Remembering Taiwan’s “White Terror” of the 28th February 1947
February 26, 2007 6:12 AM   Subscribe

60 years ago today, an incident took place in Taipei, which led to the massive slaughter of thousands of Taiwanese at the hands of Chiang Kai-shek's Chinese troops. Many were imprisoned for torture and execution on Green Island off Taiwan's eastern coast. More on Green Island here, and an interesting-ish flickr photo set here
posted by mattoxic (8 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
It is estimated that up to 28,000 people lost their lives in the turmoil.

I'm reminded of a passage by Annie Dillard that I like to contemplate during the annual 9/11 tributes:
What were you doing on April 30, 1991, when a seies of waves [in Bangladesh] drowned 138,000 people? Where were you when you first heard the astounding, heartbreaking news? Who told you? What, seriatim, were your sensations? Who did you tell? Did your anguish last days or weeks?
posted by longtime_lurker at 6:26 AM on February 26, 2007

Good post. It astounds me that the "2-28 Incident" is now officially commemorated; when I lived in Taiwan, almost 30 years ago, people talked about it in whispers if at all, and to be (or be seen as) a "Formosan nationalist" was worse than being a Communist. The peaceful evolution of Taiwan is one of the few happy stories of recent decades.

*waits for China to decide to invade Taiwan and the U.S. to let it happen because China is such an important trading partner*
posted by languagehat at 6:53 AM on February 26, 2007

Taiwan is undergoing a de-Chaing-ification at the moment, the govt is spending millions on rebranding the Republic of China to become simply Taiwan. CKS Airport is now Tauyuan Airport, China Post is becoming Taiwan Post. Most interesting times.
posted by mattoxic at 8:22 AM on February 26, 2007

Was at the memorial hall about 6 weeks ago. Incredibly impressive. If they're de-Chaing-ficating, it didn't show.
posted by dreamsign at 10:09 AM on February 26, 2007

The events of 1947 provide the backdrop to Hou Hsiao-hsien's A City of Sadness, which for my money is one of the best (multi-)Chinese language films of the 20th century.
posted by Abiezer at 11:28 AM on February 26, 2007

Err, as opposed to them 14th century films. Not sure what I was on there.
posted by Abiezer at 11:29 AM on February 26, 2007

The Brookings Institute held an panel discussion recently that addressed this event. It's something Taiwan has been coming to terms with over the years. Infact, there's a movement to change the name of the Chiang Kai-shek memorial hall.
posted by Dr.James.Orin.Incandenza at 6:46 AM on February 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

Koxinga would not be pleased.
posted by Football Bat at 10:46 AM on February 27, 2007

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