Following the establishment of the Transitional Justice Promotion Committee, committee chairman Huang Huang-hsiung (黃煌雄) invited the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to send a representative to monitor it.
However, the party’s spokesperson said that it would refuse to participate and accused the committee of being unconstitutional, interfering with the judiciary’s trial and investigation powers, and infringing on the rights to own property and privacy.
The KMT would never send someone to endorse the committee, the spokesperson said.
A week later, I have not seen anyone repudiating the KMT statement, so as a victim of political persecution, I find it necessary to speak up for all political victims.
Apart from KMT loyalists, most of the rest of the world, including historians, have recorded how the KMT army, between the 228 Incident in 1947 and 1949 — when the Nationalist army, KMT bureaucrats and their families fled to Taiwan after being evicted from China by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — started a cruel, half-century-long autocratic dictatorship.
The authoritarian government imprisoned and executed tens of thousands of people; confiscated property to replenish the party treasury; implicated family members and broke up 100,000 to 200,000 families; made Taiwanese afraid of discussing politics; and forced those who wanted to engage in politics to join the KMT and become the party’s watchdogs or running dogs.
Only by kowtowing to the party could people gain a position that allowed them to live the good life.
After the power of members of the Chiang (將) family waned, their heirs in the KMT used the enormous wealth they had accumulated — as state coffers in practice were also party coffers — to make politicians do their bidding as a way to maintain their hold on power.
In 2016, Taiwanese woke up and many reforms have taken place since. Audits of party assets by the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee and the establishment of the Transitional Justice Committee have terrified the executioners that relentlessly persecuted Taiwanese.
Last year, German authorities arrested a 96-year-old former soldier who had helped murder Jews in concentration camps 74 years ago. The man was sentenced to four years in prison without parole, a case of belated justice.
To this day, the KMT obstinately refuses to admit its mistakes.
Not long ago, some brave young people went to the “Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) Temple” and poured red paint on Chiang’s statue.
The Ministry of Culture said it shows that the public considers transitional justice an urgent matter.
The following day, KMT Taipei mayoral candidate Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) led a group of more than 10 city councilor candidates to the “temple” to pay their respects to Chiang.
Ting ridiculed the culture ministry, calling it the “cultural revolution ministry” and said that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is encouraging young people to disrupt social order.
Chiang made great contributions to the nation and without him, Taiwan would have had to experience the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Ting said, adding that the ministry’s actions would cause social division, cross-strait tension and the international marginalization of Taiwan.
Ting is a typical member of the KMT’s vested interests, having been trained by the party and having long enjoyed the benefits of its power.
If he wants to pray to a dictator and treat him as a revered ancestor, that is his business, but when he says that Chiang has made contributions to Taiwan, it is time that someone disagreed.
When Mao Zedong (毛澤東) sent an army to fight in the Korean War and the US sent its Seventh Fleet through the Taiwan Strait as a protective measure, Chiang kept Taiwan under strict martial law, and rid himself of the civil and military officials he disliked, such as then-commander-in-chief of the Republic of China Army Sun Li-jen (孫立人) and then-Taiwan governor K.C. Wu (吳國楨), who were close to the US and the pro-democracy faction.
He also arrested, sentenced, tortured and killed Taiwanese students and intellectuals without restraint, and suppressed the beginnings of Taiwanese democracy.
When the UN deprived Chiang of the right to represent China, he refused to accept the allied nations’ proposal to remain in the UN under the name Taiwan instead of the Republic of China.
What are Chiang’s contributions to Taiwan? He only arranged Taiwan’s funeral and failed the Taiwanese people.
Shih Ming-hsiung is a political victim.
Translated by Perry Svensson
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