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|Friday, November 02, 2001, updated at 16:48(GMT+8)|
Calling for Peace and Friendship: Marking 60th Anniversary of 'Flying Tiger Corps' AidThis article, written by Fan Jing on the occasion marking the 60th anniversary of US 'Flying Tiger Corps' Aid to China in Resistance to Japanese Aggression, is pulished on Page 4 of People's Daily (Overseas Edition) November 2.
At around the time one week before the occurrence of the September 11 incident of terrorist attack on the United States, the "Huaxia (China) Culture Bond Project" Organizing Committee held a series of activities to mark the 60th anniversary of US "Flying Tiger Corps" which came to aid China in its resistance to Japanese aggression, blowing up a "Tiger Corps whirlwind" in Beijing. Many media and websites vied with one another to cover three meritorious fliers of the Flying Tiger Corps who had come to Beijing to participate in these activities, a retired four-star-level admiral of the US aviation circle and Mme Anna Chan Chennault; Chinese and American personages gathered together to memorize the friendship forged by the Chinese and American people during the War of Resistance Against Japan.
At around 3 pm, September 4, a forum was opened in the form of a movie reception at a Beijing International Hotel hall to mark the 60th anniversary of the US "Flying Tiger Corps" which aided China in its resistance to Japanese aggression. It was unexpected that, Wang Guangying, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) and chairman of the "China Culture Bond Project" Organizing Commitee, was fresh back to Beijing from another place on the morning of that day, but after learning of this news, he came along with his wife and daughter to attend the opening ceremony, indicating that he would review the historical facts about how the Chinese and American people fought against the Japanese aggressors during World War II. The forum began with the welcoming speech delivered by Chu Zhuang, Standing Committee member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC);Mr John Richard Rossi and General Mac each made a speech in reply. Jeff, executive chief inspector of the American US-China Aviation Historical Legacy Fund, presented as gift a picture of the airplanes of the US Flying Tiger Corps to the "China Culture Bond Project" Organizing Committee, which bears the signatures of dozens of veteran members of the Flying Tiger Corps, indicating that they would not forget their friendship with the Chinese people. Li Jing, secretary-general of the "China Culture Bond Project" Organizing Committee, in turn , granted each of the delegation members a china bottle made in Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province. Chinese porcelain ware is made with clay by fire, the English name of Chinese porcelain is also called "china". He specially stated that the implication of this gift was the Chinese people would always remember the blood and sweat shed on the vast land of China by the Flying Tiger Corps members. Cables and letters of congratulations were read out at the meeting, which included the letter of congratulation sent out by Mr Wang Guangfu, elder brother of Wang Guangying and former anti-Japanese meritorious flier of the Kuomintang, who is now residing in the United States. Wang Guangying picked up this letter and read it again and agin for a long time, then he made a speech as tears welled up in his eyes. He said we would never forget history and friendship. Forgetting history and friendship would mean discarding the best things in inter-personal ties and inter-State relations. This old man finally said that for the sake of China-US friendship from generation to generation and for lasting world peace, I would like to give you a salute, he took a deep bow to the participants, prolonged applause resounded through the venue, the eyes of many participants were filled with tears. A documentary film on the Flying Tiger Corps was shown after the CPPCC vice-chairman's speech. Insisting on "receiving education", the vice-chairman, together with his wife and daughter, did not leave until the end of the documentary.
