Taiwan marks WWII victory over Japan with military parade | News | DW | 04.07.2015
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Taiwan marks WWII victory over Japan with military parade

Taiwan has staged a military parade to mark the defeat of Japanese troops in World War II 70 years ago. Taipei claims its soldiers were at the forefront of the military campaign.

Thousands of Taiwanese soldiers marched, veterans were honored, and military hardware was on display in the island nation's northern Hsinchu county on Saturday to mark the 70th anniversary of the defeat of imperial Japan.

The military parade was part of a campaign by Taipei's governing Nationalist Party to reinforce its claim that its soldiers, as opposed to the Chinese Communists, led the campaign that defeated the Japanese in World War II.

"The war of resistance was led by the Republic of China and Chairman Chiang Kai-shek was the force behind it," said Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou in a speech after the parade, referring to the Nationalist government's longtime former strongman. Taiwan's official name is the "Republic of China."

"This must not be distorted or tampered with," he added. "We do not want to boast about the victory, but rather we want to prevent war... Only in this way can we learn this lesson from history in a correct way."

The biggest cheer from the crowd that was gathered to watch the display, was reserved for a group of more than 20 veterans driven in Jeeps, and surrounded by trucks carrying ground troops, missiles and tanks.

At one point in the festivities, dozens of jet fighters, attack helicopters, Apache attack helicopters, and utility aircraft flew over the Hukou military base.

The two-hour-long parade comes amid fears in Taiwan that the Communist Party is seeking to claim full credit for the victory over the Japanese.

The Nationalist Party has made its base in Taiwan since 1949, when its forces were defeated by the Communists, led by Mao Zedong, in China's civil war.

pfd/ng (AFP, AP)

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