HONG KONG — For the last two years, tensions have been brewing in a sleepy Taiwan village after a contractor hired to expand the local Buddhist temple wound up taking over the site, evicting the nuns and converting it into a shrine to the Chinese Communist Party, the historic rivals of the Taiwanese government.
香港——过去两年,在承包商魏明仁被雇来扩建台湾彰化二水的碧云禅寺后,当地的紧张局势一直在酝酿中。他接管这间佛寺,驱逐寺中的比丘尼,并将其转变为台湾政府的宿敌——中国共产党的圣地。
This week, those tensions came to a head after county officials moved ahead with plans to raze part of the historic temple. The decision was made after The New York Times reported last week on the temple’s fate, stirring outrage among Taiwanese who were upset that such a bold display of support for the mainland government could be allowed on the island.
本周,在彰化县官员推进拆除部分古寺的计划后,紧张局势升温。这项决定是在《纽约时报》上周报道该寺庙的命运之后做出的。那篇报道引发了台湾人的愤怒,他们对在岛上允许对大陆政府如此公然的支持行径表示不满。
Videos taken from Biyun Temple on Wednesday morning showed three large bulldozers tearing down the exterior of the large temple addition where, for the last two years, the contractor, a man named Wei Ming-jen, had presided over a daily ceremony in which the flags of the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party were hoisted high above the Taiwanese countryside.
周三上午在碧云禅寺拍摄的视频显示,三台大型推土机拆毁了这间大型寺庙的外部。过去两年中,魏明仁每天在这里主持升旗仪式——他升起的是中华人民共和国国旗和中国共产党的红色党旗。
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Previously, county officials had shrugged off the temple’s existence, citing Taiwan’s broad protections for freedom of speech. In an interview this summer, Akira Chen, the director of the Changhua county cultural affairs bureau, said the huge temple addition had been slated for demolition because of concerns about its structural safety, but that the government did not have the funds at the time to take action.
此前,彰化县官员对这间寺庙的存在不以为然,理由是台湾对言论自由的广泛保护。在今年夏天的一次采访中,彰化县文化局局长陈文彬表示,由于担心其结构安全,碧云寺的加盖部分已确定将被拆除,但政府当时因缺乏资金而未采取行动。
But circumstances appear to have changed. Speaking Wednesday by telephone from the demolition site, Mr. Chen said it would take at least a week to tear down the entire temple addition, which will leave only the original, smaller temple structure on the property. According to Mr. Chen, Mr. Wei will be forced to pay the cost of demolition.
但情况似乎已发生变化。陈文彬周三在拆迁现场接受电话采访时说,将用至少一周的时间来拆除整座寺庙的加盖部分,只留下原有的较小的寺庙结构。陈文彬表示,魏明仁将被要求支付拆迁费用。
It remains unclear what will happen next. In the decades since the Chinese Nationalists were defeated by the Chinese Communist Party and set up a government in exile in Taiwan, the island has evolved from a harsh, authoritarian system into a flourishing democracy with freedom of speech and expression.
目前尚不清楚接下来会发生什么事。自中国国民党被共产党击败、在台湾成立流亡政府以来的几十年里,该岛已经从一个严酷的专制体制发展成拥有言论自由的繁荣民主制度。
Because of those protections, Mr. Chen said, the government would not be able to stop Mr. Wei from setting up a similar shrine to the Chinese Communist Party in the original, smaller part of Biyun Temple despite concerns about Mr. Wei’s stated goals in setting up what he called his “patriotic education base.”
陈文彬说,由于这些保护措施,政府无法阻止魏明仁在碧云寺原有的、较小的部分中建立类似的中国共产党朝圣地,尽管魏明仁的初衷,即他所说的建立所谓的“爱国主义教育基地”,让人担忧。
“I declare to the whole world and all of China that I am determined to lead the people of Taiwan province to reunify with our motherland,” he once said.
“我向全世界和全中国宣布,我决心带领台湾省人民与祖国实现统一,”魏明仁曾说。
Though Mr. Wei insists that creating the Communist Party shrine was his own idea, locals have expressed concerns — with no direct evidence — that Mr. Wei is acting as a proxy for the Beijing government, a suspicion that has been amplified by recent revelations about China’s efforts to influence the domestic affairs of countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
虽然魏明仁坚称创建共产党朝圣地是他自己的想法,但当地人已经表达了担忧。没有直接的证据表明魏明仁是北京的代理人,然而这种怀疑因最近的一系列披露而被放大,一些事件表明,中国正努力影响加拿大、澳大利亚和新西兰等国家的内政。
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That possibility, Mr. Chen said, was alarming.
陈文彬说,这种可能性令人担忧。
“While freedom of speech is important, this is also about the national security of Taiwan,” he said. “The government and people in Taiwan should consider this more seriously.”
“言论自由很重要,但是同时,这件事情也涉及到了台湾的国家安全,”他说。“台湾政府和人民应该更加严肃考虑这个问题。”
The demolition comes as Beijing has been ramping up pressure on Taiwan, which China’s Communist government sees as part of its rightful territory but has never ruled. Under President Tsai Ing-wen, whose Democratic Progressive Party is skeptical of closer relations with China, cross-strait relations have worsened. Earlier this month, Beijing and Taipei exchanged new accusations of espionage.
拆迁寺庙之际,正值北京加大对台湾的压力,中国共产党政府视台湾为其合法领土的一部分,但从未统治过该地。在蔡英文的领导下——她所在的民进党对与中国建立更紧密的关系持怀疑态度——两岸关系有所恶化。本月早些时候,北京与台北对对方向自己安插间谍进行了一番新的指控
In a statement on Wednesday morning, An Fengshan, spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said the demolition of the temple addition showed that “some people in the Democratic Progressive Party not only tolerate and ignore separatist behavior promoting ‘Taiwan independence,’ they also attack and persecute Taiwanese who favor unification.”
周三上午,国台办发言人安峰山在声明中表示,拆迁碧云禅寺的事件表明,民进党“一边去放任纵容‘台独’分裂行径,一边去打击和迫害主张统一的台湾人士。”
“Such an action must be subject to strong opposition and condemnation from people on both sides of the strait,” he added.
“这种做法必将受到两岸群众的共同反对和谴责,”他补充说。
Reached by telephone on Wednesday morning, Lee Pai-jan, Mr. Wei’s wife, said it was “not convenient” for Mr. Wei to talk.
周三上午,魏明仁的妻子李湃颜(音)在电话中表示,魏明仁“不方便”谈话。
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For now, though, there is relief in the village. Since 2012, after Mr. Wei took over the temple and evicted the nuns of Biyun Temple, the nuns have been living in a makeshift encampment adjacent to the temple property and making their case to move back to the temple, to no avail.
但就目前来看,这个村庄的情况有所缓解。自2012年魏明仁接管碧云禅寺并驱逐寺中的比丘尼以来,比丘尼们一直住在毗邻寺庙的临时住房里,尝试搬回寺庙但未果。
Shi Fa-ming, one of the nuns, said Wednesday morning that in light of the demolition, they could be a step closer to reclaiming the temple.
周三早上,其中一名比丘尼释法明表示,由于拆迁,他们向重回寺庙的可能性迈进了一步。
“I’m happy and I’m hopeful,” she said.
我很高兴也充满希望,”她说。