Nanking, March 28, Foreigners who have just returned to China from Formosa corroborate reports of wholesale slaughter by Chinese troops and police during anti-Government demonstrations a month ago. These witnesses estimate that 10,000 Formosans were killed by the Chinese armed forces. The killings were described as "completely unjustified" in view of the nature of the demonstrations. The anti-Government demonstrations were said to have been by unarmed persons whose intentions were peaceful. Every foreign report to Nanking denies charges that Communists or Japanese inspired or organized the parades. Foreigners who left Formosa a few days ago say that an uneasy peace had been established almost everywhere, but executions and arrests continued. Many Formosans were said to have fled to the hills fearing they would be killed if they returned to their homes. ****** Three Days of Slaughter ****** An American who had just arrived in China from Taihoku said that troops from the mainland arrived there March 7 and indulged in three days of indiscriminate killing and looting. For a time everyone seen on the streets was shot at, homes were broken into and occupants killed. In the poorer sections the streets were said to have been littered with dead. There were instances of beheadings and mutilation of bodies, and women were raped, the American said. Two foreign women, who were near at Pingtung near Takao, called the actions of the Chinese soldiers there a "massacre." They said unarmed Formosans took over the administration of the town peacefully on March 4 and used the local radio station to caution against violence. Chinese were well received and invited to lunch with the Formosan leaders. Later a bigger group of soldiers came and launched a sweep through the streets. The people were machine gunned. Groups were rounded up and executed. The man who had served as the town's spokesman was killed. His body was left for a day in a park and no one was permitted to remove it. A Briton described similar events at Takao, where unarmed Formosans had taken over the running of the city. He said that after several days Chinese soldiers from an outlying fort deployed through the streets killing hundreds with machine-guns and rifles and raping and looting. Formosan leaders were thrown into prison, many bound with thin wire that cut deep into the flesh. ****** Leaflets Trapped Many ****** The foreign witnesses reported that leaflets signed with the name of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek promising leniency, and urging all who had fled to return, were dropped from airplanes. As a result many came back to be imprisoned or executed. "There seemed to be a policy of killing off all the best people," one foreigner asserted. The foreigners' stories are fully supported by reports of every important foreign embassy or legation in Nanking. Formosans are reported to be seeking United Nations' action on their case. Some have approached foreign consuls to ask that Formosa be put under the jurisdiction of Allied Supreme Command or be made an American protectorate. Formosan hostility to the mainland Chinese has deepened. Two women who described events at Pingtung said that when Formosans assembled to take over the administration of the town they sang "The Star Spangled Banner."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Nation, May 24, 1947 by Peggy Durdin --------------------------------------------------------------------------- On February 27 a policeman of the Taiwan (Formosa) Monopoly Bureau saw a woman selling smuggled cigarettes on the streets of the capital, Taipei. When he tried to seize her tray and money, she pulled away, and he struck her a crashing blow on the head with his revolver butt. She died at his feet. An angry mob gathered, and the police shot into the crowd, killing one person and wounding others. Forthwith a year and a half of gathering hatred for an inefficient, autocratic, corrupt administration exploded into unarmed demonstrations against the mainland Chinese. China put down the revolt with brutal repression, terror, and massacre. Mainland soldiers and police fired first killing thousands indiscriminately; then, more selectively, hunted down and jailed or slaughtered students, intellectuals, prominent business men, and civic leaders. Foreigners estimate that at least five thousand Taiwanese were killed and executions are still going on. Governor General Chen Yi has turned a movement against bad government into one against any Chinese government. Nanking has again demonstrated that its chief solution for political and economic crisis is force. In spite of a curtain of censorship and official misrepresentation, the tragic events that took place in Formosa in March are well known here. The Chinese government owns, controls, and operates -- for government profit and personal squeeze -- almost the entire economy of Taiwan. one of the articles whose importation and sale are rigidly controlled is tobacco. Many Taiwanese street venders sell smuggled cigarettes. It was in the course of a campaign against the sale of smuggled goods that the woman was killed in Taipei. The rioting which followed was not consciously revolutionary but was against the hated monopoly police which symbolized for the people the government's exploitation of their island. Unarmed processions marched to the government offices to demand punishment of the policemen, compensation for the dead and wounded, and dismissal of the head of the tobacco monopoly. They beat to death two policemen in front of the tobacco monopoly's office and burned the stocks of tobacco. Police guarding the Governor's office raked the crowd with machine-gun fire without provocation. Barricaded in its offices, the government lost control of the city. Shops