Taiwan: Turning Its Back on Chiang Kai-Shek
In a move to turn away from late president Chaing Kai-Shek and his authoritarian rule,
Below is an article published by Reuters:
Taiwan's government on Tuesday [01 January 2008] reopened what used to be a monument to late president Chiang Kai-shek but is now a memorial to what the ruling party describes as his brutal dictatorship over the island.
The move is part of the Democratic Progressive Party's campaign over the past few years to recast Chiang's role in
Chiang, who had ruled all of
Critics of the campaign say the moves are simply aimed at stirring up anti-Kuomintang sentiment ahead of key parliamentary polls later this month [January 2008] and a presidential election in March .
Chen's party has its powerbase in southern
Unveiling the "Goodbye Chiang Kai-shek--Anti-communist Democracy and Taiwan Roadmap" exhibition, President Chen Shui-bian said the event was "opening the door to democracy".
The hall, which stands at the end of a sprawling square in central
Then called the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, the 70-metre-high white stone structure has been renamed National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall.
The almost 10-metre-high bronze statue of a seated Chiang remains, but the honor guards that long stood vigil have gone. The statue is now ringed by displays of victims of Chiang's rule as well as milestone events in
"We have turned a hall that was originally a temple at which to worship an authoritarian dictator into a place for
Some analysts say hundreds, possibly thousands, of people whose families had lived on the island for several generations before 1949 met harsh treatment under Chiang's one-party rule.
"This not only represents that the authoritarian dictatorship has been consigned to history, it also shows the real advent of
Chen's election victory in 2000 ended more than 50 years of Nationalist Party rule over the island.