Taiwan was a place of great upheaval 60 years ago. As Mao Zedong was preparing to announce the founding of the People's Republic of China - which, if you were unaware of the fact, will be celebrated on Thursday - some two million Kuomintang soldiers and supporters from the mainland were getting used to life on the island along with their leader, Chiang Kai-shek ... In 1927, when Chiang was attempting to cement himself as the successor to KMT leader Sun Yat-sen, he had married the younger sister of Sun's widow in Shanghai. In order to gain acceptance from her parents, Chiang had had to divorce his first wife and concubines and promise to convert to Christianity. Only then was he permitted to marry Soong May-ling (above with Chiang) ... Madame Chiang, as she became known, was no stay-at-home wife. She played an active role in the politics of the Republic of China. She lived to the ripe old age of 106 and died in New York, in October 2003. The stated intention is for her remains to be buried with those of her husband on the mainland, once political differences have been settled. Until that day comes, however, she is buried in Ferncliff Cemetery, in Hartsdale, New York, the final resting place of Aaliyah ... Aaliyah Dana Haughton was a New York-born pop star, actress and model who was killed in a plane crash when returning from the Bahamas in 2001, at the age of 22. She had been in the Bahamas to film a video to accompany the song Rock the Boat ... Rock the Boat was also the title of a panned made-for-television movie released the year before Aaliyah died. It starred Amanda Donohoe, a British actress who had made a name for herself by getting naked to play opposite Oliver Reed in Castaway (1986) and portraying the character Miranda in the 1997 Jim Carrey movie Liar Liar ... 'Liar, liar' is presumably what a lot of his former subjects are thinking of Chen Shui-bian, who claims the charges of embezzlement, accepting bribes, money laundering, influence peddling and other offences against him are all trumped up. The disgraced president is so desperate to get himself off the charges he is trying to force United States President Barack Obama and Defence Secretary Dr Robert Gates to intercede on his behalf, claiming the US retains its status as the 'occupying power' of his island, Taiwan.