4 December 2023

False: This headline has been altered. China did not claim the Communist Party fought against ‘99%’ of the invading Japanese army

The original headline in the Nan Guo Morning Post (南国早报) puts it at 60 percent.


Featured Image with Label


A tweet on Sept. 19 contained an image of what appears to be a newspaper article with the headline, “Deputy Director of the Party History Research Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China: Communist Party fought against 99% of the invading Japanese army.”

Xie Wanjun, the chairman of the banned China Democracy Party who is based in New York, according to his Twitter and Linkedin accounts, uploaded the image.

Xie said in his tweet the article is “deceitful,” presumably implying the role of the communist party during the Sino-Japanese War has been grossly exaggerated with the claim of “99%.”

However, this headline has been digitally manipulated.

An image search led to this 2016 Facebook post with an identical article with a different headline that puts the figure at 60 percent.

Facebook screenshot
Screenshot of a 2016 Facebook post sharing the same printed news article with a different figure in the headlines.
Comparison image
Comparison between manipulated image (left) and the original image (right).

Another image search revealed a screenshot of a news story that contained the same article including its section name called “Big Data (大数据).”

Annie Lab was able to find the article on the news aggregator Sohu and identified the source as Nan Guo Morning Post (南国早报) although we were unable to obtain the printed version used in the image in question.

Bigdata logo
The logo (encircled in red by Annie Lab) above the headline- ”Big data” (大数据) was used by Nan Guo Morning Post (南国早报)
Original report
The original report from Nan Guo Morning Post (南国早报)

As the first sentence in Chinese indicates, this article appears to be a copy distributed by Xinhua News Agency on Aug. 13, 2015.

The same article on Xinhua’s website also has a headline with the figure “60%” as seen below.

Xinhua News Angency
The original copy from Xinhua News Agency.

In 2018 the Party History Research Office (中央党史研究室) was regrouped and, in fact, its name was changed to Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee (中共中央党史和文献研究院), which also indicates that the article in question was not written recently.

In China, the Communist Party’s contribution during the Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937 to 1945, commonly known as the “War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (抗日战争),” has remained a sensitive and controversial topic for a long time.

The ruling Kuomintang Party and the Communist Party both fought against Japan during that period.

In 2015 a former Premier of Taiwan’s Executive Yuan, Hau Pei-tsun, who was also a veteran and a senior KMT member, said in an interview with BBC that it was not fair for the CPC to claim themselves to be the main force of the resistance against Japanese invasion.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly said last year that the CPC was the “primary pillar of the resistance” and it had led to the victory of the war.