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Official Lauds KMT Role in Anti-Japan War

Wang Zaixi, vice-minister of Taiwan Affairs Office, yesterday spoke highly of the roles played by Kuomintang (KMT) troops in battling Japanese aggression six decades ago.

Wang called those Kuomintang generals and soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the war "national heroes" and "martyrs."

He made the remark at a press conference.

He urged people from both sides of the Taiwan Straits to learn lessons from the war.

"Any political party must take the interests of the country as the top priority," said Wang, calling for unity of political parties and groups from both the mainland and Taiwan in the fight against Taiwan separatism.

Commemoration activities for the 60th anniversary of the victory in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression will reach another climax on Saturday.

Top Party and State leaders will lay wreaths of flowers at the Monument to the People's Heroes on Tian'anmen Square in central Beijing, with 10,000 people expected to attend.

President Hu Jintao will honor war veterans with medals on a separate occasion.

A big gathering of more than 6,000 people will also be held on Saturday morning in the Great Hall of the People, to be followed by a reception in the evening, said Wang Guoqing, vice-minister of the State Council's Information Office, also at the press conference.

He said that China is celebrating the victory anniversary "with the great spirit of patriotism," instead of viewing the war with "narrow nationalism."

"We are not engaging in anti-Japanese education," said Chen Haosu, president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

China's relations with Japan have been strained recently after Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where convicted war criminals are honored, as well as Tokyo's approval of textbooks that gloss over Japan's war atrocities.

Although Koizumi apologized for its wartime aggression on August 15, the anniversary of Japan's surrender in 1945, "we think the Japanese Government should translate words into action," said Vice-Foreign Minister Lu Xinhua.

(China Daily August 31, 2005)

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