Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) should be removed from Taiwanese banknotes and coins, the Transitional Justice Commission said in its final report as the ministy-level organization prepares to close tomorrow.
Chiang’s likeness should be removed from coins and notes when the central bank carries out a redesign of the nation’s currency, said the report, an official copy of which was handed to Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) by the commission’s acting minister Yeh Hung-ling (葉虹靈) at a ceremony in Taipei on Friday.
Images of Chiang are on NT$1 and NT$5 coins, and NT$200 banknotes.
Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times
Citing the findings of two expert panels that the commission organized in 2019, the report said the purpose of currency design is to promote symbols and values that unify the nation and represent it to the outside world.
The prominence of Chiang and Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) on money suggests an overemphasis on political leadership and the glorification of “strongmen,” which is at odds with democratic norms, it said.
Chiang’s “dictatorial” reign was responsible for “undermining the democratic constitutional order, utilizing state violence and human rights infringements,” it said.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Putting Chiang on coins and banknotes implies that an authoritarian ruler is the nation’s unifying symbol and that his regime represents its values, the report said.
The government has a legal responsibility to remove authoritarian symbols under the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例), which supersedes the central bank’s concerns about costs, it said.
Coins and banknotes bearing Chiang’s image should be taken out of circulation and replaced with new designs to be selected via an appropriate process that enables civic participation, the report said.
The replacement designs should underscore the nation’s cultural distinctiveness, natural landscape and the progressive values of cultural diversity, gender equality and environmentalism, it said.
The process should be conducted bearing in mind the need to facilitate societal dialogue and the formation of national identity, it said.
The report also made three suggestions regarding the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei.
The statue of Chiang at the hall should be relocated, the function and appearance of the hall should be altered and anything in the park related to the “worship” of authoritarian figures should be removed, it said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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