作者： George H. Kerr
In the Cairo Declaration of 1943 the United States and Britain blandly and almost absentmindedly pledged themselves to ‘restore’ to China the Island of Formosa. So began the long betrayal of a trusting people. The Formosans regarded the United States as a model of the democracy they hoped to emulate and a friend who would surely help them realize their hope.
China’s claim to Formosa rested on the shaky ground that most of the inhabitants were descended from Chinese emigrants who settled there in the 17th century. But China did not make the island a province until 1887and ceded it in perpetuity to japan eight years later.
The Japanese, althought they were slow to grant home rule, brought law and order to the country, developed its resources, and educated its people. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, the Formosans, despite the Cairo Declaration, hoped for a guaranteed neutrality under American or international trusteeship. Instead, they were delivered over to another and more oppressive occupation. Their prosperous society was invaded by a horde of mainland Chinese, often brutal, ignorant, and greedy─the dregs of the Nationalist army. The new governor, under orders, bled the island dry, ruthlessly and with dispatch.
Yet still the Formosans hoped. American propaganda, promising freedom to all oppressed peoples and citing the glorious Revolution of 1776, continued to pour in upon them. In February 1947 unarmed Formosans rose en masse to demand reforms in the administration at Taipei. Chiang Kai-shek’s answer was a brutal massacre. Thousands died─first among them the leaders who had asked for American help. Washington turned a deaf ear, while the Chinese communists rejoiced.
After Chiang’s military collapse and retreat to Formosa the situation became even worse. As America’s emotional commitment to Chiang became more fervent, Formosan hope for American or United Nations intervention or understanding faded and died.
This is a first-rate study of a country which, despite its critical position as the point where the Western Pacific frontier and the Asian frontier overlap, has not yet attracted the attention that its importance deserves. Mr. Kerr’s approach is new, frank and wellinformed. His Book leaves the reader both angry and instructed.
George H. Kerr
The Author lived in Japan and Formosa before World War II. AS a Lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserve he organized and directed research and publication of materials to be used by Civil Affairs officers after an anticipated invasion of the island. He returned to Formosa in 1945 as an Assistant Naval Attache, escorting the first Chinese Governor-General to the Japanese surrender at Taipei. He later returned as a Foreign Service Staff Officer and Vice-Consul, remaining at Taipei until the massacre of 1947.
He has lectured in Japanese History at the University of Washington, Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of Okinawa: The History of an Island People (1958) and of many articles concerning Japan, Okinawa and Formosa.
He died on Aug. 27, 1992 at age of 81 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
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