This is part 2 in a series about Douglas MacArthur. Part 1 can be found here.
At the end of 1963, Douglas MacArthur received Chiang Ching-kuo, who was visiting the United States as a member of the Executive Yuan and arrived in New York for their third meeting. The first meeting was during the Korean War when MacArthur led a delegation to visit Taiwan to discuss anti-Communist plans with President Chiang Kai-shek and had a good impression of his son, Chiang Ching-kuo, who was accompanying the President.
The second meeting was during Chiang Ching-kuo’s visit to the United States as the political director to the Department of Defence. In his apartment, he talked to Chiang about the US-Soviet issue, China issue, and the world situation. Chiang Ching-kuo once praised MacArthur’s insights in his biography for being accurate and broad.
The third meeting was during Chiang Ching-kuo’s visit to the United States. At that time, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was gradually becoming more robust and would replace Soviet Russia, and the diplomatic relationship between Taiwan and the United States was in crisis.
That day was Sunday. MacArthur gave up his plan to travel after learning about Chiang’s visit and met Chiang at home. They each sat on the same chairs where they had sat and talked ten years ago.
After leaving the military, MacArthur used his past influence to ask the U.S. government to support Taiwan. During the talks, he encouraged Chiang to stick to the anti-communist base of Taiwan. He said to Chiang:
“The existence of Taiwan today is not only a base for the counterattack against China and restoration of the country, but its greatest significance is to make the world understand that the Chinese problem has remained unresolved. As long as Taiwan exists for one day, the Communist bandits cannot be peaceful.”
“I firmly believe that the Republic of China can recover the mainland one day and become a stable force in Asia.”
In early 1964, MacArthur’s health deteriorated suddenly. After several significant operations, there was still no improvement to his health. Before his death, MacArthur shook President Johnson’s hand and begged him that outside the Vietnam battlefield, not to forget to support the Republic of China in Taiwan. He has always believed that the Republic of China will win the anti-communist war.
On the afternoon of April 5, MacArthur passed away at the age of 84. President Johnson ordered a 19-gun salute in his honor at U.S. military bases around the world to mourn him. After that, the government held a funeral for him in New York and lowered the flags to half-mast until the funeral to mark his death.
After MacArthur’s death, the West Point Military Academy erected a bronze statue in his memory. His military thoughts have influenced countless American officers and soldiers. He was outstanding on the Asian battlefield, and later war historians generally ranked him alongside General Patton on the European battlefield as the greatest general of the modern American army.
Although General Douglas MacArthur died, his achievements will live in people’s admiration forever, and his spirit will be eternal in the victory of the anti-communist struggle in the world!
Translated by Joseph Wu and edited by Helen