2015年4月30日 星期四

1950s Part 7: New minorities

The caption of this rare photo dated March 29 (1961) tells a powerful story: after 10 years of fighting the PLA, KMT stragglers relocated to Taiwan. It shows a queue of unarmed men in uniform with backpacks and canteens waiting at 王田 train station (now known as 成功 station gateway to the main military boot camp in Taiwan, 成功嶺) in Taichung. And indeed they were Nationalist stragglers, some had retreated to Burma-Laos-Thai borders and fought on as guerrillas since March 9, 1950. They were led at different times by KMT generals, 李彌, 李國輝, 朱心一, 段希文, and 柳元麟 with reinforcements dispatched from Taiwan, for example, 700 men in 1952, and at one point in 1953, even up to 18,500 men. Most were, however, withdrawn in 1953-54. And 1961 marked a coordinated attack by PLA and Burmese army; this was when the final withdrawal took place.

On March 24, 1961, 253 individuals, consisting of 77 guerrilla-fighters and the rest their family followers, were airlifted to Pintung and arrived in 成功嶺 on the next day (above). After 100 days of re-training, they were sent to Nantou to settle in 清境農場 (ChingJing Plantation), their final destination. This area is high in the mountains (elevation: 1,750m), about 8 km to the north of WuShe (霧社) famous for the 1930 Aboriginal rebellion against the colonial Japanese.

Their family members were composed of an astounding assortment of minority tribes found in the YunNan border areas, including 擺夷族(傣族), 裸黑(拉祐族), 栗栗族, 阿佧(哈尼族), 佧佤(佧族), 傜家(瑤族), 紅苗(苗族), and 蒲曼(布朗族), perhaps adding a bit more to the multi-culturalism in Taiwan as the new minorities.

Starting out from essentially a primitive living environment with no running water or electricity, the newly arrived have over the past 5 decades turned the Plantation into a tourist attraction, well-known for its European-like landscapes, not to mention the rich crops of pears, peaches, plums, kiwi fruits and other bounties, with wooly sheep everywhere.
European castle, one of the resorts in ChingJing Plantation
Not everyone joined the group in Taiwan in 1961. The remnants of the guerrilla army continued fighting on, now known commonly and unofficially as the 93rd Army, commanded by Gen 段希文. That is until 1964 when all causes were lost. Although, for survival, they had already become drug lords and/or enforcers in the famed Golden Triangle.

8 則留言:

  1. Amazing that they turned the Plantation into a tourist attraction. The story of these minorities reminds me of those ex-servicemen and workers in taipics who were digging tunnels in the Central Range mountains. History sure is not simple.

  2. Channeling excess military manpower into construction of Taiwan is a major achievement. This started in the 50s. The 中部橫貫公路 that you have mentioned is now defunct, way too many landslides to deal with. Of course, the eastern end with all the tunnels is still a marvel to see.

  3. Nice work, EyeDoc. Keep them coming! Regarding the KMT in Indo China, you should read Sterling Seagrave's "Lords of the Rim". Like his other book, the Soong Dynasty, I believe it is a must read to understand how China (and to some extent Taiwan) developed over the past 100 years. I read both about 25 years ago along with James Clavell's books which I think is what turned me on to Asian history. ~ marc

  4. Hey Marc, I don't know if EyeDoc will flip out over the chapter about Koxinga or not. I just did a quick read of the first part of "Lords of the Rim" and I find S. Seagrave's view of the Chinese history and people fascinating but strange. It's as if he sees all Chinese treacherous. It sure opens my eyes to the views of some Americans have about the Chinese and its history. There was a TV series of "Shogun" adapted from Clavell's book. Beautiful cinematography and story. Loved Toshiro Mifune's role in it as some lord. Maybe he was the shogun.

  5. Flip out? You bet. Luckily, some diligent Taiwanese has translated VOC archives in the Netherlands, so a better picture is emerging.

    I have read the Rims and Soong and most Clavell's novels. Cleverly re-packaged 偽史, intended for readers of the west.

    Mifune was an artist, born in 大連, raised in 瀋陽. His youngest daughter was in the news in Jan, something about her marital problems. Mr Mifune would not have approved.

  6. Yeah, I know Seagrave's books are conspiratorial in nature, but still I found them to be insightful, especially the Soong Dynasty and the history of the KMT. Clavell's books are story telling, but within the stories, there is a great deal of knowledge. For example, Taipan and the history of Hong Kong / Jardine Matheson. I've read enough history books and can filter out the bias.

  7. Maybe B.S., but before the internet there wasn't a whole lot of reference material available especially about the history of Taiwan. That is why taipics was started.

  8. That is very true. Even though I grew up in the 50s, photos of this period on the net in Taipics make the life experience.whole.

    I have about half a dozen books, all written in Chinese, on CKS, Soong/Kung families and their roles in KMT. Someone should translate these books into English to update Seagrave's version. That aside, all 偽史 contain a small grain of truth/knowledge, it is the embellishing part that is designed to draw in readers of different types, and blurring the boundary between fiction and non-fiction is a skill both Seagrave and Clavell were very good at. If you know where the boundary lies, then there is no issue.