Taiwan urges veterans not to respond to China's united front tactic

06/23/2015 09:09 PM
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Military spokesman Luo Shou-he
Military spokesman Luo Shou-he

Taipei, June 23 (CNA) Taiwan on Tuesday called on veterans who fought in the Second Sino-Japanese War not to be influenced by Beijing's united front campaign and to avoid attending an event in September to commemorate what China claims is "the victory of the Chinese people" in the eight-year war.

Ministry of National Defense spokesman Luo Shou-he (羅紹和) stressed that the victory belongs to the Republic of China and said this fact cannot be distorted.

He urged the veterans who fought in the War of Resistance against Japan (1937-1945) to keep the ROC in mind and not to be swayed by Beijing's unification propaganda, when asked about China's plan to invite old soldiers to participate in a military parade slated for Sept. 3 at Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

Chinese officials announced earlier Tuesday that there will be a large-scale event at Tiananmen Square, including a grand military parade, to mark the 70th anniversary of "the Chinese people's victory" over Japan in the war that ended in 1945. The parade is expected to be attended by some soldiers loyal to the Kuomintang, they said.

Luo called on the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to look squarely at the historical facts and learn the truth behind the war and the importance of peace.

In 1937, the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang agreed to cooperate to defend China against a Japanese invasion, though that cooperation was often cursory at best.

The ROC government relocated to Taiwan in 1949 after losing to the Chinese communist forces in a civil war.

In Taiwan, there will be a military display in July to mark the ROC's victory over Japan in the war from 1937-1945. The first Sino- Japanese War of 1894-1895 ended with the then Ching (Qing) government conceding Taiwan and Penghu to Japan.

Taiwan's military held a rehearsal Tuesday in preparation for the display, slated for July 4, at an Army base in Hukou, Hsinchu County. Defense Minister Kao Kuang-chi (高廣圻) presided over the rehearsal.

The 70th anniversary of the war is a significant moment for the country and for the military, he said, describing the war as the toughest fight in the history of all Chinese people.

Kao added that the military has invited veterans who took part in the fight against Japan to attend a military parade at the July 4 event, which will also include the display of Taiwan's most advanced weapons systems and military vehicles.

Meanwhile, Kao said that China has not renounced its attempt to use force against Taiwan and that Taiwan's military must still remain on guard, despite warming ties across the Taiwan Strait in recent years.

Rigorous training is key to building combat readiness, Kao said.

The military display is also a way to test the joint combat capabilities of the Army, Navy and Air Force, he said. He pledged that the military has confidence in safeguarding the country whatever challenges it might encounter.

The military display is part of a series of events this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the war.

Other events will include concerts and a series of exhibitions chronicling the battles, with the aim of reminding the public of ROC soldiers' contributions to the country and their role in the war against Japan, the Defense Ministry said.

The war was a part of World War II, in which Japan and the other Axis Powers were defeated.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Elaine Hou) ENDITEM/J

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