Chiang Kai-shek’s 10 Time Magazine Covers

These are from the Tiexue post titled: “From his early years to his late years, Chiang Kai-shek actually appeared on the cover of Time magazine ten times”. I have included some links to the contents of each issue of Time magazine that is shown here. I think the English journalism has changed very much since that time.


Time Magazine – April 4, 1927 – “…rose out of the Sun-set”


Time Magazine – October 26, 1931 – “He threatened to Whampoa Japan”


Time Magazine – December 11, 1933 – “He could ride off in six directions”


Time Magazine – February 24, 2936 – “The Spokesman: ‘One false step — one mistake — will go bang like a firecracker.'”


Time Magazine – November 9, 1936 – “Good roads, good morals, good bombs are his answer to Japan.”


Time Magazine – January 3, 1938 – “Any sacrifice should no tbe regarded as too costly.”


Time Magazine – June 1, 1942 – “Five hard years, but the next is the hardest.”


Time Magazine – September 3, 1945 – “After eight years of war, the challenges of peace.”


Time Magazine – December 6, 1948 – “The howitzers could now be heard in Kansas City.”


Time Magazine – April 18, 1955

Comments from Tiexue:


If Old Jiang [Chiang] had beaten Old Mao back then, we don’t know if China would have walked the capitalism or imperialism path, but it definitely would have been friendly with America.


TMD, who drew Chiang Kai-shek this ugly?


Though he was our enemy

he was still an ambitious and formidable [great] man.


History is written by the victors.


Not surprising, Time magazine’s founder Henry Luce was really fond of Chiang Kai-shek. During the civil war, he always stood on the side of the Chiang couple. When he was alive, he vilified/smeared the Chinese Communist Party a lot, strongly supporting Chiang Kai-shek in public opinion. This situation continued all the way until he passed away. Only after he passed away did Time magazine’s views on the Chinese Communist Party become a little more impartial. Take a look at world news history and you’ll know.


The Chinese people need to be tough…Of course, Old comrade Jiang was, in front of our countrymen, very tough (Northern Expedition), but, why was he, in front of imperial powers, suddenly so weak? Sad!

I really wonder if a time traveler had gone back and told Old Jiang that he would die in the hands of the Communist Party, whether or not that would have made him insist on “securing the inside first to secure the outside.”


All great people! However, in China, the winners are king, and the losers are nothing!


What is Time about? Is it any regular [unimportant] magazine you find in the news stand?


As his age got older, the drive/vigor in his eyes gradually disappeared!


Under Chiang’s rule, the best China could have become would be today’s Philippines or Indonesia. The vast majority of netizens probably would not have the opportunity to go online to express their opinions, but rather be working in developed or slightly-developed countries. Of course, China would still be ranked first for the number of prostitutes.


Old Chiang was indeed charismatic. Too bad he had so many problems when he was in power, and in the end lost his own country. No matter how charismatic he was, he then would be reduced to the joke people share over tea.


Americans liked his wife more than they liked him.


The criminal [Chiang Kai Shek] of a people [the Chinese] can get on the cover of Time magazine? I really don’t know what this bunch of pigs [Time] are thinking!


Even if Old Chiang won the civil war, America would not necessarily support China becoming a strong and independent country.

Moreover, the corruption in Old Chiang’s government at the time was not your average corruption.

Just like in the movie: Fight corruption and lose the party, don’t fight and lose the country.

China present shortcomings are admittedly many,

but at least it is an independent sovereign country,

unlike the gaolibangzi and Japanese devils,

who must care about what Americans think whenever doing anything.


America was very satisfied with his anti-Communism performance, so they were rewarding him [with the Time covers?]
Moreover, it is just a foreign periodical only. It is just another country’s mainstream values, it doesn’t really mean anything.


Political issue , although had Old Chiang’s regime controlled mainland China, then there should have been 60 years of development, and not 30 years of reform and opening up, and then nearly 30 years of rapid economic growth. Our lives have improved, but if what would it be like had we had another 30 years? Different people have different opinions/see things differently, right?


He is not our enemy, only our political opponent. There is a difference between these two, and we cannot use the past political perspective to look at the issue.


Bullshit winner takes all theory, history has become a conspiracy, what he represented were the interests of the minority officials, colonial imperialists, and the land-owners, whereas what Mao Zedong represented were the interests majority workers, landless, and the proletariat, so Baldy being defeated and fleeing after having so many advantages was not an accident, but an inevitability.


History has truly had a hard time defining Old Chiang, sigh.


This, on one hand, shows that China has always been an important power in the world, that America has always placed great importance on the changes in China; on the other hand, it also shows that Chiang Kai-shek is worthy of being a generation’s great person, also recording the rise and fall of the Chiang Dynasty, worthy of people’s reflection and consideration.

What do you think of Chiang Kai-shek? Did he deserve to appear on so many Time magazine covers?

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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