Picking up on last week's conversation between the University of Southern California East Asian Studies Center's Li-ping Chen and author Andrew D. Morris -- a very special collaborative double episode with Formosa Files -- we learn more about how North/South Korean Cold War tensions affected air force defections from the PRC. As flying from northern China to Taiwan was almost impossible, most defectors taking off from the north headed to South Korea. The pair also give us more details on the rewards these "righteous warriors" received after arrival in Taiwan. This interview originally appeared on the New Books Network podcast. Visit them at www.newbooksnetwork.com
This interview originally appeared on the New Books Network podcast. Visit them at www.newbooksnetwork.com. Many thanks to Li-ping Chen from the USC's East Asian Studies Center and Andrew D. Morris for allowing us to use their audio!
Cover images: Left - CCP air force pilot Fan Yuan-yen is shown standing next to the plane he defected to Taiwan in. (Via THINK CHINA / Hsu Chung-mao) Right - The cover of Professor Andrew D. Morris' book, which is the topic of this episode.
NOTE: All images below are via THINK CHINA / Journalist Hsu Chung-mao
1. PLA pilots Shao Xiyan and Gao Youzong flew a plane to Seoul and then Taiwan in 1961, causing a stir in South Korea and Taiwan. The pilots were also made honorary citizens of Seoul. The leaflet shown records this incident.
2. CCP air force pilot Fan Yuan-yen is featured on a propaganda poster. Fan defected to Taiwan in his plane in 1977.
3. The leaflet below was one of many dropped by mainland China on Taiwan over the 1950s. Such papers generally featured a strong warning to members of the KMT army. This leaflet is about as blunt as you can get, essentially saying "Military officers from the Nationalists will soon see the end of their lives!"
Below: An image from a 1962 Taiwan Today article titled "Fifteen Minutes to Freedom."