TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On April 1, a Changhua County councilor and several Buddhist nuns in Changhua made a plea to the local government to demolish a Buddhist temple that has been converted into a shrine for the Chinese Communist Party.
The former Biyun Chan Temple (碧雲禪寺) located in Changhua’s Ershui (二水) Township, was acquired by a retired military officer and businessman, Wei Ming-jen (魏明仁), around July 2017. Wei converted the structure into a “Communist and Socialist Base” in Taiwan, replete with Chinese flags and CCP paraphernalia.
On Saturday, March 31 Wei pledged that he would build a large statue of Mao Zedong on the premise, and claimed that the day it is completed will be the day that China takes over Taiwan.
The Buddhist nuns, who are in the midst of a lawsuit with Wei over the structure, said that Wei’s defacement of the temple is an insult to the dignity of Buddhist religious traditions and that of the Taiwanese people.
Changhua County councilor Hsu Shu-wei (許書維) said that the structure is illegal and should already be slated for demolition because the former temple is not in accordance with a national law governing the construction of large buildings on mountainsides (山坡地保育利用條例).
Hsu says the county has delayed dealing with the structure because the local government doesn't have the funds. Previously, a representative from the Changhua Civil Affairs Department claimed the county was waiting for the lawsuit between Wei and the nuns to be resolved by the courts, before taking any action.
Originally the nuns believed their court case would be successful and the temple would be returned to them, however as the legal process has drawn on, they have grown weary. They were quoted by the Liberty Times as saying they do not want to be responsible for prolonging such an affront to the dignity of the temple and the country.
Wei and his comrades have decorated the temple with Communist slogans and portraits of Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Xi Jinping and others. They raise the Chinese flag every morning and blare the Chinese national anthem across the generally quiet mountainside.
The structure and crowd that frequents the Communist shrine are reportedly not very popular with the local community. Many local residents have expressed a willingness to donate money so that Changhua County will be able to quickly address what for many is an unwanted presence in the township.
Wei and his comrades (Images from Facebook)