Ko calls for ac­cu­rate view of past at fo­rum

Taipei city mayor not al­lowed to view city with­out an es­cort


Taipei City Mayor Ko Wenje ( ) spoke about history when he toured the Si­hang Ware­house Me­mo­rial Hall yesterday dur­ing the fi­nal day of the Shang­hai Fo­rum, re­flect­ing on the in­evitable­ness of war in times of great need and briefly com­ment­ing on his­tor­i­cal correctness.

“History should be re­flected as it is,” Ko said. It was a re­sponse to how the main­land Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has been known to de­clare that Com­mu­nist China had been the one to go to war against Ja­pan dur­ing World War II. “The Chi­nese front against Ja­panese forces in WWII was mostly led by Na­tion­al­ist Chi­ang Kai- shek,” Ko said.

The com­ment stems from the main­land’s plans to hold a cel­e­bra­tion of the 70th an­niver­sary of the end of WWII. The Si­hang Ware­house Me­mo­rial Hall be­gan con­struc­tion in April, in mem­ory of the De­fense of Si­hang Ware- house that over­saw de­fend­ers bat­tling waves of Ja­panese forces to pro­tect re­treat­ing Chi­nese forces headed west dur­ing the Bat­tle of Shang­hai. The me­mo­rial hall is ex­pect­ing to open to the public on Sept. 3.

The media have re­marked on how Ko’s visit did not in­clude meet­ings with Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party Sec­re­tary of Shang­hai Han Zheng ( ) or Zhang Zhi­jun ( ), head of main­land China's Tai­wan Af­fairs Of­fice (

), and de­scribed the trip as be­ing in­signif­i­cant.

Ko brushed off such com­ments, “I am the mayor of Taipei City, and my coun­ter­part is the Shang­hai mayor.” Meet­ing with the Shang­hai mayor meant achiev­ing his goal in the Shang­hai Fo­rum, Ko stated. He said he will co­op­er­ate with the Shang­hai gov­ern­ment on what­ever plans and meet­ings are laid out.

Ko viewed the west wall of the ware­house, which was lit­tered with bullet holes made by the Ja­panese dur­ing their at­tacks. Due to con­cerns over be­ing “sur­rounded by crowds of peo­ple,” Ko was taken around the city in a ve­hi­cle.

The Taipei City mayor stated that main­land Chi­nese author­i­ties were sen­si­tive about se­cu­rity, and weren’t will­ing to let Ko tour on his own. Ko went along with the plans, stat­ing that while he was used to be­ing sur­rounded by the media, the Chi­nese author­i­ties were wor­ried about “ap­pear­ing rude.”

Deputy chief of Zhabei Dis­trict’s Bureau of Cul­tural Af­fairs re­vealed to the media that Ko was ex­tremely in­ter­ested in the me­mo­rial hall’s “elec­tronic sand ta­ble” ex­hibit that de­picts the bat­tle­grounds in the De­fense of Si­hang Ware­house and how the whole bat­tle played out.


Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je views a video doc­u­men­tary about the De­fense of Si­hang Ware­house, yesterday, in this photo pro­vided by the Taipei City Gov­ern­ment. Ko paid a visit to the Si­hang Ware­house Me­mo­rial House dur­ing the sec­ond day of his Shang­hai Fo­rum trip.

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