The bodies of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and his son and successor, former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), which lie embalmed in temporary mausoleums in Taoyuan County, will finally be buried after Chiang's descendants asked the government to bury the bodies of the two presidents in a military cemetery in northern Taiwan.
Generalissimo Chiang fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the Civil War against the Chinese Community Party. Chiang died in 1975. The burial of Chiang and his son in Taiwan mark the Chiang family's recognition that the "Republic of China" military could never retake China.
The embalmed bodies of Chiang and his son were put in the temporary mausoleums in Tzuhu (
Presidential Office Spokesman Chen Wen-tzong (
Thirteen generals, admirals and former president Yen Chia-kan (嚴家淦) are also buried in the cemetery. Their spouses are also allowed to be buried with them on application. The ministry holds regular ceremonies hosted by high-ranking military personnel in memory of these patriots in spring and fall every year.
The cemetery's 9,417 grave plots are almost fully occupied. When capacity is reached, it will only accept applications for the storage of urns.
The request was made by Chiang Ching-kuo's widow, Faina Chiang Fang-liang (
President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has instructed the Ministry of National Defense (MND) to undertake the matter and has advised it "to respect the will of the family and to allow the burial to be conducted according to the State Funeral Law [國葬法], in order to show respect [for the late presidents]," the presidential spokesman quoted Chen as saying yesterday.
Chen Wen-tzong yesterday said that when both Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo died, in 1975 and 1988 respectively, the Presidential Office issued state funeral orders for burying them according to the funeral law; therefore, the Presidential Office will adhere to the existing regulations for conducting the state funerals.
The law says that citizens who have made a great contribution to the country are entitled to have applications made for their state funeral. Military personnel or high-ranking government officials may also have applications made to be buried in the cemetery.
"Both Chiangs were presidents and heads of the military so they are definitely qualified for a state funeral and to be buried in the cemetery," the spokesman said.
Chen stressed that the state funerals for the two late presidents will be conducted in the most respectful and honorable manner. The state funeral service is tentatively scheduled for next year.
The MND confirmed that it was moving ahead with the burial plans.
"A state funeral will be held sometime between March and April next year. We are currently working on the details," a ministry spokesman said.
The spokesman said that the "details" included the ceremony and the routes along which the caskets would travel.
"We will also ask for Taipei City Government's help, since most of the route will be in the city," the spokesman said.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said the decision by the Chiang family to let the late presidents rest permanently in Taiwan, saying it demonstrates their identity with Taiwan.
"We will let history judge the deeds of the two Chiangs. But we welcome the fact that the Chiang family now sees Taiwan as their eternal and only home. It is quite meaningful, as it shows their identity with Taiwan," director of the DPP's Information and Culture Department Cheng Wen-tsan (
Cheng played down speculation that the decision of the Chiang family to bury the late presidents was intended to cash in on the "Taiwanese identity" issue in order to drum up support for the KMT's year-end legislative elections, saying there was no need for political machinations regarding this issue.
The only Chiang descendant now active in national politics is John Chang (
CAUTION: Taiwanese should be alert, even if they have just liked or shared posts that would breach Beijing’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the council said Due to the newly implemented Hong Kong national security legislation, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has drawn up a list of what it described as “high-risk groups,” cautioning them not to travel to Hong Kong. People who support independence for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang; those who are critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Hong Kong government and the “one country, two systems” concept; and those who donated to or voiced support for the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement are urged to refrain from visiting Hong Kong, the council said on its Web site. It released two posts on
NEW HONG KONG LAW: A visit to Beijing-friendly nations or those with weak judicial systems could leave people at risk of deportation to China, a former MAC official said Beijing could request countries with which it has extradition agreements to deport Taiwanese to China to face criminal charges following the implementation of national security legislation for Hong Kong, a former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official warned yesterday. Some developing countries, and those close to China because of the Belt and Road Initiative, are likely to accommodate Beijing’s requests to extradite Taiwanese to China, said former deputy MAC minister Chen Ming-chi (陳明祺), who served from July 2, 2018, until May 20, and then returned to his former post as an assistant professor of sociology at National Tsing Hua University. While Taiwanese
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
IN THE PIPELINE: The Ministry of National Defense said the sale, expected to take effect in one month, would be the seventh arms sale under the Trump administration The government yesterday thanked the US for approving the possible sale of a US$620 million missile repair and recertification package to Taiwan. The US Department of State has approved the sale of a package to recertify Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington for an estimated US$620 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a news release on Thursday. The agency has delivered the required certification to the US Congress, notifying it of the possible sale, it added. The TECRO had requested to buy an upgrade package that would support an operational