United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
September 1, 2015
Executive Summary: President Ma Ying-jeou has warned Lien Chan that "participation would be inappropriate". Nevertheless Lien Chan has decided to take part in the War of Resistance Against Japan victory celebration organized by Beijing. South Korean President Park Geun-hye is also ignoring Washington's "moral entreaties”. He too intends to take part in the victory parade to be held in Beijing. The difference is that Taipei's concern is over how the victory is being depicted in the history books. Washington's concern is over its erstwhile allies defecting to Beijing.
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President Ma Ying-jeou has warned Lien Chan that "participation would be inappropriate". Nevertheless Lien Chan has decided to take part in the War of Resistance Against Japan victory celebration organized by Beijing. South Korean President Park Geun-hye is also ignoring Washington's "moral entreaties”. He too intends to take part in the victory parade to be held in Beijing. The difference is that Taipei's concern is over how the victory is being depicted in the history books. Washington's concern is over its erstwhile allies defecting to Beijing.
Commemorating the War of Resistance Against Japan is a means by which the CCP can rewrite the history of KMT-CCP resistance against Japan. The parade is an attempt by Beijing to redress past humiliations and prove that it has become a major military power. Whether people should attend the September 3 parade in Beijing has become a matter of controversy in Taipei, Beijing, and the international community. In Taipei, the debate is over which regime contributed the most to winning the war. Among foreign nations, the debate is over which side to choose. The commemoration of the War of Resistance Against Japan, has become an occasion for the nations of the world to show just where they stand.
Consider the list of nations whose heads of state will attend the parade in Tiananmen Square. Those countries attending are mostly former republics of the Soviet Union and traditional allies of Mainland China. They include Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Egypt, Cambodia, and Myanmar. The United States and most Western democracies are missing from the list. Only foreign ministers or ambassador-level representatives from those nations will attend. Japan and the Philippines, whom China is currently at loggerheads with in the East and South China Seas, have indicated that they will not attend. This major commemoration of the War of Resistance against Japan appears to be a microcosm of the United States' Asian rebalancing strategy.
Consider the scale of the parade. The nations whose troops will march in the Tiananmen Square parade include Russia and members of the the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is led by Beijing. They include Cuba, Egypt, Mexico, Mongolia, and Pakistan. These countries have never been invaded or ruled by Japan. They are driven by economic interests. They have chosen to stand with Mainland China to enhance the scale of the military parade. As we can see, the post-Cold War world is one with China and Russia on one side, and the United States and Japan on the other.
The May victory parade held in Russia's Red Square this year was mainly dedicated to victory over Nazi Germany in the European theater. This parade is mainly dedicated to the China and Russia's victory over the Japanese in the Asian theater. The irony is that South and North Korea, both of which were victims of Japanese colonial rule, are taking very different approaches on Beijing's commemoration of the war.
North Korea has long been pro-Beijing. But Beijing has been struggling to win over South Korea. As a result, Kim Jong-un has chosen not to attend the commemoration. Instead, on the eve of this victory celebration, he has blasted South Korea for raising regional tensions. North Korea's absence suggests that relations between Beijing and Pyongyang have undergone qualitative change. The Tiananmen Square military parade is a rear view mirror that reflects changes in Washington-Beijing-Pyongyang power relations.
By contrast, President Park Geun-hye of South Korea, a US military ally, has ignored pleas from Washington, and has decided to attend the parade in Beijing. Even UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a Korean national, has ignored protests from Tokyo, and chosen to attend the victory parade. This shows that when choosing between colonial history and political reality, Korea has chosen to oppose colonialism and aggression. The two Koreas have each made political calculations. The Korean peninsula has become the front line in the competition between Washington and Beijing.
The eight-year long War of Resistance Against Japan was led by the Nationalist government. This is an ironclad fact. The Communist Eighth Route Army played a "Behind Enemy Lines" guerrilla role. It even took advantage of the war effort to expand its own power. But the main battlefield in the War of Resistance Against Japan was China. As a result most of the lives lost were Chinese. Victory over Japan took place before the People's Republic of China was even born. The CCP's attempt to depict itself as the main force of resistance against Japan, is flagrant historical revisionism. The Chinese Communist Party is holding a grand parade, a high-profile commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the war effort. It is demonstrating its power and bolstering military morale. It is overriding the original intention of the parade, which was to commemorate victory over Japan. It is using the occasion to display its military strength to the outside world. It is ignoring the historical reality of joint KMT-CCP resistance to Japan. All we see is a great power struggle between Beijing and Washington. Forgotten are the lessons of war's brutality.
