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Harvard scholar: Nationalist government defeated Japan in 1945

Harvard scholar: Nationalist government defeated Japan in 1945

Taipei, July 7 (CNA) A professor of China Studies at Harvard University said Tuesday at an international symposium in Taipei that it was China's Nationalist government and not the communists who fought the Japanese for eight years. Giving an analysis on the ROC's eight-year (1937-1945) war of resistance against Japan and the wartime foundations of China's emergence as a great power, William C. Kirby said that the war cost the lives of millions of Chinese citizens and that of the soldiers who died in the fighting, more than 90 percent were Nationalist troops. "The Nationalist endurance and ultimate victory of this eight-year struggle assured the survival of China as a nation-state," he said. Saying that "without victory over Japan in 1945, China would not be a great power today," the scholar suggested that young people brought up in China and "fed a menu of Chinese Communist Party history and a diet of anti-Japanese soap opera" might not know the basic, indisputable facts that it was the Nationalist government of China who fought the Japanese and that it was Nationalist China that accepted Japan's surrender. In addition, they might not know that Japan had signed two peace treaties -- first with the Republic of China and only later with the People's Republic of China, he pointed out. At the symposium, which was sponsored by Academia Historica in Taipei, international scholars exchanged views on history and memories of the war. Invited to speak on the wartime history and its consequences, Kirby said that "as a new country built on the foundation of an ancient civilization, the Republic of China founded in 1912 faced a world of adversaries, both internal and international." "If China is finally poised to lead today, it is in part because of the sacrifices of its citizens and of China's government in a war of national survival," he said. "Today's China and its political economy of authoritarian developmentalism owes much to its Nationalist predecessors," according to Kirby. (By H.H. Lu and Lillian Lin)


Updated : 2021-09-28 09:37 GMT+08:00