Houston Community News >> Chiang Kai-Shek Statue Removal Causes Outrage

2/7/2007-- The Kuomintang (KMT), which Chiang once led, said the move was another example of the ruling DPP party trying to cut off Taiwan's Chinese heritage.

The DPP said the statues represented Chiang's authoritarian rule and were thus not in keeping with democracy.

Chiang Kai-Shek died in 1975 after ruling Taiwan for 26 years.

The KMT said the removal was intended to unilaterally change history and has charged that the statues are being taken down to appease President Chen Shui-bian.

But the DPP - in office since 2000 after 51 years of KMT rule - said the statues had been removed to protect them from erosion by the weather.

Sinking profile

The removal of the statues from military premises is the latest example of links with the late Nationalist leader being sundered.

Like him or not, Chiang is part of Taiwan's history

Over the past 20 years, Chiang statues have been removed from parks and other public places.

The DPP dropped Chiang Kai-shek's name from Taiwan's main airport last year.

On Monday, the Military Police Headquarters in Taipei removed Chiang's statue from its premises.

A group of DPP MPs also said they would press for the name of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei - a popular tourist attraction - to be changed to Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall.

And the DPP is set to table a proposal on Wednesday recommending the removal the military guards from Chiang Kai-Shek's mausoleum, CNA news agency reported.

Chiang Kai-shek led the Nationalist forces against the Communists in a civil war in which he was defeated and forced to flee to Taiwan.

"Like him or not, Chiang is part of Taiwan's history," said KMT legislator Tseng Yung-chuan.

(Contributed by BBC News)