From the Mainland to Taiwan (Formosa): Political Institutions During the Postwar Period

  • William L. Tung


When the Nationalist and Communist hostilities intensified in October 1945, the United States became very much concerned with the situation in China which had just emerged as one of the Great Powers. After the resignation of Ambassador Patrick Hurley on November 27, 1945, President Truman appointed General George C. Marshall as his special envoy to China with ambassadorial rank. Marshall’s mission of mediation between the two hostile parties was expressed in Truman’s policy statement on China on December 15. Before the end of the year, seven Communist delegates arrived in Chungking to resume negotiations with the Government.1 Upon the proposal of the Government, the Communists agreed to accept Marshall as a mediator of their differences. Necessary arrangements were made in early January of 1946 to hold a Political Consultative Conference for the negotiation of peace.


Presidential Election Provincial Government Constitutional Amendment Executive Yuan Temporary Provision 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    They were Chou En-lai, Yeh Chien-ying, Tung Pi-wu, Ch’in Pang-hsien, Wang Jo-fei, Wu Yu-chang, and Teng Ying-ch’ao (Madame Chou).Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    For the complete list of the delegates, see China Handbook, 1937–1945*, pp. 741–742.Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    For further comments on the party alignment at the Political Consultative Conference, see Ch’ien Tuan-sheng, The Government and Politics of China*, pp. 375–379.Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    For details of the resolutions, see China Handbook, 1937–1945*, pp. 744–751; for Chiang Kai-shek’s remarks on the resolutions, see Chiang Chung-cheng, Soviet Russia in China*, pp. 155–160.Google Scholar
  5. 1.
    The Agreement was signed by Chang Chih-chung on behalf of the Government, Chou En-lai of the Communists and General Marshall in the capacity as mediator. For its English text, see China Handbook, 1937–1945*, pp. 755–758.Google Scholar
  6. 1.
    See Chiang Chung-cheng, Soviet Russia in China*, pp. 155–156.Google Scholar
  7. 1.
    For its English text, see Appendix G.Google Scholar
  8. 1.
    Arts. 137–169.Google Scholar
  9. 2.
  10. 3.
    The first Chinese nationality law was promulgated by the Imperial Government on March 28, 1909. After the establishment of the Chinese Republic, the nationality law of 1909 was re-enacted and the new law was promulgated on November 18, 1912. The law of 1912 was later replaced by that of December 30, 1914, which was superseded by that promulgated on February 5, 1929. For the English text of the provisions of the nationality law of 1929 on the acquisition of Chinese nationality by birth and naturalization, see William L. Tung, Cases and Other Readings on International Law* (Shanghai: Evans Book Co., 1940), pp. 139, 142, 143. The Chinese texts of all the nationality laws mentioned above can be found in The Nationality Laws of China (Chungking: Kuomin Press, 1943), by the same author.Google Scholar
  11. 4.
    Arts. 22–23.Google Scholar
  12. 5.
    Arts. 130, 133, 136.Google Scholar
  13. 6.
  14. 7.
    Arts. 35, 53–106.Google Scholar
  15. 1.
    Arts. 113, 121, 124. The English terms “assembly” and “council” are sometimes used interchangeably to designate the Chinese representative or legislative bodies. In the English text of the Constitution of 1946, the representative bodies convened only for the enactment of self-government regulations are called provincial and district assemblies and those in charge of regular legislative functions are called provincial and district councils (Arts. 112, 113, 122, 124 of the Constitution). However, in various levels of the Chinese government, there are councils in charge of collective deliberation on administrative matters, such as the provincial council presided over by the Chairman of he provincial government. In order to avoid any possible confusion, the term “assembly” is generally used in this work to designate the representative or legislative bodies through popular election.Google Scholar
  16. 2.
  17. 3.
  18. 1.
    See Arts. 25–30 of the Constitution of 1946.Google Scholar
  19. 2.
    Arts. 29, 30, 35–44 of the Constitution.Google Scholar
  20. 1.
  21. 2.
  22. 1.
    Arts. 54, 57.Google Scholar
  23. 1.
