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Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an attends 228 Massacre ceremony

Dictator Chiang Kai-shek's descendent pledges not to run away from legacy and pain of history

Protestors interrupt Mayor Chiang Wan-an's speech at 228 Massacre event. 

Protestors interrupt Mayor Chiang Wan-an's speech at 228 Massacre event.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) attended a ceremony in Taipei’s 228 Peace Park on Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 28) to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the 228 Massacre, which was carried out by his great-grandfather Chiang Kai-shek's (蔣介石) Kuomintang (KMT) soldiers.

Known as the fourth generation of the Chiang family, Chiang's attendance drew a lot of media attention. Midway through his speech, a large group protested his remarks, causing him to pause for about 10 minutes, per SETN.

Chiang later continued saying that as mayor he was deeply sorry for "the 228 Incident" that occurred 76 years ago in Dadaocheng, Taipei City. The 228 Massacre refers to the abuse of a cigarette vendor which later led to the killing of tens of thousands of Taiwanese across the country at the hands of KMT soldiers.

He described the event as a warning to those in power, noting the purpose of governance is to safeguard basic human rights. Chiang later said Taiwan’s progression from authoritarianism to democracy is the pride of the country, and a remarkable achievement.

Earlier in the week (Feb. 21), Chiang visited the Taipei 228 Memorial Museum to meet with Liao Chi-pin (廖繼斌), a family member of a 228 victim, as well as other representatives of victims’ families, per UDN.

When the media questioned the Kuomintang mayor about Chiang Kai-shek’s responsibility for the 228 Massacre, his response was that the government should disclose historical materials to reveal the truth of the incident. He side-stepped the issue of direct accountability.

Chiang said he would set up a task group to recover the truth about the tragedy and provide assistance to the families of the victims and build up a promising future for the city with love, tolerance, and respect.

Controversy over Chiang’s participation in a number of 228 Massacre events has led to a partial boycott by pro-Taiwan independence groups. Chiang’s reaction has been that he will not shirk his municipal duties.

Taipei City Government has largely been involved in organizing Taipei-based 228 activities. For the first time, Tainan City has been selected as the location hosting Taiwan’s official commemoration of the 228 Massacre.