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The struggle for taiwan after the second world war

On October 25, —known as Retrocession Day in Taiwan— Japan was forced to cede all overseas possessions. Taiwan, as a spoil of war, was handed over to the Republic of China the Chang-Kai-shek-led Kuomintang government.

Embroiled in civil war, Chiang sent an inept general named Chen Yi to govern Taiwan; Chen Yi and his thugs plundered Taiwanese homes and shops, sending anything of value back to the mainland to help support the Nationalist fight against the communists. Riots against the KMT broke out, leading to the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians. The world community regarded Taiwan as a part of mainland China. These feeling were also shared by the local Taiwanese who, inregarded the Kuomintang as liberators.

But these feelings of good will didn't last long The military forces of the Republic of China under the Kuomintang Chinese Nationalist Party—Chung-kuo Kuo-min-tang—usually shorted to Kuomintang, KMT arrived in Taiwan after the war and started to erase all vestiges of Japanese rule and to bring the island under Nationalist Chinese political, economic, and cultural influence.

Rather than treating Taiwan as a liberated area, the KMT forces confronted the local population as enemy collaborators. Businesses were looted and goods were seized as KMT military officers and politicians took charge.

Many Chinese that left for Taiwan left with their young children in their arms, a few possessions on their backs and some odd gold and jewelry and figured they would be back soon. For many it was 40 or more years before they had a chance to return.

Some Taiwanese left for the mainland. I went there for an ideal and for my principles. We were children born after the Second World War.

People like Chen Ying-chen and myself placed the state and its people first. Therefore, we were strongly opposed to the struggle for taiwan after the second world war Kuomintang government. I was voting with my feet. There was a meeting among leftists, and we announced that we were the first ones to leave for the mainland.

I said, "Yes, we are returning to Taiwan via Beijing. We will be liberating Taiwan.

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Those were our ideals. Kerr wrote in "Formosa Betrayed": After the Japanese surrender inthe Formosans, despite the Cairo Declaration, hoped for a guaranteed neutrality under American or international trusteeship. Instead, they were delivered over to another and more oppressive occupation.

Their prosperous society was invaded by a horde of mainland Chinese, often brutal, ignorant, and greedy -- the dregs of the Nationalist army. The new governor, under orders, bled the island dry, ruthlessly and with dispatch. Yet still the Formosans hoped. American propaganda, promising freedom to all oppressed peoples, and citing the glorious Revolution ofcontinued to pour in upon them.

  • Ma called the move "not appropriate;
  • The foreigners' stories are fully supported by reports of every important foreign embassy or legation in Nanking;
  • To commemorate this bloody event, February 28 has, since 1995, been marked as a national memorial day;
  • A few hundred yards away Railway Administration special armed police suddenly opened fire from within the Administration building and killed two more pedestrians;
  • After Japan's defeat, though, a civil war flared between Mao's Communist forces and Chiang's battle-weary Nationalist troops;
  • Then as the bodies were carried off the crowd was observed to assemble again some distance from a mounted patrol near an intersection.

Kerr was an American diplomat, who worked at the US Consulate in Taipei at the time of the massacre and observed many atrocities in person. Online version has also been made available at http: The governor appointed by Chiang Kai-shek brutally suppressed the indigenous Taiwanese.

Local industries were nationalized by the Kuomintang and their money was sent to the mainland along with rice and capital assets. The abolition of the use of widely spoken Japanese and the imposition of Mandarin Chinese led to communications and political problems. Taiwanese political groups and the media sought influence, but mainlanders predominated in the key provincial administrative positions.

Provincial and local assembly elections took place inbut the Taiwanese found their elected bodies had only limited powers. Decolonization and reintegration were proving difficult, and the KMT regime was turning out to be just as exploitative and controlling as the Japanese had been but less competent. Resentment was on the rise. But now able to rule as an extraneous force, with full-bore American assistance and without ties to local landlords, he could preside the struggle for taiwan after the second world war an agrarian reform designed by US advisers, and industrialisation funded by US capital, in a society that fifty years of modernisation under colonial rule had left substantially more advanced in popular literacy and rural productivity than the mainland.

Economic success stabilised but scarcely liberalised his regime, which ended as it had begun under martial law. Perry Anderson, London Review of Books, February 9, ] When unarmed demonstrators protested the corrupt KMT occupation and overthrew the provincial administration in earlythey were violently suppressed in what has become known as the February 28 Incident.

A military reign of terror ensued, and an estimated 8, to 10, some saypeople were killed and some 30, wounded. To commemorate this bloody event, February 28 has, sincebeen marked as a national memorial day. In February unarmed Formosans rose en masse to demand reforms in the administration at Taipei. Chiang Kai-shek's answer was a brutal massacre. Thousands died -- first among them were the leaders who had asked for American help. Washington turned a deaf ear, while the Chinese communists rejoiced.

