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Exhibition "National Memories" on Display in Washington D.C.
   2014-10-16 10:26:42    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guo

Descendants of American veterans from WWII take a group photo at the opening ceremony of the "National Memories" exhibition on October 15, 2014, at the Wilson Center in Washington D.C. US. The photo exhibition features China-US collaboration during World War Two. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com/Zhang Xu]

A photo exhibition featuring China-US collaboration during World War Two has opened at the Wilson Center in Washington.

This is the exhibition's first stop in the US after touring the mainland and Taiwan.

CRI's Washington correspondent He Fei has more.


The photo exhibition is called "National Memories: US-China Collaboration during the World War Two".
More than 280 black and white photos help piece together an image of the past.

Those who put together the exhibition hope to display the camaraderie among the Chinese and US soldiers, as well as the people living near the China-Myanmar border, where much of the China-US collaboration took place during the war.

One of the photos on display was taken in October of 1944.

The photographer named it "A Light on Friendship in Liberated Tengchung."

The image itself is a close-up of an elderly Chinese farmer obtaining a light for his cigarette from a US Army sergeant; while in the background, you can see the bomb-shattered ruins of the farmer's home.

Colonel John Easterbrook is an honorary curator of the exhibition.

"What they really do is give visibility to the role of the Chinese and American soldiers in the China-Burma-India Theater during the war. They highlight the assistance the Americans gave to China during the war. It shows how the Chinese and the American people could unite in a common objective. So I think it's very important."

The images on display are actually scans of photos discovered by group of Chinese researchers while pouring through the US National Archives.

The exhibition itself first went on display in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen in 2010.
The exhibition then toured the mainland, and then traveled to Taiwan, where it garnered even more attention, as most of the Chinese soldiers in the photos were members of the Kuomintang who fled to Taiwan after the war.

And now it's in Washington for an American audience.

Wang Miao is one of the curators who helped to bring the exhibition to the US.

"From the photos displayed here you can tell that the two peoples were quite friendly to each other. You can see American soldiers teaching Chinese soldiers how to use a gun.  They even teach them how to play American football. During World War Two, China and US were allies. That's why we want to bring the exhibition to the US and let more people know that we were once friends and allies and we could collaborate together."

The "National Memories" exhibition has been on display since earlier this week, drawing many interested observers.

"My grandfather was killed there and but I don't know that much of history about it. It's very excited about this event so that I can learn more."

"It's a terrific reminder of the times when US and China cooperated, worked towards world peace. And I hope it could remind us that in the future as we confront terrorism, climate change, and economic issues that working together makes the world a better and safer place."

This year marks the 35th anniversary of official relations between China and the United States.

Brent Scowcroft, a former US National Security Advisor, suggests the exhibition is an example of how, while ties between China and the US may have faltered over the years, the overall relationship still has great potential.

"I'm grateful for the reminders of the sacrifice made by the brave men and women pictured here, unfortunately largely forgotten. Along with our admiration for their sacrifice we owe them gratitude for the fresh start we were able to make after the war and which still continued. And lastly for the reminder they give us every day that together we can accomplish great things."

The exhibition "National Memories: US-China Collaboration during the World War Two" will be on display in Washington until Oct.20 th, and is expected to be shown in a number of other US cities in the future.

For CRI, I'm He Fei in Washington.

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