Su slams 228 death toll remarks
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-01 05:03 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang on Saturday slammed remarks by controversial professor Wang Hsiao-po about the death toll in the 228 Incident being a “small case.”

According to the Chinese-language Liberty Times, Wang said that the more than 20,000 people killed in Taiwan in the 1947 massacres was a relatively limited number when compared to the estimated 400,000 people President Chiang Kai-shek had killed during his persecution of communists in China.

The 228 Incident was followed by a long period of harsh repression known as the “White Terror” and by four decades of Martial Law.

Su said Wang’s way of rubbing more salt into the wounds of the victims should be strongly condemned. Every person is the child of a mother, or is the father or husband of someone, so one should respect all individuals and not treat them as numbers, he said.

The people should stand up and make their opinions heard, otherwise the government would continue to approve of such language and distort the basic values of democratic politics, Su said.

The opposition leader also expressed his belief that the people of Taiwan would never forget the truth behind the 228 Incident and the lives it destroyed. The public should not swallow its reaction to Wang’s comments, he said, but speak out and clearly explain its position.

Wang, a professor of Chinese at Taipei’s Shih Hsin University, said his comments had been misrepresented by the Liberty Times. He said his intention had been to illustrate that the 228 Incident was a struggle of the people against a corrupt and dictatorial regime, and not an ethnic clash between Taiwanese and Chinese. According to Wang, the events in Taiwan should be seen in the wider context of the war between Chiang’s Nationalists and the Communists.

Wang already courted controversy recently as the head of a committee which revised high-school textbooks. In a move backed by the Ministry of Education, the group decided to replace the terms “Taiwan” and “China” in the textbooks by “Republic of China” and “Mainland China” respectively.

The DPP accused the government of President Ma Ying-jeou of trying to brainwash Taiwanese students into accepting China’s points of view.

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