[Online] Learn the Story of China’s Russian Princess

Why We Recommend it

Veteran journalist Mark O’Neill shares the story of how an ordinary Russian woman became China’s Russian princess through her marriage to Chiang Kai-shek’s son, and how she adapted to life in China’s First Family.


In this webcast hosted by Asia Society Hong Kong, veteran journalist Mark O’Neill tells the extraordinary story of a person overlooked by history: China’s Russian princess, Faina Ipat’evna Vakhreva.

Chiang Kai-shek’s son Chiang Ching-kuo met Vakhreva at a heavy machinery plant in Yekaterinburg in the Soviet Union in the early 1930s. Considered to be one of the most enlightened political leaders of the 20th century, the younger Chiang was held hostage by the regime of Josef Stalin, who used him as leverage against his father.

A factory worker, Vakhreva thought she would spend her life with her husband in the Soviet Union. Instead, they moved to China in 1937, lived through World War II the Chinese Civil War and then moved to Taiwan in 1949. She remained a constant companion of her husband, who held a number of important posts in Chiang Kai-shek’s repressive Republic of China government, and eventually opened the door to Taiwan’s transition to democracy.

Mark O’Neill will share his insights on how a simple Russian lady adapted to life in China’s First Family and then in Taiwan under martial law.

To watch this webcast, tune in from 5-6pm HKT here on Saturday 18 April, 2020.


When: 18 Apr 2020 - 30 Jun 2020 Where: Online