Formosa: Little Chiang

When the United Airlines jet landed at Washington Airport last week, General Chiang Ching-kuo walked unnoticed past the waiting reception committee of U.S. officials and Chinese diplomats. It was not until moments later that they spotted him, a chunky man in a nondescript business suit, patiently examining the modernistic interior of the Dulles Terminal Building.

The committee's mistake, and the general's demeanor, were both significant. Though the eldest son of Chiang Kaishek, Nationalist China's venerable president, Chiang Ching-kuo, 53, is the mystery man of Formosa who avoids the limelight. Partly, the mystery...

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