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China slams Western misconceptions of its role in World War II

39 Comments
By Ben Blanchard

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39 Comments
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China got owned in WWII. Period.

-10 ( +14 / -24 )

...the Chinese people’s war against Japan was an important component and played an important role in the eastern theater

Western countries have a lack of appreciation about China’s sacrifices and contributions during World War Two

I would argue that not only Western countries but also most non-Western countries have failed to give China due recognition for its WWII sacrifices and contributions against fascism. Obviously however, this lack of due recognition is at least partially due to China's brutal post-WWII totalitarian history under Mao and ill will bred by today's PRC government. Still, this is definitely a case of credit where credit is due.

One particular event that has not received due recognition is how the people of China aided the Doolittle raiders after they landed in China following their bombing raid of industrial cities in Japan in 1942.

On that, the Smithsonian Magazine recently wrote, "That generosity [toward the Doolittle raiders] shown by the Chinese would trigger a horrific retaliation by the Japanese that claimed an estimated quarter-million lives and would prompt comparisons to the 1937-38 Rape of Nanking."

Link to the Smithsonian article: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/untold-story-vengeful-japanese-attack-doolittle-raid-180955001/?no-ist

15 ( +18 / -3 )

'China got owned in WWII. Period.'

I don't think it's a question of being 'owned'. That kind of thinking is as pathetically macho as the chest-thumping bullyboys at the CCP. Many Chinese lost their lives, as did citizens of other countries many the west would rather not talk about or acknowledge such as Russia. I don't think sinking to the level of the CCP is the real point here.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

China got owned in WWII. Period.

countess millions killed and you equate this with the language of a 12 year old playing Grand Theft Auto. Nice.

17 ( +24 / -7 )

Yes, I am with Sensato. It is the subsequent history and today's modern flirtation with fascism itself that rather causes others to be alarmed about China rather than thankful.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

'China got owned in WWII. Period.

countess millions killed and you equate this with the language of a 12 year old playing Grand Theft Auto. Nice.'

One of the problems we still face is certain people treating war like a video game ( some news channels also seem to think it is ) without too much concern for body counts. I'm sure many of these patriots have served their country with distinction on their Playstations.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Communist China didn't even exist until 3 years after WWII ended. The "China" that was a WWII ally and fought Japan the most was the ROC. The parade should taske place in Taiwan. Not in front of Tianemern Square, where nothing officially ever happened.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

Japanese veterans will tell you who got "owned" in China. My former boss fought in China and the stories he had were similar to what U.S. and French forces encountered in Viet-Nam. Mao's forces wreaked havoc on the Japanese army while also fighting the Nationalist troops under Chiang Kai-shek. It is under these circumstances that Mao developed the doctrine of guerilla warfare which later became the strategy used by other nations e.g. Viet-Nam etc. One cannot overlook the important role that China played in WWII, just as one cannot overlook the role that the USSR played in defeating Germany. Also, it wasn't MacArthur that "won" the war in the Pacific, it was Nimitz, the Navy and the Marines.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

@dbsaiya. Great post-

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Isn't KMT the one that mostly fought the Japanese?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

“Certain people in the West have always lacked an objective and just recognition of China’s position and role in the world anti-fascist war,” Wang told reporters in response to a question from a state media reporter about why Western public opinion downplayed China’s role.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by the Chinese communist government's continuing efforts to re-write history; the Cultural Revolution, Tibet, the Dali Lama, the Uyghers, Falun Gong, Tiananmen Square protests, etc. Here you have a state controlled media reporter asking an obviously scripted question to a government official - and the "spin" continues.

As to China's role in defeating Japan during WW II, it is clear that the Chinese people sacrificed greatly, but in terms of a military perspective, both the Communist and Kuomintang forces had little effect in stopping the Imperial Army - they failed to work together and actually withheld forces from battle, to use in fighting each other. In 1944 and 45 when Japanese forces were being defeated all across the Pacific, they were still winning engagements in China. So yes, China certainly sacrificed greatly during the war, but it was on the backs of it's people, not it's Army and certainly not the two factions fighting each other and the Japanese for control of the country.

