Respect to all national heroes

Updated: 2014-09-03 08:44

(China Daily)

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On Monday, for the first time, more than 90 Kuomintang generals and other officers were listed among the 300 martyrs and heroic groups of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. The respect these people deserve for giving their lives in the fight against the invasion by Japanese forces has long been overdue.

History is history and all its truths should be revealed and accepted.

The contributions Kuomintang military forces made to winning that miserable war were a political taboo in the mainland during the middle of the last century when the yardstick of ultra-leftist ideology divided everything into black and white. There were not even any mentions of the important battles Kuomintang military forces fought against the invading Japanese army.

In the past three decades, the role Kuomintang forces played during that war has been acknowledged, but the official homage this country owed to the national heroes of the Kuomintang military forces was rarely paid, until recent years.

The inclusion of more than 90 Kuomintang military officers on the list of martyrs this time marks a breakthrough that should have been made many years ago.

Belated as it is, the official acknowledgment of their historical status as martyrs sends the message that this country and government is starting to face the historical truth, and credit is due to the Communist Party of China and the government for doing justice to what the Kuomintang military forces did. It also reflects a more confident and inclusive governance that is maturing out of historical lessons.

There have been proposals from members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference at all levels and deputies of the national and local people's congresses to suggest that veteran Kuomintang soldiers who once fought in the war should be given the social security they deserve for the contributions they made to the fight against Japanese aggression. In 2013, the Ministry of Civil Affairs issued a document requiring local governments at all levels admit into social security net veteran Kuomintang soldiers who participated in that war.

It is nearly 70 years since the end of that war in 1945. It is time to squarely face that part of history and do justice to all who made contributions to the triumph in that war.