Evidence shows that Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) should be held responsible for the 228 Incident, an academic said on Thursday.
A document dated March 2, 1947, requesting the dispatch of at least a regiment to help quell protests, which was read and approved by Chiang, and the fact that then-Taiwan governor Chen Yi (陳儀) and Peng Meng-chi (彭孟緝), a major-general at the Kaohsiung garrison, were promoted after the crackdown demonstrates that Chiang has ultimate responsibility for the incident, said Chen Yi-shen (陳儀深), an associate research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Modern History.
Chen Yi-shen made the statement at a conference in Taipei to launch six more volumes of the Collected Files of the 228 Incident published by Academia Historica.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
The 228 Incident was triggered by a clash between government officials and an illegal cigarette vendor in Taipei on Feb. 27, 1947. The event quickly turned into an anti-government uprising and was put down by the then-Nanjing-based Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government in China.
An estimated 18,000 to 28,000 people were killed during the crackdown, which lasted into early May, according to an investigation commissioned by the Cabinet in 1992.
The six volumes — Vol. 19-24 in the series — include files about the incident from the Presidential Office, the Changhua County Government and what was at the time the Taichung County government.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has promised to publish a report on transitional justice within three years and ordered the collection of government documents detailing political and other types of persecution, Academia Historica director Wu Mi-cha (吳密察) said.
The National Archives Administration has identified about 13,000 cases relating to the 228 Incident and political persecution, Wu said.
Tsai said that her administration has an obligation to determine the truth of the incident in an open and transparent manner so that responsibility can be more accurately apportioned.
Documents relating to the 228 Incident include a telegram issued on March 6, 1947, released in 1992, and two others dated Feb. 28 and March 4, 1947, released in 2008, National Taiwan University history professor Chen Tsui-lien (陳秀蓮) said.
However, the March 2, 1947, telegram by Chen Yi, which was referenced by later documents, makes it clear that Chiang was aware what the Taiwan governor was planning to do, Chen Tsui-lien said.
A report on the 228 Incident published in 2006 said that Chiang was primarily responsible for the crackdown, with Chen Yi and Peng directly responsible for the behavior of troops in Taiwan, Chen Yi-shen said, adding that the document released as part of the newly published files offered more evidence of the 2006 report’s accuracy.
A cult of personality is not proper in a democracy and on that basis alone the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall should be redesignated as either a national human rights museum or a memorial museum for former presidents of the Republic of China, Chen Yi-shen said.
PILLAGING PENGHU: A 7,539-tonne Chinese ship found mining sand in the Formosa Banks area was escorted by several CGA ships to a Kaohsiung harbor The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday announced that it had dispatched ships to intercept Chinese dredging vessels operating in the nation’s territorial waters near Penghu and detained 10 crew members, who were transported to Kaohsiung. A coast guard patrol discovered more than 20 dredging vessels in an area known as the Formosa Banks, 46 nautical miles (85km) southwest of Penghu County’s Cimei islet (七美) at about 5am on Wednesday. The agency responded by dispatching two patrol boats, the 3,000-tonne Kaohsiung and the 500-tonne Penghu, along with two frigates, to intercept the Chinese vessels, while an airborne observation unit was used to monitor
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
CAUTION: The CECC would first observe how the nation fares after easing domestic restrictions and wait for the pandemic to further subside before making its next move The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that relaxing domestic restrictions and border controls simultaneously might complicate efforts to reopen the nation, amid discussions about Taiwan’s exclusion by other countries in their first lists of tourists. The center hopes for there to be a period of observation following the easing of domestic restrictions, before it decides what to do next, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a daily news briefing in Taipei. Chen was responding to a question about the reasoning behind the central government’s decision not to allow foreign students into the
Taiwan respects other countries’ decisions not to include it in their first lists of tourists allowed entry when they reopen their borders, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The Yomiuri Shimbun on Sunday reported that the Japanese government was considering reopening the country to tourists from Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand first. Greece on Friday announced that from June 15, it would allow visitors from 29 countries, including Australia, China, the Czech Republic, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea and Germany. Japan has not yet finalized its visitor list, but the ministry has conveyed its hope that Tokyo would