Taiwan defends inclusion of communist in memorial calendar
2015-01-06 15:38:46

    Taipei, Jan. 6 (CNA) The Ministry of National Defense on Tuesday defended the inclusion of Zuo Quan, a Chinese Communist Party member, in a special 2015 calendar commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Republic of China's victory over Japan in the Sino-Japanese War.

    Zuo is one of the 268 senior ROC military officers who died in the 1937-1945 war included in a list on the last page of the special calendar produced by the ministry.

    His inclusion drew the attention of local media and prompted questions on why a calendar put together by the ROC (Taiwan) would honor an officer loyal to the Communist Party.

    But Maj. Gen. Yu Tsung-chi, director of the ministry's Cultural Publicity and Psychological Operation Division and the person responsible for the project, said the reason was fairly straightforward.

    Though Zuo joined the Communist Party, he participated in the fight against Japan as part of the collaboration between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party and was under the leadership of the ROC, Yu said, in response to reporters' questions.

    The list features ROC "senior military officers who sacrificed their lives in the fight against Japan," and Zuo is among them, Yu said.

    In defending the move, ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shou-he said the decision came after discussion and a review by military officials and local historians.

    Zuo was part of the "ROC military" that fought against Japan, Luo stressed.

    In 1937, the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang agreed to cooperate to defend China against a Japanese invasion, though that cooperation was often cursory at best.

    The ROC government relocated to Taiwan in 1949 after losing to the Chinese communist forces in the Chinese civil war.

(By Elaine Hou)