China has lauded Indian support during its World War II conflict with Japan.
Chinese envoy Le Yucheng said in New Delhi on Tuesday that India helped China defeat “fascist Japan”.
“The war in China, which broke out the earliest and lasted longest, was an important part of the World Anti-Fascist War. Among all the countries and peoples, the Chinese people will not forget the strong political support that India rendered China since the beginning of Japan’s aggression in the 1930s,” Le said.
“The Chinese people will not forget that as military allies, Chinese and Indian armies fought shoulder to shoulder against the Fascists, notably in the theater in Myanmar and the Indian army was instrumental in inflicting the most serious land defeat suffered by Japan in the war,” he said.
“The collective victory marked a major turning point in the history of the world. Together, we not only defeated the fascists, but also dealt a heavy blow to hegemony and broke the foundation of colonialism. Together, we brought about an awakening in the colonial and semi-colonial countries and ushered in a new wave of independence movement around the globe,” said Le. British rule in India ended at midnight on 15 August 1947 after 163 years.
India provided an important base for support materials to be sent into China at a time when many transport lines were cut off.
“Hundreds of thousands of Indian laborers were mobilized to construct these airdromes and roads connecting India and China. Thanks to this route, much-needed medical equipment and other logistic materials were able to reach China and contributed to the final victory,” said the ambassador in New Delhi.
The Chinese envoy also invoked Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian nationalist movement against British rule.
“We will not forget how Mahatma Gandhi gave his moral support as he said ‘my heart goes to the people of China in deep sympathy and in admiration for their heroic struggle and endless sacrifice in the cause of their country’s freedom and integrity against tremendous odds,” he added.
China has invited India to take part in the celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II that Beijing will mark through a parade at Tiananmen Square on 3 September.
Beijing says Japan has yet to confront atrocities it committed after invading parts of China in the 1930s.
The conflict, commonly known in China as the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, led to the death of some 20 million Chinese, according to Beijing’s estimates. It ended with Tokyo’s World War II defeat in 1945.
China has earlier urged Japan to “make a clean break with militarism” and build trust with its neighbours after Premier Shinzo Abe last year honoured more than 1,000 convicted war criminals as “martyrs” who laid the foundations for modern Japan.
China and Russia are also preparing for the upcoming visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to China to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, or what is known as the victory of China’ s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti- Fascist War.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his BRICS counterparts from India and South Africa, Pranab Mukherjee and Jacob Zuma earlier in May attended a grand military parade held in Moscow to mark the 70th anniversary of Russian victory in World War II.
The Ufa declaration of the 7th BRICS Summit last month also makes references to the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, “fascism” “militarism” during World War II and denounces attempts to rewrite history but stops short of mentioning Japan.
“We express our commitment to resolutely reject the continued attempts to misrepresent the results of World War II. While remembering the scourge of war, we highlight that it is our common duty to build a future of peace and development,” said the joint BRICS communiqué.
TBP and Agencies