Chiang Kai-shek led the Republic of China (Taiwan), in various roles, from 1928 until 1975. During his long and successful leadership of free China he repeatedly reached out to the United States of America. One of his generous gestures was gifting an entire bedroom set to the Army Navy Club (ANC) in Washington, DC.
As members of the Club, my husband and I were offered a night’s stay in the ANC’s accommodations. My wonderfully foresightful, history-buff husband suggested we spend the night in the “Chiang Kai-shek Room.” Upon check-in we were informed that they were glad to see someone stay in the room. The reason, they stated, for the room going “without guests” is a lot of the older members refused to stay in the bed.
Hmmm…Chinese ghosts from the Chinese Revolution and Liberation was my first guess. The clerk behind the desk burst out laughing. “No, the bed is Chinese and therefore is completely enclosed save for only one, small opening. The older couples have to crawl over their spouse to get out of bed to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.”
And, that is how I got to sleep in Chiang Kai-shek’s bed.
The Taiwan Travel Act, passed by the US Congress on 28 February 2018 and signed into law by President Trump on 16 March 2018, states:
(1) allow U.S. officials at all levels to travel to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts;
(2) permit high-level Taiwanese officials to enter the United States under respectful conditions and to meet with U.S. officials, including officials from the Departments of State and Defense; and
(3) encourage the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office and any other instrumentality established by Taiwan to conduct business in the United States.
The Taiwan Travel Act is good news for US – Taiwan relations. I am sure Chiang Kai-shek would be pleased. And, it is of particular good news to me, having reposed in the great Chiang Kai-shek’s bed.