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Norman Bethune's Impact On Sino Canadian Relations

1657 words - 7 pages

In today’s rapidly growing global society, foreign relations with other countries are imperative to a nation’s prosperity and world-wide harmony. Especially with China, the fastest growing country in the world, it is important for Canada to establish relations that can benefit both countries. The foundation of these Sino-Canadian relations was created by Norman Bethune’s involvement in the Second Sino-Japanese War. China was not always such a flourishing and prosperous society. In 1937, during this war, Japan invaded China with imperialist objectives. It wrought lurid death and destruction upon Chinese lands, leaving 20 million dead and 15 million injured between the years of 1937 and 1945. Dr. Norman Bethune was at the forefront of the aid mission; he worked long hours on the battlefields, and became known as a skilled surgeon and dedicated teacher. His involvement in China during this period in time created a basis for social, economic, and political ties with China. Through the role he played in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War, Norman Bethune set a base for positive relations between Canada and China today.
Through social initiatives that occurred as a result of his involvement in China, Norman Bethune created a deeper sense of communal connection between Canada and China. Canadian Treasury Board President Tony Clement said, "When Chinese schoolchildren are taught about the value of helping humanity, the story they are told is the Norman Bethune story." In China, the national elementary school textbook has required reading on the story of Norman Bethune and how he was a hero to the Chinese people. Even today, in the 21st century, are Chinese students educated on the Canadian doctor Norman Bethune and his altruistic help in China; they gain an increased consciousness of Canada as a country, and Canada in turn receives awareness and positive recognition from one of the strongest and rising international powers in the world. Canada and China are able to further develop and enhance their strong social ties, because all Chinese generations today and henceforth will be knowledgeable about Canada and its contributions to China, and therefore foster a sense of indebtedness and goodwill toward Canada. Also, in China, there are multiple locations commemorating the life and legacy of Bethune through varying statues and memorials. Specifically, the largest tribute to Norman Bethune stands in Shijiazhuang, just south of the nation’s capitol – the Norman Bethune International Peace Hospital, which houses a Bethune museum on hospital grounds. This hospital is home to an international stem cell treatment facility, and every year many patients come from all over the world, and the rest of China to be treated. This state-of-the-art healthcare centre reflects the humanitarian and charitable aid Norman Bethune once offered China. Many patients are reminded his impact on Chinese society, and feel a more profound gratitude toward him, and his...

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922 words - 4 pages A true man of action, Dr. Norman Bethune was best known for his contribution to the medical field during the Spanish Civil war and Sino-Japanese war. In Canada, he gained respect for being a gifted surgeon and political activist. Despite the criticism he received, he was a hero in the eyes of many people. As a physician and medical innovator, Norman Bethune showed the qualities of a true Canadian hero because he was selfless, devoted and

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