Sun, Dec 05, 2010 - Page 2 News List

China could be the first to publish Chiang’s diaries

GROUP EFFORTChinese academics may be close to completing their effort to copy the dictator’s writings from Stanford University’s set contained on microfilm

Staff Writer, with CNA

China may jump ahead of Taiwan in publishing Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) diaries, as his descendants have yet to reach a consensus over who has the right to authorize the use of the historical documents, academics in Taiwan said.

Chinese academics are known to have been copying Chiang’s diaries at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and, according to National Chengchi University history professor Liu Wei-kai (劉維開), if China has organized a “group effort,” it could publish what Chinese academics have hand-copied from the US ahead of Taiwan.

Without coordination over this matter, Taiwan may lose its advantage in the research of modern Chinese history, Liu said.

“If China wins over the right to interpret history, Taiwan may be further marginalized,” he said.

Huang Ke-wu (黃克武), director of Academia Sinica’s Institute of Modern History, agreed, saying if the Taiwanse research community does not have easy access to the historical materials: “How can we fight an academic war?”

He urged the government to get Chiang’s materials and affairs in order and publish the late dictator’s diaries quickly, so that Taiwanese students would be able to use the historical data more conveniently.

The Taiwanese academic circle has called for the publication of Chiang’s diaries, but his decedents have not reached a consensus about the right to authorize the publication.

Beginning in 2006, the Hoover Institution opened its microfilm collection of the diaries to the academic community on the condition that students could only use pencils to copy the text or type it into their computers.

Chinese academics have gone to California in groups, some staying as long as three months on a single visit, just to get as much of the diaries’ content as they could.

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