Culture Minister Lee Yung-te has been in the spotlight in recent weeks. In fact, the 65-year-old former journalist has already faced a number of controversies after less than a year in office.
The most recent of these controversies has to do with recent Taiwanese history. From the end of WWII through to the late 1980’s, Taiwan was ruled by a one-party dictatorship. This was a period marked by an island-wide massacre in 1947, serious human rights abuses, decades of martial law, and the persecution of dissidents. At the helm for much of this period was Chiang Kai-shek, whose grand memorial hall in Taipei is the site of heated controversy today.
Some have called for the statue of Chiang that dominates the memorial hall to be removed, while others have called for the entire hall to be torn down as part of a process of reckoning with history and healing. There are also those who defend Chiang’s legacy or at least do not support calls for the hall’s removal.