Buddhist Temple, Now a Communist Shrine, Plants China’s Flag in Taiwan

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Source: The New York Times

By Amy Qin

 

ERSHUI, Taiwan — It was bad enough, villagers thought, when the kindly Buddhist nuns were forced out of their historic temple and longtime home. But what began as a bitter property dispute took a bizarre political turn — right into the heart of cross-strait tensions between China and Taiwan.

After taking over the property and evicting the four nuns who lived there, Wei Ming-jen, a Taiwan native hired to build an addition to the century-old building, set out to convert Biyun Temple into something likely never before seen on this island: an extravagant shrine to China’s Communist Party.

Gone are the Buddhist ritual drums and traditional Chinese calligraphy scrolls. Instead, Communist Party symbols, propaganda posters and portraits of party leaders like Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai now adorn the century-old temple tucked into a hillside in Ershui, in central Taiwan.

Outside the temple’s entrance, the fire-engine-red and canary-yellow flags of the People’s Republic of China and the Communist Party soar into the sky, overlooking sleepy villages and verdant rice fields.

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