During the COVID-19 pandemic, the world questioned, “How did Taiwan manage to contain the virus?” Though many countries are striving to keep its people safe from the pandemic by implementing lockdowns, curfews and facility closures, voices of protest constantly appear.
In Taiwan, on the other hand, people work with the government harmonically during this difficult time. Taiwanese government conducts effective strategies concerning the pandemic and shares the information with the public. Furthermore, thanks to an advanced healthcare system, citizens enjoy prosperity and continue to live normal lives.
🗣 the Price of Democracy
The harmonious relationship between the government and the people has lasted, but Rome wasn’t built in one day; Taiwan’s democratic achievement did not come easy. The shift from autocracy to democracy came with bloody fights.
With Japan’s defeat after World War II, the Republic of China government began exercising jurisdiction over Taiwan and reinforced the oppression to secure authorities on the island. Taiwan was plagued with official corruption, inflation, economic recession, and descrimination. The rampant dissatisfaction among civilians escalated and finally ignited the riot of “February 28th” (228) in 1947.
This violence resulted in tens of thousands of deaths. However, the tragedies didn’t end there. In 1949, the government went on to enforce martial law lasting for 38 years during which many people were accused as political dissidents and disappeared by the “White Terror”.
It wasn’t until 1987 that the martial law was lifted. Taiwan underwent various clashes and upheavals to establish a regime, which eventually shaped the vibrant and thriving democracy we have today.
🗣 The effect of “the 228 incident” and the White Terror on Today’s Taiwan.
The wounds of “the 228 incident” and the White Terror are engraved into the hearts of the people. In memory of the “228 incident”, February 28th is marked as Peace Memorial Day, an official national holiday.
🤝 Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.
After experiencing totalitarianism, the Taiwanese cherish the value of democracy. Together with combined forces, we’ll make Taiwan a better and brighter place.
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this post is translated by RJ