-chu's alleged visit to the American Consulate which had been published at Hong Kong in 1947 was now republished in 1949 with suitable variations and on the expressions of Formosan dislike for all mainland Chinese the author had this to say:
Ignorant mobs were not able to distinguish those who served in Chen Yi's mal-administration and the innocent ex-provincials, so, as a result, there were bound to be people who received undeserved blows. To conclude from this that the Civil Rebellion had anti-Chinese tendencies would be very erratic indeed ...
In a country so vast as China there is provincialism in every province. Only in this sense can one admit the regional feeling in the Rebellion. But the real object of their hatred was Chen Yi, the stooge of Chiang Kai-shek. People from the mainland unfortunately were identified with that evil regime by some ill-informed Taiwanese ...
The Civil Rebellion was mainly a display of the terrific energy of the Taiwanese. Even Chen Yi remarked with a sigh and admiration that "the Nationalist Government would long ago have
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been crushed had all the Chinese in China proper possessed the same strength." 
Communist pamphlets and books began to be smuggled into Formosa. The unvarying theme was the wickedness of American imperialism and the unchanging aim was to disabuse Formosans of any hope for intervention.
The story of the "Public opinion survey" which the American Office of Strategic Surveys attempted to make in late 1945 was retold with gross inaccuracy to prove how early the United States had planned to separate Formosa from the Mother Country. The "anti-American" demonstrations staged by Chen Yi's men in December, 1946 and January, 1947, were recalled in this Communist version:
To protest against American imperialistic aggression of China, over 10,000 students in North Taiwan held an impressive demonstration on January 9, 1947, shouting "American troops, Get Out of China." In opposition to the despotic rule of the American puppet KMT the peoples of Taiwan Province launched the February 28th Movement two years ago and set in motion a vigourous armed uprising throughout Taiwan. 
A small volume entitled Taiwan in Anger (Fen Nu ti Taiwan) printed at Hong Kong in 1949, purports to tell the overall story of American effort to seduce the Formosan people. According to this, three officers working at the American Consulate (Kerr, Catto, and Conlon) were mere catspaws for the imperialists. By showing friendship for the island people, they hoped to establish intelligence sources and a Fifth Column. Kerr (it continued) created the "People's voice" calling for American control; Catto, through management of the USIS facilities, told the world about this and showed the Formosans what steps to take to secure American intervention, and Conlon later cleverly changed the propaganda line from a request for "American control"
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to a demand for "independence" which in the long run would come to the same thing. 
The Russians took up the issue on behalf of Peking. At Moscow the journal Red Fleet declared that "Formosa was, is, and always will be the national territory of China," and Isvestia proclaimed that with Japan's capitulation in 1945, Formosa automatically reverted to China. "Clearing this island of Nationalist Party reaction - this is the internal affair of the Chinese people."
After the Bandung Conference Peking's propaganda developed what might be called the "sweetness and light" approach, appealing to the tired and disillusioned mainland Chinese refugees to come home voluntarily. This was during the period when Chiang Ching-kuo is alleged to have been in secret communication with Chou En-lai, Peking's Foreign Minister. In 1958 the bombardment of Quemoy and Matsu was resumed and with it there came a slight change in propaganda. The mainland Chinese refugees were urged to realize that the United States was promoting the Independence Movement in order to deprive the Nationalists of Formosa. Here was an obvious attempt to drive a wedge between the Nationalists and the Formosans; behind it lay a hardening of attitudes toward the Formosans at Peking and the attempt on Formosa to form an Opposition political party bringing together Formosans and non-Nationalist or independent and liberal mainland refugees.
It will be remembered that for a brief period Mao Tse-tung encouraged the "Blooming of the Hundred Flowers" of criticism. The Formosan Communist "flowers of criticism" proved to be thistles; numbers of the most prominent Formosan Communists in China were denounced as "rightist, counter-revolutionary, and tinged with regional nationalism." In other words Peking had discovered that the island brothers in their midst were possibly more Formosan than communist. Party leaders began to see that Formosans feel themselves to be an island people who might accept communism, but want it on their own terms.
