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Jun 19, 2008

More signs of the times

The Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall, formerly the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, is undergoing another makeover tonight after 6:30pm; all of 228 and democracy displays in the main hall will be removed, leaving the Abe Lincoln-like statue of Chiang Kai-shek to brood over his legacy alone.

My guess is the move is not only ideological, but also designed to placate Chinese tourists coming in July. Heaven forbid they see pictures of protesting Taiwanese demanding control of their own country and future!

Now, regarding this "Mr. Ma" issue:

Ma told reporters at the Presidential Office on Tuesday that having the head of ARATS address him as “Mr Ma” while he calls him “Mr Chen” would be “the best way to avoid the question of inequality and put aside disputes.”

...Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee Chia-chin (李嘉進) defended Ma yesterday.

The public should not focus too much on the titles Chen and Ma use, Lee said.

“I think the title ‘Mr’ is a very neutral term,” Lee said, adding that concrete development in cross-strait affairs and reciprocity were more important than titles.
I recall when the KMT refused to call President Chen by his title after 2004, and instead insisted on using "Mr." The United Daily News kept it up until the end of Chen's second term. That was decidedly not a neutral term and was aimed at delegitimizing Chen's administration. The Chinese refusal to address Ma as "President" has the same goal; the sad part is the KMT's cognitive dissonance and acceptance of this downgrade.

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