Reported in Newsweek

Formosa: the bloody hand

Police on trucks roamed Taipei shooting into unarmed crowds. Troops knocked on doors of houses and shot the first person who appeared. They looted left and right. Thousands of Formosans were arrested and jailed. It was evidently a common practice to bind prisoners with thin wire. The dead bodies of bound men were found every morning on the streets, some beheaded or castrated.

An eyewitness of the bloody Formosan rebellion which started February 28 gave Newsweek's Shanghai correspondent this shocking description of how Nationalist troops succeeded last week, by terroristic tactics, in restoring order throughout most of the island. The Chinese mainland troops, under the command of the Japanese-educated Formosan Governor, General Chen Yi, killed an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 of the natives who revolted against the political corruption and economic oppression of Chen's postwar regime (Newsweek, March 17).

Even top Nationalist leaders, in effect condoned this revolt in their own territory. The Chinese Defense Minister, general Pai Chung-hsi, recommended various administrative reforms demanded by the rebels. The Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang (government party) voted in favor of Governor Chen's dismissal. Chen responded on March 24 by executing another 70 Formosans who reportedly established a "people's government" in the southwestern town of Chiayi.

Formosans in Shanghai protested bitterly: "The government keeps Chen so it won't lose face by admitting its own maladministration. But every day it saves face hundreds of Formosans die", they said.

Newsweek, 7 April 1947

Copied from Taiwan, Ilha Formosa

The February 28 Holocaust