The News Lens
By: Jeremy Olivier
Tomorrow marks the 117th anniversary of Chiang Ching-kuo’s birth. Jeremy Olivier
questions whether the Generalissimo’s son was really the great initiator of democratic change so many politicians and academics like to say he was.
Chiang Kai-shek (蔣中正) is persona non grata in Taiwan these days. A 2006 research report on the 228 Incident commissioned by the Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) administration in no uncertain terms named Chiang as the primary culprit of the brutal violence experienced by Taiwanese island-wide during that event. Statues of the late dictator have been consistently defaced each year on the anniversary of 228, and his portraits, which used to hang at the back of every public school classroom in Taiwan, have gradually disappeared.
Even former president and Kuomintang (KMT) stalwart Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) acknowledged Chiang Kai-shek’s responsibility for 228 and the subsequent era of martial law known to many as the White Terror last February, an indication of a fairly broad consensus on his controversial legacy. [FULL STORY]