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Taiwan, 2–28 protests, 1947

J. Megan Greene

Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place China » Taiwan

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics communism, identity, nationalism, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01442.x


In 1895 Taiwan was ceded by China's Qing court to the Japanese, who had defeated China in the Sino-Japanese War (1894–5). With this act, Taiwan became Japan's first imperial colony, and it remained so for the next 50 years. After such a long colonial experience not all Taiwanese were pleased when, in 1945, Taiwan was returned to China in accordance with the terms of the Cairo Declaration of December 1, 1943 that was agreed upon by Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-shek), Winston Churchill, and Franklin Roosevelt. This displeasure increased as representatives of Jiang's Guomindang (GMD) government took over Taiwan and began to implement a new set of political, economic, and social policies that in many ways discriminated against the Japanized Taiwanese and sought to extract as many resources as possible from Taiwan to assist the GMD in their quest to solidify their control over mainland China. Rising tension between Taiwanese people and representatives of the GMD government culminated in a protest riot that began on February 28, 1947 and that led to a lengthy repression of the Taiwanese people. By early 1947 the new provincial government of Taiwan had started to nationalize Japanese-owned industries and enterprises, established a considerable police presence, and implemented a number of new taxes. The GMD thus presented itself to the people of Taiwan as a coercive and taxing authority that ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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