Hsiao-ting Lin
Expertise: 

Hsiao-ting Lin

Curator, East Asia Collection / Research Fellow
Biography: 

Hsiao-ting Lin is a research fellow and curator of the East Asia Collection at the Hoover Institution. He holds a BA in political science from National Taiwan University (1994) and an MA in international law and diplomacy from National Chengchi University in Taiwan (1997). He received his DPhil in oriental studies in 2003 from the University of Oxford, where he also held an appointment as tutorial fellow in modern Chinese history. In 2003–4, Lin was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California at Berkeley. In 2004, he was awarded the Kiriyama Distinguished Fellowship by the Center for the Pacific Rim, University of San Francisco. In 2005–7, he was a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he participated in Hoover’s Modern China Archives and Special Collections project. In April 2008, Lin was elected a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland for his contributions to the studies of modern China’s history.

Lin’s academic interests include ethnopolitics and minority issues in greater China, border strategies and defenses in modern China, political institutions and the bureaucratic system of the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang), and US-Taiwan military and political relations during the early Cold War. He has published extensively on modern Chinese politics, history, and ethnic minorities, including Modern China’s Ethnic Frontiers: A Journey to the West (Routledge, 2011); T. V. Soong: Selected War Correspondences, 1940–1943 (Fudan University Press, 2010); T. V. Soong: Important Wartime Correspondences, 1940–1942 (Fudan University Press, 2009); Tibet and Nationalist China’s Frontier: Intrigues and Ethnopolitics, 1928–49 (UBC Press, 2006), nominated as the best study in the humanities at the 2007 International Convention of Asia Scholars; Breaking with the Past: The Kuomintang Central Reform Committee on Taiwan, 1950–52 (Hoover Press, 2007); and more than eighty journal articles, book chapters, essays, reviews, and translations. He is currently at work on a manuscript that discusses Chiang Kai-shek’s relations with the United States during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower to that of Richard Nixon.

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Recent Commentary

Retired admiral Charles M. Cooke

Taiwan's Secret Ally

by Hsiao-ting Linvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 6, 2012

In Chiang Kai-shek’s darkest hour, he turned to a retired U.S. admiral. By Hsiao-ting Lin.

Sun Yat-sen, at top center of this 1912 calendar

The Revolutionary Republic

by Hsiao-ting Lin, Lisa Nguyenvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In 1911, China rejected feudalism to enter the modern era. A new Hoover exhibit on a century of change. By Hsiao-ting Lin and Lisa Nguyen.

Chiang Chooses His Enemies

Chiang Chooses His Enemies

by Paul R. Gregory, Hsiao-ting Lin, Lisa Nguyenvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chiang Kai-shek’s Shanghai purge did more than intensify the Chinese civil war. It hastened the final clash between Trotsky and Stalin. Three perspectives on the story. By Paul R. Gregory, Hsiao-ting Lin, and Lisa Nguyen.

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Starting Anew on Taiwan

by Ramon H. Myers, Hsiao-ting Linvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

In 1949, Chiang Kai-shek faced both utter defeat and a second chance. What he did next. By Ramon H. Myers and Hsiao-ting Lin.

Breaking with the Past

by Ramon H. Myers, Hsiao-ting Linvia Analysis
Friday, December 14, 2007

Few defeated political parties in wartime have the opportunity to make a fresh start in a new location. Even fewer can leave their failures behind and go on to succeed. The Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang, KMT) was such an exception. In late 1949, having been almost destroyed by the Chinese Communists, the KMT relocated to Taiwan and reinvented itself. Not only did the KMT leadership build a new party that has endured for five decades, but it built a new polity on Taiwan that created economic prosperity and China’s first democracy.

How did this defeated party reinvent itself? New microfilmed materials on the KMT Central Reform Committee—now in the Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford University—shed new light on this unusual phenomenon. From August 1950 to October 1952, more than four hundred working meetings were held almost four times a week to discuss how to build a new political party and implement Nationalist government policies.

Chiang Kai-shek began the reforms by establishing the Central Reform Committee (CRC) to replace the inept Central Standing Committee and Central Executive Committee, the party’s two most powerful agencies on the mainland. Unlike its predecessors, the CRC recruited young, highly educated party members, who, encouraged by Chiang Kai-shek, revitalized the KMT by introducing new institutions that would build a society based on the principles of Sun Yat-sen, one of the party’s founders.

T.V. Soong in Modern Chinese History

T.V. Soong in Modern Chinese History

by Tai-Chun Kuo, Hsiao-ting Linvia Analysis
Wednesday, March 1, 2006

In April 2004, the Hoover Institution opened nineteen boxes of the restricted personal papers of T. V. Soong, a leading official in the nationalist government from the late 1920s to 1949, along with two thousand documents donated by the Soong family. At the same time the Hoover Institution and the Kuomintang, or Nationalist Party, agreed to preserve those records and make them available for researchers. In late 2005 Chiang Kai-shek’s family placed his diaries and those of Chiang Ching-kuo in the Hoover Archives.

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Vinegar Joe and the Generalissimo

by Tai-Chun Kuo, Hsiao-ting Lin, Ramon H. Myersvia Hoover Digest
Saturday, July 30, 2005

During World War II, personal relations between Chiang Kai-shek, the Chinese Nationalist leader, and General Joseph Stilwell, America’s top military adviser to China, grew famously acrimonious. The strained relationship, some have argued, may have had dire consequences for the Nationalists, who lost the Chinese civil war to the Communists in 1949.

Newly opened documents in the Hoover Institution Archives of T. V. Soong, one of Chiang’s closest aides, shed new light on the matter. Chiang, the documents show, considered firing Stilwell as early as 1942—and had the blessing of top American officials to do so—but ultimately chose not to. Had Stilwell been replaced, might history have been different? Tai-Chun Kuo, Hsiao-Ting Lin, and Ramon H. Myers consider one of history’s most intriguing “what-ifs.”

SIDEBAR: A New Window on Modern Chinese History