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Last salute to Mr. Hau, a man who fought for his country with life: From the Sino-Japanese War, Mobilization for the suppression of Communist rebellion, to the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis

Former Republic of China Premier Pei-tsun Hau, born on August 8, 1919 in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, passed away at 2 p.m. on March 30, 2020 in Taipei Tri-service General Hospital, aged 101. Hau also served as the Minister of National Defense and Chief of the General Staff. The grieving nation mourned the loss of the great leader. Having dedicated his entire life to the country, Mr. Hau was a man who led by example, was knowledgeable both as a political and a military leader, and demonstrated unwavering commitment to himself, his family and his country. He distinguished himself by notable loyalty, integrity and gallantry, setting a role model in the Republic of China military. Our fellow comrades will not only remember him as a heroic leader but will live up to his spirits.

Hau’s childhood memory was afflicted by the Japanese invasion, sparking the patriotism in his mind that drove him to engage in active duty. His military career began with his admission into the ROC Army Academy for Class 12 and continued throughout his legendary life. After graduation in 1938, the second year into the onset of the Second Sino-Japanese War, Hau was appointed as an observation officer affiliated with Company 5, Battalion 2, Artillery Regiment 14. He was injured in the Guangzhou battle, followed by his service stationed in North Myanmar as a member of the Chinese Expeditionary Force.

Following the retreat of the nationalist government to Taiwan, Hau was commander of the 9th Infantry Division in 1958, when he presided over the bombardment of Quemoy by the People’s Liberation Army. His engagement in the battle was so extraordinary that he was awarded the Order of the Cloud and Banner and the Tiger Banner of Honor. In his military career, he served as a platoon leader, company commander, battalion commander, divisional commander, Army commander, First Army Corps Commander, Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Chief of the General Staff. The second-highest military award of the nation, the Order of Blue Sky and White Sun, was bestowed upon Mr. Hau for his outstanding contributions to the ROC Army. In his political career, he began serving as the Minister of National Defense on December 5, 1989, followed by his term as the 13th Premier from May 29, 1990.

In December, 1981, Hau was commissioned to hold first class colonel general and was promoted to be Chief of the General Staff. In his term of service, Hau masterminded the Han Kuang Military Exercise, an annual large-scale exercise in the ROC military, where he reinforced solidarity, consolidation and meticulous training as the common goal in preparation for war. He also prided on his indelible contributions to the modernization of the ROC military by investing in renovated technology and accomplishing combat aircraft research and development project such as the Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF), missile R & D projects such as Tien Gung, Tien Chien, Hsiung Feng Type II, and assembly of a novel battleship.

Hau’s glorious life witnessed many essential milestones along the trajectory of the Republic of China. He used to claim himself as a responsible service man, but he was far more determined, devoted, and reverent than he thought he was as the country’s custodian. Having dedicated his entire life to the Republic of China and most of it to active duty service, he always served with enormous passion and loyalty, facilitating greatness and soundness of the country’s military and shaping an exemplary role of an honorable service man. The biography inked here is a only laconic summary of Hau’s great achievements; however, it encapsulates the country’s deepest gratitude for what he did and condolences for the military’s loss.