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  Battlefield project to mark Kuomintang-led victory against Japan  

  

 

China has begun to rebuild a 70-year-old battlefield in the eastern province of Shandong, where the Kuomintang armies scored a major victory over the Japanese during World War II.

Experts said that the reconstruction of Tai'erzhuang, a centuries-old township where the battle took place, was a sign that the Communist Party of China (CPC) was acknowledging the contribution of Kuomintang forces in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945).

The 1 billion yuan (143 million U.S. dollars) project at Tai'erzhuang, which saw a fierce campaign between 100,000 Kuomintang troops led by Gen. Li Zongren and 30,000 Japanese forces from March 24-April 7, 1938, is expected to be completed in 2011.

Although it took place decades ago, the anti-Japanese war is often a front-page issue in China. But historically, the role of the CPC was usually highlighted. The role of the Kuomintang was seldom acknowledged and fell into obscurity, said Yang Shanmin, associate professor at the School of Philosophy and Social Development at Shandong University.

"The renewal of Tai'erzhuang brings new memories of the anti-Japanese war of resistance to the public," said Yang.

Tai'erzhuang, which dates back about 400 years, is in the southern part of Shandong and on the eastern Bank of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal.

The Chinese victory 70 years ago was the first CPC-Kuomintang alliance in the war. It also shattered the myth of Japanese military infallibility and boosted Chinese morale.

Workers began to register the cultural relics, such as homes, temples, docks and dykes along the grand canal on Thursday. Enterprises began to be cleared from the old township, as the appearance of many was too modern to fit the planned site, said Chen Wei, mayor of Zaozhuang City.

"Some of the buildings that were seriously damaged in the battle will not be repaired. They will be left as legacies of war to remind visitors about the history we should never forget," said Chen.

China built a museum in Tai'erzhuang in 1995 that has attracted more than 5 million visitors.

Source:Xinhua

 

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