The Post-1949 Period

The cooperation between the old Chinese staff and the CCP cadres was generally peaceful from 1949-1957, but the Hundred Flowers Campaign of 1957 caused a serious collision between the staff and the cadres. As they was dissatisfied with the CCP’s partisan policies and with the fact that they were led by less-experienced partisan cadres, the old Chinese staff found the Hundred Flowers Campaign a great opportunity to explain how they perceived the current issues. However, the following Anti-Rightist Movement labeled the old Chinese staff who criticised the CCP during the Hundred Flowers Campaign ‘bovine devil and snake demon (牛鬼蛇神)’. While the CCP drove the state to the extreme leftist course, the old Chinese staff gradually lost their unique status in modern Chinese history.

However, the CMCS in Taiwan still maintained its traditional characteristics until 1991. Everything remained the same although the jurisdiction of the CMCS in Taiwan became much smaller. The leadership of the CMCS in Taiwan was instable in the beginning. Lo Ching-hsiang (羅慶祥) and Fang Tu (方度) were both appointed Officiating IGs ‘co-signing’ for the IG from 1950-1955. After Lo retired in 1955, Fang was still not appointed IG but stayed on the post of Officiating IG until 1960. In 1960, Fang was finally appointed IG – he was the first Chinese IG since 1854, but three week after this appointment he also retired from the CMCS.

Before 1991, the nineteen century names were kept – the head of the CMCS was still the Inspector General, the headquarter of the CMCS was still the Inspectorate General of Customs, and the local head of each Customs station was still Commissioner. In 1991, the CMCS in Taiwan went into a new era and some Anglicised characteristics were abolished. The new head of Taiwan’s Customs service is Director General and the headquarter is the Directorate General of Customs. However, some nineteen century tradition still remained the same to this day– Taiwan’s lighthouses are still supervised by the Directorate General of Customs. The personnel system of the CMCS is still semi-independent from the Taiwanese civil servant system And last but certainly not least, Sir Robert Hart is still the most remarkable IG in every staff’s heart in the Taiwanese Customs Service.

About Hsin-I (Sandy) Chien

Research Assistant at GIS Center, Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica Research Assistant for Research Project on China's Customs Services 1854-Present MA in Renaissance and 18th Century Literature, University of Liverpool BA in Foreign Languages and Literature, Tunghai University
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