Want China Times
By: Samuel Hui
The history of the Flying Tigers has become Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou’s secret weapon
in his diplomatic struggle against both mainland China and the opposition Democratic Progressive Party to win the support of the United States.
On his way back to Taiwan after visiting Dominica, Haiti and Nicaragua, Ma met Harold Javitt, a former fighter pilot of the US 14th Air Force, at Yanks Air Museum in Chino, California on July 17. The president wanted to express his gratitude to the American airmen who served in China’s war of resistance against Japan, a fighter group known as the Flying Tigers.
Javitt and his family members had been invited to participate in Taiwan’s military parade held to celebrate the 70th anniversary of victory over Japan. Ma’s visit to Yanks Air Museum was a part of the ROC government’s campaign to fight for the interpretation of history that runs counter to claims by the mainland People’s Republic of China. Beijing has always claimed that the Communist Party of China was the mainstay in the war of resistance against Japan.
During the war, the Communist Party of China’s two guerrilla forces — the Eighth Route Army and New Fourth Army — did rescue dozens of American airmen who were shot down by the Japanese in their mission against targets in occupied China. However, the pilots of the ROC Air Force who served under Claire Lee Chennault’s Chinese American Composite Wing took the brunt of the campaign when they launched an air war against Japan with their American counterparts. [FULL STORY]