Taiwanese coalitions argue over ex-President's monument

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The subject of a row between two coalitions in Taiwan: the "Gate of Great Centrality and Perfect Uprightness".
Image: Jiang.

The central government of Taiwan's attempts to remove symbols referring to Chiang Kai-shek from the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, have led to a major debate between the Pan-Green and Pan-Blue coalitions and the public. The Ministry of Education wants to remove the title from the "Gate of Great Centrality and Perfect Uprightness" along the Hall. Chiang Kai-shek of the Kuomintang (part of the pan-Blue coalition) was the leader of the national government from 1928 to 1975, and the Hall was built as a Memorial after his death.

Officials from Taipei City Government and Pan-Blues firmly opposed the plan, but relatives and survivors from the 228 Incident (a Taiwanese uprise that started on February 28, 1947 that was violently suppressed by the Kuomintang government under Chiang Kai-Shek) and Pan-Greens are in favor.

In fact, members from "League of Redress White-terror in 1950's" claimed in a press conference: "The slaughterer [referring to Chiang Kai-shek and relatives] should admit and apologize for his faults so that we can consider on forgiveness," and stressed: "DAMN IT! Why is the public still supporting the slaughterer and autocrat? How can an autocrat's virtues be eulogized? The public in other countries can trace on the truth from history and jury for the slaughterer, why can't it be so in Taiwan?"

The debate has become a topic in the 2008 Taiwanese Presidential elections. Kuomintang Candidate Ying-jeou Ma said: "If I win this election, I'll put the title back!" After the current President of the Republic of China Shui-bian Chen heard those words, he replied: "Did he mean on Lian-ying Li's?" But the Vice President Annette Lu said: "Depend on what Frank (Hsieh) will say."

Related news