Nov 20, 2017 Athletic Comments Off on Conference marking 40th anniversary of Zhongli Incident staged in Taoyuan
A conference commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Zhongli Incident was held Nov. 19 in northern Taiwan's Taoyuan City as part of local government efforts raising awareness of the watershed development in the nation's political history.
Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan said in his opening remarks at the daylong event that the incident came during a crucial time in the country's transition from authoritarian to democratic rule. It opened the door to democracy and allowed the people to believe they could change the country's political landscape through elections and public movements, he added.
The timing of the conference coincided with the conclusion of a five-day special exhibition on the incident staged in Taoyuan. Featuring archival documents, documentaries, flyers and photos, the event pulled the curtain back on the tinderbox political climate of the day.
Cheng said Taoyuan City Government is in the process of establishing a museum dedicated to the incident. Upon completion, the facility housed in a former police dormitory dating back to the Japanese colonial period (1895-1945) is expected to play a key role in enabling visitors from home and abroad to better appreciate the development of democracy in Taiwan, he said.
According to the local government, the incident took place in 1977 on the day of five local elections in Taoyuan. Following allegations of vote-rigging against then ruling Kuomintang, a large number of voters took to the streets in protest and set the Zhongli police station ablaze.
The heavy-handed response of the KMT to the demonstration, widely considered the first spontaneous public movement in Taiwan's history, helped mobilize opposition voices and increased pressure on the central government to recognize the political winds of change.
Source: Taiwan Today
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