Taiwan Association Asks Government to Remove Street Names Honouring Former Dictator Chiang Kai-shek Ahead of 228 Crackdown Anniversary

A Taiwanese association has asked the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to change street names honouring former dictator Chiang Kai-shek in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan

"Zhongzheng Road, Tainan City 20070408" by Ikaridon, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5.

February 28, 2023, will mark the 76th anniversary of the brutal crackdown carried out by the Guomindang regime under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek. The crackdown has become known as the 228 Incident or 228 Massacre

The Liberty Times reported that this year, Tsai Ing-wen will attend the 228 commemorations in Tainan and will skip those organized in the capital Taipei. 

One reason for this decision might be that last year Wayne Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安), the ostensible great-grandson of dictator Chiang Kai-shek, was elected as mayor of Taipei City. The fact that Chiang will participate in events organized to remember the crackdown has caused outrage, especially among the victims and their descendants. 

Prior to the 228 anniversary, members of localist groups in Tainan have formed an "Action Alliance for the Removal of Zhongzheng Roads" (移除中正路行動聯盟). 

Zhongzheng was the formal name of Chiang Kai-shek and the one he is commonly referred to officially. According to Liberty Times, Tainan has 38 streets named Zhongzheng Road, the highest number of any city in Taiwan. 

The Alliance called on the Tsai administration to change the street names honouring Chiang Kai-shek in order to show its determination to promote the cause of transitional justice. 

The Taiwan 228 Care Association (台灣228關懷總會) urged the victims of the 228 crackdown not to take part in events presided over by Chiang Wan-an. It also urged the Tsai administration to move forward with the proposed name change for Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, the most prominent building constructed to honour the former dictator, which has become one of Taipei's landmarks. 

Chiang Wan-an's links to the dictator are not entirely clear. His father, former lawmaker Chiang Hsiao-yen (蔣孝嚴), claims to be the illegitimate son of Chiang Kai-shek’s only son, Chiang Ching-kuo. The Chiangs never recognized his claims, but they also never opposed his successful career as a government official and politician which began in the 1970s. 

President Tsai's party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), grew out of the opposition movement to the Chiang regime in the 1970s and 1980s. 


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