|Chiang Kai-shek, also known as Chiang Chung-cheng, was born on October 31, 1887, at Hsikow Township, Fenghua County, Chekiang Province. After Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's death in 1925, Chiang became commander-in-chief of the National Revolutionary Forces. In this capacity, Chiang launched a military expedition northward to eradicate the various feuding warlords in central and northern China. This military campaign lasted for three years and came to be known as the Northern Expedition, which succeeded in subjugating the feuding warlords and reunifying China in June 1928. In recognition of this accomplishment, Chiang was elected chairman of the National Government. At that time, the Japanese had been trying to conquer China and even the whole East Asia. In 1937, a minor clash between Japanese and Chinese troops near Peking finally led China into war against Japan. Chiang assumed the leadership of this eight-year War of Resistance Against Japan. The Chinese had fought a bitter war during that period. Eventually, on August 14, 1945, Japan announced its formal surrender.|
The ROC Constitution was promulgated on January 1, 1947, and became effective on December 25 of the same year. Under the Constitution, Chiang was elected president of the Republic of China by the National Assembly in March 1948, and was inaugurated on May 20. However, soon after victory over Japan was achieved, the Chinese Communists launched an all-out rebellion and brought the nation into chaos. On January 21, 1949, to seek internal solidarity, Chiang announced his retirement from the presidency and Vice President Li Tsung-jen was empowered to exercise presidential powers temporarily.
The Chinese communists took over the Chinese mainland and set up a communist regime in Peking in 1949, and the ROC government was forced to relocate to Taiwan. On March 1, 1950, Chiang resumed the presidency in Taipei. Politically, he began to implement local self-government by holding local elections for county magistrates, city mayors, and both county and city councilmen. In the economic field, he successfully implemented land reform by adopting the 37.5 percent farm rental reduction policy (under which the ceiling of farm rental was fixed at 37.5% of the crop yield), the sale of public farm land to tenant farmers on easy payment terms, and the Land-to-the-Tiller Act. Meanwhile, from 1953 on, Chiang launched five successive four-year economic development plans, thereby laying a solid foundation for the rapid economic growth of Taiwan.
In 1954 the second session of the First National Assembly elected Chiang to a second term as president. In 1960 the third session of the First National Assembly reelected him to a third term. In 1966 the fourth session of the First National Assembly reelected Chiang to a fourth term. In 1968 Chiang initiated nine-year compulsory education, thus significantly raising the general educational level of the people. In 1969, he decided to hold supplementary elections for additional members of the three parliamentary bodies--the National Assembly, the Legislative Yuan and the Control Yuan-- representing the population in Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu. Hereafter, such elections were held regularly and the seats gradually increased to represent the increasing population in the free area of the ROC. In 1972, Chiang was reelected to a fifth term as president at the fifth session of the First National Assembly. He died of heart attack on April 5, 1975, at the age of 89 in Taipei.
Chiang Kai-Shek (1887 ~ 1975) appears on the following banknote(s):