Four military officers are to attend the funeral of a British veteran to drape the Republic of China (ROC) national flag over his coffin, as the man wished, to honor his rescue by the Nationalist Army in what was then Burma during World War II, the Ministry of National Defense said on Sunday.
Gerald Fitzpatrick, 99, died on Aug. 27 in Leeds, England. He was one of more than 7,000 British soldiers rescued by the 113th Regiment of the Chinese Expeditionary Force from Japanese Imperial Army forces during the Battle of Yenangyaung in April 1942.
The former army captain repeatedly expressed his desire to have his coffin draped in the ROC flag to express his gratitude to the nation, the ministry said.
After learning of Fitzpatrick’s passing, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) asked officers studying in the UK to convey the military’s condolences to his family and the military sent an ROC flag to Fitzpatrick’s widow, ministry spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said.
Four officers studying in the UK would attend Fitzpatrick’s funeral on Thursday, but not in uniform, Chen said.
On April 17, 1942, a large British contingent in the oil fields of Yenangyaung in central Burma was surrounded by Japanese troops, ministry documents show.
The commander of the 113th Regiment of the Chinese Expeditionary Force, major general Liu Fang-wu (劉放吾), was ordered to lead an emergency rescue after the UK asked the ROC for help, the ministry said.
After two days of intense fighting, the Chinese forces defeated the Japanese and rescued more than 7,000 British soldiers, the ministry said.
During a visit to Taiwan in March 2013, Fitzpatrick told reporters that he had been posted to the UK contingent in Burma on March 5, 1942, when the British army was losing to the Japanese.
During that period, it was said that the Chinese army was coming to their assistance, he said.
About 500 to 600 Chinese Expeditionary Force troops arrived and immediately moved south to take on the Japanese forces, he said.
Fitzpatrick said he lost 21kg, one-third of his body weight, in the 11 weeks he was in Burma.
He remained extremely grateful to the ROC for the rest of his life and maintained cordial ties with the government.
He also wrote two books on the ROC’s role in the Battle of Yenangyaung, Ditched Burma: No Mandalay, No Maymyo, 79 Survive and Chinese Save Brits — in Burma.
The ministry remained in contact with Fitzpatrick and military personnel visited him at a care center in Leeds in July, Chen said.
Liu Fang-wu’s son, Liu Wei-min (劉偉民), visited Fitzpatrick four days before his passing and is to attend the funeral as well, Chen said.
CAUTION: Taiwanese should be alert, even if they have just liked or shared posts that would breach Beijing’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the council said Due to the newly implemented Hong Kong national security legislation, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has drawn up a list of what it described as “high-risk groups,” cautioning them not to travel to Hong Kong. People who support independence for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang; those who are critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Hong Kong government and the “one country, two systems” concept; and those who donated to or voiced support for the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement are urged to refrain from visiting Hong Kong, the council said on its Web site. It released two posts on
NEW HONG KONG LAW: A visit to Beijing-friendly nations or those with weak judicial systems could leave people at risk of deportation to China, a former MAC official said Beijing could request countries with which it has extradition agreements to deport Taiwanese to China to face criminal charges following the implementation of national security legislation for Hong Kong, a former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official warned yesterday. Some developing countries, and those close to China because of the Belt and Road Initiative, are likely to accommodate Beijing’s requests to extradite Taiwanese to China, said former deputy MAC minister Chen Ming-chi (陳明祺), who served from July 2, 2018, until May 20, and then returned to his former post as an assistant professor of sociology at National Tsing Hua University. While Taiwanese
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
IN THE PIPELINE: The Ministry of National Defense said the sale, expected to take effect in one month, would be the seventh arms sale under the Trump administration The government yesterday thanked the US for approving the possible sale of a US$620 million missile repair and recertification package to Taiwan. The US Department of State has approved the sale of a package to recertify Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington for an estimated US$620 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a news release on Thursday. The agency has delivered the required certification to the US Congress, notifying it of the possible sale, it added. The TECRO had requested to buy an upgrade package that would support an operational