Why bash visit? World knows the ROC led the fight

The China Post - - COMMENTARY -

Politi­cians love to make is­sues out of non-is­sues. One case in point is a visit Lien Chan, honorary chair­man of the Kuom­intang (KMT), is pay­ing to Bei­jing where he will meet Chi­nese leader Xi Jin­ping, who dou­bles as gen­eral-sec­re­tary of the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party (CCP), and watch with him a mil­i­tary pa­rade at Tianan­men Square to mark the 70th an­niver­sary of vic­tory over Ja­pan on Sept. 3.

Politi­cians of the rul­ing and op­po­si­tion par­ties alike op­pose the Lien visit as one “de­tract­ing from the dig­nity of the na­tion,” which he doesn’t do at all. Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou even tried to dis­suade him from vis­it­ing Bei­jing, while con­cerned top gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials wish he would do what he can to make it clearly known across the world that China’s eightyear War of Re­sis­tance against Ja­pan was led by Pres­i­dent Chi­ang Kai-shek.

Why bother? Isn’t it al­ready known through­out the whole world Chi­ang led the war fought from July 7, 1937 till Aug. 15, 1945 when Em­peror Hiro­hito or­dered Ja­pan’s un­con­di­tional sur­ren­der to the Al­lies, in­clud­ing the Re­pub­lic of China? Ja­pan for­mal­ized the end of the war on Sept. 3 by pre­sent­ing an in­stru­ment of sur­ren­der to Gen. Dou­glas A. MacArthur, supreme com­man­der of the Al­lied Pow­ers, aboard the USS Mis­souri at Tokyo Bay. A rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Re­pub­lic of China signed the in­stru­ment, right af­ter Gen. MacArthur did on what has come to be known as Vic­tory over Ja­pan Day.

The KMT should take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the con­tro­versy its honorary chair­man has brought up by de­cid­ing to par­tic­i­pate in the mil­i­tary pa­rade while vis­it­ing Xi. KMT op­po­si­tion has been made clear by Pres­i­dent Ma and the Main­land Af­fairs Coun­cil; the party can for­mally clar­ify that while it does not for­bid its mem­ber from un­der­tak­ing such a sen­si­tive visit in his per­sonal ca­pac­ity due to re­spect for free­dom of speech, Lien’s ap­pear­ance doesn’t rep­re­sent the party’s po­si­tion.

The Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China of­fi­cially claims the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party was the “strength of power” (

) in the Sino-Ja­panese war. In the first press con­fer­ence at Bei­jing’s VJ Day cel­e­bra­tion news cen­ter last Fri­day, Li Peilin, vice pres­i­dent of the China In­sti­tute of So­cial Sciences, stated that the CCP was the ac­tive pro­moter and stead­fast prac­ti­tioner of the Chi­nese na­tion’s joint war of re­sis­tance against Ja­pan. It de­manded a na­tional united front and was ac­cepted by Chi­ang Kai-shek, who wanted to an­ni­hi­late its army be­fore fight­ing Ja­pan, he said. It also pro­posed a long-drawn-out war strat­egy, open­ing up fields of war in Ja­panese-oc­cu­pied parts of China to be­come the strength of power in the war, he added.

Specif­i­cally, Li said, the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic does not dis­pute the lead­ing role the Kuom­intang gov­ern­ment forces of Chi­ang’s Re­pub­lic of China played in the war, though the Com­mu­nist army did take part in at least two ma­jor bat­tles in An­hui and Jiangsu and the in-fight­ing of the New Fourth Army In­ci­dent prac­ti­cally ended the sec­ond united front forced upon Chi­ang dur­ing his Xian cap­tiv­ity in 1936. The in-fight­ing spread, and the gov­ern­ment forces bot­tled up Mao Ze­dong’s army in Ye­nan lest it should ex­pand its sphere of con­trol.

These are all his­tor­i­cal facts that no­body can deny.

Af­ter Tai­wan was re­stored to the Re­pub­lic of China on Oct. 25, 1945, its only ra­dio sta­tion played “March of Vol­un­teers” ( ) ev­ery morn­ing and school­child­ren were taught to sing it in praise of those Chi­nese Com­mu­nist vol­un­teers who fought “be­hind the en­emy lines.” That song is the na­tional an­them of the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic Ma Ze­dong pro­claimed on Oct. 1, 1949. Chi­ang never de­nied the Com­mu­nist gueril­las fight­ing the Ja­panese in­va­sion army in the oc­cu­pied ar­eas in China. For his­to­ri­ans, there shouldn’t be any ar­gu­ment over who led China’s war of re­sis­tance in the first place.

Politi­cians are not his­to­ri­ans, how­ever. CCP lead­ers had their party or­gan, the Xin­hua News Agency, pub­lish a com­men­tary last Tues­day de­mand­ing Em­peror Ak­i­hito of­fer an im­pe­rial apol­ogy for the Ja­panese in­va­sion of China on be­half of his de­ceased fa­ther. The com­men­tary pro­voked strong protest from Tokyo. Chief Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary Yoshi­hide Suga said last Fri­day that the com­men­tary was “sig­nif­i­cantly dis­cour­te­ous” to Em­peror Ak­i­hito and de­clared that “Ja­pan strongly protested through diplo­matic chan­nels.”

Of­fi­cial Bei­jing con­ve­niently for­got that Em­peror Hiro­hito, who never apol­o­gized, was re­spon­si­ble for the war. Ak­i­hito apol­o­gized while tour­ing China as crown prince, and ex­pressed deep “re­morse” for the war on Aug. 15 while mark­ing the 70th an­niver­sary of the end of World War II. Xin­hua re­al­ized they got things wrong and re­tracted the com­men­tary.

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