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There have been many statemen/generals in Chinese history who were prevented from utilizing their talents to its fullest potential. One of these was 宋教仁 (Song Jiaoren), which Ian mentioned. It is tragic that a talented parliamentary leader like Song was eliminated by Yuan Shikai during the infancy period of the Chinese republic. Otherwise he could have led the Guomindang or China in a better direction. When Song died of his wounds, Sun Yat-sen gave a eulogy praising Song as a hero. However Sun was able to retain a small amount of his power due to Song's assassinaton. Privately Sun was probably relieved because Song was such an attractive rival in terms of statesmanship and having the ability to bring people together. Just like what happened to Yue Fei seven and a half centuries earlier, a talented individual was eliminated due to another person's selfishness and his perception of a potential rivalry. What if Yuan Shikai did not have 宋教仁 assassinated? Would the young Chinese republic be charted on a different course?

Another great talent was 孫立人 (Sun Li-jen). His story is quite tragic considering that he was arguably the most outstanding Chinese general of the Second World War. Educated at Purdue University and the Virginia Military Institute, he rose to command the New 1st Army, which is credited for defeating the most Japanese troops in World War 2. In the Battle of Shanghai, Sun was badly injured in 13 places and fragments of a rifle grenade remained in his body until his death. In 1943 at the Battle of Yenangyuang, he led 1121 soldiers on a rescue mission in saving 7500 British soldiers and reporters from the encirclement by 7000 Japanese troops. The men and women who served under Sun Li-Jen were widely known for their professionalism, especially in the China-Burma-India theater.

Sun continued to show his leadership qualities after Japan's defeat. When the Chinese civil war resumed, the New 1st Army under Sun Li-Jen defeated 110,000 Communist troops with 70,000 men at the Second Battle of Szeping in 1946.

When the Nationalists lost the civil war and retreated to Taiwan, Chiang Kai-shek saw Sun Li-jen as a potential rival because Sun had the unquestionable loyalty of his soldiers. In 1955 one of Sun Li-jen's subordinates, Major Kuo Ting-liang (郭廷亮) was involved in a Communist spy incident. Because Kuo was Sun's subordinate, Chiang Kai-shek put Sun in house arrest, where Sun remained until his release in 1988 after Chiang Chingkuo's death. The charges surrounding 孫立人案 may have been fabricated and Chiang's motive for putting Sun in house arrest was probably influenced by rivalry concerns. Chiang has a habit of putting away talented people for good and not utilizing their talents to full potential, like Zhang Hsuehliang's. During Sun's house arrest, no one dared mention his name or his achievements in public, or in front of Chiang Kai-shek and his son.

Upon his release in 1988 (which coincided with Zhang Hsuehliang's), Sun Li-Jen asked that his guards remain with him. He had become attached to them during those 33 years.

What are your thoughts on this case?

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sun liren was pretty close to the americans volunteers at the burmese borders. at that time it was rumoured that the americans planned to remove chiang and put him up as the new chinese leader. so his arrest is probably inevitable. 8)

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