Taiwan president blames Chiang Kai-shek for 1947 massacre

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TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The late Gen. Chiang Kai-shek was responsible for the bloody suppression of a 1947 riot that led to the deaths of thousands of people, Taiwan's president said Monday.

Speaking to a seminar convened two days before the 60th anniversary of the "2-28 incident" —- so named because it followed riots that broke out on Feb. 28, 1947 —- President Chen Shui-bian put the full onus for the violent crackdown on Chiang.

"Although many people still harbor special feelings for former President Chiang Kai-shek, there is no doubt that Chiang was the foremost killer in the 2-28 incident," Chen said. "There is sufficient evidence that Chiang was not only aware of the massacre but spoke positively of it and supported it."

Chen's remarks, based in part on a 2006 book assembled from declassified Nationalist Party documents, appeared to have a distinct political edge.

Chen's comments came as Taiwan gears up for legislative and presidential elections, which pit his Democratic Progressive Party against the Nationalists, led by Chiang until his death in 1975.

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