Kerr, Houghton Mifflin, ] Incident According to the Guinness Book of Records the world's worst recorded riot occurred on February 28, when 1, people were killed during a spontaneous uprising that broke out after Kuomintang police arrested and beat up a Taiwanese woman who was selling black market cigarettes.

Most of the dead were killed by police who fired randomly into crowds of protestors. Guinness Book of Records] On February 28,about two thousand people gathered in front of the Bureau of Monoply in Taipei to protest the brutal beating on a woman cigarette peddler and the killing of a bystander by the police on the previous evening. The Chinese Governor, Chen Yi responded with machine guns, killing several people on the spot.

What ensued were a series of massacres on the island by the troops sent from China by Chiang Kai-Shek resulting in the deaths of more than 30, Taiwanese people, followed by an era of white terror arrests and mysterious disapprances of countless additional people by the military police for decades.


When he tried to seize her tray and money, she pulled away, and he struck her a crashing blow on the head with his revolver butt. She died at his feet. An angry mob gathered, and the police shot into the crowd, killing one person and wounding others.

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Forthwith a year and a half of gathering hatred for an inefficient, autocratic, corrupt administration exploded into unarmed demonstrations against the mainland Chinese. Mainland soldiers and police fired first killing thousands indiscriminately; then, more selectively, hunted down and jailed or slaughtered students, intellectuals, prominent business men, and civic leaders. Foreigners estimate that at least five thousand Taiwanese were killed and executions are still going on.

Governor General Chen Yi has turned a movement against bad government into one against any Chinese government. Nanking has again demonstrated that its chief solution for political and economic crisis is force. In spite of a curtain of censorship and official misrepresentation, the tragic events that took place in Formosa in March are well known here.

More than 10, Kuomintang troops were dispatched from the mainland to put down uprising that they said was led by Communists and gangsters. The soldiers were largely undisciplined and contemptuous of the local people who they regarded as too sympathetic of Japan.


They arrested people they suspected of being Communists and saboteurs. Among the targets were doctors, lawyers and ordinary people. One woman told AP that soldiers broke down the door of her house, grabbed her father and blindfolded him with a necktie, executed him and dumped his body in a ditch.

There was no death count. According to some estimates between 10, and 28, people were killed. Nearly all the local middle-class leaders were executed.

The brutal slaughter is still a sore point between the native Taiwanese and the mainlanders. For decades, simply mentioning it could land a person in jail. In the s, the government formally apologized for the incident, a monument to the dead was raised and ceremonies were held to honor them. On the evening of February 27 certain armed Monopoly Bureau Agents and special police agents set upon and beat a female cigarette vendor, who with her two small children, had protested the seizure of her cash as well as her allegedly untaxed cigarettes.

She is reported to have died soon after the agents, who shot at random, killing one person before they escaped into a civil police station. Their Monopoly truck and its contents were burned in the street, although the agents were allowed to be taken away, on foot and unmolested, from the police station by military police called for that purpose.

The parade, meanwhile, left the Monopoly Bureau for the Governor's the struggle for taiwan after the second world war where it was intended to present the petition for reform. At about two o'clock it reached a wide intersection adjacent to the government grounds.

The struggle for taiwan after the second world war

Without warning a machine gun mounted somewhere on the government building opened fire, swept and dispersed the crowd and killed at least four. Two consular officers drove through the square immediately after the shots were fired. Martial law was invoked in the late afternoon February Armed military patrols began to appear in the city, firing at random wherever they went.

March 1, at approximately 5 o'clock Mounted troops had killed two pedestrians near the compound. A few hundred yards away Railway Administration special armed police suddenly opened fire from within the Administration building and killed two more pedestrians.

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The crowd turned on any mainland Railway Bureau employee found nearby. Two more pedestrians who looked like coolies were shot about feet from the Consulate gates. Then as the bodies were carried off the crowd was observed to assemble again some distance from a mounted patrol near an intersection. Suddenly, with no warning, a long burst of machine gun fire swept the area.

Some of the wounded and dead were carried past the Consulate gates; it is stated reliably that at least felled by the burst and that 25 died. How many of the injured walked away is not known. I saw that the soldiers from mainland did not speak Taiwanese dialect and when the Taiwanese could not communicate themselves, they were beaten. If the children misbehaved, they were told: A friend of mine personally witnessed two mainlanders being assaulted by people with white headbands and wearing wooden sandals and kicked into a ditch.

I was very scared. I wanted to leave Taiwan if I can. The Chinese Defense Minister, general Pai Chung-hsi, recommended various administrative reforms demanded by the rebels.

Chen responded on March 24 by executing another 70 Formosans who reportedly established a "people's government" in the southwestern town of Chiayi. Formosans in Shanghai protested bitterly: But every day it saves face hundreds of Formosans die", they said. A policeman struck the woman, an angry crowd gathered, and violence broke out after an officer fired his weapon, killing a bystander.