March 17, 2014
Taiwan’s 228 incidentBBC Radio 4 just had a podcast about Taiwan’s 228 incident. They invited one professor, the witness, to describe what happened at that moment.
Download Podcast from BBC Radio 4
In 1945, Taiwanese thought they finally can get rid of second class citizenship from Japan and welcomed the coming of motherland. However, the soldiers/ troops appeared unhealthy, some of them only with one sandal or were carrying umbrella or pot when arrived. Taiwanese were disappointed. At that time, Taiwanese behaved like Japanese, they wore Kimono and spoke Japanese because it was under control of Japan for 50 years. After having fight for 8 years with Japanese, the Chinese was extremely hostile to find the Japanese way of lifestyle in Taiwan.
Besides, the government’s corruption was notorious. The economic problem became worse. The price of food kept rising. The housewife needed to carry bundle of bundle of paper money to buy grocery. Taiwanese started to hoard food in their house.
On February 28th, there was a woman selling cigarette on the street. It triggered the fire between the Chinese and Taiwanese. The witness described the event vividly when the chaos happened. He said there was a moving conveyor, 10 trucks with machine gun on top of it. Some of bullets were flying over their head. Blood was everywhere. They lived in fear for a couple of month.
This is one of the most important events in Taiwan’s history. After that, the so-called “White error” last nearly 38 years, which made the huge gap between Taiwanese and Chinese until now. This was imprinted in Taiwanese’s memory.
I wasn’t seeing what happened at that generation but I can feel the fear from the witness’s confession.