49 na­tions to at­tend cer­e­mony

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By ZHANG YUNBI in Bei­jing and FU JING in Brus­sels

Se­nior Chi­nese of­fi­cials have con­firmed that rep­re­sen­ta­tives of 49 coun­tries and 30 for­eign lead­ers will at­tend China’s V-Day cel­e­bra­tions on Sept 3. Sev­en­teen coun­tries will join the morn­ing mil­i­tary pa­rade, with par­tic­i­pants from six con­ti­nents.

Chi­nese and Euro­pean an­a­lysts pinned high hopes on the mes­sage of peace to be de­liv­ered be­cause the Septem­ber gath­er­ing is rep­re­sen­ta­tive and the con­tri­bu­tions made by the Chi­nese peo­ple to end the war should not be for­got­ten.

In ad­di­tion to Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and Re­pub­lic of Korea Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye, at­tend­ing heads of state will in­clude Myan­mar Pres­i­dent Thein Sein and Venezue­lan Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro. Bri­tain will send for­mer jus­tice min­is­ter Ken­neth Clarke, France will be rep­re­sented by For­eign Min­is­ter Lau­rent Fabius and the United States will be rep­re­sented by its am­bas­sador to China.

“Who­ever comes here are all our guests and are all welcome,” Vice-For­eign Min­is­ter Zhang Ming told a news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing on Tues­day, af­ter be­ing asked if China is sat­is­fied with the num­ber and scale of the for­eign guests.

Choe Ry­ong­hae, a mem­ber of the Polit­buro Pre­sid­ium and the sec­re­tary of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the Work­ers’ Party of Korea, will lead a del­e­ga­tion from the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of Korea to the cer­e­monies, Zhang con­firmed. Choe vis­ited China in 2013 as a spe­cial en­voy of DPRK leader Kim Jong-un.

The events, in­clud­ing a mil­i­tary pa­rade, a re­cep­tion and a gala, will com­mem­o­rate the 70th an­niver­sary of vic­tory in the War of Re­sis­tance against Ja­panese Ag­gres­sion (193745) and the end of World War II.

Guo Weimin, vice-min­is­ter of the State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice, said Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping will par­tic­i­pate in an event on Sept 2 to present com­mem­o­ra­tive medals to Chi­nese vet­er­ans.

They in­clude those from forces led by both the Com­mu­nist Party of China and the Kuom­intang, ac­cord­ing to Guo.

Qiao Liang, a pro­fes­sor with the Na­tional De­fense Univer­sity of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army, said the events honor vet­er­ans of all forces and send the sig­nal that “any­one who stood up at the crit­i­cal mo­ment of the coun­try de­serves our re­spect”.

Peter van Tuijl, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Global Part­ner­ship for the Preven­tion of Armed Con­flict, said “the Chi­nese peo­ple suf­fered tremen­dously dur­ing World War II and con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cantly to the vic­tory of the Al­lied Forces”.

Van Tuijl ap­pre­ci­ates the pa­rade of the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army “as a sign that the grow­ing Chi­nese mil­i­tary ca­pac­i­ties will op­er­ate within in­ter­na­tion­ally agreed frame­works as a force for peace”.

Adam Cath­cart, a lec­turer in Chi­nese history at the Univer­sity of Leeds in the UK, said the pa­rade “has ob­vi­ously been the fo­cus of fas­tid­i­ous prepa­ra­tions and care­ful plan­ning”.

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