Special to WorldTribune.com
Miles Yu, Washington Times
Monday marked the 77th anniversary of the beginning of all-out war between China and Japan, and Chinese leaders spared no effort to use the occasion to carry out a choreographed anti-Japan propaganda campaign.The campaign backfired, however, producing profound embarrassments.
The entire Chinese Communist Party leadership took part in several elaborate commemorative events that sought to cast today’s Japan in the same light as Tokyo’s militarist dictatorship of seven decades ago. … State-run Xinhua news agency called Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “the most dangerous man in Asia.” …
To coordinate its anti-Japan campaign, Beijing timed the July 7 anniversary with invitations to two prominent figures as part of a plan to create some degree of a united front against Japan. One was a senior Taiwanese ruling Kuomintang Party (KMT) military leader; the second was German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
But the plan backfired badly. Gen. Hao Bocun, 95, a veteran of China’s fight against Japan in World War II and a former Taiwan defense minister, was supposed to echo Beijing’s anti-Japan rhetoric to show China-Taiwan unity. Instead, the Taiwanese general excoriated China’s communist government — in front of Chinese officials in Beijing — for distorting wartime history by denying that KMT Nationalists’ Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek led the war efforts against Japan, not Mao Zedong’s Communist forces, as Chinese propaganda has maintained. He questioned why Chinese authorities hid the historical evidence, to which no answers were offered by stunned officials.
Ms. Merkel was invited to China in hopes she might provide remarks about how Germany has successfully and sincerely dealt with its fascist past, in what Beijing hoped would be a sharp contrast to Japan. But Ms. Merkel was adroit in avoiding the trap. … Ms. Merkel refused to name Japan and simply repeated essentially what her friend Mr. Abe had said in Australia a day earlier, that Germany also had thought long and hard about the war and decided to not repeat history, ever.
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