228 Massacre Smears Lack Reality – OpEd


By Taiwan Church Press

On December 12, one of Taiwan’s biggest newspapers The China Times ran a story about some new findings in the latest research about the 228 Massacre done by Chu Hung-yuan, an Academia Sinica researcher. The research concluded that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had already infiltrated all levels of the Republic of China government at the time of the massacre and the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) had also colluded with the CCP and Japanese soldiers to incite a revolt.

Chu allegedly said that details surrounding the PCT’s involvement in the 228 Massacre are still under investigation, but “the problem is that PCT will not let us look at their archives.” He added that there is information stored at Chang-Jung Senior High School in Tainan that he had repeatedly tried to access, yet he was unable to obtain any information from this source.

It’s evident from this news story in The China Times that Chu considers the 228 Massacre as a peasant revolt and there are still people who think likewise today. Though the PCT archives are indeed voluminous and generally accessible to anyone in academia, there are other research institutes in Taiwan that already have a lot of PCT documents. Ironically, Chu is the only scholar so far who hasn’t been able to access these archives and yet has managed to write a conclusive report nevertheless.

What makes Chu’s report more suspicious is that it should make the news so shortly after the PCT issued a public statement concerning the upcoming presidential elections in 2012, and barely one week after more than 300 PCT pastors wearing their uniforms held a prayer rally in front of the Presidential Palace. The fact that The China Times should print this story comes as no surprise as well because it’s public knowledge that it’s a pan-blue newspaper supported by the KMT and at the Ma administration’s beck and call.

This incident calls to mind two Old Testament stories found in the Bible. The first story is that of Pharaoh found in the book of Exodus. Afraid of losing slaves, Pharaoh became more stubborn and turned to violence. The second story is that of King Saul. Afraid of losing his kingdom and his popularity, King Saul persecuted David and anyone who supported and followed David.

The Bible records that after David killed Goliath, Israelites who were oppressed by Saul and unhappy with the status quo began following David. When the priest Ahimelech prayed to God on David’s behalf and gave David food and Goliath’s sword, he and 85 other priests were executed by one of Saul’s treacherous officers.

Based on various recent controversies, including the latest Yu Chang Biologics scandal, it’s clear the KMT is determined to retain power using any means. The PCT’s recent statement supporting a presidential candidate that advocates anti-unification and pro-Taiwan policies is enough grounds for the Ma administration to dub it as a “big hooligan” and see it as a stumbling block to power.

This incident is also another instance of history repeating itself because when the PCT issued its “Statement On Our National Fate” 40 years ago, it was also discredited and demonized by the KMT. However, regardless of how the KMT tries to demonize the PCT using all kinds of antics, these will not change the PCT’s resolve to care for and speak out on people’s welfare, national politics, and the future of Taiwan.

Translated by Lydia Ma

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