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China revises textbooks with new time frame for anti-Japanese war

(People's Daily Online)    11:39, February 21, 2017

Starting this spring, the stated duration of the anti-Japanese war has been extended to 14 years in all Chinese textbooks, a revision that aims to fully reflect the crimes committed by Japanese troops during the conflict.

The war, which has been known for generations in China as the “eight-year Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression,” is now renamed the “14-year Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression." The starting time of the war has been changed from 1937 to 1931, when Japanese troops began their invasion of northeastern China.

Several textbook publishers, including People’s Education Press and Beijing Normal University Publishing Group, confirmed that all elementary and secondary school textbooks using the old phrase have been revised, affecting subjects including history and political science, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

The revision of higher education textbooks is not yet completed. New textbooks are expected to be introduced to universities this fall, according to the report.

The decision, which was made by the Ministry of Education in January, is believed to be a firm response to President Xi Jinping’s speech at the 70th anniversary of victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the end of WWII in 2015, when Xi urged researchers to study events starting from 1931 as well as those after 1937.

“We should refute with solid facts those arguments that try to distort, deny or whitewash the history of invasion,” Xi said.

Xu Yong, a history professor at Peking University, told Beijing Youth Daily that the new description of the war offers a more accurate account of the conflict, though the former phrase has been widely used for years across the Straits.

According to the Xinhua News Agency, China was the first nation to fight against fascist forces. The struggle started as early as Sept. 18, 1931, when Japanese troops began their invasion of China. It intensified with Japan’s full-scale invasion, which began after a crucial access point to Beijing, Lugou Bridge, was attacked by Japanese troops on July 7, 1937.

More than 35 million Chinese soldiers and civilians were killed or wounded during the anti-Japanese war.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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