Cairo Declaration Commemorated by CCTV, Chinese Netizen Reactions

Chiang Kai-Shek with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill

CCTV recently commemorated the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Cairo Declaration, an agreement reached on November 27th, 1943 among the three major Allied powers – the United States, Great Britain and China. This historic declaration brought together allied leaders including Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek in order to established the surrender conditions for Japan that stipulated the return of territories taken by Japan since World War I.

CCTV claimed that the Cairo Declaration provided the legal justification for the return of the Diaoyu Island after World War II along with Taiwan. However, netizens pointed out that the Cairo Declaration was signed by the Nationalist government at the time and had nothing to do with the Communist Party, with many criticizing the convenient use of the anniversary when it is hardly even taught in Chinese history books.

From Sina Weibo:

@央视新闻: Announcement of the Cairo Declaration — 70 years ago today, China, America and Britain together issued the “Cairo Declaration”, stipulating that Japan will return the territory it stole from China, “stop and punish Japanese aggression”, “strip Japan of all of island holdings gained after World War I from 1914”. Truth must not be distorted, history must not be tampered with. Only if we take history as a guide can we look to the future.

Comments from Sina Weibo:


This must be fake, we never learned it in the history books, Chiang Kai-shek and Soong Mei-ling were PS‘d onto [the picture]. The KMT is is treacherous, shameless!!


The Japanese devils did not send representatives to the Cairo Declaration, so them not recognizing this declaration also makes some sense. While the later Potsdam Declaration helped strengthen the Cairo Declaration, from the Republican era to now, the Diaoyu Islands have been continuously occupied by the Japanese devils under a situation of tacit consent…


The Cairo Declaration was issued by the Republic of China not the People’s Republic of China.


President Chiang signed it; it has nothing to do with you.


You can’t even respect history, so how do you have the courage to criticize others?


We will never recognize the deals brokered between the American imperialists, British imperialists and Chiang bandits.


So now they recognize Chiang Kai-shek?


May I ask who was the Chinese leader who vigorously led the Chinese people to resist the Japanese? Was it Mao Zedong? Who was the leader who signed the Cairo Declaration? Was it Mao Zedong?

From Sina Weibo:

@新浪新闻视频: Video: Xinwen Lianbo Brief Commentary: Defend the Integrity of the Cairo Declaration — The Cairo Declaration stipulated that Japan must return the ill-gotten gains of its war of expansion… America should have upheld this principle, but instead took an ambiguous stance out of strategic self-interest, concocting the Treaty of San Francisco to privately give away the Diaoyu Islands, muddying the waters of Asia-Pacific. On such unjustified grounds, an emboldened Japan assumes its outrageous posture.

CCTV Xinwen Lianbo Cairo Declaration 70th anniversary commentary.

[Note: The above link and image leads to a video clip of the relevant CCTV Xinwen Lianbo segment (in Chinese).]

Comments on Sina Weibo:


The problem is the Cairo Declaration did not have the words “Diaoyu Islands”, so what can you do? Okinawa was also forcibly occupied by the Japanese, but why don’t you mention that?


Chiang Kai-shek, the reactionary is now the protagonist.


The Cairo Declaration was for the Republic of China, it has nothing to do with you, the Communist Party.


The Cairo Declaration was signed by whom? Who was the cornerstone of the War of Resistance Against Japan? Who was the legitimate government at the time?


The 70th anniversary of the Cairo Declaration, and China was only founded 64 years ago.


The commies defending a declaration signed by the KMT…what is this, is CCTV still the mouthpiece of the Party?


I have zero interest in who the Diaoyu Island belongs to!!!

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Written by Joe

Joe is a documentary producer and journalist based in Shanghai

  • xuedi

    by the ankle from my sofa here it looks like the islands belong to neither of the parties …

  • xuedi

    by the angle of my view here from the sofa, i can clearly see, that the island belong to neither party anymore:

  • TJDubs

    Is the (official TV mouthpiece of the) CPC arguing in support of the territorial claims of the Republic of China?

    If so, there is a lot of handing over to be done:

    • Germandude

      Come on. Everybody knows that someone will go to a wet market in Nanjing and find some old maps from 1723 that will clearly be sufficient for claiming that everything in question belongs to China.

      • TJDubs

        I’d go with the Mongol Empire / Yuan Dynasty.

