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Lien's statement on CPC role in WWII not Taiwan's mainstream view
【Politics】2015-09-01  23:52:07
Taipei, Sept. 1 (CNA) A Taiwan academic said Tuesday that former Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan was not expressing Taiwan's mainstream view when he suggested the Communist Party of China played a "leading role" behind the enemy lines during the 1937-1945 War of Resistance against Japan, which is part of World War II.

During a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who also serves as the general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), in Beijing earlier in the day, Lien said that the Nationalist government under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) engaged directly with the Japanese troops in major battles, handing the latter a major setback and the CPC troops led by Mao Zedong (毛澤東) tied down the enemies behind their lines; the Chinese people paid a heavy price when they eventually defeated the Japanese aggressors to score the final victory.

Lien's remarks drew a criticism from the Presidential Office in Taiwan, where presidential spokesman Charles Chen said, "Whether it came to combating the Japanese troops on the front lines or behind enemy lines, it was all led by the Nationalist government, which is a historical fact that cannot be denied."

Chang Wu-yueh, associate professor of the Graduate Institute of China Studies of Tamkang University, told CNA that Lien was not representing the government of the ROC when he made his remarks, which in any way were not in accord with the mainstream public opinion in Taiwan.

"Though the people in Taiwan would carefully examine the words of their former vice president in Beijing, Lien's statements on the eight-year war against Japan are not the main subject of his meeting with Xi," Chang said.

Rather, how Beijing looks at the latest round of Lien-Xi meeting and the significance of Lien's presence in China's military parade on Sept. 3 deserves greater attention from Taiwan, the China expert added.

Chief Secretary Chen Li-wen of Academia Historica said the ROC has never denied that the communist troops did participate in the war from behind enemy lines. However, Chen added, those battles can never be described as "major pillar of the war efforts" that finally triumphed.

"All major battles throughout those eight years were fought by the Nationalist forces," he said.

Fan Shih-ping, a professor of politics at National Taiwan Normal University, said Lien somehow divided the war efforts into "front-line battles" and "behind-enemy-lines battles," hinting the KMT and the CPC had made equal contributions to the war efforts.

"In that way, Lien would be seen as echoing the Chinese communist stance on the war and thus could offend some deep-blue voters as well as veterans in Taiwan," Fan said.

(By Chou Yi-ling, Wang Cheng-chung and S.C. Chang)
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