Aug. 29 (UPI) — China is revising its textbooks to change the dates marking a crucial period in its modern history — an era that ended with World War II.
According to Chinese news reports published on Sina.com on Tuesday, China’s ministry of education is to extend the dates of the China-Japan War, or China’s World War II, from 1937-1945 to 1931-1945.
The revisions are to be applied to state-approved textbooks on law and ethics, linguistics and history, and come at the request of the Chinese Communist Party, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
The textbooks are to include details on how national uprisings that began as early as 1931 — in response to conflict with Japan — helped China play a leading role in the global fight against fascism that ended on Aug. 15, 1945, according to reports.
In previous editions of state-sanctioned textbooks, the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of July 7, 1937, was highlighted as the starting point of the armed conflict between China and Japan.
But come September, new textbooks will identify the Mukden Incident, or Manchurian Incident, as the starting point for China’s anti-Japanese struggle.
The Mukden Incident was a staged conflict, planned by the Japanese military, to create a pretext for an invasion of northeastern China.
Japan was then able to annex Manchuria as part of its growing empire.
The rewriting of history in textbooks may be part of the Communist Party’s attempt to strengthen its authority ahead of the 19th Party Congress in October.
The party congress is already planning to curtail the use of the national anthem at social gatherings like funerals, according to the South China Morning Post.