There are still 1,063 Chiang Kai-shek statues on public display in Taiwan honoring the brutal Chinese dictator

Taitung Airport
Chiang Kai-shek statue comes down at Taitung Airport in June 2019, leaving 1.063 of the authoritarian icons still on public display. (credit: CNA)

Decades after the death of dictator Chiang Kai-shek, over one thousand statues of the authoritarian ruler litter the landscape of Taiwan. The statues are on display at schools, parks, and public spaces around the island. Chiang, who imposed the 228 Massacre and White Terror crimes on Taiwan, put his image on currency, coins, postage stamps,, billboards, comic books, and statues in Chinese hero-worship style. While much of the propaganda has faded with time the statues remain as a testimony to Chiang’s immense egotism. The statues also embody the Republic of China’s historical narrative.

Most Taiwanese ignore the statues and pass by them without recognition. The largest at Memorial Hall is hard to overlook with a honor guard sporting shiny metal helmets and was the scene of a paint toss when the statue was bombed with red paint balloons by youthful protesters.

The statues are maintained by the exiled Chinese government in a tenacious effort to rewrite Taiwan’s history. The source of emotional pain to many Taiwanese, the statues are eventually supposed to disappear through the efforts of the Transitional Justice Commission. However, the statues continue to stand. In addition to the 1,063 Chiang statues, the Commission has noted 1.010 other authoritarian icons remaining and 577 places named after Chiang or his son Chiang Ching-kuo. The authoritarian items include 104 paintings of Chiang hanging in public buildings.

In the statue category, Taipei leads with 129 statues of Chiang Kai-shek, followed by 111 in Taoyuan, 98 in Taichung, 82 in Kaohsiung, 45 in Hsinchu County, 40 in Pingtung County, 37 in Taitung County, 35 in Changhua County, 34 in New Taipei City, 30 in Hualien County, 29 in Yunlin County, 28 in Tainan, 25 in Chiayi County, 19 in Keelung, 16 each in Kinmen and Lienchiang County, 14 each in Hsinchu and Yilan counties, 13 in Miaoli County, 10 in Nantou County, nine in Penghu County and three in Chiayi City.

In June, officials at Fengnian Airport in Taitung ordered its Chiang statue removed following a request from the Transitional Justice Commission. Since then no other government agency has reported progress on the clean-up campaign. The airport had the statue since 1975 when the runways were used as a back-up for Zhihang Air Force Base.

Besides honoring a brutal dictator, the statues confuse Taiwanese identity and make a case for Taiwan being a renegade province of the People’s Republic of China. The ROC clings to Chiang as a founding father while while many of Taiwan’s true heroes lie in unmarked graves, victims of Chiang’s brutal regime.

Chiang Kai-shek statues will continue to be lighting rods for controversy as long as they are kept on display in places of honor. Taiwan’s longstanding strategic ambiguity has fogged the vision of many. However, the inevitable advance of awareness will only increase public pressure to remove the offending idolatry.

Author: richardsonreports

Author of FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two Story.

14 thoughts on “There are still 1,063 Chiang Kai-shek statues on public display in Taiwan honoring the brutal Chinese dictator”

  1. You are not anywhere related to Taiwan, shut your mouth please. The people in Taiwan know what they are doing and they don’t need a foreigner who doesn’t know who he is to tell us what to do!

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      1. Then you might want to go to North Korea where Kim’s statues are everywhere around the corners, isn’t Kims’ more notorious than Chiang? go and tell us what you have harvested there, my hero!

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  2. Chiang Kai-Shek is not the founding father of the Republic of China. It was Dr. Sun Yet-Shen. Thank you, Mike, for your reporting. I wonder why I did not receive all the articles you have posted on Taiwan. I have subscribed for them. Is it possible that Gmail/Google is censoring your reporting to my account? I suspect the same MIC group that has supported ROC/Chiang’s refugee regime in Taiwan is somehow destroying today’s American society and USA Constitution, by setting a very bad example of Chiang’s case on Taiwan, which tells people it’s OK for the Chinese military refugee group to kill, rob, rape and oppress forever the unarmed civilians of Taiwan, which is a foreign land for their exile, and rule over the Taiwan people through secret police, corruption, and the brain-washing school and media system. And indeed Taiwanese have been silenced for more than seven decades. Yes, we need more reporters like Mike Richardson. He deserves an award.

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    1. Sandy, if you had studied history hard, followed Taiwan news closely, or visited Taiwan in recent 30 years, you would have totally changed your state of mind. Try breaking out of your self imposed prison, otherwise even the best heart surgeon in the world can’t operate on you.

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  3. Is Pennider a real name? I sounds like “I lied to you” in Mandarin. Or maybe it is a code name for a Chinese hack. Most Taiwanese know what is ROC, but they are too scared or too uninformed to speak up due to the bloody massacre and decades of isolation and oppression. It is disgraceful that the dubious Chiang Kai-Shek’s ROC regime has been occupying two islands that belong to China, while comfortably hiding as political refugees in Taiwan and enslaving the Taiwanese people to become super rich. Taiwan is under USA military jurisdiction per San Francisco Peace Treaty with Japan since the end of WWII. The information has been declassified in 2005. Truth will set you free.

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    1. Of course anyone disagreeing with your point of view must be a liar or a hack. The KMT isn’t even the majority party of the ROC right now and they’re still being blamed for all of the ROC’s ills. And if the ROC really is under USA military jurisdiction, then that makes current ROC president Tsai Ing-Wen an American puppet, but that’s not an accusation you should be making lightly, especially if you live in the ROC, because she might have you arrested for sedition.

      If you actually look in the DPP’s closet, there’s plenty of self-serving, corrupt fat cats sitting on a pile of corpses, too, but it’s okay when they do it because…? 🙂

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  4. Such a brutal dictator, that the Republic of China’s population didn’t have to endure the travesties of the Cultural Revolution or the mass starvation of the ensuing Great Leap Forward his mainland Chinese counterpart unleashed on the PRC’s population, that the founding members of the opposition party can pretty much all claim to have been imprisoned by him (and yet they all survived, whereas in places like Cambodia or the USSR political opponents were often squirreled away in the dead of night and then executed or sent to a forced labor camp), that the stability ensured by his iron fist provided the basis for the ROC’s economic miracle (which has since been steadily been cannibalized by back-door deals and corruption by both the KMT and the current ruling party, the Democratic Progress Party).

    I’m not the biggest fan of Chiang Kai-Shek, but I’m also not a fan of the way he’s currently remembered in history: whatever wrongs he committed (purposely or not) get exaggerated to the point of cartoon villainy, whatever victories he won (by hook, crook, or otherwise) get downplayed to the point of denying it ever happened. And in rejecting everything he ever was, the next generations will not be able to learn the proper lessons of history, and just repeat the same tragedies again and again and again.

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