Although China's sore memories of the war against the Japanese
aggression could never be easily erased, it is now the right time
for the lacerated Chinese to bathe devotedly in the glory of
winning the fierce war and use wartime legacy to inspire future
Exactly 68 years ago, Japanese soldiers attacked Chinese forces
near the Lugouqiao (Marco Polo Bridge) southwest of Beijing,
marking an official start of an eight-year war between the two
From 1931 to 1945, 35 million Chinese citizens died or were
injured in defiance of the Japanese assault, accounting for eight
percent of the national population at the time.
Given the unheard-of atrocities conducted by the invading
Japanese troops, it is unavoidable that Japan's unrepentant
post-war attitude toward the wartime history repeatedly prodded
nerves of the Chinese people and brought the Sino-Japanese
relations into the current stalemate.
The pride that should originate from China's victory in the
marathon anti-aggression war has long been overshadowed by the
lingering pains of the warfare happening over six decades ago.
The mentioning of the war in China usually readily relates to
the pains suffered and losses incurred during the war period. Often
left unmentioned is the fact that it is the first and only war
against foreign invasion ended in favor of China since 1840.
In recent years, Chinese experts on the war history started to
call for "victory education" to the nation and urged Chinese
citizens to use their anti-aggression legacy as a national
Wang Xinhua, curator of the Beijing-based Memorial of Chinese
People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, said
commemorative activities should not only focus on the tragic
wartime events such as the Nanjing Massacre, which claimed lives of
300,000 million Chinese people, but also fully glorify the hard-won
victory of the entire Chinese nation in fighting against the fate
of being conquered and subjugated by the Japanese.
During World War II, 1.38 million Japanese soldiers were killed
or injured in China, accounting for 70 percent of Japan's total
casualties worldwide. The brave and tenacious endeavors made by the
Chinese army and civilians undoubtedly guaranteed the success of
the worldwide fight against the fascist forces.
Actually, the same qualities of bravery and tenacity
demonstrated in the fight against Japanese aggression also greatly
helped China make the astonishing social and economic achievements
during the past twenty-some years.
In fact, duly crediting China's victory in the war against the
Japanese aggression will rally the national togetherness, boost
self-esteem, confidence and sense of pride, and encourage the
Chinese people to strive for the country's rejuvenation.
Incorporating the brave and unyielding anti-aggression legacy in
future development of China is probably a more meaningful way to
commemorate the spirit of the Chinese war heroes than simply
mourning for the dead and crying over the losses.
(Xinhua News Agency July 8, 2005)