Nanyang Volunteer 南侨机工

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The Second Sino Japanese War (1937 - 1945)[edit | edit source]

On the night of July 7, 1937, Japanese and the Chinese troops exchanged fire in the vicinity of the Marco Polo Bridge. This launched a full scale invasion of China. It was primarily a military conflict between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. It is known as the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (中国抗日战争) in China. It is also often regarded as the beginning of World War II in Asia. [1]

Nanyang Volunteers 南侨机工[edit | edit source]

The Chinese government was concerned about importing war materials into China. This led to the construction of the Burma Road linking Kunming with Yangon port in Burma, the road that eventually became China's only link with the outside road. To solve the problem of lacking of skilled drivers and mechanics to transport supply on this road, the Chinese government asked for help from the China Relief Fund (南洋华侨筹赈祖国难民总会)[2] to recruit drivers and mechanics from Nanyang (南洋), or today's South East Asia. These drivers and mechanics are known as the Nanyang Volunteers (南侨机工). About 3200 Nanyang Volunteers left in 15 batches from February to September 1939. Most of them served on the Burma Road. Most of the volunteers were Chinese men, with the exception of a few Indian and Malay men, and 4 Chinese women. [3]

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