Sun, Dec 31, 2017 - Page 8 News List

Taiwan in Time: The last governor-general

Rikichi Ando ruled Taiwan for less than a year, but his name is linked to several events, including a Taiwanese independence movement before the KMT arrived in 1945

By Han Cheung  /  Staff reporter


Whether the KMT had the right to take over Taiwan after the war is an oft-debated subject that we won’t delve into detail here, but Su points out something fishy regarding the surrender ceremony in Taipei.

Most versions of the events state that new governor-general Chen Yi accepted the surrender documents from Ando, and from then on Taiwan and Penghu became part of the Republic of China once again.

But in fact, on Oct. 5, Chen already sent Order No. 1 to Ando, part of which states that the KMT has taken over all of the “legal territory, people and ruling rights as well as political, economic and cultural institutions and property.” Su writes that the Oct. 25 ceremony was simply held to cement the KMT’s claim over Taiwan.

Su further questions whether Ando actually provided an instrument of surrender or merely handed a signed receipt of Order No. 1 to Chen during the ceremony, as the government had the surrender documents signed in Nanjing on public display but not the one in Taipei. He refers to a telegram sent by Chen’s superior Ho Ying-chin (何應欽) stating that there was no need for a surrender document and Chen’s order would suffice.

Su writes that this order was created as the legal basis for the KMT’s rule over Taiwan, which he calls an occupation at that time rather than retrocession. Of course, there are many who will disagree with this claim.

There are also rumors that Ando was poisoned due to his involvement in a bribery case during his time in Taiwan, but Su dismisses these reports and maintains that he committed suicide.

After Ando’s death, seven of his subordinates were found guilty by the US Military Commission for their involvement in the baseless execution of 14 American prisoners of war in Taipei two months before the war ended. They received sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment.

Taiwan in Time, a column about Taiwan’s history that is published every Sunday, spotlights important or interesting events around the nation that have anniversaries this week.

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