Tags: new york times | divisive | monuments | taiwan-style | park

New York Times: Put Divisive Monuments in Taiwan-Style Park

Image: New York Times: Put Divisive Monuments in Taiwan-Style Park
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 22 August 2017 01:05 PM

America should look to Taiwan for guidance on dealing with statues of controversial figures, according to The New York Times.

Chiang Kai-shek shares a number of similarities with Robert E. Lee. Both fought for losing sides of a civil war, both have been memorialized in numerous statues, and both remain divisive symbols in their countries today.

Chaing fled to the island of Taiwan following the ascension of Mao Zedong's Communist forces in 1912. There he founded the Republic of China with plans to retake the mainland. After his death in 1975, Taiwan transitioned to a democratic government, prompting debate over the numerous statues of Chiang put up all over the island to promote a national identity and allegiance to the government.

"We don't want to be part of China, and Chiang Kai-shek represents the idea that China possesses Taiwan," Chen Yi-shen, a historian at the state-funded research institute Academia Sinica, told the Times. "So in a lot of places his statue has been taken down."

Over 200 statues were removed and sent to a park in Taoyuan, a city in the northern section of the island, near Chiang's mausoleum. Many statues do remain standing in other parts of the island, but legislators have proposed moving all Chiang statues to the Taoyuan park.

"In Taiwan there's the opinions of the Kuomintang and the Democratic Progressive Party, so dealing with something like Chiang Kai-shek is difficult," President Tsai Ing-wen, a member of the D.P.P., told the paper. She then compared Taiwan's statue situation to the United States, saying, "It's not like your Civil War, which you should relatively easily be able to say is history that's in the past."

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America should look to Taiwan for guidance on dealing with statues of controversial figures, according to The New York Times.
new york times, divisive, monuments, taiwan-style, park
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2017-05-22
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 01:05 PM
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