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In the last days of fabi, T. V. Soong heads south to become provincial governor of Guangdong province. On the introduction of the gold yuan currency in August 1948, Chiang Kai-shek turns to his son Jiang Jingguo (Chiang Ching-kuo) who begins a reign of terror in Shanghai. He alienates major capitalists and bankers and tackles David Kung, Madame Chiang’s favorite nephew, creating a family crisis.
Jiang Jingguo cannot hold the line on commodity prices in Shanghai. Controls are abandoned at the start of November, and hyperinflation explodes. The communist military victories exacerbate the situation. Capitalists begin fleeing China for Hong Kong, America, and elsewhere.
Why did the Nanjing government wait so long to introduce the new currency? Chiang’s focus on military issues had led him to ignore the issue until it was too late. Chiang resigns and T. V. Soong heads to America. Afterward – a bitter exile for the Soongs and Kungs.
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