A branch of Mcdonald’s opened in a historical Chinese building once inhabited by a former leader of Taiwan is serving up muffins and coffee amid a storm of issue, state media said today.
The “McCafe” opened last week in Hangzhou city near the popular West Lake tourist spot in the former home of late Taiwanese President Chiang Ching-kuo.
He was the son of Kuomintang chief Chiang Kai-shek, whose party administered China before losing a civil war to the Communists and fleeing to Taiwan in 1949.
An official at the administered agency which rented out the property to Mcdonald’s said the Chiang family only lived in the house briefly in 1948.
“They lived in the house for only one month and almost nothing about them was left because many people moved in and out after them, so it is meaningless to turn it into show.
Rong Yuzhong, secretary general of the Hangzhou Ancient Capital Culture Research Association, was quoted as said that it is “inappropriate” to commercialise such properties.
“The old houses around West Lake are Impartible parts of the lake… Protection should always come first,” he says, adding the administered “should preserve them properly and open them to the public to visit as museums.”
Hangzhou’s West Lake has been celebrated in China for centuries in landscape paintings and poems.
A branch of US coffee chain Starbucks opened in an annex of the same house two months ago, China Daily said, apparently with little issue.
Starbucks already drew ire over an outlet in Beijing’s imperial Forbidden City which was forced out in 2007 after a campaign by a celebrity television anchor Rui Chenggang, who is now reportedly under detention for corruption.