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Descendants of Second Sino-Japanese War heroes to visit Taiwan

Descendants of Second Sino-Japanese War heroes to visit Taiwan

Taipei, Oct. 30 (CNA) Descendants of Chinese expatriates who helped transport supplies to China through the Burma Road, an important wartime transportation route during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), are scheduled to visit Taiwan in November to attend commemorative events. More than 20 descendants of Chinese expatriates who went to China to serve as drivers to transport supplies and as auto mechanics are expected to arrive in Taiwan in mid-November to attend events to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, the Ministry of National Defense said earlier this week. During their visit, they will meet with President Ma Ying-jeou (???), who will present commemorative medals to the descendants to express gratitude for their family members' contributions during the war, the ministry said. The Burma Road, linking Burma with southwest China, was opened in early 1939 to transport supplies to China during the war, also known as the War of Resistance against Japan. Shortly after it was opened, the Republic of China military's Office of Southwest Import-export Commodity Transport Management began to seek Chinese expatriates to go back to China to help with wartime transportation using the road by working as drivers and auto mechanics, the ministry said. From February and September 1939, as many as 3,192 Chinese expatriates from Singapore and Malaysia returned to China to join the ROC war effort, the ministry said. Until the road was cut off by the Japanese forces in 1942, they had helped transport wartime supplies of 450,000 tons to China through the road, playing a significant role in the ROC's fight against Japan, according to the ministry. After the end of the war in 1945, about 1,000 of them returned home, another 1,000 chose to remain in China, and more than 1,000 died during the war, the ministry said. The Burma Road played a vital role in wartime transportation, as it was one of only a few routes that could be used to transport supplies from the outside to China. At the time, Japan had seized most ports in China, making road and railway transportation the only way to deliver supplies to support the needs of China's resistance effort. During their visit, descendants of Malaysian expats will view a special exhibition put together by the ministry in Taipei to chronicle the ROC military's efforts to fight against Japan during the war. The visitors' itinerary will also include a trip to the Martyrs' Shrine, which honors soldiers who scarified their lives during the war, and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, which honors the ROC's founding father. This year, the ROC government has held a series of commemorative events in Taiwan to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of war. Over the past few months, descendants of three late U.S. presidents and the families of German businessman John Rabe and American missionary Minnie Vautrin, who had helped Chinese people during the Nanjing Massacre, have come to Taiwan to attend the events and receive posthumous recognition of their relatives' contributions. The Republic of China's government retreated to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the Chinese civil war to the communists. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-25 17:47 GMT+08:00