HONG KONG -- Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and the Chinese Nationalist Cabinet today fled the mainland of China and established their new seat of government on the island fortress of Formosa.
Chiang left Chengtu this morning in his personal plane as Communist forces closed in on the Nationalists' last mainland capital from three directions. Communist capture of Chengtu was expected in a day or two.
The cabinet, meeting in an extraordinary session last night, agreed to remove the seat of government from Chengtu to Formosa. It also created two guerrilla headquarters to command all military operations on the mainland.
One of the headquarters was established at Sichang, capital of remote Sikang Province in the mountains of far western China.
The entire Nationalist position in southwest China collapsed along with the defense of Chengtu. Nationalist officials fled Kumming, capital of Yunnan Province, and left the city in the hands of provincial army men who were reported ready to join the Communists.
At the same time two of Chiang's closest advisers revealed that the Nationalist Government has prepared plans to draft Formosans of fighting age to protect the former Japanese island against Communist assault.
The advisers also disclosed that the Nationalists plan to abandon the mainland of China except for a taken force of government officials who will seek to function somewhere in the barren mountain country of remote Sikang.
All other government officials and fighting forces will be withdrawn either to Formosa or to Hainan Island, off the southern coast of China.
The Communist radio at Peiping said, meanwhile, that Communist troops in southwestern China captured Yamhsien, the Nationalists' last escape port on the South China Coast 60 miles south of Nanning.