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星期四, 四月 14, 2005

CNN: What Chinese textbooks don't say (ZT)

Thursday, April 14, 2005 Posted: 0806 GMT (1606 HKT)


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SHANGHAI, China (AP) -- Some things you won't find in Chinese history textbooks: the 1989 democracy movement, the millions who died in a famine caused by misguided communist policies or China's military attacks on India and Vietnam.

As China criticizes Japan for new textbooks that critics say minimize wartime abuses like the Japanese military forcing Asian women into sexual slavery, Beijing's own schoolbooks have significant omissions about the communist system's own history and relations with its neighbors.

"With rising Chinese nationalism, the efforts to rewrite history, to reinterpret history according to the demands of nationalism have become a major national pastime," said Maochun Yu, a history professor at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Experts say China's textbooks are written to heighten a sense of national victimhood and glorify the Communist Party that seized power in a 1949 revolution and lashes out at any threat to its rule.

The books describe those who died fighting Japan and other outsiders as having "gloriously sacrificed" themselves for China.

Propaganda paintings reproduced in schoolbooks show Chinese struggling against foreign invaders -- poses imitated by protesters who threw rocks at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing over the weekend during violent anti-Japanese demonstrations in several Chinese cities.

An eighth-grade history book used in Shanghai, China's most cosmopolitan city, repeatedly refers to Japanese by an insulting phrase that roughly translates as "Jap bandits."

The book focuses on Japanese atrocities and repeats China's claim that 35 million Chinese died or were injured during their 1937-45 war.

"Wherever the Japanese army went, they burned, killed, stole and plundered," the book says. "There was no wickedness they didn't commit."

Omissions of major events appear aimed at shoring up China's image of itself as a non-aggressor, especially since the 1949 revolution.

The books don't mention the brief but bloody 1962 border war with India that broke out when Chinese troops attacked Indian positions to enforce territorial claims.

There is nothing on the 1979 war when Chinese troops attacked Vietnam. The assault was ordered to punish Hanoi for ousting the murderous Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, which was an ally of Beijing.

Also missing:

The 1989 crackdown on democracy demonstrations, when Chinese troops killed hundreds and possibly thousands of unarmed protesters.

The estimated 30 million Chinese who starved to death during the 1958-61 "Great Leap Forward," revolutionary leader Mao Zedong's attempt to speed up China's farm and factory output through mass collectivization.

Textbooks gloss over ally North Korea's invasion of South Korea at the start of the 1950-53 Korean War, a conflict that drew in troops from the United States and other countries on the side of the South and China's army in support of the North.

The texts say only that "civil war broke out," without mentioning how it started. America is portrayed as an invader that forced Beijing to intervene by threatening Chinese territory.

A seventh-grade text also accuses the U.S. military of using biological weapons during the Korean War, repeating a claim made by China, North Korea and the former Soviet Union during the Cold War but never proven.

While Japan's distortions of its history appear driven by a reluctance to accept shame, China's are aimed at preserving communist rule, said Sin-ming Shaw, a China scholar at Oxford University in England.

"Not owning up is a calculated political policy," Shaw said.


20:55 发表在 2005反日风潮, 中土 | 查看全文 | 评论 (0)