The right to inherit the diaries of the late dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) has once again come under dispute as a Chinese woman, who says she is Chiang’s adopted daughter, said on Friday she would contest for the legal rights to Chiang’s diaries.
The diaries of Chiang Kai-shek and his son, the late president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), are of significant academic value because they documented crucial historical events in modern China and recount relevant policymaking processes, local observers said.
On Jan. 10, 2005, Chiang Fang Chih-yi (蔣方智怡), the widow of Chiang Ching-kuo’s third son, Chiang Hsiao-yung (蔣孝勇), signed an agreement with the Hoover Institute at Stanford University in the US that authorized the San -Francisco-based think tank to take possession of the diaries for the next 50 years.
Chiang Fang Chih-yi’s actions, however, did not go down well with Chiang You-mei (蔣友梅), the daughter of Chiang Ching-kuo’s deceased eldest son, Chiang Hsiao-wen (蔣孝文), who in December last year issued a statement through the international law firm Baker & McKenzie demanding her aunt renegotiate the deal with the Hoover Institute.
Chiang You-mei said she and other heirs would not continue to tolerate Chiang Fang Chih-yi’s -arbitrary action and that if necessary they would take legal action to protect their own rights.
On Friday, a Chinese woman named Chen Yaoguang (陳瑤光) issued a statement through her lawyers, saying she has inheritance rights to the diaries. Chen said Chiang Kai-shek adopted her when he took Chen Jieru (陳潔如) as his third wife in Shanghai in 1921. She took the name Chiang (Jiang) Yaoguang (蔣瑤光). Chen Yaoguang said she later took her mother’s family name.
Chen Yaoguang said she believed the publication of Chiang Kai-shek’s diaries would reveal his care and love for Chen Yaoguang and her mother.
Chen Yaoguang said she was legally qualified to inherit Chiang Kai-shek’s estate, sharing the same rights as the others.
“Any action dealing with Mr Chiang Kai-shek’s heritage would have to get my and other legal inheritors’ agreement,” her statement said.
Chen Yaoguang’s lawyer, Victor Chang (張冀明), did not provide information concerning the authenticity of his client’s claims.
However, he said that there was “a certain amount of verification.”
Chang said he was not certain whether Chen Yaoguang had contacted members of the Chiang family before the release of her statement.
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