Opinion / Han Dongping

China's military review: A peaceful demonstration

By Han Dongping ( Updated: 2015-09-01 14:07

China's military review: A peaceful demonstration

Female honor guards train at a camp in Beijing ahead of the military parade in the capital on Sept 3. Photo by Zou Hong / China Daily

To mark the 70th Anniversary of the Chinese People's victory over the Japanese Fascists, the Chinese Government will do a grand military review on September 3. The Chinese Government has invited 51 friendly nations to the occasion, and 49 will attend. Of the 11 international organizations China invited, ten have accepted the invitation. Due to the short knowledge of modern history, some do not understand the significance of this military review for China and the world.

Conventionally, some foreign observers interpret China's military parade as a simple show of muscle and an act of intimidation of its neighbors. However, the fact is that China sees it as an occasion to demonstrate the Chinese people's determination to defend peace in this world. It is a way to show that Chinese people will never allow what happened to the Chinese people in the past to happen again. It is to show that the Chinese government has a legal obligation to ensure the Chinese people and the people of the world that China will never again become a victim of imperialism.

Chinese people fought 14 years(from 1931-1945) to drive the Japanese aggressors out of their county, taking on more than sixty percent of Japanese military might, imposing 1.2 million casualties on the enemy, making the greatest contribution to the international struggle against the fascists. At the same time, the Chinese people sustained heavy losses, with 31 million civilian casualties, and 4 million military casualties, one of the worst affected among all the nations involved in WWII.

For the Chinese people, the war of resistance against Japanese aggression was more than a war. It was a social movement through which Chinese people united to beat Japanese aggression and revive the Chinese nation. The war rejuvenated this oldest civilization in world history. It demonstrated the resilience of this oldest civilization in the world. This military review is to mark that great occasion of victory.

Since China's defeat by the UK in the Opium War in 1842, the Western Powers trampled on China's sovereignty. The British, emboldened by the victory of the First Opium War, launched the second opium war with the French. Later on, Japan, inspired by Social Darwinism and western imperialism and colonialism, began to entertain ambitions to annex China's territories and joined the bandwagon against China. By 1900, when the eight power expedition forces raped Beijing, China was at a breaking point. Foreign imperialists enjoyed extra-territorial rights, and could do whatever they pleased in China.

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