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"Little China"--the Chinese Liberals' Program
Liberal Chinese refugees watched Chiang Ching-kuo's elevation with great uneasiness. Each promotion and each new act of violence brought warning of a day when he would rule. A struggle for the succession could spell disaster at Taipei. Within, the Army there are factions which support Ching-kuo and others which oppose him. Within the Party are elements which would accept his leadership and others which would not. Within the Government the same dichotomy exists. As for the mass of nondescript refugees - the ricksha men, the factory workers, the peddlers - most of them find themselves too preoccupied with the daily struggle for a livelihood to give much thought to factions within the Government and Party organizations. They live in keen competition with Formosan natives who are their rivals in the marketplace for food and labor.
The Formosans, too, are divided roughly into the nonpolitical majority of laborers and farmers who accept passively any administration under any political label provided it is not too harsh and greedy, and those who would welcome relief from the Nationalist administration. Some dream of quieter days under the Japanese and some dream of a Formosa governed by Formosans. No Formosan is interested in "returning" to the mainland and none welcomes the prospect of a bloody sacrifice on behalf of the Nationalist regime.
All refugees are aware of a degree of isolation and of the latent hostility with which they are regarded by many of the island people. Among them, however, are many intellectuals who realize the danger and insecurity of their position. They are an elite, a minority within a minority, who realize that they will not return to their homes on the continent and that they must come to some accommodation with the Formosans to form a new island society.
A significant number fear Chiang Ching-kuo's rise to power and he is well aware of this. Outspoken liberals must oppose an
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extra-legal succession or must flee once more, if they can, to other lands.
Meanwhile they have offered to cooperate with Formosan leaders. Should they form a coalition with the Formosan majority Chiang Ching-kuo's chances to become the recognized master of Formosa would be diminished. Here would be the foundations for a new society, a "second China" or an independent Formosa living under UN guarantees.
A statement published by Formosan exiles at Tokyo in 1962 summarizes the conclusion that both Chiang Ching-kuo and Peking fear such a union of liberal refugees and Formosan leaders:
The Formosans are against the Communists and do not want to merge with Communist China. Chiang Ching-kuo and Communist China know this fact better than anyone else. The communist's China consequently fears the Formosans and Chinese liberals more bitterly than [they fear] the Nationalist Government.
When the Formosans and the Chinese liberals in Formosa gain strength, "peaceful liberation" through internal changes [brought about by Chiang Ching-kuo] which Communist China is aiming at, is less likely to occur. The Nationalist regime, that is, the unshakeable dictatorship of Chiang Ching-kuo in Formosa, is therefore considered to be a necessary step toward the "liberation" of Formosa by Communist China. 
The formation of a liberal Opposition Party with a mass basis offered the only possibility of genuine reform at Taipei in 1957 and only this could offer some hope that the succession, when it takes place, will be by a liberal elective process. It was a forlorn prospect from the outset but was thought worth the attempt.
For many years Chiang Kai-shek permitted two small, impotent organizations to provide political window-dressing for the benefit of foreign critics. They are sometimes spoken of contemptuously as "house-pet" parties. Neither the Young China
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Party nor the Democratic Socialist Party carried any weight in Formosa. They had been "tamed" on the mainland. Here in Formosa changed circumstances (and the Generalissimo's total dependency upon the United States) gave them some hope. The key to the problem was freedom at the polling booth.
In 1957 some thoughtful members met with a number of independent non-Party liberal refugees to discuss problems of the forthcoming Assembly elections. They prepared an appeal for clean campaigning, addressed to the Generalissimo.
The elections held on April 21 revealed no change; as usual the Nationalist Party had swept the polls. At this time the total mainland Chinese refugee civilian population numbered only 1,014,228, whereas the total Formosan majority numbered 8,676,022.* As matters stood, Nationalist Party candidates took twenty of twenty-one contests for the offices of county magistrates and city mayors, and for the Assembly seats, took forty-four in a total of sixty-six.
