War fought by whole nation (China Daily)

The report that veteran soldiers of both Communist Party of China and Kuomintang forces will join the parade on Sept 3 confirms that both sides’ contribution to the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) have been officially recognized.

Former KMT chairman Lien Chan’s visit to Beijing, meeting with CPC General Secretary Xi Jinping, and his scheduled attendance at the parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory of the war of resistance, also highlight that both sides are sincere in their attitudes. Treating history as it was is an essential premise for real and full reconciliation between the CPC and KMT. The war of resistance was fought by all Chinese as a nation, not just the CPC, or the KMT.

Both parties had undeniable achievements and contributions, with the KMT in the front line battlefields and the CPC fighting behind enemy lines. Any exaggerated narrative of either party’s role only does the other and the nation a disservice, because it was a “war of the people” in the truest sense.

Besides the CPC and KMT, countless others, people from all parts of the country, all walks of life, and all ethnic backgrounds, participated and contributed in various ways; not only on the mainland, but also in Taiwan.

Former Taiwan “president” Lee Teng-hui, who prefers his Japanese name Iwasato Masao, was lying when he said recently that the people of Taiwan never resisted Japanese colonial rule on the island. In fact, there were constant rebellions against the half a century of Japanese colonial rule on the island, in which 650,000 people sacrificed their lives.

A three-year civil war, post-war estrangement, and subsequent divergent narratives of the war of resistance created unfriendly feelings between the CPC and KMT, which lingered through the years.

Today, 70 years into a brand-new era, it is time to open a new chapter.

(China Daily 09/01/2015 page8)