Archive for ‘Japan’

15/02/2019

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi holds talks in Thailand ahead of general election

  • Official will meet his opposite number Don Pramudwinai in Chiang Mai
  • Wang likely to discuss investment projects under Beijing’s ‘belt and road’ plan
PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 February, 2019, 7:17pm
UPDATED : Friday, 15 February, 2019, 7:17pm

9 Feb 2019

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in Thailand on Friday for high-level talks likely aimed at reassuring Beijing about its investments in the Southeast Asian country ahead of a long-delayed general election, analysts said.

During his two-day trip to the northern city of Chiang Mai, Wang will meet his counterpart Don Pramudwinai, Thailand’s ministry of foreign affairs said on its website.

Zhang Mingliang, a Southeast Asian affairs specialist at Jinan University, said China was concerned the upcoming poll might have an impact on its interests.

“The recent events regarding the sudden changes to Thailand’s prime ministerial candidate could affect the country’s political stability and affect its relationship with China,” he said.

He was referring to the fact that on Wednesday, Thailand’s Election Commission asked the constitutional court to dissolve the Thai Raksa Chart, a political party allied with the powerful Shinawatra clan, for putting forward Princess Ubolratan as candidate for prime minister.

The move came just days after Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Ubolratan’s younger brother, issued a royal decree denying her bid to become prime minister hours after her name was submitted.
Zhang said that only by ensuring the political stability of Thailand could China’s interests in the country and Southeast Asia as a whole be protected.

“In the past, political instability meant Thailand’s leaders were unable to attend foreign events such as meetings with Asean and China,” he said.

“If there is political stability in Thailand … that can aid its contribution to Asean and its ties with China.

“China’s relationship with Thailand is the best among the Asean nations, with the least conflict of interests,” he said.

Concerns over China’s overseas investments are growing and there have been accusations that Beijing is using them to gain political leverage.

China and Thailand reached an agreement in 2017 for the construction of Thailand’s first high-speed rail line. Once completed it will run from Bangkok to Nong Khai on the Thai border with Laos.

The line is seen as a key project under the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Beijing’s plan to connect China with countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Elections in Southeast Asia have proved troublesome for the initiative, however. Soon after being re-elected as prime minister of Malaysia last year, Mahathir Mohamad’s government cancelled the China-funded US$20 billion East Coast Rail Link. Officials later backtracked on the decision, leaving its future in the air.

Xu Liping, a specialist in Southeast Asian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that Thailand, as this year’s chair of Association of Southeast Asian Nations, has a crucial role to play in promoting China’s relationship with other members of the group.

“Ensuring the continuity of China-Thailand ties after the elections in March will also be on the agenda in Wang’s meeting,” he said.

Meanwhile, China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi, a member of the Communist Party Politburo, travelled to Germany on Friday to attend the Munich Security Conference, which runs until Sunday.

Source: SCMP

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14/02/2019

Pakistan and China build friendship ties at Aman – 19 multinational naval exercise but no room for India on the guest list

  • Chinese naval commander says war games strengthened mutual understanding and trust
  • Drills included protection of strategic projects such as China-Pakistan economic corridor
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 February, 2019, 8:02pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 February, 2019, 8:02pm

Pakistan’s multinational naval drill involving 46 nations has wrapped up in the Indian Ocean and, once again, India was not invited.

The Pakistan Navy has hosted the Aman – which means “peace” – exercises every two years since 2007 to promote regional cooperation and stability. India has never been invited, in a sign of the long history of strained ties between the neighbours.

China, Japan and the United States were among the countries taking part in Aman-19, from February 8 to 12, which included maritime conferences, seminars and cross-ship visits, as well as 23 sea operations with main-gun firing, formation movement and replenishment-at-sea.

Shao Shuguang, commander of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s 998 Fleet, was quoted on a Chinese military social media account as saying the exercise had strengthened mutual understanding and trust between the participating navies.

China sent one of its biggest warships, the Kunlun Shan amphibious landing vessel, to the exercise, signalling its close relationship with Pakistan and the key role both nations hold in the Indian Ocean, according to analysts.

“The Pakistan-China relationship is very strong, and this is one more illustration of the strength of the Pakistan-China relationship,” said Madhav Das Nalapat, honorary director of the department of geopolitics and international relations at Manipal University in India.