One month later the moderate reformers met again to consider election returns. It was proposed to found a "Society for the Study of Local Autonomy in Taiwan." The Government promptly compelled the group to change its name to "The Society for the Study of Local Autonomy in the Republic of China."
Things moved along at a slow pace until midyear 1958, when the distinguished Dr. Hu Shih, former Ambassador to Washington, lent his support to the movement and seventy-eight prominent persons petitioned the Government for permission to form a new political party. There was no response for a period of five months, and then the answer was "No." When the group continued to discuss its problems the members began to be subjected to petty personal harassment. Nevertheless, once again they changed the organizational name and submitted a new petition.
Now Chiang Ching-kuo's agency, the Garrison Headquarters,
* All figures on the refugee population are open to question, for many persons arrange to escape registration, and the Government is most reluctant to provide evidence of the "unfavorable" ratio of refugees to island people.
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began to growl. Newspapers were forced to publish a "communist's confession" which purported to show a link between the organizing group and a mainland Communist agent. Of necessity the Society became inactive, for the warning was clear.
Many months later the American presidential campaigns opened a new prospect in Formosa. The Democratic candidate, Mr. Kennedy, made it known that (in Mr. Dulles's famous phrase) an "agonizing reappraisal" of American policy toward Chiang Kai-shek might be necessary. According to Formosan accounts, Mr. Kennedy's success was greeted with such enthusiasm on Formosa that "even uneducated Formosan pedicab men" celebrated in the streets. A meeting of intellectuals gathered to hail the victory was broken up by the Nationalist police.
The New Year, in any case, brought new hope, and the liberaIs began to meet again. Now they looked to Formosans for support as well. A prominent mainland Chinese named Lei Chen, editor of the fortnightly magazine Free China, took the lead in seeking out influential Formosans who could assist in forming a new Opposition Party. The time seemed ripe to expect another show of "reform" on Chiang's part. Lei Chen's move was a significant step toward coalition among all elements opposed to dictatorial Party rule.
On March 3, 1961, a new Memorandum was prepared for the Generalissimo, stressing again the need for clean and free elections. Again there were elections and again the Nationalists smothered the contest by patrolling every polling booth and manipulating the rules for registration. In twenty-one contests for the offices of District Magistrate eleven Nationalist Party candidates appeared before the public unopposed.
With contumacious persistence the group proposed to found a"Society for the Discussion of Better Elections." It will be realized that each of these attempts generated publicity drawing fresh island-wide attention to the issue. Now seven notable mainland Chinese joined thirteen Formosans to appeal for an
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end to Government subsidies for the Nationalist Party, an enlargement of personal liberties, a decrease in military expenditures, and a decision by the Government to use only peaceful means in recovering the mainland. They wished to preclude the danger of massive Communist retaliation upon the island people.
Premier General Chen Cheng chose a press conference for his reply. He had an eye upon the new Democratic Administration at Washington. The Government would welcome the birth of a powerful Opposition Party, he said. "The [new] Party should follow the example of the United States." But having said this, he attached reservations and warnings to establish necessary pretexts for suppressive action to come. "If unqualified politicians or ruffians should organize the Party or if the objectives of the Party are not clear" the Government would be forced to withdraw permission,
The military, of course, felt not the least bound by promises made when General Chen spoke in his civilian role as "Premier." Soon the Govemment-controlled press began to express disdain for the proposed new Party, calling it "unnecessary" and "reactionary." Next Chiang Ching-kuo's agents professed to have found evidence that the Party had Communist connections and support. Then began a campaign of heckling interference at Party conferences, forced cancellations of scheduled public meetings, and at last came a ban on all activity.
