Los Angelese Times
Date: September 2, 2015
By: Julie Makinen
Maj. Tao Shin-jun, a 97-year-old veteran of China’s fight against Japan in World
War II, tears up when asked about Thursday’s military parade in Beijing marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the conflict. It’s not that Tao is sentimental – he’s angry.
“The Chinese Communist Party didn’t defeat Japan; this is very painful to see,” he said in his office in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, its walls adorned with numerous “war hero” accolades and commendations. “During those eight years, it was us Nationalists who were fighting – the Communists were not doing battle with the Japanese. They were trying to get Nationalist soldiers to defect to their side.”
Thursday’s commemorations in Beijing will be the largest staged on the mainland to mark the war’s end. But the high-profile event has cast an uncomfortable light on how the Communist-led government takes liberal credit
for leading China’s long struggle against Japanese troops — not just at events like the parade but in museums, history books and in film and television series.
Scholars outside of the mainland agree it was the Nationalist Party-led forces of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek that did the vast majority of the fighting against the Japanese, with Communists engaging in much more limited action.
The spectacle in Beijing and the Communists’ self-serving version of the wartime record have sown dismay and frustration in Taiwan, an island 100 miles off the mainland’s southeastern coast with a complex history that reflects Asia’s tumult in the 19th and 20th centuries. [FULL STORY]