“China is also now becoming an important maritime power, especially in the Indo-Pacific. By aligning with China, Pakistan hopes to get the synergy of that.

“India by itself cannot have any primacy in the Indian Ocean. But along with the United States, the two countries together can have primacy in the Indian Ocean. India is positioning itself to be allied with the US, but has not yet reached there.”

Tridivesh Singh Maini, assistant professor with the Jindal School of International Affairs in India, said the exercises should be a cause for alarm for India. “They will keep an eye on what’s going on, but they don’t need to be too concerned,” he said.

The military exercise also centred on maritime security to protect strategic economic projects such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, as well as sea lanes from the Persian Gulf.

The US$62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is designed to connect China’s far west region of Xinjiang with Gwadar Port in Pakistan via a network of motorways, railways, oil pipelines and trading hubs.

The project is expected to be finished by 2030, and will provide China with an important trading route to the Middle East and Africa.

“India has very strenuously objected to the name CPEC being given to the part that goes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, but so far nothing has been done,” Nalapat said.

Kashmir has long been a hotbed for competing territorial claims between India and Pakistan. The two countries have fought three wars against each other since their independence from Britain in 1947, and two of those conflicts have centred on the Kashmir territorial dispute.

Source: SCMP

02/02/2019

China, Japan hold diplomatic consultation, security dialogue

BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) — China and Japan held a regular diplomatic consultation and a security dialogue Friday in Beijing.

During the activities attended by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou and visiting Japanese Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Takeo Mori, the two sides agreed that 2019 is a vital year for China-Japan relations to move toward a higher level.

The two countries should grasp the opportunity and implement the consensus reached by their leaders that China and Japan are cooperation partners rather than a threat to each other, and that they should support each other in peaceful development, according to a press release issued after the consultation.

The two sides agreed to plan and prepare for high-level exchanges, make solid progress in trade cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, and properly handle major, sensitive issues.

During the security dialogue, the two sides stressed that they share important responsibilities for safeguarding regional and global peace and stability, and that they should stick to the path of peaceful development.

Both sides agreed to step up dialogue, manage differences, build up trust and strive for a constructive relationship in security.

Source: Xinhua

01/01/2019

Japan-China ties to usher in new era in 2019: Japanese PM

TOKYO, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) — Japan will ushering in a new era in its ties with China in the new year among others, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in his New Year speech on Tuesday.

“Japan will draw the global spotlight as we will welcome top world leaders” in the Group of 20 Summit in in June, Abe said.

The prime minister promised to deal with Japan’s low birthrate and aging population, with a free public pre-school education program set to take effect in October for all children aged between three and five.

18/12/2018

Japan to buy more U.S.-made stealth jets, radar to counter China, Russia

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan will accelerate spending on advanced stealth fighters, long-range missiles and other equipment over the next five years to support U.S. forces facing China’s military in the Western Pacific, two new government defence papers said.

The plans are the clearest indication yet of Japan’s ambition to become a regional power as a military build-up by China and a resurgent Russia puts pressure on its U.S. ally.

“The United States remains the world’s most powerful nation, but national rivalries are surfacing and we recognise the importance of the strategic competition with both China and Russia as they challenge the regional order,” said a 10-year defence programme outline approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government on Tuesday.

The United States, followed by China, North Korea and Russia, are the countries that most influenced Japan’s latest military thinking, the paper said.

China, the world’s second biggest economy, is deploying more ships and aircraft to patrol waters near Japan, while North Korea has yet to fulfil a pledge to dismantle its nuclear and missile programmes.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Japan was “singing the same old tune” and making “thoughtless remarks” about China’s normal defence activities.

“What Japan is doing here is neither conducive to improving and developing China-Japan relations, nor to the broader picture of regional peace and stability,” Hua told a news briefing.

“China expresses strong dissatisfaction and opposition at this and has already lodged stern representations with Japan,” she added.

Russia, which continues to probe Japan’s air defences, said on Monday it built new barracks for its troops on islands seized from Japan at the end of World War Two.

MORE STEALTH FIGHTERS

Japan plans to buy 45 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 stealth fighters, worth about $4 billion (3.17 billion pounds), in addition to the 42 jets already on order, according to a separate five-year procurement plan approved on Tuesday.

The new planes will include 18 short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) B variants of the F-35 that planners want to deploy on Japanese islands along the edge of the East China Sea.

