DIPLOMACY

Taiwan tells China's Communist Party to 'stop exaggerating' its forces' role in second world war

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 February, 2015, 6:27am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 February, 2015, 9:15am

Taiwan urged the Communist Party yesterday to honestly examine the role it played in resisting Japanese aggression during the second world war, instead of just demanding that Japan reflect on its wartime actions.

The island's defence ministry spokesman Major General David Lo said the Communist Party had taken an "irresponsible" attitude in addressing the issue and accused it of twisting historical facts, such as exaggerating the contributions made by the communist forces.

"I sincerely urge the Communist Party to honestly face up to history so it won't humiliate the army and the masses who helped fight the war," he said, referring to the party's argument that it led the Chinese people in the eight-year war of resistance against the Japanese invaders.

Lo said those with a basic knowledge of the second world war knew that it was mainly forces loyal to the then ruling Kuomintang that took on the Japanese, with the communists playing a lesser role.

The communists later fought a civil war with the KMT, forcing it to retreat to Taiwan in 1949.

Regardless of what celebrations the party would hold this year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the war's end, Lo said it could not whitewash the contributions of the KMT forces.

To mark the 70th anniversary, Beijing has arranged a series of celebrations this year, including a grand military parade.

While Taiwan plans a series of low-key activities to mark both the war's end in 1945 and the island's liberation from Japanese colonial rule, KMT legislator Lin Yu-fang has called for a military parade, a proposal defence minister Kao Kuang-chi said he would convey to President Ma Ying-jeou.

Beijing regards self-ruled Taiwan as a renegade province and has threatened in the past to invade if it declares independence.

Relations have improved since Ma came to power in 2008, but the two sides still view each other as political rivals.