Commemoration of the 228 Massacre in Taiwan marked Taiwanese’s long fight for democracy, and China could someday achieve the same dream of democracy, former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen wrote in an open letter to young Chinese yesterday.
The article, titled “228: A letter to young people across the Strait,” was her attempt to “do something that no Taiwanese politician has ever done before,” Tsai said.
The article was posted on her Facebook page and the Web site of her foundation.
“If Chinese do not know the harm that the massacre inflicted on Taiwan, they could never understand the real Taiwan,” Tsai said, adding that cross-strait relations should be based on a “true understanding of each other’s reality.”
Taiwanese were “silenced” by the brutal massacre in response to a public protest against the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government, she said.
They were trapped in a prolonged silence in the following decades because the White Terror era was never mentioned in textbooks and became a taboo subject, Tsai said.
“You’re no stranger to a story like this because you must have experienced similar situations,” Tsai wrote, adding that no one would tolerate state violence and suppression in Taiwan today.
Despite the oppression, Taiwanese never gave up on their dream for democracy, which was why the DPP was born, she said.
The former DPP presidential candidate said the DPP was not an “evil” party as portrayed by the KMT and Beijing, but a group of people fighting against the authoritarian KMT regime.
“This is a historical point of view that is so different from what the KMT and the Chinese government have told you, and is what I want to tell you today,” she wrote.
Someday the Chinese people will be able to speak their minds and commemorate the Tiananmen Square protests the same way Taiwanese commemorate the 228 Massacre, she said.
“If Taiwan could do it, there is no reason China could not accomplish the same thing,” she said.