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Memorialize war to maintain future peace

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

08-07-2015 16:56 BJT

By Hu Yifeng, research director, Literary Criticism Center, Literary and Art Association

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Chinese people’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. Recently the Chinese government and people have been honoring the memory of the war that brought great suffering to the Chinese people and people from all over the world. This shows that the Chinese people today have a deeper understanding of the war  70 years ago. They are now commemorating the war in the name of humanity, peace and the future.

First, commemorating the war in the name of human dignity. There is no doubt that there is always some sacrifice in a war. It’s so rare to see such extremes of human nature as Japan’s aggression against China. Take the Nanjing Massacre, an event still denied by some Japanese right wingers, for instance. On December 13, 1937, Japanese aggressors occupied Nanjing and began a mass killing that lasted more than six weeks. They committed rape, arson, robbery and all kinds of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Some  300,000 Chinese civilians and prisoners of war were killed, countless women abused and one-third of the beautiful ancient city destroyed under the iron heels of the Japanese invaders.

The Nanjing massacre challenged notions of a universal human nature. The Chinese-American writer Iris Chang suffered depression and committed suicide at the age of 36 while researching the war and writing The Rape of Nanking. It's enough to prove that the inhumane Japanese invasion of China has, for a long time, created a deep psychological trauma for peace-leaving people. Today China’s commemoration is not meant to stir up hatred, but to arouse people to cherish and defend human dignity, to warn people who suffer "historical amnesia” not to initiate such a cruel war ever again.

Second, commemorating the war in the name of world peace. Highlighting the nation is an important feature of the Chinese Anti-Japanese War. As early as 2014, China made September 3 Victory Day for the Chinese people’s Anti-Japanese War and December 13 as National Memorial Day to the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre. This year September 3 is fixed as a national holiday with a grand military parade to be held in Tiananmen Square, centre of Beijing. Vladimir Putin and other foreign leaders will be invited to memorial activities in the Chinese capital and some foreign forces will participate in the parade. On August 5, the Czech president Milos Zeman accepted the invition and will come to China to attend the parade. He is the very first head of state among the European Union nations to confirm his attendance at Beiing V-Day parade.

At a recent meeting presided by of the Party chief and President Xi Jinping, the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party of China Central Committee, the Party ruling body, heard the explanation by professor Qu Aiguo of the academy of military sciences about the history of the Anti-Japanese War. Xi Jinping made an important speech and proposed strengthening the study of the history of anti-Japanese war  at the national level. This suggests that today’s China is increasingly keen to commemorate the war with a national attitude. In the present-day era, the nation is the most important instrument for maintaining world peace. Enhancing the role of the nation in commemorating the war is to reflect China’s firm determination to safeguard the maintenance of victory in the  World War II and international justice. Meanwhile it deepens people’s understanding of world peace.

Third, commemorating the war for the future of humanity. Chinese culture values the practical significance of history.  Only when people look back to the past, can they see the future clearly. Young people represent the future of society and the world. The Chinese Anti-Japanese War commemoration has always attached particular importance to the education of young people. This year  the war commemoration has become a common theme of summer vacation activities for primary schools, secondary schools and universities across China.

Through a series of commemorative activities, young people may focus more on the history of the war, understand anti-war spirit, feel the arduousness of winning peace, set up a positive attitude of absorbing historical knowledge, never forgetting the past, cherishing peace and creating a better future.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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