An end to ‘using fire to reignite hatred,’ urges KMT after attack

TAIPEI–The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) expressed regret over a violent protest against it earlier Sunday and stressed that it will never forget the “historical lessons” of the violent crackdown it initiated in Taiwan nearly seven decades ago.


“The KMT will continue to pursue social harmony,” said a KMT spokeswoman after a motorcyclist was found to have thrown Molotov cocktails at the party’s headquarters in Taipei.

The protester also flung flyers calling for holding the KMT and the United States accountable for “the massacre and political suppression in Taiwan” that began on Feb. 28, 1947, and demanded that the KMT return its ill-gotten assets to Taiwan’s people.

Lin Yih-hua (林奕華), director of the KMT’s Department of Culture and Communications, said it was regrettable that such a violent protest had happened on a day marked by “historical wounds.”

The 228 Incident refers to the KMT’s crackdown on protests of its abuse of power in Taiwan following the end of Japanese colonial rule.

The crackdown was triggered by an event on Feb. 27, 1947, and lasted for several weeks, leaving up to 28,000 people dead, according to government estimates.

The KMT’s authoritarian rule clamped down further on dissent after the Nationalists retreated to Taiwan from China in 1949, launching a period known as the “White Terror,” when thousands more were killed or arrested.

Only in the late 1980s with the lifting of martial law did the KMT’s grip on society begin to weaken.

Lin said the KMT and the incumbent KMT administration of President Ma Ying-jeou have made great efforts over the years “to heal the wounds and proactively promote reconciliation among ethnic groups.”

She said her party was worried that such a radical way of expressing views might create new “hatred and stand-offs” in Taiwan, which already enjoys freedom of expression and ethnic harmony.

She called for “greater tolerance and respect” in dealing with the historical issue by applying the “same sets of human rights and rule of law standards.”

Huang Min-hui (黃敏慧), the party’s acting chairwoman who is running to assume the party’s top post, denounced the violence and urged all KMT haters to stop “using historical wounds to create stand-offs and divisions.”

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