But as this article highlights, that doesn't fit with the nationalistic narrative the communist government currently is weaving, in an attempt to divert the Chinese people from endemic corruption and lack of basic human rights. And what is more ironic is that as the Chinese government parades it new missiles, tanks, and aircraft designed to attack foreign armies, the government's biggest threat and fear is internal instability, not an outside aggressor.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

China pushing their use of nationalism and commensurate as a regime-saving-maneuver to the deepest depths of cynicism and the highest apex of hypocrisy.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

We''ll see if PRC is finally dealing straight with history (its own) and recognize both efforts of nationalist troops and communist guerilla ... Anyhow, this should be celebration of peace, not of war. That's defintely where the misconception from the PRC government is.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This is not serious.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

History, as far as I know without "time travel", does not change.

Understanding history is by "perspective", a point of view, an angle, a direction, a scope, and the availability and reliability of information. However, "evaluating" and giving "value" to that "perspective" and the information that support such perspective, can and does create differences. After all, history is, even after thousands of years of records, verifiable facts and retrieved archaeological data, a theory. History summarizes events and the trends, the flow of life as manifested by the results of natural as well as human action or activity.

However, when man considers history, with his own perspective, no matter how enlightened and knowledgeable, is his "opinion" at best. However, that affects and influences all future actions and events because history changes "perspectives" of each and every living being.

The key is in how, when, where, to what extent, and why we change and allow that to be the basis of action that can and will affect further change.

It all ends up with "choices" made by each living being.

Hopefully, the "choices" made are meaningful and effective for the survival of mankind and not the demise of it.

Many nations take advantage of only a narrow and self-serving perspective which ultimately may not benefit themselves.

I wonder what China as a nation and not just the government elite that control the media are really thinking, if they are thinking at all?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Don't be fooled. They were hiding in Yenan fighting against the KMT. What could they have done?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wang Shiming, deputy propaganda chief of the ruling Communist Party’s Central Committee

China needs propaganda? The Chinese paid a high price for the occupation by Imperial Japan which left 6-10 million of them dead. The Chinese who fought are also the ones who had to flee to Taiwan when along came Chairman Mao and the cultural revolution which killed more than 50 million of them.

Time for all countries from WWII to move into a new era of peace.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Fascism has still prevailed as a governance system for most industrial countries.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It will be a nice photo op with Western countries standing next to China, which China will use to say, "See? Everyone agrees with us. Japan is horrible."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@MinatoMinotaur

Fascism has still prevailed as a governance system for most industrial countries.

Try reading an educational book instead of a comix.....

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Its a continuation of the oppression against the Chinese race, no one give a damn about Chinese people. Westerners plundered and raped China. Now they wanna suppress it from growing into a world influencing power.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

When is the media going to stop with "if it bleeds, it leads?" The media jumps like a puppet when China makes a statement. IGNORE the Chinese media, aka China's big, fat mouth, and just cover the important events. China is hacking every computer system and government in the world. It knows more about will happen than the average citizen knows what happened. Boycott all Chinese products and charge all citizen an extra fee to travel there.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's not specific to China, the west doesn't give credit to the BIGGEST fighters of World War 2, which was Russia. The perception is that Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt were somewhat equals, when we all know that Joseph Stalin was Hitler's biggest and worst enemy, Russia suffered the most, this lack of appreciation is not China-specific

2 ( +4 / -2 )

while China played its part in the resistance it was the Allied forces (US, UK , Australia , Canada etc) and the Soviets that ended Hilter and the IJA.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@noryosan73"Boycoot all Chinese products"

China sells various products in many parts of the world. How it could be possible to boycott?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It seems that tying up so many Japanese troops was a significant contribution even if China didn't win any major battles against the Japanese. Although the Japanese military probably would have had a hard time getting those troops based in China to the battlefront with the body slams they were taking by the U.S. naval and air forces. It's been reported that the U.S. government stopped sending many supplies of weapons and material to the Chinese during WWII because the Chinese warlords were stockpiling those weapons and material for use against one another after the Japanese left.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Also, it wasn't MacArthur that "won" the war in the Pacific, it was Nimitz, the Navy and the Marines.

