Opinion / Editorials

Shared struggle should be stressed

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-29 08:01

On Sunday, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark visited the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall. After seeing the displayed historical documents that record the Japanese army's atrocities, she watered the tree of peace in the garden and put a yellow rose beside it.

Her moves symbolize her support for China in issues related with World War II, says a commentary in Global Times, which advocates China recall that part of history with more countries and encourage them to join in the effort of preventing Japan from denying history.

The Queen's visit not only respects the memory of the victims, but also paid tribute to Danish industrialist Bernhard Arp Sindberg, who ran a refugee camp and protected more than 20,000 innocent Chinese during the massacre, of whom some are still alive today. Sindberg and the people he saved best link the histories of China and Denmark together. Being situated at opposite sides of Eurasia continent does not prevent the two countries from sharing this memory together.

The queen's visit to the memorial hall should prompt new thinking in the ongoing effort to defend historical truths from Japan's attempts to distort them.

For a long time, China has emphasized reminding the international community of these historical truths, but relatively ignored the art of recalling the shared parts of this history with other countries.

Actually, China shared the struggles of World War II against the Axis powers with the United States and countries from Asia, Europe, and Oceania, demonstrating their resolve to fight besides one another with a common purpose. But in the past, materials recalling this common struggle have not been used well enough to rally international support and China needs to tell stories that are more easily understood by other nations.

In January, China's ambassador to the United Kingdom compared Japan's militarism to the Lord Voldemort character in the Harry Potter books, which was quite influential because he used a story that Westerners are familiar with. Much of the international society will only stand by if China continues telling of its suffering during Japan's invasion in an old-fashioned way.

If China can do it creatively, as the ambassador did, more nations will recall the past and join China in preventing Japan from distorting history.


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