chapter  10.6
8 Pages

Heady days straddling the Taiwan Strait

WithThomas B. Gold

The period 1970-72 was a very eventful period to be in Taiwan. The Vietnam War was still raging and Taiwan was a site for Rest and Recuperation for American soldiers, many of whom came to Taichung because it was also the site of an enormous air base. During those two years, Henry Kissinger and President Richard Nixon made their trips to China. The Republic of China left its seat at the United Nations; other countries such as Japan and Canada established diplomatic relations with Beijing. Chiang Ching-kuo, known for his heavy handed authoritarian ways, accelerated his political rise as his father, Chiang Kai-shek, declined in health. The embassy officer managing the trip was John Thomson, who had been with the US Information Agency in Taiwan for many years, which is where the author met him doing fieldwork in Kaohsiung in 1978.