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Commemorate for Peace
(Written by Ambassador Wang Ke and published on Barbados Advocate on September 9, 2015)

On September 3, the Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War was held in Tiananmen Square in Central Beijing under the theme of “bear history in mind, honor all those who laid down their lives, cherish peace and open up the future”. Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered an important speech and inspected the formations of troops from the Chinese People's Liberation Army. 65 heads of state and government leaders, high-level representatives of government, representatives from international organizations such as United Nations and Ambassadors and envoys to China attended the Commemoration.

The aim of China’s grand Commemoration was, together with the international community, to remember the indelible part of history and pay homage to those who sacrificed their lives in the world anti-fascist war for the noble cause of peace and progress of mankind, and also to take its guidance as we embrace the future, and to avoid a repetition of the tragedy of war, so that the world will enjoy lasting peace.

As was rightly pointed out by President Xi Jinping in his speech, “we condemn the brutality of the aggressors to rekindle the yearning for and commitment to peace, not to prolong hatred.” President Xi solemnly pledged that “in the interest of peace, China will remain committed to peaceful development. We Chinese love peace. No matter how much stronger it may become, China will never seek hegemony or expansion. It will never inflict its past suffering on any other nation. The Chinese people are resolved to pursue friendly relations with all other countries, uphold the outcomes of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War, and make greater contribution to mankind.” To show China’s commitment to world peace, President Xi announced that China will cut the number of its troops by 300,000.

The Second World War launched by Fascist Germany, Japan and others more than 70 years ago represents a dark page in human history, which wreaked havoc with 2 billion people in more than 80 countries and regions, brought flames of war to vast areas of Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania, resulting in more than 100 million casualties and brought unprecedented destruction to the human civilization.

As the major theatre of World Anti-fascist War in the East, China’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression broke out the first and lasted the longest during the World War II. From the September 18th Incident in 1931 to the final victory in 1945, the Chinese people fought a 14-year war against the enemy, killing over 1.5 million Japanese soldiers while pinning down two thirds of the Japanese land force. Chinese people made tremendous sacrifice in this war during which China suffered over 35 million casualties and economic losses amounted to more than 600 billion US dollars. The Chinese people’s bravery and tremendous sacrifice played a decisive role in defeating the Fascist Japan, offered strategic support to the Allies in the European and Pacific battlefields and made important contribution to the full victory of World Anti-fascist War.

This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. The victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and The World Anti-Fascist War 70 years ago was a major turning point in human history. In the smoky ruins of the World's Anti-Fascist War and after painful reflection, the international community established the international order and system with the United Nations as the core and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter as the cornerstone, thus forming the new mechanism for maintaining peace and security, opening a new chapter in the history of international relations.

As the first country to sign the UN Charter, China has been unremittedly committed to multilateral cooperation, participated widely in addressing issues of global concern, promoted actively South-South cooperation and provided assistance to developing countries within its capacity. China has also sent the most peacekeepers among all permanent members of the UN Security Council. At the juncture of 70th anniversary of the United Nations, China is willing to, together with the international community, resolutely safeguard the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations and is committed to building a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation and to make greater contribution to world peace, stability and development.

Peace is hard won, peace should be cherished and maintained. Based on painful perception of history, Chinese people will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development, unswervingly pursue an opening-up strategy of mutual benefit and win for all, develop friendly relations with all countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and resolutely safeguard world peace. China’s rise is destined to contribute to the strengthening of world peace.

The Monument to the People's Heroes at Tiananmen Square in the Chinese Capital Beijing is built to commemorate the martyrs died in China’s recent history including those fought in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. The War Memorial at the National Heroes Square here in Barbados also honors the Barbadians who sacrificed their lives in World War II. I always think that, though the smoke of that war has long dissipated, justice and conscience will never fade. We must be true to our heart to carefully safeguard the justice and conscience, deeply reflect on the disaster that we experienced more than 70 years ago and to draw lessons in order to prevent the history from repeating itself. Thus, we call on all the peace-loving people of the world to join hands with us to defend the hard fought fruits of the World War II and to make efforts for the lasting peace of our world. This will be the best commemoration to those who sacrificed their lives for justice and peace.

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