Taiwanese entertainer condemned for assaulting Minister of Culture over national monument plan

Cheng Li-chun assaulted over proposed revisions to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Cheng Hui-chung, left, Cheng Li-chun, right

Cheng Hui-chung, left, Cheng Li-chun, right (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s Minister of Culture, Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君), was slapped in the face by entertainer Cheng Hui-chung (鄭惠中) at a function in Taipei on Jan. 22, reported CNA.

Cheng Hui-chung said immediately after the incident that she slapped Cheng Li-chun because the minister allegedly supports reforms to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, and suggested that the minister is not grateful of the work done by past generations.

In December 2018, the Ministry of Culture (MOC) submitted a plan to revise Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to include an open exhibition of Taiwan’s struggle with human rights over its history.

Reports suggest that Cheng Hui-chung approached the minister from behind, and slapped her without warning.

After the incident, Cheng Li-chun remained composed and continued to participate in the event with a red mark on her left cheek, reported CNA.

Cheng Li-chun does not personally know the actress, reports suggest.

Later that day, Cheng Li-chun posted a statement on Facebook saying that personal insults are a small matter, and Taiwan’s hard-fought democracy must not be harmed. Cheng called on the people to act rationally, talk about the incident with a cool head, and to not resort to violence.

The Presidential Office held a press conference after the event, in which spokesperson condemned the violence, and said that as Taiwan is a democracy, people have the right to express differing views, but people do not have the right to be violent.

The organizer of the event and CEO of local television station CTS, Chuang Feng-chia (莊豐嘉), held a press conference after the event, where he also condemned the violence. Chuang announced that the incident had been referred to the police, and an investigation is ongoing.

This afternoon, Cheng Hui-chung publicly apologized for striking the minister and for losing emotional control. Cheng went on to say that she had made herself known to police, and intends to visit the MOC tomorrow to apologize in person.