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Wednesday, May 09, 2007


CKS Memorial Hall Name Changed

The Central News Agency is reporting [Chinese] that the Executive Yuan has changed the name of the CKS Memorial Hall to the Taiwan Democracy Memorial by approving legislation abolishing the CKS Memorial Hall Organic Act and sending it to the legislature.

While this may sound like the Legislature needs to approve the change, the Executive Yuan says that that is not necessary. The Yuan downgraded the CKS Memorial to a fourth-level agency last month and approved the charter and staffing of the new agency as the Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall. In other words, legislative approval is just a legal formality. The Executive Yuan's position is that they have legal authority to downgrade agencies and that fourth-level agencies do not need an organic act to be established.

The Ministry of Education will issue the new charter and change the signs at the Memorial.

The pro-blue Broadcasting Company of China follows with a story quoting Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin as saying that the name change will cost the city NT$8 million to change MRT and bus stop signs. City Hall is studying whether it can legally avoid changing the name of the CKS Memorial MRT stop.


At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Mark S. said...

NT$8 million?

The city is changing Taipei's busstop signs anyway, and the MRT has Pinyin errors that really need to be corrected.

At 6:14 PM, Blogger Geof said...

Why, why, why has no-one managed to get through to them how retarded the new name sounds? I know the KMT seems to have issues with democracy, but it's not dead yet.

At 1:43 AM, Blogger channing said...

I personally don't approve of the name change because I feel that it's a rather superficial tactic (sort of like an ex-convict changing his name, still an ex-convict).

But one thing is rather absolute: Even assuming that the change was needed, the new name does stink.

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Taiwan Echo said...

channing: sort of like an ex-convict changing his name, still an ex-convict

Your logic is preposterous. A name changing ex-convict, that means someone who committed a crime is changing his name. But in this case "CKS Memorial Hall" itself didn't commit any crime.

At 7:57 AM, Blogger channing said...

That's why I added a "sort of," as the hall itself isn't a criminal but honors a person that many have deemed to be a criminal. My point is, to be anally specific, changing the name doesn't change the original purpose of building the hall. What are they going to do with that huge white sun carved into the stone steps outside the hall?

Of course my logic is still preposterous, as is any disagreement with deep-green TI. That's their whole mentality, from my experience. Their interpretation of everything is just....right, somehow.

At 8:21 PM, Blogger Michael Turton said...

Channing, I don't think you really realize how completely bizarre it is to have a giant memorial to a dead mass murderer in the downtown of a modern capital. Taiwan is the only democracy to have such trash in its front yard -- there are no monuments to Hitler in Berlin, Franco in Madrid, Mussolini in Rome, and so on.

The tragedy is that many reasonable people like yourself have adopted the completely weird position that it is somehow OK to memorialize mass murderers, and the weirdoes are the ones who want to eliminate such memorials. Even weirder, people like you only hold this position with respect to Asian murderers, I am sure you consider it perfectly reasonable to have no monument to Hitler in Berlin.

So the real question is why you have adopted this ethnocentric viewpoint. One of my own frustrations in dealing with this question is precisely that this ethnocentric position is commonly found in discourse on Asia, as Jim Mann alludes to in his recent book on democracy in China. Why is it OK to be a mass killer in Asia, but not in Europe?


At 1:24 AM, Blogger channing said...

Right, I see where you're coming from, but this would require demolishing the entire hall, as renaming it won't change the fact that it still stands there.


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