Posted in China, World Politics

Taiwanese February Uprising of 1947

(I’m now in China! Being on the other side of the Great Firewall means that Facebook and Twitter are now not an option for me, so I’ll be making more regular use of this blog. I’ve decided to use it to share stories (mostly political) that I come across in China. Happy reading.) 

This week marked the 70th anniversary of the 1947 uprising in Taiwan, so as you can imagine many column inches have been given to recalling those events.

Most interestingly, from today’s geopolitical point of view, archives and witness statements have indicated that Taiwan’s “February 28 Uprising” had nothing to do with “Taiwan independence.”

Some witnesses recalled the occasion, saying that there were no slogans or leaflets advocating “Taiwan independence” during the campaign, and most Taiwan people believed that ideas advocating “Taiwan independence” are false and absurd.

“What the Taiwan people were seeking was local autonomy, rather than separating from the motherland,” Li Wei-kuang, head of a Taiwan people association in Shanghai, was quoted by archives as saying.

As “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces described the uprising as a conflict between provinces, Li recalled that people in Taiwan were not against people from other provinces, but only hoped to seek their help and cooperate with them.

On Feb. 28, 1947, a Kuomintang (KMT) party enforcement team assaulted a woman near Taipei railway station as she was selling cigarettes.

The incident caused a bloody confrontation between Taiwan civilians and the KMT authorities, which developed into an island-wide movement against the despotic rule of the KMT.

The uprising was a spontaneous mass movement of the people of Taiwan for democracy and autonomy, but some people in Taiwan interpret the uprising as a “Taiwan independence” movement, completely distorting the true story.

An Fengshan, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, told a press conference last week that “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces twisted the uprising for their own gain, adding that their intentions are despicable.

People across Taiwan also marked the civilian uprising to mourn the victims and calling for an understanding of the true nature of the event.

Among various ceremonies held across the island Tuesday, a symposium was held and attended by more than 100 people including participants of the uprising and their family members, as well as historians and academics.

“The Feb. 28 uprising was against the despotic rule of the Kuomintang party on the island at that time, and has no connection with current ‘Taiwan independence,’” said Chen Ming-chung, 88, a participant in the uprising.

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