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Location Home > Center Information> Hot News> Latest News> Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Outbreak of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, the Humanities Research Center Holds the Conference Reexamining the Second Sino-Japanese War
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Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Outbreak of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, the Humanities Research Center Holds the Conference Reexamining the Second Sino-Japanese War
2017-07-31


On July 7 and 8, the Humanities Research Center, the Chungcheng Cultural and Educational Foundation, and the KMT (Kuomintang) Party Archives Library jointly held the “Conference on Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War” to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident and the Second Sino-Japanese War. Two main themes of this conference were “The Chinese Expeditionary Force and Battles in Asia” and “Images and Memories of War.” By putting the Second Sino-Japanese War in contexts of WWII and world history, this conference discussed the importance and impact of this war on international relations and appraised the Republic of China’s contribution to the world.

Ma Ying-jeou, former President of the Republic of China, Lin Junq-tzer, Acting Chairman of the Kuomintang, and Edward H. Chow, President of National Chengchi University, were invited to give opening remarks. Wu Den-yih, former Vice-President of the Republic of China, also attended the conference. Former President Ma emphasized that the Second Sino-Japanese War witnessed the Republic of China’s great contribution to the Allies’ victory in WWII. Besides, the Republic of China also helped to rebuild the world order in the post-war period. In Ma’s opinion, the role and contribution of the Republic of China during WWII “should not be forgotten.” Ma continued said that “There are no winners in war. But, there are also no losers in peacetime. All human beings must learn from these lessons of history and remember the historical truth.” Through commemorating the Marco Polo Bridge Incident and researching the history of the Second Sino-Japanese War, Ma hoped that history will not repeat itself, and all nations will endeavor to maintain regional stability and world peace together.

Former President Ma Ying-jeou gave an opening remark and expected all nations will maintain regional stability and world peace. (Photo credit: the Humanities Research Center)

The conference officially opened with two keynote speeches respectively given by Chang Yu-fa, Academician of Academia Sinica, and Robert Liu, Board Director of the Pacific Council on International Policy. In Academician Chang’s speech— “Some Important Issues in Studying the History of the Second Sino-Japanese War,” Chang raised three crucial issues in the study of history of the Second Sino-Japanese War. They were (1) Roles and influences of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of China during WWII and the Second Sino-Japanese War; (2) The position of the Second Sino-Japanese War in WWII; and (3) How to identify the Second Sino-Japanese War? Should it be “the Eight Years’ War of Resistance” or “the Fourteen Years’ War of Resistance”? Chang clearly pointed out that “Wars between nations are always led by governments. Conflicts between individuals could not represent and should not be elevated to a higher level as wars.” Therefore, Chang argued that the very beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War should be the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937 instead of the Mukden Incident in 1931.

Chang Yu-fa argued that the very beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War should be the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937. (Photo credit: the Humanities Research Center)

In Robert Liu’s speech—“Is Truth Dead?” Liu retrospected the achievement of the Chinese Expeditionary Force who fought in Yunnan, Burma, and India during the Second Sino-Japanese War. In April 1942, the Regiment Commander Colonel Liu Fang-wu led the 113th Regiment of the Chinese 38th Division to rescue British soldiers from attacks of the Japanese Army. This battle called “the Battle of Yenangyaung” is one of famous battles in the history of the Second Sino-Japanese War. The victory of this battle encouraged all Chinese people at that time. This battle obviously demonstrates that the bravery Chinese Expeditionary Force played an important role in the Second Sino-Japanese War and WWII. In Liu’s opinion, their victory is one of key points that promoted the international status of the Republic of China. Although the Chinese Expeditionary Force and their contribution are so important, they are seldom noticed by scholars. Thus, the first day of this conference focused on “The Chinese Expeditionary Force and Battles in Asia” to broaden the scope of study of history of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Robert Liu retrospected the achievement of the Chinese Expeditionary Force in Yunnan, Burma, and India, and argued that their victory is a key point promoting the international status of the Republic of China. (Photo credit: the Humanities Research Center)

The second day of the conference started with an opening remark given by Lin Fong-cheng, Chairman of the Chungcheng Cultural and Educational Foundation. Lin advocated his concept of “pursuing cooperation, memorizing peace” to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Following the remark, there were a roundtable forum focusing on “Archives and the Study of the Second Sino-Japanese War” and a special topic discussion on “the Republic of China Armed Forces during the Second Sino-Japanese War.” Scholars attempted to introduce and reexamine the history of the Second Sino-Japanese War via various historical materials, such as archives, images, or videos to deepen this study and to present diversity of historical research. In the subsequent two panels— “Images in the Time of War” and “Society in the Time of War,” scholars utilized new historical materials or new approaches to conduct their research. What they had done echoed with the current trend of digital humanities.

There were 12 essays presented in this two-day conference, and the number of participants was more than 200 persons. A great success! (Photo credit: the Humanities Research Center)

There were 12 essays presented in this two-day conference, and the number of participants was more than 200 persons. Through this successful conference, National Chengchi University had shown its academic impact in the field of modern history of China. The Humanities Research Center will keep going on its road to a top and leading center in the field of modern history of China in Taiwan. It is hoped that the Humanities Research Center will contribute to the academic and the society with more profound achievement.

 

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