Display on China’s anti-fascist role in WWII
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.
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.