    Arts. 63–69, 75–76.Google Scholar
  24. 2.
    Arts. 78–82.Google Scholar
  25. 1.
    Arts. 83, 84.Google Scholar
  26. 2.
    Arts. 90–104.Google Scholar
  27. 1.
    Arts. 109–110, 112–120.Google Scholar
  28. 2.
  29. 2.
    Arts. 39, 43.Google Scholar
  30. 3.
    Art. 174, Sec. 1.Google Scholar
  31. 4.
    Art. 39 provides: “The President may, in accordance with law, declare martial law with the approval of, or subject to the confirmation by, the Legislative Yuan. When the Legislative Yuan deems it necessary, it may adopt a resolution requesting the President to terminate martial law.” Art. 43 provides: In case of a natural calamity, an epidemic, or a national financial or economic crisis that calls for emergency measures, the President during the recess of the Legislative Yuan may, by resolution of the Executive Yuan Council, and in accordance with the Law on Emergency Decrees, issue emergency orders, proclaiming such measures as may be necessary to cope with the situation. Such orders shall, within one month after issuance, be presented to the Legislative Yuan for confirmation; in case the Legislative Yuan withholds confirmation, the said orders shall forthwith cease to be valid.Google Scholar
  32. 1.
    Par. 2 of Art. 57 provides: “If the Legislative Yuan does not concur in any important policy of the Executive Yuan, it may, by resolution, request the Executive Yuan to alter such a policy. With respect to such resolution, the Executive Yuan may, with the approval of the President of the Republic, request the Legislative Yuan for reconsideration. If, after reconsideration, two thirds of the Members of the Legislative Yuan present at the meeting uphold the original resolution, the President of the Executive Yuan shall either abide by the same or resign from office.”Google Scholar
  33. 2.
  34. 3.
    See Fo Chi-yu, The Chinese Government, pp. 132–133.Google Scholar
  35. 1.
    Wedemeyer’s views were expressed in his Wedemeyer Reports* (New York: Holt, 1958).Google Scholar
  36. 2.
    The following is a list of important cities and the dates of their fall to the Communists: Chinchow (10/15/1948), Changchun (10/19/1948), Mukden (11/2/1948), Süchow (12/1/1948), Tientsin (1/15/1949), Peiping (1/31/1949), Nanking (4/23/1949), Hankow (5/16/1949), Shanghai (5/17/1949), Foochow (8/17/1949), Lanchow (8/26/1949), Canton (10/14/1949), Amoy (10/14/1949), Chungking (11/30/1949), Kweilin (12/22/1949), and Chengtu (12/27/1949). Hainan Island was occupied by the Communist troops in April 1950.Google Scholar
  37. 1.
    See Chiang Chung-cheng, Soviet Russia in China*, pp. 212–234.Google Scholar
  38. 2.
    Ibid., p. 223.Google Scholar
  39. 3.
    Ibid., p. 237.Google Scholar
  40. 1.
    Loc. cit. Google Scholar
  41. 2.
  42. 3.
    Art. 28, Par. 1.Google Scholar
  43. 4.
    Art. 28, Par. 2.Google Scholar
  44. 1.
  45. 2.
    At the election meeting on March 20, a total number of 1,573 delegates cast their votes. Chiang received 1,387; Hsii Fu-lin of the China Democratic Socialist Party, 172; and 14 votes were declared invalid for various reasons. According to Art. 4 of the Law governing the Election and Recall of the President and Vice President, promulgated on March 31, 1947 and revised on March 13, 1954, the candidate receiving votes of more than half of the total membership of the National Assembly would be elected. As one half of the total membership of 3,045 votes should be 1,523, none of these two candidates was elected. The same article provides that, under the above circumstances, a second ballot would be cast and the candidate receiving the majority of votes cast would be elected. At the second election meeting on March 22, a total number of 1,576 delegates cast their votes. Chiang and Hsii received 1,507 and 48 votes respectively; 20 votes being declared invalid. Thus Chiang was formally elected as President. The third election meeting was held on March 23 for the election of the Vice President. Chen Cheng received 1,276 out of 1,572 votes cast; another candidate, Shih Tse-chien, received 231 votes; and 64 votes were declared invalid. None was elected. At the fourth election meeting on March 24, a total number of 1,570 votes was cast. Chen received 1,417 and Shih, 109. Thus Chen was formally elected as Vice President.Google Scholar
  46. 1.
