Veterans of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression yesterday urged Chinese citizens to remember lessons learned in the past and work towards a better future for the nation.
They said this at a luncheon commemorating the 60th anniversary of China's victory over Japan, adding the Chinese nation should continue to enhance modernization efforts and to contribute to world peace.
"The last hundred years saw China humiliated at the hands of foreign invaders, and Chinese people suffered especially tremendous hardship as our motherland was ravaged between 1931 and 1945," said Chuang Shih-ping, vice-president of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese.
"It still pains me now when I think about the days when I fled from the Japanese invaders and looked death in the face many times. I cannot forget the friends and loved ones I lost in the war, and the atrocities that the Japanese troops committed everywhere they went," he told guests and members of the press at the luncheon.
Chuang said he is lucky to have witnessed the victory of China over Japan in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, the establishing of a new China, and the return of Hong Kong and Macao to the motherland.
"I am delighted to see the emergence of China as a new prosperous nation, with citizens enjoying more wealth and development, while Chinese people all over the world are witnessing the dream of a stronger China gradually becoming a reality," he said.
Also speaking at the luncheon, Hong Kong war veteran Yu Wei said China's victory in the war against Japanese aggression was won with the loss of countless lives and suffering of the Chinese people, and the younger generation should always remember the crimes of Japanese militarists.
"On this 60th anniversary of the motherland's victory in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, we should continue to foster the patriotic and enterprising spirit that the people of China exemplified in the war," Yu said. "We must work towards the common goal of building a stronger and more prosperous nation so as to better safeguard stability in the region," she said in a keynote speech.
Yu also stressed China should remain vigilant in face of the re-emergence of militarism in Japan, as right-wing Japanese politicians continue to threaten stability and relations between the two countries.
"We must be united to uphold peace and keep the resurgence of militarism in check, and only then can the people of China truly enjoy fruitful lives," she added.
(China Daily HK Edition August 12, 2005)