The islands are part of a chain stretching past Taiwan and down to the Philippines that has marked the limit of Chinese military dominance east of the disputed South China Sea.

“Japan’s decision to acquire more F-35s is a testament to the aircraft’s transformational capability and its increasing role in promoting regional stability and enhancing the US-Japan security alliance,” Lockheed Martin said in a statement.

The navy’s two large helicopter carriers, the Izumo and Kaga, will be modified for F-35B operations, the paper said.

The 248-metre (814 ft) long Izumo-class ships are as big as any of Japan’s aircraft carriers in World War Two. They will need reinforced decks to withstand the heat blast from F-35 engines and could be fitted with ramps to aid short take-offs, two defence ministry officials told Reuters.

TRADE WAR THREAT

The new F-35 order may also help Japan avert a trade war with the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has threatened to impose tariffs on Japanese car imports, thanked Abe for buying the F-35s when the two met at a summit in Argentina this month.

Other U.S.-made equipment on Japan’s shopping list includes two land-based Aegis Ashore air defence radars to defend against North Korean missiles, four Boeing Co KC-46 Pegasus refuelling planes to extend the range of Japanese aircraft, and nine Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye early-warning planes.

Japan plans to spend 25.5 trillion yen (179.33 billion pounds) on military equipment over the next five years, 6.4 percent higher than the previous five-year plan. Cost-cutting will free up another 2 trillion yen for purchases, the procurement paper said.

Japan only spends about 1 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on defence, but the size of its economy means it already has one of the world’s largest militaries.

“The budget is increasing and there has been an acceleration to deploy capability as soon as possible,” Robert Morrissey, head of Raytheon Co’s unit in Japan, said this month.

Wary of North Korean promises to abandon ballistic missile development, Japan’s military is buying longer-range Raytheon SM-3 interceptor missiles able to strike enemy warheads in space.

The defence papers assessed non-traditional military threats as well. A new joint-forces cyber unit will bolster Japan’s defences against cyber attacks.

More electronic warfare capabilities are planned, and the air force will get its first space unit to help keep tabs on potential adversaries high above the Earth’s atmosphere.

The plans are the clearest indication yet of Japan’s ambition to become a regional power as a military build-up by China and a resurgent Russia puts pressure on its U.S. ally.

“The United States remains the world’s most powerful nation, but national rivalries are surfacing and we recognise the importance of the strategic competition with both China and Russia as they challenge the regional order,” said a 10-year defence programme outline approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government on Tuesday.

The United States, followed by China, North Korea and Russia, are the countries that most influenced Japan’s latest military thinking, the paper said.

China, the world’s second biggest economy, is deploying more ships and aircraft to patrol waters near Japan, while North Korea has yet to fulfil a pledge to dismantle its nuclear and missile programmes.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Japan was “singing the same old tune” and making “thoughtless remarks” about China’s normal defence activities.

“What Japan is doing here is neither conducive to improving and developing China-Japan relations, nor to the broader picture of regional peace and stability,” Hua told a news briefing.

“China expresses strong dissatisfaction and opposition at this and has already lodged stern representations with Japan,” she added.

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Russia, which continues to probe Japan’s air defences, said on Monday it built new barracks for its troops on islands seized from Japan at the end of World War Two.

MORE STEALTH FIGHTERS

Japan plans to buy 45 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 stealth fighters, worth about $4 billion (3.17 billion pounds), in addition to the 42 jets already on order, according to a separate five-year procurement plan approved on Tuesday.

The new planes will include 18 short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) B variants of the F-35 that planners want to deploy on Japanese islands along the edge of the East China Sea.

The islands are part of a chain stretching past Taiwan and down to the Philippines that has marked the limit of Chinese military dominance east of the disputed South China Sea.

Slideshow (3 Images)

“Japan’s decision to acquire more F-35s is a testament to the aircraft’s transformational capability and its increasing role in promoting regional stability and enhancing the US-Japan security alliance,” Lockheed Martin said in a statement.

The navy’s two large helicopter carriers, the Izumo and Kaga, will be modified for F-35B operations, the paper said.

The 248-metre (814 ft) long Izumo-class ships are as big as any of Japan’s aircraft carriers in World War Two. They will need reinforced decks to withstand the heat blast from F-35 engines and could be fitted with ramps to aid short take-offs, two defence ministry officials told Reuters.

