Far­ci­cal spec­u­la­tion about victory pa­rade

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

hina will flex its mil­i­tary mus­cle.” This seems to be the mes­sage manyWestern and Ja­panese me­dia out­lets are giv­ing by spec­u­lat­ing that China might hold a grand mil­i­tary pa­rade in Septem­ber.

This is a typ­i­cal ex­am­ple of much me­dia ado about noth­ing, be­cause even if a mil­i­tary pa­rade is held in Septem­ber to mark the 70th an­niver­sary of the victory in the Chi­nese Peo­ple’sWar of Re­sis­tance Against Ja­panese Ag­gres­sion (1937-45), it will only be part of a se­ries of ac­tiv­i­ties to com­mem­o­rate the anti-fas­cist war.

China has no in­ten­tion of show­ing off its mil­i­tary might to any coun­try, even when Ja­panese politi­cians’ ir­re­spon­si­ble com­ments and con­tentious moves have raised ten­sions in East Asia. It’s true the pa­rade, if it is held, will be spe­cial. In 1999 and 2009, spe­cial pa­rades were held on the 50th and 60th an­niver­saries of the found­ing of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China. But the “victory pa­rade” will not be held on theNa­tional Day.

Be­sides, it will only be part of the ac­tiv­i­ties to re­mind the world of what hap­pened on the eastern bat­tle­field dur­ingWorldWar II. As a coun­try which played an ex­tremely im­por­tant role in the fight against fas­cism in the East, the Asian bat­tle­field is yet to get its due recog­ni­tion com­pared with the Euro­pean bat­tle­field where China’s coun­ter­parts fought again­stNazi Ger­many and fas­cist Italy.

China suf­fered over 30 mil­lion ca­su­al­ties in the eight-year-long War of Re­sis­tance Against Ja­panese Ag­gres­sion. About 300,000 of its peo­ple lost their lives in the six-week-longNan­jingMas­sacre alone, which started in De­cem­ber, 1937, im­me­di­ately af­ter Ja­panese troops took the city. The Chi­nese peo­ple, through their war of re­sis­tance, de­pleted Ja­pan’s re­sources and thus pre­vented it from launch­ing at­tacks on other coun­tries, which played a vi­tal role in re­al­iz­ing the victory in the anti-fas­cist war.

China, there­fore, has ev­ery rea­son to fol­low the in­ter­na­tional prac­tice of high­light­ing its losses dur­ingWorldWar II and its sac­ri­fices that led to the victory of the Al­lies. On Jan 27, Poland held a cer­e­mony to mark the 70th an­niver­sary of the lib­er­a­tion of the Auschwitz con­cen­tra­tion camp. Rus­sia will hold a sim­i­lar cer­e­mony in­May. And th­ese pro­grams are not aimed at spread­ing ha­tred and turn­ing peo­ple against their past enemies; in­stead, they are at­tempts to re­mind the world to be vig­i­lant against the threats to peace.

The Ja­panese peo­ple, who were ex­ploited by their rulers and the im­pe­rial army, paid a heavy price. In just the two cities ofHiroshima andNa­gasaki, about 130,000 Ja­panese were di­rectly killed af­ter the US dropped an atomic bomb on each of the cities in Au­gust 1945.

With some Ja­panese politi­cians now try­ing to white­wash Ja­pan’s war crimes, the world will be watch­ing closely what Ja­panese PrimeMin­is­ter Shinzo Abe says on Aug 15, the day when Ja­pan sur­ren­dered to the Al­lies 70 years ago. Abe has hinted that his state­ment might de­vi­ate from the his­toric state­ment of for­mer Ja­panese prime min­is­ter Tomi­ichiMu­rayama, who ad­mit­ted Ja­pan’s war crimes. If Abe does so, he will not only chal­lenge the post­war in­ter­na­tional or­der, but also cast a shadow over EastAsia and harm the in­ter­ests of the Ja­panese peo­ple.

China is a peace-lov­ing coun­try that fol­lows a de­fen­sive de­fense strat­egy. If held, the mil­i­tary pa­rade to mark the victory in the war of re­sis­tance will only show the Chi­nese mil­i­tary’s res­o­lu­tion to pro­tect the na­tion and its peo­ple. There­fore, China’s ac­tiv­i­ties to mark the victory will be a trib­ute to peo­ple across the world who laid down their lives in the an­tifas­cist war. The au­thor is a writer with China Daily.

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