TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taiwan yesterday commemorated the 70th anniversary of the R.O.C.'s victory over Japan in the Second Sino-Japanese War by holding a large-scale public military display featuring the R.O.C.'s recently acquired military aircraft and locally developed weapons.
Staged at a military parade ground in northern Hsinchu County and presided over by President Ma Ying-jeou, the display featured a total of 3,858 military personnel from 31 different units, 64 military aircraft and 294 military vehicles.
During his address at the event, the president noted that the purpose of commemorating the Second Sino-Japanese War is not to boast about the R.O.C.'s victory over Japan but to remember the historic facts and to prevent war from happening again.
"Commemorating the eight-year war is not about boasting about victory but is about preventing war. It is not about provoking hatred against another country but is about seeking peace," Ma said.
Only by remembering history can one learn the realities of war and realize peace is priceless, he noted.
In his address, Ma also lauded veterans who took part in the R.O.C.'s victory over Japan in the war that lasted from 1937-1945.
Stressing that tens of thousands of R.O.C. soldiers and citizens died during the war with Japan, Ma noted that one must always remember history and remember the sacrifice made by veterans.
To commemorate their contributions and sacrifice, Ma yesterday honored 10 representatives of war veterans by giving them commemorative medals.
Latest Locally Developed Weapons, Aircraft
Some of the R.O.C.'s recently acquired military aircraft and helicopters were featured at the large-scale public military display yesterday.
The display featured AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, P-3C submarine-hunting aircraft, EC225 Super Puma helicopters and the PAC-3 missile system.
Other than the US-acquired aircraft and helicopters, weapons systems developed indigenously, including the Unmanned Aircraft System, Hsiung Feng III "Brave Wind" surface-to-surface supersonic anti-ship missile and CM-33 Clouded Leopard eight-wheeled armored vehicles, also participated the display.
Stalwarts of the R.O.C. Air Force, including Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDFs), F-16A/Bs, Mirage 2000s, OH-58D scout helicopters, AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters and CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters, as well as E-2K airborne early warning aircraft and C-130 transport aircraft also took part in a large-scale flyover during yesterday's display.
To commemorate the contribution of R.O.C. soldiers to the country and its triumph in the war, weapons and military aircraft that played a role in the eight-year war were also displayed yesterday, including a replica of the P-40 fighter jet, a model that was used by members of the Chinese-American Composite Wing during World War II.
As part of the celebrations, the military also invited 134 veterans who participated in the war to join the activities.
Yesterday's event was set up after mainland China announced it will also hold a military parade this September to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and invite the leaders of major countries involved in the war to attend.
Lawmakers have been calling on Taiwan to hold similar celebrations or else it could lose the battle over whether history views the KMT R.O.C. government or the Chinese Communists as contributing more to the defeat of Japan in WWII.
The R.O.C. government moved to Taiwan in 1949 following a civil war with the Chinese Communist Party.