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.
“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