  47. 1.
    The second procedure is contained in Art. 174, Par. 3 of the Constitution: “Upon the proposal of one fourth of the Members of the Legislative Yuan and by a resolution of three fourths of the Members present at a meeting having a quorum of three fourths of the Members of the Yuan, an amendment may be drawn up and submitted to the National Assembly by way of referendum. Such a proposed amendment to the Constitution shall be publicly published half a year before the National Assembly convenes.”Google Scholar
  48. 2.
    Art. 174, Par. 2.Google Scholar
  49. 1.
    Adopted by the Council on February 12, 1960.Google Scholar
  50. 2.
    The Ministry of Interior announced that, up to February 12, 1960, the call had gone to a total of 1,576 National Assemblymen to attend the Third Session of the National Assembly.Google Scholar
  51. 3.
    Among the articles and editorials on this subject, Chiang Yun-tien’s “Comments on the Interpretation of the Constitution by the Grand Justices” was a representative one. See The China Tribune (a daily paper published in New York), April 7–8, 1960. Chiang Yun-tien, a leading member of the China Democratic Socialist Party, has held a government position as Adviser to President Chiang.Google Scholar
  52. 4.
    These Temporary Provisions are affixed to Appendix G.Google Scholar
  53. 1.
    See The China Tribune, March 22, 1960.Google Scholar
  54. 2.
    Art. 17 of the Constitution stipulates that the people shall have the right of election, recall, initiative, and referendum.Google Scholar
  55. 3.
    Art. 27, Par. 2.Google Scholar
  56. 1.
    Appendix G.Google Scholar
  57. 2.
    Art. 174, Par. 2.Google Scholar
  58. 3.
    See China Handbook, 1960–1961*, p. 157.Google Scholar
  59. 1.
    Loc. cit. Google Scholar
  60. 2.
    New York Times, March 22, 1960, editorial.Google Scholar
  61. 1.
    They are Lien Chen-tung, Minister of Interior and Ts’aiPei-huo, Minister without Portfolio. The new members of the Executive Yuan were appointed by the Presidential mandate of May 31, 1960. See the Chinese News Service (an information agency of the National Government in Taiwan), Free China Weekly (a news bulletin published in New York), June 1, 1960.Google Scholar
  62. 2.
  63. 1.
    All fifteen Grand Justices took part in the deliberation, the vote being 14 to 1. The Grand Justices based their decision upon Art. 77 of the Constitution: “The Judicial Yuan shall be the highest judicial organ of the State and have charge of civil, criminal, and administrative cases, and over cases concerning disciplinary measures against public functionaries.” Chinese News Service, Free China Weekly, September 7, 1960.Google Scholar
  64. 2.
    For a historical analysis of the status of Taiwan, see Joseph W. Ballantine, Formosa: United States Foreign Policy* (Washington: The Brookings Institution, 1952), pp. 1–95.Google Scholar
  65. 3.
    The 16 districts are: Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung, Changhua, Nantou, Yunlin, Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Pingtung, Yilan, Hualien, Taitung, and Penghu (Pescadores). The following are the municipalities: Keelung, Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung. There are a number of the Nationalist-held offshore islands, including Quemoy and Matsu. The Quemoy group comprises Big Quemoy, Little Quemoy, and twelve smaller islets, with a total area of 68 square miles. These islands may be used by the Nationalists to block the Communists’ free use of Amoy harbor. The Matsu group consists of five islets: Nankan, Peikan, Kaoteng, Hsichuan, and Tungchuan, with an area of 10 square miles. This group of islets under the Nationalist command may deny the Communists’ free use of the seaport of Foochow. Both Amoy and Foochow are important ports in Fukien province, which is separated from Taiwan by the Formosa Strait.Google Scholar
  66. 1.
