Tsai Ing-wen’s speech at President Chiang Ching-kuo Memorial Park Sparked Debate

Tsai Ing-wen’s speech at the opening of Taiwan’s former President Chiang Ching-kuo Memorial Park Raised Political Issues and Sparked Debate

February 5, 2022

Chiang Ching-kuo repealed political party ban, newspaper ban, and ended “martial law” during his last years

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen recently attended the opening ceremony of the “Ching-kuo Seven Seas Cultural Park” in honor of former President Chiang Ching-kuo (1910-1988), and she delivered a speech in front of Taiwan’s former President Ma Ying-jeou and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je and other dignitaries.  She stressed that Chiang Ching-kuo’s “anti-communist and  protect Taiwan” line was what Taiwan needed now. She emphasized that Taiwan needs to think about Chiang Ching-kuo’s “anti-communist and protect Taiwan” line. She also said that history’s verdict about  Chiang Ching-kuo was rendered by the people of Taiwan.  Tsai’s speech promply  sparked a heated debate in Taiwan’s public opinion about the merits and demerits of Chiang Ching-kuo’s authoritarian rule and Taiwan’s democratization.

The remarks also divided opinion within the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan localist faction. Some localists and party opinion support Tsai’s move, praising her for uniting Taiwan and bridging differences; however, some party insiders and human rights groups criticize Tsai’s speech for hurting the political victims of Chiang’s rule and for undermining the work of transitional justice.

The remarks also divided opinion within the DPP and the local faction. Some localists and party opinion support Tsai’s move, praising her for uniting Taiwan and bridging differences; however, some party insiders and human rights groups criticize Tsai’s speech for hurting the political victims of Chiang’s rule and for undermining the work of transitional justice.

Speaking to BBC Chinese, Chen Junkai, a professor of history at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan, said Tsai’s speech on Chiang Ching-kuo’s historical positioning was an attempt to seize the right to speak about Chiang Ching-kuo and intended to pander to the Blue camp [KMT supporters] public. He criticized: “In terms of transitional justice, ‘the myth of Chiang Ching-kuo’ is both one of the many myths of strongman party-state authoritarian rule created by the KMT regime, and naturally must be deconstructed, Taiwan’s democracy, before it can truly deepen and President Tsai deviates from this principle …… “

Dr. Hsiao Yu-ho, a political scientist and member of Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology, told the BBC that Chiang Ching-kuo could not have been someone who “promoted democracy” judging from his aversion to democracy that can be seen in his diary. His untimely death also leaves no way for future generations to know his true attitude toward Taiwan’s democratization.

In addition, for the opposition Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), former President Chiang Ching-kuo has been an important political asset for the KMT in the past, but Tsai’s move has sparked discontent among the KMT and Taiwan’s unified media, the United Daily News, which criticized Tsai for “eroding the reputation” of Chiang Ching-kuo.

The BBC Chinese summarized the main arguments about Taiwan’s political history arguments that erupted after Tsai’s speech. Some some scholars believe that these arguments show that Taiwan society is still divided about its authoritarian history, the history of unification and independence and democratization, and along party ideology.

Chiang Ching-kuo’s announcement of the lifting of martial law was a turning point in Taiwan history.

What did Tsai Ing-wen say?

In 1986, Chiang Ching-kuo met with Katherine Graham, publisher of the Washington Post, and said he would end the ban on founding new newspapers the following year. A later Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou (center) interprets.

On January 22, Tsai Ing-wen attended the inauguration ceremony of the Chiang Ching-kuo Library organized by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, a foundation supported by government and private donations in Taiwan, and delivered a speech. Among the attendees were former President Ma Ying-jeou, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je and KMT Chairman Chu Li-lun.

The main theme of her speech was that cross-strait relations has changed greatly, and that Taiwan is “facing waves of military and political pressure from Beijing. The firm position of former President Chiang Ching-kuo to ‘protect Taiwan’ is undoubtedly the greatest consensus of the people of Taiwan share at the moment, and more importantly, the most important issue that confronts us”. She also quoted Chiang Ching-kuo’s own words, that the Republic of China has survived to this day, “with a future and hope, mainly because the government is a spiritual bastion in the world that is resolutely anti-communist and does not compromise with any communist party.”

Tsai Ing-wen therefore said that the first “presidential library” in Taiwan can help reach a consensus on its history, “Otherwise, in Taiwan, former President Chiang Ching-kuo will always only belong to a section of the people. Some people remember the economic development and security he brought, while others remember the authoritarian system he represented.”

After her speech, Tsai’s remarks quickly sparked heated debates in Taiwan’s political arena. Even Mainland China’s Taiwan Affairs Office issued a statement  several days later.

Current KMT Chairman Chu Li-Lun responded to Tsai’s speech by saying that “Chiang Ching-kuo’s line was to oppose Taiwan independence line” and asked Tsai and the DPP to abandon Taiwan independence and move to the path of peaceful cross-strait unification.

A few days after Tsai’s speech, Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the Chinese mainland, responded at a regular press conference that Chiang Ching-kuo had said during his lifetime that he was “a Taiwanese and a true Chinese” and opposed “Taiwan independence”. She accused the DPP of political maneuvering and inciting the so-called “resistance to China and protection of Taiwan” to mislead the people of Taiwan.

Tsai Ing-wen speaks at the inauguration of the Chiang Ching-kuo Library organized by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation on Jan. 22.

