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Defending China, sharing weal and woe

This article, written by Xu Shiquan, vice-president of the National Taiwan Research Society, is about his thoughts on the 60th anniversary of the recovery of Taiwan (--Ed.).

October 25 this year marks the 60th anniversary of the recovery of Taiwan. In 1945, Chinese sons and daughters, including Taiwan compatriots, won great victory in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression after eight years of fighting bloody battles. As the fruit of this victory, Taiwan compatriots' freedom from Japanese colonial rule that lasted 50 years and Taiwan's return to the embrace of the motherland had finally been realized. That day, the surrender-acceptance ceremony was held in Taipei, Taiwan Province, the Chinese war zone of the Allies, the Chinese government, representative in charge of acceptance of the surrender, declared: From today on, Taiwan and Penghu Islands have been formally back to China's domain, all lands, people and government affairs have all been placed under China's sovereignty. A review of this solemn moment and the course of 60 full years traversed by Taiwan after its recovery, particularly the present struggle against "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces and promotion of the peaceful reunification of the motherland commonly confronting compatriots between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits, shows that the historical and immediate significance of Taiwan's recovery is all the more shining with dazzling brilliance.

Taiwan has since ancient times been China's sacred territory. In 1895, Japanese militarists, through the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895, forced the corrupt Qing government to "cede" Taiwan and Penghu Islands they had long been coveting. However, as the saying goes, "As a man sows, so does he reaps", Japanese militarists engaged in plundering through war, they were given historical punishments because they launched the war. After the Pearl Harbor incident in December 1941, the Chinese government declared war on Japan, calling for abrogation of all treaties, agreements and contracts related to Sino-Japanese relationship, including the Treaty of Shimonoseki. China would "recover Taiwan, Penghu Islands and the lands of the four northeast provinces". The "Cairo Declaration" signed by leaders of China, the United State and Britain in December 1943 declared to the world: Japan must return all "Chinese lands, such as Manchuria, Taiwan, Penghu Island, etc. it usurped". The "Potsdam Proclamation" signed by China, the United States and Britain in July 1945 (later with the participation of the Soviet Union) reiterated: "The terms of the Cairo Declarations are sure to be implemented." On August 15 that same year, Japan declared surrender, in the "Japanese Surrender Clauses", Tokyo made the clear commitment: "Accepting the Provisions of the Potsdam Proclamation signed jointly by China, the United States and Britain on July 26, 1945 and later with the participation of the Soviet Union." The above-mentioned document with the authenticity of international law once again confirms that Taiwan is the sacred territory of China, returning Taiwan to China is the common will of the peoples of various countries on the Anti-Fascist Front, as well as one condition for the Allies' acceptance of Japan's surrender. This is the historical fact made clear by the recovery of Taiwan.

The whole island and the whole country were rejoicing over the recovery of Taiwan, because this was the result gained by all the Chinese people who made united efforts to save the nation and fought bloody battles. From the day of Japanese militarist unjust grab of Taiwan, Taiwan compatriots had never ceased resistance, and compatriots on the mainland had all along supported Taiwan compatriots in their struggles. After the conclusion of the Treaty of Shimonoseki, "the cries of lamentation on Taiwan Island rose to the skies", Taiwanese beat gongs to stage shopkeepers' strike; General Liu Yongfu of station troops and others waged life-and-death struggles against Japan's occupation troops. On the mainland, over one thousand candidates from 18 provinces who came to Beijing for metropolitan examination wrote to the higher authorities, expressing their opposition to the cession of Taiwan. People in southeast provinces either donated money or banded together in groups to go to Taiwan to support the local army and civilians. Taiwan compatriots organized volunteers to carry out the guerrilla war of resistance for as long as seven years.

After the outbreak of the full-scale war of resistance, Taiwan compatriots on the civil and military fronts threw themselves into this great national liberation war, there emerged numerous national noble-minded people and anti-Japanese heroes and heroines, many people shed their blood and laid down their lives. Incomplete statistics show that over 50,000 Taiwan compatriots came from the Island and various parts of the world to the mainland to plunge themselves into the war of resistance. Taiwan compatriots' anti-Japanese organizations included the Taiwan Revolutionary Youth Great Union, the Taiwan Revolutionary National General Union, and organization with the spirit of fighting bloody battles for the recovery of lost territory, etc. Taiwan compatriots also organized volunteers, combat zone service groups, etc. In the liberated areas, Lin Dong, a native of Tainan County, Yang Mei-hua, born in Kaohsiung, Lin Si-ping, a native of Chiayi County were engaged in medical and health work, making outstanding contributions; Yang Cheng, a native of Tainan City who was back from Indonesia to the Chinese mainland, served as chairman of the Returned Overseas Chinese Federation in Yan'an, he did a lot of work and later became an important leader of New China's aviation industry. Comrade Cai Xiao, former leader of the Central Committee of the Taiwan Democratic Self-government League, is an eminent representative of Taiwan compatriot emerged in the Anti-Japanese War. He grew from a member of a poor fisherman family into an outstanding military commander who had rendered meritorious service during the Anti-Japanese War and the Liberation War. General Li Youbang, who organized Taiwan compatriots in Fujian Province into the Taiwan Volunteers Against Japan, was an anti-Japanese hero enjoying quite a reputation for a time.

On the ideological and cultural front, Taiwan's people of lofty ideals all along carried out anti-Japanese publicity and struggle with their brushes instead of swords. In the early period there were first the anti-Japanese literary "three heroes"--Qiu Fengjia, Hong Qisheng and Lian Heng; later there were Lai He, "Father of Taiwan New Literature", as well as Zhang Wojun, Wu Zhuliu, Yang Kui, Jiang Weishui, etc. They opposed Japanese colonial rule and objected the education aimed to turn Chinese into subjects of Japanese imperial rulers, they carried forward national culture and exhibited noble national spirit. By reviewing this phase of history, people can see that the recovery of Taiwan is the result of the common struggles carried out by compatriots on both sides of the Straits who had the same enemy and hatred and helped each other. Compatriots across the Straits are of one blood, have the same fate and share weal and woe. This is another historical fact shown by the recovery of Taiwan.

Since the Opium war in 1840, calamity-ridden China had suffered a great deal of foreign powers' aggression and humiliation, cession of lands and payment of indemnity. In which, Taiwan compatriots were subjected to Japanese colonial rule for 50 full years, making this a most tragic page in the bitter history of the Chinese nation. Victory in the Anti-Japanese War and the recovery of Taiwan is the first great victory won by the Chinese nation in its century-long fight against foreign aggression, and is the turning point in modern Chinese history. Regrettably, as a problem left over from China's civil war, the two sides of the Straits are still in a separate state since 1949, but the fact that the Chinese mainland and Taiwan belong to one and the same China has never changed. At present, the "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces on the Island attempt to make a de jure separation of Taiwan from the motherland. Combating "Taiwan independence" secession plot and promoting an early peaceful reunification of the motherland is the common will of all Chinese sons and daughters including Taiwan compatriots. The history of Taiwan's recovery tells us that this victory was won by compatriots of both Taiwan and the mainland who had the same enemy and hatred, shared weal and woe and engaged in common struggle, compatriots on both sides of the Straits must concert efforts to defeat "Taiwan independence" separatist forces and finally realize national reunification and national rejuvenation. This is what the history of Taiwan's recovery and the truth it reveals tell us.

The article is published on the fourth page of People's Daily October 24 and translated by People's Daily Online
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