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Taiwan's White Terror

MIN READFeb 28, 2016 | 14:08 GMT

Nationalist officials scuffle with a black market cigarette vendor — the event that sparked nationwide protests Feb. 28, 1947.
Nationalist officials scuffle with a black market cigarette vendor — the event that sparked nationwide protests Feb. 28, 1947.

(JUN LI/WIKIMEDIA)

"Dogs go, pigs come," read the graffiti-smeared walls throughout Taipei in February 1947. It was less than a year and a half since the Allies had driven the so-called "dogs" out, defeating the Japanese Empire and liberating Taiwan from 50 years of foreign rule. Taiwan now belonged to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalist government, the Kuomintang. However, soon after the Japanese surrender, Nationalist attention turned to an existential struggle with the communists on the mainland. They afforded Taiwan scarce attention, and the resulting misrule led to a massive uprising in February 1947 that came to be known as the "228 Incident," the aftershocks of which continue to inform both the Taiwanese sense of identity and its relationship with the mainland....

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