New Power Party Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) yesterday urged the Transitional Justice Commission to step up its handling of statues of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and other symbols of the authoritarian era.
While the commission has done well in exonerating victims of political persecution, it must also move forward with the removal or relocation of the many statues of Chiang across the nation, especially the largest one at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Hsu said.
Nationwide, there are 1,064 statues of Chiang Ka-shek and 1,010 other symbols of authoritarianism, as well as 577 places named after Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), the commission said.
Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times
So far, 227 statues of Chiang Kai-shek have been relocated to the Cihu Mausoleum in Taoyuan where he is buried.
The other 837 can be found in schools, parks, traffic roundabouts, government buildings and veteran service facilities. Taipei leads with 129 statues of Chiang Kai-shek, followed by 111 in Taoyuan, 98 in Taichung, 82 in Kaohsiung, 45 in Hsinchu County, 40 in Pingtung County, 37 in Taitung County, 35 in Changhua County, 34 in New Taipei City, 30 in Hualien County, 29 in Yunlin County, 28 in Tainan, 25 in Chiayi County, 19 in Keelung, 16 each in Kinmen and Lienchiang County, 14 each in Hsinchu and Yilan counties, 13 in Miaoli County, 10 in Nantou County, 9 in Penghu County and 3 in Chiayi City, commission data showed.
Former Tainan mayor William Lai (賴清德) had ordered the removal of Chiang Kai-shek statues from the city while he was mayor, but 28 statues still remained, it said.
Chiayi City has the fewest Chiang Kai-shek statues, with only three, it said, adding that former mayor Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) had one statue dismantled in 2015, saying it was a waste of police resources to protect it.
The statue, which was in the city’s Zhongzheng Park, was frequently vandalized.
One statue was found at the former Hsinchu Detention Center For Mainland Chinese, or so-called Ching-lu (靖廬), the commission said, adding that Chinese interns at the center were required to salute the statue.
The park is to be converted into a historical site in the future.
Among other symbols of authoritarianism are 104 paintings of Chiang Kai-shek and 31 paintings of Chiang Ching-kuo, the commission said.
The commission would need to clearly identify paintings and statues of Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo as “symbols of authoritarianism” to overcome opposition to their removal by certain government agencies, Hsu said.
The commission must clearly state the demands of transitional justice when it faces opposition, he said.
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