One afternoon Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek left his summer villa for a stroll in the countryside. He rounded a bend in the road, stopped short. Ahead of him, a civilian with a gun was herding three men who were roped together.
The Generalissimo cried: "Stop!"
What was going-on? Who gave a civilian permission to carry a gun? The man explained that he was an official of the local hsien (county government). He was bringing three army conscripts to fill the hsien's quota.
The Generalissimo had heard before about the evils of China's conscription system. Only last spring he...