This film is part of Free

Formosa Island of Promise

How did Taiwan cope with the huge influx of Chinese refugees from the mainland after the war? This report explains why the island is a symbol of hope for all developing countries.

Documentary 1951 17 mins


As Chiang Kai-shek and his Kuomintang government take stock from their exile in Formosa, and his wife organises a Women’s Anti-Aggression League, the peasant farmers of the island feel the benefit of land reforms instigated by the Chinese government with the aid of the American funded Economic Co-operation Administration. We follow the progress of farmer Liu, whose life has improved as a result of the reforms of the Sino-American Commission for Rural Reconstruction.

This film is a propaganda piece showing how the Economic Co-operation Administration (which also implemented the Marshall Plan) was helping with the reconstruction of Taiwan after the war - and thus aiding the fight against Communism. It also provides a vivid snapshot of Chiang Kai-shek’s first years in Taiwan after he had moved his government to Taipei in 1950. Shots of suspected Communist agents being interrogated and broadcasts to the mainland by the Voice of Free China highlight the film’s anti-Communist message. Not mentioned by the commentary are the tensions that existed between Chiang and the USA, nor the fact that , despite its democratic constitution, Taiwan was essentially a one party state.