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University of Ottawa Taiwan Studies Hosts Lectures & Concert in Memory of 228

Representative Harry Tseng speaking about Canada–Taiwan relations in a global context

Lectures and a concert were held at the Tabaret Chapel of the University of Ottawa on February 23, 2023 in memory of the victims of the 228 Incident that occurred in Taiwan in 1947. This refers to the violent suppression of an anti-government uprising that began on February 28 by the KMT government. It is now 76 years since the tragedy that unfolded, also called the 228 Massacre, but Taiwan continues to pursue transitional justice and remember the victims.

This commerative occasion was co-hosted by the Research Chair in Taiwan Studies and the Taiwanese Canadian Association of Ottawa, with assistance from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada (TECO–Canada), in order to inform University of Ottawa students, the academic community, and members of the general public about the 228 Incident, its relevance today, and its influence on how Taiwan takes a place in the international community. The goal is to be able to learn from the lessons of 1947 as we think about the future, so that we can avoid any possible repeat of such violence.

The lectures and concert were attended by members of the Taiwanese Canadian Association of Ottawa, personnel from TECO–Canada, Global Affairs Canada, Canadian senators, people from the university, and the general public. Representative Harry Tseng was invited to give a lecture on Canada–Taiwan relations in a global context. He spoke about Canada's Indo-Pacific Strategy, how Taiwan appreciates the support of like-minded countries for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and the importance of launching formal negotiations for a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA) between Canada and Taiwan.  When answering questions from the audience after his lecture, Representative Tseng spoke about Taiwan's optimism about membership in the CPTPP trading bloc with the support of Canada and other member countries, and Taiwan’s technological prowess.

Professor Scott Simon and Professor Andre Laliberte, the co-chairs of the university’s Taiwan Studies Program then spoke about Indigenous Peoples and 228, and about Transnational Justice in Taiwan. Their lectures were followed by a concert presented by musicians Sophia Pan, Fanny Marks, and D. Kai Ma that enchanted the audience. The lectures and concert were well received and the commemoration was a great success, that showcased the strong ties between Canada and Taiwan.