The nation is planning to publish a series of books next year consisting of historical materials on how the Republic of China (ROC) government led China in fighting off Japanese troops during World War II, according to the Academia Historica.
The planned series is to be one of several ways that the 70th anniversary of China’s victory in its war against Japan in 1945 will be marked by Taiwan, Academia Historica Director Lu Fang-shang (呂芳上) said recently.
One of the books in the series is to chronicle the history of the eight-year second Sino-Japanese War, while others are planned to feature the diaries of Chinese political and military leaders who played an influential role during the conflict, Lu said.
Academia Historica — the top organization in Taiwan responsible for recording the nation’s history — wants to use the series to counter arguments by the People’s Republic of China that communist forces were responsible for defeating the Japanese, Lu said.
It is also hoping that historians in the West will give fair treatment to the ROC’s contributions during World War II, he said.
“The ROC won the battle against Japan, but lost the mainland,” Lu said, adding that China suffered great losses during the war that started when Japan invaded the mainland in 1937.
During the war, there was considerable friction between the ROC and the US. Lu contends that because of that ill will, Western historians mostly held late ROC President Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) responsible for the loss of China to the Chinese Communist Party in 1949.
Many studies of China during the wartime period published during the Cold War also focused on the success of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong (毛澤東).
Lu said it was only after the end of the Cold War that Western historians began reconsidering Chiang’s historical status.
One of them is Rana Mitter, the British author of Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II, 1937-1945, Lu said, praising the author for correcting many interpretations of the Sino-Japanese War reached by other Western historians.