Commission calls for removing Chiang Kai-shek from Taiwan's currency

Transitional Justice Commission calls for removal of images of Chiang Kai-shek from Taiwan's coins and bills

NT$1, NT$5, and NT$10 coins.

NT$1, NT$5, and NT$10 coins. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- As of its biannual report, the Transitional Justice Commission (TJC) yesterday (Dec. 17) called for the removal of images of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) from Taiwan's currency because of their authoritarian symbolism.

At a news conference held yesterday, Acting Commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠) said the commission recommends that, along with the many authoritarian symbols which should be eliminated from the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, the likeness of Chiang Kai-shek should be removed from Taiwan's currency. She specifically listed the NT$1 (US$0.032), NT$5, old NT$10 coins and NT$200 bill as currency that should be modified to remove Chiang's image, reported ETtoday.

Yang said that formal notice has been sent to Taiwan's Central Bank to request that it provide the estimated cost to change the 2000, 2002, 2005 editions of the paper notes, before the changes will be further studied, negotiated, and discussed. Shih Tsuen-hua (施遵驊), director-general of the bank's Department of Issuance, yesterday said that it was the first time that the TJC had contacted it about changes to the nation's currency.

Yang noted that, due to the massive popularity of claw machines, the Central Bank will be issuing more NT$10 coins next year. She then asked, if the Central Bank is already going to issue a large number of coins for the crane claw craze, "Why not change them for the sake of transitional justice?"

Since it has been almost 20 years since a major change has been made with the currency, Shih said that it will be necessary to review accounting records from the last time such modifications were made to be able to provide an estimate on the potential cost.

When asked by CNA if the Central Bank would remove Chiang from the nation's currency, Shih said the Central Bank will not issue comments on matters that have not been confirmed. Whether the currency is a symbol of authoritarianism and needs to be removed, are matters that are up to the TJC to decide, said Shih.

Shih closed by saying that the current Taiwan dollar notes in circulation are in good condition, and the Central Bank has no plans to revise their design.