For years now, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda has played down the KMT’s role in the war of resistance and elevated that of the communists to one that defies the historical record, a form of revisionism that, sadly, continues to be swallowed and reproduced by a number of Western academics, one of the latest being Martin Jacques in his influential book When China Rules the World.
While, for reasons of historical accuracy, the CCP’s claims should be countered with factual information (in many instances, CCP forces avoided directly confronting the Japanese, preserving their strength and weapons for the continuation of the Chinese Civil War after the war), the editorial comes at an odd moment in cross-strait relations, at a time when we would expect Beijing to play nice with the KMT as it gets ever closer to accomplishing the annexation it has long coveted.
At its most innocuous, this could be yet another example of Beijing shooting itself in the foot by failing to rein in its brimming nationalism. That it would downplay the KMT’s leading role in the war against Japan would be par for the course for the Chinese propaganda apparatus. However, that it would ignore the KMT’s role altogether gives the impression that it is attempting to pick a fight, and that it is doing so with an ulterior motive.
This op-ed, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.