War historians to work together

By Zhu Ping (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-07-07 06:50

Scholars from both sides of the Taiwan Straits agreed on Friday to boost their cooperation on research of the history of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.

Around 80 experts attended a seminar to mark the 70th anniversary of the July 7 Incident, or the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, held by the Memorial Hall of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.

It was the first time scholars across the Taiwan Straits decided to concentrate on the history of the resistance war.

On July 7, 1937, the Japanese army provoked a battle against the Chinese forces at the bridge, located in the southern suburbs of Beijing. The battle marked the beginning of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45).

"When Japanese right-wing politicians deny or distort the history of the invasion of China, Chinese academia often fails to respond either in a timely or efficient manner because of the lack of files and research cooperation," said He Li, president of the China History Society of the War of Resistance against Japan.

He called for closer cross-Straits cooperation on the research, which was greeted by his counterparts from Taiwan.

Chen Peng-jen, former director of the Kuomintang History Committee, said the mainland and Taiwan should achieve greater consensus on this period of history before debating with Japan.

China and Japan have initiated common research on the history of the war, and held two meetings last December and this March.

However, "Japan blamed the war more on personal rather than national responsibilities," said Bu Ping, director of the Institute of Modern History of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, who took part in these two meetings.

Bu said: "Our research needs to be more prudent with exact evidence in order to prevent some Japanese from denying this history by using the excuse of inaccurate or incoherent facts and figures."

(China Daily 07/07/2007 page2)

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