Why bash visit? World knows the ROC led the fight
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.