Bones of Contention: China's World War II Military Graves in India, Burma, and Papua New Guinea

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Exploring the construction and maintenance of Nationalist Chinese soldiers' graves overseas, this article sheds light on post-World War II commemorative politics. After having fought for the Allies against Japanese aggression in the China-Burma-India Theater, the Chinese expeditionary troops sporadically received posthumous care from Chinese veterans and diaspora groups. In the Southeast Asia Theater, the Chinese soldiers imprisoned in the Japanese-run camps in Rabaul were denied burial in the Allied war cemetery and recognition as military heroes. Analyzing archival documents from China, Taiwan, Britain, Australia, and the United States, I demonstrate how the afterlife of Chinese servicemen under foreign sovereignties mattered in the making of the modern Chinese state and its international status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-99
Number of pages48
JournalJournal of Chinese Military History
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Burma
  • China
  • commemoration
  • India
  • military cemetery
  • Papua New Guinea
  • war dead
  • World War II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History

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