“In response to Tsai Ing-wen’s speech, the issue of what Chiang Ching-kuo’s reasons were for “protecting Taiwan against the Communists” was the primary disagreement.

Dr. Chen Jiaming of the Institute of Political Science, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, criticized Tsai’s speech on Facebook for lacking an understanding of basic democracy. He said that people under an authoritarian dictatorship submit to the dictator only out of fear or because they are controlled in speech and thought, so the latter and his subjects are not really united as a political community. Chiang Ching-kuo was “divided from the Taiwanese community. So what Chiang Ching-kuo protected was not Taiwan, but his own dictatorship. Taiwan was only preserved by association because it was a part of his dictatorship.”

History scholar Chen Junkai, on the other hand, told the BBC that from the publicly available diaries of Chiang Ching-kuo from his diary and from various things he did in politics during his lifetime, Chiang Ching-kuo did not have a preference for democracy and was mostly pressured to be passive and open.

Chiang Kai-shek, Soong Mei-ling and Chiang Ching-kuo.

Chiang Kai-shek and his sons have been the leaders remembered by many Taiwanese “expatriates”. Soong Mei-ling is pictured in the middle, while Chiang Ching-kuo is pictured on the right.

However, another scholar of Taiwan history, Chen Fangming, affirmed Tsai’s move. According to Chen Fangming, Tsai’s “reconciliation” of the different opinions of Taiwan society’s ethnic groups is very “courageous”. While studying in the United States in the 1980s, Chen was blacklisted during Chiang Ching-kuo’s administration because of his involvement in the independent political candidates’ democracy movement [Note: In Taiwan at the time, independent political parties were banned but independent candidates were allowed; by some coincidence they all used green banners, later the color of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). End note], and was unable to return to Taiwan for many years. He applauded Tsai’s speech, saying that “Taiwan’s democratic history was indeed made possible by Chiang Ching-kuo’s announcement of the lifting of the curfew,” which later led to Lee Teng-hui’s announcement of direct presidential elections …… Tsai Ing-wen admires President Lee very much, and to a certain extent it is also an affirmation of Chiang Ching-kuo.”

Another Taiwanese cultural commentator, Yen Zeya, said, “Those who oppose Tsai’s speech are justified on the grounds of transitional justice …… But the discovery of historical truth can be a long process – a process in which the aggressor in the minds of one school of scholars may be the ‘actor who has no choice but to make a choice’ in the minds of another school of scholars.”

Like Chiang Ching-kuo or like South Korea’s deceased authoritarian ruler Park Chung-hee, both  in the face of Communist challenges and infiltration during the Cold War, had a mentality that they would solve all challenges, both big and small, with the same size hammer.  Thus their governments did much harm by wrongful killing of innocents, said Yen Zeya. “So he is not entirely innocent per se, but to consider the extent of his responsibility, one must still take into account to what extent he lacked real choices.”

fter Chiang Ching-kuo (pictured left) passed away in 1988, his successor Lee Teng-hui (pictured below right) continued to relax KMT’s one-party dictatorship.

However, according to political scientist Hsiao Yu-ho, the question of whether or not the core of Chiang Ching-kuo’s political line was being “anti-communist”, can be looked at through the recently released Diary of Chiang Ching-kuo. He argues that in his diary, Chiang identified “independent political groupings dangwai” overseas “Taiwan independence” groups, and the Chinese Communist Party as the “three aspects of one enemy,” for example, in his diary he attacked For example, in his diary, he criticized the “communist-backed Taiwan independence” as a sinister scheme. He said, “It can be said that Chiang Ching-kuo was indeed ‘anti-communist,’ but Chiang Ching-kuo’s anti-communism also included encompassed opposition to the dangwai indepedent political groupings, opposing ‘Taiwan independence.  ‘Independing political groupings, Taiwan independence and the Chinese Communist Party’ is a triple enemy that are inextricably intertwined. “

Did he “push democratization” or “did he open up under U.S. pressure”?

In the last years of his administration, Chiang Ching-kuo announced the ending of the ban on political parties other than the KMT, ending the newspaper ban, and ending martial law.  He chose ethnic Taiwanese scholar Lee Teng-hui as his vice president and successor and promoted a number of ethnic Taiweanese elites who had no military background to top positions.  Public opinion welcomed this, praising Chiang Ching-kuo, saying that he had a place in the start of Taiwan’s post-war putting politics in the hands of local Taiwan people or democratization. The editorial of the Taiwanese media “Wind Media” [Feng Chuanmei] affirmed Chiang Ching-kuo, saying that Taiwan society is now “one because of Chiang Ching-kuo, each entitled to his own expression”, which is the result of Chiang Ching-kuo’s opening up to democracy.

However, for critics, many of the major political cases that occurred during Chiang Ching-kuo’s tenure, whether directly ordered by him or involving the usual tactics of Taiwan’s secret service agencies at the time, Chiang Ching-kuo’s image as an authoritarian dictator could not be shaken off.

For example, Chiang Ching-kuo was criticized for being the “master of white terror”, mainly because after the KMT moved to Taiwan, Chiang Kai-shek instructed his son Chiang Ching-kuo to lead the reform of the intelligence and ideology departments in order to prevent the infiltration of the Chinese Communist Party in the military and the civilian population.