TRADE WAR THREAT

The new F-35 order may also help Japan avert a trade war with the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has threatened to impose tariffs on Japanese car imports, thanked Abe for buying the F-35s when the two met at a summit in Argentina this month.

Other U.S.-made equipment on Japan’s shopping list includes two land-based Aegis Ashore air defence radars to defend against North Korean missiles, four Boeing Co KC-46 Pegasus refuelling planes to extend the range of Japanese aircraft, and nine Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye early-warning planes.

Japan plans to spend 25.5 trillion yen (179.33 billion pounds) on military equipment over the next five years, 6.4 percent higher than the previous five-year plan. Cost-cutting will free up another 2 trillion yen for purchases, the procurement paper said.

Japan only spends about 1 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on defence, but the size of its economy means it already has one of the world’s largest militaries.

“The budget is increasing and there has been an acceleration to deploy capability as soon as possible,” Robert Morrissey, head of Raytheon Co’s unit in Japan, said this month.

Wary of North Korean promises to abandon ballistic missile development, Japan’s military is buying longer-range Raytheon SM-3 interceptor missiles able to strike enemy warheads in space.

The defence papers assessed non-traditional military threats as well. A new joint-forces cyber unit will bolster Japan’s defences against cyber attacks.

More electronic warfare capabilities are planned, and the air force will get its first space unit to help keep tabs on potential adversaries high above the Earth’s atmosphere.

15/12/2018

After the Doolittle Raid: across the generations, second world war ties that bind China and the United State

  • As a museum to the Doolittle Raiders opens, family members visit Chinese villages that rescued the airmen after the 1942 US attack on Tokyo
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 December, 2018, 12:01am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 December, 2018, 12:21am

Weeks ago, in the cool of late October, Thomas Macia finally saw the mountainous land and village homes of Gangfeng county in Jiangxi province he had heard about all his life, territory his father would describe in stories from the second world war.

It was there James Macia, a B-25 navigator, had to bail out and parachute into the rainy night of April 18, 1942 – just hours after bombing Tokyo in the Doolittle Raid, the first-ever air attack on Japan’s home islands, and a turning point in the United States war in the Pacific.

James Macia and his four fellow airmen of Crew 14, including one who was injured, were eventually rescued by local villagers amid bombing by the Japanese army and travelled west until they reached Chongqing, then the capital of Nationalist China.

Thomas Macia, 71, had always been curious about the route his father took through China. He began to identify those locations after James died in 2009, at 93. During a three-day trip in late October, Macia saw the hill where his father landed and spent the night, and spoke with people whose parents or grandparents helped move him to safety.

“It was very gratifying to actually see the terrain and the locations and meet people whose ancestors had protected and assisted my father. Without them, I would not be here today,” said Macia in an email interview from the United States.

Before he left Jiangxi, he wrapped some stones in part of the parachute his father used 76 years ago, and brought them back to his home in Arlington, Virginia.

“I wanted to have a piece of China that represented the area where my father was in 1942. It serves as a tangible connection with the location in China of this very historic and important event in his life, and in the memory of my family,” Macia said.

Thomas Macia is a member of Children of Doolittle Raiders, a group of families of the men who took part in the Doolittle Raid. First the men themselves, and now their families, maintained ties with China over the years, even though the Chinese and US governments had their ups and downs in official relations. For the families, the relations formed through the blood and death of their fathers should continue to be nurtured.

The Doolittle Raid involved 80 airmen aboard 16 B-25s, and 75 crash-landed or had to bail out of their planes in Jiangxi, Anhui and Zhejiang provinces, including three who were killed in action and eight captured by the Japanese troops.

Chinese civilians and soldiers helped 64 of the raiders, using stretchers, jampans, doolees, trucks and trains to move the men through war zones to safety within a month.

Over the years, some of the raiders’ children have tried to retrace their steps in China, an act that not only commemorates their fathers’ heroism, but firms their bonds into another generation. Along the way, they lighted the hearts of many Chinese who may not have known the bravery of their own fathers as unsung rescuers.

Last month a museum dedicated to the Doolittle Raid opened in a scenic spot in Quzhou, Zhejiang province. Situated in an ancient courtyard with white walls and dark cornices, the museum featured photographic introductions to each raider and exhibited 200 items from the raid, including wreckage from some of the crashed planes.

