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Torn pages of history: Why China should remember WWII

By Waqar K Kauravi and Umar Waqar ( Updated: 2015-08-26 17:52

Torn pages of history: Why China should remember WWII

Soldiers of a marching unit look on during a training session ahead of the Sept 3 military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. [Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily] 

As China commemorates victory over the Japanese during World War II on September 3, and scores of countries join forces to commemorate the fallen, western media has been focusing on the list of attendees and downplaying China. The western world is not in a position to criticize others when they have been the main source of instability in the entire world since World War II.

China never invaded neighbors during World War II and was on the receiving end of imperialist Japanese designs and defended herself at the cost of more than 25 million casualties. The Nanjing Massacre is a blot on the face of humanity where innocent Chinese were slaughtered on the altar of imperialism under the auspices of Japanese Royal command led by the likes of Prince Asaka.

Whereas the Nanjing tragedy is difficult to absorb and describe, it provides a historical reference for Chinese nationalism and the sacrifices of previous generations and connects the new generation with their past.

Despite the fact that China contested the Japanese invasion with grit and courage and liberated lands through a fight spanning almost a decade, contemporary western history tries to downplay the Chinese role in defeating the imperialist designs of the Japanese regime of the day. Even from a military point of view, Chinese sacrifices outweigh any other nation in the Pacific or North Atlantic theaters of war.

Why should China’s remembrance of World War II be anything different from D-Day commemorations in France and the Russian victory against Operation Barbarossa?

Is history a monopoly of the west, and, are non-western nations barred from commemorating their past, just because it does not fit into the obsolete idea of Pax Americana.

How could Chinese remembrance of World War II be a threat to international peace and regional security? Isn’t it a fact that the entire Pacific Rim along its eastern extremity, from the Korean Peninsula to Singapore and from the Chinese mainland to the forests of Malaya and islands of the Philippines adversely suffered in World War II due to Japanese imperialism?

The Chinese policy of live and let live has won friends across the globe and it is a historical fact that she has never intervened into other’s affairs to impose her will. The stereotypical version of the history of World War II in the Pacific has never given due credit to Chinese sacrifices and there is a need to educate future generations on this aspect.

The role of CPC in forging the defense of the motherland cannot be overemphasized, the party’s military command worked tirelessly to establish a united national front and used guerrilla tactics to boldly interrupt Japanese lines of communication and hit hard at decisive battle fields. The CPC accounted for more than two million Japanese casualties and helped turn the tide of the Great War.

The holding of a military parade in Tiananmen Square on Sept 3 will showcase Chinese resolve as a beacon of hope for the world and especially those nations who continue to suffer due to global hegemony of the powers that be.

Waqar Khan Kauravi is a defense analyst based in Lahore and Umar Waqar, is a freelance journalist in Lahore, Pakistan.

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