Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday condemned controversial remarks Shih Hsin University professor Wang Hsiao-po (王曉波) made regarding the 228 Massacre and said Wang has added insult to injury for families whose loved ones were killed in the tragedy.
Wang, who was also the convener of the Ministry of Education’s controversial curriculum adjustment task force, said on Friday that the killing of 20,000 people by former president Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) Nationalist military in the 228 Massacre was “a small case” compared with the 400,000 killed during Chiang’s purges in China.
“Everybody is born as a mother’s child. When a person does not respect life, but only uses death tolls to measure how big a historical tragedy was, how then are we to conduct a dialogue with a person like this?” Su said yesterday.
Photo: Lee Hsin-fang, Taipei Times
“People should impose sanctions against such remarks, which add insult to injury, or a government that allows people to make such remarks unscrupulously,” he added.
Separately yesterday, Taiwan 228 Care Association Chairman Chen Yi-shen (陳儀深) also criticized Wang’s remarks, saying that he should be condemned for talking about the 228 Massacre from the perspective of China’s history, a stance that entirely disregards Taiwanese, who suffered under arbitrary arrests and killing sprees during the tragedy.
According to Wang, Chiang started killing his opponents in China, not in Taiwan, adding that the Chinese government estimated Chiang had put to death more than 400,000 people during the “communist purges” in China in the 1920s.
“Families of Taiwan’s 228 [Massacre] victims said the total [number of] people killed by the KMT troops was about 20,000. So when you compare 400,000 with 20,000, what we have here is a small case,” Wang said, adding that the 228 Incident was not a conflict between Taiwanese and Mainlanders, but of oppressed people rising up against oppressors.
In response, Wang yesterday said his remarks had been taken out of context.
Wang said he made the remarks mainly to emphasize that the 228 Massacre was a conflict between oppressed people and their oppressors.
At the time of the massacre there were separate mass uprisings in 13 provinces in China, he said, adding that it suggested that people stood in conflict with their governments over issues of corruption, not ethnicity.
Wang also rebutted allegations that he was siding with Chiang’s actions.
He said that by pointing out that Chiang killed 400,000 people in China, in addition to what in comparison was “a small case” of 20,000 people killed in the 228 Massacre, he was in fact speaking on behalf of the Taiwanese victims, who added more sins to those which Chiang had committed.
“Chiang killed my mother and jailed my father, I am the one who abominates him most,” Wang said.
Wang’s mother was executed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) during the White Terror era on charges of sedition.
Additional reporting by Tseng Wei-chen
TAKES THE CAKE: Chinese diplomats tried to take photographs of people attending a National Day event in Suva, before reportedly assaulting a Taiwanese diplomat The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday condemned the Chinese embassy in Fiji over a fracas at its Double Ten National Day event at a Suva hotel, while a lawmaker demanded that the ministry file a lawsuit against Chinese embassy personnel for injuring a Taiwanese diplomat at the event. The Grubsheet news blog on Sunday and New Zealand-based Asia-Pacific Report Web site yesterday reported that two members of the Chinese embassy in Suva tried to force their way into a celebration held by the Taipei Trade Office in Fiji at the Grand Pacific Hotel on Oct. 8 to take photographs of
TAIPEI REACTIONS: Joanne Ou decried China’s ‘gangster diplomacy,’ while MOFA said its Fiji counterpart dealt fairly with the incident and protected the trade office’s rights The world should denounce the actions of Chinese embassy staffers in Fiji against a Taiwanese diplomat during a National Day celebration in Suva, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday as it thanked the Fijian government for its help after the Oct. 8 incident. Two Chinese diplomats tried to force their way into a celebration held by the Taipei Trade Office in Fiji at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Oct. 8, and a Taiwanese diplomat who tried to stop them taking photographs suffered a head injury. MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news briefing that the ministry
The US, Japan and Australia conducted trilateral naval exercises in the South China Sea on Monday, the US Seventh Fleet announced yesterday. It was their fifth joint operations this year in the fleet’s area of operations, it said in a statement. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain joined the JS Kirisame of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Arunta. The Arunta’s commanding officer, Commander Troy Duggan, said that Australia was continuing to build on its already close relationship with Japan and the US. “This activity is a valuable and important opportunity for all three nations,”
UPS AND DOWNS: The institute’s annual Asia Power Index says that Taiwan this year has seen one of the biggest gains in diplomatic influences The US remains the top power in the Indo-Pacific, but has suffered the biggest relative fall in its standing in the region over the past year, partly because of the loss of prestige over the mishandling of COVID-19, the Lowy Institute’s Asia Power Index shows. Releasing the latest annual results yesterday, the Australia-based foreign policy think tank said while China’s standing had stalled, it remained in second place and was believed to be on track to match the US by the end of this decade. Australia was one of the few countries to gain in the scores of comprehensive power this year,