Sunday, February 11, 2007

Brookings Symposium on 2-28

Gerrit van der Wees from FAPA passed this around. Wish I could go!


Dear friends in TaiwanFocus,

To commemorate the 60th anniversaty of 228 incident of 1947, FAPA and the Brookings Institution have organized a 228 Symposium titled "Looking Back, Moving Forward"on Thursday, February 22nd, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.. The Symposium will be held at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. Below is a summary of the program.

The main theme of the meeting will be to underline the importance of 228 in the understanding of present-day Taiwan. As you see, we have two excellent Taiwanese speakers -- Prof. Peng Ming-min from Taiwan, and Prof. Lin Tsung-kuang from Iowa -- as well as several excellent and supportive American speakers: Richard Bush (who will discuss The role of George Kerr, author of Formosa Betrayed), Prof. Steve Phillips of Towson University, Randy Schriver (topic: The importance of the 228 for present-day US policymaking), and Mrs. Priscilla Hayner (an expert on transitional justice -- who will speak on Historical memory; possibilities and requirements for reconciliation).

We urge you to attend this important event. Seating is limited, so Brookings is asking everyone who plans to attend to sign up through its website at

Taiwan's 228 Incident:

The Political Implications of February 28, 1947

Thursday, February 22, 2007
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium
1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

On February 28, 1947, the arrest of a cigarette vendor in Taipei led to large-scale protests by the native Taiwanese against the corruption and repression of Chiang Kai-shek's Chinese Nationalist government, which had come over from China after Japan's defeat by the Allied forces in 1945. Following the protests, troops that Chiang's government secretly sent from mainland China rounded up and executed an entire generation of leading figures, including students, lawyers, and doctors. Scholars estimate that up to 28,000 lost their lives in the turmoil. During the "White Terror" of the subsequent years, the Nationalists ruled Taiwan under martial law, which ended only when democratization set in during the mid-1980s. The "228 Incident" remains a defining event in the political divide that exits in Taiwan today.

On February 22, the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies (CNAPS) and the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) will host a discussion with leading experts to examine the importance of the "228 Incident" to the understanding of present-day Taiwan, and the process of reconciliation on the island. Chen-Wen Yen, executive director of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs, will moderate the first panel looking back on this historic event. CNAPS Director Richard Bush will moderate a second panel focusing on moving forward. A short clip of a documentary film will be shown between the two panels. An audience question and answer period will follow each discussion.

Panel One: Looking Back

Richard Bush
Senior Fellow and Director, CNAPS
The Brookings Institution

Peng Ming-Min
Advisor to the President

Steven Phillips
Associate Professor of History
Towson University

Panel Two: Moving Forward
Priscilla Hayner
Director, International Policy Unit International Center for Transitional Justice

Tsung-Kuang Lin
Professor of History
Drake University

Randall Schriver
Armitage International LLC

RSVP: Please call the Brookings Office of Communications, 202/797-6105
or register online at


Taiwan Echo said...

228 will never end if there's no legal justice carried out. All the governmental apologies, all the financial compensations will never bring a closure to this event. Unfortunately, all the Taiwanese politicians, pan-blue or pan-green or any other colors (certainly, I'm not talking about black people) or non-colors, all conviniently overlook this most important step.

The ignorance of pan-green politicians on this issue has been puzzling me partically. Amount them, many, including President Chen, are lawyers. How come none of them recognize how critical it is to bring justice to 228 ?

Maybe they prefer to keep it that way such that when they are out of cards they can still play 228-card ?

Without legal justice, 228 will continue to be the political propoganda for both sides and will continue to be the source of social polarization.

Michael Turton said...

I agree that a healing is needed, but I think there's a feeling that it should just be buried, on all sides. I used to talk about this with WUFI people when I was working for them, and nobody seemed to have an inkling. What Taiwan needs is a Truth Commission like South Africa's, I think.