Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday applauded the contribution of late general Pai Chung-hsi (白崇禧) of the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime in the handling of the aftermath of the 228 Massacre and said that the city had designated his tomb a monument so that more people would become aware of his place in history.
The 228 Massacre refers to a military crackdown launched by the then-KMT regime against civilian demonstrations in 1947.
Pai was a general in Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) regime. As Chiang’s top military aide, Pai instructed the military to stop the bloody crackdown on local residents and to treat Taiwanese with more compassion, Taipei City’s Department of Cultural Affairs said.
“Without Pai, the history of the 228 Massacre could have been very different,” Hau said yesterday at the monument, which is in a Muslim cemetery.
The department recognized the contribution of Pai and designated his tomb in Taipei’s Liuzhangli (六張犁) a city monument last year.
In celebration of the 120th anniversary of Pai’s birth at his tomb yesterday, Pai’s son, well-known writer Kenneth Pai (白先勇), said he had waited 50 years for his father’s tomb to be designated a monument, adding that he expected the monument to attract visits from Muslims in China and other countries.
“My father made great contributions to the nation’s history and the development of Chinese Islam, as he asked the government to build a cemetery in Taipei for Taiwanese Muslims,” he said.
The Muslim cemetery was built in 1950 after Pai Chung-hsi proposed the idea to the Taipei City Government. He later built a tomb in the cemetery after his wife died in 1963.
Pai Chung-hsi died in 1966.