Taiwan Island of Quiet Anxiety

After two major scandals, Chiang tries to restore confidence

When President Chiang Ching-kuo left Taipei's Veterans General Hospital last week after a cataract operation, the Taiwan government was characteristically stingy with details about his health. Unlike President Reagan, whose battle with colon cancer was reported extensively, Chiang has the luxury of stepping out of--or into--the public spotlight whenever he pleases with little fear of protest. In fact, though his country is suffering a period of quiet political and economic unrest, the 75-year-old leader's personal popularity has remained remarkably intact. "The man is a symbol of stability, and he has managed to maintain his effectiveness as that symbol through difficult times,"...

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