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Celebrations mark liberation of Taiwan
By Wang Zhuoqiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-24 05:14

Activities on the Chinese mainland to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Taiwan from Japan have improved relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits, according to a visiting scholar from Taiwan.

Many events have been held to commemorate the victory of China's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45).

Taiwan was ceded to Japan under the "Treaty of Shimonoseki," signed by the Qing Dynasty government after it was defeated in the Sino-Japanese war (1894-95). Only on October 25, 1945, after World War II had ended, did Taiwan formally reclaim its Chinese identity.

Six decades later, Chinese officials will join the public at a big celebration ceremony in Beijing tomorrow.

"The day marks the time when Taiwan returned to the motherland," said Wang Hsiaopo, a professor from the National Taiwan University. "The day tells us we are always Chinese."

"There would be no reunification (of the mainland with Taiwan) if Taiwan hadn't yet returned from Japan."

Wang made his remarks at a commemoration conference in Beijing yesterday, attended by mainland officials and visiting Taiwan scholars and war veterans.

While emphasizing the contribution Taiwan compatriots played in national liberation, Wang said patriotism for the motherland played a key role in the victory.

"The Taiwan people had a deep feeling of patriotism while fighting against the Japanese colonialists," Wang said.

"Today, that feeling continues to inspire people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, pushing forward national reunification."

A photo gallery to commemorate the anniversary opens today at the National Museum of China in Beijing.

(China Daily 10/24/2005 page2)

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