Xi attends state memorial ceremony for Nanjing Massacre victims

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Chinese President Xi Jinping said Saturday that denial of the Nanjing Massacre will not be allowed by the Chinese people or peace-loving people anywhere in the world.

National Memorial of the Nanjing Massacre Victims [Photo/Xinhua]

China holds its first National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims on Saturday. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Nanjing Massacre, committed by Japanese aggressors, was one of three major massacres during WWII. It was an atrocious anti-human crime and a dark page in the history of humanity, Xi said while addressing a state ceremony for China's first National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims.

"Anyone who tries to deny the massacre will not be allowed by history, the souls of the 300,000 deceased victims, the 1.3 billion Chinese people, and all people who love peace and justice in the world," Xi said.

The ceremony, presided over by Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), was held at the memorial hall for the massacre victims in the east China city of Nanjing.

Japanese troops captured Nanjing, then China's capital, on Dec. 13 of 1937 and started a 40-odd-day slaughter. More than 300,000 Chinese soldiers, who had laid down their arms, and civilians were murdered and about 20,000 women were raped.

Representatives of all walks of life present at the ceremony paid silent tribute to the massacre victims as sirens howled over the city.

Sixteen honor guards laid eight wreaths in memory of the victims while the national flag flew at half-mast to mourn the victims.

Xi, along with Xia Shuqin, an 85-year-old massacre survivor, and a school child, dedicated a "ding," a type of ancient Chinese cauldron symbolizing state power and prosperity, to the Nanjing Massacre victims. The three-legged bronze ding will be permanently placed at the square of the hall.

"The purpose of the memorial ceremony for Nanjing Massacre victims is to recall that every good-hearted person yearns and holds a firm stance of peace, but does not try to prolong hatred," Xi said.

The Chinese and Japanese people should live in friendship from generation to generation and make joint efforts to contribute to the peace of humanity, he said.

"We should not bear hatred against an entire nation just because a small minority of militarists launched aggressive wars. The responsibilities for war crimes lie with a few militarists, but not the people. However, we cannot at any time forget the severe crimes committed by aggressors," he said.

People who love peace and justice must stay highly cautious and fight the words and actions that glorify war, he added.

In his speech, Xi expressed thanks to the foreigners who had protected Nanjing residents and recorded the atrocities of the Japanese invaders, despite the risks.

German businessman John Rabe, Bernhard Arp Sindberg from Denmark, and U.S. priest John Magee were among the foreign friends.

"The Chinese people will never forget their humanitarian spirit and brave and righteous acts," Xi said.

In February 2014, China's top legislature designated Dec. 13 as the National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims to mourn those killed by Japanese invaders and expose war crimes committed by the Japanese.

According to the decision passed by the NPC Standing Committee, the move was aimed at remembering the calamities the war caused the Chinese people and people around the world and convey the Chinese people's firm stance against aggression and in favor of human dignity and world peace.

It is the third time this year President Xi has attended high-level activities related to Japanese aggression toward China.

He attended a ceremony on July 7 to mark the start of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in 1937, as well as a victory day celebration on Sept. 3 for the 69th anniversary of the victory against Japanese aggression.

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