Chiang Ching-kuo, who had studied in the Soviet Union for many years, followed the Soviet example and set up a political combat system in Taiwan. In addition, he brought several intelligence agencies under his command, including the Taiwan Bureau of Investigation and the Intelligence Bureau, and unified their command. At that time, the American political circles and the media called Chiang Ching-kuo the “head of intelligence” in Taiwan.

In addition, in 1979, the Kaohsiung Incident (美丽岛事件 meilidao shijian) occurred in Taiwan, in which people who called for the political lifting of party bans and other democratization movements in Taiwan were arrested and imprisoned and sentenced to death. According to the analysis of Taiwan University history professor Chou Wan-Ming, under the pressure of the United States, political cases that used to be tried in secret were later tried in public.  Later several political murders occurred in Taiwan, including the murder of Lin Yi-hsiung’s young daughters (1980) [Translator’s note: murder occurred while the family home was under close 24-hour police surveillance] and Chen Wen-chen (1981) [Translator’s note: Carnegie Mellon Professor pushed/’fell off’ roof of the Taiwan University library, body discovered on campus after twelve-hour-long interrogation by Taiwan security services.]  From shocked international public opinion, the United States, and from the rapidly growing independent political groupings, the KMT came under great pressure. 

Hsiao told the BBC that the collapse of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the dictatorship in the Philippines had made Chiang Ching-kuo very wary, understanding that the pressure for democratization would hit the regime if not properly channeled. He believes that from the diary of Chiang Ching-kuo, which has been made public in recent years, it can be found that he himself does not have positive feelings about “democracy”: “Chiang criticized in his diary, during his term as executive president, the political inquiries of the representative councilors were ‘often exaggerated concerns about petty matters’. “This is the way of so-called ‘democratic politics’.  I very much doubt that much good will come to the people of the country if we put our energy and time into it.”

Propaganda photo of Taiwan and Chiang Kai-shek during martial law. “Follow the Supreme Leader, Support the Return of the Republic of China to Glory and Prosperity”

Martial law has kept Taiwan in a state of military emergency for 38 years. Under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek, who used to be known as “Chiang Kung” [蒋公 Chiang the Public-Spirited] in Taiwan, the concept of “counter-attacking the Chinese mainland” took root.

In particular, in 1984, the famous “Jiang Nan case” occurred in California, where Taiwanese secret agents went to the United States to assassinate Liu Yiliang, who had written the biography of Chiang Ching-kuo, under the pseudonym “Jiang Nan”. Although there is no direct evidence that Chiang Ching-kuo personally dispatched the assassins [Translator’s note: Taiwan gangsters hired by the Taiwan military intelligence service.] , the case seriously damage to the relationship between the United States and the Kuomintang.

According to Professor Chen Fang-sumi of the Department of Political Science at Soochow University in Taiwan, in 1985 the U.S. Senate passed a resolution in support of Taiwan’s democracy, which was “included in a special section of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 1986, requiring the KMT to implement Taiwan’s democratization. Under such domestic and foreign pressure, Chiang Ching-kuo announced that the next president would be constitutionally elected and that members of Chiang’s family may not and would not run for president.”

In 1987, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Taiwan Democracy Resolution, calling on the government of the Republic of China to end martial law and lift the party ban, include guarantees of freedom of speech and assembly, and accelerate the realization of democratic politics. Some would argue that attributing credit for the so-called democratization of Taiwan politics initiated by Chiang Ching-kuo to himself is not reasonable. They would argue that the KMT government opened up its politics step-by-step in response to the political opposition movement, U.S. and international pressure triggered democratization.

Dr. Lin Xiaoting, director of the East Asia Collection at the Hoover Archives at Stanford University, is currently the scholar with direct access to Chiang Ching-kuo’s diaries in the collection. He told German Radio “Deutsche Welle” that Chiang Ching-kuo did not leave a diary during his last nine years of life, so his last views on the U.S.-Taiwan and even cross-strait relations cannot be inferred much from it.

However, he stressed that after Chiang Ching-kuo’s administration, cross-strait relations “were promoted in a direction that was beneficial to the development and situation of Taiwan society itself, on the premise that the well-being of the people of Taiwan and the development of people’s livelihoods were fully guaranteed.

Lin Xiaoting believes that the time and space in which Chiang Ching-kuo was placed and the challenges he faced in the past may not be applicable to today’s cross-strait relations: “To evaluate Chiang Ching-kuo without considering the overall context of his times” is a one-sided and inadequate…. Although each perspective isn’t actually wrong. It is as if only a certain part that is favorable to their respective political positions is taken into play, and that is why contradictions and differences arise.”

In addition, the late historian Yu Ying-shih and Frank Dikötter, Chair Professor of History at the University of Hong Kong, have both affirmed that Chiang Ching-kuo was not obsessed with power in his later years and began to open up Taiwan politics.

National flag of the Republic of China

The Role of the Kuomintang

A week before Tsai’s speech, the Taiwan Executive Yuan’s National Military Retired Officers and Soldiers Counseling Committee (NMPRC), in cooperation with the Civilian Military Veterans Association (CMAA) and other organizations, held a “Concert in Memory of Ching-kuo” in Taipei City, stressing that Chiang Ching-kuo’s “anti-communist, a reformer and a defender of Taiwan”. After Tsai Ing-wen’s speech, it triggered more commotion in Taiwan’s political arena and brought pressure to the KMT, in addition to dividing opinions within the party.

