Wang Guoqing, vice minister of the State Council Information Office, announced at a press conference on Tuesday a series of commemorative activities that China has prepared to mark the 60th anniversary of the Chinese people's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression as well as the Allied victory that ended the Second World War.
"The Chinese people fought bravely and undaunted for 14 years. The war cost us some 35 million lives and billions of dollars in economic loss and damage," Wang said.
To commemorate this important event, the Chinese government has set up a special preparation work office. Five main events have been organized to mark this important historical milestone, according to Wang.
First, an evening party will be held at 7:45 PM on September 2 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. About 6,000 people including Party and State leaders as well as citizens from all walks of life will attend the party.
Second, there will be a flower dedication ceremony at 9 AM on September 3 at Tian’anmen Square. Flower baskets and wreaths will be laid at the Monument to the People's Heroes. About 10,000 people including Party and the State leaders as well as citizens are expected to participate in the event.
The third event is a medals presentation ceremony at around 9:30 AM on September 3 at the Hunan Hall of the Great Hall of the People. President Hu Jintao will present medals to war veterans, patriots, and military officers who served in the war.
The fourth event is a commemorative conference. It will be held at 10 AM on September 3 at the auditorium of the Great Hall of the People. About 6,000 people including Party and State leaders and citizens will take part in the conference.
Fifth is a reception to be held at 6 PM on September 3 at the Banquet Hall of the Great Hall of the People. About 2,100 people including Party and State leaders and citizens will attend.
"These five events form the key part of the war commemorations. We have also planned some other commemorative activities," Wang told the press.
Such activities include a seminar to be held on September 2-4 at Jingxi Hotel in Beijing; exhibitions which were held in July and August in Beijing, Hong Kong and some other cities; a symposium of patriots from home and abroad, high-ranking military officers who served in the war and/or their family members which will be held September 3 in the Great Hall of the People; and a musical tribute to the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression which was performed on August 14 and broadcast on CCTV on August 15. In the same time, some books and video products dedicated to the anniversary have been published.
So far, about 600 war veterans, 400 retired officials, 351 patriots from home and abroad and high-ranking military officers who served in the war and/or their family members, and about 210 international friends and/or their family members from 20 countries have been invited to take part in the commemorative activities.
Wang also announced that the Press Center on Commemorative Activities has been set up at Beijing Hotel and will be open to journalists from September 1. The center, which is led and managed by the State Council Information Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, will coordinate interviews for foreign journalists.
(China.org.cn August 30, 2005)