Dougie had a hard time with it too, after getting whupped in the PI by the Japanese his pride was on the line and had to be assuaged. He got the job in Tokyo all because of politics. The Army was pretty useless in many battles in the Pacific during WWII and needed the MC and Navy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yubaru, If what you say is true, then, when looking at the stats of the killed & missing, why did the U.S. army suffer 41,592 killed or missing as compared to 23,160 killed or missing of the Marine Corps and Navy corpsmen combined?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@dbsaiya

It is under these circumstances that Mao developed the doctrine of guerilla warfare

Without knocking Mao's achievements in the war, he was hardly the inventor of guerrilla warfare. The earliest example I was aware of was Russian General Kutuzov's "little war" against Napoleon but there are actually countless examples before then even. Let's not get carried away :)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yubaru, If what you say is true, then, when looking at the stats of the killed & missing, why did the U.S. army suffer 41,592 killed or missing as compared to 23,160 killed or missing of the Marine Corps and Navy corpsmen combined?

In Okinawa alone the Army was unable to complete the mission it was tasked with and needed the MC to finish the job.

Just because the Army lost more men does not mean it did a "better" job. The Army was not prepared nor trained as the MC was to handle the amphibious assaults and deal with the combat environment.

The Army was ill prepared to deal with the Japanese, most notability in the PI, 7,000 to 10,000 casualties in the Baatan death march alone PI and Army casualty totals) and roughly the same number in the battles to retake the PI. There was no real reason to attack or retake the PI at the time, the Japanese air and naval forces were crippled and it was MacArthur's pride that led to the attacks. He vowed to "return" and carried out his plans because of his pride of getting man handled by the IJA early in the war.

The PI did not need to be retaken at the time, if cut off it would have "died on the vine" so to say.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It sounds like you're saying that the U.S. Army had absolutely nothing to do with any victory in the Pacific during WWII and that the Marines did it all by themselves. Is that about right?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Hansaram

Good point re the KMT.

It appears the communist party is undergoing a vast re-write of their history and is going to claim credit for the KMT's highly dubiously actions (their tactics harmed the Chinese people more than the Japanese) and whitewash all of their corruption.

History has the Communist has being highly ineffective and far away

If the Americans had not been supplying the KMT, the war would not have gone on for a fraction of the time and far less Chinese would have suffered.

But it was their policy ... to weaken both the Chinese and Japanese to prepare Asia for their entrance.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

There is no Miscnveption - it is very clear:

Find me 1 sunken Chinese Warship at "Iron Bottom Sound" in Guadalcanal or The Coral Sea or Midway Islands or Leyte Gulf or Samar or Vella Gulf - any sunken Chinese Warships?

Who routed the Japanese through the Surigao Straits and subsequently sunk the Battleship Musashi in the Sibuyan Sea?

Certainly not any Chinese Warship.

Find me 1 dead Chinese Soldier on Saipan, Guam, Pelilu, Phillipines, Ieo Jima or Okinawa?

They had the troops, why didn't they help?

China was invaded by Imperial Japan and placed under Heavy Occupation until the U.S. came to China's rescue.

The only contribution that China played during WW2 and for the U.S. and their allies was allowing us to use their Airfields for refueling - and that's it.

Mao Zedong and his group of Comminist Rebels were hiding and cowering until the U.S. drove the then Imperial Japan to the point of retreat and it was only THEN the Communist Rebels came out and started fighting with simple rifles and small cannons.

And THAT as their Legacy during World War 2.

Laughable and Pathetic.

