Dis­play on China’s anti-fas­cist role in WWII

Daily News - - NEWS - LIU CHEN

WASH­ING­TON: “When I first looked from a dis­tance, I thought it was a black man in uni­form fight­ing for China,” joked Ta­fari Ex­cell, an Amer­i­can viewer at a photo show about China’s role in World War II, held here.

Then he ap­proached and ob­served the pic­ture, recog­nis­ing that it was a Chi­nese pilot with a dark face and re­ally shiny white teeth.

“I knew al­most noth­ing about this part of WWII his­tory and the ex­hibit gives me a chance to see a big­ger pic­ture,” said Ex­cell, a New Yorker on a busi­ness trip in the cap­i­tal.

This week, a photo ex­hibit fea­tur­ing China’s con­tri­bu­tion to the world’s vic­tory in the anti-fas­cist war and US-China al­liance in wartime opened at Rus­sell Se­nate of­fice build­ing of the US Capi­tol com­plex, dis­play­ing about 50 pho­tos of the time.

The five-day event is to com­mem­o­rate the 80th an­niver­sary of the “July 7 in­ci­dent”, or the Marco Polo Bridge in­ci­dent.

On July 7, 1937, Ja­panese troops at­tacked Marco Polo Bridge on the south-west out­skirts of Beijing, mount­ing a full-scale in­va­sion.

Through­out WWII, China was a ma­jor bat­tle­field in the fight against the Ja­panese fas­cist in­va­sion and the ma­jor Asian bat­tle­field in the war against fas­cists world­wide.

When Amer­i­cans dis­cuss WWII, the em­pha­sis is of­ten on the Euro­pean theatre or the con­flict di­rectly be­tween the US and Ja­pan, while lit­tle at­ten­tion has been given to the role China played in the war or the al­liance be­tween China and the US, said the or­gan­iser of the event, the US-China Pol­icy Foun­da­tion.

One of the high­lights of the ex­hibit was the pho­tos demon­strat­ing the Chi­nese army fight­ing shoul­der-to-shoul­der with their US friends, close to 300 young Amer­i­cans form­ing the Amer­i­can Vol­un­teer Group (AVG), bet­ter known as the “Fly­ing Tigers”.

“I had no idea that China and the US were close friends in the fight against Ja­pan,” said Kay Serna, a vis­i­tor from the US state of Ok­la­homa. “I’m re­ally touched by their co-op­er­a­tion in wartime,” Serna added.

Or­gan­ised and com­manded by Claire Chen­nault, the leader of the Fly­ing Tigers, the AVG was a band of vol­un­teer pi­lots and ground staff whose sole pur­pose was to help China fight in­vad­ing Ja­panese troops be­fore the US of­fi­cially en­tered WWII. The Fly­ing Tigers also fa­cil­i­tated the es­tab­lish­ment of a leg­endary air route over the Hi­malayas, vi­tal for trans­port­ing sup­plies be­tween In­dia and China.

“At school we were just taught about WWII in Europe, which was in­suf­fi­cient,” said Ex­cell. “Now I know there were other play­ers and achieve­ments made by other peo­ple.” – Xin­hua.

PIC­TURE: AP

Vis­i­tors to the Mu­seum of the War of Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Re­sis­tance Against Ja­panese Ag­gres­sion look at weapons used by the Ja­panese army dur­ing World War II in Beijing.

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