Pro-KMT commentaries not only published articles criticizing Tsai’s consumption of Chiang Ching-kuo, but also sent a warning message to the KMT. For example, Taiwanese political commentator Li Yanqiu said on Facebook, “The KMT must ask itself properly, ifeven Mr. Jingguo has become an asset of the DPP, what does it have left?”

In addition, former KMT senior executive Zheng Pei-fen, who used to be vice chairman of the KMT party newspaper Central Daily News, also explained to the Taiwanese media that the KMT has ignored Chiang Ching-kuo’s political legacy and discourse in recent years.  Therefore the KMT appeared caught off guard by Tsai Ing-wen’s political masterstroke of playing the “Chiang Ching-kuo card” to attract the support of middle-class voters, and has not responded effectively to the move.

In response to criticism of Tsai’s speech, KMT Chairman Chu Li-lun said, “Chiang Ching-kuo’s line is the KMT line, and Tsai is welcome to follow Chiang Ching-kuo’s line” to “oppose Taiwan independence”. The first time I saw this, I was able to get to know the people of Taiwan. He also said that Chiang Ching-kuo in his later years opened up a democratic and free society in Taiwan, but the Democratic Progressive Party has been fighting the KMT opposition party in the past few years, and moving towards a “democratic dictatorship”, which is not at all what Chiang Ching-kuo wanted.

Chen Junkai told the BBC that Chiang Ching-kuo’s “merits” were recognized by many Taiwanese people because of a “biased scale of observation” based on a fragmented history or life experience. He said that in the 1970s, when the KMT regime was in full control of the media and education, Chiang Ching-kuo’s “deliberate image of being pro-people and loving the people was a rare political figure with a special style for those Mainland Chinese who had come to Taiwan with the KMT regime. “.

In any case, the controversies over the period of Chiang Ching-kuo’s leadership in fact reflected the great differences in Taiwan society in  views  regarding the history of unification and independence and Taiwan’s democratization.  These debates have continued  in the decades following Chiang’s death. Currently, the Taiwan Association for Civil Truth and Peace, a group of civil society organizations and political scholars in Taiwan, has launched a campaign to “condemn the DPP government for promoting authoritarian discourse” and call on the Tsai government to propose a timetable for the implementation of transitional justice. “More than forty civic and student organizations, including the Time Force, Women’s New Knowledge, and the Association for the Rehabilitation of the White Terror of the 1950s, have joined the campaign.

Chiang Kai-shek and Soong Mei-ling parade on the National Day in Taipei in 1970.

Roughly speaking, Taiwan’s post-World War II authoritarian rule began in late 1949, when the family of a million KMT troops led by Chiang Kai-shek’s government officially moved to Taiwan after losing the battle against the Chinese Communist Party in mainland China. The Taiwanese society was not at ease with the government that had moved to Taiwan.

After Chiang Kai-shek moved to Taiwan, he issued the “Martial Law” (Martial Law) in Taiwan and stated that Taiwan, Penghuang, and Jinma were in a “state of emergency under national crisis”, and banned civil organizations, political parties, rallies, and media on the grounds of national security, with penalties up to the death penalty for violators.

When Chiang Kai-shek died in 1975, Chiang Ching-kuo took over as president and served until his death in Taipei in January 1988. During Chiang’s presidency, a number of major political cases occurred, including the “Kaohsiung Incident,” the murder of former DPP Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung’s family, and the “Chen Wen-cheng murder case,” which remain unsolved.

However, during his lifetime, Chiang Ching-kuo announced the lifting of the ban on the party and the newspaper, and in July 1987, Taiwan announced the “lifting of martial law”, and Chiang Ching-kuo chose Lee Teng-hui, a native of the province, as his deputy, and after his death, Lee Teng-hui took over as president, while stating that the Chiang family would not be involved in politics after his death. At the same time, during his term of office, Taiwan’s economy took off dramatically, and major infrastructure and factories were established. Thus many in the KMT and among the Taiwan public still miss and affirm him. However, some believe that 38 years of martial law was the longest period of time imposed by any regime in the world, and that it has caused deep damage to Taiwan’s democracy and society.

Hsiao Yu-ho, a longtime researcher on Taiwan’s political development, told the BBC that Tsai’s motive for attending Chiang Ching-kuo Memorial Park is undoubtedly the hope that Taiwan society can have a foundational political consensus outside of party differences. He said, “Basically, this is a continuation of the ‘Lee Teng-hui line’.”

Hsiao explained that the “Lee Teng-hui line” refers to finding a greater political consensus for Taiwan society without completely negating the authoritarian regime of the past. He said, “The specific approach is to cut off ‘Chiang Ching-kuo himself’ from the ‘authoritarian regime’. The state system left behind by the authoritarian regime certainly needs to be dealt with, and Lee Teng-hui amended the constitution for this purpose, and Tsai Ing-wen also initiated ‘transitional justice’.  Nonetheless ‘Chiang Ching-kuo himself’ is somehow seen as good. Lee Teng-hui has repeatedly stated that he is the true successor to Chiang Ching-kuo’s ‘diligent administration’ and that he is a graduate of ‘Chiang Ching-kuo’s school’.  Tsai Ing-wen, on the other hand, has emphasized that the core of Chiang Ching-kuo’s political line is ‘opposing communism’ , and that ‘anti-communism’ is the only way to ‘protect Taiwan’.