By this time Taipei had discovered that there was no imminent danger of a drastic change in policies at Washington. Aid continued to flow across the Pacific. There was no need further to placate the liberals who proposed this new Party on Formosa. The organizing members began to be watched, searched, questioned under various degrees of physical hardship and exposed to damaging economic reprisals. At last Lei Chen, the editor, was arrested with three colleagues. One who "confessed" that he had been a Communist years before was sentenced to twelve years' imprisonment. Lei Chen was sent up
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for ten years and the others received somewhat lighter terms. With this the journal Free China ceased to be a "voice" for the opposition, and the proposed new Party collapsed.
One by one Chiang Ching-kuo eliminated prominent men who represented potential leaders for an aroused coalition. Each removal was to be construed as a warning for all members of the class or profession in which the victim moved. And with each of these cases the victim's fate became a little more severe. Perhaps it was not intended to be so neatly arranged, but this was the net effect. Dr. Wu, representing the liberal elements in Government administration, was forced into exile. General Sun Li-jen who saw merit in the Formosan recruit and attempted to ensure fair play within the military system was stripped of his offices, subjected to house arrest, and kept under surveillance, always within easy reach of Ching-kuo's agents. Lei Chen, editor and representative of the liberal political independents, received what was in effect a life sentence for a man of his years.
All of these men were mainland Chinese who were well known abroad, each case attracted considerable attention in the United States, but upon the Formosan leaders, unknown overseas, fell the heaviest reprisals.
When Lei Chen was seized a young Formosan named Su Tung-chi courageously came forward to sign a petition seeking clemency for the elderly journalist. Su was of a prominent family in the Yunlin area, a graduate of Meiji University in Tokyo, and a very popular leader in his home district. He had held several appointive posts and had been elected repeatedly to local public office despite Nationalist opposition. He was thirty-nine years old and the father of five young children.
On September 19, 1961, Su's home was raided at two o'clock in the morning by security officers. Su was taken away at once to Taipei and his wife dragged away first to the local police offices and then on to Taipei to be subjected to the third degree. The police who searched the house for "incriminating evidence"
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turned up among other things several old copies of Lei Chen's Free China fortnightly, a copy of the Chuo Koron (a Tokyo publication in the forbidden Japanese language) and six back numbers of the Reader's Digest in the Japanese-language edition.
There follows a tale of compelling sadness, of inhuman treatment and persecution which dragged on for months. On the first arrest Mrs. Su had been compelled to leave four children unattended while she took the fifth and youngest baby with her to face the dread interrogation. Although she was ill and nearly deranged with worry the police were merciless in attempting to secure her signature to a "confession" accusing her husband of treasonable activity. She was released and rearrested no less than three times and was arrested again when she refused to keep silent concerning her experience. At last she was given a life sentence.
Su meanwhile was charged in a military court with having twice plotted rebellion. No details were released. Scores of arrests were made throughout the countryside to deter any public agitation on his behalf. He was sentenced on May 18, 1962, and is believed to have been executed sometime in July. 
With this act Chiang Ching-kuo's Taiwan Garrison Command gave ample warning to all Formosans that not the least opposition to the Nationalist Party, the Government or the Army would be tolerated, on pain of death. It has been suggested that after 1960 he was turning his attention to the so-called Anglo-American liberals - all potential members of a Sino-Formosan coalition, the necessary matrix for any independent Formosa or UN Trust administration. Criticism of America and "American imperialism" was stimulated in the schools by political agents. Well-known figures alleged to be in Chiang Ching-kuo's pay were encouraged to publish vicious attacks upon scholars having strong academic affiliations and friends in the United States. Before his death Dr. Hu Shih was an object of attack. The eminent archaeologist Li Chi was
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abused in print and Professor Huang Chu-kuei, Chairman of the Political Science Department in the National Taiwan University, was actually set upon and beaten in the streets.
As we sketch here the violence which smothered attempts to promote solidarity among the liberal refugees and the Formosan people we can sense the growing crisis as each month brings Formosa nearer to the day of the Succession. What then?