Xi Jinping proclaims China's position on peace

By Tim Collard
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, September 8, 2015
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Wheeled armored assault vehicles attend a parade in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 3, 2015. China on Thursday held commemoration activities, including a grand military parade, to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. [Xinhua/Lin Yiguang]

China celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory in World War II with an impressive military parade, which was not intended as a show of belligerence but as a recognition that the preservation of peace depends on a requisite level of defence.

It was China's defencelessness in the 1930s that tempted the Japanese into a campaign of conquest and oppression years before conflict began to envelop Europe and the West in general.

President Xi was quite correct when he said that China's resistance against Japanese aggression "started the earliest and lasted the longest."

In the West at least, the Chinese contribution to the Allied victory has generally been underestimated. The Western European allies were understandably tied up in the struggle against Nazi Germany, whereas the Americans were mainly fighting the Japanese on the sea and in the air.

However, it was the Chinese resistance that tied down hundreds of thousands of Japanese troops in East Asia, just as the heroic Russian resistance gradually wore down the strength of the Axis powers in Eurasia.

One of the most important outcomes of the terrible sufferings of the Chinese people was unity. The first half of the last century was scarred by divisions and internal weakness; President Xi's speech assured China and the world this can never happen again.

A unified China will henceforth play the important role in the world to which it is entitled due to its population, growing economic strength and established culture.

"Prejudice, discrimination, hatred and war can only cause disaster and suffering, while mutual respect, equality, peaceful development and common prosperity represent the right path to take," said President Xi. No-one could possibly disagree with that, but words need to be translated into action.

Recent Chinese policy initiatives, such as the new land and maritime Silkroad programs and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), show a genuine desire to give practical form to these sentiments. The Chinese philosophy is that, if nations build up strong mutually beneficial economic interests, they will be much less likely to endanger those interests by going to war.

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