Criticism:

Tsai Ing-wen affirms Chiang Ching-kuo

January 25, 2022 Interview Editor: Lin Wing-ching

Tsai Ing-wen affirmed Chiang Ching-kuo, and the New Power Party criticized her for this, saying that  it went against the principles of transformative justice.

New Power Party Legislative Yuan caucus held a press conference on the 25th, questioning President Tsai Ing-wen’s affirmation of the perpetrators of authoritarian rule. (Courtesy of New Power Party Caucus)

The president, Tsai Ing-wen, has been criticized by her party comrades and the New Power Party  Legislative Yuan caucus today (January 25) for her assessment of Chiang Ching-kuo, and if she fails to face the truth about the perpetrators of authoritarian rule then the transformative justice that the people expect will not come.

The president, Tsai Ing-wen, was invited by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation to give a speech at the opening ceremony of the “Ching-kuo Seven Seas Cultural Park” and expressed her affirmation of former president Chiang Ching-kuo’s stand against the communists and in defense of Taiwan.

On January 25, 2022 the New Power Party Legislative Yuan caucus also held a press conference, questioning President Tsai’s public criticism of “Chiang Ching-kuo’s myth” in 2009. They noted that she has changed her attitude about Chiang Ching-kuo and that this is not helpful to Taiwan’s practice of transformational justice. The problem that Taiwan has been encountering in promoting transitional justice is that there are only victims, but no perpetrators. Just because we are unwilling to confront those in charge of the authoritarian government, making it difficult to heal the wounds of history. The situation we see is that what she (Tsai Ing-wen) is doing and what she is saying and doing is very different from what she did in 2009, and it is also promoting a one-sided myth.

The government provides 40% of the funding of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation and thus it has a semi-official character.  However, one of the foundation’s directors, economist Liu Zunyi, was a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

The government should also consider the appropriateness of the project. Democratic Progressive Party legislator Kuo Kuo-wen believes that it is necessary to compile and record the data of all the ROC presidents. There are certainly those who have different evaluations of Chiang Ching-kuo’s merits and faults. The government should not ignore the Henry Liu (Jiang Nan) case and the Kaohsiung (Meilidao) Incident that both occurred during Chiang Ching-kuo’s term in office. Both his merits and his faults should be discussed.




蔡英文出席台湾前总统“蒋经国纪念园区”开幕致词引发哪些政治议题及辩论

2022年2月5日

蒋经国执政晚年陆续宣布开放党禁及报禁及"解严"。
图像加注文字,蒋经国执政晚年陆续宣布开放党禁及报禁及“解严”。

台湾总统蔡英文最近出席一场纪念前总统蒋经国(1910-1988)“经国七海文化园区”开幕典礼,她在台湾前总统马英九及台北市长柯文哲等政要前致词,强调蒋经国当年的“反共保台”路线是台湾现在亟需思考的议题。她并称,蒋经国的历史定位由台湾民众民主决定等。蔡英文致词后,迅速引发台湾舆论对蒋经国威权统治功过及台湾民主化过程的激烈辩论。

有关言论在民进党及本土派内意见亦出现分歧。有本土派及党内舆论支持蔡英文此举,赞誉蔡英文团结台湾弥合歧见;但也有党内人士及人权团体批评蔡英文发言伤害在蒋家统治下的政治受难者,并打击了转型正义工作。

台湾辅仁大学历史学系教授陈君恺对BBC中文说,蔡英文此次就蒋经国历史定位发言,此举是试图抢夺关于蒋经国的话语权,并意图媚俗讨好蓝营民众。他批评说:“就转型正义的角度言,‘蒋经国神话’既是国民党政权所创造出来的众多强人党国威权统治神话之一,自然必须加以解构,台湾的民主,才有可能真正深化而蔡总统背离这个原则……”

政治学者、台湾科技部萧育和博士则告诉BBC,从蒋经国在日记中对民主的反感态度来看,他不可能是“民主推手”。他过早的离世也让后人无从知晓他对台湾民主化的真正态度。

此外,就在野党中国国民党而言,前总统蒋经国过去一直是国民党的重要政治资产,但蔡英文此番举动引发国民党及台湾统媒《联合报》等不满,抨击蔡英文“消费”蒋经国。

BBC中文整理此次蔡英文致词所引发的主要政治历史争论,有学者认为,这些争辩折射出台湾社会对于过去威权历史、统独及民主化历史分歧仍在,沿着政党意识形态及斗争浮现。

蒋经国宣布解严,是台湾历史的转折点。
图像加注文字,蒋经国宣布“解严”,是台湾历史的转折点。

蔡英文说了什么?

蒋经国1986年接见美国《华盛顿邮报》发行人葛兰姆,说出次年将开放报禁。前台湾总统马英九(图中)时为现场翻译。
图像加注文字,蒋经国1986年接见美国《华盛顿邮报》发行人葛兰姆,说出次年将开放报禁。前台湾总统马英九(图中)时为现场翻译。

1月22日,蔡英文出席由台湾政府与民间捐赠维系的基金会“蒋经国基金会”举办的蒋经国图书馆落成典礼并致词。同场出席者有前总统马英九、台北市长柯文哲及国民党主席朱立伦等。

她的致词主轴是:当下两岸关系的时空环境,与过去相比有很大转变,台湾“面对当前北京对台湾一波又一波的军事及政治施压,蒋经国前总统坚定‘保台’的立场,毫无疑问也是当前台湾人民最大的共识,更是我们共同的课题”。她又引用蒋经国的原话称,中华民国到今天所以能生存,“有前途,有希望,主要是因为政府在世界上是坚决反共、不与任何共党妥协的精神堡垒。”