Quzhou was home to one of three airstrips the raiders planned to land on, had the operation not started hours earlier and farther from Japan than scheduled because the US Navy had been spotted by Japanese picket boats. The Chinese side was not notified of the change in plans and the airfields, where the planes were supposed to land on April 19 to refuel, were not open the night of April 18.

Short of fuel and with no response from the airfields, the raiders had to bail out or crash-land, not knowing for sure whether the area was controlled by Chinese or Japanese troops. In all, 51 raiders ended up in Quzhou before they were smuggled out to safety.

A delegation of 24 Children of Doolittle Raiders members travelled from the US to take part in the museum’s opening ceremony. Also present was a local historian from Shangrao, who later would inform Thomas Macia about the people involved in his father’s rescue.

Luo Shiping, a history professor from Shangrao, Jiangxi province, saw the photo album Macia brought along and noticed a name card, which read Dr B C Chen and included an address in Shangrao.

Dr B C Chen was on the list James Macia provided to the US government of those who helped rescue him, but the identity of the man had always been unknown to the son.

With wide connections, Luo sent out a message in his circle and within hours he received word: the card belonged to Dr Chen Baocong, who had been a senior army doctor in the No 3 War Zone Hospital.

Trained in Tongji Medical School in Shanghai, Chen spoke fluent German and English. During the war, he worked as a translator in the hospital and helped treat injured pilots – four crews from Doolittle’s Raid parachuted into the Shangrao area and some had been injured, Luo said.

Chen was better known as one of the organisers of a student movement in Tianjin in 1925 and was thrown in the same prison cell with Zhou Enlai, later the first premier of the People’s Republic of China.

Chen Kangqian, Dr Chen’s youngest daughter, said she was only three in 1942 and had no memory of her father talking about the rescue. She remembered her father as a warm-hearted man who sometimes did not charge patients for consultation and even gave them rice instead.

“I am not surprised that he could be friends with some American airmen,” Chen, now 81, said.

Professor Luo said the tumultuous political environment surrounding the second world war, and the Chinese civil war that followed it, might have led Chen to be quiet about his experience.

Dr Chen was convicted as an anti-revolutionary and thrown into a labour camp in 1951. His wife, Kong Cangzhen, killed herself after seeing others being tortured; their eldest daughter, a first-year medical school student, killed herself a year later, in 1952.

Dr Chen had his name cleared in 1954. He continued his medical career and died in 1983, a highly esteemed doctor.

Seeing a picture of her father’s calling card, Chen Kangqian said she felt very emotional.

“If I could meet Mr Macia, I would tell him how grateful I was that the card was kept so well. I am very touched that this card has been cherished by them.”

Macia, who maintained an email correspondence with Luo after returning to the United States, sent another photograph of Crew No 14 with three Chinese men before they left Guangfeng county for the No 3 War Zone Headquarters in Shangrao. He asked the professor if he could find the children of those men.

With help of local historians, Luo spent 10 days digging up local archives and was able to identify the men. Wang Fengling was an official in charge of Kuomintang (KMT) party matters; Zhang Renshi, then the Guangfeng county chief; and Zhang Mutao, then the chief of the gendarme regiment.

Wang Fengling died in 1943 and was survived by a son who is now a retired worker in Shangrao. Zhang Mutao followed the KMT to Taiwan in 1949 and died in 1985. He was survived by five children. Zhang Renshi worked in primary school education and died in 1966. Three of his four children have died; the youngest is living in the US.

“The children of the men in this photograph had little memory of their fathers – except that they recognised their father the moment they saw the picture,” Luo said. “Zhang Renshi’s daughter called me from the US and said she had never known her father was Guangfeng county chief and helped save some Americans. She felt so amazed.”

Macia, who had not expected to learn about the men in the picture his father had passed to him, said he felt very fortunate to meet Luo, and through him, the stories of these people.

“It has been very important and informative to me to understand exactly who some of those people were and their roles in saving my father,” Macia said.

China paid dearly for the rescue. Japan retaliated with massacres in at least three villages, and villagers who helped the Doolittle raiders were tortured and killed. Airfields in Zhejiang and Jiangxi endured heavy bombing and the Japanese launched a Zhejiang-Jiangxi campaign a month after the air attack, which eventually saw 250,000 people in the region killed, according to Zheng Weiyong, a historian in Quzhou and author of Fall in China – Doolittle Tokyo Raid.

