The government should find a quick and permanent solution to the fate of the mausoleum of former presidents Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and his son, Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), which remain empty six years after their completion, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker said yesterday.
DPP Legislator Hsueh Ling (薛凌), who sits on the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, demanded that the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) and the Ministry of National Defense (MND) seek a final decision from the Chiang family on the NT$31.42 million (US$1.07 million) building.
The remains of the two Chiangs were supposed to be relocated from temporary mausoleums in Cihhu (慈湖) and nearby Touliao (頭寮) in Taoyuan County to the Wujhihshan Military Cemetery in then-Taipei County in January 2004, in accordance with the family’s wishes.
However, Hsueh said the Chiang family has not decided whether to relocate the remains to the new mausoleum, which was completed in December 2005.
The Chiang family appeared split on the relocation, Hsueh said in a statement, adding that some family members and retired generals who were close to the family had proposed to relocate the two men back to their hometown in Zhejiang Province, China, saying that it would be consistent with Chiang Ching-kuo’s wishes.
Adding to the complexity of the issue, Hsueh said, is that the temporary mausoleums at Cihhu and Touliao had become popular sightseeing spots for Chinese tourists in recent years and the family seemed to have abandoned the idea of relocation.
Regardless of their final decision, the MOI and the MND should find a way to resolve the issue as soon as possible and to put the completed building to good use, she said.
In a press statement released later yesterday, the MOI said it would provide necessary assistance to the Chiang family if it decides to move the bodies of the two late presidents.
It said the family applied to have the bodies moved in 2004. However, the project was stalled as family members could not reach a consensus on the issue.
“The government fully respects the wishes of the family and if the family reaches any consensus in the future on the issue, the Ministry of the Interior would provide all necessary assistance,” the statement said.
Additional reporting by Loa Iok-sin