TAIPEI, Taiwan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said October 26 that the commemoration of the end of the second Sino-Japanese War should include a chapter on the Taiwanese fight against Japanese invasion.
Many Taiwanese fought against Japanese colonial rule much earlier, the president said while attending the launch of a 223-page book titled "The Immortal Fighting Spirit (不朽的戰魂)," published by the Veterans Affairs Council, which contains interviews with 24 veterans of the Second Sino-Japanese war (1937-1945), as a part of a series of events to mark this year's 70th anniversary of the end of the war.
Ma said the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of July 7, 1937 only marked the beginning of the Japanese imperial army's full-scale invasion of China.
In broader terms, Japan's invasion of China began with the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894, in which China's Qing empire was defeated by Japan and the two sides signed the Treaty of Shimonoseki the following year, resulting in Japan's colonization of Taiwan for half a century between 1895 and 1945.
Some have said that no Taiwanese fought against Japanese invasion, but "there were a lot of Taiwanese who fought a lot earlier -- 42 years earlier than the Marco Polo Bridge Incident," Ma said.
He also said that Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (蔣中正) changed his attack strategy from north-south to east-west, a move that won time for China and tied down the Japanese invaders.
The president said that although China suffered heavy casualties in the eight-year war, it also won several key battles, including the victory in Yenangyaung in Myanmar (formerly Burma), laying the basis of establishing itself as one of the four major powers.
Ma noted that British scholar Rana Mitter has written that the Allied forces victory in the European and Asian battlegrounds had to do with China's tenacious fight against the Japanese invaders without compromise or capitulation.