Some rescuers were officially recognised by the US government. Dr Chen Shenyan, who ran the Enze Hospital in Taizhou, Zhejiang, treated the injured airmen and escorted five of them from Taizhou all the way south to Guilin, in Guangxi, and Kunming, Yunnan province, was recommended to work as an army doctor and later invited by the US government to study medicine in the States, which he did: and Johns Hopkins and the University of Southern California.

President Harry Truman played Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, the 1944 movie depicting the Doolittle Raid and its aftermath, for Chen; according to Zheng, his eyes brimmed with tears when he saw himself depicted in the film.

After the end of the civil war in 1949, contacts between the raiders, their families and China stopped for decades. After the US and China officially established diplomatic ties in 1979, though, contact resumed when John Hilger, the pilot of Crew 14, sent a letter in 1987 to the Shaorang government to express gratitude. Henry Potter, the navigator from crew 1, revisited crash sites in Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces in 1990 and met Dr Chen Shenyan again.

Over the years since, several raiders and their families have come to China, and some of their rescuers have visited the US.

In 2015 Jeff Thatcher, son of David Thatcher, engineer and gunner of Crew No 7, attended the grand military parade in Beijing commemorating the 70th anniversary of victory over Japan in the second world war.

Before attending the parade, Jeff Thatcher interviewed his father about his experience in China. David Thatcher recalled that they had been “treated like royalty”.

Plane 7, nicknamed the Ruptured Duck, crash-landed off Zhejiang province’s Nantian Island and all five crew members were injured, including two seriously. They were found by fishermen who would escort them in doolees to Sanmen and, later, Enze Hospital in Taizhou. The crew eventually travelled more than a month before reaching Guilin, Guangxi.

“They did not have anything, but they gave us all they had,” Thatcher recounted his father as saying. “We played a game of basketball with the Chinese one day. They had never played basketball before.”

After the parade, Jeff Thatcher travelled to Ningbo, Zhejiang province, with two Children of Doolittle Raiders to follow the route his father trekked more than seven decades earlier, from the beach where they landed through stops in Sanmen county, Linhai city and then Quzhou. It was an emotional experience.

“My epiphany occurred the morning I was standing on the beach on Nantian Island close to where my father’s plane had crash-landed. Like the waves crashing in from the South China Sea, I was suddenly overcome by emotion and touched deeply by the scene,” Thatcher said.

“I feel a kinship and a huge debt of gratitude to the Chinese people. If they had not rescued my father and the other members of his crew, I doubt that they would have avoided capture by Japanese troops.”

Three of the airmen captured by the Japanese were executed. Five others were sentenced to life in prison, one of whom died in prison, and the remaining four eventually were rescued in 1945.

On Thatcher’s way from the beach to the village above, where his father’s crew spent the night in a hut, an elderly woman came to him and gave him a metal fire suppression rod. It was made from the engine of the Ruptured Duck that her husband found on the beach after the crash.

Thatcher called his father and told him about the visit to the beach that morning.

“Even though we were half a world apart, I could feel his emotion through the phone,” Thatcher said. David Thatcher died a year later at age 94.

That trip prompted an idea between the raiders’ children and the local historians, to build a museum and start a scholarship at a local school. Thatcher wrote to Quzhou municipal officials to consider building a Doolittle Raid Memorial Hall and the project was agreed.

For the past two years pupils of Quzhou No 2 Middle School wrote essays in English about the Doolittle Raid’s impact on China and three recipients were to receive certificate and a cash prize in US dollars. This year all 12 shortlisted received the prize because the essays were all “creative and well-written”.

Thatcher was proud of the two projects because they brought “new chapters in the history of the Doolittle Raid in China”.

“Both of these endeavours represent cooperative efforts on the parts of our two countries to engender the spirit of friendship and gratitude that began when the Doolittle Raiders bombed Japan on April 18, 1942,” he said.

The historians regarded their dives into the archives and the sharing of memories beyond a quest for the past. Their efforts serve as a lesson for the future, especially when the two countries are sliding into a trade war.

Zheng said that the Doolittle Raiders museum reminded people of both countries that the special friendship was formed during a cruel war and that friendly ties must be nurtured.

“The American friends are grateful for the Chinese who helped them and we wanted to maintain the friendship, too. We should remember the lesson of war, not to repeat it and to let future generations continue to keep the friendly relations,” he said.