Knowing how Communist China was going to turn on the U.S. the way they did Post WW2 (Korea & Vietnam) - I feel I like we should've just left the Japanese Garrisons on mainland China so they could've kept those Rat Communist Chinese from attaining a Nuclear Weapon.

I am curious how that hypothetical would've played out through history.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The fact that China has (or still needs) a 'Deputy Propaganda Chief' and no doubt a 'Propaganda Chief' as well as a 'Chief Propaganda Chief' and maybe a 'Chief Propaganda Propaganda Chief' and probably thousands of staff says it all. Keep the fantasy going as long as you can CCCP (but watch those cracks in the facade that are appearing everywhere as more Chinese people travel, use the Internet and learn the truth).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Saketown

Although I don't agree with your summary, Chinese forces did keep the Japanese military consumed for many years, I do agree with your conclusion; that not just Asia but even the Chinese people would have been far better off by now if Asia had been left under Japan's watch and development.

No Mao and his 70 million dead, no Korean War and North Korea, no Vietnam/Cambodia/Pol Pot, no CIA sponsored death squads and Suharto in Indonesia etc etc etc. The list goes on. The whole Asia has paid a very heavy price for America's stomping around and interference and it's not at all clear for what benefit.

Were only all Asians experiencing the standard of living, life expectancy and wealth of Japan, and had they all such civil, peaceful societies.

What the CCP appears to be doing is a large scale revision of Chinese history or re-invention of a single, united monolithic "China" that never was.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@The Tiger

no one give a damn about Chinese people

You were heavily downvoted for your comment, but it generally matches my perception of how China has been treated. In my education in the UK, amongst all the glorification and myth-making of WWII history, I don't recall hearing of how we fought alongside our Chinese allies. Even today, when Japan's barbarity is discussed here in the UK, it only seems related to the treatment of 'Allied' prisoners. It's as if blinkers blind some to the treatment of the local populations where Japan invaded. And while I may not completely agree with you, you have a view worth addressing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Saketown"China was invaded by Imperial Japan and placed under Heavy Occupation until the U.S. came to China's rescue."

ROTFL. Where did you study history, in America? Chinese actively assisted Soviet troops to fight IJA in Northern China in August, 1945. Later Stalin provided to chinese side military trucks, large amount of artillery let alone firearms. Your USA tried to stop communists but they had already learned and adopted Soviet tactics of warfare. So, after WWII Chinese successfully cleaned all their territory off American "saviors".

2 ( +3 / -1 )

To be historically accurate, American military used to capture communist Chinese and then hand them over to the Japanese Army who would then likely kill them.

I suspect that most Americans know absolutely nothing of their countrymen's history in China from the time when Roosevelt's grandfather was running a huge narcotics business until when the Standard Oil was carrying out terrorism and using marines as its mercenaries. From the 100,000 soldiers who suppressed anti-foreign Imperialist movements to the supply of military weapons.

However, to attempt to portray the CCP as an anti-fascist savour is a joke considering what it went on to do to its own people.

It's really just an oblique strategy to portray today's Japan as fascist and not worth supporting politically.

As long as you remember Beijing's overall strategy is an attempt to corrode political support for Japan and the Japanese amongst the American people, thereby weakening Washington's and the Pentagon's ability to maintain or engage it troops around China, you will be OK.

In the meanwhile, don't take whatever they come up with too seriously.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

not just Asia but even the Chinese people would have been far better off by now if Asia had been left under Japan's watch and development

Yushukan history 101 again. You make me laugh Luce; you think it's good that European imperialism ended (and I agree), but you think it's bad that Japanese imperialism ended. Good riddance to all of it.

However, to attempt to portray the CCP as an anti-fascist savour is a joke considering what it went on to do to its own people

And to attempt to portray Japan circa 1895 - 1945 as an anti-imperialist savior is a joke considering what it went on to do to the populations it was 'saving' through its own imperialism

1 ( +3 / -2 )

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