Taiwan's National Theater and National Concert Hall are two of the first major modern performing arts facilities to be established in Asia. Upon the death of Chiang Kai-shek in 1975, the Kuomintang government authorized the construction of a monument and cultural arts facilities on the grounds of a memorial plaza. The project cost TWD 7 billion.
National Theater and Concert Hall, like all performing arts venues in capital cities, play diplomatic as well as artistic roles. Guests regularly include top elected leaders in Taiwan as well as international artists and dignitaries. Visitors over the years have included Margaret Thatcher of the UK, Mikhail Gorbachev of the USSR, Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, Rafael Calderón Muñoz of Costa Rica and former First Lady Betty Ford of the U.S.The National Theater and Concert Hall host a constant stream of events by local and international artists each year.