Taiwan jabbed at mainland China this weekend with a two-hour military show aimed at asserting credit for defeating Japan in a key World War II theater, but Beijing is expected to absorb the barb as it seeks friendly relations with the island -- even though it credits its own Communist forces for the same victory.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and nations across Asia are marking the event in a variety of ways. Mainland China is planning a massive military parade in early September to commemorate the event, but Taiwan has said it would not send any participants to those events.
Taiwan staged V-shaped military aircraft flyovers and a first-ever display of homegrown missile systems at its headline anniversary event Saturday at a military base in the north of the island. Taiwan has upgraded weaponry in recent years mainly to brace against any conflict with mainland China.
During Japan's 1931-45 occupation of China, the Nationalist Party headed by Chiang Kai-shek resisted the Japanese and ruled most of the inland areas that did not fall to them. The Chinese Communist Party engaged in separate guerrilla warfare against the Japanese.
The Nationalist Party was forced to retreat to Taiwan after losing China's civil war to Mao Tse-tung's Communists in the late 1940s.
Since then, Taiwan and mainland China have been separately ruled, though Taiwan has never formally declared independence and Beijing continues to claim sovereignty over the island, straining relations for decades. Taiwan is formally known as the Republic of China.