        • Nessquick Choco

          yeah, Mongol, not chinese :-)

          • Stefan Xu

            Was the Qing dynasty Chinese then? It was ruled by Manchus.

          • mr.wiener

            The whole “5000 years of unbroken chinese civilization” shtick takes the Manchus and the mongols as lesser members, but members none the less of the chinese nation.
            Smells suspiciously like BS.

          • David

            I don’t mind BS, as long as it is self-consistent and internally logical BS.

          • Nessquick Choco

            Nothing was Chinese, just only after some years ago …

          • carlstar

            Give it back to Mongolia! All of it!

        • David

          I like it.

        • TheSOP

          Oh they have a Dominion! Who wants to be a PRC minion?! .5 RMB for the first 10 to sign up!

        • TheSOP

          I think Thailand should take back Yunnan, Vietnam gets Guanxi, Tibet goes its own way, Korea get Liaoning and Jilin, Mongolia gets the North, Xinjiang can fark off to do what the hell ever central Asians like doing (living in the dark ages?). That sounds pretty good right there.

          • David

            Then China can get back to making its peoples lives livable. smaller size certainly would make it easier to manage. lol

          • TheSOP

            It has been argued that Chinese civilization is more dynamic when it exists under a number of substates than under a monolithic state… the monolith tends to be more imperialistic with a tendency for hubris. Sound familiar?

          • Dr Sun

            when did Yunnan belong to Thailand ?

          • TheSOP


          • Dr Sun

            they are one of many minorities in Yunnan, and they live in a very small part of Yunnan. SOP before you post bs like that you need to research more.

          • TheSOP

            Wow, really!? Your knowledge is amaaaaaaazing! There are other minorities in Yunnan? Geeee whizz!

          • Dr Sun

            yes, and Thailand never owned Yunnan your knowledge is less than amaaaaaaazing !,

          • TheSOP

            Short answer: No :)

          • Dr Sun

            works for me, only a arrogant fool wont admit when he’s wrong.

          • TheSOP

            Wrong about what?? You’ve been drinking the water out of CuiHu again?

    • carlstar

      I think so too. The US didn’t work with the CCP as they would have been considered terrorists in today’s world back then.
      The argument of the islands has to be between Taiwan and Japan. They are on the same chain of islands after all

      • don mario

        that obviously wasn’t a very firm stance the usa had against the ccp then..

        • carlstar

          there was no deal with the ccp. China worked with its allies, not mao.

          • don mario

            yea, and why has that all gone out the window in recent times? just because they are more powerful?

      • Kai

        In a way, the ROC claim to the islands is pretty weak as well. If the ROC can accept that its claim on the mainland is no longer realistic and move on, it can do so with the Senkaku Islands as well. Territorial disputes almost invariably end up being about having the geopolitical power to have your way, past history largely be damned, especially with unpopulated territories.

  • Wayne

    Taiwan was ceded by a signed treaty in 1895 after losing the first Sino-Japanese War. The Cairo Declaration states Japan should return all territory ceased after 1914. It doesn’t apply to Taiwan because it was ceased well before WW1.

    • Jahar

      ceased or seized? Also, I’m checking wiki(i know) but it doesn’t say anything about territory beyong that line about the 4 main islands. you have a link to the full declaration?

      • don mario

        china handed taiwan to japan. they did not ask for it.

        • Jahar

          I’m asking about his word choice.

    • don mario

      taiwan was also only officially in the qing for something like 5 years? all those claims that it is part of china and it was only officially part of it for a tiny amount of time. yea taiwan was ceded, japan didn’t ask for it. such an important place to china historically right?

    • TheSOP

      Taiwan is not a part of China, never will be. Simple as that.

  • mr.wiener

    The big 4. They conveniently forgot to mention madam Chiang [the iron butterfly] was in the photo also.

    • 5,000 years of uncivilization

      Since the CCP took over, women have very little say in politics. She might as well be an interpreter or a piece of furniture.

      • carlstar

        But they aren’t ccp. they are roc

  • MidniteOwl

    Taiwan flips a big middle finger across the sea. That guy is one of ours. You guys keep your Mao and especially his grandchildren.

  • RothschildIsMoney

    The Cairo Declaration basically stated that the 3 allies agreed to stop Japanese aggression and that all lands taken by Japan from China during the war, would be returned to China.

