Sat, Dec 22, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Chinese warlord’s exile in Hsinchu pictured in book

Staff writer, with CNA

The Hsinchu County Government yesterday presented a picture book depicting the 13 years Chang Hsueh-liang (張學良) was held under house arrest by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in Wufeng Township (五峰).

The book chronicles Chang’s interactions with residents of Chingchuan (清泉), an Aboriginal village where he was held from 1946 to 1959, Hsinchu County Cultural Affairs Bureau Commissioner Chang I-chen (張宜真) said.

Chang Hsueh-liang was the effective ruler of much of northern China in the early 20th century.

He was the main instigator of the 1936 Xian Incident, in which Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) was detained to get him to focus on the external threat from Japan rather than the internal threat from the communists.

Chiang eventually agreed to unite with the communists against the Japanese, but he put Chang Hsueh-liang under house arrest for more than 50 years, first in China and then in Taipei, Hsinchu County and Kaohsiung.

He emigrated to Hawaii in 1993 and died there in 2001 at the age of 100.

Under the terms of his detention in Chingchuan, Chang Hsueh-liang was allowed to leave his home, but had to stay in the area.

According to some older residents, the former general was an enigmatic, yet kind figure to the children there, Chang I-chen said, adding that he would often take walks or have riverside picnics with his wife.

The book, created by two-time Bologna Children’s Book Fair award winner Lin Lian-an (林廉恩), transcends politics and history to tell the county’s and Chang Hsueh-liang’s stories, Chang I-chen said.

It also depicts tourist attractions around Chang Hsueh-liang’s former Chingchuan home, such as Chingchuan Hot Springs, author Sanmao’s (三毛) former home and suspension bridges, he added.

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