WAIS welcomes Hui Chun Mo
From China, Hui Chun Mo writes: Thank you for inviting me to WAIS. I hope I will be able to contribute a Chinese perspective on some of the issues discussed in this forum. My name is Mo Chun Hui. I am married to WAISEer Istvan Simon. I was born in Nanning, Guangxi province, and lived there all my life except for my college years studying in Chengdu, Shichun province. I am an economist. I studied at Xi Nan Chai Jin University of China, (Southwest University of Economics and Finance). After graduation I have worked at a large insurance company.
I want to comment on Iris Chang and her work. Even though born and educated in mainland China, I was deeply shocked when I read Chang's book .Nanking Da Tu Sha, (The Nanking Holocaust, or the English title: The Rape of Nanking.) I have heard the word Holocaust so many times that I think it has lost its meaning, but after I read this book, I understood what it meant. The Rape of Nanking is the first English monograph on the Nanking holocaust, even though this happened 60 years before. This neglect is shocking, because there are tens of thousands of books written about the second World War, some historian even investigated Hitler's sexual inclinations... During the 15 years of Japanese aggression against China, besides the terrible property losses, the Chinese lost more than 20 million lives. More than 340 thousand died in 'the Raping of Nanking' alone. China lost more lives than any other country, (over three times more than the Jews murdered by the Nazis), yet this part of history is forgotten, and not just in the West, where few people know about it. The Japanese have always done their utmost to deny the history of the invasion of China. They never really apologized for it. But also in China the truth about this history has been suppressed, the claim for compensation submerged in the political needs of both mainland China and Taiwan in having diplomatic relations with Japan.
Chang discussed deeply in her book the reasons why the Japanese government never apologized sincerely. The government of the People's Republic, the Guo Min Dang, and even the United States have responsibility in this But I think that most important of all is the forgetting of the terrible suffering and inhumane treatment of the Chinese people. Chinese culture always emphasized 'Country, Society, and the Emperor', not the value of the individual, so the life of the individual is not considered to be important. Today there is far more interaction between the Chinese and Japanese than in the time of our fathers, but, as we get to know each other better, the enmity is getting stronger. Though the government tries to tell the people about the friendship between China and Japan, because of what the Japanese do today (falsify the history of the invasion, deny their guilt, refuse compensation, glorify militarism to the younger generation, high government officials pay homage to war criminals in the second World War), it will be very difficult for the Chinese to accept the Japanese in the way the Europeans have accepted the Germans.
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Ronald Hilton 2004
December 5, 2004