    Following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan agreed to surrender under the conditions of the Potsdam Declaration. This declaration created in cooperation with the US, UK, and China defined that “Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine.”. Pretty vague with what appears to be a cya disclaimer at the end.

    Later, without the involvement of China, the San Francisco Peace Treaty was entered into by the US and Japan. This treaty, in Article 3, appears to give the US the authority to administer the area that the Diaoyu are located.

    China would also enter in a peace treaty with Japan a year later, The Treaty of Taipei. This document has Japan relinquishing several territorial claims and islands, but nowhere is the Diaoyu or its location mentioned.

    The U.S. clearly agreed that all territories taken by Japan during WWII would be returned to China, then the U.S. has no ground to enter a treaty, without China, in which it would control any territory that previously belonged to China. Under whose sovereignty was the Diaoyu prior to WWII and here is where it gets tricky.

    The Japanese government annexed the islands in 1895. Is there any formal denouncement or contention made from China? From 1900 to 1940 a Japanese fishing company operated a processing facility there with 200 workers. If this was Chinese territory, exactly why would this be allowed to happen?

    Going back to Potsdam. Did the allies ever “determine” that the Diaoyu were among those “minor islands” to be part of Japanese sovereignty? If not, then Japan’s sovereignty seems pretty defined by the treaty and an omission is not an assignment of ownership. It’s a disclaimer allowing for future definition of sovereignty which doesn’t seem to have ever defined the Diaoyu as Japan territory.

    I don’t see how the U.S. is entitled to later agree to administer the islands in an agreement with Japan, when they previously agreed to define Japanese sovereignty with China and it did not include the Diaoyu. What a friggin mess.

    • Jahar

      the 4 countries involved were The US, UK, Russia and ROC. The ROC is no longer recognized, Russia was the enemy, and UK an ally. This is how it happened.

    • Chris McKenna

      Thanks interesting well measured history. It seems that it’s one of those things that will never be fully answered without a time machine and that both sides have a valid claim depending on how you look at it.

      A lot of the net people seemed to be bringing up the question of the Communists right to inherit deals made by ROC. I wonder if there are any other precedents? The did Communists inherit other agreements and alliances made by the ROC or did rip up all previous treaties and start again?

    • TheSOP

      Good post, China has absolutely no valid claim to the Senkakus nor to the islands of the South China Sea. But the issue has never been about whether a claim is valid or not, the claims are just a pretext to the era of Chinese imperialism which we are now entering. Actually it is not a new era, in many ways it is a continuation of a behavior pattern that predates the PRC, but a behavior pattern which must be opposed and halted.

    • David

      Interesting information. Thank you for doing the leg work.

  • 5,000 years of uncivilization

    Who really takes what CCTV says seriously anyway?

    • filabusta

      Apparently the person going through and down voting everybody. The wumaos are taking over the English net now too.

    • Stefan Xu

      The same can be said for many news broadcasters in the world.

      Who really takes what Fox News says seriously anyway?
      Who really takes what CNN says seriously anyway?

      • Cauffiel

        A lot more people.

      • David

        Whether you like what they say, those two news agencies report the news, not what the American government tells them to report. They are independent. The same can not be said of CCTV.

      • TheSOP

        I don’t care about Fox but the West has tons of fine journalistic organizations, compared to what in China? Caixin? Thats about the only one I can think of that even has a slight bit of credibility. perhaps a few in the south until they got crushed recently. China is bottom of the barrel when it comes to East Asian media.

        • Stefan Xu

          Yeah I know that China really doesn’t have any good news agencies. I get my news about China from western media, forums, and Chinasmack. The best is to get your news from different sources to get as many perspectives as possible.

          • TheSOP

            Well with that I can agree. Also check out Chosun Ilbo and Korea Times etc, some Tawanese newspapers, Japan has some ok ones also. Lots of good East Asian perspectives out there. Its a shame about China, but still there are nuggets here and there.

  • nqk123

    ok. rock paper scissor. any better solution?

  • lonetrey / Dan

    This guy expressed it quite nicely. I like his tone.

    “May I ask who was the Chinese leader who vigorously led the Chinese people to resist the Japanese? Was it Mao Zedong? Who was the leader who signed the Cairo Declaration? Was it Mao Zedong?”

