World War II

People wearing face masks wait at an intersection in Beijing's central business district in China, on 1 November 2023. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

The China factor behind several Indo-Pacific hotspots

US researcher Wei Da gives a threat assessment of potential hotspots in 2024, from the South China Sea to the Taiwan Strait, the Korean peninsula and the Ukraine war, with the China factor in mind.
Military personnel take part in the Double Ten Day celebration ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan, on 10 October 2023. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Taiwan presidential election 2024: What truly matters

As the world is set up for a chess match between the global powers, the tussle surrounding the upcoming Taiwan presidential election next year is a preview of what is to come. Commentator Wei Da explores how Taiwan can make decisions at the election that would optimise Taiwan’s long-term and fundamental interests, and draws some lessons from history.
Liu Guoxiang was an air force pilot who joined the services during the war against Japan.

[Photo story] An air force pilot and his journey from Hunan to Taiwan

Photo collector Zou Dehuai shares some images from an album that previously belonged to air force pilot Liu Guoxiang, who joined the services during the war against Japan. Little is known about his work as a pilot, but he has no doubt led an interesting life, studying at a Hui Muslim middle school in Hunan, training in Chengdu and US Arizona, and withdrawing to Taiwan with the military and his family in 1949.
On 26 April 1947, the chief perpetrator of the Nanjing Massacre, Hisao Tani, was escorted to the execution ground at Yuhuatai by military police, where a large crowd of onlookers gathered. The next day, China’s Central Daily News (中央日报) reported: “At 11:30 am on 26 April, the defendant Hisao Tani was identified and taken to the Yuhuatai execution ground by the court, and executed by firing squad according to the law.”

[Photo story] The long road to justice against Japanese war criminals and collaborators

Following Japan’s surrender at the end of the Second World War, the horrific military atrocities were brought to light as war criminals were put on trial. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao provides descriptions and images of that period. This article may contain some visually disturbing images.
The search for Ma Tinghui took 12 years.

The search for Ma Tinghui: An ordinary soldier, an extraordinary life [Photo story]

Photo collector Zou Dehuai takes us through the search for Ma Tinghui, a former teacher and interpreter for the Allies with the Chinese Expeditionary Force during World War II, who also suffered much during the Cultural Revolution. While the images of him were only found after his death, his legacy lives on among his family and students.
In 1938, Germany produced a Japanese historical film depicting the Japanese monk Kukai (Kobo Daishi) travelling to Chang’an in the Tang Dynasty to study Buddhism and bringing it back to Japan.

[Photo story] From admirer to conquerer then equals: Japan's evolving relations with China over the centuries

Relations between China and Japan have not been easy, especially given Japan’s history of invading China and colonising Taiwan. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao gives us a look into that period of strife and struggle.
Near the end of the Qing dynasty, Sun Yat-sen and three of his friends were collectively known to the Manchu government as the Four Bandits (四大寇). The picture shows the four friends (from left) Yang Heling, Sun Yat-sen, Chen Shaobai, and You Lie, with Guan Jingliang standing behind. This photo was taken at the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese (香港华人西医书院), established in 1887, now the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong.

[Photo story] Taiwan and the ROC: Same, yet different

Taiwan’s current situation is the result of historical factors and developments, including Sun Yat-sen’s revolution and the ensuing rivalry between the Kuomintang and Chinese Communist Party. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao re-examines that era with his collection of old pictures.
In 1914, after the Japanese army violently suppressed the resistance movement by the indigenous Taiwanese, they gathered the survivors and pointed their bayonets at their captives as instructed by the Japanese army photographer, facing the camera in a pose of victors.

[Photo story] The historical aftermath of Japan’s colonisation of Taiwan

Japan’s colonisation of Taiwan after the First Sino-Japanese War is a chapter of history that the Chinese would rather forget, along with the pain and suffering that the Japanese inflicted on the people of China and Taiwan. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao gives us an idea of that period.
On 29 June 1942, Madame Chiang Kai-shek was at a ceremony in Chongqing in recognition of the valour of the pilots of the Doolittle Raid, to boost the morale of the Allied forces.

[Photo story] The Doolittle Raid and the historical bonds between China and the US

Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao recounts the details of the Doolittle Raid, named after US Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, which saw US and Chinese soldiers fighting together against the Japanese in their first and biggest joint action in WWII.