The Involvement of Chinese Canadians in WWII

Introduction

Chinese who live in Canada have been through several injustices and restrictions to participate in the Canadian army. But, the Chinese Canadians offered unpaid help to serve in both the first and the second war. Those who participated in the army were offered full citizenship rights and the head tax was removed. The Chinese Canadians participants also hoped that by participating in the war they would achieve the votes in which were offered after the second war when Canada revoked the Chinese Exclusion Act and unmitigated the vote to Chinese Canadians in 1947. During the first few days of the World War II, several Chinese Canadians volunteered for the Canadian Army.

The men were acknowledged and when the war enthused to Hong Kong, more Chinese Canadians volunteered. Many Chinese joined the army for both personal and political reasons. Some were patriotic who were born and raised in Canada they loved Canada as their home. While still others wanted to prove their patriotism to Canada through the World War II and potentially gain the franchise as a result of participation.

Mr. Chow, a Chinese Canadian war veteran takes a photo with other soldiers after World War II. He served in the Canadian army for several years.

This Editorial cartoon published in The Windsor Daily Star in January 1947. It was drawn after Chinese war veterans started getting the priority to be Canadian citizens. The drawing shows the erased unwelcome of the Chinese people to Canada and shows that Chinese people could now enjoy the privilege of being Canadians. They were offered citizenship giving then rights just like any other Canadian.

Excerpt from a pamphlet published in the 1930s by the Native Sons of British Columbia, a trades and labour council opposed to extending the franchise to Orientals(people descended from Eastern Asia e.g., China, Japan).

This 1957 Photograph, shows Douglas Jung, a veteran of the Canadian army, and three of his followers after he became the first Chinese Canadian elected as a federal Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre where he served from 1957-1962. Interview with Alex Louie for Unwanted Soldiers, a film documentary released in December 1999 sources: Docsan online resource for teachers.