Officials in charge of the project received pressure from citizens on Monday, after a photo of the demolished building with the phrase “Chiang Kai-Shek’s headquarters demolished” spread like wildfire across Sina Weibo. Officials were compelled to respond that it was simply, “protective demolition“.
They explained that the structure’s complete disrepair warranted a complete rebuilding rather than renovation. Officials also promised that the building would be rebuilt brick by brick using the original materials from the original structure.
Many worry about the credibility of the government’s statements. A reporter visiting the renovation site noted that the premises completely lacked any signage noting the building’s protected status. There were, rather, many workers hauling away bricks and pieces of wood.
As Chinese netizen “市井文人” noted, “I just hope nothing regrettable happens.”
Despite being the home of the KMT’s leader, the building still has great historical significance in China. The 1935 building was also used as a temporary base for Chinese military operations against the Japanese after the government was forced to relocate in 1938.