This one from The Australian on the recent decision to remove Chiang Kai-shek’s statues from military bases.


Taiwan is to remove statues of Chiang Kai-shek, the late nationalist leader who ruled the island for 26 years, from its military bases.

The move was ordered by President Chen Shui-bian, who has led a vociferous and controversial campaign for full independence from China.

Last I recall, the government was denying that Chen had ordered the move. I also liked the loaded language used to describe Chen — “vociferous”.

Mr Chen’s decision has angered nationalist politicians in Taiwan and is likely to cause annoyance in Beijing, which condemns any attempt to perpetuate the separation of Taiwan from mainland China.

The second part assumes that Taiwan was part of China, which it never was….

But the general’s only descendant still active in politics, John Chiang, voiced anger at the decision, saying it was the latest in a series of moves by Mr Chen to tarnish the image of the Nationalist Party.

This article is hopelessly pro-KMT — it calls them the Nationalists without putting the word “Chinese” in front. I especially love the last paragraph:

Chiang is seen by many in Taiwan as an authoritarian leader who suppressed calls for democracy and a split from China. But some view him as a hero for keeping the island out of reach of Beijing and nurturing a market economy.

Oh please. Chiang WAS an authoritarian leader who had his opponents imprisoned and murdered, and erected a security state on Taiwan. It’s history, and it is OK to say it out loud. Note how the last sentence turns away from this reality of authoritarian rule, leaving the reader with the word “hero.” Actually, Taiwan was kept out of China’s grasp by US military power, not Chiang Kai-shek, and Taiwan’s economy was the most heavily government-run in the world outside the Soviet bloc. This heavy government ownership of the economy continues today, but it has been dwarfed by the enormous growth in the non-governmental economy. In fact, as Neil Jacoby points out in his book on US aid to Taiwan, the Chinese Nationalists made limited provision for independent capitalism, forcing the US to put pressure on them to open up the economy more, especially to local Taiwanese enterprisers.

I’m just plain sick of this stuff. I already wrote to the LA Times twice in the last two days. I guess I owe The Australian a letter too.