    There are in Taiwan today 77 chen, 235 hsiang, 3,489 li, 3,066 ts’un, and 82,290 lin. See China Yearbook, 1953, p. 643.Google Scholar
  67. 2.
    See Ch. VI, Sec. 6, “The Provincial Government.”Google Scholar
  68. 1.
    Huang Choa-chin and Hsieh Tung-ming are speaker and deputy speaker of the second provincial assembly respectively.Google Scholar
  69. 1.
    These Regulations came into force on November 5, 1954. The Taiwan provincial government had, however, discovered these inadequate to meet the actual needs and suggested further revisions to the Executive Yuan in October 1959.Google Scholar
  70. 1.
    For the election returns of the assemblymen, magistrates, and mayors in 1960, see China Yearbook, 196o-1961*, pp. 213–218. The fact of fair representation of the Taiwanese was also observed by westerners. See Fred W. Riggs, Formosa Under Nationalist Rule* (New York: Institute of Pacific Relations, 1952), p. 52.Google Scholar
  71. 1.
    See The China Tribune, May 18 and June 20, 1962.Google Scholar
  72. 2.
    New York Times, March 31, 1962. The Lei Chen case had agitated wide criticism in the United States. Lei, publisher of Free China Fortnightly, an independent periodical, had been active in organizing the Taiwanese to form a new opposition party. He was arrested and sentenced to ten-years in prison by the military tribunal of the Taiwan Garrison-General Headquarters, on the ground of sedition and Communist connection. Lei lost his appeal to the High Court of Review of the Ministry of National Defense, which, on November 23, 1960, handed down its verdict upholding the decision of the military tribunal. For adverse comments of this case, see the letters sent to the New York Times editor by Robert A. Scalapino, Professor of Political Science at the University of California on September 21, 1960 and by John King Fairbank, Professor of History at Harvard University on October 27, 1960. New York Times, September 27 and November 7, 1960. On the other hand, the Chinese government deemed that Lei’s sentence had nothing to do with his attempt to form an opposition party. In his letter to the New York Times editor on October 3, 1960, George K. C. Yeh, then Chinese Ambassador to the United States, defended the government action in the following manner: “The Chinese Government’s indictment against Lei Chen and two of his associates was published on September 26. They are now being tried on different charges, none of which has anything to do with their attempts to form an opposition party. Lei is being charged with sedition because as publisher of the Free China Fortnightly he had openly advocated “revolution” and “bloodshed” to overthrow the Chinese Government. “Lei Chen and his associates are being tried by a military court in accordance with Article 19 of the Statute for the Punishment of Sedition adopted in 1949 by the legislative Yuan. This article states specifically that persons charged with sedition in areas where martial law is in force shall be tried by a military court. The province of Taiwan was declared such an area some time ago and remains so today in view of the state of emergency arising from the Communist threat of attack which continues to exist.” New York Times, October 5, 1960. However, Yen’s view was not shared by many Nationalist sympathizers in the United States. See The China Tribune editorials, September 8–9, 1960.Google Scholar
  73. 1.
    See U.S. News and World Report, January 1, 1962, p. 38. For details, see U.S. Department of State, The Republic of China (Far Eastern Series 81, released October 1959), pp. 21–41.Google Scholar
  74. 1.
    For details of his statement, see New York Times, June 23, 1961.Google Scholar
  75. 2.
    There are 14 kinds of taxes and utility rates affected under this statute, including individual income tax, import duty, merchandise tax, land value tax, slaughter tax, salt tax, and rates of electricity, telephone, railways and buses. See Chinese News Service, Free China Weekly, May 8, 1962.Google Scholar
  76. 1.
    For the United States policy toward Taiwan, see U.S. Department of State, The Republic of China, pp. 53–63; also President Kennedy’s recent statement on the defense of Taiwan and the Communist threat, New York Times, June 28, 1962.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1964

Authors and Affiliations

  • William L. Tung
    • 1
  1. 1.Queens CollegeCity University of New YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations