Chiang Kai-shek loses his hold on Taiwan


The photos included in this post are of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall



Chiang Kai-shek the founding Chinese father of Taiwan is understood nationally as a notorious military leader and national symbol.  This week history is being re-written as his name and likeness is being removed from Taiwan’s public eye.  While I have only been living here for five months and understand little about Kai-shek’s true meaning in Taiwanese culture- I still find this event shocking.  The name of Taiwan’s main airport Chiang Kai-shek International Airport may be changed to “  Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.”  Moreover, Kai-shek’s sublime memorial that dominates Taipei may be moved to Taoyuan and renamed Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall.  At the moment the Taiwan military is taking down all public statues Kai-shek to mark the anniversary of the “228 incident” a day where thousands of innocent Taiwan civilians were killed under Kai-shek’s orders. 


Yesterday, I mentioned these current events to my adult students who were studying for the EILS test.  They told me they felt happy with the news of Kai-shek’s lowering public profile in favor of a more politically independent Taiwan.  Many Taiwanese look forward to Taiwan assuming its independence from China and are glad to see any associations with Kai-shek be put to rest in the past.  


5 Responses to “Chiang Kai-shek loses his hold on Taiwan”

  1. 1 stevenliu
    February 8, 2007 at 11:17 am

    hello Joanna:
    It is a quite long time that I have been absent in your class for 2 weeks. That is because I need to deal with some annoying workpiece. Hope I can reture to the class next week without any obstructions.
    I read the last paragraph of this article and have different viewpionts from the other students. In fact, many of my colleagues and I don’t pay a lot of attention to these actions such as taking down the statues. At the same time, government should be very concerned about Taiwanese global competitivenessss and domestic economy instead of making efforts on political trick.

  2. February 10, 2007 at 3:37 am

    Hi Steven,

    Thanks for your comment. I know that Taiwan is going though a huge polical transition right now and that the current government is in hot water with all the corruption allegations.

    The situation reminds me of the Canadian Prime Minster Paul Martin’s Sponsorship scandal in 2005 which got the Liberal party thrown out of office.

    Taiwan is a very competitive global player and has one of the strongest economies in Asia. I am consistently amazed at the ambition, drive, and determination of the Taiwanese. Did you know that most of the word’s laptops are designed and made in Taiwan? Hi-tech companies have shifted from manufacturing to design to maintain an even more competitive edge.

  3. 3 nathanyu
    March 1, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    Taiwan is a very unique situation…. A democratic government is better for the people of Taiwan. Taiwanese should be united on that…. However individual freedom and national soveignty are separate issues. Mainland China and Taiwan are two government systems on one soveign land. This soveignty is 5000 years of history and cultural developments. These values should have meaningful cultural identities to the people that share them. ACCEPT HISTORIC FACTS AS FOUNDATION TO ESTABLISH YOUR IDENTITY.

  4. March 2, 2007 at 1:29 am


    “ACCEPT HISTORIC FACTS AS FOUNDATION TO ESTABLISH YOUR IDENTITY” if only life were that simple. History belongs to the Conquerors.

  5. March 3, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    This soveignty is 5000 years of history and cultural developments.

    “While I have only been living here for five months”

    You have only been her for five months but you will hear ‘5,000 years of Chinese history,’ to explain many things. People forget that the Manchu were not Han.

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