Taipei, Jan. 19 (CNA) The Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) database went online Wednesday, comprising 55,000 written or multimedia records related to the late Republic of China (ROC) president that provide the public with a more comprehensive understanding of the country's development and history, according to Academia Historica.
Academia Historica said the database also provides information about a period of time that saw the loosening of the authoritarian regime in Taiwan under Chiang, from an academic research perspective.
Chiang, the eldest son of former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), served as president of the ROC (Taiwan) from May 1978 to January 1988. He died on Jan. 13, 1988 at the age of 77.
In July 1987, Chiang Ching-kuo of the Kuomintang (KMT) declared an end to Martial Law, which was imposed in Taiwan for 38 years. In addition, the late president also relaxed cross strait policies by allowing family visits to mainland China the same year.
Chen Yi-shen (陳儀深), president of Academia Historica, which is in charge of managing the written works of presidents and vice presidents, said the records in the newly unveiled Chiang Ching-kuo database include such things as the late president's proclamations, speeches, diaries and political reports.
In addition to government archives, the database also includes a comprehensive collection of records including the complete works of the late president, his hand written notes and various biographies on Chiang, Chen said.
According to Academia Historica, the database covers several topics including the former president's early life and career, national politics, military and foreign affairs, social and economic development.
Through the database, Academia Historica said, the public will be able to follow Chiang on his frequent inspections of outlying islands and related activities, providing further information about national development.
The database has been completed because Academia Historica has collected sufficient information about the late president and the period saw the gradual loosening of authoritarian controls, Chen said
The agency next plans to create a database on late President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), also from the KMT, who was in power from 1988-2000 and transformed the country into a full democracy.
Lee's efforts have been called a "quiet revolution" that laid a solid foundation for the peaceful transition from dictatorship to democracy. Lee, dubbed "Mr. Democracy," passed away on July 30, 2020, at the age of 97
Although Lee did not leave many diaries, the Lee Teng-hui Foundation has many related historical records so Academia Historica aims to complete the database in one to two years, Chen said.
It is hoped Taiwan will build libraries for each individual president or a library that covers the writings of all presidents in a bid to advance academic research, he added.