蔡英文因此说,这座台湾首座的“总统图书馆”可以为社会在历史中寻找共识,“否则,在台湾,蒋经国前总统永远只是一部分人的蒋经国。有些人记得他所带来的经济发展与安全感,而另外有些人,则记得他所代表的威权体制。”

致词过后,蔡英文上述言论迅速在台湾政坛引起激辩。甚至,中国大陆国台办在数日后也高调回应。

现任国民党主席朱立伦回应蔡英文致词称,“蒋经国路线就是反台独路线”,要求蔡英文及民进党放弃台独,走向两岸和平统一支路。

在蔡英文致词后几天,中国大陆国台办发言人朱凤莲在例行记者会中回应称,蒋经国生前曾表示“是台湾人,也是堂堂正正的中国人”,且反对“台独”。她指责民进党政治操弄,煽动所谓“抗中保台”,误导台湾民众。

蔡英文在1月22日出席由“蒋经国基金会”举办的蒋经国图书馆落成典礼致词。
图像加注文字,蔡英文在1月22日出席由“蒋经国基金会”举办的蒋经国图书馆落成典礼致词。

“保台”或“保护威权政权”?

针对蔡英文致词,对于蒋经国当年出自何种原因“反共保台”的问题是首要分歧。

台湾中研院政治所陈嘉铭博士在脸书批评蔡英文致词欠缺对基本民主的认识。他说,在威权独裁统治下的人民只是因为恐惧或者因言论思想被控制而臣服于独裁者,因此后者和他的臣民们并非真正结合成一个政治共同体。蒋经国当年“和台湾社群是分裂的。所以蒋经国保的不是台,而是他自己的独裁地位。台湾只是因为是他独裁地位的一环,所以被连带性地保住而已。”

历史学者陈君恺则告诉BBC,从公诸于世的的蒋经国从日记中以及他生前从政的各种所作所为,蒋经国对民主制度并不喜好,多半是受到压力而消极开放。

蒋介石、宋美龄和蒋经国。
图像加注文字,蒋介石父子一直是许多台湾“外省人”缅怀的领袖。图中为宋美龄,图右为蒋经国。

不过,另一位台湾史学者陈芳明,则肯定蔡英文此举。陈芳明称,蔡英文为求台湾社会不同意见的族群政治之“和解”十分有“胆试”。陈芳明1980年代在美留学期间,因为从事党外民主运动,曾是蒋经国执政时期的“黑名单”,无法返台多年。他称许蔡英文的致词,认为“台湾的民主历史确实是由蒋经国宣布解严之后,“才开启后来李登辉的宣布总统直选……蔡英文非常敬佩李总统,在一定程度上也是对蒋经国的肯定。”

台湾另一位文化评论者颜择雅则说:“反对蔡英文致辞的人,理由都是转型正义……但历史真相的发现可能是一个漫长过程——过程中,一派学者心目中的加害者,可能是另一派学者心目中的‘无奈必须做出选择的行动者’”。

颜择雅说,像蒋经国或者像韩国已逝的威权统治者朴正熙,都是在冷战期间,面对共产党的挑战及渗透,心态是草木皆兵,因此其政府确实都有错杀无辜的伤害发生。“所以他本身并不完全无辜,但要考量其责任大小,还是必须把其选择背后的无奈成分考量进去。”

蒋经国(图左)在1988年过逝后,继任者李登辉(图右下)持续松绑国民党一党专政体制。
图像加注文字,蒋经国(图左)在1988年过逝后,继任者李登辉(图右下)持续松绑国民党一党专政体制。

不过,政治学者萧育和认为,蒋经国政治路线的核心是“反共”与否,可以同样从最近公开的《蒋经国日记》分析。他认为,在日记中,蒋经国认定“党外”、海外的“台独”团体与中国共产党是“三合一的敌人”,譬如他在日记中抨击“共匪所支持之台独”心计险恶。他表示,“可以说,蒋经国确实‘反共’,但蒋经国的反共同样包含了反对‘党外’与反对‘台独’,‘党外、台独与中共’是无法拆开的三合一敌人。 “

“民主化推手”或“美国压力下开放”?

由于蒋经国执政晚年陆续宣布开放党禁及报禁及“解严”,并选择“本省籍”的学者李登辉为副总统接班人,并提拔多位没有军事背景的本省籍菁英担任高层。许多舆论因此赞扬蒋经国,称其对于台湾战后本土化或民主化的起步,占有一席之地。台媒《风传媒》社评便肯定蒋经国,称台湾社会现在是“一个蒋经国,各自表述”,便是蒋经国开放民主的成果。

但是对于批评者而言,蒋经国任内发生的许多政治重大案件,无论是其直接下令或涉及当时台湾特务机关的一贯手段,蒋经国作为威权独裁者的形象,仍无法卸下。

譬如,有批评指蒋经国是“白色恐怖的主使者”,主因是因为国民党迁台之后,蒋介石为防堵中共在军队及民间的渗透,指示由其子蒋经国主导改革情报及思想部门工作。

留学苏联多年的蒋经国因此仿效苏联,在台建立了政治作战系统,在党内则成立了“救国团”招募年轻人成为党工,从事思想工作。此外,他又将台湾调查局和情报局等多个情报部门纳入麾下,统一指挥。当时美国政界及媒体曾称蒋经国是台湾的“情报头子”。

