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Ten years before Japan precipitated herself into World War 11. by attacking Pearl Harbour, her forces invaded China's "Three North-eastern Provinces"—Manchuria. Still in the throes of a great internal revolution, which even, to-day remains uncompleted, China was in no position to resist effectively, and within three month the Japanese were in complete control. Jehol was taken the following year and then Japan settled down to digest the first bite." During the next five years China avoided conflict with Japan while she endeavoured to settle her own internal difficulties, and the end of this period saw China divided into two major opposing factions, the Kuomintang forces and the Communists. Then occurred the famous Sian incident, when Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek was kidnapped by the "Young Marshal" Chang Hseuh-liang. Communist intervention saved the Generalissimo's life, and talks then instituted resulted in the Kuomin-tang-Communist dispute being "patched up." A united China was dangerous to Japan's plans and six months later, on July 7, 1937, on the pretext of searching for a lost soldier, Japanese troops attacked the Chinese forces in Loukouchiao. The long Sino-Japanese war had begun. At first China had little but the sympathy of the nations, who, in 1941, were to become her allies. Later, plans were made to give her practical help, but these were only beginning to materialise when war spread throughout the world and China's would-be friends had to look to their own defences. It Is only within the past year that aid to China has been on an appreciable scale, and this has been reflected in the improved situation in that theatre. Despite the difficulties under which China has laboured, her contribution to the Allied war effort has been no mean one. She has inflicted on the Japanese over two million casualties, and her steadfast resistance despite a number of peace overtures by the Japanese has had a great influence on the course of the whole Allied war with Japan. China's, effort has been realised at great cost to herself. Millions of her -soldiers have been killed or wounded, while tens of millions of civilians have lost their lives as a result of the ravages of war—slaughter, disease and starvation. No nation will welcome the peace more than China.

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Bibliographic details

LONG FIGHT, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 189, 11 August 1945

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LONG FIGHT Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 189, 11 August 1945

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