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Home The News News Chengchi student group launches bid to abolish KMT-linked school anthem

Chengchi student group launches bid to abolish KMT-linked school anthem

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A student group at National Chengchi University is vowing to boycott the school anthem in the Culture Cup chorus competition, saying the lyrics are propaganda for “party-state ideology” and that it hopes to get other students to join in.

The Wildfire Front this week launched a signature drive for a petition calling on the school to abolish the anthem. It also called on all departmental choruses that are going to take part in the singing competition not to sing the anthem, even though it is a required element of the competition. So far, five have agreed.

Six choruses have said their members would hold banners criticizing the anthem lyrics during the competition.

The university was established in 1927 in Nanjing, China, by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) as the Central Political Affairs School, to train the party’s leadership.

It was re-established in Taiwan in 1954 under its current name, with then-Republic of China president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) also serving as the university’s president.

The lyrics to the school anthem were written by KMT member Cheng Kuo-fu and contain passages such as: “Implementing the Three Principles of the People is our party’s mission / building the Republic of China is our party’s responsibility.”

“The lyrics are suffused with party-state ideology and essentially set to a KMT anthem,” the Wildfire Front said yesterday.

“The university is now a national public institution, and we demand that the song be dropped for the sake of transitional justice and democracy,” it said.

Early on Friday morning last week, group members spray-painted their demands — “Reject the party anthem” (拒絕黨歌) and “Abolish the party anthem or it will set back democracy” (黨歌不廢,民主倒退) — on a bronze statue of Chiang on the campus and the pavement around the statue.

“Taiwan is a pluralistic society with many opinions and the school will respect the students’ freedom of expression,” university chief secretary Kou Chien-wen (寇健文) said yesterday.

“However, the Culture Cup competition is hosted by the Office of Student Affairs. It is not a student club activity and proper procedures must be adhered to before any changes to the required [song] titles in the competition can be made,” Kou said.

Those procedures include seeking alumni opinions and a discussion of the proposal by the university’s Administrative Council, he said.

“Abolishing the university anthem is currently not on the Administrative Council’s agenda,” he added.

The council in 2008 voted down a motion to remove references to the KMT from the anthem.

National Chengchi University is not the only school in Taiwan to have references to the KMT or KMT slogans in its school anthem.

For example, the anthem of National Feng-shan Senior-High School in Kaohsiung has lyrics about “national warriors,” “the tide of the revolution” and “the great as-yet unrealized vocation” of “recovering the divine continent” (神洲, meaning China).

Source: Taipei Times - 2015/10/27

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