U.S. Representatives Call For 66th Commemoration Of Taiwan’s 2-28 Massacre

In light of the 66th commemoration of Taiwan’s 2-28 Massacre on February 28, 2013, Reps.  Robert Andrews (D-NJ) and Scott Garrett (R-NJ) issued  statements in the Congressional Record urging their colleagues to join them in commemorating this tragic chapter in Taiwan’s history.

The statements recount the history of the Massacre. Rep. Andrews states: “Mr. Speaker, the Massacre had far reaching implications. Over the next half century, the Taiwanese democracy movement that grew out of the event helped pave the way for Taiwan’s momentous transformation from a dictatorship under the Chinese Nationalists to a democracy. In some ways, the 228 incident was Taiwan’s “Boston Massacre” for both events functioned as the cradle of a move by both peoples to full democracy and helped galvanize the strive to independence.”

Rep. Andrews concludes his remarks with: “Mr. Speaker, I have said it before: “Freedom is not negotiable. May the lessons learned from the 2-28 Massacre continue to inspire the people of Taiwan in their struggle for freedom, full independence, international participation, and for the continued enhancement of the mutual relationship between Taiwan and the United States.””

FAPA President Mark Kao, PhD says: “228 is a day that lives in infamy. The 2-28 massacre must never be forgotten. Moreover,  president Ma owes the victims and their families an apology. The Kuomintang Nationalist party must make complete amends for the crimes it committed during the massacre and its protracted aftermath of White Terror. The Ma Administration’s efforts to distort the history of the 2-28 need to be stopped immediately.”

Dr. Kao adds: “It is heart-warming and encouraging that members of the United States Congress continue to pay due respect and attention to this horrific episode in Taiwan’s history.”

EXTENSION OF REMARKS FOR CONGRESSMAN ROBERT ANDREWS OF NEW JERSEY IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES – (To be inserted in Congressional Record on February 28, 2013)

Mr. ANDREWS: Mr. Speaker, I rise today to observe the 66th commemoration of Taiwan’s “2-28 Massacre.” The Massacre was an anti-government uprising in Taiwan that began on February 28, 1947 and was violently suppressed by General Chiang Kai-shek’s Chinese Nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) government during the following weeks. Estimates of the number of deaths are around 28,000.

In the fall of 1945, 50 years of Japanese occupation of Taiwan ended after Japan had lost World War II. In October of that year, the KMT-administered Republic of China (ROC) received administrative control of Taiwan. 16 months of KMT administration on Taiwan led to the widespread impression among the people of Taiwan that the party was plagued by nepotism, corruption, and economic failure.

Tensions increased between the Taiwanese people and the ROC administration. The flashpoint came on February 28, 1947 when in Taipei a dispute between a female cigarette vendor and an officer of the Government’s Office of Monopoly triggered civil disorder and open rebellion by the native Taiwanese against the KMT repression.

During the following weeks, Chiang’s government sent troops from China to the island. The Chinese soldiers started to round up and execute a whole generation of an elite of Taiwanese lawyers, doctors, students, professors etc…

It is estimated that up to 30,000 people lost their lives during the turmoil. During the following four decades, the Chinese Nationalists continued to rule Taiwan with an iron fist under a Martial Law that would not be lifted until 1987.

Mr. Speaker, the Massacre had far reaching implications. Over the next half century, the Taiwanese democracy movement that grew out of the event helped pave the way for Taiwan’s momentous transformation from a dictatorship under the Chinese Nationalists to a democracy.

In some ways, the 228 incident was Taiwan’s “Boston Massacre” for both events functioned as the cradle of a move by both peoples to full democracy and helped galvanize the strive to independence.

Mr. Speaker, I have said it before: Freedom is not negotiable. May the lessons learned from the 2-28 Massacre continue to inspire the people of Taiwan in their struggle for freedom, full independence, international participation, and for the continued enhancement of the mutual relationship between Taiwan and the United States.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me today in commemorating this important historical event.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

STATEMENT CONGRESSMAN SCOTT GARRETT (R-NJ)

February 28, 2013

Dear Friend,

On February 28, 1947, the brutal arrest of an elderly woman in Taipei led to large protests against the government of the Republic of China.  In the days that followed, under government orders, soldiers began capturing and viciously murdering thousands of native Taiwanese. An estimated 18,000 people lost their lives during the mayhem. Today, we remember this tragic loss of life and honor those who fought and died for the freedom of Taiwan’s people.

As you know, freedom and democracy ultimately triumphed over martial law in Taiwan. History has since marked the “2-28 Massacre” as a major turning point in Taiwan’s transformation from a dictatorship to a vibrant and thriving democracy.  Now, as the beacon of democracy in the region, Taiwan remains a close friend and a strong ally of the United States.  As your Congressman, I will continue to be a staunch advocate for Taiwan and our shared interests.

Sincerely,

Scott Garrett

(February 28, 2013) U.S. Representatives Call For 66th Commemoration Of Taiwan’s 2-28 Massacre
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