228 Peace Memorial Park 二二八和平公園, 2/28 Park
What is the Februrary 28 Incident?
After the end of World War II, the Japanese occupation of Taiwan had ended, with administrative control of the island being transferred to China, which at the time was ruled by the Republic of China government and Kuomintang party. The events of the Chinese Civil War led up to the KMT fleeing from the communists in mainland China in 1945 to re-establish the ROC government in Taipei City with the goal of regrouping and reclaiming the mainland of China. As Taiwan island (Formosa) was previously part of Japan, the KMT worked to remove Japanese influence from the island and promote pan-Chinese cultural values while limiting Hokkien-Taiwanese language and culture, and replaced most public offices and government procedure with the KMT while seizing monopoly control of the previous Japanese state-operated industries such as mining, sugar, tea, and tobacco.
Two years after the repatriation of Taiwan to the ROC, Taiwan Monopoly Bureau agents were sent to investigate illicit cigarette sales, assaulting the suspect in the process which escalated into a confrontation with locals. During their escape, agents fired into the crowd, killing one bystander. The next morning on 28 February, activists gathered outside the Governor-General's Office demanding accountability for the events of the previous day. Security forces were present, and the scene quickly turned violent with several deaths. The public was distrusting of the KMT and presented a list of 32 Demands including greater autonomy for Taiwan Province (of the ROC), government transparency, and free elections. All over Taiwan there were cases of rioting and violence against the KMT government and institutions, with some local militia fighting against the KMT army. For several weeks, the civilians were effectively in control of Taiwan until 8 March when more ROC army personnel arrived from Fujian Province to quell the rioting, after which the KMT ruled with an iron fist until 1987 to prevent social uprising and deter communist influence, a period now known as White Terror. Estimates range from 10,000 to 30,000+ casualties during the events surrounding the 2/28 Incident.