Ho Ying-chin, former chief of staff and defense minister for Chiang Kai-shek and the officer named to accept Japan's World War II surrender as commander-in-chief of Nationalist China's armed forces, died of heart and lung failure Wednesday. He was 97.
Ho, an adviser to President Chiang Ching-kuo in his last years, died at Veterans General Hospital, said Ni Tuan-chiu, deputy secretary-general of the National Assembly, Taiwan's electoral college.
Ho, who accepted Japan's surrender in Nanjing, southeastern China, on Sept. 9, 1945, was among about a dozen four-star generals who fled with five-star Generalissimo Chiang and his followers to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war to the Communists on the Chinese mainland.
A week earlier, on Sept. 2, U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur had accepted the Japanese surrender on the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
Ho was Taiwan's defense minister from 1949 to 1958 and also was president of the Red Cross Society in Taiwan.
He had been hospitalized since a minor stroke in April, 1986, although he occasionally attended important ceremonies in a wheelchair. Ni said Ho's health seriously deteriorated two months ago.
Ho had served for the last five years as chairman of a Taipei alliance for the reunification of China.