  • KMT Guy


  • Whirled Peas

    Readers! Japan complied meticulously with the Cairo and Potsdam and SF Treaties. Remember, they were the losers and had no choice to pick and choose what to keep and what to renounce after the war. It is ridiculous to think otherwise. Chiang Kai-Shek was the Allies “Man in Asia” and he quite ably sorted out what territory Japan had to give up.. Japan renounced Taiwan, the Pescadores, Manchuria and other territory on the mainland, plus the Pacific islands it had occupied, and Korea. Japan did what it was told to do. All of the remaining Japanese territory was occupied by the US until Japan could be transformed into a democratic and peaceful nation.

    Japan was not told to give up the Senkakus in 1945 because CKS KNEW that they were not a part of the island of Taiwan or the Pescadores, nor were they claimed by China. They were Japan’s. Taiwan and China’s claim was made FOR THE FIRST time in 1971, only after oil was discovered. Back in 1971 many Chinese were puzzled about the claim because all the China and Taiwan maps and articles showed the Senkakus belonged to JAPAN! Many other Chinese had not even hear of “Diaoyu,” and were indifferent about the issue. It is only today after 40 years of certain elements (CCP for one) intoning daily that “Diaoyu belongs to China” that so many Chinese folks had come to believe the carefully crafted narrative.

    Yes, the Potsdam Declaration says “Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu,Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine.” So??? The Allies (including CKS) determined Japan will keep those 4 islands and its minor islands. It is important to understand that Japan is an archipelago made up of around 1000 islands. The 4 main island make up around 97 percent of its land mass. Its “minor” islands including those of Okinawa Prefecture, Bonin and others make up only 3%. Any islands aside from the main four are minor. But the Senkakus are as “minor” as you can get. They total around 2.7 square miles!! The Senkakus may not be minor in economic significance to “Diaoyu activists” today, but they only became significant in 1968, when oil was discovered.

    It is futile to invoke the Cairo and Potsdam Declarations in the hope those statements magically legitimize the PRC or Taiwan claims to the Senkakus, because they clearly don’t.

  • Whirled Peas

    And one more thing I’d like to add. Yes, it’s true neither PRC nor ROC were invited to sign the SF Treaty in 1952 because of the confusion of two Chinas. HOWEVER, PRC was clearly aware of the contents of the SF Treaty. When PRC complained in writing about not being invited, it also protested that the Paracel, Spratly, and Pratas Islands should be given to China. PRC made absolutely no mention of the Senkakus. Furthermore, in the Treaty of Taipei no discussion occurred about the Senkakus either. I really think China should drop this claim and use the money on more important things than sailing in and flying over the Senkaku waters. It just adds to pollution. Use the money to improve the lives of working people. Isn’t that what the “dictatorship of the proletariat” is supposed to be all about?

    • David

      I have to ask what your source for this information is. Do you have the diplomatic cable or records of them discussing these islands? Are they in an article or a book that I can read? Understand, as a historian sources are very important to me, so when I see something interesting, I like to ask. Thanks.

      • Whirled Peas

        Hello David.

        Sorry, I’m not sure where I originally read the information about China’s protest of the SF Treaty; but it is public knowledge. Here I’ve found some Wikipedia text on the topic under Treaty of San Francisco ( ). (Yes, I know one must be cautious about Wikipedia, but I read this several other places as well).

        “On August 15, 1951 and September 18, 1951 the People’s Republic of China published statements denouncing the treaty, stating that it was illegal and should not be recognized. Besides their general exclusion from the negotiation process, the PRC claimed that the Paracel Islands, Spratly Islands and Pratas Islands in the South Pacific were actually part of China.[10] The treaty either did not address these islands, or in the case of the Pratas Islands turned them over to the United Nations. “ (Wikipedia)

        The reference for the above is:

        [10] “Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai’s statement on the
        US-British draft peace treaty with Japan and the San Francisco Conference” (This statement is in Chinese, but I’m sure there is an English translation somewhere).

        Signing off. :-)

        • David

          TYVM Zhou Enlai was at the very apex of the government, so I guess his comments can be taken as official government policy. OR at the very least acknowledgement of a situation they had no control over.

    • don mario

      if you are going to start listing the things china should do or not do based on common sense you are gonna be here a while..

