Dealing with the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall tops the Transitional Justice Commission's to-do list, commission member Yang Tsui (楊翠) said yesterday.
Removing the hall’s statue of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) has been prioritized as the first step toward enacting the commission’s mandate stipulated in the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例) to “remove all symbols of authoritarianism and preserve the sites of injustice,” Yang said in an exclusive interview with the Liberty Times (sister newspaper of the Taipei Times), adding that discussions with the Ministry of Culture regarding the move are under way.
“The commission is mulling three options for the change: relocating the statue, designating the hall as a ‘negative heritage site’ or destroying the statue altogether,” Yang said.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
However, destroying the statue would create the risk that younger generations would not recognize Chiang, let alone see him as the authoritarian figure that he is, she added.
The commission is also mulling changes to the physical layout of the hall to portray a different look from the past authoritarian regime, especially in terms of historical memory, Yang said.
It would become a public space, where any visitor would immediately learn the historical truth about incidents in Taiwan and understand that Chiang was a dictator who presided over atrocities, Yang said.
They would be made to understand how the authoritarian regime operated and would be presented with memories, Yang said.
“The goal of the changes is to elucidate how Chiang should be remembered,” Yang said, adding that regardless of which solution is adopted, Chiang would not continue to be worshiped.
“The statue, enshrined within the hall and treated like a god, will either be moved or undergo changes that would remove it as an icon of authoritarian worship,” Yang said, adding that the changes would not be for tourism or commercial purposes.
Yang, a Taiwanese literature academic, is one of the commission’s three full-time members.
The act, passed in December last year, stipulates the creation of a nine-member committee of the Executive Yuan entrusted with making political archives more readily accessible, including the retrieval of those kept by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT); removing remnants of authoritarian rule; redressing miscarriages of justice; producing a historical report on the period; and promoting transitional justice.
The Democratic Progressive Party-controlled Legislative Yuan on May 8 approved all nine commission members nominated by Premier William Lai (賴清德), while the KMT and People First Party caucuses abstained.
PALAU LAUNCHES: The source said that Taiwanese military personnel traveled to Palau, where a US brigade watched their work amid plans for a defense network The military last month participated in live-fire launches of MM-104F Patriot (PAC-3) missiles under US observation in an undisclosed location in Palau, a step forward in a US-led plan to create a joint defense missile system in the first island chain, a source said on condition of anonymity. The PAC-3 is the mainstay surface-to-air missile of the US, NATO and democratic nations in East Asia, the source said, adding that it has never been live-tested within Taiwan’s borders, the source said. The proximity of Taiwan to China and China’s close surveillance of the nation’s borders and nearby sea zones is a significant
DETERRENCE: The president on Thursday is to launch the first indigenous submarine, which is to enter sea trials next month before being delivered to the navy next year Taiwan hopes to deploy at least two new, domestically developed submarines by 2027, and possibly equip later models with missiles to bolster its deterrence against the Chinese navy and protect key supply lines, the head of the program said. Taiwan has made the Indigenous Submarine Program a key part of an ambitious project to modernize its armed forces as Beijing stages almost daily military exercises. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who initiated the program when she took office in 2016, is expected to launch the first of eight new submarines on Thursday under a plan that has drawn on expertise and technology from
FISHING FUROR: The latest spat was sparked by a floating barrier that was found across the entrance of Scarborough Shoal during a resupply mission to fishers Beijing yesterday warned Manila not to “stir up trouble” after the Philippine Coast Guard said it removed a floating barrier at a disputed reef that was allegedly deployed by China to block Filipino fishers from the area. Scarborough Shoal (Huangyan Island, 黃岩島) in the South China Sea has long been a source of tension between the nations. China seized the ring of reefs from the Philippines in 2012 and has since deployed patrol boats. The latest spat was sparked by a 300m floating barrier that was found across the entrance of the shoal last week during a routine Philippine government resupply mission
UP-AND-COMER: Taiwan’s youngest-ever Asian Games athlete, 11-year-old Lin Yi-fan, qualified for the final of the women’s park skateboarding event Taiwanese judoka Yang Yung-wei (楊勇緯) yesterday won Taiwan’s first gold medal at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, defeating South Korea’s Lee Ha-rim 1-0 in the men’s 60kg category. The gold medal was Taiwan’s 100th since it first participated in the Games in 1954. Yang is also the first Taiwanese to win a gold medal in men’s judo at the Games. After defeating Lee, a teary-eyed Yang hugged his coach, Liu Wen-deng (劉文等). “I finally did it,” the world No. 7 judoka shouted. Previously, Taiwan’s judo team had only collected four silvers in the Asian Games, all of which were won by women. Yang’s gold