12/12/2018

Book series revealing Japanese Kwantung Army crimes in NE China published

SHENYANG, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) — A volume of books collecting Japanese Kwantung Army secret military files from the early 1930s was published by the September 18 Incident History Museum in Shenyang on Tuesday.

The files, from the second day after the “Sept. 18 Incident” in 1931 to December 1935, were written by the Kwantung Army stationed in northeast China and presented as military reports.

Edited into 20 volumes, it includes more than 560 files, totaling about 9,000 papers.

These historical files serve as comprehensive records of the process that the Japanese Kwantung Army started the “Sept. 18 Incident” and the war of aggression against China.

The files which were edited in chronological order record the Japanese Kwantung Army’s attacks in a number of northeastern Chinese cities including Harbin, Qiqihar, Shenyang, Changchun and Jilin, said Fan Lihong, chief editor of the book and curator of the museum.

The Kwantung Army reported details of the scale, plans, as well as casualties of warfare in northeast China to its superior army, according to Fan.

“The reports were submitted by the Kwantung Army from the second day after Sept.18, 1931 to the end of 1935 without interruption to ensure the central Japanese army knew the progress of the war in northeast China,” Fan said.

“These reports have been well preserved and can serve as authoritative historical evidence, which reflect the Kwantung Army and Japanese army’s crimes in northeast China.”

On Sept. 18, 1931, the Japanese Kwantung Army bombarded Shenyang under the excuse of explosions that occurred on the South Manchuria Railway.

Since the “Sept. 18 Incident,” China waged a war against Japanese aggression for 14 years and finally won the first full victory against foreign invasion since the Opium War in 1840 at the cost of over 35 million military and civilian casualties.

07/12/2018

Japan government to shun Huawei, ZTE equipment

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan plans to ban government purchases of equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] and ZTE Corp (0763.HK) (000063.SZ) to beef up its defences against intelligence leaks and cyber attacks, sources told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: A security guard walks past a building of ZTE Beijing research and development center in Beijing, China June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Chinese tech companies are under intense scrutiny from Washington and some prominent allies over ties to the Chinese government, driven by concerns they could be used by Beijing for spying.

A government ban in Japan will come after Huawei has already been locked out of the U.S. market and after Australia and New Zealand have blocked it from building 5G networks. Huawei has repeatedly insisted Beijing has no influence over it.

The Yomiuri newspaper, which first reported the news of Japan’s planned ban earlier on Friday, said the government was expected to revise its internal rules on procurement as early as Monday.

The government does not plan to specifically name Huawei and ZTE in the revision, but will put in place measures aimed at strengthening security that apply to the companies, a person with direct knowledge and a person briefed on the matter said.

Japan’s chief government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, declined to comment. But he noted that the country has been in close communication with the United States on a wide range of areas, including cybersecurity.

“Cybersecurity is becoming an important issue in Japan,” he told a regular news conference. “We’ll take firm measures looking at it from a variety of perspectives.”

ZTE declined to comment. Huawei did not immediately comment.

Huawei supplies some network equipment to private Japanese telcos NTT Docomo (9437.T) and KDDI Corp (9433.T).

And SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) has a long relationship with Huawei – which in 2011 became the first Chinese firm to join Japan’s conservative Keidanren business lobby – and has partnered with it on 5G trials.

“The government will not buy where there are security concerns but it is difficult to restrict procurement by private companies,” one of the sources said.

Docomo and SoftBank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“While closely observing changes we will consider appropriate steps,” a KDDI spokeswoman said.

Some private companies elsewhere, though, have distanced themselves from the Chinese firms.

In the United States, SoftBank’s wireless subsidiary Sprint Corp (S.N) said it no longer sources equipment from Huawei or ZTE. SoftBank is trying to complete the unit’s sale to T-Mobile US Inc TMUS.N.

And Britain’s BT Group (BT.L) said on Wednesday it was removing Huawei’s equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations and would not use the company in central parts of the next network.

ZTE’s Shenzhen-listed shares rose 1.4 percent on Friday after sliding 5.7 percent the previous day amid a global stocks sell-off sparked by the arrest in Canada of Huawei’s top executive at the behest of the United States. Huawei is unlisted.

Reporting by Yoshiyasu Shida and Yoshifumi Takemoto; Additional reporting by Kaori Kaneko and Sijia Jiang; Writing by Sam Nussey and Chris Gallagher; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Muralikumar Anantharaman

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