Xie Xuehong

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Xie Xuehong
Chair of the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League
In office
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byCai Xiao (1979)
Personal details

(1901-10-17)17 October 1901
Shōka town, Shōka district, Taichū Prefecture, Taiwan, Empire of Japan (today Changhua City, Taiwan)
Died5 November 1970(1970-11-05) (aged 69)
Beijing, China
Political partyCommunist Party of China (1925–?)
Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League (1947–?)
Other political
Taiwanese People's Party (1927–1931)
Taiwanese Communist Party (1928–1931)

Xie Xuehong (Chinese: 謝雪紅; 17 October 1901 – 5 November 1970) was a Taiwanese politician. A women's rights activist, she cofounded the Taiwanese Communist Party and believed that "Taiwan must be ruled by Taiwanese." Persecuted by the Kuomintang, she escaped to China, where she became a member of the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League and the Communist Party of China.


Xie was born in Changhua County in 1901 to a working class family, the fourth of seven children.[1] She assumed at least seven other names throughout her lifetime. At the age of twelve, she moved in with another family. Her adoptive family was abusive, and, instead of entering an arranged marriage with their son, Hong Xinhu, she left their home. Xie met and married Zhang Shumin in 1918. For a time, the couple lived in Kobe, Japan, where the Taishō period of democracy heavily influenced Xie. Soon after Xie and Zhang moved to China, the couple split, as Xie had discovered that Zhang was still married to another woman. Xie then began to give sewing lessons, while also making and selling clothes. The May Fourth Movement was a political turning point for Xie, and she later joined Chiang Wei-shui's resistance against Japanese rule.[2][3] Xie studied sociology at Shanghai University and took part in the May Thirtieth Movement of 1925,[3] the same year she joined the Communist Party of China.[4] Xie then moved to Moscow for further education. In 1927, she returned to China and helped found the Taiwanese Communist Party. Xie's ideology spread to Chiang's Taiwanese People's Party and Taiwanese Cultural Association after she took on leadership positions in the two groups. She believed that a maintaining a distinct Taiwanese identity and allowing bourgeoisie to participate would allow communism to flourish in Taiwan. Others disagreed and Xie was expelled from the Taiwanese People's Party in 1931. Later that year, she was arrested and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment for advocating communism. In 1939, Xie was released after catching tuberculosis.[2][3]

Xie returned to political activism in 1945, when Kuomintang forces arrived in Taiwan, stating that "Taiwan must be ruled by Taiwanese." She led resistance to the February 28 Incident of 1947 from her home base in Taichung, telling her followers, known as the 27 Brigade, not to damage property or injure anyone.[3] Three weeks later, she escaped to Hong Kong, where she founded the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League,[5][6][7] and later moved to Xiamen. Under Xie's leadership, the league opposed the aims of the Formosan League for Reemancipation, which backed formal independence or trusteeship.[5] In China, Xie was active in the China Youth League and served on the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.[6] However, Xie continued to push for Taiwan's right to self-determination, views for which the Chinese Communist Party targeted her during the Anti-Rightist Movement. Xie died in Beijing in 1970, a victim of the Cultural Revolution. She was posthumously rehabilitated by the Communist Party of China in 1986.[3][8][9]


  1. ^ Lee, Lily Xiao Hong (2003). 中國婦女傳記詞典: The Twentieth Century, 1912-2000. M.E. Sharpe. p. 591. ISBN 9780765607980.
  2. ^ a b Chen, Ya-chen (October 2012). "Taiwanese Communist Feminist, Xie Xuehong: Li Ang's Literary Portrait of Xie Xuehong's Pre-1949 Feminist Activism in Taiwan" (PDF). American Journal of Chinese Studies. 19 (2): 119–126. Archived from the original on October 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e Han Cheung (2 October 2016). "Taiwan in Time: A leftist under three regimes". Taipei Times. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  4. ^ Chiou, C. L. (1 March 1993). "The uprising of 28 February 1947 on Taiwan: The official 1992 investigation report". China Information. 7 (4): 1–19. doi:10.1177/0920203X9300700401.
  5. ^ a b Tucker, Nancy Bernkopf, ed. (2008). Dangerous Strait: The U.S.--Taiwan--China Crisis. Columbia University Press. p. 49. ISBN 9780231135658.
  6. ^ a b Rubinstein, Murray A. (2007). Taiwan: A New History. M. E. Sharpe. p. 317. ISBN 9780765614940.
  7. ^ Katsiaficas, George N. (2013). Asia's Unknown Uprisings. PM Press. p. 183. ISBN 9781604864885.
  8. ^ Blanchard, Ben (27 February 2007). "China tries to reclaim Taiwan political heroine". Reuters. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  9. ^ Lee, Lily Xiao Hong (2016). Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women: v. 2: Twentieth Century. Routledge. pp. 648–649. ISBN 9781315499239.