Seventy years ago, China, the US, the UK, France, the Soviet Union, and other Allied nations jointly accepted Japan's surrender. Seventy years later, they are commemorating the 70th anniversary of the war effort. Beijing's parade has suddenly omitted the UK and France. Mainland China and Russia have become the only remaining players. The war effort was led by the Republic of China government. Power has since shifted from the KMT to the CCP. Should Lien Chan and retired ROC generals attend the parade? These questions have stirred lively debate. Such is political reality, which underscores history's merciless brutality.
連戰仍然執意赴北京參加中共舉辦的抗戰紀念活動；同樣的， 韓國總統朴槿惠也不顧美國的「道德勸說」， 決定出席大陸舉辦的紀念抗戰勝利閱兵大典。所不同的是， 台灣關心的是「抗戰勝利」的歷史話語權，而美國關注的是「 大閱兵」的倒戈效應。
是中共改變國共抗日歷史詮釋權的重要手段；而舉辦「大閱兵」， 則是中國大陸企圖擺脫過去被侵略的屈辱歷史， 證明自己儼已成為世界軍事強權的圖騰。無論如何， 要不要參加北京的九三大閱兵，在兩岸和國際上都成為爭議話題： 在台灣內部，則變成誰是抗戰「中流砥柱」的角色爭辯； 在國際戰略運用，則成為各國爭相選邊站、合縱連橫的角力場域。 一場對日抗戰的紀念活動，在「大閱兵」號角的催化下， 竟成為眾家的各自表述。
這次出席的國家大多是過去蘇聯的加盟共和國及中國大陸的傳統盟友 ，包括俄羅斯、白俄羅斯、哈薩克、吉爾吉斯、蒙古、巴基斯坦、 埃及、柬埔寨及緬甸等；而美國及西方民主國家幾乎全告缺席， 僅派部長層級或由當地國的大使代表出席。 至於與中國正面臨海域衝突的日本與菲律賓， 更是表明拒絕出席這項活動。這場抗戰紀念活動的大戲， 彷彿就是美國的亞洲再平衡戰略運用的縮影。
這次正式派遣軍隊參加天安門閱兵式的國家， 主要是俄羅斯以及中國大陸所主導的上海合作組織成員國， 包括古巴、埃及、墨西哥、蒙古、巴基斯坦等國。 這些國家過去沒有被日本侵略統治的經驗， 而如今則在龐大經濟利益的驅使下，選擇站在中國大陸的這一邊， 為閱兵典禮壯大聲色。可見，在後冷戰時期， 中俄與美日相互對抗的格局，似乎又儼然成形。
那場閱兵主要是針對歐洲戰場的納粹德國； 而這次中俄兩國移師至亞洲戰場，自然是共同針對日本。弔詭的是， 過去同樣曾遭日本殖民統治的南北韓， 在這次中共的抗戰紀念活動上，卻採取截然不同的做法。
這次金正恩不但選擇不出席北京的紀念活動， 還在中共抗戰紀念的慶典前夕，以砲擊韓國來製造區域的緊張關係。 北韓的缺席，代表中朝關係似乎有質變的跡象。這場天安門大閱兵， 有如一面反光鏡，反射出美中朝權力關係的變化。
朴槿惠總統卻無視來自美國的勸阻，決定出席北京的閱兵大典； 連韓國籍的聯合國秘書長潘基文，也不顧日本政府的抗議， 參加這次的抗戰紀念活動。這顯示， 韓國在殖民歷史及政治現實的權衡上，選擇回歸「反殖民」、「 反侵略」的歷史。而南北韓各自的政治盤算， 讓朝鮮半島成為美中相互競逐的前線。
中共的八路軍扮演的是「敵後」游擊角色， 並假藉抗日來壯大自己的勢力。然而，由於抗日主戰場在中國， 為抗日而犧牲的人民絕大多數是中國人，此一事實， 使得抗日勝利時尚未誕生的中華人民共和國因而主客易位， 中共將自己裝扮成抗戰的主力，這是歷史的變調。 中共這次大張旗鼓舉辦「大閱兵」，高調紀念抗戰勝利七十周年， 除為對外宣揚國威，也是為了對內穩定軍心。只是，在「大閱兵」 的喧賓奪主下，逐漸掩蓋了紀念抗日的初衷和反省， 讓外界只看到壯盛的軍容，忽略了國共共同抗日的史實， 只看到中美兩大強權的角力，遺忘戰爭摧殘的殘酷教訓。
七十年後紀念抗戰七十周年，在中共大閱兵的政治效應下， 頓時少了英美法三國，淪為中俄兩國的獨角戲。 而領銜抗戰的中華民國，在兩岸權力轉移的效應下， 卻為了連戰及退將應不應出席閱兵鬧得沸沸揚揚； 這是政治現實的殘酷，也是歷史無情的作弄。