Thu, Mar 29, 2007 - Page 3 News List

KMT says it will protect CKS Hall

GO FIGURE Angered by the DPP's recent attempts to remove references to Chiang Kai-shek, the KMT is holding a photographic exhibition and a protest

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei City Councilor Lee Chin-yuan of the New Party, right, presents Mayor Hau Lung-bin with a small statue of dictator Chiang Kai-shek during a question-and-answer session in the city council yesterday.

PHOTO: FANG PIN-CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday vowed to protect Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and urged the public to denounce the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which it accused of targeting the monument to provoke ethnic conflict.

During a photographic exhibition dedicated to the memorial that runs through next Tuesday at KMT headquarters, KMT Acting Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) said the hall was a favorite tourist attraction for both local and foreign visitors. He condemned the DPP for creating social and ethnic confrontation with its "anti-Chiang Kai-shek [蔣介石]" campaign.

In addition to showcasing the beauty of the hall in its exhibition, Chiang said the party would hold a protest titled "Love Taiwan, Defend the Republic of China" on Saturday to express its opposition against the DPP's attack on Chiang Kai-shek.

Joining in the criticism of the DPP, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) praised Chiang Kai-shek.

"[Chiang Kai-shek] made numerous contributions to our nation and these contributions outweigh the criticisms against him," Hau said during a question-and-answer session in the Taipei City Council.

Taipei City Councilor Lee Chin-yuan (李慶元), a New Party member, later sent a small statue of Chiang Kai-shek to Hau and urged the city government to defend the memorial.

Taipei City Councilor Yen Sheng-kuan (顏聖冠), a DPP member, questioned the city government's listing of the hall as a "temporary historical monument" despite its relatively short 27-year history.

Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Lee Yung-ping (李永萍) responded that the department was reviewing the historical significance of the hall in accordance with the Cultural Heritage Preservation Law (文化資產保存法). The evaluation was ongoing, he said.

In related news, Public Construction Commission Chairman Wu Tze-cheng (吳澤成) said a public opinion poll on the monument will be conducted in the next month or two. The poll will include the question of whether or not the monument's outer walls should be demolished.

Wu said the commission would also assemble a task force to oversee the redesign of the monument's park following the poll.

Speaking to the legislature's Education and Culture Committee yesterday, Wu said his commission would also call on scores of "experts" in deciding if and how to demolish the hall's outer walls.

Wu said any redesign of the hall and its environs would be made to convenience the public.

Additional reporting by Max Hirsch

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