The chairman of Taiwan's main opposition Kuomintang, Ma Ying-jeou, has called on the Chinese Communist Party to stop its violent persecution of political dissidents and apologise for the wrongful execution of countless KMT officers on the mainland over the past half century. Mr Ma, visiting a memorial yesterday to the 228 Incident in Kaohsiung while campaigning for KMT mayoral candidate Huang Jun-ying, said he had realised that mainland authorities were shocked by his 'three apologies' to political victims of the former KMT regime at last year's autumn memorial service. It was the first time Mr Ma had attended the ceremony as KMT chairman to apologise to victims of the 1950s white terror under KMT rule in Taiwan following the deaths of tens of thousands of Taiwanese after an uprising against KMT rule in 1947 in what became known as the 228 Incident. 'The mainland [CPC officials] were shocked because there were many so-called red factions or CPC members among the victims I bowed and apologised for. Many of them were executed by the KMT secretly,' Mr Ma said. His apology was reported by the Communist Youth League-run China Youth Daily and Xinhua last year. 'As a party chairman, I should bear all the past responsibilities of the KMT despite the fact I was a young boy during the white terror era,' Mr Ma said. He said he hoped the CPC would also learn the need to redress the history of KMT cadres executed on the mainland since 1949. 'Redress of the [KMT] victims is one of the most important cross-strait issues. Both parties could only compromise if this issue is solved,' said Mr Ma, well-known for his stand on the 1989 Tiananmen incident. 'We have awaited the revision of the Tiananmen incident all the while ... I will be proud if the Tiananmen incident is solved like the white terror in Taiwan,' he said, stressing that political authorities needed to confess their wrongdoings in order to avoid repeating mistakes. 'There is a certain standard for human rights and legal system ... As we have apologised [for our mistakes], we also hope Beijing and Japan learn from us to do so to,' he said, referring to Japan's refusal to apologise for its atrocities during its occupation of Taiwan before the second world war.