World War II Diaries of Chiang Kai-shek Open for Research on April 2, 2007

Monday, March 26, 2007

The diaries of Chiang Kai-shek from 1932 to 1945 will become available to researchers in the Hoover Archives reading room on April 2, 2007. They join earlier Chiang diaries from 1917 to 1931, which were opened last year.

A few months after the newly open diaries begin in January 1932, Chiang became chief of the General Staff and chairman of the National Military Council. China at that time was a battleground for warlords, Nationalists, Communists, and Japanese invaders. Chiang focused on eliminating the Chinese Communists, who retreated on the Long March into the remote northwest. On December 12, 1936, Chiang was kidnapped at Xi'an by a Manchurian warlord, the young marshal Zhang Xueliang. After agreeing to work with the Communists to fight the Japanese, Chiang was released. Of course, the diaries also cover the period of the Second Sino-Japanese War, from 1937 to 1945, and Chiang's relationship with such allies as U.S. Army generals Claire Chennault and Joseph Stilwell. This segment of diaries ends in 1945, when U.S. ambassador Patrick Hurley, followed by General George C. Marshall, tried unsuccessfully to bridge differences between Chiang's government and the Communists.

Additional information and resources are available on the Chiang Kai-shek diaries collection highlight page.