此外,1979年,台湾发生“美丽岛事件”,呼吁台湾在政治上解除党禁等民主化运动的人士遭逮捕下狱并被判处死刑等重刑。根据台湾大学历史教授周婉窈分析,在美国压力下,过去都是秘密审判的政治案件改为公开审判。之后台湾又陆续发生多起政治命案,包含党外人士林义雄灭门血案(1980)、陈文成命案(1981)等,撼动海外,在国际舆论及美方施压,还有正在崛起的党外势力挑战下,国民党受到很大压力。

萧育和告訴BBC,当年东欧共产政权与菲律宾独裁政权的垮台,让蒋经国非常警惕,明白民主化的压力如果不适当疏导,将会冲击政权。他认为,从近年公开的《蒋经国日记》可以发现他本人对”民主“没有好感: “蔣担任行政院长任内在日记中批评代议士的问政‘往往捉小放大’”,并且质疑“这就是所谓‘民主政治’的方式,把精力时间放在这里,对国家人民究竟有多少益处,乃很大疑”。

戒严时期的台湾与蒋介石宣传照。
图像加注文字,戒严令让台湾38年来处于军事紧急状态中。在台湾过去尊称为“蒋公”的蒋介石领导下,“反攻大陆”的概念深入人心。

尤其,1984年,美国加州发生知名的“江南案”,台湾特务人士赴美刺杀《蒋经国传》作者笔名“江南”的刘宜良。虽至今没有直接证据显示是蒋经国派命、但是重创美国与国民党的关系。

据台湾东吴大学政治系陈方隅教授称,1985年美国参议院通过了一项支持台湾民主决议案,以“专节形式列入1986年度的外交关系授权法案,要求国民党实施台湾民主化。在这样的国内外压力下,蒋经国宣布下任总统将依宪法产生,蒋家人不能也不会竞选总统。”

1987年,美国众议院通过《台湾民主决议案》,呼吁中华民国政府终止戒严令并取消党禁、包含保障言论和集会自由,加速实现民主政治。许多分析因此认为,所谓蒋经国开启台湾政治民主化并不符合事实,国民党政府是在国际民主化浪潮引发的政治反对运动及美国压力下一步一步开放政治。

美国史丹佛大学胡佛档案馆东亚馆藏部主任林孝庭博士目前是能直接接触该馆馆藏蒋经国日记的学者。他便向德媒《德国之声》分析说,蒋经国生前最后九年并未留下日记,因此他最后对于美台乃至两岸关系的看法,无法据此有太多推论。

但他强调,蒋经国主政之后,对于两岸关系“是依照着对台湾社会自身发展与处境有利的方向来推进的,在台湾百姓福祉、民生建设发展获得充分保障的前提下来进行”。

林孝庭认为,过去蒋经国身处的时空环境、面对的挑战等未必能套用在今日的两岸关系:“以去脉络化”来评价蒋经国,各自的表述虽不能说是错误,但都是片面且不完整……仿佛仅只撷取对各自政治立场有利的某一部分来发挥,也因此才会出现矛盾、差异的情况。”

此外,已逝的史学家余英时及香港大学历史系讲座教授冯客(Frank Dikötter)都曾对蒋经国晚年不迷恋权力并开始开放台湾政治,有所肯定。

中华民国国旗

国民党的角色

在蔡英文致词之前一星期,台湾行政院“国军退除役官兵辅导委员”(退辅会)便与民间军人退伍等单位,在台北市合作举办了一场“怀念经国先生音乐会”,强调蒋经国的“反共、革新、保台”。蔡英文出席致词之后,引发台湾政坛骚动更多,除了党内意见分裂之外,亦带给国民党压力。

亲国民党评论除了刊文批评蔡英文消费蒋经国之外,亦对国民党发出警讯。譬如,台湾政治评论者李艳秋在脸书上说:“国民党必须好好问问自己,连经国先生都变成民进党的资产了,国民党还有什么?”

此外,过去担任国民党党报《中央日报》副董事长的前国民党高层郑佩芬亦向台媒解释,国民党近年来将蒋经国的政治遗产及论述忽略,因此对于蔡英文此刻打“蒋经国牌”,吸引中间选民支持的政治高招,国民党显得措手不及,没有有效回应接招。

国民党主席朱立伦在回应及批评蔡英文的谈话时称,“蒋经国路线就是国民党路线,欢迎蔡英文跟随蒋经国路线”“反台独”。朱立伦在蔡英文致词后数日,公开批评蔡英文谈话称,蒋经国路线包括捍卫中华民国、保卫台湾、建设台湾、民主自由等等。他又说,蒋经国晚年开启台湾民主自由的社会,不过民进党这几年都在斗争在野党,走向“民主独裁”,这完全不是蒋经国的希望。

陈君恺则告诉BBC,蒋经国的”功绩“会被不少台湾民众肯定,则是由于片断的历史或生命经验、所构成的“偏颇观察尺度”。他说,1970年代国民党政权既已全面掌控媒体与教育,蒋经国“所刻意塑造的亲民、爱民形象,对随着国民党政权来台的中国人而言,这是少见的政治人物,有着特殊的风格,且因其带领大家走过风雨飘摇的岁月,故而产生感恩戴德之心,理所固然”。

