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Hsinchu publishes picture book about Chang Hsueh-liang

2018/12/21 18:00:05

Photo courtesy of Hsinchu County Culture Affairs Bureau

Taipei, Dec. 21 (CNA) The Hsinchu County government has published a picture book about the 13 years Chang Hsueh-liang (張學良) was held under house arrest by the Kuomintang (KMT) in the county's Wufeng Township in the 1950s.

Chang I-chen (張宜真), Hsinchu County's commissioner of cultural affairs, said the picture book released Friday chronicles Chang Hsueh-liang's interaction with local residents and indigenous people in the town of Chingchuan, where he was held from 1946 to 1959.

Nicknamed the "young marshal," Chang Hsueh-liang was once 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 China's leader, Chiang Kai-shek (蔣中正), was detained to try to get him to focus more on the external threat from the Japanese than the internal threat from the communists.

Chiang eventually agreed to unite with the communists against the Japanese, but he then put Chang Hsueh-liang under house arrest that would last for over 50 years, first in mainland 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 out of his home but had to stay within the surrounding area.

According to older residents of the area, the former general was an enigmatic yet kind figure to the children there. He would often take a stroll or enjoy a riverside picnic with his wife, Chang I-chen said.

The book, created by 2015 and 2018 Bologna Children's Book Fair award winner Lin Lian-an (林廉恩), was conceived to transcend politics and history and give readers insight into Hsinchu County and Chang Hsueh-liang's story there, the county official said.

It also depicts tourist attractions around Chang Hsueh-liang's former residence in Chingchuan, such as Chingchuan Hot Springs, the former residence of late Taiwanese writer Sanmao (三毛), and a series of suspension bridges, to draw the interest of potential visitors, Chang I-chen said.

(By Lu Kang-chun and Chi Jo-yao)
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