504 Mourning Xiaoyan, March for Taiwan

Government incompetent, People insecure

Event description

Pai Hsiao-yen, the daughter of renowned artist Pai Bing-bing, was abducted on April 14, 1997, while she was a second-year high school student. Three criminals, Chen Jin-hsing, Gao Tian-min, and Lin Chun-sheng, kidnapped her on her way to school. Several days later, due to unsuccessful ransom negotiations, she was killed and her body abandoned. After killer her, the three criminals committed more than ten cases of kidnapping for ransom, robbery, and sexual assault during their escape, including the infamous Fang Bao-fang clinic murder.

During that period, Taiwan experienced a series of major criminal cases, including the murders of Peng Wan-ru, Liu Bang-you, and the kidnapping of Pai Hsiao-yen, causing widespread panic in society. On May 4, various civil organizations, including the Humanistic Education Foundation and the Peng Wan-Ru Foundation, initiated the "504 Mourning Xiaoyan, March for Taiwan" movement. They demanded that President Lee Teng-hui apologize to the nation, replace the premier, and change the head of the police bureau. University student clubs also jointly initiated the Silvergrass Student Movement on campus (Pai Bing-bing likened herself to a silvergrass, symbolizing unwavering perseverance).

On May 18, the public took to the streets again, chanting "President admit mistakes, replace the cabinet," and used laser lights to project the words "admit mistakes" and footprints (representing the people's angry stomping) onto the tower of the Presidential Office. Nearly 50,000 people participated in both of these movements. On May 24, protesters organized the "Accompany Taiwan until dawn" movement, spending the night on Ketagalan Boulevard in protest.


The Pai Hsiao-yen case sparked public outrage and led to a series of resignations among political figures. Minister without Portfolio Ma Ying-jeou voluntarily resigned on May 8, followed by National Police Agency Director-General Yao Gao-chiao and Minister of the Interior Lin Feng-cheng stepping down in mid-May. Subsequently, in August of the same year, Premier Lien Chan led the entire cabinet in resigning.

Legislatively, the Peng Wan-ru and Pai Hsiao-yen cases prompted discussions in the Legislative Yuan about amending the Criminal Code. Originally, sexual assault cases were categorized under the "Offenses Against Public Morals" chapter. In 1999, the Legislative Yuan passed an amendment to the Criminal Code, reclassifying the chapter to "Offenses Against Sexual Autonomy" and adjusting the elements of the crime of rape.

In the realm of student movements, the Silvergrass Student Movement initiated by dissenting student organizations in major universities, although having limited resonance, further cultivated cooperation among cross-campus organizations, indirectly contributing to the connection between the "98 Education Spring" and the "Anti-High Tuition Fee Movement.

Participating Organizations

Reference books

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