Monday, August 13, 2007

Taiwan Chiang Wei-shui FDC

Taiwan FDC
Name: Chiang Wei-shui Portrait
Issue date: 2007 August 6th

Chiang Wei-shui (蔣渭水; Jiang Weishui) (8 February 1891—5 August 1931) was a founder of the Taiwanese Cultural Association and the Taiwan People's Party. He is seen as one of the most important figures in the colonial resistance movement.

Chiang was born in Ilan. He worked as a diviner. At the age of 10 he began to study with Confucian scholar Zhang Maocai. In 1915 he graduated from the Taiwan Medical College, now the National Taiwan University College of Medicine.

He founded the Daan Hospital in Dadaocheng, a district in Taipei, and invited fellow intellectuals to the hospital to discuss contemporary affairs. In 1920 he began participating in the movement to found the Taiwan Assembly. In 1921 he helped found the Taiwan Cultural Association. He was imprisoned for four months in 1923 and again in 1925 for his opposition to the colonial government. In total, he was imprisoned more than ten times.

In 1926, the Taiwan Cultural Association split because of an internal ideological division between rightists and leftists. Jiang Weishui went on to help found the Taiwan People's Party on a platform of unity. The Taiwan People's Party was the first legal party to be founded in Taiwan. Chiang Wei-shui was also involved with the Taiwan Worker's League (台灣工友總聯盟) and the Taiwan Farmer's Association (台灣農民協會). He came under criticism from rightists in the government. When Cai Peihuo (蔡培火), Ye Rongzhong (葉榮鐘) and others prepared for the formation of the Taiwan Local Self-Government League (台灣地方自治聯盟), Jiang Weishui expelled them. The Taiwan People's Party contacted the League of Nations several times to protest Japanese issuance of special permits for opium sale as well as the Wushe Incident.

The Taiwan People's Party's political philosophy was the Three Principles of the People, but Xie Chunmu (謝春木) and others pushed for a revolutionary line. In 1931, the colonial administration forced the dissolution of the party. Chiang Wei-shui died of typhoid that same year, at the age of 41.

Chiang Wei-shui has been called Taiwan's Sun Yat-sen. A 12.9 km car tunnel passing under Hsuehshan (Snow Mountain) to link Taipei with Ilan was opened in 2006. It marked the completion of Taiwan's latest freeway, which was subsequently named the Chiang Wei-shui Freeway in a move that pleased all sides of the political spectrum in Taiwan.

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