closed. Transportation broke down. Mobs of Taiwanese, still unarmed, beat up a number of mainland Chinese and burned their possessions, though not their homes. Truckloads of police rushed through Taipei's streets machine gunning the demonstrators while Governor Chen Yi was busily broadcasting conciliatory promises. During this period not a single foreigner saw an armed Taiwanese. With calculated trickery Chen Yi continued his efforts to appease the people while he waited for military reinforcements. On March 2, over the radio, he expressed his love for the Taiwanese, and promised that noone would be prosecuted for rioting, that the families of the dead would be compensated, and that he would appoint a committee to settle the incident. This group composed of mainlanders and representative Taiwanese, most of whom have since been shot, was to be known as the "Committee to Settle the February 28th Incident" and was to present to him by March 10 their suggestions for the reform of the administration. Though efforts of the committee Taipei and the near by port of Keelung became quiet. Students patrolled the streets, keeping order. Many of these students are now dead. Meanwhile the spark ignited in Taipei had spread down the whole length of Taiwan. In the first few days of March the Taiwanese took over the administration of almost every city. As far as can be discovered, they seized control in most instances without the use of firearms. Violence was usually limited to beatings, though some officials were killed. On March 7 Chen Yi's committee handed in its recommendations. Reasonably enough, they included the following: that Taiwan be given provincial, not colonial status; that provincial magistrates and city mayors be elected before June; that a larger proportion of Taiwanese be given administrative, police, and judicial posts; that all special police be abolished and no political arrests be permitted; that freedom of press and speech and the right to strike be granted; that managers of all public enterprises be Taiwanese; that committees be elected to supervise these public enterprises and the factories taken over from the Japanese; that the trade and monopoly bureaus be abolished; that the political and economic rights of aborigines be guaranteed; that Taiwanese be appointed to as many army, navy, and airforce posts in Taiwan as possible; that detained "war criminals" be released (Taiwan was part of the Japanese Empire for fifty-one years); that the central government repay Taiwan for the expropriated sugar and rice; that garrison headquarters be abolished "to avoid misuse of military might." These proposals were not presented as an ultimatum. They were clearly a basis for negotiation. Chen Yi had already agreed to most of the points. At noon on March 8 the commander of the Fourth Gendarme Regiment told the committee that its demands for political reform were "proper," but asked that it withdraw its demand for the abolition of garrisons. He said, "I will guarantee with my life that the central government will not take military action against Taiwan." At this point, although most of the island was still in the hands of the people, Chen Yi could have reached an agreement with them which would have insured the Nanking government's continued control of Taiwan and the cooperation of the Taiwanese. He only needed to move honestly toward reform. But he had at no time any intention of establishing peace by compromise. This was revolt; he would crush it. He was obliged to temporize and deceive until his troops arrived. On the afternoon and evening of March 8, without warning or provocation, the streets of Keelung and Taipei were cleared with gunfire to cover the entry of mainland troops. These reinforcements consisted mainly of the Twenty-first Division, a Szechuan outfit with a reputation for brutality. In the next four or five days more than a thousand unarmed Taiwanese in the Taipei-Keelung area alone were massacred. A year and a half earlier many of them had joyously welcomed the arrival of the Chinese troops. Now truckloads of soldiers armed with machine guns and automatic rifles shot their way through the streets. Soldiers demanded entry into homes, killed the first person who appeared, and looted the premises. Bodies floated thick in Keelung harbor and in the river which flows by Taipei. Twenty young men were castrated, their ears cut off, and their noses slashed. A foreigner watched gendarmes cut off a young boy's hands before bayoneting him because he had not dismounted from his bicycle quickly enough. The radio advised students who had fled from the city to return to their homes, but when they did so they were killed. Any prominent person was in grave danger. By March 14 the killing had tapered off in Taipei. In other cities the terror followed the same pattern. The Nation - May 24, 1947 A Flower on a Rainy Night ------------------------- A flower on a rainy night A flower on a rainy night Fell on the ground in wind and rain Out of everyone's sight It sighs day and night It has fallen not to return again. A flower on the ground A flower on the ground Who pays attention to it? Merciless rain, merciless rain It has no concern for our future It is not mindful for our frailty Covering our destiny with darkness Causing us to fall from the branch Out of everyone's sight Raindrops, raindrops Lead us into the pool of suffering Not mindful of our frailty Covering our destiny with darkness Causing us to fall from the branch Out of everyone's sight [This song was banned on Taiwan because it was considered "too sad." The words were written by Chow Tien-wan and are about the history of Taiwan. The music is by Du Yueh-shen, and it was translated by Choan Seng-song.]
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