Fri, Jan 27, 2006 - Page 1 News List

John Chiang says he has solved mother's murder

STAFF WRITER , WITH AFP

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator John Chiang (蔣孝嚴) claimed yesterday that his mother, the mistress of former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), was murdered by one of his father's close confidants. He also said the murderer is still alive.

Chang Ya-juo (章亞若) had begun an affair with Chiang Ching-kuo in 1940. She died in a hospital in Guilin, China, in 1942, shortly after giving birth to John and his twin brother Winston (Hsiao-tzu, 章孝慈), triggering rumors that Chiang Kai-shek (蔣中正) had ordered her murder.

John Chiang told TV stations TVBS and Broadcasting Corp of China that he is certain his mother was slain by one of his father's aides, but that his father had not ordered the murder.

"I'm sure [Chiang Ching-kuo] was not aware of the plot," he said. "But I'm sure my mother was murdered, and that the murderer was my father's close aide."

"My father had no advance knowledge of the murder, and it was not directed by him. I know that my father did not order the murder. I forgive him and feel no hatred toward him," the lawmaker, and Taipei mayoral hopeful, was quoted as saying.

He said the details of his claim about the murder will be revealed in his memoirs, which are to be published after the Lunar New Year holidays.

He would not say how he knew the identity of the murderer -- who he said is still alive -- but said that everyone could find out when his book is published.

"Of course I forgive him [the murderer]. I just said that forgiveness is necessary. My mother is dead, and we have moved on," he said.

"I'm no longer harboring resentment in my mind after so many years," he said.

John Chiang said both he and his brother had been in danger for being Chiang Ching-kuo's illegitimate sons.

"It wan't until recently that I realized how dangerous it was. The murderer had attempted to kill me and Hsiao-tzu (章孝慈)," he said.

The twins fled to Taiwan in 1949 with their maternal uncle and aunt, who raised them. The twins used their mother's family name, not Chiang. Winston died of a brain tumor in 1996.

Last year the lawmaker legally changed his surname to Chiang, after the death of Chiang Ching-kuo's wife Faina Chiang Fang-liang (蔣方良), who died in 2004.

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