Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Communist China Just Lengthened World War II
Now, the Chinese Communist Party is changing its history books to say that the war actually began at the time of the Mukden Incident on September 18, 1931 when, after a small bomb was exploded on the Japanese-owned South Manchurian Railway, troops of the Imperial Japanese Army rushed in and quickly took control of the region, occupying Manchuria and later established the State (and finally Empire) of Manchukuo under the titular leadership of the last Qing Dynasty Emperor. This, they say, is when the Japanese first invaded China, first engaged in hostile action against China and thus that this was really when World War II in East Asia began. However, while it may make for a nice narrative, this is simply misleading. The war did not start in 1931, plain and simple. That is not what happened and no amount of word play can change the actual facts. The reason some people are buying into this narrative is because they have already swallowed a previous falsehood that has been allowed to take root. The preliminary falsehood is that the Republic of China had any legitimate right to claim ownership of Manchuria in the first place.
That is the basis of this issue and the one the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) most wishes to cover up because it is, so to speak, the root of their entire tree of lies on this issue. The more obvious falsehood is that, as U.S. General William T. Sherman said, “War means fighting and fighting means killing” and not much of that happened in 1931. It is perfectly obvious that the war did not start with the Japanese occupation of Manchuria in 1931 because, on the whole, the Chinese did not resist. There was little to fighting in the whole process. China made no effort to defend Manchuria and this was a matter of official policy. It also makes the current tactic of the CCP trying to take credit for resisting the Japanese all the more laughable. Republic of China president Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek had ordered a policy of non-resistance to the Japanese in order to focus on the threat posed by the communist insurgency, which he regarded as more serious. The Chinese Northeastern Army under General Zhang Xueliang was vastly largely than the Japanese forces that moved into Manchuria and yet no significant resistance was offered.
The Japanese have voiced some disapproval over what the Chinese communist government is doing with this re-working of the World War II timeline but they are likely the only ones who will. Encouraging anti-Japanese hatred over historical events has become a mainstay of the CCP’s program to unite the people and divert their frustrations away from the government and toward a foreign power that is not allowed to go to war anymore. One could say that it does reveal how insecure they are about their own national narrative and how shaky the ground is that it rests on. What is alarming is that so many people in other parts of the world have bought into their false narrative, usually because of anti-Japanese sentiment on their own part because of World War II which allows them to easily slip from, “the Japanese are guilty of this” to “the Japanese are guilty of everything”. It is not, however, factual, it is not real history and it should not go unanswered. The effort of the CCP to take credit for everything the nationalists did and to erase from the history books any traces of the Qing Dynasty and the Manchurian nation should be resisted.