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Taiwan - 1947 - February 28 Incident / 228 Massacre

The overwhelming majority of Taiwanese were initially exuberant at their liberation from Japan. When the Chinese administration was inaugurated formally on October 3, 1945, it turned out, however, that rather than again becoming a true province of China, as the Taiwanese had expected, the island was placed under military rule, with General Chen Yi as administrator general and supreme commander. All of the most desirable residences, as well as 90 percent of the commercial and industrial enterprises owned by the Japanese, were taken over by arrivals from the mainland.

Dissatisfaction began to transform into enthusiastic expectations for China, and reached a climax when Chen Yi came to Taiwan to accept Japan's surrender on October 25, 1945, on behalf of Chiang Kai-shek, the supreme commander of the Chinese theater. On the same day, the Office of the Chief Executive of Taiwan Province officially opened.

After Taiwan's return to the motherland, Chiang Kai-shek fought a civil war on the mainland, and the mainland's economic crisis also spread to Taiwan. Inflation on the island and soaring prices. Only one year after Taiwan 's recovery , Taiwan's prices have risen 100 times. Taiwan's small and medium-sized enterprises went bankrupt and went bankrupt due to the robbery of the Kuomintang bureaucratic capital. Coupled with the lack of agricultural harvests, nearly two-thirds of Taiwan's population of more than 6 million people were poor, hungry and cold, and people complained.

Taiwan’s industries were hit hard during the Second World War. After the war, Taiwan’s agricultural output value was only 49% of that in 1937, and its industrial output value was less than 33%. In addition, the construction of schools, shops, factories, hospitals, railways, and power plants were also severely damaged by the war. In addition, the Japanese government stopped applications for the return of Taiwanese savings deposits, and bonds were turned into waste paper, causing chaos in finance and prices.

Many of the enterprises were stripped of all movable assets, which were shipped to the mainland. Enterprises which could not continue operations because of lack of material or technical personnel continued paying salaries until the assets gave out. Food shortages developed after large grain shipments to the Nationalist armies on the mainland were made. The breakdown in public health services and preventive measures caused epidemics of cholera and bubonic plague. Education deteriorated, as did public morals.

After the National Government took over, they printed a large number of banknotes and transported the rice, cloth, salt, sugar and other civilian materials that the Taiwanese depended on to the mainland to fund the civil war between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party , which caused severe inflation (in the subsequent currency reform , 1 yuan) New Taiwan dollar for 40,000 old coins). Moreover, on the one hand, the National Government took over the property belonging to the Japanese and the colonial government and sold them to the mainland. On the other hand, it continued the monopoly system in the Japanese colonial policy, monopolizing the sale of tobacco, alcohol, sugar, camphor, etc. Various relations have crowded out private companies, and actively implemented strict economic control measures to monopolize Taiwan’s economic channels for trade with the mainland, continue to continue Japan’s colonial governance and suppress Taiwan, and even intensify it, so that the people of Taiwan who originally expected to end the colonial treatment will oppose the national government.

Discontent and unrest had intensified by February 27, 1947, when government officials allegedly killed a local woman who had been selling black-market cigarettes. On the morning of the 28th, more citizens besieged the Taiwan Provincial Monopoly Bureau. In the afternoon, about 400 to 500 people came to the Chief Executive's Office and petitioned Chief Executive Chen Yi . The guards shot and killed several people on the spot. As a result, the situation expanded rapidly, and demonstrations, demonstrations, and petitions quickly evolved into large-scale armed conflicts. An anti-dictatorship, anti-authoritarian, anti-violence, struggle for democracy and autonomy movement spread throughout the city.

After a mob had been fired upon by police and four demonstrators were killed, there was a general uprising against the occupation authorities. On February 28, 1947, Taipei citizens went on strike and marched and petitioned for the surrender of criminals. They were suppressed by the Kuomintang authorities, which aroused the anger of the people, and a large-scale armed riot broke out. Within a few days, the rioting people controlled most of Taiwan Province. Chen Yi , the chief executive of Taiwan Province, urgently called Nanjing for help.

The 21st army stationed in Shanghai by the Nationalist Government landed in Keelung and stationed in Taipei. At noon on March 8, 1947, the vanguard of the 21st Army landed in Keelung. On the same day, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China issued a broadcast through its radio station in northern Shaanxi, expressing its support for the resistance struggle of the Taiwanese people. After the first landing troops were blocked by the insurgents, the 21st Army set up machine guns on the ship and fired at the crowds on the dock. On the 9th, after the bloodbath of Keelung, the main force of the Kuomintang entered Taipei and joined forces with the Kuomintang. The movement eventually failed. The February 28th Incident was one of the most important events in Taiwan's modern his tory, after which Taiwan imposed martial law for 38 years. An estimated 10,000 Taiwanese were killed, and order was restored by the end of March.

Whereas the native Taiwanese were disposed to accept infringement of their political rights, which were declared officially postponed until December 1949, 2 years after the Constitution was to go into effect on the mainland, they were incensed at the violation of their property rights and at the breakdown of public order and domestic tranquility which they had taken for granted under the Japanese. The troubles were compounded by the disruption to the enconomy caused by extensive bombing during the last year of the war.

Chen Yi, who lacked the force necessary to quell the rebellion, temporized until the arrival of reinforcements from the mainland. On March 8 a large body of troops arrived to put down the uprising. When President Chiang Kai-shek had, at Nanking, received information concerning events and conditions on Taiwan, he moved to rectify the situation. General Chen Yi and most of his associates were relieved of their posts. Taiwan became a province with political rights of the same order as those enjoyed in other provinces. Many native Taiwanese were appointed to high office, and censorship and “pacification” were terminated formally. Several government enterprises were turned over to private hands, and unemployment relief was instituted.

The February 28th Incident Memorial Foundation established by the Taiwan authorities verified 680 dead and 179 missing. If quoted from Ruo Lin Zhengzhang, his estimate is 15,000 to 28,000. In fact, due to various reasons, such as the indiscriminate killings led by the government at that time, there is no written information left. There have always been extremely inconsistent estimates of the number of victims of the February 28 incident.

Before the lifting of the martial law, the KMT believed that February 28 was a riot instigated by the Communist Party instigated by the Chinese Communist Party. Because the February 28th Incident involved the issue of provincial status, many older generations of Taiwanese attributed the tragedy to the oppression of mainlanders from other provinces. Because of the Taiwan independence nature of the February 28th, China turned to avoid talking about February 28th.

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Page last modified: 19-07-2021 18:25:51 ZULU