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International Assistance in War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression
   2015-09-01 07:32:28    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Li Shaotong

Photo taken on August 31st, 2015 shows the photo exhibition in Guiyang, southwest China's Guizhou Province to honor foreign medial experts during WWII and also to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com/Liu Jianfeng]

We now continue our series on the the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression ahead of the 70th anniversary this week.

In this, part four of our series, we look back at the mutual help the allies gave one-another as they battled Axis forces.

Here's CRI's Xiao Yi.

 

For much of the time, China was fighting alone in the early stage of the war, similar to what Britain did at first. Appeasement lingered. And there had been a lack of genuine understanding of the true brutal nature of fascism as a global menace.

The world stood by when a number of countries fell to enemy hands one after another, including China, and when the joint global ambition of the trilateral Axis to carve up the world was first known.

Stood by until things changed when German, Italian and Japanese troops advanced to more warfronts ĘC the Soviet Union and North Africa on the western theatre and Pearl Harbor and Southeast on the orient. The world now saw a real common threat and a shared responsibility to fight back, jointly.

The American Volunteer Group, popularly known as Flying Tigers, was the only defensive force in the sky of China between 1941 and 1942, to ensure material supplies of desperate needs in defiance of Japan's superior air power.

The Flying Tigers destroyed nearly 300 Japanese aircrafts, with the loss of 26 crew members and 73 aircrafts. As Daune Schultz, author of "the Maverick War", wrote, "For a time, the Flying Tigers provided the only victories against the Japanese anywhere in the Far East. The handful of men had shown that the Japanese were not invincible."

91-year-old J. V. Vinyard is proud that he took part in the operation.

"(And) my assistance to the Chinese was one of my greatest moments of my life that I will never forget it."

The US also provided massive aid in form of aircrafts, guns, medicines, and military instructors. After 1941, assistance from the US and its engagement in the Pacific War dramatically improved the situation in China.

Earlier between 1937 and 1941, when Japanese troops rampaged across half of the Chinese territory, the Soviet Union offered help and even fought shoulder to shoulder with China, to resist the invaders' blitzkrieg and shatter their dream of annihilating China within three months.

In May this year, President Xi Jinping awarded 18 representatives of Russian veterans with commemorative medals.

"I would like to extend my sincere regards and high respects to the Russian veterans who made great contribution to the victory of Chinese People's War of Resistance and the world's anti-Fascist war."

Between 1937 and 1941, about 5,000 military experts were sent to China. Moscow also offered loans, as well as industrial and military assistance to rebuild the battered Chinese army.The Soviet Volunteer Air Force joined the war from the very beginning. They carried out air operations over Nanking and the central city of Wuhan. They even flew across Japanese-occupied areas and launched bomb attacks on the Japanese airbase in Taiwan. The Squadron destroyed and damaged almost 1,200 Japanese jets with the loss of 236 crewmembers.

It was a hard time for Shudlo Taras Georgievich and fellow pilots. The 88-year-old veteran also recalls the help provided by Chinese people at that time.

"Local Chinese helped us a lot. It's fair to say that they were supporting us with marvelous devotion, although they were actually very poor at the time."

Some international organizations and individuals also came in support of China's tough struggle.

One of them is Canadian Physician Dr. Norman Bethune, who came in 1938 and joined the Eighth Route Army. He went to frontlines for emergency operations and assisted in training Chinese doctors and nurses.

Dr. Bethune died of infection after an operation in late 1939. For decades, he has been a role model in China, for his value, dedication and integrity. His stories are included in school textbooks and there are hospitals named after him. The Bethune Museum in Canada is a must-go item for Chinese tourists.

Norman Bethune is one of the many foreign nationals who offered a helping hand for war-ravaged China. There were also doctors, educators, industrialists and journalists from around the world, including overseas Chinese, such as Singaporean businessman Tan KahKee. He organized campaigns to raise awareness of Japanese atrocities and donations to extend financial and material support. Many died when carrying out their missions in occupied areas or on transport routes, or at project sites, such as the China-Burma Highway ĘC the only international supply line at the time.

3200 overseas Chinese from Southeast Asia came as drivers and mechanics. These people, referred as Nanyang Volunteers, worked in harsh conditions. More than 1000 of them died in Japanese air raids, or of diseases, or later executed by the Japanese after the fall of Burma, or Myanmar as the country is called today.

A monument has been set up along the road to commemorate the Nanyang transport volunteers who died along the road.Lin Xiaochang organized its construction.

"I said to myself I must set up a monument beside the Burma Road. It's a monument for more than 1,000 people who sacrificed themselves."

Precious support indeed, for people knew they were helping the Chinese who were helping THEM, by pinning down over two-thirds of Japanese troops on Chinese soil.

CRI's Xiao Yi with Part Four of our series on the war.

Tomorrow, in our final report, we'll tell you what's being done to try to ensure the War is never forgotten.

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