1989 / 8月
在身兼淡江大學校長及台北市議會副議長時，張建邦赴美國伊利諾大學攻讀博士學位，圖為獲博士學位時與伊大校長Dr. Stanley Ikenberry合照。（張建邦提供）
Theresa Sung /photos courtesy of Lily Huang /tr. by Phil Newell
In the most recent cabinet change, Taipei City Council Speaker Clement C. P. Chang entered the cabinet with the Ministry of Communications portfolio, becoming the only ministerial-level change at the time. It was also a precedent for an elected official to move directly into the cabinet.
Clement Chang is a member of the Central Standing Committee of the Kuomintang. Though he is known, in the past his media exposure was low. His primary experience has also been relatively simple. He was president of Tamkang University for 22 years, and vice-speaker and speaker of the Taipei City Council for 20.
Chang has finally reached the top, but the footing is not easy. Many people thought of him as being sacrificed into the volcano when given the Communications task. How is it that Chang, who studied agricultural economics and education, is now taking on the Herculean challege of communications?
Chang took the reins at Tamkang University as a specialist in agricultural economics. After being seasoned in educational administration, he plunged into politics. After getting to know Taipei City, he went on not to become mayor of Taipei or even minister of education, but minister of communications.
But his performance since taking the job has left many feeling they underestimated him. The ministry was ready to implement the decision to open up communications to the mainland (through a third party) in three days. He directly faced and pacified protesting landowners demanding higher compensation for land used in the second north-south highway.
Chang is from a well-known family in Luotung, Ilan County. During the Japanese occupation, most wealthy families sent their children to Japan to study. But Chang's family insisted on a Chinese education, sending him to Shanghai at eleven years old.
After graduating from prestigious St. John's University in Shanghai, he earned an M.A. in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois. His ideal was that China had to build on agriculture, so one should start to work from there.
He planned to continue on with a Ph.D., but his father died. He hurried home to take over the Tamkang College of Arts and Sciences (predecessor to Tamkang University) which was founded by his father.
He turned his attention to educationad ministration and the behavioral sciences. After a conference at Harvard in 1965, he brought back the concept of futurology. He went on to found a monthly The World of Tomorrow. Imbued with futurology, he created three firsts at Tamkang: it was the earliest private university to bring in information education; the first domestic library to have full computerization; and the first school to offer area studies.
Going into education was "father's instruction." Going into politics was "party instructions."
In 1969, when Taipei was changed into a special municipality directly under the central government, Chang was abroad. Only when he returned home did he discover he had been nominated by the KMT to run in city council elections. His first response was, "To ask a scholar to go around begging for votes, isn't that a little embarrassing?" But under Chiang Ching-kuo's injunction, "though education is important, Taipei city is also important," Chang came to serve twelve years as council vice-speaker and eight more as speaker.
Some feared he would be out of his element. But Chang says, "You couldn't just go strictly by the book. You had to understand the different personality of each councilman, and use different methods to deal with them."
"It's innate that conflicts of factions and interest groups will exist in an assembly; that's an inevitable part of democratic government. So the efficiency of democratic government is less, that of authoritarian government higher," he notes. In the face of conflict, he respected differing opinions and resolved disputes through discourse. This won him respect from those both in and out of the ruling party.
Minister of communications only two weeks, Chang is already three pounds thinner. He puts in days from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and often takes work home. His regular twice-a-week golf habit has been reduced to once. In terms of specialized knowledge, Chang learned much facing Taipei's traffic problems as city speaker. Before the complex duties of minister, Chang has had to quickly get into the thick of things, making time for briefings and reading documents.
He says, "In the future there will be more division of responsibility, and matters will be delegated based on their importance." He believes, "A minister doesn't have to be a specialist; what's important is that he knows how to use specialists."
For those at the basic level, Chang stresses, "You can't scrimp on money when it comes to worker welfare and training." He encourages higher-level cadres to develop a broader world view and deepen on-the-job training.
Vis-a-vis the outside world, the work of the ministry is intimately related to people's daily lives, the work of other ministries, and local government. Coordination and discussion are the keys to making policy work. This is familiar territory for Chang, which is a key reason why he was selected for the post.
Further, Chang holds a seat on the Central Standing Committee. This gives him one more chance per week to stay in touch with top leaders, providing even more help in solving problems.
That Chang is good at coordination is due not only to his skill or "channels"; his years as speaker have given him more opportunities to understand public opinion.
Take for example the north-south highway land compensation problem, a main reason why the project is seriously behind schedule. Chang's view is that the attitude of "sacrifice the little to achieve the big" has to be changed. He says, "The country is not poor; there should be reasonable compensation."
Another headache is the budget. Major projects need astronomical outlays. Chang believes that privatization can solve the problem--"That the work be undertaken by the government is aleady not enough to satisfy the transportation needs of the people. To speed up communications construction, we must use the strength of the private sector."
For future directions, Chang relies on the short- (such as getting the north-south highway on schedule), medium- (the Nankang-Ilan tunnel and a second terminal at CKS airport), and long-term plans (a high speed railroad) of the ministry. As to how much can be accomplished, Chang says short-term goals must absolutely be completed, mediumterm ones should get started, and an eye should be kept on long-term objectives.
It is the sincere hope of the people that Chang can use his experience and wisdom to smoothly implement the policies of the ministry of communications.
Clement C.P. Chang (at right, wearing jacket) in a 1949 photo with class mates from St. John's University in Shanghai. (photo courtesy of Clement Chang)
While simultaneously serving as president of Tamkang University and vice speaker of the Taipei City Council, Chang went to the University of Illinois to earn hi s Ph.D. The photo shows Chang with Dr. Stanley Ikenberry, president of U. Illinois. (photo court esy of Clement Chang)
A Chang family portrait, with wife Chiang Wen-tsu (second from right) an d daughters Chang Chia-yi (playing piano) and Chang Shih-yi (first at left). (photo courte sy of Clement Chang)
Clement C.P. Chang
*Originally from Ilan County, Taiwan Province
*Born: March 15, 1929
*B.A., Economics, St. John's University, Shanghai
M.A., Agricultural Economics, University of Illinois
Ph.D., Education, University of Illinois
*Professor, National Taiwan University and National Chengchi University
President and Chairman, Tamkang University
Vice-Speaker, Taipei City Council, Terms 1, 2, and 3
Speaker, Terms 4 and 5