World / Reporter's Journal

It's the ideal time to reflect on China-US friendship and cooperation

By Chen Weihua in Washington (China Daily USA) Updated: 2015-08-31 05:47

The Chinese embassy in Washington has been holding a photo exhibit since June 24 to highlight Chinese and US cooperation during World War II.

The show, with 110 photos on display in the hallway of the grand embassy building in Cleveland Park neighborhood, will reach its 70-day mark on Tuesday, symbolizing this year's 70th anniversary of the victory in WWII and China's War of Resistance of Japanese Aggression (1937-45).

Wu Xi, deputy chief of mission of the Chinese embassy, described the 70th day mark as the ideal commemoration for the 70th anniversary.

Thousands of people from various circles, including the US government, Congress, think tanks, news media and overseas Chinese and Chinese students studying in the US, have visited the exhibit.

"(They) are deeply moved by the history of China-US cooperation during those eventful years," Wu said on Friday.

"History will not forget that China was the main battleground in Asia during WWII and the Chinese people's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression contributed greatly to the World Anti-fascist War," she said.

She noted that in that war for justice and peace, Chinese and Americans fought alongside each other, cooperated closely and forged a deep friendship.

It's the ideal time to reflect on China-US friendship and cooperation

About 35 million Chinese soldiers and civilians lost their lives or were wounded during the eight-year war against Japanese aggression, according to incomplete statistics.

The photos on display are from the old days and today, featuring heroes, heroic events and the friendships that are still alive today.

General Joseph Stilwell, who served in the China-Burma-India Theater during WWII, and General Claire Lee Chennault, commander of the First American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers, who fought along the Chinese against Japanese in southwest China, are two of the best known American heroes among Chinese.

These are reflected in the Stilwell monument and museum in southwest China's Chongqing municipality, Chennault's statues in Hunan and Guizhou provinces as well as a Flying Tigers Heritage Park in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Besides photos of these military leaders, there were plenty of vivid photos of interaction between US soldiers and their Chinese counterparts and civilians.

Some photos depict the Hump mission. Hump was the name given by Allied pilots at that time to the eastern end of the Himalayas.

In a recent interview, J.V. "Jay" Vinyard, who turned 92 on Aug 7, told the story of his going to China as a 21-year-old US Army Air Force pilot, flying a Douglas C-47 Skytrain over the "Hump" on 87 round trips between China and India. The cargo and fuel in the transport plane were critical to supply the 14th US Army Air Force and the Flying Tigers fighting the Japanese in China.

Vinyard, Anna Chen Chennault, widow of General Chennault, and other American veterans and their family members have been invited to attend commemorative events in Beijing later this week, including the military parade on Sept 3.

Vinyard said recently that he was very happy to be invited, describing it as a great feeling that the Chinese people remember him so well.

"They honored me far beyond what I did," he said. "We appreciate that the Chinese remember us. We are not always remembered,"

Max Baucus, US ambassador to China, will also observe the military parade as President Obama's special representative.

"President Obama thinks highly of the Chinese people's great contribution to the victory of World War II and the US-China friendship forged during the war as China is set to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the war," US National Security Advisor Susan Rice said during her visit to Beijing on Aug 28.

While 70 years has lapsed, Wu of the Chinese embassy reminded people that the photo show is to celebrate the great victory, learn from history, remember the China-US friendship and cooperation and look toward an even brighter future for the relationship between the two nations.

"In the 21st century now, we must always remember that as the two most influential nations in the world today, China and the US share the important and common interest and responsibility for world peace, stability and prosperity," she said.

She stressed that strengthening cooperation between China and the US not only meets the interests of peoples in both countries, it also meets the expectations of the international community.

Wu described the state visit by President Xi Jinping to the US in late September as being "of great significance to both the bilateral relations and the world."

Besides the state visit, Xi will also address the United Nations General Assembly in New York marking the 70th anniversary of the UN.

Chinese officials have constantly stressed that the two countries should focus on expanding cooperation while constructively and effectively managing their differences — the clear message from the photo show at a time when some US politicians and news media focus narrowly on differences only.

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