On September 5, the US Flying Tiger Corps Delegation's China visit came to a climax. The Forum marking the 60th anniversary of the US Flying Tiger Corps' aid to China in resistance to Japanese aggression was held by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship With Foreign Countries and the "China Culture Bond Project" Oganizing Committee at the Anti-Japanese War Memorial Hall in Lugou (Marco Polo) Bridge, Beijing, Xu Jialu, vice-chairman of the NPC Standing Committee and chairman of the "China Culture Bond Project" Organizing Committee; and Li Guixian, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the CPPCC and chairman of the "China Culture Bond Project" Organizing Committee, attended the opening ceremony of the forum. John Richard Rossi, meritorious flier of the US Flying Tiger Corps and chairman of the US "Flying Tiger" Association, spoke at the meeting on behalf of the honored guests. He specially gave his best regards to the Young Pioneers who were waiting under the scorching sun for the arrival of the delegation, praised the meeting and earnestly hoped that the friendship between the Chinese and American peoples would be inherited and carried forward from generation to generation. Mac, commander of the US Pacific War Zone and retired four-star admiral, delivered a speech, expressing his good wishes that he would join the "China Culture Bond Project" Organizing Committee in promoting the friendship and cooperation between the Chinese and American people. Anna Chan Chennault also delivered a speech in both Chinese and English languages. She said: The struggle waged jointly by the Chinese and American air forces against Japanese aggression demonstrated the militant friendhip between China and the United States which is the common estate of the two countries, promoting a new friendly and cooperative relationship between the two countries with this historical friendship is my earnest wish and expectation. Well-known veteran fighters and heroes Lu Zhengcao, Wang Dinglie, Ma Zhaoxiang and others in the War of Resistance Against Japan conducted exchanges with the US Flying Tiger Corps members. Ninety-year-old Lu Zhengcao said with emotion: I once rescued a Flying Tiger Corps member at that time, but I don't know whether he has come this time or not. Will we have chance to meet again in the future? Chinese and American scholors jointly reviewed the historical fact about the united struggle waged jointly by China and the United States. Chinese personages who had come in contacts with US Flying Tiger Corps members during the War of Resistance Against Japan and three veteran Flying Tiger Corps members recalled those eventful years. Ma Zhaoxiang, former division commander of the New Fourth Army, said he hed time and again organized activities to rescue pilots of US air force at the order of General Li Xiannian. Luo Bishu, 75, from Jianli County, Hubei Province, who once saved a flyer of the US air force at that time, made a special trip to the meeting place and delivered a speech there. The meeting place was permeated with the friendship between the Chinese and American peoples.
It is really a coincidence in history, because this year sees the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the US "Flying Tiger Corps' aid to China in resistance against Japanese aggression, the 70th anniversary of the "September 18 Incident", the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Pacific War, the Chinese and American peoples became allies who fought shoulder to shoulder during World War II. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the China-US Ping Pong diplomacy, the 30th anniversary of the secret visit paid by Henry Kissinger entrusted by the then President Richard Nixon, it is also the 20th anniversary of the first China visit paid by Anna Chan Chennault entrusted by the then President Ronald Reagan, who was received by Deng Xiaoping. Such being the case, the activities to mark the 60th anniversary of the US Flying Tiger Corps which aided China in its resistance to Japanese aggression have offered an opportunity for the Chinese and American personages to talk over the friendship between the two countries.
On the afternoon of September 6, the US Flying Tiger Corps Delegation, together with the "China Culture Bond Project" Organizing Committee, held a ceremony at the Chinese Aviation Museum, initiating a series of activities with the theme of "not forgetting World War II, Defending peace--collecting China-US joint anti-Japanese historical data and material evidence during the Second World War. The Jianli County Museum in Hubei Province which houses the extant bomber wreckage of the US 14th air unit specially put forward the proposal, Mr Yang Benhua, descendant of the US 14th air unit, expressed his attitude of active support for this. Admiral Mac, a member of the US Flying Tiger Corps Delegation, delivered a warm and friendly speech, in which he suggested carrying out little tiger activities between China and the United States, that is to come to uderstand the history of the Flying Tiger Corps and acquire aviation knowledge through network exchanges between Chinese and American children. After the conclusion of the ceremony, Chinese and American personages visited the China Aviation Museum. The said museum displayed replica of the US Flying Tiger Corps' airplane, veteran members of the Corps took a group photo before the airplane as a memmento, they stayed there for long, feeling reluctant to leave.
The series of activities have exerted important influence at home and abroad. Former US President George Bush expressed his good wishes through Consul General Zhang Chunxiang in Houston, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and Xue Weicheng, friend of the two generation Presidents Bush and chairm of the Dallas US-China Friendship Committee specially sent in letters of congratulations. Taiwan "Forum" and Taiwan Ex-servicemen Association specially sent in telegraphs of congratulations, Taiwan "Forum" also published a commentary for the occasion. The influence continues to this date. After the occurrence of the September 11 terrorist incident, concerned American friends gave a special phone call to the "China Culture Bond Project" Organizing Commitee, pointing out that after the said incident, they had got a better understanding of humankind's most sincere feeling as embodied in the series of activities marking the 60th anniversary of the US Flying Tiger Corps' aid to China in its resistance to Japanese aggression, and that is the need to treasure peace and friendship.
By People's Daily Online
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