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Taiwan’s KMT congratulates itself on lifting martial law it imposed

KMT imprisoned 140,000, executed estimated 3,000-4,000 Taiwanese during 'White Terror'

KMT tweet (Twitter @kuomintang)

KMT tweet (Twitter @kuomintang)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), on Thursday (July 15) sent out a tweet commemorating the lifting of martial law in 1987 — martial law that it imposed in 1949.

Using its official Twitter account, the KMT tweeted, “34 years ago today, President Chiang Ching-kuo #蔣經國 lifted martial law on #Taiwan. We remain immensely proud of this decision, as it made possible the #RepublicofChina’s substantial subsequent democratization. Truly a historic day! #Democracy #Freedom #Libertad.”

Following the surrender of Japan in 1945, administrative control of Taiwan, which for decades had been a Japanese colony, was handed over to the KMT-led Republic of China (ROC). Discontent over KMT rule eventually led to mass protests that sparked the violent crackdown known as the 228 Massacre in 1947, which saw as many as 28,000 Taiwanese civilians killed at the hands of the Chinese Nationalists.

After losing the Chinese Civil War to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1949, the KMT fled and relocated the ROC government to Taiwan. The Kuomintang declared martial law on May 19, 1949, and left it in place for 38 years until July 15, 1987, a period known as the “White Terror.”

During the White Terror, thousands of Taiwanese were arrested and imprisoned by the KMT, and many others were executed. One study identified around 29,000 cases of political persecution, involving 140,000 people, while an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 were put to death.

After martial law ended in 1987, bans on the formation of new political parties and news publications were lifted. Taiwan then began to take its first steps toward the democracy it is today.

Updated : 2022-05-28 12:15 GMT+08:00