Taiwan square renamed to mark anti-corruption rallies against president
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
TAIPEI, Taiwan: Taiwan’s capital has renamed a large plaza in front of the presidential palace “Anti-Corruption Democracy Square” to commemorate weeks of popular demonstrations against President Chen Shui-bian late last year, the city’s mayor said Tuesday.
The move by Hau Lung-pin of the main opposition Nationalist Party came as Taiwan’s two large political blocs vie for voter support ahead of a March 2008 presidential election.
On Saturday, Chen capped off months of attacks against the martial law legacy of late Nationalist dictator Chiang Kai-shek by stripping his name from a memorial in downtown Taipei and renaming it “The National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall.”
The move infuriated hardcore Nationalist supporters, who say Chiang should be venerated for helping promote Taiwan’s rapid economic growth in the 1960s and ’70s and strengthening its armed forces.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Hau said the renaming of the presidential square plaza should serve as a warning to all corrupt Taiwanese politicians.
“This is the place where Taiwan’s largest ever anti-graft demonstrations took place,” he said. “Anti-corruption has become the common value of all our citizens.”
Last year, former Chen ally Shih Ming-teh used the square to anchor six weeks of marches and sit-ins to protest alleged corruption by Chen and his inner circle.
Many Nationalists supported the demonstrations, but their efforts to oust Chen from power failed when they fell short of mustering the required two-thirds majority in the Legislature to put a presidential recall measure to an island-wide referendum.
This is what happens when Taiwan Province decide to politicise major local landmarks and memorials. It only encourages others to do the same to the point where the entire province becomes an even bigger joke to the rest of the world. On a lighter note, Costa Rica profusely apologised to Taiwan Province for not getting their back at the WHO vote to let the province in as an observer. I guess this means Costa Rica appreciates all the bribes they are receiving from Taiwan Province but it’s also a signal for the province to give them bigger bribes if they expects small favours in return.