Portrait of a Dictator and a Dictator-to-Be

I took this shot inside the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial (AKA National Taiwan Democracy Hall) the other day. The explanation underneath read as follows:

"After resumption of his office on March 1, 1950, President Chiang Kai-shek has never since forgotten the task of attempts to recover the mainland China from the communist control. He thus made frequent trips to the Kinmen Island inspecting defense facilities and overseeing military operations. In 1958, shortly before Communist-controlled China began its heavy bombardment on August 23rd, President Chiang risked his life to visit the Kinmen island and to finalize military preparations, thereby enabling the Island not only to withstand but also emerge victorious despite horrendous bombardment. This painting depicts President Chiang and his son Chiang Jing-guo looking afar at the mainland China during one of their inspection tours of the Kinmen Island - Roberto Liang, 1975." 

Just a couple of quickies:

"After resumption of his office on March 1, 1950, President Chiang Kai-shek has never since forgotten the task of attempts to recover the mainland China from the communist control." Does this "resumption" mean here in Taiwan? If so, China washed its hands of Taiwan in 1895, ceding the island to Japan as one of the terms of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. At the time, Chiang was seven years old and not occupying, as far as I know, a position of power. The "resumption" statement therefore baffles me. Chiang did show up in Taiwan after being forced out from China and he did clean house, whacking thousands of local elites. But let me reiterate: he never came to Taiwan during the Japanese colonial era (1895-1945) or prior to this period.

So, how are we supposed to read this? He didn't actually appoint the people he had murdered during 2-28 (1947) or the White Terror campaign in the fifties. Chiang inherited them when Taiwan fell into his lap following the Second World War; they were in place long before he thrust himself upon the island. It is worth pointing out that one of the incompetent governors he assigned to Taiwan in the late forties, namely Chen Yi (陳儀), was indeed executed in Taiwan on June 18, 1950, but Chiang wasn't resuming power from him. Chen had been canned prior to this time and had relocated to China. Chiang simply had him dragged back to Taiwan because he suspected Chen was up to something.

I have to say this though -- the above painting is pretty good.


Sam Hsiao said...

For Heaven's!!!

I'm appalled, that you don't understand the history, all you do is distribute hate among peoples in Taiwan and abuse historical evidence to fit your personal ideology. What you are doing is complete perversion of facts, the statement under the image is perfectly true and historically accurate. But you take that innocent remark to talk about the same thing over and over again... Do you know how much these topics were discussed already? Where do you take your arrogance to constitute yourself as the [.....] of painful historic moments in Taiwan? You constantly want to open wounds in order to sit on your high horse and look down on Chinese people of Taiwan. It's nothing wrong to be Chinese, even if your japan-o-philia is blinding you - this is a fact. It's people like you, that will seek war and destruction between Taiwan and China, just because they are obsessed with the notion, that Taiwan is a completely separate entity. You are a permanent resident of Republic of China, keep that in mind, you fear monger. I hope to find a law that will kick you out from this province based on the hate and lies you spread on your blog. I will submit this piece to the officials and I have made plenty of screen captions for evidential purposes.

I also have saved a [.....] of that video you took down, because you were too scared of finally getting exposed as the [.....] behind the mask. If I ever see you in metro, you can bet I will videotape you the same way you videotape other innocent citizens and intrude and molest their privacy on your web site. I will pass the evidence to [.....] in Wanhua.

Patrick Cowsill said...

You say "innocent remark," but how many lives has this supposed innocence cost? Actually, many have been murdered, so where do you get off bringing up the word innocence when it regards CKS? The innocent do not go on killing sprees. Sorry, but the wounds are not being opened by me, simply a permanent resident of [Taiwan]. You give me more credit than I deserve; I do not possess such power. Have a look around: much of Taiwan's history equals open wounds that have yet to be addressed. When they are addressed, the healing can begin. That is what the many abused Taiwanese have been calling for. If for no other reason, the abused hope they can get closure, Sam.

I am not going anywhere; rest assured that I will continue to post as I see fit. In other words, knock yourself out because I will be coming back with more on this theme. Why do you in your frenzied way want to give me the time of day? Why do my words trouble you so much? No videos have been taken down by me, etc. and nothing has been censored here. If I were afraid of "being exposed," why would I continue to blog?

PS You write "I also have saved a [.....] of that video you took down." Nonsense. I haven't taken down any videos, like you suggest. Or, put them up then, "[f]or Heaven's!!!"

Patrick Cowsill said...

I've discussed Sam before on this blog. Look at his English and where he's coming from is not hard to fathom: his grandparents came to Taiwan after the Second World War because they had nowhere else to flee. At that time, Taiwan was the second most advanced country in Asia after Japan. That I keep bringing up this point upsets him on a personal level; his grandparents came from China, which was a hopeless backwater in comparison to Taiwan. They were broke and out of options.

Instead of investing in any way in an adopted country that offered them so much, Sam's grandparents simply set about stuffing their suitcases with Taiwan's "gold" before moving on to the West with their ill-begotten gains. They should have been deeply ashamed of their behavior as thankless carpetbaggers, but they were not because they managed to convince themselves that the Taiwanese people were lowly and unworthy of regard. They told each other Taiwan was "degraded land," because it had had the gall to be ruled by the Japanese instead of the country of Sam's ancestors.

Now, people like Sam sit back in the West and snipe. The psychologist part of me says they do feel guilt about their grandparent's behavior; that is why Sam and his ilk carry on from the sidelines.

James said...

I too am compiling a dossier of evidence against this Cowswill character.It is turning into a hefty tome.

How can he besmirch the good name of a great man such as President Chiang?

Watch out Cowswill, you Nipponophile, imperialist running dog. Your days in the Republic of CHINA are numbered.

Anonymous said...

First time poster, long time admirer, Patrick keep up your amazing, diligent, objective research on Taiwan, I really enjoy your posts and your perspective. People like Sam are the reason Taiwan is stuck treading water in the world, in so many ways. I like in particular his accusation of your "perversion of facts" when he doesn't even explain what the "true and historically accurate facts" are...the word resumption in the above caption is classic doublespeak to justify historical claims and ridiculous on so many levels when you used by Chiang's followers to discuss Taiwan. The other thing is his blatant desire to simply sweep history under the carpet and erase it for all time. If Taiwan needs anything in order to move forward is some sort of truth commission to address the historical inaccuracies and truths of the past, as you so eloquently address in your first response...the fact that he would say that it has to do with hating the "Chinese" is laughable. Anyway, just a shout out to continue your incredible writing...thanks...

Patrick Cowsill said...

"If I ever see you in metro, you can bet I will videotape you the same way you videotape other innocent citizens and intrude and molest their privacy on your web site. I will pass the evidence to [.....] in Wanhua."

So you mean to say we should respect the privacy of law breakers? When they break the law, their privacy should should be respected in the act, and other citizens should see it as such and continue to suffer their selfishness? You have no use for responsible citizens who care about making their Taiwan a better place to live in? I've said it before. I don't think you are Taiwan-based. If you are, you have your head in the sand.