Wed, Mar 01, 2017 - Page 3 News List

228, PAST AND PRESENT: Groups seek ‘true history’

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Pro-China unification advocates and historians yesterday called for a “return to the true history” and a “correcting of the twisted [interpretation of the] 228 Incident.”

At a seminar organized by the Taiwan Area Political Victims Mutual Help Association, the Taiwan Region Association for the Settlement of Incidents and the Cross-Strait Peace and Development Union, the groups said that the Incident was a popular uprising against the ruling regime’s abuse of power and corruption, “not a communist-instigated rebellion championed as political propaganda by the [Chinese Nationalist Party, KMT] regime.

“Cross-strait relations have reached a turning point of either peace or war. We have to let Taiwanese know that what the 228 Incident was calling for was democracy and autonomy under Chinese sovereignty,” they said.

Politicians who advocate Taiwanese independence and “historians with no academic conscientiousness” have distorted the history of the Incident by “erecting Taiwanese independence tombstones on the graves of 228 Incident and White Terror victims” and “stealing political gains from historical tragedy.”

“Cross-strait relations have reached a turning point of either peace or war. We have to let Taiwanese know that what the 228 Incident was calling for was democracy and autonomy under Chinese sovereignty,” they said.

Chiu Shih-chieh (邱士杰), a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at National Taiwan University, said the then-KMT regime had presupposed that Taiwan had been enslaved by the Japanese imperial government and needed to be re-educated to become Chinese.

The KMT inherited colonial rule, which contributed to “the fact that Taiwanese did not have autonomy or a chance to fight [for a return to China] during the War of Resistance against Japan, while they held the strong opinion that the [KMT regime] was foreign,” Chiu said.

“The Incident was not a conflict between Taiwanese and Mainlanders [Chinese] or a product of the Japanese colonial government’s effort to make Taiwanese into its imperial subjects, but a product of the KMT’s oppression,” he said.

“Mainlanders and Taiwanese actually helped each other during the Incident,” Chiu said.

Cheng Hong-sheng (鄭鴻生), an author, said that because Taiwan did not help create a “new China,” it has had negative consequences.

“Although Taiwanese since 1949 have received a KMT regime-designed education filled with the spirit of the Chinese nation [zhonghua minzu], it was not complete, as it was founded upon opposition to [Communist China],” Cheng said, adding that the problem “we Taiwanese face is how to learn to be Chinese again.”

Shih Hsin University professor Wang Hsiao-po (王曉波) said the 228 Incident should not be used to drive a wedge between Taiwanese and mainlanders, or become a reason to support Taiwanese independence.

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