chiang kai-shek

Taiwanese University Removes Chiang Kai-shek Statues, Changes Martial Law School Anthem


National Cheng-chih University main gate (image by joke chien via Wikimedia Commons)

Taiwan’s National Cheng-chih University has formally decided to remove statues of former President Chiang Kai-shek from the campus as well as to expunge references to Guomindang one-party rule from the school anthem.

According to Apple Daily, at a meeting held on September 7, school representatives announced their decision to change the school anthem, which contained references to Guomindang one-party rule and its political ideology.

The original version of the school anthem reads: “The mission of our Party is to carry out the Three Principles of the People, the duty of our Party is to build up the Republic of China” (實行三民主義為吾黨的使命,建設中華民國是吾黨的責任).

In the new version, words related to the Guomindang have been replaced by neutral terms that refer to democracy: “Our mission is to practice democracy and the rule of law, our duty is to protect freedom and human rights” (實踐民主法治是我們的使命,維護自由人權是我們的責任).

Both versions of the anthem can be sung on official occasions.

Furthermore, the school has announced that it will remove two statues of former president Chiang Kai-shek. The location where they will be placed has not been agreed on and will be decided at a future session.

Chiang Kai-shek’s statues are regularly vandalized during the commemoration of the 288 massacre. After being defeated by the Communist Party led by Mao Zedong in 1949, Chiang Kai-shek’s Guomindang relocated the government of the Republic of China (ROC) to Taiwan and established a dictatorial regime that lasted until the late 1980s.

Read also: Chiang Kai-shek – Dictator, Idealist, Criminal?

In recent years, the Guomindang has experienced major electoral setbacks as the party has promoted a policy of rapprochement with China.  The appeal of Guomindang ideology, with its emphasis on Chinese nationalism, has waned, as an increasingly larger portion of the Taiwanese people reject unification with China.

Cheng-chih University was traditionally a bastion of Guomindang rule.

The school was founded in 1927 by the Guomindang in Nanjing as the ‘Central School of Party Affairs’ (中央黨務學校) with the aim of training cadres during the Northern Expedition. The first headmaster of the school was Chiang Kai-shek. In 1929 it was renamed ‘Central School of Governance’ (中央政治學校), and in 1946 its name was changed to National Central University of Governance (國立中央政治大學).

University activities were suspended when the Communists seized power in 1949. The school was reopened in Taiwan in 1954 as ‘National University of Governance’ (國立政治大學, Kuo-li Cheng-chih Ta-hsueh).

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