无论如何,对于蒋经国领导期间的种种争议,事实上折射出台湾社会对于统独、台湾民主化历史的极大差异,这些辩论在蒋经国逝世后绵恒数十年仍未统合。目前,由台湾民间团体及政治学者组成的“台湾民间真相与和促进会”发动连署“谴责民进党政府发扬威权论述”,并呼吁蔡政府提出转型正义落实时程表,已有台湾本土政党“时代力量”以及“妇女新知”,“50年代政治白色恐怖平反促进会”等40多个民间及学生社团加入连署。

蒋家在台湾

.
图像加注文字,1970年蒋介石与宋美龄在台北国庆节阅兵。

大抵来说,台湾二战后的威权统治始于1949年底,由蒋介石政府带领的百万国民党军队家眷,在中国大陆与中国共产党的对垒败退后正式迁移到台湾。1947年,台湾刚发生由国民党军队在台湾流血镇压逮捕台湾民众的“二二八事件”,台湾社会对于迁移到台湾的政府,并不安心。

蒋介石迁台后,颁布台湾“戒严令”(Martial Law),并明示台澎金马处于“国家危机下紧急状态”,并以国家安全为由,禁止民间组织政党,集会及媒体等等,违者刑罚最高可处死刑,开启台湾“白色恐怖”时代,大量监控并逮捕在台湾的左派及民主运动人士及家庭,并处以死刑。

1975年蒋介石病逝,蒋经国接任总统,任期至1988年1月病逝台北为止。在蒋经国任内发生多起重大政治案件,包含“美丽岛事件”,前民进党主席林义雄家族灭门血案及“陈文成命案”等至今尚未破案。

不过,蒋经国生前宣布解除党禁及报禁及1887年7月台湾宣布“解严”,蒋经国并选择本省籍的李登辉担任副手,在其病逝后由李登辉接任总统,同时表示蒋家人在其身后不再接触政治。同时,在其任内台湾依傍国际情势经济大幅起飞,重大基础建设及工厂成立,让许多国民党及台湾民众至今仍对其充满怀念及肯定。不过,也有人认为,38年戒严是全球任何一个政权所实施的最长时间,对台湾民主及社会造成的伤害甚深。

长期研究台湾政治发展的萧育和对BBC表示,蔡英文出席蒋经国纪念园区的动机,无疑是希望台湾社会可以在政党分歧之外能有基础性的政治共识。他说:“基本上,这是‘李登辉路线’的延续。”

萧育和解释称,“李登辉路线”是指在不完全否定过去威权政体的前提下,为台湾社会找出一个更大的政治共识。他说:“具体的做法是把‘蒋经国本人’与‘威权政体’切割开来,威权政体所遗留下来的国家体制当然需要处理,李登辉为此修宪,蔡英文也启动‘转型正义’,但是,‘蒋经国本人’某种程度上是好的。李登辉多次表明他是蒋经国‘勤政’的真正继承人,他是‘蒋经国学校’的毕业生;蔡英文则强调蒋经国政治路线的核心是‘反共’,‘反共’才能‘保台’。”


蔡英文肯定蔣經國 時力質疑有違轉型正義 用Podcast訂閱本節目 Rti 中央廣播電臺

  • 時間:2022-01-25 10:07
  • 新聞引據:採訪
  • 撰稿編輯:林詠青
蔡英文肯定蔣經國 時力質疑有違轉型正義
時代力量立法院黨團25日召開記者會,質疑蔡英文總統肯認威權統治的加害者。(時力黨團提供)

總統蔡英文日前出席「經國七海文化園區」開幕式的談話內容,連日來不但遭到黨內同志批評,時代力量立法院黨團今天(25日)也質疑,蔡總統對蔣經國的評價今昔「差很大」,如果不能正視威權統治加害者真相,人民期待的轉型正義也無法到來。

總統蔡英文日前應蔣經國基金會邀請,出席「經國七海文化園區」開幕式致詞,並且對前總統蔣經國抗共保台的立場表達肯定,此舉也在綠營內掀起茶壺風暴,前立委段宜康更批評蔡總統的說法「莫名其妙」。

時代力量立院黨團25日也召開記者會,質疑蔡總統2009年曾公開批判「蔣經國神話」,但如今卻態度轉變,對台灣的轉型正義實踐恐怕沒有幫助。立委王婉諭說:『(原音)台灣在推動轉型正義,一直以來遇到的問題都是只有受害人、而沒有加害者,因為我們不願意去正視威權政府的主事者,而讓這樣的歷史傷痕難以撫平,而台灣社會所期待的和解遲遲也無法到來。所以我們看到這樣的情況,現在她(蔡英文)的所作所為和她的所言所行,都跟當年2009有非常大的落差,也更是片面的神話。』

黨團總召邱顯智進一步披露,台灣政府捐助蔣經國基金會4成金額,有一定的官方色彩,但該基金會其中一位董事、經濟學家劉遵義,卻曾經擔任過中國政協委員,呼籲政府也應該進一步思考是否恰當。

而民進黨立委郭國文則認為,整理、記錄歷任總統的資料是必要的,有關蔣經國的功與過,藍綠評價當然不同。立委許智傑則對蔣經國的經濟貢獻表示肯定,但其任內發生的江南案、美麗島事件,後人也不能漠視,需功過並陳。

About 高大伟 David Cowhig

After retirement translated, with wife Jessie, Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and have been studying things 格物致知. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
This entry was posted in History 历史, Taiwan and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.