China has perverted Taiwan’s history, former US deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia Randall Schriver said.
Most US officials often and “mistakenly” repeat the Chinese mantra that Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory, Schriver said in a paper issued by the Project 2049 Institute in Washington.
“But how many American officials know that out of the last 400 years of Taiwan’s recorded history, Taiwan was governed by authorities on Mainland China for less than 10 years?” he said.
“This has undeniably been to the benefit of the people of Taiwan,” he said. “Spared the ravages of CCP [Chinese Communist Party] rule, Taiwan has developed into a modern, successful democracy with a thriving market economy, respect for human rights and religious freedom.”
Schriver, president of the Project 2049 Institute, said Taiwan is “a model global citizen.”
The paper said that China’s military parade tomorrow to commemorate the victory of allied forces over Japan in World War II would be missing a fully accurate depiction of the circumstances surrounding the Chinese victory.
“We should be offended to the point of objecting,” he said.
China’s “distortion of history” should not go unnoticed, Schriver said.
There is no doubt that most Chinese are sincere in wanting a full and accurate account of the actions of the Japanese Imperial Army during the war, he added.
“But Chinese interlocutors would have us believe that only the Japanese struggle with facing the past,” Schriver said.
“The truth is that they are not alone; the worst offenders in distorting, rewriting or in many cases nullifying history for political purposes are the Chinese themselves,” he said.
“This bears more scrutiny because these practices remain largely in effect and are extremely consequential today,” he said.
Schriver said that the CCP is unwilling to candidly discuss the period between 1949 and the present.
“One of the tragic realities of the CCP era is that more Chinese people died unnecessary deaths from CCP authoritarian rule than at the hands of foreign occupiers during the war in the Pacific,” he said.
Schriver cited the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
“This is not a happy contest and not meant to minimize Japanese treatment of the Chinese people during the war — but we would be wise to keep proper perspective when engaged on history issues,” he said.
Schriver said that China works hard at “suppressing historical truth,” but that there is virtually no international pressure on Chinese leaders to address their shortcomings.
China’s party and government apparatus are dedicated to promoting a negative image of Japan by actively distorting Japan’s very positive qualities and contributions to China and the world since World War II, he said.
Schriver called on the US government and other experts to “call out” Chinese leaders for “political warfare directed at our allies, our friends and us.”
Western historians who are seeking Japan to provide an accurate and just history of World War II in Asia should apply the same standards for assessing historical accuracy to Chinese history, he said.
“Our friend and security partner Taiwan will have its role supplanted, despite the fact that it was Republic of China forces that suffered 90 percent of the casualties at the hands of the Japanese,” Schriver said.
“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army did little fighting and only accounted for 10 percent of the total war casualties,” Schriver said.
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