      • Whirled Peas


  • carlstar

    Red Japanese. Communists like Chinese. This is not the same as a country but a group of people.

    we need to remind that Chinese atrocities against unarmed civilians continued long AFTER world war 2

  • Whirled Peas

    Hi Z: To me there is no gray area. After doing a lot of impartial research and reflection I’ve come to the conclusion those islands are Japan’s. It was only after oil was discovered in 1968 that Taiwan and then China attempted to reverse engineer history to their benefit and invent a claim narrative that would appeal to the uninitiated Chinese public.

    The “Tiaoyutai” movement actually began with a handful of Taiwan oil business interests who hoped to take advantage of the newly discovered oil fields of the Senkakus, PLUS Taiwanese fishermen who had gotten used to trespassing in Senkaku waters during the US Occupation, PLUS young nationalist student intellectuals (many overseas Chinese in HK and US) who were more than happy to promote the view that Japan was trying to take over the islands.Strange bedfellows — business and anti-imperialist and leftist activists. When oil was announced, Japan soon decided to do it’s own exploration around their islands. Yes, they were Japan’s islands even though the US was temporarily occupying them. When the students found out they immediately assumed Japan was greedily trying to make a claim on the islands ONLY AFTER oil was found; and they made liberal use of the slogans “imperialist” and “militarist” and “remember WWII.”. The students were also eager to “take a stand” with the Taiwanese fishermen who were afraid their fishing would be curtailed once the Senkakus reverted back to Japan in the upcoming Okinawa Reversion (1972). So, they claimed that the Taiwanese fisherman had fished the waters continuously since “ancient time,” and that that “fact” showed Taiwan/China had a claim to the islands.. Well, the problem was these young enthusiastic activists had jumped the gun before studying the history of the Senkakus! It was pointed out to the activists that Japan had annexed the Senkakus way back in 1895 and that after WWII they were under occupation of the US (as Japanese territory) — so it was totally legitimate for Japan to explore for oil in its own territory (not a sneaky imperialist plot), Japan was not claiming the islands for the first time!Furthermore, the Taiwan fisherman could not have fished Senkaku continuously since ancient time(s) since from ca. 1895 to close to 1945 they would have been confronted by Japanese who operated a bonito fishing and processing factory on the Senkakus, which housed around 200 workers and fishermen! And if the Taiwanese fisherman had fished from 1945-1970’s they had been fishing illegally in US occupied waters for almost 30 years (maybe some of the younger ones didn’t even realize who the waters belonged to.).

    OOPS! If you’re going to build a movement to claim some islands, it’s better to not go off half-cocked. But the activists didn’t stop there. (stubborn pride). When confronted by inconvenient facts, just cobble together a narrative built on speculation and mythology! After doing a bit of homework they discovered the Treaty of Shimonoseki. How convenient. It was signed in 1895 and Japan annexed the Senkakus in 1895. Gee, let’s say Japan must have annexed the islands as part of the Treaty, so by rights Japan should have returned them according to the Potsdam Declaration (1945), right? Readers will note that in the Treaty of Shimonoseki China ceded Taiwan to Japan. But the Treaty made no mention of the Senkakus. No problem. The activists would claim the Senkakus were part of Taiwan administration (since ancient time)! Patently false. No way the Senkakus were part of Taiwan in 1895. It was only fairly recently that Taiwan has assigned the so-called “administration” of the Senkakus to their Yilin County.

    And over the decades the invented “facts” have multiplied and gotten more convoluted. It’s like the game of Whac-a Mole. You bop one myth down and another appears out of a different hole. Again, I do not think there are any gray areas just attempts to muddy the waters.

  • mike921

    Big misconception by most Chinese – they consider themselves to be a WWII vicTOR country when in reality they were a vicTIM country. Fewer privileges there…

  • Reptilian

    Some Chinese appear to recognize the debatable nature of the Diaoyutais’ ownership due to the preceding treaties being signed by the KMT, the rule of which they don’t recognize as legitimate. The same line of reasoning can be applied to defeat China’s expansive claims over the South China Sea, because the 9-dash line covering 80% of the SCS is a concept that the KMT came up with, and just because no SE Asian country protested at the time the 9-dash was established doesn’t automatically mean China’s claim at the time is legit.

  • 嚫南

    Mao was there. Chiang Kai-shek was obviously photoshopped in later!