MND urges veterans not to attend China WWII events
The Ministry of National Defense ( MND) yesterday urged R.O.C. veterans not to attend the World War II commemorative activities to be held in mainland China next month in order to uphold national dignity.
Ahead of the Chinese Communist Party’s military parade in Beijing on Sept. 3 as part of its commemoration of victory over Japan during WWII, the MND said in a statement that retired Taiwanese military personnel should refrain from joining such events.
Veterans participating in commemorative events on the other side of the Taiwan Strait will cause misunderstandings among R.O.C. citizens about Taiwan’s armed forces and cause trouble for the government, it noted.
“The historical fact is that the R.O.C. government led the resistance against Japan during World War II, and the historical fact cannot be distorted,” the MND noted.
Former R.O.C. President Chiang Kai-shek, who served as chairman of the National Military Council of the Nationalist government of the R.O.C., led the country to victory in the Second Sino-Japanese War that lasted from 1937 to 1945, the MND added.
It noted that Taiwan has been holding a series of commemorations to mark the 70th anniversary of the R.O.C.’s victory over Japan in the Second Sino-Japanese War over the past several months, including the large-scale public mili- tary display on July 4 that featured the R.O.C.’s recently acquired military aircraft and locally developed weapons.
Other events also include commemorative exhibitions, a musical and the bestowing of medals to veterans or their descendents as a way of honoring those who fought during the eight-year war, it added.
The military will continue to hold such events to honor tens of thousands of R.O.C. soldiers and citizens who sacrificed during the war with Japan and to show the international community the R.O.C’s role in the great war, it noted.
The MND statement came after local media reported that many retired Taiwanese military personnel have been invited to the military parade in Beijing.
Former premier and defense minister Hau Pei-tsun ( ) was also quoted by local media yesterday, calling veterans not to join in mainland China’s celebrations.
If they insisted on doing so, they should first give up the retirement pension the R.O.C. government is giving them, Hau said.
Taiwan has been holding such celebrations this year amid warnings from local lawmakers and scholars that it could lose the battle over whether history views the KMT R.O.C. government or the Chinese Communist Party as contributing more to the defeat of Japan in WWII.
The R.O.C. government moved to Taiwan in 1949 following a civil war with the Chinese Communist Party.