TAIWAN’S REMEMBRANCE OF WORLD WAR II VICTORY

Washington Times on September 8, 2015, published a commentary by Lyushun Shen on the 70th anniversary of the Japanese surrender to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s government in 1945 (on September 9, 1945)…full-scale war between Chiang Kai-shek’s China and Japan began in July 1937. Madame Chiang told the U.S. Congress in February 1943: “Let us not forget that during the first four-and-a-half years of total aggression China has borne Japan’s sadistic fury unaided and alone.” Despite tremendous hardship and huge human life costs, the Republic of China (ROC) government under Chiang Kai-shek’s leadership contributed greatly to the final victory of the Allied Powers. To say the least, ROC armed forces defeated dozens of enemy divisions, tied down 1 million Japanese troops in China who otherwise would have freely attacked Allied forces in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Excerpts below:

Today’s ROC in Taiwan is the direct and legitimate successor to the government of Chiang Kai-shek, who died in Taiwan in 1975 as the ROC president, and we proudly fly the same flag. Under this flag, together with the Stars and Stripes, Union Jack and Soviet Red Flag, our last generation finally won a common victory over Japanese militarism. We therefore consider it is both our right and obligation to honor the 70th anniversary of the victory of World War II, just like any other Allied country.

Chiang…decided on a policy of benevolence toward his former enemies, in particular the innocent Japanese people. These Confucianism-based ethics embodied these key elements: expeditious repatriation for over 2 million Japanese soldiers and civilians in mainland China and Taiwan at the time of surrender, in sharp contrast to the Soviet policy of holding hundreds of thousands of Japanese POWs in Siberia as slave laborers until 1956; respect for the Japanese people’s right to retention of the emperor system; opposition to dividing Japan into zones of occupation, thus preventing its partition as subsequently occurred with Germany; and a renunciation of the right to reparations.

…in 1945, Chiang Kai-shek’s benevolent policy contributed immeasurably to the postwar recovery of Japan and swift reunion of Japanese families.Japan’s first post-war Prime Minister Higashikuni Naruhiko wrote of Chiang Kai-shek’s policy in his memoirs, “Not only did Japan lose to China in the war but we lost to them on the level of morality as well.”

Hence the ROC’s only postwar reward, after eight years of hard war with the gallant sacrifice of 3.2 million soldiers and civilian casualties of more than 20 million, was the restoration of Taiwan from Japan to the Republic of China. This was the result of the implementation of the 1943 Cairo Communique, jointly released by President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek, not Mao Zedong as erroneously portrayed by a recent Chinese movie poster.

Therefore, when we commemorate the anniversary, we simply believe that while aggression might be forgiven, the truth about the war cannot be forgotten.

Even though a generation or two has already passed, we can still invite toTaiwan the offspring of Americans and other foreign friends who provided wartime assistance to Chiang Kai-shek’s China that made the country survive and eventually win the war. Our guests of honor for the commemorative activities included descendants of Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower; Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, chief of staff of the CBI (China-Burma-India) Theater; Flying Tigers Gen. David Lee “Tex” Hill; and Adm. Milton Miles, chief of the OSS in China. Among other dignitaries, there were also descendants of American missionary Minnie Vautrin and German businessman John Rabe, courageous foreigners who established the international safety zone in Nanking during what was later known as the “Rape of Nanking,” …


The people of Taiwan warmly received these international friends, especially the Americans, bound by the wartime connections of the previous generations. The remembrance and expression of gratitude further reinforce the current U.S.-Taiwan relationship, already characterized by our strongly shared value system as well as mutually beneficial economic ties. After all, Taiwan is the only full democracy in the Chinese-speaking world, and the 10th-largest trading partner of the United States out of altogether 200 countries and territories. The success story is more impressive considering that the island of Taiwan is, amazingly, only one-fourth of the size of New York, the home state of FDR.

The ROC on Taiwan now also hopes that Japan will remember the lessons of history with sincere remorse. Taiwan has nonetheless maintained a close friendship with Japan for decades. A most notable recent case is that, in 2011, when the tsunami struck Japan’s Fukushima, there was an outpouring of public sympathy from Taiwan with a donation worth $260 million, more than any other single country except for the United States.

Lyushun Shen is representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States.

Comment: Recently China celebrated its “victory” over Japan in the Second World War with a huge military parade, presenting a range of new weapons, the result a growth of the country’s military might during the past ten years. In reality the Communists in China contributed very little to the defeat of Japan. The brunt of the fighting was done by the armies of the government of the Republic of China (ROC). Instead of displaying armed force Taiwan’s (ROC) policy since 1945 has been that of friendship with Japan. This is in stark contrast to the nationalist anti-Japanese fervor displayed by China. This article by Lyushun Shen is important. It provides in face of communist Chinese propaganda the truth: that it was the army of ROC that made the greatest sacrifices in the fight against the Japanese occupiers. The communists on Mainland China played a small role. The main outside contributor to the victory over Japan in China was the United States

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