Ronald McDonald is not normally associated with cross-Strait politics, but McDonald’s has stirred controversy with its latest outlet in Hangzhou. Last week the fast food chain opened a 100-seat McCafe in the lower storey of a villa that Chiang Kai-shek’s son Chiang Ching-kuo once stayed in. Conservationists claim the villa – by the famed West Lake – is a cultural heritage site and should be converted into a museum. Demos Chiang, grandson of the Generalissimo (who fled to Taiwan in 1949 having lost the civil war to Mao’s Communists), wrote on weibo: “I don’t understand, opening a McDonald’s in the villa. How exactly does that adhere to regulations on the use of cultural heritage sites?” Zhejiang University academic Zhou Fuduo agreed, telling the BBC that the villa was a symbol of China and Taiwan’s shared history. But a spokesman for the local government countered that Chiang only lived there for a month in 1948. Besides, the authorities needed money to recoup the cost of maintaining the building throughout the years. The official added: “The interiors look nothing like they used to when the Chiang family was here – there is not much point turning it into a museum.”
© ChinTell Ltd. All rights reserved.
Exclusively sponsored by HSBC.
The Week in China website and the weekly magazine publications are owned and maintained by ChinTell Limited, Hong Kong. Neither HSBC nor any member of the HSBC group of companies ("HSBC") endorses the contents and/or is involved in selecting, creating or editing the contents of the Week in China website or the Week in China magazine. The views expressed in these publications are solely the views of ChinTell Limited and do not necessarily reflect the views or investment ideas of HSBC. No responsibility will therefore be assumed by HSBC for the contents of these publications or for the errors or omissions therein.