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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

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A bad business practice by Taiwan’s biggest bookstore chain

Have you ever seen souvenir items based on images from Adolf Hitler’s life being sold anywhere in the world to commemorate his legacy? I doubt it, because it is simply not right to promote the legacy of the mastermind behind the Holocaust.

But in Taiwan, souvenir items based on images from the lives of dead dictator Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo are being sold across Taiwan at the nation’s biggest bookstore chain (see the video at that link), Eslite Bookstore (誠品書店).

To my dismay, the legacy of Taiwan’s dead dictator, the mastermind behind Taiwan’s 228 massacre in 1947, is being revived!

The great-grandson of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), Demos Chiang’s design company, the DEM INC., designed some disgusting souvenirs featuring images from the life of dead dictator Chiang and his son, the head of the secret police during Taiwan's White Terror period. The souvenir items include pens, T-shirts, notebooks, post cards, and more.

If Demos Chiang were a businessman who cared about Taiwan’s worsening human rights situation and noticed the recent erosion of justice, these products commemorating dictator Chiang’s life would not have been designed in the first place, not to mention being mass produced for sale in Taiwan’s biggest bookstore chain.

Have you seen Demos Chiang’s blog updated with any words of support for a better Taiwan like what the Wild Strawberries Student Movement has been fighting for? No! And how could he, since he was probably preoccupied by this souvenir design project?!

Identifying himself as a Taiwanese (my note: which I really doubt now), Demos Chiang, previously admitted that his family members had persecuted the Taiwanese people in the past, but it is now quite evident that such remarks were merely a tactic to promote his company and obtain contracts.

Many of Taiwan’s younger businessmen will tell you that they love Taiwan, but deep down they don’t. They love money more than anything else. All they care about is making lots of profits despite unethical business practices and despite the risk of becoming Chinese slaves in the near future. They represent a lost generation who were born to a more democratic Taiwanese society that was already there for them because of the blood shed by their predecessors.

How pathetic!

Reference sources:
From page 8 of the Tuesday, May 29, 2007 Taipei Times, read the editorial Young Chiang shows KMT the way.

For Chinese text of Demos Chiang's admission that his relatives persecuted the Taiwanese, read 蔣友柏:我家人曾迫害台灣人.

See the video which brought attention to Eslite's sales of CKS and CCK souvenirs.

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9 Comments:

At 2:09 AM, Blogger 阿牛 said...

I also find this just shocking in so many ways. How... weirdly awful.

 
At 4:32 AM, Blogger Dixteel said...

Call me cynical, but...

When this dude Demos Chiang showed up on the scene a few years ago with his blog and stuff, a lot of light green, light blue and even heavy green people praised him. Because comparing to Ma and other KMT people he seems to have more understanding, sympathy and just generally more open minded about Taiwan.

But during that time I felt he might be BSing and remained highly suspecious of his motives. To me he seems to be just another one of those KMT princes, like Ma, but in a better package wrap. Now it seems I might be right to be cynical.

But I hope I am wrong, and that Mr. Chiang will realize his huge mistake and correct it with proper explaination and apologies.

 
At 11:21 AM, Blogger Carlos said...

"Demos" (as in 'people' and 'democracy')? That's an ironic name!

 
At 8:32 PM, Blogger Dezhong said...

"Have you ever seen souvenir items based on images from Adolf Hitler’s life being sold anywhere in the world to commemorate his legacy?"


Sorry for going slightly off-topic, but yes in fact, there are some stores in Taiwan that do sell t-shirts with his picture. I was also quite shocked to learn that the Nazi flag can be bought in practically every souvenir shop here in Taiwan.

Don't know what kind of people are buying this s*** though...

On another sidenote: I have also seen a stand that was selling "Mao Zedong milk tea" down in Kenting...

 
At 12:16 PM, Blogger Taiwanrox said...

So true... The Chiang kai Shek memorial in Taipei is like having a statue of king George in Washington DC.

Have you seen the chiang kai shek bobblehead souvenir thing? http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_eTDqMgAAe_o/SjZeKejQXsI/AAAAAAAAAJM/7ewEvDyY538/s400/4figsB.jpg

 
At 1:23 AM, Blogger Άλισον said...

未出post前就知道台灣很有可能有人賣希特勒圖樣的東西,台灣商業道德低落、讓人憂心!

國民黨長久執政下的教育、只要有個好工作、生活享受、大賺特賺,不必關心政治、也不管社會不正義之處,正是我文章的重點,教育失敗才會教出這種没道德的年輕一代,好好反省一下。

 
At 2:09 AM, Blogger Άλισον said...

By the way, I am not sure who (himself or his parents) chose the name, Demos.

But if it has anything to do with the Greek language, the modern Greek meaning of Δήμος (pronounced as di-mos) means municipality (as in city) while the ancient Greek has broader meanings: city, people, or national (as in Greek national, Greek citizen),

but because his grandmother’s (his father’s side) religion is probably Russian Orthodox, so the short version of an Orthodox saint’s name was chosen, see the link

http://www.namedays.gr/data/bios.php/?id=421

on the linked image the most bottom left person is the saint Δήμος, the long (or formal) form of this name is Δημοσθένης (pronounced di-mos-the-nis)

and

I surely hope Mr. Demos Chiang will change again.

 
At 12:14 AM, Blogger catherine_sr. said...

If you go to the Eslite store in Xinyi and look for the globes that they have for sell on the third floor (I think it's the 3rd floor... it's near the checkout counter and is across from the history book section), you will notice that they don't have Taiwan marked as a separate country.
As a regular Eslite customer, I'm getting more and more disheartened by stuff like this and am now seeking alternative sources for my reading material.

 
At 7:00 AM, Blogger ace said...

Demos(or other pseudonyms) Chiang 蔣友柏 (US/Canadian Citizens) -

His Father 蔣孝勇, as son of the former Dictator, has profited from the monopoly of all imported energy resources to Taiwan (usually marked 25% above prevailing international market price) as well as installation of all major air conditioning equipments on the island. Fled to Montreal, Quebec upon death of the dictator, later emigrated to Danville, California. He is reported to be owner of at least 2 major shopping malls in the US. The vast fortune of his family may not be registered completely in the US, as his great grand father have absconded US Government funds to buy real estates overseas (1948) As President Harry Truman remarked, 'They stole 750 million dollar out of the [$3.8] billion that we sent to Chiang. They stole it, and its invested in real estate down in Sao Paulo and some right here in New York.'

Currently continuing to profit from Taiwan, he has establish a design company catering to influential political elites' affiliated companies. At the same time, his self-proclaimed name 'demos' is a play on doublethink.

 

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